Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Soul Grinder of Nurgle / Dark Mechanicum Iron Strider

Good day to you all.

Wow. That was formal.

Not too much to say on this one, but a goodly while ago, I got hold of a Maggoth Lord second hand from Linguiformean (Lee).  It kind of sat around partially on the sprue for a while, partially off.

I eventually, started taking a closer look at it and put it together apart from the rider, which is when i hit on the idea of seeing if the top half of one of those Kataprhon servitors would fit in the hole. Turn out with a minimal amount of sanding down, it will indeed fit. Quite well as it turns out.

Add in a few green stuff cables, and Bob, as they allegedly say, is your weird and pervy uncle.













Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Heralds of Nurgle #6

++++data packet rec'd++++
++++querying++++
++++code verified++++
++++PRIORITY LEVEL BLACK DELTA EXTREMIS++++
++++recommend immediate attention++++
++++messenger = Ronayne, F++++
++++designation = Ordo Malleus; Interrogator 1st Class++++
++++access granted++++

Master,

I have uncovered evidence that Thrixis and/or one of his close associates have been operating in the Sector most recently.

Perhaps this coincides with the discovery of the stable warp portal between Abstruse and Seriphos? If this is the case, the secret is either out, or it's a remarkable coincidence. Either way, it is cause for concern.  Is Thrixis aware of investigations? Has information somehow been leaked by your Seriphosian colleague, Rachmein? Although I hesitate to cast aspersions on a fellow agent of the Ordos, I will freely admit to having had my reservations about him since we first encountered him and his team of operatives. Master, my mind is racing with the possibilities.

To the matter at hand. You may recall several months ago a matter in the news relating to a member of the Navis Nobilite (one Globulin Sputumfyre) having been taken or disappeared or absconded from their designated vessel, The Crook of the Shepherdess? I attach the news reports and official investigative reports for your perusal, should it have slipped your mind.


Well, around an hour ago, local time, it appears he briefly returned, albeit much changed, to the Sputumfyre family holdings on Surya Napoleon (an agri-world, interestingly enough known for the farming of bio-engineered even-toed ungulates, similar in many respects to the sheep of Olde Terra).

The holdings have since been quarantined, as an extremely virulent illness seems to be sweeping through the livestock and human populations like a veritable tidal wave of filth. The ailment is literally reducing all mammalian lifeforms it spreads to (via the water supply) into steaming pools of noisome liquid in the matter of a few short hours. Those poor souls.

In audio recordings of the distress calls from the Sputumfyre holdings it is easy enough to make out a chant which will be familiar to you from our recent encounter at the water treatment plant:
"Thrixis! Thrixis! Aqua contaminatus! Thrixis!"

I have been living in vain hope that I would never hear those foul words uttered again.  I attach the sound files for your ease of reference, along with some servo-skull captures of what I assume Globulin Sputumfyre.  Reportedly, he soon after strolled into the trout lake and didn't come back out.

I remain, 
your servant

Fergus Ronayne












Monday, 4 July 2016

Heralds of Nurgle #5

++++data packet rec'd++++
++++querying++++
++++code verified++++
++++PRIORITY LEVEL VERMILLION GAMMA++++
++++recommend immediate attention++++
++++messenger = Ronayne, F++++
++++designation = Ordo Malleus; Interrogator 1st Class++++
++++access granted++++

Master,

The plot, as they used to say on Olde Terra, thickens.

Further to my previous missives pertaining to the Thrixis Matter, I have uncovered further information that both confirms his presence in the sector in the past, as well as his presence on Terra at some time during the wars of Unification. This has led me to hypothesise that he may be one of those rare beings known as Eternals (Homo Eternalis).

Through a rather convoluted sequence of cross-referencing (the details of which I won't bore you with beyond the following broad themes: Thrixis, Necrosius, Abstruse, Cult activity, Nurgle), I was led to a series of transcribed Arbites interviews with folk that were involved in illegal pit fighting around M31-32.  I have attached the relevant passages for you to peruse at your leisure, but will summarise below for your convenience.

Obviously gambling on the outcome of one-on-one combat pre-dates the Age of Enlightenment by some several millenia. Often, when professional, able-bodied fighting men and women become too old for war, or find themselves without wars to fight, they find it difficult to readjust to life in normal society.  This typically sees them circulate into the fringes of criminal society where they will often find employ as an enforcer for an organised crime syndicate, fall in with an Underhive gang, or drink and whore themselves into Debtor's Gaol.  All three of those routes typically end with a permanent sleep in a body-bag or transportation to a hard labour camp on a penal colony world.

Occasionally the odd soul, here or there, in some Debtor's Gaol or other will be offered the choice to have their debt "bought off" by a mysterious benefactor in return for fighting in the pits and "eventually" buying back their own freedom.  The life and career or a pit slave is obviously beset with hazards, rivalries, jealous slave-masters, mechanical enhancements and chemical lobotomies (and so on), so the chances of buying back one's freedom are realistically non-existent.

Now, in relation to the matter at hand, it would appear that (and this was backed up by shipping records at the time) Thrixis had traveled from Olde Terra aboard a vessel that formed part of a Rogue Trader fleet belonging to one Lord Armistice von Credenza, and had been accompanied by several shady individuals.  After debarking on the world of Lozenge IV at Cypricotus Hive, it would appear that Thrixis ran in to some local trouble of which I have been unable to unearth the details (understandably, data-stack records may have been scrubbed and written over (perhaps more than once) as this was nigh on 9 millenia ago). I would assume some kind of violence associated with gambling may have occurred, as his name is (to this day - I had someone verify it) engraved in the sheet-metal records traditionally favoured by Cypricotus Debtor's Gaol at the time.

It would seem that Thrixis had been offered the chance by a slave-master (who having bribed the requisite gaolers the traditional bribe in order to gain access to the prisoners) to fight as a pit slave or face transportation at the hands of the authorities.  Infamously, at the time, Thrixis had offered a third option. He would get somebody far more physically imposing and belligerent to do the fighting for him.  This piqued the interest of the slave-master, who was subsequently introduced to one of Thrixis' travelling companions - a man of some reported heft and stature, whom conjecture would suggest may have been one of the Emperor’s proto-Astartes, or so-called Thunder Warriors (for lack of a confirmed name, we shall refer to him as ‘Piotr’, for the name he went by in the pits was ‘Piotr the Great’ (verily). All parties were satisfied. The slave-master had himself a real prospect for the pits; Thrixis did not have to endure the pits and was happy that Piotr would win himself free in short order; Piotr was presented with an environment in which he could indulge his talents for extreme violence and general belligerence.

Indeed, Piotr found himself so content in his newfound position that he opted to stay on, once his freedom had been earned. Perhaps the ready supply of combat drugs, cheap grain alcohol and whores helped seal the deal. At this point, Thrixis drops into the background.

Of course, Piotr’s enduring success and lengthy record of victory on victory against all comers was accompanied with jealousy and resentment from rival slave-masters. This is illustrated by Piotr taking a wound in the pits from some kind of dagger befouled by some kind of Lazarine disease (possibly Leprotic Botulism?).  Piotr went on to win this bout, succumbing to the illness later. However, given his enhanced biological make-up, he recovered, with the only lasting effect being a deadening of the pain receptors and what I would surmise was further non-fatal damage to the nervous system.  This obviously had the effect of making Piotr all but impervious to pain, and contributed to his continuing success in the pits.  However, this also meant wounds he endured would often go unnoticed, and suppurate. Again that proto-Astartes physiology kept him going, but he had earned himself a new moniker: ‘Piotr the Foul’.

Further attempts on his life by jealous slave-masters failed and failed again. Until somebody unleashed a large basket of Cobras (a venomous serpent of Hind on Olde Terra) in his quarters.  The envenomed bites of these serpents were ultimately what did for him (partially evidenced by over two dozen crushed serpents in his rooms), although, according to local records, no cadaver was allegedly recovered.

I opine that perhaps Piotr the Foul somehow found his way back into the service of Thrixis, although at this time there is no evidence to support this theory.

I remain
Your Servant


Fergus Ronayne









Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Heralds of Nurgle #4

++++data packet rec'd++++
++++querying++++
++++code verified++++
++++PRIORITY LEVEL VERMILLION GAMMA++++
++++recommend immediate attention++++
++++messenger = Ronayne, F++++
++++designation = Ordo Malleus; Interrogator 1st Class++++
++++access granted++++

Septicemius of the Shroud
Master,

I fear I am the bearer of grim tidings indeed.  My researches at the Administratum and the central Ordos were interrupted this day by a message of grave importance from our Rogue Trader associate, the Lady Dremelza Halifax (please see below). With but the vaguest shadow of uncertainty, it is my opinion that this ties into both the Thrixis Matter, as well as the recent daemonic incursions plaguing (no pun intended) the coreward fringes of the sector.  Not only this, but more worryingly still, it points toward the recent entanglements the Death Guard traitor legion (may the Emperor strike them from existence!) seen in both the Abstruse and Seriphos sectors over the last several years.

The rest is exactly as I received it.

++++cypher decrypting++++
++++code verified++++
++++messenger = Halifax, D++++
++++designation = Agent; code name "Modest Mouse"++++
++++flag = red/urgent++++
++++access granted++++

Fergus,

I do apologise for the rushed message, but thought it best to dispense with the usual frippery and niceties given the circumstances.  Our latest run took us through the Odelisk system, where we called in to collect some cargo. The details are unimportant. While taking some refreshments I met with an old acquaintance from the trade, with whom I exchange the odd spurious folk tale and bit of news etc. etc. He related a strange tale indeed, which I suspect had already been retold several times, and thus may have lost detail through so called 'Oolian Whispers' (which reminds me, I have a related bit of Olde Terran trivia for you next time we meet - 'Chinese Whispers').

It would seem an ancient wreck has been discovered on some barren back water world after a tip off. It would break the unspoken rule amongst the Trading Class to name the individual that subsequently went to see what they might salvage in terms of archaeotech and general resalable scrap. For argument's sake, we will call him Basil.  


The crashed vessel was heavily corroded and carried pre-Heresy identifiers and colours of the Death Guard traitor legion.  It was clear that the vessel had lain planetside for millenia. On closer inspection, the impact damage itself appeared minimal, which is suggestive of a well controlled crash landing. There did not appear to be any sign of catastrophic weapons damage to suggest the vessel had been shot down. In summary, the external hull was effectively intact.

Once an entrance had been cut with melta beams (the actual traditional means of ingress were all too heavily corroded to open), it was clear that the internal systems were more or less functional, although it would appear that life support had either been disengaged, or had failed at some stage. Auspex readings indicated no signs of life even down to bacterial level.  However, even the most dim-witted schola pupil knows the reputation of the Death Guard, and boarding was undertaken with all due caution - afterall, what good is salvage if you don't live to profit from it?

As it turned out, there was allegedly very little portable materiel of much worth to be found (although this may be a tall tale to discourage other opportunists!), and little evidence of what had become of the crew and legionaries themselves. Which is not to say there were no intriguing discoveries.

On following an auto-repeating vox pulse the medicae deck there was a hermetically and magnetically sealed laboratory, clearly marked out with biohazard warnings and stroboscopic light sequences. A large armaglass viewing window showed that inside was a hulking yet  heavily corroded suit of terminator class plate and a huge powered weapon in appearance much like a primitive scythe. Little else was in evidence apart from a large, greasy looking stain on the laboratory floor, and a red, blinking light on a data terminal.

Basil had had the foresight to bring with him some kind of data-junkie (he'd discovered from some Hive or other on some Emperor forsaken world) who was able to hack into the on-board datastacks to extract some valuable information. 


It would seem that the vessel was the flag ship of a member of Mortarion's inner circle (infamously known as the Death Shroud).  This particular individual had been known as Gideous Voyen, and had also served time in the ranks as an apothecary to the 7th Company of the legion.  Upon elevation to the Death Shroud, Voyen had maintained an interest in the matters of the medicae on a more experimental basis, and spent much time in the study of pathogens and poisons, and the application of such as weapons of war. 

There are also notations of interactions with an individual named as 'Necrosius', apparently a former member of the Legion's Librarius prior to the edict of Nikaea. Necrosius, the data states, was (or is for all we know) a human student of numerology and ritual.  There are reports of an attempted summoning of some foul creature of the aethyr which went, er, wrong. At least as far as I can see.  The tale as I heard it indicates that they got more than they bargained for, and some kind of plague daemon psychically and physically attached itself to the unfortunate Voyen who had innocently been passing by (realistically, how innocent could he be? We've all read our history at the schola, Thrice damned Barraban filth!).  Showing an unimaginable amount of willpower, Voyen had made his way to the medicae deck and sealed himself within his lab. There he injected himself with all manner of pathogens and venoms, in an effort to rid himself of the daemon, trusting to his Astartes physiology to keep him alive and filter out the harmful tinctures. Needless to say, it appears his efforts were for naught, as his body and mind, weakened by the toxins coursing through his veins ultimately saw his resolve fail, and the daemonic entity was thus able to possess him body and soul. 

Apparently what followed was unclear, but seems to indicate that the daemon then disappeared back into the aethyr, taking Voyen's physical body with it, leaving behind his terminator armour.


As I mentioned earlier, Fergus, this may all be spurious nautical twaddle of the type often bandied about between grizzled old space-dogs. If you do choose to investigate, I wouldn't open that laboratory up if I were you...

Whilst I remember, a nice case of the finest Vostroyan Cigarillos has found it's way into my possession... the usual arrangement when next we meet, I assume?

Yours

Lady Dremellza Halifax
Rogue Trader of the Abstruse Sector
By Imperial Decree

Master, I will leave it to you to make of this what you will. However, in the unlikely event that you have forgotten, with everything else that has been happening of late, Necrosius is listed as an alias of Thrixis.  Just how old is this Thrixis character anyway? It all strikes me as rather odd!

I remain your servant,

Fergus Ronayne
Interrogator First Class
Ordo Malleus









Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Heralds of Nurgle #3

++++data packet rec'd++++
++++querying++++
++++code verified++++
++++messenger = Ronayne, F++++
++++designation = Ordo Malleus; Interrogator 1st Class++++
++++access granted++++

Tsetse the Majestic

Greetings Master,

It would seem that my researches have borne further fruit, this day.  I have requisitioned an algorhythmic difference engine from the Administratum to enable me to cross reference terms with greater efficiency. It did not take long for me to flag up a matter of clear relevance to the Thrixis Matter.

This latest discovery relates to an outlying world (of a most pleasant temperate climate, records show), Gibraltar’s Folly, which had fallen back into a feudal state of society following a Luddite uprising approximately one millennium back, sidereal. As it had fallen out of contact with the sector, and of course the wider Imperium, it was viewed by the Schola Progenium as an ideal place to set up a camouflaged observation station, planet-side, from which the society could be studied. Coincidentally, from enquiries with the Ordos, it would appear that the Ordo Hereticus and Ordo Malleus had both hacked into the Schola’s datafeeds, as we all know very well the dangers that can spawn from backward societies with low levels of technology.

Another interesting factor that the Ordos had not been aware of at the time is the presence on world of a clandestine sect of the Mechanicum, that had set up a hidden facility with a specialisation biological study and the engineering of weaponised microbial life forms. With hindsight, it is clear that tech-heresy was in evidence at several levels of severity. Alas, as many have found over aeons, security and safety can only be as efficient as the intel that informs it.
I fear that I may be rambling somewhat, as it is approximately 40 hours since I last slept, but the information in this missive took some digesting and unravelling, so I beg you indulge me if this narrative meanders at all. To this end, I will try to summarise, and have attached any information of pertinence for you to peruse at your leisure.

The aforementioned observation station on Gibraltar’s Folly was located in a nation known as Maltesia.  A monarch had arisen to rule this peaceful nation (Crumbe); the closest translation of his name would be akin to the name from Olde Terra, ‘John’. Now, King John had a keen interest in astronomy, and would often be espied from the observation station making his way into the wooded foothills that rose close to his castle, of a clear evening. He had developed (or had had developed for him) some kind of rudimentary observation implement to aid him in his star gazing.
On one such evening, he was observed returning to his castle in the company of a cloaked and hooded stranger, deep in conversation. This was to be the last time King John was to be spotted indulging his passion for astronomy, even though many clear evenings came and went, as the moons of Gibraltar’s Folly waxed and waned.

As time passed, the once peaceful nation of Crumbe became disorderly, and it’s people fearful and furtive. It would seem that people had been disappearing (although the Schola records are somewhat vague here). On the rare occasions that John was seen outside, always he would be seen in the company of the hooded stranger, with his ear cocked to hear whatever ‘advice’ he was being given. Always he would frown, always he would conduct himself in a surly manner, prone to sudden rages and sudden doubts of melancholy, punctuated by screaming and wracking sobs.
With reference to the disappearances amongst the populace, for once, very complete records (of which I am sure the Mechanicum must somehow be unaware) indicate that individuals were being removed from their hovels of a night, under the cover of some kind of observation-baffling technology, to swiftly perish (excuse my fondness for Olde Terran terms, here my Master, but it seems apt) as human guinea-pigs in experiments.

Now there is a gap which occurs in the records (of both the Mechanicum and the Schola observation station), but, I surmise that King John and his entourage (no doubt under the direction of the hooded stranger) had somehow gained undetected access to the Mechanicum facility. This obviously struck me as strange, given the high level of security and surveillance tech employed by the Mechanicum, in stark contrast to the medieval standard of the nation of Crumbe. Speculation asides, short snippets of very grainy pict footage survived what was to follow, and indicate that King John freed the surviving test subjects, and wept whilst embracing the corpses of those that were already dead. They were also able to somehow exit the facility undetected.

Of course, the Mechanicum soon became aware of what had transpired, and there was uproar. However, by then it was of course too late. The apex of their groundbreaking (but morally dubious) research and meddling was loose. They had manufactured a large type of pesticide resistant parasite-carrying fly (similar to certain species of botfly). Although, thankfully, they were somewhat short lived. These chimerical creations are noted to have carried a most virulent strain of bio-engineered ultra-Malaria in their saliva, and transmitted this via bites. Perhaps more disturbing was the stinger, which combined with an ovipositor that would puncture the skin and leave behind parasitic maggots that would feast upon the flesh of their dying host before pupating into mature adult flies, thus perpetuating the life-cycle of this efficient bio-weapon.
























The Schola observation station was thankfully hermetically sealed, and so the staff lived, and were able to document key points of what followed in the next 24 hours. As the population of Crumbe, swiftly followed by the rest of Gibraltar’s Folly sickened and died in agony, King John did not. Although he became bloated with disease, all a-wriggle with maggots and cloaked with parasitic flies, he was seen to comparatively prosper.


















Over the next seven weeks (Terran standard), the parasitic flies laid waste to all the native fauna down to the tiniest insect before they themselves were finally spent, and expired. King John was seen to exit his castle one last time, carrying his sceptre of state, and disappeared into the wooded hills.
Immediately following this, a small star faring vessel was observed launching from the planet’s surface.

From this I deduce, but cannot be certain that Thrixis or one of his thralls had a hand in this debacle.
With this grim recounting summarily concluded, I remain

Your servant,

Fergus Ronayne
Interrogator First Class
Ordo Malleus







Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Heralds of Nurgle #2

++++data packet rec'd++++
++++querying++++
++++code verified++++
++++messenger = Ronayne, F++++
++++designation = Ordo Malleus; Interrogator 1st Class++++
++++access granted++++

Papule the Corpulent
Master Daubenton,

Rumours are common from world to world of deviancy in the extreme being rife amongst the societal structures of the hive spyre nobilitie.  Often this transpires to be naught but the indolent, self indulgent rich partaking of alcohol, narcotics and the pleasures of the flesh. Seldom, as I am sure you are aware, such deplorable behaviours spiral downwards into outright depravity and worship of the Forbidden Powers (may the Emperor curse them).

Whilst pursuing several leads in the Administratum data-stacks, an unexpected correlation came to light which will prove of interest in our wider investigations into the Thrixis matter, particularly given our recent encounter with the scions of the Dark Prince, Slaanesh.

It would seem that several hundred years ago, certain of the noble caste of Vesuvion Secondaglio hive had been spicing up their orgies by indulging themselves in the forbidden lore of Slaanesh. Although, again there is nothing unique about this manner of perfidy, the time period in question does seem to correlate with the presence in the sub-sector of (I shall make an educated assumption here) none other than Thrixis himself. I assume that in an effort to spread dissent, he made available certain proscribed texts in order that certain ceremonies be enacted.

As you may not be aware, several cult members were apprehended by a colleague of yours, one Inquisitrix Tharanga Singh of the Ordo Hereticus. These sorry individuals were of course put to the question. Data capture and full transcripts were available from the Ordos Abstrusse when I inquired (for a wonder, given recent frustrations in a similar vein!) and are attached to this missive for your later perusal.

In summation, it was found that standard methods of putting these wretches to the question were not availing much success. It would seem that rather than inflicting torture, the withholding of the same oddly produced the required effect. Perhaps not a surprise given that buggery and beatings could be counted among the tamer pastimes of a cult such as the one in question. However, rather than bore you with the details of their admittedly broad spectrum of unpalatable behaviours, I will relate one particular anecdote that will no doubt surprise you.

It would seem that two of the ring leading cult members, one Lord and Lady Fatoush ran into some amount of trouble during the course of their extended carnal pursuits.  It would seem that Lady Fatoush fell foul of a rather exotic strand of an ailment of ancient Terra known as syphilis or the French Pox (which has long been though to be extinct). This initially presented itself in the form of reddish papules and nodules, before developing into strange 'gummas' which you and I might more commonly refer to as non-cancerous growths. Now, this particular strain of the ailment seemed to develop very rapidly indeed, and proceeded to the stage of wild hallucinations and madness, as lesions formed in her brain.




















Quite unexpectedly, Lord Fatoush was overcome with despair and heartbreak, and turned away from his patron deity in favour of the plague God, Nurgle. It is claimed he wailed and moaned and begged for seven times seven days and nights for Lady Fatoush to be spared the dread French Pox, before his prayers were (in a manner of speaking) answered. As a minor aside, as we have heard before in the course of our investigations, it is held by the advocates of Nurgle that said deity has a sense of humour. Perhaps no surprise then, that Lady Fatoush was spared the French Pox, only to be struck down by Necrotising fasciitis. 

In his grief, Lord Fatoush proceeded to eat himself to death and his bloated corpse was found surrounded by the rotting remains of mounds and mounds of food.

If there is a moral to this, I am unsure. It does serve to reinforce the fact that the Chaos powers are indeed fickle and untrustworthy. Woe betide those that would meddle in that aetherial realm.

The Emperor Protects.

Your servant, as ever,

Fergus Ronayne
Interrogator First Class
Ordo Malleus












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