It was then the scheme to gain the ultimate power came to me. The hope I dared not hope, nor let myself know I hoped it, ascendancy could be mine, ran his thoughts, in that moment, slaking my thirst from the blood running down my axe. I smiled as the warband roared in jubilation with the prospects of battle, none the wiser for the part they might play.
Others were aware of this event; it was a glorious, bloody series of battles. All added to the skulls and blood offered to Ghurzil, Mechron, Dark Yllie, Daks, Servants of Kurupi all provided ecstasy and rush of battle. After each battle, each sacrifice, Marduk could feel himself growing stronger, more powerful, filled with a rage so pure as to be euphoric. As the weak follower of Kurupi succumbed to the might of Ghurzil, it breathed the last temptation; the artifact they sought was the Pandorica Libre. Of such intense power, even fabled librarians of Tezcatlipoca had sought it for millennia.
Breaking through the jungles, the mythical temples came into view. To bleed a sacrifice upon the altar of the pylons situated atop each of the twin ziggurats would open a stable portal into the warp. The power of chaos could flow freely and he, Marduk, with the aid of the Pandorica would become legend. From afar a glint of metals gave rise to knowledge; this would be a special battle. One against a most hated foe, the Ashen Cabelleros. A foe especially despised since their banishment of Ka’jagga’nath , Lord of the Bloodtide, chosen among Khorne, whose epic corruption of a Sisters of Fortune garrison on Van Horne songs are still sung.
The battle was the fiercest in many a year, as wave on wave of the Ashen Cabelleros raced to the challenge of the ancient ziggurats. The Marauders fought as demons themselves, and Ghurzil smiled. The Grand Master of the Ashen Cabelleros JonDuc intent upon reaching the chaos artifact within the temple cut his way through the fray, one of the dreaded a Adversary Knights at his back.
Finally, as the great land raider, Grim Skull crushed the temple to ruins Marduk emerged with his retinue. Wearing the skulls of fallen as a mask, they inspired fear in even the fearless. The hideous heat of the heavy flamer, in support of the Berzerkers against a group of Purifiers, lent its sulfurous fumes to the stench of melting meat.
Marduk strode forth, confident of his power challenging the Grand Master to single combat. As all the followers of the Corpse of Mankind, he treacherously accepted and stepped aside for the Adversary Knight to come forward. Marduk’s roar of rage at the cowardice shirking of battle could be heard over the battle field. With a thunderous crash of ancient ceramite and metal, the demon trapped within his weapon screaming, the rending shriek of metal as Marduk clove the Adversary Knight, reached into its belly and withdrew the mewling occupant within. In a snarling growl Marduk asked, “You Ashen Cabelleros are supposed to know Chaos, I am here to give you a chance..Give yourself to Ghurzil and live”, eyes blazing, the devastated body of the once proud purifier released his hand. The dead man switch clanked and clunked down the face of the ruined temple, closing his remaining eye, gave one last scream from his tortured lungs, “For the Empire!”, and the Adversary Knight exploded.
The blast wave washed over Marduk, hot, powerful, but nothing as compared to his fury being denied his prize. Ripping the head from the fallen warrior, he turned up the body as a grotesque tankard, pouring the blood down his throat and over his face.
True sanity, after one fashion or another, entails dissolving the normal ego. That piece of false security, competency adjusted, to our alien, material world. In that moment the final shreds of Marduks sanity and connection to this mortal plane began to dissolve. Turning began to stalk after the Grand Master.
Thank you for reading,