Scars of the Imperium

Should Have Seen This Coming

I arrived to the auction house late due to our ship being delayed for safety reasons, apparently pirates were making runs on ships. Before we eventually left for the House of Dust and Ash I peaked into the coming events to see if our trek would go unhindered. While I saw no pirates in my immediate future, something was fighting back against my divination, preventing me from looking further. I was right to investigate this auction.

Once our ship had arrived I was surprised by the other guests. When I first walked in I immediately noticed a very boisterous Khorne warrior playing some primitive bar game with two humans. I could feel the Hellblade’s murderous nature directed towards me once I entered the room, but I paid it no mind, lesser creatures the Khorne daemons are really. The other guests included a fallen inquisitor with daemon hosts by his side, very interesting indeed. I could feel the presence of another powerful psyker in the room as well. I think it is the young women in the room eyeing the other nobles, she should be watched carefully. I heard a fight start to break out back over by the Khorne warrior, nothing to surprising. When I looked over it seemed that he had cut himself playing a knife game. I suppose anyone can start following Khorne, lesser creatures really. The humans playing the game immediately wiped up some of the blood and began to leave. While the Khorne warrior grabbed one and mindlessly barked at him I decided to follow the one that got away. The trip here was fairly dull and figured investigating this would pass some time. To my surprise however these humans were a little hesitant to cooperate. Soon after grabbing the human I was following the other one had escaped from the Khorne warrior, a feat of great elusiveness or a testament of incompetence from the warrior, lesser creatures they are really. Regardless he started to create a scene, I choose to release his partner as to not add to the spectacle. As I made my way to my chambers as originally planned the Khorne warrior found me and hailed me over to him. While I did not break my stride, nor did I acknowledge his greetings, I was nevertheless surprised by his poor attempt at civility, impressive for such a lesser being.

I reached my quarters and once inside I began to research the different objects being auctioned the next day. The data pad I was given when reaching my room held very little information but the chaos amulet drew my attention in particular. Satisfied with the information I had gathered from the data pad I began to scheme for the coming events. I meditated and glimpsed into the near future to view the coming auction. I was unable to see very much at all, the object that was resisting my powers was defiantly very near. I decided to change tactics, instead of trying to view the whole auction I focused completely on the amulet, and with that I accomplished my more immediate goal. I studied the item and the individuals around it, I saw a very large man who was bidding the most on the item, a party of people bickering among themselves about the item, and guards along the room. I studied this scene throughout the night and prepared to take action the next day.

They gathered everyone together for some sort of breakfast or lunch or something, the data pad seemed unable to decided. Once there I located the fat man from the visions and made my way near him. He was stuffing his face when I found him and his guards were just watching, humans were always fun to toy with. I sat down across from him and exerted some of my will onto him. Without him or anyone else around me I had won the fight before it had even started. He looked up from his food and me and smiled and waved like I was an old friend. I told him that as his “friend” I would gladly win the amulet for him that he so desired to save him the money. He laughed and smiled before going back to stuffing his face. All I had to do now was maintain this lie throughout the rest of the day, a simple task given the simplicity of the puppet under my control now.

Before the auction began they allowed us to view the different items. I saw the fat toy eyeing the amulet before turning to me and waving. Humans were always very simple, quite fun to take advantage of and just as rewarding. I noticed a larger party of a variety of people grouped up and discussing the items, a large Tzeentch Sorcerer with wings, a small thin human with grenades, a techpriest, the Khorne warrior, and a burly human. Such an odd group armed so heavily should be watched closely. Before leaving I decided to investigate an ordinary journal on display. Something about it seemed odd when I noticed it on the data pad the previous day, the lack of information on it made me wonder it’s significance. Opening it up I immediately learned it’s basic secretes, but even beyond that there was more. The basic secretes were enough to draw me to the book, but the complex codes beneath those were much more important, I cannot leave this place without this book. As I left the room I looked back and noticed the item labeled Guilded Widow, my eyes strained when I looked upon it. I feel as if that item has been the cause of my divination issues, if I cannot later obtain the item I should make sure it is at least studied and destroyed.

The auction is beginning and I shall record my successes once I return, from what I can tell it appears that a guard is collecting weapons as people enter with the Khorne warrior arguing with him. His party must have left him behind to enter the room, better for them in the long run to leave the lesser beings out of the more important dealings. Should that human attempt to remove my staff from my person I will comply given the delicate circumstances, but a puppet should be reminded from time to time that they should not pull on the strings from which they hang.

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This is why we cant have nice things

Dear Diary,
Well, the auction was a teensy bit disappointing, and a little more violent than I typically enjoy engagements to be. Were it not for Ivy to mock the other “nobles” behind their backs with me, I fear I may have died from sheer boredom.

As for men, the pickings were rather slim. I narrowed my possibilities down to three, and ended up enjoying the company of but one of them. Had the auction lasted the planned three nights, I’m confident I would have “inspected” the other two gentlemen.

I wore a rather clingy silk evening gown to the Reception Dinner, and received a lot of yearning glances. The lust is utterly divine, although I do so hate to disappoint a potential playmate, but eyes on the prize, as the say. The dinner was good, but not great, multiple courses, well prepared, but not the most creative of fare, nor the highest quality of ingredients. Out of the entire room, I must admit that I factored reactions to the food into my selection of evening company.

My first choice was tired, so we agreed to rendezvous for dinner and entertainment the next night. I joined an absolutely delightful man in a stroll that ended at his suite, and I’m not entirely certain who ravaged who, but needless to say, I haven’t been that worn out and sore in quite a while. Simon the Noble was positively to die for, but sadly not quite suitable to contribute the other half of the Vessel I am to bear.

Despite not having the correct DNA for my future child, Simon did indeed possess a couple of other qualities I do so admire in men; a lot of money, and a rather long generous streak. After enjoying breakfast in bed, but before the big auction, Simon and I strolled through the gallery with the smaller items and he insisted on purchasing me quite the collection of jewelry and pretty little incidentals.

When the auction began, Simon purchased me an absolutely gorgeous Eldar Soul Stone and an absolutely divine dress that fits like a lipstick-kissed elbow glove. The rest of the auction was kind of boring, I bought a book about creating demons or something that might be fun, you know how I love arts and crafts, and I noticed there was a group working together to buy items they’d clearly researched or something.

So the Gilded Widow turned out to be a fantastic ruse, and an even more fantastic show. Unfortunately, that show turned into bedlam pretty swiftly, tons of blood and guts, fire and lasers, bodies being ripped apart like rag dolls… Normally I would have been turned on, but when you’re on the surprised and losing end of the fight it just isn’t sexy. I turned around just in time to see Simon the Noble hurl himself in front of me, sacrificing his life in an arc of arterial spray.

Not that I don’t enjoy being covered in a lover’s blood, just not while they’re dying at my feet.

Ivy was in fine form, thankfully, and I must say that I managed to put some holes in a few of the opposition myself.

So the goal is to find this “Scion” and put his or her blood into the Widow’s chalice. I am frightfully out of the loop, so my help is a tad limited to following small groups of people around and trying to make myself look important, which is what I shall continue to do at least until this whole situation resolves itself.

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Blood of the Scion

Blood of the Scion
On the eve’s night of the auction, second-in-command Matthias Kaiser of the PDF forces overseeing the auction attempted to investigate Octavia’s quarters under the suspicion that she was the murderer of the brainless corpses of the day prior. His attempts were unsuccessful as she had slain a lower PDF officer in “surprise” as her door was kicked in by the “intruder” and that she was too “distraught” to answer any of his questions.
Throughout the night, Azryael studied in the librarium about the creation and use of daemonhosts in hopes to better understand Ferran Ghast.

The next morning the House of Dust and Ash held exquisite breakfast and brunch events where Moric decides to play “knives” with Vymer and Quill. This results in Moric stabbing himself and spilling his blood, which one of the two men managed to collect and analyze.

Prior to the auction, the House of Dust and Ash held a viewing for the auction items. The Ghost Crew of the Kasserkratch studied the items and the auctioneers hoping to gauge and plan their bids according to the competition. During the auction, prior to the bidding on the Gilded Widow, The Ghost Crew of the Kasserkratch managed only to succeed on acquiring a portrait that had a blurred depiction of Haarlok. However a noteworthy Tzeench Sorcerer, Ralic was able to buy a Doll in a Glass Jar and a Mysterious Compass. A noteworthy Slaanesh Psyker, Philomena “Mena” Nix, House of Tiresias was able to purchase an Eldar Soulstone and a Book Unbound. Upon the Auction of the Widow, Greel requested to demonstrate it and the arachnoid automaton sprang to life, offering to answer any question. Upon being asked about Haarlok, the widow cursed the auctioneers for plundering the House of Dust and Ash and told that the Children of the Night will be unleashed upon them and that they must find and deliver her the Blood of the Scion.

Following the awakening of the widow, Greel and the mourners began slaughtering the crowd. After a literal bloodbath, the auctioneers began searching the volcanic island to solve the widow’s riddle. Aleph managed to commandeer the Administratum to gain access to the island’s security cameras. Azryael, Moric, and Cowin pursued Greel after he fled the bloodbath. After Cowin slew Greel, Azryael and Moric brought his amulet to Haarlok’s Crypt to place it in a hole with suspiciously the same shape. They were greeted by Ferran Ghast, his daemonhosts and three plaguemarines. Upon studying daemonhosts, Azryael understood the ridiculous power of the daemonhosts and made a tactical retreat. Moric, unfortunately proceeds to attack Ferran Ghast. However, before he is utterly destroyed, Azryael trades the amulet for Moric’s life.

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Moric's Journal

Urghhh curse those damn orks for getting my scribe killed; now I must write my journal myself…. We have arrived on a pitiful spec in this god’s forsaken sector. The transport to this auction was ever so dull first I was taunted by those two wretches when they thought I could not hear them….I must remember to sharpen my blade on their bones before this is over…. And when I went to go “play” with a fleshy little mortal, their over entitled captain sent us all to our room….luckily we were raided….. what a glorious moment for Khorne! Alas my fun was short lived, Aratus only gave me one of the pirates to play with, but I did enjoy bleeding him dry then throwing his ruined corpse into that sea of acid hahaha, the memory of his face brought me much joy in the days to come. I knew that my blood lust wouldn’t be settled any time soon….

That tall mortal…I can’t recall his name grieel? Greel? His pendant is relevant to the riddle on the door, I do not know what is down their but there is something and I want it….. What’s worse is this place…..the grandchildren of the rot father… whores of Slaanesh, and the presence of psykers everywhere….. I keep making my prayers to the blood god constantly…even if I am ….limited in what I can use for sacrifices…… The auction in of itself is a problem……. To enter I must disarm myself…. I will never be disarmed again, luckily the little tech priest has handed me the daemon hammer, it’s eyes are as hateful as my own, once I break it’s will I will enjoy wielding this weapon. There is something else that bothers me; I hear the voices….. They sound….agitated….. Every muscle in my body strains to flea…. Something….terrible is approaching, and I cannot find Aratus and I can no longer make contact with Zul…. I am on my guard, the auction is now beginning and the others will summon me when I am required. I can feel my hellblade pulsing….it thirsts for blood and death….. And so do I…..My time will soon be at hand!

WRONG! ALL OF IT SO WRONG. DEFEAT!? I LOST, BEATEN BACK I…I am still weak….. that…. that mortal and his daemon host pets…..and what’s more the plague-brothers……. I…I have failed my god…… NO! I SHALL NOT FAIL! I SHALL NOT FAULTER!….. I have lost my footing before….and I still live! Yes…I still live and I will live forever….. These beasts….these…children….. I shall slaughter them…and then the mortal….why stop there? All see the blood god’s face…..yes…all see it. Even I but the others will see it as skulls… I on the other hand…I shall ascend…. No more writing, it is time to draw my blade and flamer….the next entry will be written in the blood of my foes….and written with a portion of that inquisitor’s spine!

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January 18th session
Events from Cowin's perspective

Day 1. Evening.
I had to watch that great lard that calls himself an abbot stuff his face again at dinner. The man has no sense of restraint, and endangers his own health by overeating, his flabby exterior slows down his every action, making him clumsy. I have seen wonders of technology that rival the workings of the gods, but it appears to me that all it does is for a man is make him soft. If he doesn’t have to rely on his own strength of arms, he becomes weak. Yet it is that same technology that allows their society, as corrupt and incomprehensible as it is to me, to survive and remain militarily strong even when the people themselves are slugs.

The leadership crew of the Kasserkratchis as reliant on the technology as the fat abbot, allowing it to pollute their bodies and minds to the point where they rely on it. The so called ‘Space Marines" never take their power armor off, as if it is their skin rather than what their mothers gave them.

But I digress before even beginning. The first day upon arrival at this auction event, I discovered that Aratus left a gift for me before his disappearance: the axe of the previous champion of Xurunt. This is a strange weapon. When I hold it in my hands, I seem to be able to almost hear something. It is as if my grip on the hilt magnifies my hearing. The sound could be coming from anywhere, though it seems most likely that it is from within the walls around me. Possibly this auction facility has some mechanisms in the walls. These are the rational interpretations of the phenomenon. I know that instead the explanation is that the weapon is the home of a spirit. I know not if this spirit is benevolent or malicious, but I do believe that it is powerful. In swinging the axe, I feel the power of the weapon, and know that it is strong and keen. It has and shall continue in my hands to fell many a foe.

The command staff of the Kasserkratch that was with me on the planet were Aleph, Azryael, Ichabod and Moric. Erik Thane was at the dinner, but disappeared shortly after. The others either chose to stay on Strum or the ship. When a demon forces them into an agreement, they should not leave honoring it up to others, as they are doing so with me. I am not surprised that the demon chose to force such a pact, as they had already dealt with it at some point before I joined them. No one should ever truck with demons, as they are the worst form of spirit, delighting it destruction for on reason other than the pain that it causes mortal men. It is difficult to avoid showing my contempt for those I work with, as it would surely make my revenge more difficult without their support. Lesser of two evils, as they say.

Aleph and Ichabod worked together on some sort of strategy which they claimed was to help ensure our success and to avoid Moric sabotaging it. Moric spent the night hunting down different people, though he never make it clear to me as to why. Azryael spent his time either helping Aleph and Ichabod or questioning facility staff as to protocol and procedures for the next days events. There was also an odd man there by the name of Marshal Matthias Kaiser. He was charged with investigating a murder that happened at the party after dinner. I was not there, so do not know what happened. However, apparently Kaiser believed that Octavia was a suspect, so he assaulted her rooms. She booby-trapped her own door, and killed one of Kaiser’s guards with an inferno pistol. I do not know if Kaiser was more fool or more coward, but he left Octavia alone after that.


Day 2. Morning.
I read the bones this day, which portended dark and dangerous events ahead. This has certainly proven true. After meaningless pleasantries that are so prevalent in decadent society, we were finally allowed to view the items to be auctioned. None of the items were what I believe the demon wanted us to find. However, there are a few that might lead us to the legacy of the renowned rogue trader. The most promising such items were the Gilded Widow, a painting, and a compass. My companions were interested in various other items in the auction, seeming to forget that the reason for us being here was clearly not to go shopping for trinkets and baubles.

After more hours wasted on pleasantries, and the removal of weapons from all the guests, the auction finally began. My companions succeeded in winning the painting while some human psycher acquired the compass. We may have to convince him to allow us to use the compass temporarily if it proves necessary to finding the legacy. In preparation of the final item, which I had the suspicion would quickly rise in price beyond our limited means, I approached an heiress who clearly had significant wealth, asking her to assist us in the purchase of the automaton, the Gilded Widow. She accepted, on condition that she be given passage on our vessel, and be allowed use of it. I agreed, though I doubted that she would find our ship to her liking.

When the Gilded Widow came up for bid, the auctioneer declared that there would be a demonstration of what it does. A man inserted the heart into the automaton that was the Gilded Widow and it came to life. I am not aware of the ways that cards are used to foretell the future, and when a soulless clockwork device is the one performing the rituals, I doubt the validity of any such soothsaying. However, the automaton was a curious device, far removed from the clockwork dragons of my home-world.

After several meaningless questions, the automaton made a demand for the blood of Haarlock’s scion and seemed to take mental control of all the mechanical devices in the room, combat and observational robots. Greel, the head mourner killed the auctioneer, setting off violence. The mourners and robots attacked the guests and PDF. Since Greel was leading the attack, it seemed that he must have a personal reason for wanting to kill the people that were benefiting from the looting of Haarlock’s tomb. I thus believed that he might be a descendant of Haarlock, and therefore the scion. I wrested his weapon from his hands and chased after him. After killing many of his followers, and having run from one end of the complex to the other, I finally ended Greel with his own weapon. Spitting on the corpse, I filled a container with a sample of some of his blood to take back to the Gilded Widow.

It was obvious from the chatter on the headset that my companions were scattered throughout the complex pursuing various different theories about who the scion to be. Aleph wanted me to confront the inquisitor because he was being suspicious. I ignored this and headed back to the auction room. Unfortunately Greel’s blood did not satisfy the Widow, nor did my own or the fat abbot’s.

The inquisitor, who had apparently attacked Moric and Azyael, returned to the auction chamber at that point. He claimed to not know who the scion was, so I left with the destination of the morgue, and finally retrieving my weapons from where they were hidden. Aleph had informed me that the camera in the morgue had gone black very soon after all of these events had begun.

When the havoc had begun, the Gilded Widow had given a time limit of 13 hours to receive the blood. Around 6 hours of this time has since elapsed, leaving 7 hours to accomplish this task before the Gods alone know will come to pass.

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Haarlock's Dust and Ash

Of Dust and Ash

Forging their compact with Zul, The Ghost Crew of the Kasserkratch concluded their business on Sturm before venturing to the void. Brakkus was installed as the new head of Sturm, subservient to the ghost crew’s whims. Taking some ships for themselves, the ghost crew headed towards Solomon to begin searching for the secrets of the Legacy. Eactly what Zul had in mind however, was anyone’s guess. All they knew was that they needed to find the secrets of Haarlock’s Legacy and return them to Zul. Their first lead was an auction being held in a months time for Haarlock’s estate on Solomon.
Arriving on Solomon, thew crew found a ship transporting auctioneers to the House of Dust and Ash where the auction for Haarlock’s estate would take place. the 30 hour journey proved to be an eventful one.

Erik Thane met his match in Octavia Nile, the charming woman who stole his heart. thane first attempted to drug her drink covertly, thinking that he would take the better of her. It was Thane, however, that ended up being used. Octavia has poisoned his own drink, and done a far better job of it. Erik had to temporarily retire to a bench to recover while the vile substance inside of him nearly ended his life on the spot. Gathering some fortitude, Erik barely held onto his life as the venom worked through him; praying thanks to Slaanesh for his luck.

Thane was not to be deterred however, for he vowed to still make Octavia his.

The ghost crew also met Vymer and Quill, Abbot Tamas, and the fallen inquisitor Ferran Ghast onboard. Each of these strange individuals were heading to the auction to bid on Haarlock’s items.

As their vessel carried them onwards, the ship was attacked by a marauding band of pirates, thinking the transport ship to be easy prey. They were woefully over-matched by the ghost crew and it’s Chaos Space Marines, who made quick work of the intruders.

Before arriving at the House of Dust and Ash, Thane made another attempt at wooing Octavia, one that proved surprisingly successful. Unfortunately for Erik, he awoke late into what he thought was a successful night, to a Cerebral Annihilator being thrust into his ear, nearly turning his brain to mush. Fleeing Octavia’s room, Thane was only more determined to make the deadly woman his.

Arriving at the House of Dust and Ash, the ghost crew found that they had 3 days on the island. The first day was for guests to meet each other and have a pleasant reception. day two would be a day of viewing to examine all of the rare and exotic items up for bidding. And day 3 would culminate in the actual auction itself.

Exploring the facilities, the crew learned much about Haarlock, drawing closer to the secrets they are looking for. While they met many other notable auctioneers, Octavia still seemed to steal the spotlight. While none can be certain, Erik Thane is convinced that Octavia was behind the mysterious death of Captain Rubio, whom died drinking wine next to Octavia herself.

Aleph and Ichabod Boyle scoured the facilities, finding strange corpses with heads sliced open and brains completely missing, a fact that worries greatly the local PDF. Yet what these bodies mean is still unclear.

As the first day draws to a close, the ghost crew are ready to see what other mysteries the House of Dust and Ash hides.

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Our Story So far

Where did all of this start?

Breaking the Chains
The heretics awoke upon the Chains of Judgement, imprisoned there by Inquisitor Eisenhorn for crimes innumerable. The Chains was traveling to the Calixis Sector where our heretics fate would have been sealed. Our story is not that short.

Karnack Zul, then a bound daemonhost on the Chains, brought his long plot into motion. his efforts culminated in the Chains being lost in the warp, drifting, for over 200 years. As the power cells finally started to fade, the heretics awoke from stasis, ready to excert their will on the galaxy again.

They traversed through the ship, destroying all in their way before meeting with Zul, the architect of their freedom. Moric offered up his own body as a temporary vessel for Zul’s freedom. Working with Zul, the heretics slew the last vestiges of the Inquisitor’s crew on the ship, claiming the Chains of Judgement for themselves.

Taking the Kasserkratch
Now freed, the heretics and Zul entered into a dread compact to reclaim the orbiting daemon ship of immense power, the Kasserkratch. Traveling to the Weeping Chambers of SacGrave, the heretics crushed the Chambers to their heel; claiming themselves the master of the Weeping Chambers.

It was underneath the winding caverns of the Chambers that the heretics challenged Belix Ireshor, wiping out his Onyx Scar Kabal forces and driving him to flight. It was a lethal day that made Khorne smile. Not long after, the heretics worked their way into the painted Zigguraut where the Tyrant’s Chains were stored. In the heretics way was a rival band, bent on claiming the Chains for their own purposes. They proved no match and were swept away in a tide of blood.

Tyrant’s Chains in hand, the heretics boarded the Kasserkratch, attempting to control what none had before. In interfacing with the heart of the vessel, Aleph made a deal of betrayal with the ship. When the heretics brought Karnack Zul aboard, instead of aiding him , they bound him in a trap. Zul raged in agony as the Kasserkratch itself descended upon him devouring him whole.

The heretics and the Kasserkratch would now work together to bring death and devastation throughout the galaxy. The band of heretics would now be known as something else: The Ghost Crew of the Kasserkratch.

A Prophet of Lies
Traveling the Screaming Vortex and getting their bearings, the Ghost Crew eventually received an invitation from Renkard Copax telling them to travel to the Temple of Lies on Kymerus and hear their pro—phecy foretold.

The crew had merely been walking into a devious trap, for the prophecy Copax had seen was that of his own demise. Ending Copax and meeting the Prophets of the Blighted Path the heretics ventured on.

Baphtar’s Glory
The Ghost Crew had their eyes on some fresh recruits to fight for the glory of chaos, and set off to Xurunt to gather a horde. Entering into a yearly tournament to fight for the glory of Baphtar (a local interpretation of Khorne) the heretics engaged in a sprawling battle that nearly drove one of their number mad. Defeating powerful champions of Chaos, they wrested from their grasp powerful daemon weapons to use for themselves.

Subjugating the local populace, the Kasserkratch left Xurunt with a hold full of barbarian warriors to fight and die as the ghost crew saw fit.

Sturm’s Folly
The ghost Crew arrived on the Hive Planet Sturm, and found a world ripe for the taking. It’s divided nobility were ripe for war, with the opposing houses of Brakkus and Victrus ready for eruption. Launching an elaborate campaign, the ghost crew rose an enormous insurrection, sweeping away Victrus in a tide of blood. In the midst of revolution, Azryael had pushed his psychic pwoers beyound their limits; unleashing the full power of the warp. In the chaos, the mighty greater daemon Karnack Zul possessed Azryael entirely, resting control from the powerful psyker. As the crew entered into the inner chamber of Victrus, they found Azryael sitting next to the decapitated head of Victrus. When the familiar voice of Karnack Zul spoke from their allies lips, they knew nothing good could come.

Facing the full form of the newly returned Zul, and still weakened from their bloody coup, the ghost crew had no choice but to enter into a compact with the daemon once more….

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Scars of the Imperium


Prologue

This is the tale of the heretics that became known throughout history as The Ghost Crew of the Kasserkratch; an epic saga of torrential blood, of sweeping plague, of succulent decadence, and twisting lies.

From far and wide these heretics were borne, yet all converged on a single prison ship. Bound under the chains of an inquisitor, under the frost of stasis, these heretics are adrift on the Chains of Judgement. these heretics will break free and spread their Black Crusade across the Screaming Vortex.

And so begins The Scars of the Imperium…

Soti

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