Blood And Dust Crusade Campaign

I The Goresworn

——- 1 ——-

Mordak looked out the portside viewing screen on the bridge of the Unfettered Rage. His tainted arm rested on the hilt of his chainaxe Shadow of the Moon, while in his right hand he held a data slate. Outside the ship in the coldness of space, machines crawled over a small white transport vessel with an open mouth daubed onto its hull in red paint.

He turned towards a large hooded creature to his left. Rwtrek was more machine than human, but what humanity that was left in his teaming flesh was warped and distorted with bulges and pustules.

“Rwtrek. How are your people progressing?”

“Stasis lock released my Lord. Decompression complete. Disciples aboard. The way is prepared for Haotet” the warpsmith stuttered in messy but direct speech.

“Very well” declared Mordak. “Get me Haotet on the viewing screen”

The view of space disappeared as a Deamonic visage flashed suddenly into view. Haotet had been blessed by the God he served so fervently, and as such bore host to a demon. His face was charcoal black, his eyes like two burning suns, and horns protruded from his skull. Only the prayers he constantly chanted kept him from complete possession between skirmishes and battles.

“Update Haotet”

“Mordak, I am about to enter the vessel.” Haotet responded in an unearthly voice. “The machine spirit has been quietened by my disciples and all systems are responding to me. We are in control”

“Good. Find out what we have here. The life signs we detected are still there, but weak. Any information you can obtain from a survivor or from the ship’s systems could bring us closer to Sarum. And survivors would help swell our depleted ranks”

Mordak looked down at his left arm, now clenched in a fist. His transformation was not the blessing that had been earned by Haotet, his was a curse from the fires that birthed Shadow of The Moon into the Mortal Realm. And now, more than ever that infernal weapon whispered to him.

“Sarum. Sarum.”

It had been 48 hours since Haotet had returned from the transport ship. The ship itself had suffered extensive damage before it was ripped into the warp and locked in stasis, but the Goresworn Heretek warpsmiths and tech priests had managed to salvage a number of key pieces of technology.

Ten marines of the XII legiones astartes, geneseed brothers of the Goresworn, had survived stasis. Only eight had survived the interrogation by Haotet. This number, Haotet took to be a blessing but Mordak suspected that one of the two dead marines had been sacrificed purposefully to meet the holy number.

Rwtek had examined the surviving legionaries and discovered that the process of interrogation had interacted significantly with their butcher’s nails implants. Haotet’s prayers and beatings supercharging the nails in a way that made up for 10,000 years of stasis. The eight survivors were now as close to Berzerkers as could be aside from their white armour. Mordak saw that they were inducted into the ranks of the Goresworn and placed under command of Champions Kroth and Nachtath.

On the central viewing screen Haotet had been updating Mordak about the information gleaned from the interrogation concerning Sarum when Rwtrek interrupted his master. “Sir, I have just received an incoming message marked URGENT”

“Okay” Mordak responded, and addressing Haotet, “Apostle, I will want a full summary in one hour.” Mordak closed the viewing screen, the white and red transport ship coming sharply back into view outside, and turned to Rwtrek. “Well?”

“Members of the Cult of the Brass Piston have reported a hidden cache of tech on a nearby world. They found it while exploring some imperial ruins.” Rwtrek explained. “It is not yet clear what the supplies are, but they now report hostiles entering the area. They request back up”

Mordak initiated the vox to contact Kroth

“Kroth, how soon can we deploy these new inductees?”

“The First Woke are ready now. We are having problems getting The Arisen under control. Put it this way, I wouldn’t want to try and get them inside a rhino yet”

“Very well. Get your squad ready, we’re going to take them to get bloodied. Prepare a transport ship and I will meet you in the hanger.” Mordak closed the vox link and turned to leave the bridge.

“Sir” Rwtrek called after him. “You should take The Clawmourn…”

——- 2 ——-

It ends in a cacophony of exploding deamonic energy.

Asghin sees the light. It knows that the energy being released is a result of the destruction of its metal prison. It had obliterated the Grey Knights Dreadknight moments after it appeared. How had it then been caught and destroyed by two small men? Asghin doesn’t care, those men are dead, it is dead, it focusses on the energy.

The energy appears as path laid out in front of Asghin. It needs to try and follow that path, along the energy and into the light. The light is the Warp, the Immaterium, the Empyrean, the Aether, the Sea of Souls, the Realm of Chaos. His home.

In front of him appears a large robed figure, made from the same energy that has escaped the explosion and formed this road.

“BACK!” its voice commands. “GET BACK. IT IS NOT YOUR TIME”

“Hssss. Yooou? Lettt me beee, flessssh baaag freeeak”

The figure in front of Asghin winces slightly at that insult. The energy representing his form appears more machine than flesh, and what is left of his face is hidden under the hood of his robe.


“Yourrr Gawwd Rwtrekkkk. I AM a GOD”


The path to the Immaterium is now closing behind Retrek’s avatar. Asghin can feel a binding around its form. It can faintly hear the voice of Haotet, the Apostle, speak his prayers. It starts to taste metal.

“NOOOOO, Not again warpssssmithhh”

Asghin sees the hanger of the Unfettered Rage flicking into view in front of him. He feels the metal now. He hates this material plane, but most of all he hates his tormentors who keep him here.

These fools, they think they are making Asghin stronger with their tinkering. Each time it gets a chance to escape back to the Immaterium, they manage to claw it back and imprison it in a new machine body. Each body slightly different, improved in those fool’s eyes. Each body is a prison to contain Asghin’s true power. A power that scares these mortal men.

It ends in silence as Asghin’s deamonic power is bound once more

——- 3 ——-

“To me”

“To you”

“To me”

“To you”

B-αRR/γ and P-αμL, devotees of the cult of the Brass Spider – named in celebration of the daemon engine Clawmourn’s recent sacrifice, were hauling a large supply crate across the hanger of The Unfettered Rage.

They dragged the crate past the area of the hanger where The Clawmourn lay silently resting. Its daemon had been trapped in a new carapace that had been shackled to the floor of the hanger. Heretek priests were chanting their prayers to subdue the daemon while servitors and cultists worked fervently on around the daemon engine. B-αRR/γ couldn’t help but notice that one of the servitors was attaching a new form of eviscerater claw to the red ceramite and brass carapace of The Clawmourn.

“Oof, watch where you’re going B-αRR/γ” shouted P-αμL.

B-αRR/γ’s back collided with something hard and metal forcing the two cultist to drop their crate. From above there was a “AAAAH” followed by a CRUNCH as the body of one of the cultists crashed onto the hanger floor.

“Shit P-αμL, that was Ðα˄€.”

“Nah B-αRR/γ, that’s ϻiκ€. Silly you”

He looked closer at the heap of flesh and metal on the floor.

“Of course it is, silly me”

“Look what a mess he’s made. We’d better clean him up before…”

There was a horrific scream as The Clawmourn suddenly awoke from its slumber. The heretek priests scattered along with the remaining mechanics, as the damon engine ripped free of its bindings, scooped up ϻiκ€’s corpse and quickly began to flense his body. As it did so, it dropped the metallic augmentations that covered the cultist’s body onto the hanger floor.

Haotet burst into the hanger, flanked by his disciples. B-αRR/γ and P-αμL stood watching as they went to work. Haotet chanted prayers and calmed the daemon spirit while the disciples managed to reattach the bindings around the carapace.

As the beast became subdued, a number of cultists darted in to gather up the metallic parts of ϻiκ€, dripping with sinewy tendrils of flesh. One caressed his bionic arm and then held it aloft exalting the name of the man who had been so blessed to be consumed by the Brass Spider.

“ϻiκ€!” And so was born the Cult of ϻiκ€, The Mechanicus.

II The Custodes Insurrection

——- 1 ——-

Mordak had remained on the surface of Locronon in the Titan’s Egress system of Void C91, along with the strike team. The recovered cache of imperial material had been taken to The Unfettered Rage along for inspection. The supply crates that they had intercepted, before their sweeping victory over the Grey Knights, contained Adepta Sororitas relic technology. Rwtrek and his heretek priests were busy studying these artefacts. One of them, Mordak was told, was a suit of power armour fitted with a jump pack. The cultists would no doubt fight amongst themselves about who was worthy enough to be gifted this new piece of technology. Each of the cults offering up their best, most skilfully augmented champions. All folly, for Mordak had already decided that the suit would be going to Angrulana, one of the Unfettered Rage’s weapons officers.

Angrulana was known amongst the crew for her martial prowess, particularly her skill with the two ancient daggers that she always wore crossed at her back. When the Goresworn Hereteks had boarded the trading vessel Gallant Hope 5 years ago, the only crew member they had found alive was Angrulana. She was crouched on the floor of the bridge, covered in blood and corpses of her crewmates surrounding her. Clutched tight in her hand were the twin blades of Barshor, the xenos tech that the Goresworn had been hunting for the past 7 weeks. Apparently the Gallant Hope had stumbled on them first, and Angrulana had proved their power and their obvious taint.

Since then Angrulana had become Mordak’s trusted advisor and weapons officer. They often spared together aboard the Unfettered Rage, it was clear that her combat skills preceded her discovery of the Blades of Barshor. Whilst he drew the power primordial from his chainaxe Shadow of the Moon, the Blades of Barshor seemed to add nothing physical to the bearer, they only augmented the brain. Rwtrek’s studies had discovered that The Blades amplified the deepest emotions of the user. Mordak was curious about what had happened on the Gallant Hope between the discovery of The Blades and the Heretek boarding. Angrulana wouldn’t say, but it was clear that at the end the weapons had chosen her as their champion. In the 5 years since then Angrulana had learned to control the negative mental effects of the weapons and bend their will to her personality. How Mordak wished he could do the same with Shadow of the Moon. She rarely fought in planetary battles but often led defences against boarding operations on The Unfettered Rage. Mordak could only imagine how much blood she would spill and how many skulls she would collect on the battlefield. He would gift her the Sororitas armour and jump pack once Rwtrek and his ilk had finished blessing it. In the ways of the Heretek cult, he would re-paint the ceramite with the blood of cultists undergoing ceremonial augmentation as part of the sacrifice to Khorne.

The strike team had remained on Locronon to investigate the source of this relic technology. They had fought the Grey Knights amongst the ruins of an imperial temple covered in cracked imagery of the corpse emperor. Had this been part of Arch-Magos Facilier’s empire in Void

C91? They were still searching for any evidence that Facilier’s Mechancum had witnessed the World Eater Forgeworld moon of Sarum in the sector. If there was any evidence of such an event, then there was a very good chance that the Adepta Sororitas would have made record of it. Mordak stood guard with the Berzerkers whilst the the Cultists spread out and searched the ruins.

Their search did not take long, a cultist approached Mordak with arms outstretched holding a tattered leather bound tome. Mordak took the book and pushed the cultist aside. Mordak held the book in his withered hand and flicked through the pages, one entry in particular caught his eye.

“0.5 post C91CM41. The inhabitants of the world have begun to act strangely. Our mission here had progressed so well, there were those amongst the imperium that doubted our ability to bring worlds in this sector back into the imperial fold. Since the tearing of the Great Rift these worlds had become dark, the holy fire purged the heretic and the Emperor’s loving embrace rescued the true of faith. Recently the people of this world have started pointing to the sky and prostrating themselves before the heavens. They talk of a celestial body called Sarum. We have searched the imperial archives and found no reference to Sarum in Void C91 from either Rogue Traders, Colonists or the Mechanicum of Arch Magos Facilier. We have however detected numerous strange gravitational anomalies in the sector, detailed in Appendix IX…”

As he read the words he felt Shadow of the Moon repeat the word Sarum. Mordak closed the book and tossed it at the feet of the cultists gathered around him.

“Here, see that gets to the servitors for digitisation, I want a slate of this ready for me on The Unfettered Rage when I return.”

He planned to convene a council with Rwtrek, Haotet and his squad champions when they were all back on Khallasus in the Deus Rex system. They would study the anomalies and add these to their charts along with the locations of the 12th legion structures and crash sites. Soon they would work out where Sarum would enter the Void C91. Haotet had been dispatched to Davias Primaris to investigate a large 12th legion vessel that had entered through The Great Rift at great speed and crashed onto the planet’s surface.

Mordak turned to head back to the landing ship when he heard the low hum of a hover vehicle approaching at great speed. A flash of light temporarily blinded Mordak as the sun hit the golden jetbike closing in on his group. Mordak reached for The Shadow of the Moon and pointed it at the Custodes Captain.


And so began the Custodes Incursion of Void C91…

——- 2 ——-

Haotet surveyed the crash site on Davias Primaris. A Thunderhawk Gunship from the time of the Heresy, its entire front section crumpled as it ploughed into the desert sand following re-entry. The ship had left a trench of pure glass in the ground as the hull super-heated the sand. Davias Primaris was the base of operations for the Goresworn Hereteks. Mordak’s daemonic axe had led them here, Haotet had found the veil to be the thinnest within the sector, and Rwtrek had reignited the planets Mechanicum forges. It was therefore fortuitous that the Thunderhawk had materialised from the warp and crashed where it did. With Mordak and Rwtrek off-world on The Unfettered Rage, a crash site anywhere else would have been sure to be intercepted by the other warbands, those that worshipped the changer, the putrid, or the hedonist, or worse those that held no allegiance to the gods at all.

The crew of the ship had either died in stasis or during the crash. It was hard to tell how much time had actually passed in the warp for these anachronisms. For all he knew they might have just arrived directly from the battle on Sarum. As things stood, he was unsure if he would actually find out.

Little of the ship itself was salvageable, but its cargo was unloaded by servitors operating grav winches, hastily instructed by Haotet’s disciples. A Talon of the 12th legion’s Contemptor class dreadnoughts were being loaded onto the transport ship. Their pilots had perished, but Haotet had no doubts that Rwtrek would be able to find a suitably horrible use for the relic machinery.

Hanging from the wall of the Thunderhawk cargo bay were five suits of Cataphractii pattern tactical dreadnought armour, badly damaged and covered in gore. Initially they had thought suits to be empty; a disciple downloading the supply manifest was the one to discover that they were not. The “thing” that was welded inside the terminator armour killed three disciples and 12 cultists before Lord Kalphus dissolved it with his meltagun. Inspecting the corpses, Haotet quickly sacrificed a 16th human, a nearby cultist that was looting a corpse for its helmet.

Rwtrek’s tech priests assessed the situation and further analysed the suits when they arrived back at The Forge. They surmised that the inhabitants were in some sort of temporary stasis, and the disciple had accidently awakened it. Haotet consulted their records of the 12th legion and learned that they had stumbled upon survivors of the Istvaan campaign. The end of the Emperor’s foolish crusade and the beginning of their long war. These Red Butchers were mindless killing machines bound in terminator armour that could be unleashed into battle and then carefully inactivated when their work was complete. Lord Kalphus, seeing their potential, sent word to his own warband that he would be taking these monsters to harry Imperial forces in the sector. The Vengeful Slaughterkin became part of the Goresworn Hereteks under the

Lord’s command. Mordak would not be happy about this, Haotet thought, but then few would argue with Kalphus with those monsters by his side.

“Sir?” a disciple called to Haotet from the entrance to the archives

“What is it?” responded Haotet as he looked up from the records. His voice was not just the one he had been born with, it was now a merging of two voices. It gave every word he spoke a very slight echo, and on worlds like Davias Primaris the daemon voice spoke first and loudest. “Come here fool”

“Er. Word from Mordak. Er, Sir. He has retrieved the Sororitas tech and has gained important information about Sarum. He is heading back here now to convene a meeting of the warhost, but reports that Custodes are in pursuit of The Unfettered Rage. We have also had reports of Imperium ships materialising in this system. Could it be linked, Sir?”

“Well, what do you think Vanak?”


“That wasn’t a question for you to actually answer.” Haotet hissed at his disciple. “Go. Inform Nachtach of what you have told me. I’ll speak to Kalphus. We need to prepare for battle, I’ll not let those corpse emperor lapdogs take this planet.”

All around the Dark Forgeworld bright golden bodies materialised through the flickering of teleportation. Haotet had managed to dispatch cultists to secure and protect the archives and tech relics, while he, Nachtach, and Kalphus led the defence of the city.

The Custodes Incursion had reached Deus Rex…

——- 3 ——-

The first battle was the bloodiest. The loses had been huge, but Haotet, Nachtach, and Kalphus had held back the Custodes advance on Davias Primaris. Many lives had been given to protect the forges and archives of the Goresworn Heretek’s stronghold. Importantly, they had held out long enough for Mordak and Rwtrek to arrive with The Unfettered Rage. Cultists and disciples loaded up transport ships with tech, weapons and texts from the library.

“Mordak”, Haotet Spat as his Crozius connected with the hull of a shield bike speeding past him, bringing the golden bird and its rider down onto the ground 10 meters away from them. “Message from Kazadin”

“What that old Sorcerer want?”

“Reinforcement, I think. The Custodes, along with a Raven Guard successor “The Necropolis Hawks”, have reached the central planet and had retaken an imperial stronghold. He spoke of reward.” Haotet explained.

“Is he not aware of our current situation?” spoke Mordak as he beheaded a custodies guard with Shadow of the Moon and caught his helmeted head in his warped hand. He tossed the head to a cultist who scurried off into the forge with it. “We’re a little busy with these lapdogs”.

“Yes, I was going to explain that, but then I had an idea”

“Go on”

“We flee”


“We draw these golden fucks off world, take them to Khallasus, concentrate their forces into this imperial stronghold. Wipe them out there, think of the glory! We will spill their blood over the battlements and then decorate them with loyalist skulls.”

“Haha, I like the sound of that. We don’t have time to get Kalphus and The Vengeful Slaughterkin out of that melee though. We leave without them. He’ll hate me for it, but he already fucking hates me. At least this way he might be able to save the forge while we save Khallasus for those ash bags.

“TO THE TRANSPORTS” Mordak commanded to the warband.

As they fled to the transport a rhino was cut in two by a relic contemptor dreadnought of the custodies. The gunner was thrown clear onto the floor near Mordak, he was missing his body below the waist and coughed a glob of blood on the ground.

“CULTISTS! Pick this one up and get him to Rwtrek when we get back to The Unfettered Rage” Mordak instructed the cultists of the Brass Spider and ϻiκ€ The Mechanicus. “If he makes it alive Rwtrek might give you some of those toys and trinkets you fawn over so much”.

——- 4 ——-

Baelothrak began to wake from a deep sleep. The last thing he remembered was the metallic hands of cultists holding his guts up inside his body. He’d passed out, which was extremely hard to do when under the nails. The trauma must have been massive. He was confused and he could feel his legs as he regained consciousness. Something was wrong though, he supposed he’d been drugged but, no, these were not his legs. His head and neck plugs too, they felt different. The connections were somehow thicker. He opened his eyes and the HUD initialised in front of his face, why was he still wearing his helmet if he had been so grievously wounded. The HUD was different, there were new ammo gauges.

METLA ARM Overheat Heat Gauge: 0%

Melta arm!? His helmet must have been very badly damaged by the rhino crash. It was one of the mark iii relics that they had recovered during this recent crusade into Void C91. The Medicae must have left it on until they could be certain of saving him without damaging the Relic. He knew where the priorities of the warband lie, he accepted it without question.

The door to the room slid open. The person who entered was not the Medicae, but Rwtrek instead. He looked around and realised he wasn’t in the medibay, but a workshop.

“Aahhh Ittttsss awake”

“Warpsmith.. ” he spoke, but broke off abruptly at the sound of his own voice. It was far too deep and mechanical. Another result of battle damage, this time to his vox? He didn’t think so. He started upon realisation.

“Haha” Rwtrek chuckled. “yooou know nowww don’t yooou?”

“Yes, I think I do. Those contemptor drednoughts we brought back from the crash site. They had no pilots… So you… I… ARGH” The nails began to bite, the sensation was amplified by his sarcophagus, his was a prison cell lined with the spikes of nails.

“Ssorry wee had noo tttime for thee pompp and sssscermony of internment.” Rwtrek spoke. “Wee aaare needed on Khallasusss.”Servitors, cultists and Disciples filled the room and begun to paw over him as he once again blacked out.

——- 5 ——-

“Come on Haotet. If you beat me over the wall Khorne might take more notice of you finally. Give you all the riches that djin inside your head promises you. I can’t imagine he’s too pleased with all these viel splitters that you fight with today. Better show him how loyal you are.” Mordak goaded Haotet as he rushed forward towards the imperial stronghold, Baelothrak newly interred into the 12th legion Contemptor Dreadnought at his side.

It was true, Haotet was concerned about the presence of so many foul creatures of change here. It had a mesmerising effect on the cultists. Each time they surfaced from behind their defences to take a shot at the space marines behind the ramparts, they were distracted by the giant shimmering bird advancing to their right. Some of them had begun making clucking noises as they froze in the open. They were quickly picked off by the Raven Guard.

Haotet’s prayers, and the daemon he shared his skull with had as usual helped him keep a more level head than Mordak. His lord had rushed to meet the astartes in battle, but was negligent to leave their rear exposed to the incoming custodes. Haotet quickly called in reinforcements from the ranks of the cultists as the Berzerkers pushed forward. Narhcgs cutting his way through loyalist marine one after the other. Brothers falling to his left and to his right, but the nails had bit and he would not stop even as more crows made their way down the wall towards him.

A BOOM and the battlefield was full of smoke. The Lord of Change screamed and its form shifted as it absorbed the shell. Shit, Haotet thought. So they had got that infernal gun turret working. The Ordinatus Sanders. The Heretics Astartes that liberated Khallasus from the Imperium had written it off as a lost cause. How had they got it working so quickly? A distraction.

“Look out” the voice in his head spoke, milliseconds later a sniper bolt projectile connected with his shoulder and exploded into his face.

When Haotet awoke, Mordak was nailing an astartes helmet to the wall of the stronghold. Asghin was sat atop the gun emplacement clacking its metal claws against the barrel of the gun. He stood up and surveyed the battlefield. A great victory had been won here, and he had failed his God in his duty.

“I know what you’re thinking, I always do. You’re right you know. You are an utter failure and disappointment”

Haotet looked up and saw a group of cultist mob a Raven Guard captain and bludgeon him with their autoguns.

“Ha, daemon. Look upon the fruits of my labour. The cult I am building to Khorne will cleave mountains of skulls and spill rivers of blood. Ascension is within my grasp, and it will be glorious”

——- 6 ——-

Mordak watched as Nachtach brawled with one of Kazadin’s rubric marines. His men laughing as his champion pushed one of the ash cans onto the floor. The rubric marines trained their guns onto the Berzerker, not a sensible course of action when the Nails bite one of his brothers. The sorcerer, Kazadin, looked over to his men and they lowered their bolters in unison.

Mordak approached the sorcerer, fighting back the sharp bite of the Nails. He stopped at the edge of the ritual circle Kazadin sat in, letting his hand fall to the hilt of his chain-axe, Shadow of the Moon.

‘Sorcerer,’ he growled. ‘Payment is due.’

Mordak maintained a stoney expression on his mutilated face as the Tizcan stood from the circle and turned to meet him.

‘Of course.’ The Sorcerer smiled as spoke. ‘There is much we can offer you for your mercenary services. Our cabals are powerful, and few rituals are beyond their reach.’

His face gave way to a snarl as Mordak made clear his displeasure. ‘We have no need for your sorcerous trickery. Give us that which you told us of. A relic of the Great Crusade.’

Kazadin nodded, and two deep blue, Tzaangor beastmen approached them carrying and ornate box. They struggled to lower the box at the space marine’s feet and scuttled away with officious little bows. Mordak scoffed, and leaned forward to open the chest. Inside was a masterfully crafted chain-axe within.

‘First wielded by Delvarus himself aboard the Conqueror, the weapon has served many masters since.’ Kazadin said softly. ‘Its frame houses a fettered Bloodthirster, that lends its strength to those it seems worthy. World-Splitter, I believe it is called.’

As Mordak lifted the weapon from its box he felt Shadow of the Moon at his hip begin to warm against his thigh plate. Like a beacon of daemonic energy reacting to this new blade World-Splitter. He beckoned Nachtach over, the Berzerker Champion covered in the gore of battle.

Mordak held out the weapon and Nactach took it from him, displaying surprise at this gift from his Lord.

‘Mordak…this is a Kingly gift.’

Mordak nodded once, placing his hand on Nactach’s shoulder.

‘Aye, Nachtach. I know you’ll put it to good use, gutting loyalist dogs.’

Switching to Nagrakali, he instructed the Champion to collect their men. Shadow of the Moon had spoken to him; World-Splitter was also forged on Sarum which meant that they were getting closer…