Space Wolves Lore – Part 2: To Slay a Beast

Earlier in the week, we discussed many of the trials and tribulations that have befallen the Space Wolves in their recent history. Yet thanks to the introduction of Primaris Space Marines into its ranks, the Chapter has recovered much of its strength and is now set to do what it does best once more, take the fight to the enemies of the Allfather. With Saga of the Beast on the horizon, it looks like the Space Wolves have their sights firmly set on the Orks – and one greenskin in particular

Visions of the Beast

One of the many roles performed by the Rune Priests of the Space Wolves is using their gifts to scour the skeins of fate to glean what they can of future events. They channel the wyrd utilising a number of shamanic methods that have been practised by the people of Fenris for countless generations, ranging from casting bones to trance-like dream quests.

In recent months, the Chapter’s Rune Priests have been universally plagued by disturbing visions of grotesque trolls, green of skin and gnarled of flesh. Most troublesome of all was the monstrous beast that ever loomed in the distance, barely visible. As ever, the exact nature of the future that awaited them remained unclear, yet there was one undeniable truth that could be discerned – the greenskins were abroad once more, guided by a beast that was both single-minded and powerful enough to unite them.

The Wolf and the Beast

One glimmer of hope in the dread prophecies of the Rune Priests was the presence of a Blackmaned Wolf fearlessly facing down the monstrous beast in their visions. It didn’t need a seer’s insight to understand that it was Ragnar Blackmane’s wyrd to face Ghazghkull in battle. Yet Logan Grimnar knew that in order to discover Ghazghkull’s location, the Space Wolves would have to engage the Orks on multiple fronts. To that end, he called upon all of the Great Companies to provide warriors with which to bring the fight to the greenskins, wherever they could be found. Only by drawing them out could Ghazghkull’s exact location be discovered.

As the Space Wolves mustered to set out across the Sea of Stars to combat the rising Ork threat, word was sent urgently to Ragnar, relaying to him the auguries of the Rune Priests. Never one to back down from even the deadliest challenge, Ragnar began the hunt for Ghazghkull in earnest, determined to cut the head from the beast and put an end to him once and for all.

One Fight Too Many?

The last the Space Wolves heard of Ragnar’s strike force was a garbled astropathic transmission from the Wolf Lord claiming that he had tracked the beast to its lair on the hive world of Krongar. What little could be understood from the message was that Ragnar’s Great Company was divided between a number of different war zones, so he didn’t have the numbers with him to launch a full-scale planetary attack. Instead, he planned to lead a covert mission that would infiltrate the Orks’ foremost stronghold and force a direct confrontation with Ghazghkull, enabling Ragnar to kill the beast in person. It was a bold plan, but one that came at tremendous risk to the Wolf Lord and his warriors… 

As of yet, no word has reached the Space Wolves of the mission’s outcome. Fearing the worst, the Blackmanes of Strike Force Icefang have raced towards the last known coordinates of their Jarl in a desperate bid to discover his fate. Had Ragnar Blackmane fallen in battle? Was the Young King dead?

If you haven’t read the origin story of Ragnar Blackmane, be sure to grab yourself a copy of The Space Wolf Omnibus, featuring the first three parts of William King’s seminal series on the Young King himself. Not only is it a fantastic read, but it follows Ragnar’s journey from a humble Fenrisian tribesman all the way through to becoming a Sky Warrior. If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about the process of how a mortal warrior is forged into a fully fledged Space Marine, this book is simply not to be missed.

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