- Archaon teaching a certain armless failure on how to actually be kick ass
"Fear me, mortals, for I am the Anointed, the Favored Son of Chaos, the Scourge of the World. The armies of the gods rally behind me, and it is by my will and by my sword that your weakling nations shall fall."
- – Archaon the Everchosen, Lord of the End Times
"My hatred is a thousand times more powerful than all your good intentions."
- – Jim Goad
"The most dangerous creation of any society is the man who has nothing to lose."
- – James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time
Overchosen Everchosen, formerly known as Diederick Kastnar, also known concurrently as The Three-Eyed King, Lord of the End-Times, Kingslayer, and various other titles besides is the supreme Chaos Lord of Warhammer Fantasy and its successor, Age of Sigmar, as well as in Total War: WARHAMMER. He is a successor of the Kurgan High Zar Asavar Kul, who previously held the title of Everchosen. Archaon, on the other hand, managed to successfully destroy the world during the End Times and defeated Grimgor in single combat (while the latter was high off becoming the Incarnate of the Wind of Beasts, no less) and, more importantly, wrestled with Sigmar Heldenhammer himself before falling with him into a Chaos Portal to fight over the titular Warhammer for which the settings of Fantasy and 40K are named, which he just barely lost.
In other words, he shits all over the other guy in terms of competency and skill. Supposedly, his name is Tilean, meaning 'Warhammer Italy'. Because GW Latin fetish. Depending on how you look at him, he's either a cool, badass legend of Chaos and terrifyingly powerful, or a lameass Gary Stu and the obnoxious and edgy conclusion of GW's recent Chaos fapfest.
This is, of course, his newest iteration. Archaon's been around before and was the titular Lord of the End Times during the Storm of Chaos, though both the event and his character were retconned and brought back with heavy modification for 8th Edition. See the End Times article itself for skub surrounding that.
In the latest of a long line of cool by GW, Archaon's sword, the Slayer of Kings, HAS BEEN MADE IN REAL LIFE. This is in celebration of the new Everchosen contest, the flashy new international version of the Golden Demon, and like the Slayer Sword, one fab enough painter gets to win this.
Archaon was born to a Nordland townswoman after a raiding party of bloodthirsty Norscan Chaos Marauders visited the town and the leader of said party proceeded to rape her viciously before leaving her for dead amidst the burning husk of her village. His father is Be'lakor, who had taken the shape of a mortal at the time because being an ambitious Daemon Prince of Chaos Undivided is clearly not enough villain cred and he felt like he had to see if his cock was still working or something. Of course, the village woman did not die then, no, but was found clinging to life by her husband and children. After trying unsuccessfully to abort the pregnancy the Marauder champion had forced on her, she died nine months later giving birth to the raider's bastard son. Rejected by the surviving family members, the midwife left the baby near the door of a Sigmarite church, where he was saved from a pack of hungry wolves by a Sigmarite priest who adopted in as a son and page for the local church, naming him Diederick.
Diederick grew up into a vigorous and devout lad, strong in the ways of Sigmar, and became a squire for the lecherous lout of a knight Sieur Kastnar. When the Sieur Kastnar ran afoul of some foes and died, Diederick, being a man of honor, took it upon himself to deliver the knight's ancestral sword to House Kastnar. The lady of the House, having been disregarded and despised by her husband, was touched by the young squire's dedication and integrity, and adopted him to her house, bequeathing the sword of Kastnar to him, along with the dead knight's horse Orberon. With her sponsorship, Diederick then entered into the prestigious Order of the Twin-Tailed Orb, becoming the greatest warrior of the Order on account of his (unbeknownst) Northern bloodlust and a paragon of the Order's knightly ideals. Which essentially means he was a Black Templar level fanatic who didn't think twice of killing children if they were born with the taint of Chaos.
Later on his career, while questing about and slaying whole tribes of Beastmen single-handed, Diederick came across a group of the Sisters of Sigmar who were transporting a heretical tome. This tome would turn out to be Liber Celestior itself, penned by Necrodormo the Insane under the direction of Be'Lakor himself, and said to hold the prophecy of the Everchosen of Chaos, the final champion who would herald the End Times. The tome was to be transported to the Grand Cathedral of Sigmar in Altdorf, where it would be kept protected from a warband of Chaos Warriors intent on using it to find the Everchosen. This warband being the Swords of Chaos.
Of course, young Diederick had not even seen the prophecy for himself. And indeed, for so many years, had been much too fanatical and thick in the head to realize that he fit the perfect profile of a Norscan warrior, not an Imperial knight. This also did not come fully to him when his own Order of the Twin-Tailed Orb began hunting him, despite him having been the greatest exemplar of their Order's religious and military ideals. Diederick, being a
complete badass fucking Mary Sue, made quick work of the knights and also managed to evade the Swords of Chaos, seeking refuge at the Kastnar estate only to find it having been burned to the ground. There, he conferred with the young Sister of Sigmar Giselle and the priest who had fostered him as to the reasons why the Empire had declared him a heretic and why the Swords of Chaos wanted to suck his cock. They came to the conclusion that he fit the bill as the Everchosen based on the fact that:
- A). He was obviously of Norscan descent (fucking racists...)
- B). He was a knight of the Empire, like the Everchosen was foretold to be.
That's essentially it, really. It's a pretty fucking vague prophecy. But in fantasy worlds, this is often convincing enough, and so Diederick, on the advice of his foster father, journeyed to Altdorf to gain some confirmation of his dark destiny at the Grand Cathedral of Sigmar. Of course, this was after he succeeded in hanging himself because he couldn't live with the truth. Ballsy of him, but the Chaos Gods went 'lolno' and brought him back to life to get on without; they really wanted the End Times to happen, the little shits. So, after he dragged his depressed ass to Altdorf he prayed before an altar to Sigmar to give him some sign or indication that he was not forsaken by the God-King and not damned to a fate he did not choose and did not want, and received stone silence in return... other than the obvious favor he's enjoyed from the epic ass-kickings he's been delivering as a Knight. And considering the powers of Warrior-Priests, Diederick probably already had shit tons of confirmation that he was, if anything, favored by Sigmar. This doesn't explain why ANY other Human, Elf or Dwarf God didn't appear to prevent End Times, or why Sigmar did fuck-all at the time since even a single act would've stopped the entirety of the End Times. Diederick went batshit insane and managed to take down the entire knightly garrison of the Sigmarite Cathedral and even managed to cripple and capture the Grand Theogonist. Interrogating the Grand Theogonist by breaking his fingers individually, Diederick demanded to know how exactly the Knights of the Twin-Tailed Orb were so sure that he was the Everchosen; after all, there were countless half-Norscans running about in the Empire, and there were countless knights of the Empire who had fallen to Chaos. The Theogonist revealed that they weren't sure at all; they had been hunting everyone with his profile throughout the Empire just to make sure. The clincher was that the true Everchosen was prophesied to travel to Altdorf and ask that exact question.
So yes, if Diederick had not gone to Altdorf to find this out, he would not have fulfilled the prophecy. Just as Planned. This also means that if the Theogonist did nothing then the End Times also never would've happened, and despite knowing this they chose to act.
Having finally been driven to Joker levels of genocidal insanity by this tidbit of information (and bad writing), Diederick's switch flipped from good to evil and he loudly denounced the God-King Sigmar and affirmed his allegiance to the Dark Gods of his father's race, swearing that he would bring the Empire crashing down and tear away the pageantry of Sigmar's religion to reveal the god for the craven liar and charlatan that he was. It was during this shouted oath of death and destruction that the Grand Theogonist gloatingly revealed that the entire Reikland army and pretty much the entirety of the Empire's gunpowder potential was primed on the Cathedral with the order to kill the Everchosen by any means necessary, including by destroying the Cathedral itself. Luckily for Diederick, the Swords of Chaos arrived and rescued him from the clutches of the Empire, fleeing northwards towards Norsca where the Everchosen could begin his journey. This is, of course, if you follow the later books. Originally he read the prophecy, lost his marbles, and ran off screaming in the night before deciding he'd go up north and join his new dark god daddies.
For such a popular badass among fans, you'd think his origin story wouldn't be so pathetic and stupid.
Quest for the Six Treasures
Alright guys, y'all know the story that came after this.
Taking on the name Archaon, the Everchosen traveled North; crossing into Norsca and the Chaos Wastes as he began his prophesied centuries-long journey seeking the Relics of Chaos - The Burning Mark of Chaos Eternal, which bestowed upon its bearer the ultimate favor all four of the Great Chaos Gods. The Armour of Morkar (shield included), the battle-scarred Chaos Plate born by the Norsii warlord and first and greatest of the Everchosen. The Slayer of Kings, the horrifyingly powerful regicidal greatsword forged by Vangel, the Second Everchosen; bound with the soul of U'zhul, the Fist of Khorne. The Crown of Domination, the ancient battle-helm borne by the first Northern warrior to bargain his soul to Chaos's Dark Lords. The Eye of Sheerian, which bestows upon its user prophetic powers (had it been the Mouth of Sheerian, it probably would have granted him a decent singing voice). And Dorghar, Steed of the Apocalypse.
Archaon got the first one by traveling to the Altar of Ultimate Darkness in Naggaroth where he single-handedly brought upon the genocide of the race of bloodthirsty, atavistic monster-men who infested the temple and who feasted upon the flesh of stray Dark Elves. In the novel and newer version, he also fought a Dark Elf army led by a dragon-riding Sorceress and was saved by Valkia when she arrived after he sacrificed a Dark Elf assassin to the Chaos Gods (strangely Valkia arrived when Archaon offered the assassin's heart even though Khorne's thing is skulls or just severed heads).
He earned the Armour of Morkar by travelling to the Norse King's cairn in the Southern Chaos Wastes and facing off against his vengeful spirit, and was nearly slaughtered by his predecessor then and there but for spitting out a 'yo mama' insult in the dead tongue of the Unberogens which managed to catch Morkar just off-guard enough due to its WTFness for Archaon to sucker-punch him and steal the armour. Actually, it turns out that Archaon said 'brinnan utva lioht', which means 'burn in the light', which if I'm being honest, sounds about as insulting as calling someone a scoundrel. In the novel, it only worked because it was Sigmar's language and the last thing Sigmar said to Morkar before concaving his head.
He claimed the Eye of Sheerian from Flamefang, the Claw of Tzeentch, a three-headed Chaos Dragon (a one-headed chaos dragon spirit that possessed and assimilated bodies to gain physical form in the novel). Archaon found it sleeping in its lair and woke it up by hitting one of its heads with his axe. There was an intense fight, which ended when Flamefang swallowed Archaon whole and flew all the way to the Southern Wastes. The armor prevented Archaon from being digested and he cut his way out of the dragon's throat from the inside, which naturally killed it. Archaon plucked the Eye of Sheerian from the belly of its corpse and hung it around his neck.
The next wasn't an item, but a being, the daemonic creature called Dorghar - also known as Ghurshy'ish'phak, Wsyorach and Yrontalie - the Steed of the Apocalypse. At the time Dorghar was being kept in the menagerie of a Slaaneshi Daemon Prince. He entered the stables by clinging to the underbelly of one of the monsters as it returned to its roost, a part man, part mammoth and part insect abomination. Once there, he broke in and tracked Dorghar by Dorghar's smell (originally) or using the Eye of Sheerian (post-retcon and in the novel) until he found the creature. He then jumped on Dorghar's back like a hellish rodeo - one where the mount burst into flame and changed shape while also fighting to dislodge and kill Archaon. Eventually he broke Dorghar's will and killed the daemon prince before riding back out of the Realm of Chaos.
He got the Slayer of Kings from a sleeping Krakanrok the Black, father of the Dragon Ogre race and a being the size of a mountain. The superstrong even for a follower of chaos Khornate Beastlord Ograx was just able to lift one of Krakanrok's fingers high enough for Archaon to grab the sword. It started screaming so loud that the mountain-sized Krakanrok began to stir and Archaon silenced the blade's screaming by impaling the Beastlord through the heart with it, thereby sating its regicidal thirst as Ograx was a Prince of the Southern Pole Beastmen, who are Beastmen directly fused with Daemons without humans drawing the attention away in the North.
The search for the Crown took longer than all the others combined, near a century in fact. But, as we know, he gained the Crown of Domination by travelling to the First Shrine of Chaos in the Northern World's Edge Mountains after Be'lakor was made by the Chaos Gods to appear and show him the way (and some directions from Vilitch in the retcon). Archaon entered and overcame tests set by all 4 of the Chaos Gods, including navigating through a maze made by Tzeentch (by blindfolding himself and going by instinct to avoid the distractions), fighting off every disease possible from Nurgle through sheer willpower (being reduced to pulling himself across the floor with his fingers as his body melts away, to be restored to normal as if nothing happened in the next room), resisting temptations from Slaanesh in person as he/she/it manifested for a friendly chat, and finally Khorne sending Skarbrand to test his mettle. Skarbrand whom he then strangled to death with his own whip (actually required a fair bit more cunning, planning and daemonic intervention than the armybook versions of the stories would have you believe).
The Storm of Chaos fiasco
Eventually the Chaos Gods gave the order, and he led the most ferocious and largest army of Chaos Warriors ever assembled against the Empire during the Storm of Chaos campaign for 6th Edition. Before he reached the location where he was to end the world, he faced Valten (supposedly a reincarnation of Sigmar himself), who fought through the Swords of Chaos and killed Dorghar before pressing on to Archaon himself. Valten rushed in to strike Archaon after having dismounted him, but Archaon lunged out of the smoke left when Dorghar died and stabbed him in the chest; Valten pulled even closer though, and swung down, his hammer shredding through Archaon's armor and knocking him to his knees. But Valten let his guard down to un-impale himself on Archaon's sword, and the Lord of the End Times struck back and broke Valten's chestplate. In a moment of humanization and weakness, two things GW would make sure were removed from Chaos and Archaon later on, Archaon was fearful of a Sigmarite tattoo Valten had, and thought the big man himself had come to end him. Just then the Orc warlord Grimgor smashed through the Chaos bodyguard single-handed, headbutted Arch in the junk, laughed at his sorry ass then went back to gather another army of greenskins.
The reason this bullshit happened? GW built the narrative around their battle reports, army by army. The problem is that Chaos kept losing. In fact, the good guys were winning so badly the only reason Archaon was pushing them back was due to plot. But GW had already pre-planned the story to become the grimderpofthe41stmilleniumwherethereisonlywar and make "End Times" be in the past tense. In the end, they resorted to having fans call-in the way they wanted the story to end, hoping that Warhammer Fantasy fans would pick the faction with the pointiest stuff on their armor.
They chose a faction that had been beaten in the last match.
Fans chose Orcs over Chaos.
GW had no backup plan.
Grimgor's entire army had been beaten by Crom while Valten and Archaon fought. Grimgor got sick of rallying his forces, went "ZOG DIS, I WANNA PIECE UV DA ACTION!" and charged in to sucker punch Archaon as he was about to deliver the final blow to Valten, shout for the silent and awed assembled armies of the world to hear that "GRIMGOR IZ DA BEST!", then went back home to rally his army. This resulted in the snide nickname of "Light Drizzle of Chaos." Archaon fled the field, somehow alive, but literally ran for the hills to escape Grimgor, who fucked off to who knows where, and the coming army of Karl-Franz.
With that pesky idea of "player agency" getting in the way of their attempt at a forced Chaos ending, GW went silent and further fluff never came. Later on, they retconned almost the entirety of Storm of Chaos and instead made it an alternate continuity. In the current narrative,
he's still amassing his army the world ended, and this time, GW dropped the pretenses and didn't leave the ending up to the fans, and in response to complaints that Archaon was an Archy Sue, they amplified his power level through the roof.
So began the beginning of the end of the beginning of the end.
In first Storm of Chaos and now in The End Times, Archaon isn't alone at the top of the hordes of chaos. He has some lieutenants to help him keep everyone organised. Closest of all is his Herald, Vardek Crom, although officially Crom gets killed in a failed invasion.
In Storm of Chaos, Games Workshop decided to go with the Your dudes approach, creating four lieutenants based on simply fluffing out the new Chaos Champion models for each of the four gods (save Khorne, who got a custom model based on an old Archaon head, Orc arms and an old Bloodletter body). Thusly, in White Dwarf, we were introduced to:
- Haargroth the Blooded One, Champion of Khorne.
- Feytor the Tainted, Champion of Nurgle.
- Styrkaar, Champion of Slaanesh.
- Melekh the Changer and the sorcerous mutant-child Cyspeth, Champions of Tzeentch.
The characters weren't received too well. So, perhaps realising their mistake, GW has revealed they're bringing back some of the big Chaos characters from their first ever Chaos Special Characters list:
- Representing Khorne, it's Arbaal the Undefeated, giant Flesh Hound-riding army-butchering Chaos Lord.
- Representing Slaanesh, it's Dechala the Denied One, corrupted High Elf turned six-armed poison-oozing snake-woman.
- Representing Nurgle, it's Valnir the Reaper, undead soul-harvester.
- Representing Tzeentch, it's Egrimm van Horstmann, former Magister of the Light College turned dragon-riding daemon-commanding arch-warlock.
Unlike the others, these guys were at least respected enough to get cameos in The End Times. Two of them were even killed off, with Valnir being killed by Wulfrik in a novel and Egrimm being killed in End Times: Archaon after trying to bind the wind of Aqshy to himself. Dechala was mentioned to be in the final battle and it's said that Arbaal was krumped as well. Dechala is later confirmed to have been raised to full Daemon Prince by Slaanesh so she is the only survivor of the OGs.
The End Times made a similar plan as well with champions representing each of the Gods, and again, Crom appears and gets his ass handed to him by Valten. This time, however, the posse is made of actually known characters:
- Valkia the Bloody representing her hubby Khorne during the invasion of Naggaroth. She eventually gets a mutual kill.
- Vilitch the Curseling being the top champion of Tzeentch while Aekold Hellbrass is busy sacking Kislev. As of ET: Thanquol, he gets sent to drag in Karl Franz so Archie may kill him once and for all. In End Times: Archaon, he and Thomin switch places, with Thomin calling the shots and Vitlich being the mindless slave.
- Sigvald the Magnificent being the only person of note dedicated to Slaanesh. He gets his face rekt by the Wight King Krell and then got killed and pissed on by Throgg the troll king.
- The Glottkin taking the position of top 3 champions of Nurgle after the guy before them gets a Runefang to the face. They get beaten in the same book they appear in by a superpowered Karl Franz and are currently sitting the rest of The End Times out in Nurgle's Mansion.
Retcon/The End Times
GW recently realized that pushing ChaosChaosChaos in Warhammer Fantasy only turns off fans who want THEIR faction to be important (as the setting has a fair number of megalomaniacs that would put comicbook villains to shame), and as a result the End Times are finally being ushered in... by Nagash. The resident Undead BBEG, who aims to take over the world by rendering everyone into undead slaves then consume the Warp. In its entirety. At that time Archaon was seeking the Glottkin, the Maggoth Riders, and Gutrot Spume, and upon finding them gave them three jars of plagues custom-made by Nurgle himself (they also had a man on the inside at Altdorf who cooked up his own plague). Archaon's plan was to use the followers of Nurgle like a magical bioweapon; softening up the Empire before he came in to finish it off. Upon hearing that Naggy's stealing his thunder, Archaon prematurely led his forces to battle.
At the border of the Empire and what was once Kislev, he encountered the Auric Bastion, a gigantic wall of metal, magic and holy energy made by Balthazar Gelt that he and his troops could not cross. Then they came under attack and his army ended up in a stalemate against the forces of Vlad von Carstein, the head of the Dracula Bloodline brought back from death by big bone daddy himself. Vlad's job was to keep Archaon busy while Nagash invaded Nehekhara. Naggy himself was planning to eliminate the Tomb Kings as they were one of the few forces that can challenge his rule, then subsume them into his armies and go on to kill every living thing in the world and reanimate them.
Gelt fell prey to the separate manipulations of Vlad von Carstein and the Changeling and was outed as an up-and-coming necromancer. After a misunderstanding, Gelt is declared a traitor to the Empire and flees. With Gelt's fall from grace, the Auric Bastion loses the support of the Sigmarite priests, who deem the wall tainted due to its inventor's involvement with necromancy. Soon after the Auric Bastion crumbles, giving Chaos the green light to invade the Empire. Eager to make up for lost time, Archaon leads his forces in and bulrushes his way to Middenheim. Archaon planned to defeat the god Sigmar worshiped as a symbol of his superiority. However, Ulric had enough power to resist him and Chaos had a hard fight until a meddling elf wizard, unbeknownst to everyone else, stole Ulric's flame, allowing the power of Chaos to ravage Middenheim. Archaon took on Valten, Sigmar's heir, until a Verminlord decided to be a kill-stealing prick and decapitated Valten, enraging Archaon. Eventually Archaon and his forces conquered Middenheim.
After this Archaon claimed Sigmar's hammer from Valten's body as a trophy and set up camp in Middenheim, putting his throne in the room where the Flame of Ulric once burnt. While there he schemed to have Karl Franz killed, sending Kairos Fateweaver after him. While waiting, Archaon discovered a secret weapon under Middenheim. Under even where the Flame of Ulric was is a device left by the Old Ones. If properly tended to, it could form a third Warp Rift that would combine with the other two and destroy the world so he sought to activate it, not caring that as far as he knew, it would destroy him too. Due to plot armor, Kairos failed and Archaon kills the former to summon Ka'Bandha to take out Karl Franz. But he and the other Khornate daemons champed at the bit to start the fight while Archaon camped in Middenheim so he permitted them to hunt Karl Franz and the Incarnates as long as they gave him Karl Franz's flayed skin. During this time he gets several people pledging themselves to his cause who get used as auxiliaries including a possessed vampire, a preening Chaos Lord, the entire Skaven race and a dethroned undead king (though the latter's in it cos "the enemy of my enemy..." and ultimately says "fuck this shit" to Chaos).
Due to the machinations of Nurgle and the Skaven, Nagash is reduced from contender for the main villain and a burgeoning god of undeath to that "lesser villain that needs to team up with the good guys to fight the true villain" guy. The Bone Daddy approaches the Incarnates and offers an alliance which they, very grudgingly, accept. Eventually the Incarnates come to Middenheim and a gigantic clusterfuck of a battle occurs. The Orcs led by Grimgor throw in their lot with the Incarnates after some skillful manipulation from Malekith and even Sigmar himself makes a comeback. Despite everything arrayed against them, it eventually ends up being ChaosChaosChaos anyways when they fail to stop Archaon's ace-in-the-hole; his custom-made, Old-Ones-inspired WMD... Largely because Mannfred decided to betray Nagash (along with the rest of the good guys) at the last moment. While everyone else either dies or gets warped into some chaos bullshit, Archaon and Sigmar fall into the Warp Rift while wrestling for the hammer.
Whatever anyone says, if there was to be an ending to Warhammer Fantasy Battle, this is it: The Big Good and Big Bad of the setting falling into oblivion wrestling over The Warhammer. Fucking
sweet gay however you feel about it.
Age of Sigmar
So by now I imagine you're thinking "well bugger me, how can this guy get any more badass and/or mary sueish?" Well let me answer that for you, with a new model. Move over, Nagash, there's a new giant model in town and he's coming for you.
After completing a brand new series of challenges set by the Chaos Gods, smashing them all with ease and without a shred of loyalty for the Unholy Quintet, and rejecting the newly ascended Great Horned Rat's offer of a blessing by spitting in his verminous face, Archaon has been made the Grand High Marshall of Chaos. Which basically means that he can do whatever the fuck he wants without the Chaos Gods doing anything to stop him. He could go around and murder the shit out of each of the gods' best followers and get away with it, because fuck you, he's Archaon.
That said, however, not everyone unanimously accepts his claim, and there were those like the Gaunt Summoners of Tzeentch (A bunch of possibly-daemonic sorcerers with eyes all over their helmets) that put up a resistance against the Marshall, and end up getting a serious ass-whooping for their troubles. Once that was dealt with he went on a rampage through the realms. One of his harder battles was in the realm of Shyish. Archaon took on Nagash as he was the only one strong enough to defeat him. Archaon did at one point, striking him down and began to destroy his body. From there he proceeded to lock up the souls of the dead in a giant bone cage so Nagash couldn't access them. However Nagash was the god of death and Archaon had killed him in the Afterlife, so where was we going to go, Detroit? Due to Nagash's powers - and Arkhan and Neferata retrieving his remains afterwards - Nagash returned to try and lay a vengeful beatdown on Archaon's army, only to fail again. He used his powers to break the bone cage and gain access to the souls Archaon had contained. The two dueled, again but Archaon called on the Bloodthirsters for backup, forcing Nagash to retreat. Archaon's only defeat came at the hands of Malerion in the realm of Ulgu, and he is now fascinated by Ulgu.
On top of his legions, he also controls his own order of knights, called the Varanguard. These guys replace Archie's old warband and serve as his presence in every campaign, and in those he does deign worthy of his direct intervention, they serve as his mightiest warriors. These guys are called from every walk of Chaos, and each of them find some omen compelling them to serve the Everchosen to which they follow so devotedly that they abandon their god's calling to serve him under pain of death. Those that pass the trials laid before them on their route to the Varanspire (his new castle in the Realm of Chaos) are then chosen to join one of his eight circles and gain a giant mutant thing that possibly used to be a horse. Also joined by some of Slaanesh's followers and daemons - the Invaders faction - who now worships him as their god.
And that's not even mentioning the new changes to his look.
For a start, Archaon is now rocking some badass new black armour that makes him look much more sinister, powerful, and imposing, though at the cost of the Northern Warlord look he used to have. Slayer of Kings is also different, now a gigantic on-fire sword with a much more ornate design than before, very cool. But the real change isn't even Archaon himself, but the horse Dorghar. Well, ex-horse, because Dorghar is now a gigantic chimera monster with three heads to represent Nurgle, Khorne, and Tzeentch (Slaanesh has vanished without a trace) and two tails as an homage to the Great Horned Rat. He's now gathering all the forces of Chaos together to launch a massive campaign against Sigmar and finish what he started in the Old World, and stands as the greatest threat that Order may ever have to face. Just like old times, huh? To GW's credit, Sigmar's also gotten a lot stronger, so it's beginning to feel less like some author's pet stomping over non-opposition, but who will ultimately win?
Archaon also nearly scored a major win for Chaos during the Soul Wars by finding and reaching Slaanesh's prison. He took his Varanguard, leaving the Chaos Lord Namos Saskarid in charge while he went to free the Chaos God. Unfortunately for him and fortunately for everyone not Chaos-aligned, Nagash chose that time to strike. The undead attacked through the Shyishian realmgate and captured it, with Lady Olynder personally killing Saskarid. Then Katakros and armies from four Ossiarch Legions moved in and fortified the gate, leaving part of the Allpoints under control of Nagash. From there Bonereaper and Nighthaunt armies ravaged the Eightpoints, even laying siege to the Varanspire itself. Upon learning of this, Archaon was forced to stop breaking Slaanesh's chains and led his forces in a mad rush back to the Eightpoints. Catching the undead in a three-pronged attack, the undead army was decimated, Archaon leading the charge and destroying many undead including slaying Katakros' lieutenant Zandtos. Soon the Everchosen and Mortarch met for the first time, immediately enaging each other in a vicious duel. Despite his attendants dying, Katakros did well against Archon until he got pinned by Dorghar and run through with the Slayer of Kings (though unbeknownst to Archaon, Katakros had planned for that and has lots of back-up bodies). Having repelled the undead but losing part of the Eightpoints to Nagash, Archaon decided that next time he crossed paths with Nagash, he'd finish him for off once and for all.
His dad is currently trying to win street cred in an attempt to usurp him, but given that this is Be'lakor we are talking about he is probably going to fail in some spectacular way. (Although surprisingly it has been working out for him well for him so far.) His latest attempt at this was featured in the new warcry box set ”Heart of Ghur” which has some of his troops fighting it out with troops belonging to Be'lakor, Nurgle, and Hashut of all things over a place called the Gnarlwood located on the continent of Thondia in Ghur. In addition to being filled with all kinds of nasty carnivorous plants that could be used to ruin someone’s day, the forest is also loaded with powerful Seraphon artifacts that were left there after a bunch of their ships crashed in the area. Seeing an opportunity to score a victory by gaining the artifacts and thus further convince people he deserves to be the true Everchosen, Be'lakor has sent his troops out to conquer the Gnarlwood which has forced Archaon to send in his own troops to stop them.
On the tabletop
In an interesting irony, though probably not intentional, Archaon is also in a lot ways the opposite of Abaddon, not in a bad way. Where as Abaddon tends to get changed fairly heavily each edition, Archaon stays mostly the same with each book, with the only changes to him being armor save's not including bonus for him being mounted, what his steed can do, or whether or not you can field him on foot. Also, where as Abaddon is characterized by his hitting power while being respectably tough to kill, Archaon hits hard (base attack ignores armor and can double attacks for the rest of the game, though if does any 1s on to hit rolls have to be directed at him or his unit) although his most impressive trait is how freaking hard he is to kill. While his statline is only slightly better than a normal Chaos Lord, he has a 1+ armor save, a 3+ ward save, all to hit rolls against him have a -1 and he can't be wounded on better than 3+. Sadly, while an indestructible death machine, his cost keeps him from getting much use. Afterall, cannons are the solution to all problems in Warhammer Fantasy.
Age of Sigmar
Age of Sigmar continues this trend of indestructibility in style. Now rocking a 3+ Save that he can easily buff to a 2+, a 5+ Save against Mortal Wounds, and now 20 FUCKING WOUNDS! HOLY SHIT, THIS IS MEANT TO BE THE GAME WHERE 1 WOUND IS THE AVERAGE, RIGHT? Yeah, new monster-riding Archaon is even more of a tank than he used to be, and that's saying a lot. And in addition to this, his new three-headed Dorghar can use one of three special abilities every turn he kills somebody in melee. This can range from vomiting up the remains of his victims all over the unit he's fighting, Nurgle style, to eating their skulls and heal D3 wounds! Fucking hell, and I thought he was a tank before he could regenerate. In addition to his insane defensive ability, he can also bring the pain too. He has access to Arcane Bolt (as well as the ability to gain the spells of any other wizard if he feeds the unfortunate wizard to the Tzeentch head), though Mystic Shield is always a better choice to up his defense, Dorghar can hit like a truck like any monster, and the Slayer of Kings returns as potentially one of the strongest weapons in the game with an easy To Hit and To Wound, and very heavy Rend and Damage. In addition, if you roll two 6's To Wound on the same Hero with the Slayer of Kings, then it instantly kills them with no saves of any kind allowed. Though with only four attacks, this won't happen too often. Still, with those stats he's easily going to live long enough to pull it off sooner or later.
Total War: WARHAMMER
Archaon appears as the faction leader for the Warriors of Chaos, the first DLC faction of Total War: WARHAMMER and though the campaign mechanics of said faction have been left in the dirt by newer and shinier factions to come out, Archaon still manages to be an absolute menace on the battlefield in a chaos campaign. At level 40 and with all of his quest items (of which he has 4, as many as you can have) he carries on the tabletop tradition of being an absolute tank, rocking an impressive 40% ward save combined with a 20% physical resist (which can be comboed with the Swords of Chaos' guardian ability, bringing the physical resist upto 35%), and a 15% magical resist resulting in a combined damage reduction of up to 75% for physical damage and 55% for magical damage. Couple this with the fact that you can easily get him to over 130 armor and over 100 of both melee defense AND attack, and he will stay in the fight for longer than most. Oh and he also gets access to the lore of fire and the Slayer of Kings, ensuring that he can dish out punishment as readily as he can take it.
However, as mentioned this is all in the chaos campaign. On multiplayer... well, he's a bit of a meme. Players have even given him the moniker of "Archaon the Neverchosen" due to the fact that more often than not people will elect to either bring Kholek or a generic Chaos Lord in favor of Archaon. There are a couple of reasons for this
- His tankiness in campaign is simply not as much a factor in multiplayer, though he does have 120 armor, 5000 hp, 60 melee defense, and 10% physical resist, he is still far more vurlerable to being gooned by other lords than Kholek or Sarthorael would be, largely owing to him not having nearly as high a mass as either of those two leading to him being unable to push his way out of dangerous situations. It also means that he is staggered more in combat, leading to him getting fewer hits in and is therefore less effective.
- And much like his tankiness is a non factor, his killiness is as well. He's got a single strong damage augmenting item, that being the Slayer of Kings, which albeit very killy, has a very long cooldown and more importantly only recharges if he's in melee, leading to you potentially only being able to use it once in a match if the opponent is avoiding him well.
- Speaking of avoiding him, he can be quite easy to kite despite being a mounted lord with a relatively high speed, and you might wonder why this is? Well, remember that mass problem he's got? If he does manage to get on top of someone's lord and pops his Slayer of Kings, all that lord has to do is find a handy unit of zombies, gobbos or whatever else expendable unit they have lying around and throw them at him while their lord runs away, leaving him to go fisticuffs with a unit that he will beat eventually, but a unit that he doesn't actually want to be fighting since it's a waste for him to do so.
- Speaking of wastes, let's talk about his cost. Stripping all his magic and items (though not Dorghar, what would he be without him) Archaon comes in at a premium at 2085 gold, just slightly more expensive than a Dragon Ogre shaggoth. Kholek meanwhile (being his primary contender) comes in at 2200, which albeit more expensive, gives you a lot more due to the fact that Kholek doesn't suffer from having low mass, nor does his combat buff, Starcrusher, recharge only in combat. It's admittedly a weaker buff in terms of raw damage potential, but it lasts longer and is available more reliably, therefore giving it the edge. And of course, if you don't want either Kholek nor Archaeon, you can always go for the dead cheap Chaos Lord or even Sigvald, who allow you to go for a wider build.
Maybe with game 3 being focused more on Chaos we'll see an update to the Warriors of Chaos and Archaon, that hopefully might make him a more lucrative pick, but at the moment he's just a bit lackluster compared to his competitors. However, pretty much the opposite started to happen instead, as with the reveal of your own customisable Daemon Prince Archaon once again fell out of favor, as many people regarded Daniel to be far more interesting, oh and also he has a roster composed of all Chaos Daemons with only minor restrictions. Time will tell, of course, but for now poor old Archaon is dumped on once again.
Or maybe not anymore. The most recent information regarding the combined map game mode "Immortal Empires" presented by various Content Creators and Youtubers also gave the Warriors of Chaos, and thus Archaon, some time in the spotlight. Upcoming changes for him so far:
- Dorghar has received a visual overhaul and is now truly gargantuan, dwarfing even the massive chaos knights' steeds, who themselves dwarf your average horses now. No more Chaos ponies! Hopefully this mere size increase also brought better combat stats with it, otherwise he has just become an even more attractive target for any form of missile units and Anti-Large artillery.
- Archaon himself got a visual overhaul as well; the most notably thing so far is that his chin is not clipping 24/7 through his collar anymore. Along with that, he received new fighting animations both on foot as well as on Dorghar.
- In terms of actual gameplay changes, Archaon isn't a pure Lore of Fire caster anymore, but now has a mixture of the Lore of Death, Metal and aforementioned Fire. Which is somewhat of a mixed bag all things considered, literally and figuratively. He keeps Flaming Sword of Ruin and Flaming Skull, but loses access to Flamestorm (which was his primary method of dealing with armored infantry blobs) and instead received the Purple Sun of Xereus. Which, when compared to Flamestorm, is pretty much inferior in any way: Higher Winds of Magic cost, shorter duration and it deals too much damage per entity, meaning damage isn't efficiently divided between entities of a unit. Plus the new hard cap for Winds of Magic makes the higher cost of Purple sun even more bothersome. Bummer.
- Other than that, he reportedly gets Searing Doom, Transmutation of Lead and Spirit Leech (Another overpriced, underperforming spell from the god-awful and wrongly named Lore of Death. Seriously, you would think that a Lore of Magic that is called "Death" would actually excel at killing stuff. But no, can't have that apparently). Generally speaking, his spell selection got a whole lot less impressive.
All in all, Archaon is definitely going to be less devastating as a caster with this new Lore of Magic mix, but to compensate for that, he may be further improved as an actual melee combatant. If that is sufficient to make him stand out enough remains to be seen, but considering that the Chaos faction as a whole already has a plethora of powerful melee Legendary Lords (Skarbrand, N'kari and Kholek spring to mind), it is probably best to retain a healthy portion of skepticism when regarding the question if Ingame-Archaon will be able to live up to expectations.
And Immortal Empires came, and Archaon is pretty good, all things considering. It's less than getting more op on the battlefield, but more that he finally found a niche in the Warriors of Chaos roster. He's now the standart Warriors of Chaos campaign, with the Champions of Chaos taking a lot from their monogod brethren, Sigvald being halfway Slaaneshi, and Kholek doing Kholek things(SMASH), only Archaon and Be'lakor are truly Undivided, and they have different specializations. Be'lakor has no Gifted units cap, and he starts with all the Gifts slots unlocked. Archaon has to unlock them via the tech tree, but he's now the proper poster boy, in the sense that his mortal followers can follow every god. Plus Archaon gets to (violently) confederate every one of his faction buddies, like Be'lakor. In a sense he is similar to the Daemon Prince, in the sense that his campaign is whatever you make it to be. Given his start position he is well defended from external threats for a while, but he can find a proper challenge in his doorstep. He has a lot of Dark Fortresses available to him in the surrounding area, and he's not that far away from Kholek if you want to go that route.
So, all in all, Archaon is better than ever in Immortal Empires. He doesn't have the melee potential of Kholek, or the massive cheese of Vilitch's barrier, but on the other hand, he doesn't have to. His campaign is fun, and considering his long trek since being in the most boring faction in Warhammer I to this point, I think that's a solid win in my book.
An evil, powerful warrior traveling from world to world, seeking further power from a godlike serpentine dragon... that sounds familiar.
Archaon in Total War: WARHAMMER
Of course what would a Warhammer character be without the memes?
Archaon is notable for a fair few, given the tendency of writers to keep at least his foot in the spotlight.
- ANIME: Thanks to his art and general JRPG villain actions in Age of Sigmar, Archaon has become the embodiement of ANIME (always caps).
- Horns: Archaon's helmet horns have grown in each incarnation, leading to humor a la Abby's armlessness about horn growth, and the increasing difficulty lifting or turning his head.
- Penguins: Archaon has described the Beastmen inhabiting the south pole as "true Beastmen", free from human taint. Since there is no combination of Daemon, man, mutant, or beast not present in the Old World some have come to the conclusion that Archaon is scared of penguins.
- Archaos: The creator of the Archaon character identified his original intended name as the even more ludicrous "Archaos", destined to fall on his sword in the final battle after realizing what he had done to the laughter of the Chaos Gods. Since then Archaos the teenage suicide victim bullied by the Four has become a preferred way to mock the character.
- Slambo: A generic miniature from Oldhammer that some see as the REAL Everchosen.
- Everchozen: He'll have this world.... kid. A purposefully bad Paint drawing of Archaon in the style of Coldsteel the Hedgehog, complete with massive horns and a bio reminiscent of a twelve year old's Naruto OC. Commonly used by critics of the End Times and/or GW's sudden masturbation of Chaos in general (and boy are there plenty of critics), and/or as "Neverchozen", referencing pre-retcon Archaon and his failure.
- On a minor note, two memes about Archaon failing to destroy the world of Warhammer from Geedubs themselves after the news about Warhammer Fantasy Battle returned.
|The Chaos Gods of Warhammer 40,000 and Warhammer Fantasy|
|Four Main Chaos Gods:||Khorne - Nurgle - Slaanesh - Tzeentch|
|Other Gods of Chaos:||Archaon - Hashut - Horned Rat - Nuffle |
Malal - Morghur - Necoho - Zuvassin
|Chaos Gods of Law:||Alluminas - Arianka - Solkan the Avenger|