“Pray child! Pray that the Emperor protects us through the perils of the night. For all it takes is one soul that strays from the path. One soul who listens to the seductive lies of the other side and welcomes the wretched darkness into its heart”
– Mordecai, high priest of the vessel Emperor’s light
* * *
He could see the machine priest hunched over something with a multitude of cables connected to it. He swallowed his fear and picked up a large wrench that was leaning against a barrel.
Quietly he worded the ancient text on the wall. “Geller something”.
He again closed his eyes and searched for her voice. She had been quiet since he had entered the chamber. She had woken him with some urgency in his quarters and he had felt fear in her voice. The time was short, she had said. If he wanted to help her he needed to hurry.
“You want to help me right?” her fears apparent in her voice. Jor vigorously nodded even though no one was present to see it. He really wanted to help her. She had called to him a few nights ago, a priestess needing his help. She had felt so helpless he had cried. She needed his help and he felt a sense of purpose he never had felt before.
So here he was in the bowels of the ship crawling through tunnels filled with pipes and cables. Her voice guiding him, urging him on. Only a few turns left.
The rusty surface of the wrench dug into his palms as he gripped it hard. He swung it as hard as he could against what he thought was the head of the one standing between him and her salvation.
It connected with a loud thud sending the red cloaked figure across the floor. He ran past it as the sound of whirling contraptions began. Frantically he searched for the hatch she had described to him. Where they kept her a prisoner.
A few seconds passed and he felt his eyes tear up. Where was she? Had he been too late? With nothing but his own heart beats echoing against his ear drums he suddenly saw it. It was a hatch with a black and white painted mechanical skull, just as she had described.
He grabbed the lever and pulled as hard as he could. He felt the blood vessels pound against his temples and he could feel it slowly budge.
He burst into joyous laughter. He had saved her! “I have saved yo.” his triumphant words cut short as the air hissed with energy slicing him in two. The tech priest rushed past the mangled body and tried to shut the hatch but it was too late.
Light flowed from the now open door and for a second it bathed the room a golden glow before the screaming of the alarm shredded the fragile silence and darkness descended upon the ship.
* * *
Even the partial collapse of the Geller field had thrown the Emperor’s light out of the immaterium and into the orbit of Ecarro, a small planet on the outskirts of the Ultramar system.
As the madness of daemons invaded the tight corridors of the vessel one soul gathered the companions around him to issue his last orders. If the artefact would fall into enemy hands it would be all over so getting the stone tablet of the ship was more important than life itself.
He had cut his way towards the side of the ship where the life rafts where when he felt the vessel shake from a series of large explosions. He barely had time to program the escape pod before the putrid daemons again assaulted him.
He felt a sense of calm as he held the corridor against the shambling horde. He knew that with every heart beat the text was one step further away from the grasp of the enemy.
The ultra marine force below would recognize the distress signal and know what to do.
* * *
The Garrison commander had only picked up a short emergency message before the night sky had shattered in a rain of fire and steel. The burning debris of the Emperor’s light lit up the night like day and he realised that he needed to get to the life pods before the daemons arrived.
He hadn’t had time to fully understand the coded message but he knew it was of the utter most importance. “Brothers, tonight we fight as the emperors light guides us. With steel in out hearts we slay the enemy”
The small Astra Militarum force that had joined them looked scared as they rode into the crimson horizon. A bad omen, a bad omen indeed.
This is the introduction to a narrative 40K event with 2v2 players fighting over the control of the vital life pods in a shower of burning promethium and other lethal downfall.
It will take place over the Easter weekend and you can read the battle report HERE