The quiet hamlet of Rigomagus concerned the kill-team as their presence did not cause a stir. The citizens gathered around and seemed interested in the rhino and the towering giants. Titus asked Tankrid to escort him, as the assault marine’s actions were starting to worry him. Blasphemous mumblings whispered through the air, as Ttitus and Tankrid passed a boarded hut. Kicking the door open to find the village elder about to sacrifice a young child. Tankrid sprang into action, picking up the struggling elder top stop the ritual, as a chill descended upon Titus. Hearing the chanting the villagers roared in rage and charged the space marines in the square. The kill-team readied their weapons, as the elder’s eyes began to glow. In a blur Tankrid snapped the head of the elder; the villagers screamed and stood around in a daze. As Souljorn and Korvus moved to secure the villagers, Titus crashed into the crowd his chain sword rising and falling as his skills in medicae was put to a darker use. Securing the village, the kill-team set the beacon and headed to the next village. Titus’ face was a hidden mask of confusion, as he stared at the barrel of Souljorn’s heavy bolter. His teammate starred solemnly wondering what had come over their leader.
The path to Nemetacum was greeted by solemn silence as kill-team assessed the current situation. As they neared a wheat field Octavious, now propped up on the rhino cupola, noticed a wide pathway in the field. Instructing Octavious to watch their new passenger, the child rescued by Tankrid, the kill-team searched the field. Tankrid took to the air and coughed as the eight-pointed star was visible, the path they walked making one of its points. Picking up pace they reached the centre, and stopped as a pile of body parts confronted them. The buzzing flies swarmed and seemed alive as their multifaceted eyes reflected the approaching marines. Titus said a brief prayer as he tossed an incendiary grenade, the cleansing flame burning the corpses and setting the section of field ablaze.
Nemetacum was deserted and the kill team secured the area and began the building to building search. Nearing the city hall, the stink of death filled their senses. The centre of the building was a ruin; corpses piled high a ‘doll’ sitting on the mound like a king on its throne. The kill team backed slowly away as a mist started to fill the room. Souljorn hesitated and started to shot at shadows, his heavy bolter echoing through the room. Falling back to the entrance Tankrid was slammed to the ground by an unseen force, claw marks being scratched into his armour. Bolters canning the surrounding area the kill team searched for the unseen foe, as a rain began to fall. A shadowy image launched into their midst, as bolter rounds sprayed harmlessly at the blur. Tankrid blinked as bloody spray covered his armor in gore, Korvus’ bolter still smoking from his single shot to their foe. Legs, claws, gore and a brass colour littered the doorway from the unknown foe’s dismembered body. Souljorn grunted as the body parts started to move, dragged by unseen hands back into the building.
Bolters leading, the kill team watched as they surrounded the ‘doll’ a small red portal forming as the parts were sucked through. Titus ordered the team to retreat, Krovus tossing an incendiary, the fire consuming the corpse pile and building. Falling back to the rhino, the kill team noticed the back hatch was open. The rhino was empty Titus and the kid nowhere to be found, the servitor’s head twisted around almost severed from his torso. Following the ‘footprints’ into the field, Delta tried to contact their lost brother to no avail. The pathway through the field meandered, an opening seen ahead as the light glinted off two silos. The tension was thick as Delta approached the last village. Low on ammo, battered & broken, missing a battle brother they steeled their nerves and trust in the Emperor.
Aesernia was ghostly quiet, the rumbling of the rhino the only sound heard over the falling rain. Delta-Alpha moved directly to the main city centre, hoping to not find a similar scene as Nemetacum with Octovious’ remains. Securing the building, no remains are found; a soft rapping heard behind a bolted door. Opening the door, the kill team are swarmed by crying thankful faces of the missing villagers. Splitting into teams of two the kill team began to search the rest of the village, the villagers fleeing into the surrounding fields and buildings to hide. Titus and Tankrid approached the western silo, as Souljorn and Korvus moved to secure the eastern. Octavious stirred the shadow falling from his mind, as the chanting on the robed figures increased pace. Pain laced through his chest as a figure began to carve blasphemous runes and brands. Trying to strike the figure he realised his arms were restrained. Looking around he noticed the runes on the floor as the air began to warm.
The door of the western silo opened, as body parts spilled onto the ground. Titus and Tankrid gripped their weapons tighter as villagers came from the fields, malice shining in their eyes. Steeling himself Souljorn boot connected with the eastern silo door. The door bursting open from the impact like an over rip fruit. _Hearing nearby sounds Octavious open his mouth to yell as the robed figure jammed the dagger into his skull, the hilt snapping off in his jaw. _Kicking open the door Souljorn froze, the sight before him making him stumble. Octavious bolted to a wall like a grox for slaughter as figures chanted around the room. “Welcome brother, you’re just in time” a shadowy figure grinned, his bolter barking as the rounds raced forward.
Titus and Tankrid moved in a ballet of death, their bolter, bolt pistols and chainswords hacking and slashing through the villagers. The press of bodies forcing them into defensive positions, as bolter round slammed into the side of a building. Turning around Tankrid spotted a Chaos marine and launched himself at the heretic. His jump pack failing he charged forward, Titus providing cover fire with bolter and grenade. The chaos marine falling back under Tankrid’s onslaught, stumbled as Tankrid’s blade found purpose and severed his head from his shoulders. Hearing the retorts of Souljorn’s heavy bolter they rushed to lend aid swatting away the remaining villagers.
A steady calm washed over Souljorn as he raised his bolter and traded shots with the robed figure, his hatred masked by his helmet. Octavious fell to the ground, Korvus freeing him with well-placed shots from his bolter. Dragging himself to ward the door, Octavious fired shots at the chanting figures, the chanting not stopping amid the corpses. Souljorn roared with vengeance as his last burst found mark the chaos marine’s armour buckling under the impacts, a strange grin on his lips as he fell over. Korvus shouted a warning as the blood from the marine, mixed with the blood from the cultist, started to swirl in the centre of the silo. Grabbing Octavios, Souljorn threw him out the door, as lights pierced the darkness striking the pooling blood. The air misted as a red portal began to form, a horned head beginning to form.
Wishing his brother’s good by Souljorn, fired rounds into Octovious discarded armour and grenades. The resulting explosion blossomed like a flower in the night, the shockwaves throwing the kill team off their feet. Souljorn was fired from the silo like a bullet, slamming into Tankrid. As the dust settled the kill team, surveyed the area, their vox’s crackling to life, as the rain and clouds bean to disapate. Titus worked frantically to save Octavious and Souljorn.
As the Valkyrie sent by Inquisitor Vamhkon’s landed, the kill team sent a silent prayer to the Emperor and their Primarchs. The cult had been “stopped”, the source of the dolls had eluded them but its hold on this world seemed broken. Vamhkon debriefed them and informed them uprising citizens were about to overrun the palace when an explosion was seen on the horizon. The citizens stumbled, their controlling link broken. Tankrid started as he realised they had not found the missing child!!