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Ezekiel scanned the battlefield. Thick smoke wafted through the streets. Debris was strewn everywhere and the clamour of battle rang in his ears. Master Sammael's men had expertly advanced, tactical squads leap-frogging each other while the devastators and the rhino lay down a curtain of covering fire. But, now they were pinned down. A heavy stream of heavy weapons fire streamed down towards his force. Heavy bolter shells smashed masonry in to fine dust, the red dust mingling with the black smoke to make the whole scene look surreal. Hidden but previously silent weapons platforms would suddenly activate. These were not controlled by humans, and thus not easily discernible in the psychic realm. Ezekiel's psychic powers were stretched to the maximum as he tried to discern the enemy dispositions and interfere with the psyche of the opposition. Centuries of battle experience warned him of some anomaly, his inner mind constantly aware of some potential catastrophe. Azadael had made rapid progress towards the centre of the settlement, while his own force was being slowed down drastically by the sheer volume of heavy fire. He reassessed the situation in his ocular display, a single thought activating the tactical dispositions in it. Azadael's force was somewhat exposed, especially in their rear, though that region was under control of their brother marines from the Relictors. Although the Relictors were not aware of the Dark Angels objectives, they were certainly informed of their presence and would keep the northern corridor clear. Azadael himself had nearly reached the centre of the settlement accompanied by an assault squad. The tactical squads were slowly following suit. The centre of the settlement had an emptiness that he could not fathom. He reached out with his mind once again, touching and weakening those who faced Azadael. Suddenly with a sickening sensation he withdrew as realisation hit him. A sharp warning flashed from Ezekiel's mind with instantaneous speed towards Azadael,s mind.

Azadael was fast approaching the central silo that seemed to have a sense of deep foreboding in its vicinity. The tactical squad covering his advance had just demolished the entrance with an accurate krak missile strike. The assault squad was keeping pace with him, when he received Ezekiel's warning. The gravity of his position struck him like a hammer, as he willed his brothers to stop in their tracks. The entire silo exploded outwards an instant later, flinging the assault troopers and Azadael to the ground so much like rag dolls. The explosion was no ordinary one. The accompanying psychic blast hit Azadael with such force that the librarian dropped his force sword and nearly passed out. A high pitched ululating scream, unnatural and despondent, emanated from within the debris. An overwhelming wave of nausea and revulsion passed over the members of Azadael's strike force. Ezekiel felt it at the other end of the settlement instantaneously. Striding forth from within the crumbling ruins of the silo was a foul being, clad in exposed sinews and taut muscles with a ram's head and hoofed feet. Four muscular limbs protruded from its torso, two ending in vicious claws and a massive sword held in the other. The horrifying yet enticing aberration that was a greater daemon of Slaanesh stood imposingly in the middle of the settlement, and let out a screech of wanton pleasure as it spied the fallen librarian. Fighting back waves of rolling revulsion and realising the danger, the tactical squads at the perimeter began to advance to support the assault squads, bracing themselves to meet the foul abomination. The venerable dreadnought, roaring in defiance at the presence of such chaos filth began to charge towards the centre, the massive power fist flexing expectantly. A staccato of shells roared towards the abomination as the assault cannon went on continuous fire, the massive reactive shells impacting on the daemon and tearing chunks of its physical self away. Two krak missiles streaked from the tactical squads imploding within the substance of the entity, sending the daemon staggering backwards. The constant impact of bolter and assault cannon fire was momentarily forcing it back slowly, allowing precious seconds for the librarian and his squad to recover their composure. Ezekiel saw all this happen in his minds eye, silently berating himself for not having foreseen the events unfolding. There was hope as the unflinching devotion to the emperor seemed to be forcing the greater daemon back for a moment. As he barked out orders, while throwing caution to the wind and charging forward, he felt the presence of yet another danger.

Their attention focussed on protecting Azadael, the first inclination of danger that struck the Angels of Absolution was a storm of bolter fire from the northern plains. Half of the rear most tactical squad went down, treacherously attacked from their rear, exploding bolter rounds throwing them face down in the ground. A missile exploded in the rear of the venerable dreadnought, smashing the power supply and crippling the right leg. Unable to move and turn, the ancient warrior screamed in rage, realising the treachery from their rear. Any other force would have been caught off-balance by the assault from their rear. But these were space marines, born from the gene seed of Jonson. Reacting with remarkable speed the bone colour armoured warriors formed a defensive circle. The heavy weapons continued o pour fire in to the raging daemon while the rest returned fire towards their unseen attackers.

Anger nearly overwhelming his battle sense, Ezekiel charged, calling for desperate strikes from the gunships. This was a desperate hour and the heretics had cleverly shielded their invocation of the daemon. More could easily penetrate the ether and appear. The gunships came screaming down, flying recklessly close to the ground and laying a carpet of flying projectiles and exploding ordnance. Heretics, weapons platforms and buildings vaporised in the inferno as the dark Angels charged through the explosions.

As the attention of the tactical squads split between the attack in their rear and the danger up front, it provided respite to the foul being. The greater daemon slowly and menacingly advanced towards Azadael, hissing in deviant pleasure as each bolter strike caused a wound. The assault squad, recovering from the original explosion threw themselves at the abomination. However their valour and strength were no match for the horrendously powerful entity powered by the pure substance of the warp. As Azadael watched in disbelief the horrendous scream of the daemon of Slaanesh ripped through the air, the air around the creature visibly altering between realities. The assault marines charge slowed by the magic of the daemon, their reactions slowed to a stand still, the entire squad were wiped out in a mist of blood and flurry of shorn limbs. As daemon stood upright and hissed again in pleasure at the sight of the devastation, receiving another krak missile in to its mid rift for its troubles,

Azadael focussed his mind. Drawing the energies of the warp and channelling his pure faith in to his force sword, he charged for the emperor. Time slowed as the battle focussed in the centre of the settlement. He felt Ezekiel nearby. He saw the daemon beckon to him, awaiting his rush. He saw interrogator-chaplain Hanan and his assault squad arrive over the roofs of the eastern building, power weapons at the ready. He saw the venerable dreadnought immobilised on the battle field and the damaged gunship plough in to the ground with an earth shattering shudder. He saw his men suppress the attack from the rear. He saw the blue arcs of lightning appear in response to Ezekiel's call as the Deathwing teleported from the strike cruiser.. and he saw his destiny! The daemon lashed out with an arcing swipe, calculated to decapitate the librarian and he rolled underneath the blow. He had one chance and only one. No one but a primarch had bested such a beast in single combat. Channelling all his hatred and his purity of mind in to the force sword he thrust it with all his might in to the belly of the beast. The light of purity and the darkness of chaos met with an audible thunder. The scream of the daemon was even louder. This was not one of pleasure but of agony. Azadael focussed hard and released every iota of his psychic energy through the sword in to the beast.

A cavalcade of cannon shells impacted on the daemon, dissolving its physical form faster than it could re-knit it. The scream of agony continued in to a wail. Smoke and unnatural clouds emanated from it as black ichor oozed from the belly. The foul being lashed out blindly as the five Deathwing terminators poured a veritable avalanche of fire in to its head, targeting the vital areas. Azadael was exhausted beyond belief, every drop of his strength had been channelled in to the force sword and the daemon was beaten. It was just a matter of time. He couldn't see for the clouds of dust yet he held the weapon lodged within the being, avoiding the blind swings of the beast. Ezekiel was close, and would lend his considerable powers to defeat this enemy. Then suddenly there was a blinding flash, an explosion of smoke and ichor outwards which swirled back towards its centre. Everyone stood rooted to the ground as the firing died down. Ezekiel suddenly felt the disappearance of the entity. The firing from the north ceased and an eerie quietness descended upon the settlement. In the centre as the smoke cleared, there lay a single force sword. Of Azadael there was no sign.
Doctrinae Unforgiven
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Gathering of Angels
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Codex Astartes Angelus Mortis
Legio Infitiales Venia
Battle Honours
Chronicled By ( Shadow Guard )
This section provides the narrative history of the events that took place during the Gathering of Angels campaign conducted by the Inner Circle, during Abaddon's Thirteenth Black Crusade. This is in no way the official GW version nor is it in anyway an attempt to infringe on their IP. There are many versions of imperial history buried within the sands of time and this is but just one of them. Read on if you dare!
GoA Volume I: Revelation
GoA Volume II: Nest of Vipers
GoA Volume IV: Battle for Caliban
GoA Volume III: The Grand Circle
GoA Appendices
GoA Volume V: Desperate Hours