"HEAR THE SONG OF CHAOS! LET IT BOIL YOUR BLOOD AND WARP YOUR FLESH! WE ARE YOUR DELIVERANCE TO INSANITY! WE ARE THE DIVINE MADNESS!"
- Lekaiz Muirr, The Herald of Ruin
The Divine Madness is widespread faction of raving chaos worshipping mutants located within the Segmentum Obscurus. Unlike most widespread cults, the Divine Madness does not devote itself to any particular Dark God, but rather venerates Chaos Undivided in it's most pure form, that being the untapped madness, discord, and destruction that Chaos brings. The Divine Madness is comprised mostly of mutants.
It all began when the Hive World of Mesturia was engulfed by a massive warp storm, imprisoning the Imperial planet's population and cutting Mesturia off from the rest of the galaxy. For months the sky burned with the madness of the warp, Chaos' insidious taint slowly corrupting Mesturian people. At first, the Mesturians were frightened. Entire mega- city districts worth of people flocked to the nearest church or shrine of the God Emperor, praying that the warp storms would stop. But as the months turned into years the Mesturians began to loose hope.
Ever so slowly, fear turned into desperation. The people began to run out of basic living supplies as one by one whole districts of the mega- city were quarantined off. The mutant population skyrocketed as the Warp storm's corrupting influence spread, transforming many into mutants. Many began to become frightened of their own neighbors as their situation slowly worsened. The Adeptus Arbites tried to enforce order, but too many problems were developing at once. Many believed that the God- Emperor had abandoned them, many even began to question their faith in Him. Protests against the harsh laws being enforced transformed in to district-wide riots and then, without warning, the powdercake that Mesturia had become simply exploded.
Society crumbled. The pent up desparation and fear was to much for the Mesturian citizenship to bear anymore. They flooded the streets, killing, burning, maiming all to release the emotion inside of them. Both the Mesturian Adeptus Arbites and PDF tried to restore the peace, but quickly became hopelessly embroiled within the endless conflict. Idols of the God Emperor were defiled, the Planetary Governor and his family slaughtered, any form of order and civility quickly destabilized into an orgy of violence and panic. Almost overnight, the once proud civilization of of Mesturia transformed into a hellhole where madness, savagery, and depravity reigned supreme. Then one day, a stabilizing force emerged, led by a man who called himself the Herald of Ruin.
His name was Lekaiz Muirr.
Lekaiz Muirr had once been the most wretched of beings, a mutant, or so he thought. He lived in the Mesturian Underhives, fighting each day just to survive. But, what Muirr did not know is that he was not a mutant, rather he was a psyker, albeit not a powerful one, but burning with the desire to seek vengeance upon those who shunned and despised him. His mutations were chaos taint, as the eyes of the Warp were upon him. When he slept, a voice would whisper to him the promise of power, which he at first disregarded as simply dreams, but slowly came to the realization that these voices were not a figment of his imagination.
The voice told him many things, about the nature of Chaos, of the power that he could have if he only if he excepted Chaos into his soul. Muirr eagerly agreed. What happened next was strange, when the daemon that had been whispering to him tried to possess him, only to find that Muirr was much stronger of will than he appeared. The two grappled over Muirr's soul, the conflict resulting in the fusion of the Daemon's mind with Muirr's own, driving him to insanity. But, through this madness came a strange kind of clarity, as Muirr's psychic power was dramatically increased by the daemon. From that day, Lekiaz Muirr ceased to exist, and the Herald of Ruin was born.
Muirr, seeking more power, appeared to the frenzied masses of Mesturia offering the one thing they so desperately craved; hope. But, rather than trying to convert them to worshiping the Dark Gods, Muirr preached that Chaos is the ultimate expression of freedom, and that the discord and destruction that had claimed Mesturia was their absolution from the rigid confines of order and structure, both of which were no better than enslavement. He preached that sanity is a curse, for it limits what humanity is truly capable of. To the Mesturians, this revelation was revolutionary. It made them believe that the warp storm was in fact a blessing rather than a curse, and that what they had become was in fact the right thing to do. Muirr soon became a inspiring figure to them, seeing this god- like psyker as a prophet, the answer to their prayers. For the first time ever, the Mesturians rejoiced for the first time in decades, and as the warp storms dissipated, the Mesturians rallied beneath Muirr, who named his new cult of followers The Divine Madness.
From there Muirr looked outward, inspiring his new cult that their revelations must be shared with the rest of the galaxy, that they must make it their holy duty to "liberate" the Impirium from the shackles of sanity and order. Organizing the Divine Madness into a potent fighting force took time, but in the end it was worth it. They began to attack the rest of the planets within their sector: the Paelias Sector. This attack took the rest of the Paelias sector completely by surprise, and soon they the Divine Madness had gained a strong foothold within the sector, conquering a few other planets. Despite, the fact that they have been attacked by the Impirium several times, the Divine Madness has managed to maintain that foothold, not to mention that the Divine Madness frequently attacks other planets within their reach.
The inner workings of the Divine Madness are quite complex, consisting of various mini- factions within the overall cult. The factions are listed here in order of highest to lowest rank:
The Inner Circle
This faction is made up of Lekaiz Muirr and his lieutenants, each one overseeing a different part of the cult, with Muirr as the Supreme Leader.
The ScionsThis small Cabal of Rogue Psykers, led by Muirr himself, are the second highest ranking faction within the Divine Madness. They are divided into 4 cults, each one devoted to a different Chaos god:
- The Cult of Bloodlust - These are Khornate Sorcerers, but only in the sense that they specialize in summoning Khornate Daemons.
- Cult of Ecstasy - These sorcerers are typically used to spread corrupting influence, which is something they excel at.
- Cult of Decay - These Nurgalite Sorcerers bestow "gifts" of the Plague God upon select enemies, transforming them into Plague Zombies that are used sometimes as cannon fodder.
- Cult of Change - These Sorcerers are by far the most skilled, specializing in unleashing the fury of their psychic powers upon enemies.
The Blessed are comprised mainly the extremely mutated and chaos tainted. They are considered "blessed" due to the fact that the Divine Madness believes that deformity and mutation is a sign that Chaos favors that individual. While the blessed are not the most high ranking faction within the Divine Madness, members of the Blessed do usually command groups of cultists due to their "blessed" status, serving as low- ranking commanders.
The Host is the general term for the masses of mutants that make up the main
bulk of the Divine Madness. They are numerous, their numbers ranging in the millions, and growing steadily with each deformed cultist that joins the Divine Madness. The reason they give other armed forces such trouble defeating them is simply their unpredictability. One moment a group of cultists might charge recklessly into the fray, while another group might shoot at the enemy from behind cover, and a third strap explosives to themselves and run straight towards enemy lines. The sheer amount of randomness is almost to much to adapt to, which is why the Host typically wins battles through sheer numbers, not through tactics or strategy.
The Divine Madness worships Chaos Undivided, but not in the way you would think. Rather than worship the all the Dark Gods as a pantheon, they worship the very maddening and corrupting power of Chaos itself. They believe that things like order and even sanity are shackles that keep them from their full potential, and thus must be cast off so that they may truly be free. Also they believe that is is their sacred duty to "liberate" other from these bonds, a goal they commit to with zealous glee. They also revere the tainted and mutated, believing that they are blessed because they have been touched by Chaos.
The Divine Madness does however still worship the Dark Gods in a way, viewing them each as a different aspect of Chaos. But, (with the exception of the Scions) never do they devote themselves to one god or another. This gives other Chaos Factions mixed feelings about the Divine Madness as many, even other Chaos worshipers, consider them to be completely deranged.
The problem with fighting the Divine Madness lies in their insanity. They are completely unpredictable, switching tactics mid- battle for no reason whatsoever. This would otherwise be comical if it wasn't so dangerous, since to put it bluntly, you never know what they will do next. Many have reported the Divine Madness at first attacking in a disorganized mob, than suddenly switching to firing at the enemy from behind cover. This isn't helped by the fact that The Divine Madness' forces are often accompanied by summoned daemons and even Chaos spawn.
A few types of "specialist" units have been observed being used by the Divine Madness:Changelings - These deadly cultists at first glance appear to be completely normal, with no mutations whatsoever. But, when they enter combat, a terrible transformation overtakes them. Their bodies twist and convulse, growing spikes, wings, tentacles, and all sort of daemonic appendages. Their flesh shifts and warps as they move, constantly reshaping and re- forming, until eventually all they resemble is a vaguely human- shaped blob of malformed, ever mutating flesh. Changelings, though very rarely encountered, cause havoc on the battlefield, lashing out with Daemonically strengthed limbs that can tear a normal human into pieces easily. It's unknown exactly where these horrors come from, all though many speculate they could be some twisted experiment of the Scions, but thankfully Changelings are very rarely encountered.
The Laughing Dead - These monsters are normal members of the Host who are "blessed" with Daemonic sorcery by the Scions. This blessing removes their ability to feel pain in any form, making them incredibly dangerous. Nicknamed the Laughing Dead because of the fact they constantly laugh whenever a foe tries to hurt them, they are still completely vulnerable, but since they feel no pain, they can sustain injuries that would otherwise cripple others for life, laughing crazily all the way. This "blessing" makes them suicidal even by the Divine Madness' standards, and the worst part is only psykers can tell the Laughing Dead apart from the normal cultists by sensing the Daemonic blessing upon them. They aren't exactly numerous though, and usually only appear during an extremely pitched battle.
Lekaiz Muirr, the Herald of RuinAs said before, Lekiaz Muirr is a daemon- possessed psyker of extreme power. However, what's curious is that no one has ever seen his face, as wherever he goes, he wears a cloak with a deep cowl that hides his face. According to the Divine Madness, it is said that to look upon Muirr's face is to see the face of True Chaos and be driven to insanity by it, although this is most likely a falsehood used by Muirr to make himself appear more "blessed" by Chaos. His mutations are still visible though, even through the cloak, and Muirr shows them with pride. He is called the Herald of Ruin do to the fact that wherever Muirr goes, destruction and mayhem usually follow. In addition to his cloak, Muirr also carries a staff topped with a strange skull that helps focus his power. Muirr is a strange individual, calm and even slightly cheerful most of the time, always speaking in strange terms. But, those who let their guard down around him are fools, for Muirr is as cunning and vicious as a serpent.
Pagathak the Fiend
Pagathak is the leader of the Blessed, the elite mutants within the Divine Madness. He is a huge specimen, the result of years of Chaos exposure. He stands nearly as tall as a space marine, his flesh twisted and warped, both of his hands ending in oversized claws, giving him natural weapons. Pagathak was originally the leader of a band of mutant marauders and bandits that reguarly raided the Hive Cities on the planet Lyacon, one of the first planets to be attacked by the Divine Madness, where he earned the name "the Fiend" due to his horrifying appearance and malevolent cunning. When the Divine Madness came to Lyacon, at first Pagathak was angry at the invaders for stealing away the chance to wreak havoc upon the planet. But after meeting Muirr, Pagathak was given the opportunity to join the Divine Madness, and was smart enough to except the offer knowing that they would destroy him if he did not comply. He now leads the Blessed, but still harbors resentment against Muirr for taking his the spoils that he views were rightfully his by conquering Lyacon.
SlaughterSlaughter is a possessed space marine, the only one in the entirity of the Divine Madness, and serves as Lekaiz Muirr's personal bodyguard. Wherever Muirr goes, Slaughter is not far behind, ready to rip enemies from limb to limb on his master's command. No one is sure where Slaughter came from, although there is a rumor that Muirr once used his powers to capture a live Space Marine, then using his powers, Muirr bound a Daemon within the Space Marine's flesh, slaving him to his will and transforming him into what he is today. Slaughter gets his name from the fact that when he kills something, it isn't pretty. He rips enemies apart while they're still screaming, splattering their insides everywhere as he tears their bodies to bloody sheds. Muirr keeps Slaughter close by at all times, always talking about the Possessed Marine like one would talk about one's favorite pet.
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The Vakerian 10th,11th and 12th were deployed alongside ten regiments of Merilian and the Dyammo-Cert Guard. These guardsmen are often on the receiving end of the Divine Madness as they try to contain then in their sector. Most of these regiments can breathe in whatever toxic gases are let loose on the planet's. This does not mean that they will not turn to chaos it just means it's harder to do so.
The Lindwyrm's homeworld is quite close to the Paelias Sector, so the Lindwyrms were on the front lines when the Divine Madness began to emerge. So far, they've managed to hold back the tide of mutants with the help of several Imperial Guard regiments, and are still fighting against the Divine Madness to this day.
"We are all part of the great sympony of Chaos, composed from the sweet music of the warp and the melodious whispers of Daemonkind. Listen close........ can you hear it?"
- Lekaiz Muirr
"Space Marines eh? They don't look so tough."
- Pagathak the Fiend
- Member of the Laughing Dead
"Blood...... kill..... pain..... pain... pain...pain..PAIN!"
- Slaughter, on the rare occasion he speaks
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"Sir I think they retreated."
"Not surprised judging by the pounding the artillery gave'em."
"Sir they just charged us not caring...wait they're on all flanks!"
- The last brief conversation with the commander and the gunner of a Leman Russ tank.