Story Phase: When Calligo Gloomwing was human

This is some origin story I wrote building my Vanguard Stormcast Army for the Rise of Empire campaign back in spring of 2017. Enjoy!

Long before the Age of Chaos, perhaps before the age of Myth, Nagash slumbered. Vampire Lords and Mortal Kings skirmished for control of trade roads, Realm Gates, and soul stones. Calidasa was the high doom priestess at the Soulbone temple, committed to her destiny of communion with the spirits of the past. For to commune with the dead unlocked many secrets of the eight realms, and allowed the forecasting of great catastrophes and genocide.

With these portents, the brothers and sisters of the Soulbone worked to bring keep order when something threatened to destabilize major areas of the Realm of Death. For if Nagash returned and his order was out of balance, many would suffer unspeakable eternal torments.


The good and benevolent King Borimas, lost his daughter to the allures of the Vampire Lord Martul, and in his grief and anger, he found a powerful amulet that allowed him to control the dead. Along with his own armies, he raised an unimaginably large army of bone and spirit. He marched on Lord Martul, seeking to wipe out his kingdom, and the kingdoms of everything that sword allegiance to him, which was considerable. While Martul had few virtues, he had kept an order in his part of the realm that stabilized trade and provided protection for mortal settlements and cities. While his price was high and grotesque, it was acceptable in this realm. But it was also said that Martul knew the location of the Citadel of Carcarun - which housed a great power. If Martul were put in a corner by King Borimas' army, he may unlock the Citadel and devastate this corner of Shyish.

High Priestess Calidasa's awareness of these possibilities was told to her by the spirits, as well as a hundred solutions that may prevent this outcome. She gathered a small band of sisters and brothers of the Soulbone and traveled with them to meet with King Borimas.

When Calidasa met the King in his court, she was alone, she found him unsettled and seething. When her knowledge was revealed to him, he could not see past his rage, as if something infected him. She paused silently, eyes closed as if in prayer. Her breath was visible as she sighed. She reached out a hand to Borimas and stepped closer, knowing he was in no state to grasp her hand. A flash of gold metal in her palm drew a line of red on his throat. His guards drew swords and without resistance, she was impaled by 8 swords. She knew the King's death would prevent the catastrophe, but she mourned the loss of King Borimas in the moments before her actions, accepting that it would mean her death as well.

Her spirit was greeted by the thousands of spirits who had known her as the high priestess...

How her soul was chosen, found, and reforged is a tale for another time. The Gloomwing Anvils are made up of ancient heroes who gave merciful sacrifice in service to the Eight Realms.