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The Bone Collector

Date of birth

Unknown

Date of death

Undeterminable due to nature of Warp

Species

Warp Entity

Residence

The Dreadwood

Status

Deceased?

The Bone Collector was the name given to an ancient and malevolent Warp Entity whose existence preceded the advent of the Chaos Gods. The Bone Collector was a horrific being that had an unnatural fascination with all the things that frightened and disturbed mortals. He went out of his way to search the imaginations of the intelligent races, and collect each and everything he could find that invoked fear. He would then use these nightmares to torment mortals in order to inspire them to propagate and create new horrors for him to collect. By the time of the Chaos Gods' birth the Bone Collector had an expansive collection of every roaring horror, creeping terror and macabre phobia imaginable, and kept his foul mementos in his own personal realm, the Dreadwood. However his reign of terror would not last, for he would become amongst the first casualties of the Great Game. In one of his earliest conflicts Khorne sought to prove his might and fearlessness, and launched an invasion of the Dreadwood. Though the war between the Lord of Blood and the Keeper of Terrors was unimaginably fierce by mortal standards, the Bone Collector could not best the might of the young Chaos God and fell to the blades Khrone's warriors. Though the Bone Collector is gone, and his realm burnt out of existence there are signs that remnants of the Bone Collector and his menagerie linger on.

AppearanceEdit

It is difficult for mortals to truly know what the form of the Bone Collector actually was. Few now remember that the Bone Collector ever really existed. For that matter those that do know of his existence claimed that the Bone Collector rarely conformed to a single form. It The Bone Collector possessed the ability to alter its shape however it pleased, and would often take on whatever horrific form tha it found most "fashionable" at any given time. It has even been speculated that the Bone Collector appeared to the observer as whatever form brought those that viewed him the most terror. However the Bone Collector possessed one form that it more commonly took. In their form the Collecotr appeared to be a mass of shadows with a pair of glowing red eyes. Looking deeply into the shadows onewould get the impression of a horrifically deformed humanoid body, but would never be able to pick out any of the features. The only part of the Collector that was not obscured by the shadows were for long skeletal arms.

HistoryEdit

At some point before recorded history the Bone Collector came into being. What the being was like when it first manifested in the Warp is a mystery that will never be solved. What is known is that shortly after the Collector came into being he began to take notice of the imaginations of mortals. Within the Warp every dream, idea or inspiration that mortals came up with could manifest and come to life. The Collector came to be enchanted by that which mortal minds created, and spent his time picking through the many whims and strange thoughts that spawned forth. However the Collector slowly became fascinated with a particular aspect of the mortal psyche. He began to obsess over those ideas and dreams that caused the mortal races fear.

The Collector had seen countless ideas and dreams that ellicited a wide range of responses from those that dreamt them up, but there was something primal and powerful about the feelings and thoughts associated with that which mortals feared that the Collector found amazing, even beautiful from his warped perspective. Thus it was that the Collector began to search the Warp and collect every nightmare, terror and phobia that the mortal races created. Each unique horror was as beautiful and precious to him as priceless art. Soon he had amassed a great collection of all things fearful and horrid, but it was not enough.

The Bone Collector coveted more unique nightmares to add to his collection, and so he went to the source. He began to terrorize mortals by sending parts of his collection to them, usually in their dreams, but in the rare case of a breach in the fabric of reality he would also physically manifest his nightmares to terrorize mortals. Thus it was that he stimulated their imaginations to produce yet more fears for him to collect. After a time he even mastered the art of creating horrors of his own by using some of his collection as building blocks. He created his Dreadwood to keep his curios safe from those that might seek to acquire or destroy them, and within his realm he reigned like a god. At this time there were few creatures within the Warp that would dare to challenge the Keeper of Terrors, but this would soon change.

Rise of the Chaos GodsEdit

When the Chaos Gods came into being the Collecotr payed them no mind. He may not have even known of them, for the Harvester had largely been uninterested in happening beyond his realm with the exception of collecting new fears. For that matter he rarely had visitors to the Dreadwood. Few creatures of the Warp dared to brave his nightmare realm, and the great powers of the Warp had been content to allow the Collector to sequester himself within his realm. However amongst the new Chaos Gods one felt compelled to challange the Bone Collector. That god was Khorne, the Blood God. Perhaps it was his warriors pride that compelled Khorne to challenge this creature which inspired such fear in others. Perhaps he wished to see whether rage surpassed fear. He may not have had any reason at all for his belligerence, but he came anyway. His Legions marched into the Dreadwood, cutting down and burning all that lay before them.

When the Bone Collector realized he was under assualt he rallied forth the various nightmares that he kept as pets and servants, and cast them at the legions of horned Daemons. What followed was a war the likes of which no mortal has ever dreamed of. Roaring beasts of pure dread and creeping nightmares preyed, and were preyed upon by the blood-thirsty crimson warhosts. Terrors that even Daemons balked at fell upon the horned creatures, but were always cut down in return. The true scale and details of what transpired may never be known by ignorant mortals such as us, but one may imagine that the sheer horror of such a conflict would shatter the minds of mortals.

Eventually the relentless legions of Khorne hacked their way to the heart of the Collector's realm. There they fought against the Master of Nightmares. The powerful being slew countless Daemons, but eventaully he too fell. It was said that the Collector's skull was claimed by the axe of Skarbrand himself, back then when he still was the most favored of Khorne and held some measure of sanity. However Khorne was not the only one to venture into the Dreadwood at the time. Nurgle carefully marched his forces in the wake of Khornes onslaught. There he sought out those nightmares that the Collector had accumulated that inspired the fear of death and decay in mortals, and made them his own. Thus it was that the Bone Collector died, and his macabre collection was scattered through the Warp.

PowersEdit

The Bone Collector was considered to be one of the more powerful inhabitants of the Warp during its time. The Bone Collector was strong and fearsome enough that the vast majority of the Warp's inhabitants chose to give him a wide berth. Up until his conflict with the hordes of Khorne the Bone Collector had never known defeat, this is a decent representation of its power, though not an absolute measure as many of the more potent powers within the Warp simply never chose to challenge him on acount of his inactivity, being fine with allowing the Bone Collector to sequester himself within his Dreadwood. When Khorne struck out against the Bone Collector he proved a formidable opponent, and it was said that a number of Khorne's Bloodthirsters were vanquished at the Bone Collectors hands/claws/pincers/tentacles. Ultimately he was not as powerful as a Chaos God, and Khorne's favored general, the Bloodthirster Skarbrand managed to vanquish the Collector in single combat.

The exact nature of the Bone Collector's powers are unclear. The Collector was a shape shifter and could take any number of forms, some monstrous some subtley sinister. Thus what physical prowess the Bone Collector possessed can not be accurately assessed. It was known that the Bone Collector possessed a mastery of Sorcery. One of the Bone Collectors more distinct powers was its ability to look into the imagination of others. This ability went beyond simple mental probing as the Bone Collector could use his victims imagination to find terrors that they had not yet concieved of, but were none the less tailor made for their mind. This lead to his final ability. While the Bone Collector was mostly concerned with collecting nightmares created by others, he eventually decided to concieve some of his own. He used the knowledge he gleaned from eons of peering into the worst fears of others, and his considerable acumen with sorcery to create new and unique horrors to add to his collection. His skill in crafting the horrifying became such that his creation went beyond almost anything that the mortal races concieved of. It's said that some of these nightmares still exist, scattered to the far reaches of the Empyrean with the death of their owner. Such beingsare no doubt rare, and would inspire a truly profound horror when encountered by mortals.

The DreadwoodEdit

The Dreadwood was the Bone Collector's domain. It was both the product of, and the repository of his collected nightmares. The Dreadwood appeared in general as a dark, menacing forest in which no light could be scene. nightmarish predators prowled in between the trees, ready to prey upon any follish enough to enter this realm of horrors. Even the plants within this macabre wood seemed to possess some barely contained menace.

However the Dreadwood was not only a forest. This was by far the most common perception of it, but no necessarily its definitive shape. Parts of the Dreadwood varied wildly in appearance. Freeezing arctic wastelands, volcanic environs, dark murky lakes and even eerie cities and mansions could be found within the wood. The scene of any and all nightmares could be found within the Dreadwood if one was determined or unlucky enough to stumble across them.

One would think that with the Bone Collector dead that the Dreadwood would have dissipated into the Warp. However it still stands to this very day, and many of the disturbing inhabitants that occipied it when the Bone Collector was alive still stalk his former realm. This is a source of curiosity to many scholars of the Warp, and some point to this fact as proof that the Bone Collector is not wholly dead.

A Lingering NightmareEdit

The Bone Collector is dead. This is a fact for the Collector personally fell to the blades of Skarbrand. However there is cause to believe that the Bone Collector left something of himself behind. Something that may result in a resurgence. It was said that in the waning days of the Bone Collector's war with Khorne that he reached out to the minds of mortals. He haunted their dreams, whispered into their minds and touched the deepest parts of their psyches. Within the minds of a number of these mortals he carved the very idea of himself irremovably from their imaginations. Though the number of mortals implanted with him in his minds were small in the grand scheme of thing the Bone Collector did seemingly leave a lasting impression.

Those scholars of the Warp and its intricacies often debate about why the Bone Collector did this. Some believe that he simply sensed the end coming and wanted to bathe in the fear of mortals one last time. However there are those that think it was done for a more insidious purpose. The Warp is shaped by the ideas and feelings of mortal creatures. It is possible that if enough mortals were to believe in something that they can make it real within the swirling energies of the Warp. Thus the Bone Collector may have been planting himself within the minds of others in order to resurrect himself. If enough mortals believe in him then the idea of his existence may become so powerful as to recreate him in the Warp.

If this was his goal it has met with limited success so far. Small, isolated cults devoted towards the veneration of figures that bear resemblance to the Bone Collector have been found across the galaxy, but these are always small, marginalized and highly persecuted. Often these cults devote themselves to sowing fear and paranoia in the society that they are in, and to spreading the idea of their false idol amongst the populous. Unlike the cults of the Chaos Gods these Collector Cults do not recieve any boons or powers from their worship since their patron is dead.

However Ordo Malleus Inquisitors have found that in the rare cases in which such cults do gain considerable size and power a unholy phenomenon occurs. A creature of the Warp manifests and begins to empower some of the most powerful members of the cult. These entities, referred to as Fearful Vestiges by the Ordo Malleus are thought to be the manifestation of the cult's obsession with their patron, born when the amount and strength of their faith grows to a certain point. Each Vestige is unique, yet dangerous and often choses a host to inhabit, usually the chief heretic of the cult. Some believe that these Vestiges are shadows of the Bone Collector, and may serve as a springboard for his return. Luckily Collector Cults rarely survive past this point as by this time they have usually gained the attentions of the Ordo Hereticus or Ordo Malleus. There are even cases in which the Forces of Chaos seek out and destroy these cults, likely at the behest of their masters in the Warp. Either way if the rebirth of the Bone Collector is the purpose of these cults, they are a long way from their goal should they ever reach it.

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