Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Heralds of Nurgle #4

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

Septicemius of the Shroud

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++++


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?


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++++
++++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++++
++++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

Monday, 20 June 2016

Heralds of Nurgle #1

Quite some time ago I built up some Heralds of Nurgle for my Daemons of Nurgle force, using mainly the Putrid Blight Kings models. I finished them last week, and here is the first one...

Anthraxicor of Worms
During the course of my investigations into rumours of certain proscribed texts in the outlying areas and the depths of the Abstruse Sector, I learned that on the agri-world of Raynard's Pasture, in the depths of the Abstruse Sector, there is a legend that is still told in the tavernas, when the workers are in their cups. Nobody has been able to credit to its veracity, as no information exists in the data stacks of the local Administratum to confirm or deny this tale of strange events which may or may not (as the case may be) have occurred at some unspecified point several hundred years ago. Suffice to say it occurred before the great grandparents of the drinkers of today were even a twinkle in the eye of their own mothers and fathers. I shall leave it to you to speculate, my lord.

One year, back in the mists of time, Raynard's Pasture had allegedly been beset with unsettled weather, plant disease and other unfavourable vagaries of the local climate. It seemed inevitable that the global ploin harvest would fail, and the mega-herds of beouf-grunters (an indigenous type of bovine domesticated for meat and dairy purposes; docile, yet most unpleasant to look upon, resembling an odd combination of an arachnid of some kind, and a cow of Olde Terra; but all would agree that they taste similar to chicken) were sickening and dying by the score from an unknown ailment, seemingly inflicted by some kind of off-world parasite accidentally brought planet-side somehow...  Indeed, many neighbouring worlds depended (and still depend to this day) on the produce of Raynard's Pasture. But, at that time, it did seem that they would in turn, perish from hunger.

Driven to the point of desperation, workers lived in fear, and being relatively simple folk, were prone to superstition.  Even the planetary governor himself (nobody can decide what his name may have been, if indeed he had existed at all) was something of a superstitious fool; although a generally pious fellow, he could not shake the sense that Raynard's Pasture had drifted somehow out of the Emperor's holy light.  Pray and beseech the Emperor though they might, nothing seemed to change.

The situation was bleak, until one fateful and overcast day, the governor was visited by a mysterious stranger, who may have gone by the name of Thryxll, or Twyztrx, or something of that ilk. All would agree that it was nigh unpronounceable, and therefore must be unspellable, and ultimately it's veracity could never be proved. Obviously. What had occurred during this meeting is the subject of some speculation, but the popular version holds that the governor received instruction of an ‘arcane nature’ from the mysterious visitor.

And what might such instruction of an arcane nature entail? What might it have hoped to achieve? Word around the various barrooms and tavernas popularly hold thus (as related by an elderly yokel type who wished not to be named):
“Yer Guvnor, well, he spake to this strange feller, like, name o’ old Thrixamabobs or summink, who gone an’ tell ‘im to beseech yon fertility God o’these parts ‘ereabouts, “Worms” dey called ‘em, if ye can believe dat. Now some’d tell ‘ee that ‘ee be a benign bein’, dis Worms, ere. Tha’s not strickly true, though. Not to say ‘ee warn’t possessed ov a peverse sense a ‘yoomur, though. Not that any man worth ‘on ‘is salt’ll admit to really believin’ it, loik.
"Well, dey says dat on dat very noit, some juvies was out in yon orchard jus’ over der thoroughfayre smokin’ dat der’ rag-weed what dey used ta smoke in them days. N’ dey saw ‘im, der Guvnor, stuffin’ ploins up ‘is bare arse, loik. All chantin’ an’ such ee were.
Then ee wanders off, they says, so dese juvies, loik, dey thinks its funny to follow ‘im, so they does. Roight down yon lane, dere, to the pastures. And dey sees ‘im all daubin’ ‘imself wi’ shoite, n’ dancin’ about n’ that. As if dat toipe o’ behaviour ain’t mad enough for ye, then he gone n’ had congress wi’ one o’ them beouf-grunters. You’d ne’er catch me doin’ tha’. Norra chance. Norronyerbloodynelly, loik.”

 Another old gadger who was seated nearby chipped in at this point:

“Bleedin’ beouf-grunter, well it gone an’ate ‘im up after he’d finished, n’all. Can’t say as oi blames the beastie, loik. Some fair indignity, that is. Well, next day loik, when yer ‘erders gone down the pasture loik, they sees this beouf-grunter all keeled o’er on it’s soid, loik. N’ as dey be watchin’ it bursts roight open an summink come crawlin’ up out on’its belly. Shaped loik a man dey says, but wid a spoiders arm, n’ der moind ova spoider n’all. Locals ‘ereabouts took ta callin’ ‘im Anthraxicor.”

From what I can gather, the blight on the crops and the parasites that beset the beouf-grunter herds allegedly dissipated over the course of the next day and night. Being an educated fellow as I am, I put no great store in such superstitious twaddle and windbaggery as this, but the locals still almost believe this “Anthraxicor” character can be called on to “save the harvest”, should the need ever arise.
I find the entire concept to be utterly preposterous, although I will admit we should be cautious, as we’ve been surprised by the veracity of even more ludicrous nonsense in the past.
Yours, as ever, in Service to his Holiness the God-Emperor,
Fergus Ronayne
Interrogator 1st Class

Ordo Malleus

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Ork kill team update: ammo runtz

In an effort to bring a small but drawn out project to a close, I opted to plough through a bunch of ammo runtz to round things out. Nowt sparkling, I'm afraid, but they'll do the job well enough.

One of these is straight out of the Nobz kit, the other 2 are kitbashed from gnoblar trappers with grot heads. Like the rest of the kill team, they've been mounted on Scibor resin bases.

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