- "Volkmar... Just look at him. He never wavers and never yields. Some say he never even sleeps. Everything about him is bent to that one great task of holding back the darkness. He can't do it alone, but then again, he doesn't need to, for his sheer resolve inspires men like us to greatness."
- —Sir Albrecht Valdorf, Preceptor of the Righteous Lance.[1a]
Volkmar von Hindenstern, known more famously as Volkmar the Grim, is a zealous Warrior Priest of Sigmar, the current Grand Theogonist of the Church of Sigmar and one of the most powerful religious leaders in the Empire of Man.
Volkmar is a pious and foreboding man who is utterly dedicated to his faith and the destruction of Chaos in all its form. When the Grand Theogonist accompanies an army into battle, he typically rides atop the resplendent War Altar of Sigmar, inspiring the surrounding soldiers to great acts of heroism as he strikes at the followers of Chaos down with powerful blows and words of divine power.[1a]
Volkmar is a holy terror to all evil within the battlefield, a man who fights with the fury of Sigmar himself. It is said that Volkmar's soul was forged of steel and he fights the malign influence of Chaos with every fibre of his entire being. Though possessed of a warrior's soul, Volkmar is a wise man who knows that Chaos cannot be defeated with strength of arms alone. The Grand Theogonist is convinced that the answer to truly ending the threat that lies in the North lies buried within the archives of the Empire's vaults of ancient scrolls and holy scriptures.[1a]
For days at a time, the Grand Theogonist has locked himself in the secret repositories filled with the tomes of forbidden lore, in search of an answer to ending the dark menace of Chaos. Such a task is epic in the extreme and, so far, the Grand Theogonist has gathered together only a few fragments and scraps of pertinent knowledge. However, what Volkmar has learnt speaks of a great prophecy, a final battle between good and evil that will either see the threat of Chaos crushed forever, or the Empire, and that of the entire world, shall be destroyed in a tide of flame and bloodshed.[1a]
Storm of Chaos
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Rumours of Archaon's coronation were soon heard in the south, and news of this great threat came to the ears of Volkmar the Grim. A great Warrior Priest of the Sigmarite cult, Volkmar was also a talented leader and a canny strategist. The Grand Theogonist saw a chance to avert the coming Storm of Chaos. Heading north at the head of an army of devout Sigmarites, aided by the Elector Count of Talabheim and his army, Volkmar issued a challenge to Archaon to face him in single combat.
Volkmar knew that Archaon could not ignore the challenge, for his position could only be maintained with the fear and respect of his warriors. To show any kind of weakness would invite challenges to his power from within his own ranks. Thus Archaon met Volkmar's host across a blasted wasteland in the Troll Country north of Kislev. The two armies battled long, and borne upon his glowing war altar, the Grand Theogonist charged the Everchosen of Chaos. Volkamer's bravery was unquestioned, but even with his faith in Sigmar, he could not best the raw power of Chaos that flowed through Archaon. Unleashing the energy of the daemon U'zhul, Archaon slew Volkmar with a single stroke and smashed asunder the War Alter on which he stood. Though the forces of the Empire bravely battled on, they were no match for the fury of the affronted Chaos lord. Archaon allowed them to retreat, knowing that their return in defeat would sow further discord and misery through the Empire.
Volkmar's body was left amongst the many others on the unnamed battlefield, the news of his death being greeted in Altdorf by the solemn tolling of bells and mournful prayers of the priesthood. A great warrior and leader had been taken from the Empire in its most needy time. Or so it seemed.
It was in the cold, frozen lands north of Kislev that the Daemon Prince Be'lakor was drawn to a certain place, and upon arriving recognised it as the battlefield upon which Volkmar the grim had faced down the Everchosen. Frozen corpses littered the the bloodied field, half eaten by crows and vermin. And in the midst of that deathly, immobile scene he spied the ruins of the Grand Theogonist's war altar, its trapping broken and its images of Sigmar cast into the bloodied, frozen mud. Amongst the ruin of the battle chariot lay the body of Volkmar himself, frozen in his final agonising death-throes, a sparkling gash of blood across his chest, and the broken remnants of the jade griffon amulet lying at his feet.
Sensing a means to assert his superiority over Archaon, Be'lakor drew forth his most ancient magics and dragged the Theogonist's soul back into his body. Pain flaring through him, Volkmar breathed again, and his eyelids fluttered open. Even the faith of the mighty Volkmar was sorely tested as he looked upon the terrifying apparition that stood before him. Be'lakor had the Theogonist taken up and chained to the battle standard of his legion, from where the agonised screams of the priest could be heard, and his writhing body seen.
Siege of Middenheim
When Be'lakor and his unholy army marched upon Middenheim, they still carried Volkmar's tormented body upon their war-banner. The Imperial defenders were horrified, and terror began to visibly spread amongst their ranks. Hundreds of men knelt and clawed at their eyes as the great, winged figure of Be'lakor rose into the air above his unnatural legion. Hope was not lost however, for the knights of Bretonnia had witnessed the Dark Master's coming, and charged into his ranks.
In the melee that followed, the Bretonnian King and his knights battled fiercely against the daemonic host. Protected from the evil sorceries of the Daemon Prince by enchantments of the Lady, Louen Leoncoeur engaged Be'lakor in single combat. As the King of Bretonnia fought bravely against the Dark Master, an anguished cry was heard over the battlefield. Volkmar the Grim had ripped free of the chains binding him to Be'lakor's army standard, and laid about the surrounding daemons with those self-same enchanted chains. Bloodied but unbowed, the injured Volkmar was carried free upon the back of Louen's hippogryph and taken to the Temple of Shallya in Middenheim.
After his defiance of Be'lakor and his rescue by King Louen, Volkmar was placed in the care of the Priestesses of Shallya. His exertions on the battlefield had taken a toll on his near-crippled body, while his mind wandered between the real and the unreal, tortured by the suffering he had endured since his capture. The taint of Chaos was still strong and a constant guard stood at the Shallyan temple, protecting Volkmar from any danger while he drifted in and out of a fevered sleep.
- Jade Griffon - This talisman is carved from enchanted jade and is said to have been blessed by Magnus the Pious himself. The Jade Griffon hangs upon the Grand Theogonist's chest, glowing with a green inner light that suffuses Volkmar with regenerative powers.[1a]
- Staff of Commands - This staff is the Grand Theogonist's badge of office. It draws power from the War Altar of Sigmar and channels it into the Grand Theogonist ageing limbs, suffusing him with strength and vigour.[1a]
- War Altar of Sigmar - When the Grand Theogonist accompanies an army into battle, he typically rides atop the resplendent War Altar of Sigmar, inspiring the soldiers around him to great acts of heroism. The altar prominently features a noble griffon bearing Ghal Maraz, Sigmar's hammer and the emblem of imperial unity and strength.
- 1: Warhammer Armies: The Empire (8th Edition)
- 1a: pg. 59
- 2: Warhammer Armies: Storm of Chaos (6th Edition)
- 3: Storm of Chaos - The Loremaster's Journal
- 4: Total War: Warhammer
- Warhammer Armies: The Empire (4th Edition)
- pg. 69
- Warhammer Armies: The Empire (6th Edition)
- pg. 76
- pg. 77
- Warhammer Armies: The Empire (7th Edition)
- pg. 60
- pg. 61
- The End Times I - Nagash
- Liber Chaotica
- Warhammer Armies: Chaos (4th Edition)