Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Aulech Henschblut, Knight of Khorne
EMPIRE - A Song For All Exiles
Robert E. Howard
Trumpets triumph in red disaster,
White skulls litter the broken sod,
And we who ride for the one Black Master
Howl at the iron gates of God.
Black shapes ride to a reddened revel,
Crimson queens with their hearts of ice-
We have plunged our hands in the wind of the Devil,
Leave the saints to their Paradise.
Beacons break and the singers falter,
Lights go out in the rushing gloom-
Slay the priest on the blackened altar,
Rip the babe from the woman's womb!
The black blade drinks and the black heart gladdens;
Summon our kindred up from Hell!
Let me mingle the wine that maddens
With the burning kisses of Jezebel.
Who would trade for a bloodless Heaven,
One fierce harlot's hot caress?
Virtue is one but the Sins be seven-
And sin is the only godliness.
Black be the night that locks around them,
They who chant of the Good and Light,
Black be the pinions that shall confound them,
Breaking their brains with a deadly fright.
Praised be the Prince that reigns forever
Throned in the shadows dark and grim,
Where cypress moans by the midnight river-
Lift your goblets and drink to him!
Virgins wail and a babe is whining
Nailed like a fly on a gory lance;
White on the skulls the stars are shining,
Over them sweeps our demon's dance.
Heritage of the world is ours,
Gods of all evil grant us rule-
See where they hang from flaming towers,
Woman and prelate, priest and fool.
Trumpets bray and the stars are riven!
Shatter the altar, blot the light!
Of all the world from the hells to heaven
We are the kings of the world tonight!
The high helm turned toward me, and from deep within its darkened depths a harsh voice croaked out:
"Set foes before me, and then you will know me and my story. My blade shall be my pen, blood my ink, flesh my parchment. And in that tale, you'll learn all you will ever need to know of Aulech Henschblut."
I don't mind telling you I was chilled a bit by that one, and a little uneasy about going to sleep at night with Aulech loose in the house, small though he might seem. Over the last evening or so of painting, however, I shared some of my favorite Robert E. Howard poems with him, the last being Empire, A Song For Exiles, and after that, he seemed to become a tiny bit friendly, maybe even a little jovial. But he's never told me his story. Luckily, I have Howard's poem, and I imagine that it depicts Aulech's life about as well as any tale I could tell you.