Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Saga of the Harrowed: Unholy Congress

[A bit of background narrative...]

Conversion, Harrowed, Lord Of Change

The Four convened, as ever, on neutral ground, on one of the Unmoored. Moons veered in and out of orbit, within the Eye of Terror. Many had peeled away permanently from their planets, spinning along on their own erratic courses. This one, noted E’Asuu E’Aglaa, Lord of Change, was particularly bleak, encased in bands of indigo ice and swirling with a thin, vaporous atmosphere that gleamed palely. His peers had chosen it with purpose.

They regarded him coldly now, the other three of the Four. E’Asuu affected not to notice, taking his seat with a gracious nod. “Well met, fellow sovereigns,” he said. “Are we resolved?”

“My pack has massed,” growled M’Bashaar, the Bloodthirster. “Hounds, Bloodcrushers, Bloodletters, Princes, all burn for battle.”

The Unclean One, Auguax, nodded, brightening a bit at the prospect of play. “Oh yes,” he burbled. “My flock, too, are gathered in numbers and eager to be at it. Such toothsome creatures!”

Ulular, Keeper of Secrets, leaned back in her throne and nodded as well, her eyes hooded. “My servants can be summoned at will, of course. They await only their sire’s siren’s call.” She paused, the whip-locks of her mane flicking languidly. “And you, E’Asuu? What of your own arrangements? Where is this new army you have promised to provide?

“My project has borne fruit,” the Lord of Change replied, allowing himself a smug smile. “The work has been wrought, brothers, and most artfully, too. My Host stands ready.”

“Your host?,” sneered M'Bashaar. “Those mongrels? Is this the army you bring to war?”

E’Asuu smiled brightly, knowing it would further enflame the Bloodthirster. “It is,” he said.

“Mongrels!” Mbashaar repeated. “They stew still in their mortal viscera. I can smell their blood. They reek of it!” The daemon’s eyes glinted. “The scent clings to you now.”

E’Asuu sighed. Would he really have to explain it all to them again? “I need them thus,” he said. “
We need them thus. It is their mortal flesh that will give these slave soldiers purchase outside the Chaos Realms. It is their blood that will sustain us beyond the nourishing tides of the Warp.”

“So you have told us before, E’Asuu,” Ulular replied. “Still I harbor reservations. Do we not already carry pain and punishment to many thousands of worlds in the Materium. Are our armies not glorious? Are they not puissant?”

“Most assuredly they are, my Lady.” E’Asuu replied. “Silken banners proclaim the powers of the Pleasure God on countless worlds. Now, however, the work we have before us demands that we carry our war far, far beyond the Warp Reaches. We must be able to strike at the very heart of the Imperium, at its strongholds and places of refuge.” He leaned forward, pointedly ignoring the Bloodthirster yet fixing Ulular with a hard stare with one head, and Augaux with another from his other head. “Or perhaps you have forgotten what we face here, what we work to undo, cousins.” He paused, for effect. Then hissed: “He has the book. The Grimoire. And once the fool perceives what it is that he holds, then he has more: he has our names. Our true names.”

Snarling, M’Bashaar leapt up and began pacing. Augaux nodded gravely. While Ulular, E’Asuu noted, winced and looked away.

Good. He had them again. Feeling the currents sway to him, E’Asuu stood and strode to the center of the Throne Circle. “I assure you, fellow Lords: my Host are pacted and bound, body and soul, blood and ichor. And yet, I see you harbor doubts. Yes? Perhaps you feel a further test may be in order. A final, supreme trial, to demonstrate my subjects’ fealty?” The Lord of Change smiled. “Very well then,” he said sweetly. “I have just the thing.”

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