Cinderflesh

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The Cinderflesh are a reclusive tribe of Goblyns dedicated to Melashekhaad. Those who speak of them say they despise and fear majik of any kind, and often practice blood rituals in service to the creator god. The reality, however, is much more complicated.

History

In the early days of the Great War, it is said that Sifu sought out the cat goddess Pissran to aid the Goblyns in their effort to defeat Marjack's army. Pissran, being a complete bitch, hissed her refusal at the Great Goblyn and started to fly away. Enraged, Sifu grabbed the giant cat by her scruff and headbutted her in retaliation. The attack was fierce enough to draw blood, and as the blood of Pissran mixed with Sifu's own, she gained both the knowledge of the innate majik that lay deep within her soul, and the will to harness it. Sifu took that knowledge and trained many other Goblyns, those whose souls also contained an innate affinity for majikz, in the art of war. These were known as the first Witchdoktors. These majik-wielders were fierce in battle, slaughtering dozens in their wake. The enemy could not compete. After Baulk's Betrayal, however, the tide of battle turned against the Goblyns, and fear slowly crept through the greenskin ranks, including the Witchdoktors. Younglings were born weak, and even those with majik found themselves unable to produce the same power that previous generations had wielded with ease. A handful of desperate apprentices, not a True Goblyn among them, decided they should praise the Betrayer instead of the great Melashekhaad, hoping that Baulk would spare them from the oncoming slaughter. They tried to hide this from their mistress, but Sifu is not easily fooled. The Great Goblyn soon discovered their treachery, and so great was her rage that even the mighty Skribbit took a step back. She cursed them with a majikal fire, smoldering silently under their skin. The pain was agonizing, and they pleaded for their lives. It was not until they were moments from death that Sifu decided a cursed life was more punishment than a chance at rebirth.

She bound the curse into a mark, the Eye of Melashekhaad. Each apprentice bore the mark, and any litters born to them would also bear it. As Sifu saw it, these apprentices were no better than Baulk himself. As penance, they were to make sacrifices of blood and fire and majik to Melashekhaad. If they did not, the Eye would glow hot and unleash the flame under their skin, tormenting them until the Betrayer was destroyed. Her words set fear into the greenskins' hearts, and they immediately turned upon one another, battling for who would be the first to die. Sifu turned away with a grin and left them to their fates. It was not long after that Sifu and Skribbit started on their long journey to the Underworld to destroy Baulk and turn the tide of the War. While many saw this act as abandoning them to defeat, the cursed ones were hopeful.

Perhaps the Mistress would destroy Baulk as she had sworn to do, and lift their curse in the process!

All goblynkind waited, fighting to their last, for the two Great Goblyns to return. But too much time passed, and when a green light shot across the sky like a comet, the apprentices knew the Goblyns were doomed to lose, and they must live with their curse. Those still remaining left the War behind and formed their own tribe, later known as the Cinderflesh. Every few months, the Eye would gradually begin to glow, and a Goblyn born with majik was chosen to die so the curse would be appeased. At first, it was fairly easy to appease the curse, as a few of them still had majik in their souls. But while the old were sacrificed, new litters were born, and Baulk's insatiable hunger took its toll on their souls. Many younglings did not survive long enough to show signs of majik, and an empty death meant nothing. It was not until several generations passed that they discovered the curse was bound not only to their skin, but to their souls as well. While this meant that there was always the chance of one of the original apprentices being reborn into the tribe, it was still impossible to know when and who until the youngling matured. If their numbers dwindled, the tribe would sometimes turn to kidnapping females and apprentices from neighboring tribes, as either broodmares or replacement sacrifices. This led to mistrust and rumors among the rest of Goblynkind. As the Ages passed, the tribe became more reclusive and paranoid. They had forgotten why this curse was placed upon them, only that it had always been there, and that they would suffer if they did not please Melashekhaad. By the Age of Unification, the Cinderflesh hated and mistrusted majikz altogether, and would sacrifice any who showed but a hint of majikal skill, no matter how minor it was.

Current Day

It is uncertain if the Cinderflesh still exist as a tribe today. Tales of the tribe were only rumor until a greenskin marked by Melashekhaad appeared to the Goblyn General Izareth and his Horde some years past. She claimed to have survived their fiery sacrifice, and spoke of visions of her past lives. This piqued the General's interest, and so she was welcomed into the fold. Whether Sifu's curse is still active after so many ages is unclear, but the Betrayer still sits at the mouth of the River of Souls, and the goddess' hatred of him, or any who sing his praises, has never faltered.

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