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"War is the savage child of a thirsting god, ever wakeful and waiting. When war comes to us, we roar in fury at the darkness and call out our names and blades to the sky in hope of an answer. We believe that if we make our selves known amoung the endless calamity of combatants, then we will one day ascend. For war is not an anvil; it forges nothing. War is the hammer in the hands of the warrior."
Extermination Strikeforce Epsilon-Delta, more commonly known as the "Raven Biters" were one of the many World Eater's battlegroups assembled in the wake of the Drop Site Massacre on Istvaan V to hunt down and slay the remainder of the loyalist forces who were unable to escape the slaughter. Under the command of the highly savage but charismatic Line-Captain Nabrin Dos, the Raven Biters were responsible for the butcher of several hundred abandoned Raven Guard who had escaped the Urgall Depression only to be left behind when Primarch Corax fled in shame.
Hastily formed from the remnants of the World Eaters XII and XV companies of the Fourth Battalion along with a number of newly established line units who had yet to be assigned, the Raven Biters were both highly experienced crusade veterans and impetuous youngsters whose first taste of battle was against their fellow World Eaters on Istvaan III. As a result Captain Nabrin, a warrior renowned for his uncaring attitude toward those under him, was poisonously eager to test his new command and "assess their worth"; which he did in short order. And though the formation only lasted for less than a month, the Raven Biters established a bloody legacy that would endure long after the strikeforce was dissolved.
Collected from the ragged remnants of two near decimated companies, the Epsilon-Delta contained a varied assortment of XII Legion squads and officers. Assigned to Extermination duty along side the carcass of his Twelfth company as penance for his "failings on the line", Captain Nabrin grudgingly took command of the strikeforce, bringing with him his second-captain Rashyk, who commanded the company's Caedere, and the ill-famed Moritat Kriish and his sadistic destroyer cadre. Drafted from the XV Assault Company, Signal Master Erys and Armoury Master Ahwilt bought with them a their remaining charges; three Land Raider Proteus and a Cerberus Heavy Tank Destroyer - a mere tenth of the XV Company's original strength.
The main bulk of the force consisted of fresh line and assault units under the watchful command of the Ancient Ixxhah, a celebrated Terran born veteran of the earliest days of the Great Crusade. Interred with in the mighty frame of a Contempter Pattern Dreadnaught chassis, Ixxhah was a warrior who instilled both awe and fear in his charges, and one of the very few who remained on Istvaan V to have volunteered for Extermination duty.
First Captain Nabrin Dos, known as "blood-soaked" or "broken chain" by his Legion brothers was a veteran line-captain who had served in the World Eaters for over one-hundred years. Making a name for himself as a radical agitator, Nabrin had been involved in a number of unscrupulous activities as part of the doomed CCCI Expeditionary Fleet and the disastrous near-compliance of Dinaria. Given command of a specialist company early in his career, Nabrin developed his own style of command (or lack thereof) in which he would allow his sub-commanders complete autonomy in the field; demanding only that objectives were met with utmost prejudice. Nabrin, always in the mindset of the techno-gladiator was typically clad in an brutally ornate suit of Mark II Astartes plate artificed in savage glory; casting a fearful visage across all those who witnessed him. His favored weapon, one amoung the many in his personal collection was his huge Excoriator Chainaxe which he named "Moon Cutter" was as feared as the warrior who carried it; Nabrin's disposition toward personal glory and carelessness was believed to have lead to the execution of dozens or more of his subordinates beneath the adamant teeth of his prize axe.
Second Captain Rashyk, the "Servant's Doom" was a mindless berserker long before the events of the Horus Heresy heralded the fall of his Legion. Recruited from the feral world of Crihor just as the XII Legion began to adopt the traditions of Primarch Angron, Rashyk was one of the first members of the newly renamed World Eaters to undergo the psychosurgical implantation of the Butcher's Nails. These early experiments to replicate the Primarche's implants were often fatal, with those who survived devolving into various degrees of insanity. Assigned to the command of Captain Nabrin, Rashyk excelled in all forms of close quarter fighting and was quickly singled out and exulted. Placed in command of his company's emergent Caedere, he became an integral part of the Twelfth company and Nabrin's second in command. Rashyk's warriors, a horde of blood thirsty Rampagers, were an ever changing band of blood crazed monsters who were used to deadly effect as an entierly expendable shock assault unit; there were always more mad men to fill the ranks.
Moritat Kriish and his Cadre were amoung the most prominent members of the World Eaters Destroyers. Well known throughout the Legion for the near unforgivable atrocities committed on many worlds at the forefront of the Great Crusade, Kriish was cursed by the sons of Corax as the "Burner of Dinaria" and held in contempt by almost everyone he came into contact with. Often refurred to as Nabrin's Black Hand, Kriish's warriors were employed as an unconventional line-breaking unit, using rad and phosphex in place of martial force.
Prime-Signalus Erys and Armoury Master Ahwilt were assigned to Nabrin's Command in the wake of the Drop Site Massacre for their recklessness, which had led to the destruction the majority of their former armoured company at the hands of a Salamanders heavy support chapter. Berely escaping the ire of Legion Command with their lives, Erys and Ahwilt suffered their assignment to Extermination duties as a last chance reparation.
"Out here on the dust, a warrior is what they make themselves."
— Second Captain Rashyk
Out of the darkness a column of ragged Astartes trudged up the slope, toward the ever growing gathering at the crest of the hill. From the high vantage point the full scale of the destruction was visible; the flame licked sky streaked with toxic clouds of dispersing vapor trails that whisped together with the growing wind, catching the ash and dust from the ground and carrying it far into the darkening air. After the apocalyptic carnage of the previous day an eerie silence had fallen heavily across the fields, numbing the minds of the waiting warriors who had become so accustomed to the calamity of battle. The wreckage stretched from sight to sight, glowing like a million torched fireflies scattered trough the Urgall depression. To those on the hill it felt as though the Drop Site had became the universe; the scale of the battle, if what had occurred could possibly be described with a single word, had rendered all other matters meaningless in their hearts. The clouds churned, and the rain began to fall.
"Attention," a harsh whisper cut through the gloom, waking the warriors from their dull stupor. "The time has come, our assignment begins." A soft rumble of agreement echoed through the crowed, the usual cries of a coming victory were forgotten in sleepishness; a dozy haze that was seemingly unable to lift. "Gather by section, we move out immediately. I will not wait for the dawn."
The rhythm of stamping feet broke the ground beneath the marching line, rutting a heavy trail as the warriors moved to the south. The south, their destination, unfettered by specifics - somewhere out in the wastelands the Massacre would end. Hour after hour the column would march onward, through the darkness unto the first rays to day.