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Barradon the reviler sat in his command chair with an authority that could only be derived from pure unadulterated terror. His bloated and bulky form, deformed over the millennia from the innumerable gifts bestowed upon him by his patron lord, the lord of decay, lazily filled every inch of space in the massive structure that served both as his throne as well as his command seat. His armour was corroded beyond recognition, fusing with his body and pock marked just as badly as his own flesh. His deathly grey skin was puckered with bulging bubo constantly erupting and exuding a steady stream of pus that accumulated at the base of his chair. Masses of small fleshy beings sloshed around within the pool of purulent decay, rejoicing in whatever way their tiny minds could in the splendour of their lord. His right arm ended in an iron gauntlet, a testament to his victory over a weakling warrior of the carrion god. It bore the emblem of the Iron Hands space marine chapter, the bionic gauntlet wrenched from its still living owner on the death fields of Demardere. His victory over the Iron Hands had availed him of not only the bionic hand, but a myriad of pestulent gifts, the greatest of which was the plague sword which remained at his side at all times. His most recent advancement, received in the midst of battle in the space surrounding this doomed imperial planet were the five tentacles that arose from his fingers in the left hand. Dripping vile putrescence, they allowed him to link directly with the ships machine mind by locking his tentacles within data ports and command consoles.

Slowly he opened his eyes, awakening from his reverie, as those unfortunate enough to be stationed in his command bridge, cringed in anticipation as the aura of decay washed over them. He had been linking his senses to that of the ship, allowing him to see and feel everything the ships auguries could detect. His patron lord had also gifted him with warp vision, which also allowed him to see in to the empyrean with some effect. He didn't understand a lot of the changes that his enhanced body had undergone in the past few centuries, but he adored every gift that had been lavished upon him. He was a chosen warrior. He was a true follower of the lord of pestilence, chosen for his devotion. A warrior gifted with a force beyond comparison. A fervent devotee who had been entrusted a mighty armada which would help bring the followers of the emperor to their knees. His gifts were unique. They allowed him to feel like the battleship he commanded. He could sense the cold emptiness of space touching the adamantium sheath of his ship as if it were his own skin. He could sense the death agonies of his enemies as their ships became fiery graves marking the demise of the weakling emperor. Every time a torpedo hit or an energy beam struck his ship he suffered with it, but that was the price for greatness. It was the kind of greatness that his former emperor sadly lacked even though it had been thrust upon him. It was certainly the kind of greatness that he was ever willing to reach out and grab, regardless of the price, and regardless of his soul.

So it came to pass that, such a vile excuse for a man, little of his humanity visible under the constantly seeping ooze of pustulent decay, was destined to lead one of the invasion fleets of the ruinous powers. Ensconced in the massive adamantium clad leviathan that was his flagship, this warmaster, Barradon the reviler, led his fleet once more to battle. "Death of Hope" was the pride of the nurgle fleet of decay. A Repulsive class grand cruiser from the days of the great crusade it had lost all outward semblance of human construction, the rotting decay so characteristic of the bloated god of chaos had completely transformed the ship's hull in to a morass of disease. In appearance she may resemble a disease ridden gangrene soaked limb, but in function she remained at her youth. Designed at a time when technology was capable of creating engines powerful enough to propel these behemoths to combat speeds, only a dozen or so remained functional within the chaos fleets. In firepower she could almost match the giant battleships, the rows of weapon batteries and lance turrets proudly awaiting their next call to action. In line behind her were two pairs of heavy cruisers, of the Styx and Hades classes. A squadron of three slaughter class cruisers floated majestically to the left flank while three carnage class vessels mirrored them on the right. The flanking cruisers were arrayed in a vertical plane so that they formed a protective layer in all three dimensions. The path of the battle fleet was heralded by numerous small escort vessels, mostly infidel class raiders. Iconoclast destroyers prowled menacingly ahead to seek out the enemy and bring them to battle with their torpedoes. The entire fleet was arrayed in a cone shaped arrowhead formation. Lumbering within the central space of the cone was the grand prize that they guarded so jealously. Fifteen massive, heavily bloated and decaying super transports laboriously struggled to keep up with the sleek warships that guarded them.

Barradon took a deep breath in and slowly closed his eyes again. He stretched his sense around him, through the adamantine bulkheads and the layer upon layer of compartments of his flagship, through its outer hull and outwards in to the cold dark space. He felt the sensation of desperate fear and abject terror seeping in the universe. The final agonies of the dying, the nightmare horrors of the living, the sweat, the blood, they all felt sweet to him. The sweet taste of victory mingled with his purulent saliva. His tentacles slithered in to the consoles as he took in the augury readings from the flagship's sensor array. To their right in the distance he could see the world of Solar Mariatus. In the distance in the opposing direction he could feel the fear in Kasr Partox. The space between those two planets, particularly that surrounding St Josmane's Hope, was littered with space debris. The burnt out hulks of unfortunate battleships and transports, the flotsam of space battles. But what endeared to him most was the sense of desperation that emanated across the empyrean like a beacon in a storm. Its source was none other than his prize, St Josmane's Hope. He smiled inwardly at the irony of his flag ships name, "Death of Hope" He had followed the events on this planet closely during his long journey. He had looked on joyously as the Imperium fell back under the relentless chaos onslaught from within and without. He was disturbed at the surprise counter attack by the false emperor's servants. He didn't think they had it in them for a good fight. He felt satisfied that the planet would not fall until his arrival. He licked his lips with relish at the thought of initiating a planetary bombardment on this prison world, he didn't particularly care who he killed, imperial lackeys or the hordes of the lost and the damned. He would then follow it with a glorious space borne assault from his ships. St Josmane's Hope was the stepping stone, and he would deliver it to the despoiler. It was like a ripe fruit, ready for the picking. He could see the planet on the huge vid-display screens as the bridge staff hurried along completing preparations for the imminent action. The visual display of the gaol planet further enhanced his already amorous psyche, lusting for the death and destruction he was about to unleash. He could see the distant flashes of intermittent space battles as the imperial ships contested the space with his allies. His brothers in the Deathguard may have found glory on planets like Amistel, but here he was, about to take the first planet of the Cadian system. "Glory to father nurgle and blessed be the gifts he bestows upon his true servants!" mused Barradon to himself.

Then he felt the first sensations. Long before any of the ships augers had registered it his warp attuned senses had detected an imbalance. Suddenly alert and actively probing for this disturbance, seeking out the source of the emanation, he pondered his feelings. His tentacles desperately coaxed the ships consoles for an answer. His guttural voice boomed over the bridge vox-caster, demanding answers. The messages were relayed in an instant to the captains of the other capital ships. Yet the answer eluded him. Something was amiss, but he could not finger it. He looked through the sensor augers once again and satisfied that there was nothing in the physical realm to threaten them looked again at the vid-display of the planet. It was at that moment, with a sickening sensation the full impact of the unfolding event hit his senses, as the planet itself seemed to flare momentarily. Circuits exploded on the bridge and consoles went up in smoke burning their unfortunate operators in an instant. The vid-display screen blew in to a thousand fragments, the shards decapitating those nearby. Everywhere in the warship, emergency klaxons wailed as electrical systems malfunctioned and shut down. The whine of emergency power starting up was just reaching his ears when a psychic explosion of utter and absolute terror of millions of souls suddenly hit his minds like a sledgehammer. Perversely enjoying the sheer terror and at the same time desperately struggling to determine the cause for this event he pulled himself off his command chair. With a sickening realisation in the pit of his stomach, he rushed with a speed previously never attributed to him, towards the nearest view port to see the planet, already knowing what to expect.

There, majestically and in slow motion the entire planet of St Josmane's Hope was breaking up. Seismic shock waves large enough to tear the continents apart were sending massive stellar shock waves that could be felt by the closest warships. Barradon looked on in utter disbelief. His prize, his path to fame, his stepping stone to greatness, was slowly tearing itself apart. He could not comprehend that the cowardly followers of that carcass on terra had somehow set in motion events that were destroying the planet, killing millions of prisoner-cultists and invading troops in the process. Deaths in their millions accompanied by solid palpable terror hit his minds like a thunderstorm, causing him to stagger and sending his pet nurglings scattering. Struggling to stand, stunned beyond belief, he screamed in rage. A long drawn out wailing scream of frustrated anger echoed throughout the ship drowning out all other noises and chilling the bones of those who heard it. Amidst the panoply of desperate sensations emanating from the planet in the throes of a violent death, the first inclination Barradon had of danger was the seven fireballs erupted in empty space. He swirled around in time to see two of his cruisers and five transports explode in to millions of fragments.
Doctrinae Unforgiven
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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