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Gravad the chosen looked on with grim satisfaction at the string of explosions. It was the culmination of weeks of stealthy work. A worthy accomplishment indeed, for a disciple of the greatest advocate of terror by stealth. He looked around slowly, his movements slow and purposeful, his eyes easily seeing in the low levels of reflected light of the explosions. His four accomplices were all accounted for, their life signs flickering in one corner of his helmet mounted display. They had arrived in a dilapidated old explorer vessel, not fit for the likes of Gravad. But the mission required stealth and there was none better at it than the Chosen of Night Haunter. He had walked in the shadow of the pale skinned primarch with the gift of prescience. Ten millennia ago he had been trained by the emperor's son who had been haunted by visions of the future. From the darkness ridden alleys of Nostromo to the blood drenched fields of battle across the universe, he had followed his primarch without question. He had been gifted with one of the earliest versions of the jump pack, leading each assault with increasingly effective stratagems. He had perfected the techniques for infiltration while encumbered by the massive power armoured suits, and for the sudden lightning assaults using the jump packs. He had celebrated in glee on hearing of Night Haunters victory in single combat against the snobbish Dorn. He had remained ready at the head of the legions space ships while the brotherhood of the primarchs met to debate the problem that was Konrad Curze. He had then fled with his primarch at the head of the space fleet back to Nostrmo, laying waste to all that lay before them. He had stood with his leader as the guns of the primarch's flagship commenced the bombardment of their home planet which culminated in its complete and utter destruction. He had accompanied Night Haunter as he fled to the eastern fringes and stood by him as he established their base on Tsagualsa. It was then, at the latter stages of the Horus heresy, he had left the side of his primarch to lead yet another expedition of terror and death. He could never forgive himself for not being present when the cowardly attack by the callidus assassin M'Shen took his primarch's life. He still struggled to understand the ease with which the assassin had penetrated their stronghold, the reason for the absence of the honour guard, and above all the reason for his primarch accepting his fate.

News of the death of Night Haunter had sent Gravad in to a spiral of unmitigated terror and an orgy of destruction not seen in the eastern fringes of the galaxy. He had progressively gravitated towards the powers of chaos, although he had remained firm in the conviction that chaos was a power to be manipulated and not an immortal or divine entity. Such firm conviction was very much the inbuilt belief amongst his kith and kin of the Night Lords legion. As the years became decades and decades evolved in to millennia, the Chosen of Night Haunter, continued the spree of wanton destruction. Gradually gaining control of most of the dispersed bands of his legion he formed them in to a loose conglomeration within the eye of terror. As they spent more and more time within the eye, the influence of the raw energy of the warp gradually transformed them in to composite beings, their armour and raptor jump packs being fused to their bodies. From their hidden bases within the eye, under his leadership, their strike groups ranged far and wide. At times selling their services to any of the enemies of the emperor, and at other times simply attacking targets of as they presented themselves, Gravad wasted no opportunity to take the battle to the Imperium. The revenge for his lord's demise would be long lasting and utterly terrifying to the citizens of the Imperium. He had commenced planning for his current operation decades ago, ever since the enigmatic renegade from the Dark Angels legion had approached him. The reward for the success would be many, least of which would be to see one of the carrion god's lackey legions humbled. That in itself may have been reward enough for him, but he had made other pacts, other deals by himself, that would reap a bitter harvest of the emperor's finest. The ambitious renegade pirate who was willing to escort his invasion fleet, and her cohorts would certainly plan to double cross him after the event. By then it wouldn't matter, for he would have in his possession a much sought after commodity, space marine gene seed of the highest calibre. Then he could command more power and alliances.

He and his command squad had arrived in a dilapidated transport that had made a transient warp drop just outside the system. Transmitting distress signals and requesting help for repairs to their warp drives, they had been totally ignored. The ship had been manipulated to drift towards the asteroid field and at the opportune moment, the five scions of darkness had activated their raptor packs and departed in to the cold void of open space. The completely sealed power armour protected them from the hazards of the vacuum of space as they drifted slowly towards one of the asteroids. Each space marine had a large supply container attached to him by a long tether. The packs contained additional weapons, explosives, implosion devices, communications relays, intercept equipment, sensor augers and much more. They had spent almost a lunar month moving from asteroid to asteroid, hiding and infiltrating, listening and planning. They had discovered a most elaborate set of inter locking sensors and defences, none that were beyond the expertise of the masters of stealth. They had slowly but surely worked their way, forming a safe path for their invasion fleet, carefully laid explosives ready to destroy sensors and weapons platforms as well as the asteroids themselves. They had reached their final destination approximately a week ago. Once again the five lords moved so much like shadows, invisible to the automated sensors of the complex hidden in the centre of the asteroid field. He had been mesmerised momentarily by the cunning and guile of their quarry, the remnants of a battleship, from his own era, fused with a massive asteroid, and converted to a base of operations. They then spent the rest of the time evaluating the defences and planning their strategy as his invasion fleet entered the system on his command. Despite all his efforts, he could not divine the purpose or the affiliation of the facility. That it was likely related to the Dark Angels chapter was obvious, since the renegade space marines who approached him had all the hallmarks of those who were hunted by the Dark Angels. He also had come to know that this may be a repository for the much sought after gene seed. That mere possibility had rewarded him with a visit from the arch alchemist Fabius Bile, and yet another infamous pact had been sealed. His devious mind had further ascertained that the renegade popularly known as "The Voice", spreading discord within the Agripinaa sector had been accorded a high priority by the Dark Angels chapter. Utilising vox recordings of the broadcasts of "The Voice" he had deployed automated systems that repeatedly broadcast a challenge to the sons of Johnson. He relished the opportunity to trap the young lap dogs of the carrion god. As his plan grew from its inception as a lightning strike to one of grand strategic thrust at the heart of a space marine chapter, he had wavered between reality and delusion. Now the pieces were all in place and the time was near. With a single flick of his finger, he had triggered the cascade of explosions and implosions that would clear a path through the asteroid field and its defences. Hidden by the explosions was the activation of communications jamming cogitators, sensor auger interference projectors and direct vox-caster emitters all of which were attuned to the frequencies used by this imperial outpost. All of these were hallmarks of the modus operandi of the Night Lords, to strike fear and confusion in to the enemy before taking the battle field.

Deep in the swirling whirlpool of raw energy that was the empyrean, the massive armada of warships continued their holding pattern. A difficult manoeuvre at the best of times, it required an act of sheer genius to accomplish it near the cascading effects of the eye of terror. Luchas looked through the protected view screens, each one covered in protective sigils and wards, supposedly to add to the efficacy of the Geller field which enabled ships to transit the warp space. He stood at the bridge of the small vessel, dwarfed by the mighty battleships he was accompanying. He had come a long way, since the heady days of the great crusade. He looked through the etched plas-glass window, his vision locked in to the distant past as his mind filtered through old memories. Memories held back over the millennia now rushing back like a monsoon flood. It was a sort of home coming for him after such a long life time. All that would end today and he would become righteous. Born in to the knight hood of Caliban's feudal society, Luchas had considered himself blessed as he had had the opportunity to witness the cleansing of Caliban. He was but a young teenager, but had become a squire to one of the knights through his dedication. Much had happened since, the discovery of the Lion, the cleansing of the forests, the coming of immortal emperor of man and his own ascension to the ranks of the sky warriors. The victories of the great crusade and the defeats at the hands of the aliens, the injuries caused by a giant ork warlord and the resultant confinement to the apothecarium back on Caliban were all but vague memories now. He tried hard to remember the great civil war that broke up Caliban, much of his knowledge of such events being long lost. He did however remember the meeting with his saviour on an unknown planet, a dark hooded man, who commanded respect and one who bore the lion's sword. He had since stood by his side, never faltering, always understanding the damnation they had earned ten thousand years ago. Hunted all their subsequent lives, much of the deeds he was asked to perform were meaningless taken in their own perspective. But he knew in his heart that the enigmatic man with the capacity to rouse the population of a world simply through his oratory had a grand plan. He had given them purpose in life and they would stand by him to the end. Luchas marvelled at his mentor's foresight and ability to plan strategically. It had taken many years of convoluted planning to have him at the bridge of the Cobra class destroyer, captured from the imperial navy in the Gothic war and now crewed by renegade pirates. It had taken even more cunning to have his ship join the large battle fleet that flexed its talons in readiness for battle.
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