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,
Interrogator 1st Class