Sigmar’s assault on the Chaos hordes that rampage across the Mortal Realms is fought on many fronts: Stormhosts in their scores fall from the skies upon bolts of lightning in every Realm, delivering furious vengeance to the enemies of Order. The fighting is most fierce in Aqshy, the Realm of Fire, where the armies of Khorne hold sway. One of those Stormhosts hurled into the fray by the God-King was known as the Bronze Brotherhood; like all Stormcast Eternals they were brave, bold and filled with righteous wrath.
However, whether by some quirk of their construction, divine machination or simple chance, they were sent awry, materialising far from their intended destination. They found themselves out of formation in the scorching expanse of the Bloodsand Wastes where the mightiest Champions of Khorne battled for the favour of their bellowing master. Here, two mighty Khornate legions faced one another across a patch of bare desert, already littered with skulls and the detritus of battle. At the unexpected arrival of the Stormcast Eternals in their midst, the Chaos horde put aside their own quarrel and united against the common foe.
Caught in a maelstrom of enemies, the Bronze Brotherhood had no choice but to fight a desperate breakout against impossible odds. The Bloodsand Wastes were saturated with yet more blood as the Stormcast Eternals formed a ring of sigmarite, rallying even as they were cut down in their hundreds by frothing mad men. In the carnage, the Lord-Commander of the Stormhost was torn limb from limb by a rampaging Slaughterbrute, and leadership of the surviving Eternals fell to Lord-Celestant Darius Thunderpeal. Seeing disaster looming, the Lord-Celestant curbed the fighting instincts of his warriors and formed them into an unstoppable wedge which bludgeoned its way free of the scrum. Knowing that triumph against such odds was impossible, the battered survivors of the Bronze Brotherhood fled into the desert to count the cost of their disastrous arrival. In all, fully two-thirds of their number had fallen, and many of the Warrior Chambers were scattered or so depleted that they could no longer function as units.
Far from allies and still hounded by foes, the Bronze Brotherhood would have been justified in giving in to despair. Many of them silently cursed their ill-fortune and wondered if the God-King had deserted them. Darius Thunderpeal was one of those who pondered long in the following days and nights on the fate of his soldiers and for a time he considered leading them back into the teeth of their pursuers to sell their lives slaughtering as many Chaos-worshippers as possible before they met their end. It was the Lord-Relictor Mortus Shadowfane who came to him unbidden and helped guide him through this spiritual crisis.
The God-King Sigmar, Shadowfane said, was a just lord but also a ruthless commander, capable of great cruelty when it served the ends of Order. Their arrival in such a hostile situation was not without purpose: just as they had been forged from mortal warriors by the celestial magic of the God-King, so too had their trial in the midst of the Blood God’s servants been a kind of forging. From the red-hot crucible of this accursed desert, he continued, they would emerge stronger than ever before - stronger even than their brethren who even now fought to free the Mortal Realms. And if god was cruel, they must be all the crueller. No longer were they merely the Bronze Brotherhood: now they were the Twiceforged, the Battleborn. They would not die in a futile gesture of defiance, but earn renown and redemption in the wars for which they had been created. Isolated from their fellow Stormhosts, alone in a strange and dangerous land, the journey of the Bronze Brotherhood would become the stuff of legend, should any of them survive to tell it…
Bought the starter set and had a bash at this first unit. They were supposed to look a little more battle-damaged, but I went so heavy on washes that the verdigris that served a base coat for their armour doesn’t really show up. Still, I’m pretty happy with how they turned out and the models are a lot of fun. Plus I really like the fluff, I’ve decided. They’re Space Marines - I mean, they really, really are - but without the fascist baggage. Basically, all the stuff that makes Space Marines cool and heroic is still there, but they’re not the jackbooted thugs of an evil galactic empire that grinds humanity up in the gears of its bureaucracy and technology. I can get on board with that.