Visions in Blood

A Legion of Carnage Short Story.

The 13th Black Crusade is nearing its end, and with it the bastion of the imperium known as Cadia. With the fall of Cadia, the way once barred will be open, and worlds once safe will burn. Blood will flow.

He strode down the large corridor towards the war room with a stride that was both steady, and impatiently hurried.  The floor squelched beneath the tread of his armored boots, leaving puddles of blood in his wake.  Once this corridor had been a sacred place, adorned with the battle honors of a thousand conflicts that hung from the bulkheads, and statues depicting fallen heroes of the legion in their final moments of sacrifice to an uncaring imperium had lined the walls.  In the time of the great crusade, to walk this corridor was a sobering honor.  A constant reminder to any legionnaire of the sacrifices that had been made by those who served before them, and the sacrifices that would be required in the coming battles that would be planned in the war room.  Now though, this corridor afforded no honor to those who had fallen, for it like the rest of the Prophet of Slaughter had cast off the shackles of an apathetic imperium and changed into something all but unrecognizable to the designs of the original creators.

Where once the floor had been of a polished marble, trimmed with bright steel, now it was a carpet of bleeding flesh supported by unnaturally thick bones.  The walls that had once been made of white stone and black iron were now made of pulsing skinless muscle fibers and the iron bulkheads that once proudly held battle honors were now made of bone and brass making the corridor look as though it were the inside of great beast’s ribcage.  Gone were the battle honors and statues, in their place were skulls bound by chains dangly from the bulkheads, and statues made of brass and bone depicting creatures of the warp with grotesquely elongated heads, and swords made of flame.  The lumens that had once bathed the corridor in soft white light, could hardly be called, nor recognized as lumens at all.  Now the corridor was drowned in crimson light that was unnaturally emitted from things resembling bleeding, pumping hearts that lined the corridor where lumens had once been.

Krälgor was now halfway down the thirty meter corridor, when he felt the all too familiar sensations begin rise to the surface of his consciousness.  He stopped in his tracks knowing what was to come next.  Slowly the ever present bite of the nails began to fade, and with it so too did his sight.  The first time he had fought against these sensations, now he gave into them, for it had begun to feel as if an eternity had passed since he experienced this.  The last time had led him to Cadia, to take part in Abaddon’s thirteen crusade.  But that seemed to be so long ago now, and Cadia seemed no closer to falling than it had the twelve times before.  Krälgor took in his surroundings one final time before all of his sight was lost in the blood now pouring out of his eyes.  The runes on his armor began to burn white hot as he lost all sensation of his body. 

He was falling into a burning abys for what seemed like both a century and mere second at the same time.  His body was gone, but his consciousness was as much a physical thing here, as his body ever was.  Before him was a world, on fire, with veins of blood and fire opening up and splitting it to its core.  As the veins grew deeper, they soon became cracks, that threatened to release the fury of the planets molten core.  At first it seemed as if he planet would fall apart, but suddenly the cracks began to shrink, and the all but assured destruction of the planet appeared to be undoing itself.  As the planet seemed to be solidifying once again and it’s once assured destruction appeared to be a possibility lost, a primal roar sounded and echoed through all things both material and immaterial.  This roar was made of the purest rage, and when it hit Krälgor he could feel the intensity of this pure unadulterated emotion, threaten to drive his very soul insane.  Above the defiant world appeared an axe of the blackest of irons and fiercest of flames poised ready to strike.  The axe fell with the force of rage incarnate, and struck the planet embedding itself deep within its core.  Suddenly the cracks in the world that had all but vanished grew again, and burning, boiling blood began to pour from every crack in the world, until suddenly the world exploded, sending out a tidal wave of blood. 

Krälgor’s conscientiousness was no longer seeing only the shattered planet in a black abys, but now saw billions of planets, all connected and covered by a golden shield that was projected from one golden planet that burned to look upon.  He could see that where the shattered planet once stood, a spear of black light was growing until it suddenly stretched along the length of the golden shield and split it in two, separating fully one half of the worlds from the protecting light of the golden planet.  In the wake of this tear in the golden shield came the tidal wave of blood, that spread out and drowned all worlds in its path, leaving nothing in its wake but burned broken husk.

Krälgor awoke on his hands and knees with blood pouring from his eyes, ears and mouth.  As sensation began to return to his body, so too did the piercing bite of the nails, urging him to spill blood.  He raised himself to one knee, and then stood to his full height in his terminator plate, as he reached for the matted fur adorning the top of his armor.  As he wiped the blood from his eyes with the fur, he saw a figure standing before him.  His muscles tensed as grabbed the hefts of his chain axes in each hand, but he saw the figure made no move towards him.  He blinked his eyes a few times before he could see who the figure was clearly.  The figure’s head was exposed save a mask depicting the fanged maw of the World Eaters consuming a planet.  The figure wore no armor on his arms exposing his corpse pale skin that was covered in kill count scars, and healed battle wounds.  The figures eyes were the sickly yellow so common of the destroyers who became poisoned by the radioactive tools of their trade.  His face itself was no more than a mass of scar tissue from ritual scaring and severe burns from both radiation and flame.  “Kholak, how long have you been there?”  Krälgor grunted through clenched teeth.  “you have communed with the Blood Father, lord?” Kholak replied, ignoring the question, and Krälgor thought, adding a bit too much emphasis on the word “lord”.  Krälgor stared at Kholak for several seconds that seemed like an eternity, deciding whether to answer the question or give into the nails and kill him where he stood.  In the end he decided to do neither.  “Tell the admiral to move the ship to the edge of the Cadia system and prepare for warp jump”.  “The Despoiler has ordered us to keep the lap dogs in this sector busy so that they cannot reinforce Cadia.”  Krälgor glared at Kholak as he stepped closer to him, “I do not serve the Despoiler, I answer only to the Blood Father! Our part in this ‘black crusade’ is over, the Blood God has decreed it.  Relay my orders to the Admiral.  The Blood Crusade is about to begin.”

Author: Kralgor

I'm a law student that absolutely loves WH40K, and all things related. As far as the hobby goes, I love to do kitbashes, paint and sculpt miniatures. I also love making scratch built tabletop terrain. I honestly almost consider the terrain aspect a hobby all unto itself as creativity is really your only limitation with scratch building terrain.

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