The strider of the ashen wastes


 
Character, lore and manuscript by Matt Fussell

"Thou!  Nighted beast upon my sight!  Wilt thou be mine end?”

The Strider of the Ashen Wastes is a Thousand Sons sorcerer of the Corvidae cult, and the boss of The Bleak, the wasteland between the bridge Crest-on-Nightmare and the Burier's hamlet.

The book Writings of the Strider, introduced in the DLC in the primarch's librarius, give a rare "crystal-clear" account of the sorcerer's plight, and we learn as much as item descriptions give us little.
From the manuscript, we learn that the one who titles himself as "the strider"  found himself infused with two strains of nanotechnology and blown into a quasi-reality wedged between dimensional plates, incited from both the instability of the equipment used in the nanotech's creation, and his own bloated psychic influence; time in the space has mutated him, though it seems that he'd be a lot worse off if he didn't possess the nanotech.

 "I know thou--belike him, thou art so, I know thou!"
The writings speak of 10 millennia in this space, in which time The Strider has had fought and killed many foes of every kind, revealing that this quasi-reality, while not explicity stated to be related to the Warp per se, is accessible to many inhabitants of the galaxy.  It also speaks of a voice, one who we can only assume is a nameless cult leader or sorcerer who we might have heard of before.  This unnamed figure of influence, if assumptions are correct, is a cult leader who uses human sacrifice to gain access to this quasi-reality/  Finding The Strider and hearing his plea for death, this cult leader took action, rash action and probably locked onto the brightest beacon he could to destroy this threat.  Perhaps he intended to send him into the light of the Astronomican.  Instead, they both ended up on a world we know a little too well...


Notes on combat


The Strider is a long-range boss, and it would be best to go after him with a good sidearm (not a heavy one such as heavy bolter, and no fire damage) and a light weapon with miracle damage, as he's categorized officially as a pyromancer.  A good choice you could have by this time is the golden sword of Idaeus.

He works on reverse psychology in that he always attacks late; a feature, it is said, that he gained from the quasi-reality.  This might sound amusing, but when you've been training your reflexes to react like lightning, it is a severe step back and by this has The Strider been dubbed one of the most frustrating bosses of Astronomica, topped only by both Rogue land raiders and Orbeque.

He has two phases he may enter at any time, reflective on the nanotech he has absorbed.  Outside of normal combat, in which he will stay at range most often and use his pyromancies and combi-bolter, his two states are detailed thus:

RAGE:    Watch for the heat-haze about his shoulders.  In this state, the strider will never stagger; no attack of his can be parried, and in return he can break every guard.  His slow and purposeful movements can be awfully deceiving; DON'T get near him or he'll have your head.

RECOVERY:  When his health gets below 30%, he will rely exclusively on his combi-bolter and slowly regen health.  Staggering him will break this state, and might immediately induce rage, hence the need for a light, quick weapon.


Item descriptions:

    Soul of the Strider

The echoes of one shunned resonate in your mind
Like the sad plea of an angry, yet unwanted child.
The soul cries, "will you be my end?" but
there is now nobody to hear or answer.

   Pyromancy staff

An ancient pattern of staff used by most librarians
In the channeling of their fiery dispositions.
It bears a father's eye, ever watchful,
Judging your skill of the craft he bestowed upon you.

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