Just a little warning to any readers who come across this article. It is LONG! It really is quite a tale, but in order to fully enjoy it one must have a bit of patience, and some time to kill. If you are all right with that then please have at it, and enjoy! Supahbadmarine 02:48, June 16, 2011 (UTC)
Ezekiel Cornatus is a very peculiar individual. He is a bisexual muscian that has had his life turned on it's head. Due to a series of unfortunate events and a streak of incredible bad luck he has gone from a care free musician to a revolutionary, a criminal and finally to a Rogue Trader.
Ezekiel Cornatus was born to the privileged Cornatus family on the Imperial planet of Sanctimony. His family were minor nobility but still well off enough to give their son an ideal childhood, free of worry or care. As a young boy he quickly became popular with his peers due to his quick wit, natural athletisism and his outgoing personality. Despite being born of a family of little importance, he quickly became the ringleader of his own little posse.
As a teenager Ezekiel was already a well known and popular youth. He spent much of his time fraternizing with his peers and had remarkable success with the opposite sex. He was also very good at sports, generally excelling at any game he took an interest in and quickly becoming unopposed in said game. He became particularly adept in a sport called Knicking. It was a sport in which to combatants used specially modified sword that caused pain but not bodily injury in a kind of safe duel. It was in playing this game that he would meet Macadeus Enoulis, who would become his best friend.
Macadeus was a respectable young man from a very powerful and influential noble family on Sanctimony. He was very much the opposite of Ezekiel. Where Ezekiel was easygoing and open minded, Macadeus was serious hardworking and pious. One would never think that these two could become friends but they did. They met at a Knicking tournament. The two of them faced of in the deciding match of the Tournament, in which Macadeus handed Ezekiel his first defeat since learning the sport.
After this Ezekiel would come to acknowledge Macadeus as his rival. However, as time went by their rivalry blossomed into friendship. They were now as close as brothers and as thick as thieves. It was rare to see Ezekiel without Macadeus at his side and vice versa. They even found a secret hideout that only the two of them knew about. The two swore to be friends forever.
When he was 18 Ezekiel's unusual sexual tastes were exposed. He was attending a ball and having fun like he usually would. He noticed I young man that was not dancing and having fun like everybody else. That young man was Richard Mennis, a young noble that was largly treated as an outcast by the rest of the young nobles. Feeling sympathetic, Ezekiel asked Richard to dance when a slow dance started. Richard and most of the other party goers thought that Ezekiel was playing a joke. Ezekiel quickly proved them all wrong when he ended the dance with a kiss.
Afterward Richard would be the first of Ezekiel's man-to-man relationships. This caused a bit of an uproar amongst his peers and an even bigger one with his parents. Ezekiel may have very well have become a pariah had it not been for his natural charm and a loyal group of friends that defended him, including Macadeus. Eventually Ezekiel's relationship with Richard ended as most do. Despite having taken a male partner for a while, Ezekiel quickly jumped back in the game, showing no aversion to dating girls. However, while Macadeus remained Ezekiels loyal friend, the incident caused him to begin to question Ezekiel's moral fiber.
Ezekiel continued with his lifestyle for a few years. His tutors noted that Ezekiel was smart, genius in fact but had poor grades due to lack of effort and interest. His reputation amongst his peers was that of a lover and a party person. While it was true that he was more of a lover than a fighter, he was more than capable of handling himself in a fight and his cocky attitude often got him into quarrels which he would almost certainly win. He became increasingly distant with his parents who disapproved of both his sexual preferences and his decision to disregard his family's position and take up music instead. He would shortly form a band and become popular.
The Star of Sanctimony
Ezekiel's career became more and more successful, becoming widly popular to the point where Ezekiel Cornatus became a household name on Sanctimony. His band, Ezekiel and the Limit Pushers, was asked to perform in Hive Cities all over Sanctimony. His success was so great in fact that he began to become well known within the rest of the sector.
Seeing a chance to increase his planet's standing in the sector and the rest of the Imperium at large, the Planetary Governor of Sanctimony decided to make Ezekiel the poster boy for the planet. He began to develope a close personal relationship with Ezekiel and made sure that Ezekiel got whatever he desired.
In short order, Ezekiel wasw becoming a big star and began touring nearby systems. He had truly surpassed the position he had held at birth and was living the high life. He played for nobles, Planetary Governors and many other important Imperial officials.
As his fame grew Ezekiel began to live an increasingly extravagant lifestyle. He could have any sexual partner that he took a fancy to. He also began to use drugs recreationally. This lead to him developing an addiction to some of them, particularly a drug called Caress, which increases the sensitivity of all five of the users senses, allowing them to experiance sensations to a heightened degree.
While Macadeus remained loyal to his best friend, he was beginning to have doubts that Ezekiel's lifestyle was healthy and was starting to think it might be best for Ezekiel to take a break from his career. Ezekiel on the other hand would hear none of it and continued on has he was. This advice would later prove to be correct.
A Star Falls
As with any famous figure, Ezekiel's life was often put under a microscope. One particular individual that was quick to critisize Ezekiel was an Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus named Harlannon. Harlannon followed Ezekiel's life closely and did not approve of how Ezekiel conducted himself. He was always quick to point out that Ezekiel's lack of piety and this thrill seeking bordered on heresy.
Despite his clear dislike for Ezekiel, Harlannon could not find anything that could be used to put him on trial. Then he struck paydirt. Harlannon discovered that a sizable cult of Slaanesh had formed within Ezekiel's fanbase. Looking at how Ezekiel conducted himself, one could easily be persuaded that he was the center of this cult. Harlannon immediately assumed Ezekiel's guilt.
Harlannon attempted to make an arrest during one of Ezekiel's concerts. Ezekiel naturally did not uderstand what was going on and pleaded his innocence. Harlannon would not hear any of it and attempted to pass judgement right then and there. Realizing that he was about to be killed for a crime he did not commit, Ezekiel attempted to escape. He would have been captured and executed that day had luck not been on his side. Many of Ezekiel's avid fans came in to try and stop the Inquisitor. This allowed Ezekiel to escape. However this pretty much proved his guilt in Harlannon's eyes and everyone that attended that concert was tried as a heretic and executed as a result.
Searching for any safe haven he could find, Ezekiel soon found that those he had formerly depended on had turned on him. His parents had effectivly disowned him, the Planetary Governor was openly condemning him, clearly trying to save face and eliminate any chance of being implicated himself. In the end Ezekiel found himself hiding out in the hideout that only he and Macadeus knew about.
Sadly even this would not spare him. At first Macadeus could not belive that his best friend had become a heretic. He desperatly testified to Ezekiel's innocence. Unfortunately faced with evidence and with persuasion by Harlannon, Macadeus came to believe that Ezekiel had become a heretic as well. He told the Inquisitor where their hideout was, knowing that it was the only place that Ezekiel had left to hide.
Ezekiel had luck on his side and managed to make a narrow escape. He now had absolutly no one he could trust, no resources he could use and the whole planet was now calling for his execution. Ezekiel fled to one of the smaller Hive Cities on the Planet and sank into the shadows of the Underhive.
Thus began the darkest period in Ezekiel's life. In the Underhive Ezekiel was a nobody with nothing to his name. He lived in squalor. Furthermore he was suffering considerably from withdrawl. He had been addicted to numerous drugs back when he was a star. Now that he was poor he no longer had the ability to get the drugs he had used before. In order to ease the suffering of the withdrawl, Ezekiel began doing cheaper, low quality drugs that were sold by the gangs down in the Underhive. He spent any money that he came by on these drugs and was both sick and starving for a while. Then he overdosed.
Noone had any time for some faceless loser dying in the gutter. Ezekiel's life would have ended there had he not recieved aid. It just so happened Rowlorn Sagilet, a mutant that would become a life-long friend and comrade had been passing by and noticed him. Rowlorn knew all to well what it meant to need help and have people turn their backs. He took pity on Ezekiel and brought him to his home to nurse him back to health. Despite having little to spare, Rowlorn and his unmutated sister Clarana would save Ezekiel's life and help him kick his addictions.
A New Start
Ezekiel now had a second chance at life. He had become close to Rowlorn and Clarana. He was determined to pay them back for what they had done for him. He began working as a musician again, getting any money he could. He also got a job in a factory.
As time went by he became closer and closer to the Sagilet siblings. Regardless of what trouble they got into, Ezekiel and Rowlorn had each others back. Ezekiel and Clarana began to have a romantic relationship. Wanting to be honest with Rowlorn, Ezekiel confessed about their relationship. Rowlorn then cracked Ezekiel upside the head before giving them his blessings.
Things were looking up for Ezekiel. However, everything was not perfect. Ezekiel began to notice how oppressed and mistreated many of the citezens were. Before he had lived a privledged lifestyle, and in the gutter he had rarly been sober enough to really pay attention to what was going on. Ezekiel's sense of moral outrage began to build.
Ezekiel Cornatus, Artist, Lover, REBEL!!
While he did not like what he was seeing, Ezekiel did not feel the need to break the status quo. He was enjoying his life with Clarana and Rowlorn too much to risk it, and besides the world would always have unfortunate no matter how good things got. However he would soon recieve a rude wake up call. One night, Sanctimony's PDF entered into the Underhive. They used flamers and explosives and attacked the people of the Underhiv without distinction. Within the coarse of one night, the Underhive was set ablaze. Rowlorn explained to Ezekiel that This happened every few years. The Planetary Governor sent the PDF down to purge any mutants within the Underhives of Sanctimony. In order to save time and perform a clean sweep, the PDF troops would simply attack everybody, justifying their actions by saying that the people were most likely criminals anyway. Naturally the Planetary Governor was aware of this and allowed it because it cleaned his planet of undesirables.
What had happened that night had shook Ezekiel's prior beliefs to their very core. While he had always been fairly unconventional, Ezekiel had truly believed in the values and righteousness of the Imperium before this. Inquisitors that sentenced innocents to death, Genocide of guiltless mutants and peasants and Planetary Governors that sponsored it. This was not he Imperium he had been sold. It was true that there were less than savory elements within the Underhive, but many of the peole were just poor families that were trying to survive in the face of despair. Not to mention that the goal of the attack had been to massacre the mutants who were mostly trying to get by, and many of whom had become Ezekiel's friends. This was the straw that broke the camels back.
Ezekiel Learned of a small rebel faction that had been in operation for some time. Ezekiel became determined to join this rebellion and remove the corrupt Imperial official s from power. He asked Rowlorn and Clarana to come with his and help him liberate the planet. At first they did not want to be invovled. As long as they had remembered the best way to survive had been to offer no resistance to the authorities. However, Ezekiel made a passionate argument that convinced not only the Sagilet siblings, but a few others that it was time to draw the line in the sand.
Having joined the rebels, the trio instantly got to work. Ezekiel and Clarana quickly proved themselves quite adept as agents, and Rowlorn quickly became known as the most fearsome warrior in their branch. However, despite the good work that the rebels were doing, Ezekiel was having some doubts about their ability to reach their goals. The rebels were dedicated and passionate, but they were also disorganized, undisciplined and lacked good leadership. Ezekiel began to try and make reforms to his banch of the rebellion. Almost immdiately the organizations lack of good leadership got in the way. The Branch Head, a man named Emile Sorvot, lectured Ezekiel for trying to change things, believing Ezekiel to be an arrogant young wise-ass who was trying to look good. Ezekiel did his best to work within Emile's rules but soon found the Branch head to be unreasonable and inflexible.
However, Ezekiel's talents were soon recognized. During an inspection by the head of the Rebellion, the branch was attacked by PDF troops. Emile was quickly killed and it looked certain that the day was lost. In the midst of the chaos Ezekiel rose up and rallied the forces together. Ezekiel not only managed to avoid annihilation, but actually won the battle, killing one of the PDF's leaders to boot. The head of the rebellion, a former PDF Colonel named Mrodint, clearly saw that Ezekiel could be a serious asset. He made Ezekiel one of his lieutenents, and Ezekiel asked that Rowlorn and Clarana be put under his command.
Ezekiel now had new Comrades. He became close to a few of the other rebel leaders, such as Ramirez, a yong man whos family had been unjustly killed during one of the purges and Jorvek, a Psyker who was tired of being hunted like an animal. Furhtermore Ezekiel became very close with Mrodint. Mrodint had lived a priveledged life as a Colonel in the PDF. When he spoke out about the mistreatment of the people, he was unceremoniously stripped of his position. Do to slightly similar backgrounds, Ezekiel and Mrodint saw each other a kindred spirits.
With Ezekiel's help the rebellion was soon on the fast track. It slowly became more organized and their tactics became far more sophisticated. They even began to advertise, putting out recruitment posters and using pirate radio frequencies to communicate to the people. Ezekiel's work was essential in all of this, and he took part many of the rebellion's most important operations. He soon became the Face of the rebellion.
The Governer was facing serious pressure. He was on the verge of facing a full scale uprising. To make the situation worse, the Imperial reinforcments that he had requested had not arriveds and he was not recieving any communication. Faced with these conditions, the Governor was forced to throw up a white flag. He announced over the Vox Network that he was stepping down and that the next Planetary Governor would be chosen democratically.
Back with the rebellion a party was being held. all over the planet in numerous hives the rebels were celebrating their victory. At headquarters Rebel Command was having a feast in honor of their victory. Mrodint then proposed a toast. As everybody drank to liberty, a tragedy occured. Everybody at the celebration started collapsing and vomiting blood. It turned up that the Governor's surrender had been a ruse. He had known that the rebels would have to celebrate his defeat and had prepared. He had sent several shipments of alchoholic beverages laced with poison to the Underhives that were known for high rebel activity just prior to his announcment. This tactic worked well. Mrodint, along with the majority of rebel leadership died due to the poison. A few of the leaders did not die due to having been out on operations, such as Ramirez and Jorvek. Ezekiel had been at the party and had been poisoned as well. However his body had developed a resistence to foreign substances due to his heavy drug abuse, and he just barely survived.
Ezekiel as in a coma for two weeks. When he woke up he saw the damage that the Governor's ploy had done. The rebellion had taken a serious blow. With most of the leadership dead, the organization fell apart and became disorganized. Those that had tried to reastablish leadership were rounded up by the Governor's forces. However, it was not just he rebels that had suffered. The Governor could not have known which drinks would have gone to the rebels. Much of the poisoned alchohol had spread throughout much of the Underhives, and as a result countless uninvovled civilians had died.
The Governnor had dishonorably killed countless innocents, the rebel leadership and the man who had been more of a father to Ezekiel han his own had been. Ezekiel was furious, having had more than enough of this crook in nice clothing hurting the people he cared about. With new drive, Ezekiel set about the task of reorganizing the rebellion. The Rebellion was back under Ezekiel's leadership and was now stronger than ever before. The people as a whole had now had enough of the Governor and his blatant corruption and rose up to join the rebellion with vengeance burning in their eyes. This time there would be no quarter. Ezekiel and the rebels would not stop until they saw the Governor's head on a pike.
What began as a guerilla war soon became a fullfledges uprising, with rebels and PDF troops having firefights in the streets. The Governor was now in a cold sweat. The rebel movement was gaining momentum. On top of this many of his supporters had abandoned him when they realized that he had crossed the line. Finally the war came to the capitol city. Ezekiel, along with Rowlorn, Clarana, Ramirez and Jorvec were leading rebel troops, constantly trying to make a push for the Governor's palace.
Left with no choice, the Governor tried to make a run for the space port, hoping to get off world. Ezekiel recieved word of this from one of his spies and took Ramirez and Rowlorn to intercept him, leaving Clarana and Jorvec in charge of the battle in the capitol. They managed to catch up with the Governor just before he reached the space port. A fight ensued between Ezekiel's men and the Governor's personal guard. In the end Ezekiel's group won. The Governor pleaded for mercy, but Ezekiel reponded saying that he would not give mercy to one who lacked any, and executed him on the spot.
- "Sorry, but in life you get what you give. You live by the sword, you die by the sword, and someone without mercy recieves none in return."
- —Ezekiel before executing the Planetary Governor of Sanctimony.
Just then Ezekiel got a transmission on the Vox-Castor from Clarana. She told them that all of the sudden a large army of raving madmen had shown up and started attacking both sides, shouting the praises of some god she had never heard of. They had captured Jorvec and were killing off everyone. Ezekiel, Rowlorn and Ramirez got in the nearest vehicle and sped toward the capitol, all the while listening to the fighting over the Vox network. Ezekiel kept talking to make sure Clarana was okay. after a while he did not here anything from her. He hailed her to make sure. He was answered with silence.
When he finally got to the capital city Ezekiel was greeted by mayhem and discord. The Slaaneshi cult that had suddenly sprung up were visciously attacking everyone. The Rebels and the remnants of the PDF were furiously fighting back. Not long ago these two forces were fighting against each other in a bitter death match. Now they fought alongside each other in a desperate struggle for survival. Ezekiel quickly reorganized his troops and got a handle on the situation. The cultists had sprung up from amongst the rebels, PDF and even civilians. They had apparently taken the late Governor's palace as their base of operations. He also learned to his dismay the the position that Clarana had been holding had been overrun not long ago. With a heavy heart Ezekiel chose to take decisive action. He quickly organized an attack on the Governor's palace.
At the Governor's palace Ezekiel encountered heavy resistence. He and his men, along with Rowlorn fought doggedly to reach the Governor's office, where Ezekiel figured the "Big Bad Guy" would be. He had left Ramirez in charge of supervsing the rest of the battle. When Ezekiel finally got to the door of the Goveror's office, he could not help but notice the eerie glow that was coming from underneath the door. With a chill running up his spine, Ezekiel kicked down the door and sallied forth to face whatever was inside.
To his surprize he found Jorvec sitting at the Governor's desk, glowing faintly. Confused, Ezekiel asked Jorvec what was going on. It was then that Jorvec revealed himself to be the head of the Cult of Slaanesh on Sanctimony. For years he had been having his followers enter all levels of society, spreading corruption. He also revealed that this was the same cult that Ezekiel had been accused of leading. He had been waiting for a chance to take over the world for a long time now. He had made each of the cult's members psychically bind themselves to him. He was transmitting the combined hedonism of his followers as an offering to Slaanesh, hoping that it would result in him ascending to Daemonhood. After which he intended to turn Sanctimony into his own personal Daemon World. He then offered Ezekiel a place as his lieutenant, claiming that they would rule the world together. Ezekiel refused and the battle began.
- "Sorry, but I am not the kind of guy to take orders. Besides, you said your god wants me to seek satifaction, and nothing would satisfy me more than taking your head off!"
- —Ezekiel before engaging Jorvec.
From the very start the fight was not going in Ezekiel's favor. While they was armed and they outnumbered Jorvec, their opponent had the advantage of his Psychic powers. Furthermore, the hedonism of Jorvec's followers were further strengthening his powers. Ezekiel and his men were quickly put on the defensive. The longer they fought, the more jorvec mutated. Finally with help from his men, while taking advantage of the fact that Jorvec was being distracted by his ascension, Ezekiel managed to get close enough to strike a ddecisive blow. Within an instant Ezekiel beheaded his one-time ally and secret long-time enemy with a swing of his Chainsword.
The effect of Jorvec's death was quite dramatic. At the moment of his death a mental shockwave was released. This Psychic backlash outright killed the cultists in and around the Governor's palace, and stunned nd disoriented the rest. Leaderless and truamatized, the cultists were soon eliminated by the rebels and PDF troops.Realizing that Ezekiel must have accomplished his mission, Ramirez made his way to the governor's palace.
The days after this were relatively peaceful. The PDF and those who had supported the Governor unanamously surrendered, having had enough of the constant fighting. The rebels for their part chose not to abuse their victory, and treated their beaten foes humanely. The forces were now working together to take care of what was left of the cultists. Ezekiel and Rowlorn searched desperately for Clarana, but no sign of her was found and the two gave up hope.
Suddenly The planet recieved transmissions from the Imperial reinforcements that the Governor had previously requested. Their arrival had been delayed by a Warp Storm. After getting an estimate of the military power that was to be arriving soon, and having faced the forces of Chaos, Ezekiel made to conclusions. First, no man, even one a great as himself, could hope to defeat the might of the Imperium, and second, the Imperium was for all of it's flaws were perhaps preferable to the alternatives. Faced with these epiphanies, Ezekiel decided to hang up the mantle of rebel leader. He made Ramirez the leader and instructed him to pledge himself to the Imperium the moment the Imperial forces touched down. To further justify the new management, Ezekiel made up a story that indicated that the late Planetary Governor was part of the cult. He took a ship and a few men including Rowlorn and left for parts unknown.
For a long time, Ezekiel went from planet to planet. Back on Sanctimony he had been safe, as the officials after him thought he was dead or had left the planet. Now that he had kicked up another fuss, the Imperium's eyes were on him again. Ezekiel need a safe place to hang his hat. He finally found the perfect sanctuary in the Aledra Station.
Aledra Station used to be a large trading station. It orbited the small moon of an uninhabitable planet. However, over the years conflict in the area caused the station to be more or less abandoned by authorities. Since then the station had become a breeding ground for undesirables. Numerous criminals had taken up residence in the station. Mutants and Xeno scum could also be found. It was the perfect place for Ezekiel and Rowlorn to hide.
Ezekiel and Rowlorn decided to settle in Aledra Station. They quickly made a living doing various odd jobs. They did not have much difficulty finding work, as there was always someone that needed something done. Rowlorn was worried that they would start doing things that were evil. Ezekiel consoled him by assuring Rowlorn that while they might make a living on the wrong side of the law, there were lines that he did not intend to cross.
However, Ezekiel quickly found out that while the station lacked authorities, it was far from unsupervised. The station was run by a gang lead by a criminal named Irkhart. The gang was completely unopposed, and everyone on the station paid tribute to them in some form or another. The gang made it hard for some to live on the station. Ezekiel was no fool. He knew that in a lawless place like this that rule by strength was not only common, but expected. However, he did not intend to go back to a life of having someone push him around. He began to lay plans to remove Irkhart and take over the station himself.
During the planning stages of his take over Ezekiel was playing cards with a few men in his favorite bar. Half way throught the game everybody realized that they had been pickpocketed. After the others had left, Ezekiel approached a man at the bar. Ezekiel asked the man to buy him a drink. When the man asked why he should do that, Ezekiel told him it was because the man had his wallet.
This surprized the man. However, what perplexed him more was that Ezekiel did not seem bothered by the fact that he had taken his wallet. Ezekiel explained that he had spent plenty of time in places where pickpockets were common. He usually saw them coming before they even made their attempt, but he had not cuaght on to the man until he had already lost his walllet. Ezekiel asked the man his name. The man told Ezekiel that he did not give out his name, but those that knew him refered to him as Shifty.
At this point Ezekiel made Shifty a proposal. Ezekiel knew an asset when he saw it. Shifty could keep his wallet provided he worked for Ezekiel. He also promised that he would go places under Ezekiel's leadership. Shifty reponded by throwing Ezekiel's wwallet in his face. He then stated that he worked for noone and that everybody made such promises. He then left the bar. Ezekiel woudl spend much of his time after this attempting to win Shifty over.
Still, Ezekiel went through with his plans. He began recruiting followers, acting as a middle man for an imaginary criminal mastermind called the Shadow Dweller. His initial success was soon met with continuous defeat. It seemed as though every move he made was countered by Irkhart. Ezekiel began to think that Irkhart had a mole in his group. However when Ezekiel investigated for a mole nothing turned up, and Irkhart still outwitted him at every turn.
However his luck soon changed. One night he was at his favorite bar when he noticed that he was being shadowed by somebody. He casually walked out of the bar and into an isolated alley. When he turned around to face his stalker he found a knife against his throat. The stranger told Ezekiel that no harm was intended. Ezekiel could not help but notice that the stranger had a lovely female voice.
The stranger lowered her hood revealing the most striking woman that Ezekiel had ever seen, a Woman with long pointy ears. She explained that she was an Eldar and that her name was Alereina. She was an Eldar Ranger. Ezekiel then asked her why she had been stalking him, to which she replied that she had wanted to get him alone to talk. She had a favor to ask.
Alereina's Craftworld had sent her a request. A powerful Eldar artifact had been stolen, and she was to retrieve it and return it to the Craftworld. Alereina told Ezekiel that this artifact was in Irkhart's hands and was the very reason why he had been so outmatched. The artifact was an amulet. On her Craftworld there had once been a Farseer whos precognitive skills were so great that they could not be controlled and had been slowly wearing away at his sanity. In order to save himself from madness he sealed this power within the amulet. Whoever wore the amulet was given perfect foresight of the near future within a set area. This is why Ezekiel's plans had continually been foiled.
Now Ezekiel fully understood why none of his plans worked. However this knowledge did not solve the problem. He still had no way to outmaneuver Irkhart. It was then that Alereina gave Ezekiel an amulet. She explained that this Amulet allowed it's wearer to be invisible to the Artifact's powers, essentialy becoming a small point of unpredictableness in otherwise perfect foresight. She asked Ezekiel to help her retrieve the artifact in return for helping hm overthrow Irkhart. Ezekiel then asked why she needed him. If she had a countermeasure to Irkharts amulet then she could retrieve it herself. She told him that while she could bypass the artifact's powers, she had been unable to get close to Irkhart on her own. Ezekiel then agreed.
With the protective amulet and Alereina on his side Ezekiel now had a small advantage. Ezekiel capitalized that advantage as much as he could. Slowly Ezekiel and his men began to gain ground. Ezekiel was often forced to make small gains, being unable to score substantial victories on Irkhart. It finally got to the point where Ezekiel's group had as much power and influence as Irkhart's. It was then that Ezekiel gained information that would turn the tide. He managed to find out about a meeting between Irkhart and his major officers. Ezekiel made plans to settle this fight once and for all.
The night before the assualt on Irkhart, Ezekiel went to speak to Shifty one last time. Over time Shifty had become less hostile towards Ezekiel. However, he still did not want to work for Ezekiel. He asked why he should work for Ezekiel when there were plenty of ambitious men in the galaxy who made big offers. Ezekiel then told him that he was not really offering anything. Shifty would have the right to live as he pleased under Ezekiel, and if he did not find things to his liking then Shifty could just leave. He then gave Shifty something wrapped in a piece of cloth and left to make his final preparations.
Ezekiel and his forces then attacked the meeting place. However, when they arrived they found that Irkhart was well prepared for the assualt. He told Ezekiel that he had seen the whole ambush before they came down to the smallest detail. Alereina asked Ezekiel what had gone wrong when he had the Amulet. Ezekiel then responded that he did not have it. The fight was taking a turn for the worst. It looked like the ultimate victory would belong to Irkhart, when suddenly Shifty snuck up behind Irkhart and Garotted him with a steel wire.
Without their leader Irkhart's men suffered from a devastating loss of morale and instantly gave up. Confused as to what had happened, Alereina and Rowlorn questioned Ezekiel. Ezekiel explained that he did not have the amulet because he had given it to Shifty. Shifty then asked Ezekiel how he knew that he would help him. Ezekiel told them that he did not know for sure, but had a feeling that Shifty would and was willing to gamble. Rowlorn then cracked him over the head for being reckless.
Ezekiel then gave Irkhart's amulet to Alereina. This surprized her. She had been prepared for Ezekiel to betray her from the very beginning. She asked why Ezekiel would give up something that would give him an unprecedented advantage over his rivals. He responded by saying that there were three reasons. First he was good enough without it. Second if he were to use it he would be unstoppable and thus become very bored. Finally he stated that the Warp and everything related to it creeped him out. He said that not only did he not intend to keep it, but also advised Alereina to get it as far away as possible.
Ale reina left to give the amulet to her people, and then came back. She stated that she was intrigued by Ezekiel and figured that at his side was the best place to experience the galaxy during her time as a Ranger. Ezekiel then made her, Rowlorn and Shifty into the lieutenents of the Shadow Dweller. Ezekiel began building his base of power on Aledra Station.
In no time he was completely in control of the station. While the gang that Ezekiel ran were still criminals, they were at least honorable. Living conditions began to improve on the station as a whole. Meanwhile people had began to talk about the Shadow Dweller. The mysterious crime boss who had swooped in and taken over the station but had never been seen by anyone. The persona gained a kind of legendary status among the inhabitants at the station. Ezekiel found it rather amusing to sit at the bar and listen as his men would tell inflated rumor about the Shadow Dweller, not realizing that the man they were speaking of was sitting right across the bar from them. For a while Ezekiel settled in and everything was fine.
The Aledra Station Incident
While it had seemed that everything was fine, Ezekiel was unaware that he was still being hunted. Since his reappearance on sanctimony as leader of the rebels, Inquisitor Harlannon had renewed his hunt for Ezekiel. It had taken him a while to catch Ezekiel's trail, but eventually he found out about Aledra Station. Harlannon sent in covert Inquisitorial forces to bring back Ezekiel for long awaited judgement.
The Inquisitorial Storm Troopers and Adeptus Arbites entered the station with stealth and quickly took control of the docks. They then began to search for Ezekiel. It might have been the end for Ezekiel had he not taken the time to establish an effective information network on the station. The moment he heard wispers of heavily armed humans moving on the station and searching for something, a chill went up his spine. He immediately began to take countermeasures.
Ezekiel told his men to stall and hinder the Imperial forces as much as they could. The Imperials had believed that their operation was going to be a simple snatch and grab, but soon found that practically the entire station was getting in their way. It soon turned into a fight between the denizens of Aledra station and the imperial forces. Ezekiel's men had the advantage of numbers and home turf, but the Imperial forces had the advantage of superior training and equipment, which turned the tide of battle in their favor.
The fighting became intense and the infrastructure of the station was damaged. Ezekiel realized that it was not only time for him to evacuate the station, but for everyone to because the station was likely going to be destroyed. However, despite the best efforts of Ezekiel and his men, the Imperials still held the docks. In order to retake the docks and make an escape Ezekiel decided to make a risky move.
Ezekiel revealed himself to the forces at the docks and then fled, leading them away. He told Rowlorn and Shifty to secure a ship and supervise the evacuation. He told Alereina to support him, trusting his back to her sniper scope. Ezekiel led the Imperials all over the station, only barely managing to outmaneuver his pursuers. He managed to lose them and doubloe back towards the docks. He told Alereina to go ahead of him.
As he was nearing the docks, Ezekiel's path was suddenly obstructed by a stranger. The man introduced himself as Harlannon's Acolyte. He gave Ezekiel a chance to give himself up peacefully. Ezekiel responded with a refusal in his typical wisecracking fashion. The Acolyte commented that Ezekiel was just how he remembered him and removed his helmet, revealing himself to be none other than Macadeus Enoulis.
- "Hello my old friend. I have some to do what I should have done a while ago. Cut ties with you properly and permanently."
- —Macadeus Enoulis
Astonished, Ezekiel asked what macadeus was doing there. Macadeus explained that after Ezekiel disappeared he and Harlannon had been searching for him high and low. Before leaving the planet Harlannon had asked Macadeus if he would be willing to become his apprentice. Macadeus accepted and had been hunting for Ezekiel ever since. Macadeus then asked Ezekiel one more time if he would come peacefully and accept judgement. Ezekiel refused once more, asserting his innocence to the charges laid upon him back then.
Macadeus told him that he did not believe him, and that even if he did Ezekiel's activites since then earned judgement. Macadeus drew a Power Saber. He then threw another one to Ezekiel. He challenged Ezekiel to a duel to the death, stating that if Ezekiel had to die by his hand, then at least he could die with some honor.
The two of them then engaged in a life or death struggle. Both of them had always been good with blades, though Macadeus had always been just a bit better than Ezekiel. The battle began to go badly for Ezekiel, especially when he lost his left eye. However, Exekiel was not about to be killed of so easily and got a second wind. He managed to put Macadeus on the defensive and then won the fight by cutting off Macadeus's right arm.
Macadeus was now on his knees, completely at Ezekiel's mercy. Macadeus told Ezekiel that he should finish him off, because if he did not, Macadeus would get him someday. Ezekiel stood with his weapon poised to deliver a cou de gras, but found that he simply could not bring himself to execute his former best friend, even if it ment danger in the future. Ezekiel told Macadeus that he had just beaten him for the first time, and that was the beginning of a winning streak. He told Macadeus to come around for a defeat anytime and then headed for the docks.
Ezekiel and his men managed to get most of the residents off of the station. As they left they watched as the damaged station began to fall apart. Ezekiel was then treated for the injury to his left eye. This was not pleasant as the pain killers they were using were proving ineffective on his body. After it was done Rowlorn expressed regret that htey could not give him a bionic eye. Ezekiel told him it was fine because he thought an eye patch would make him look more daching. Knowing that Macadeus and Harlannon were on his heels Ezekiel once again went on the run.
- "Ah, on the road again, with enemies howling after my blood. I am beginning to see a pattern develope in my life."
- —Ezekiel Cornatus
On the Lamb/A Slight Change of Vocation
Ezekiel was now on the run. He knew that Harlannon and Macadeus would not be far behind, so he had to keep moving. He jumped from planet to planet, blending in with the less savory elements of each world. However, this was not a permenent solution if there was one to be had. he needed a safe place where he could breath easy and think up his next move.
It was ironic that the Imperium itself would provide him with the sanctuary that he needed. He was on a planet name Bellanosa playing cards with his friends in a local bar. While he was playing he noticed a man walk into the bar and ask the bar keeper for directions to a military base. Ezekiel noted that the man was most likely a military officer, and one with some rank based upon his huaghty attitude. Sensing an easy score Ezekiel tricked the man into a game of cards. It turned out that the man was Commissar Obidiah Vernon, who had been assigned to 518th Cadian shock troops regiment in order to replace their Commissar that had recently died in battle.
Ezekiel quickly began taking Vernon for everything he had. Vernon grew angry at being beaten so badly and accused Ezekiel of cheating. In fact Ezekiel had been beating him fair and square. Though if Vernon had been a little less focused on the card game, he might have noticed Shifty occasionally pick pocketing him when he was not looking. Finally Vernons indignation became to much to bare. He drew his sidearm on Ezekiel, but Zeke was faster. It also helped that Shifty had previously stolen the Commissar's refractor shield.
Now with a dead Commissar on their hands, Ezekiel and his crew debated what to do as the Commissar's death would warrant an investigation. This is when Ezekiel had an idea that had his men questioning his sanity. He decided to take over Vernon's identity and take over his post. This would allow Ezekiel to become another person for a while, and one in a position that his pursuers would not expect. It would also remove suspicion as Ezekiel believed that hte soldiers had probably not met their new Commissar yet. Ezekiel took his gear and prepared for his new role.
- "My goodness! how can Commissars wear these awful clothes? I do rather like the hat though."
- —Ezekiel Cornatus
He got cover stories for each of his friends. They were going to be mercenaries that Vernon had worked with in the past and decided to bring with him. Shifty was fine, but they had to hide Rowlorn and Alereina's appearances. They got heavy armor for Rowlorn and a hood and mask for Alereina. Ezekiel's cover story for why they never showed their faces was that the two had been horribly scarred while fighting Orks. Ezekiel's ruse seem to go off without a hitch and he quickly got settled into his position. The troops noted that he was the nicest Commissar they had ever had.
However, Ezekiel had known very little about how active the Guard was. He soon found the drawback in his plan when the colonel of the Regiment informed him that htey had orders to ship out. A Dark Eldar Kabal had attacked a nearby colony and the 518th Cadian was ordered to deal with the Xenos. Ezekiel assured his friends that despite this hiccup in his design everything would be fine. Rowlorn helped persuade the others, then cracked Ezekiel over the head for his recklessness, as was his routine.
When they arrived on the planet, Ezekiel and a few men were sent down to establish a landing zone for the ground troops. The Dark Eldar had thwarted any attempt at this before now by swiftly destroying the forces that were sent to secure the landing areas. Ezekiel was sent down to accomplish this task. Along with Rowlorn, Shifty and Alereina, Ezekiel was given a small force of veterans and a Storm Trooper squad called the Wildboys.
The Sergeant of the Storm Troopers was a man named Johanson Connery. Connery was a decorated soldier with a long history of bravery on the battlefield. Before they left for the mission Connery approached Ezekiel. He told Ezekiel that he had served with numerous Commissars in the past, and knew how they operated. He then made a point of telling Ezekiel that if he did something stupid and got Connery's Storm Troopers killed without a good reason, then Connery would personally kill him. Ezekiel was refreshed by Connery's directness, and instantly took a liking to him.
Once on the planet, Ezekiel had to quickly make a defensive perimeter. It was not long before the Drak Eldar attacked their position. The landing party was reduced to a fraction of their number under the onslaught of the Xenos. However, with the help of his friends and Connery's squad, Ezekiel managed to secure the landing site, and repelled the Drak Eldar forces.
This allowed the Imperial Guard forces in orbit to deploy their ground troops. With a foothold established the guard began to push the Drak Eldar forcers back. Eventualkly the Kabal's forces fell back to the Governor's mansion, which they had Garrisoned. The cammand loooked at the situation and determined that there was no good way to attack the enemy position, so it would come down to blood and grit to win the day.
While he had no particular love for the Guard, Ezekiel had now fought and bled with the men of his regiment, and could not simply stand by as they were sent to be slaughtered en masse. He begged his Colonel to give him time to come up with a better strategy. After some convincing, the Colonel spoke with the other officers about postponing the attack. He told Ezekiel that he would have only a little over a day, Because if they waited to long the Kabal would escape with the people they had captured.
In order to come up with a strategy that would be effective, Ezekiel asked Alereina and Shifty to scout the enemy fort for anything that they could use. The two of them managed to find a way to infiltrate the fort. However, the way in was far to treacherous for the ordinary troops. They reported this to Ezekiel via a secure Vox frequency, and it was at this point that Ezekiel came up with a plan.
Shifty killed one of the guards and gave the guard's cloths to Alereina. He then went of to sabotage as much of the defenses as he could. Meanwhile, Alereina approached one of the Drakons. The Archon of the Kabal had been holding off on leaving in order to prepare every last one of the captives for transport. Alereina convinced the Drakon that he could take a smaller portion of the slaves, and then shut the Webway Gate behind him, leaving the Archon to be killed by the humans.
After this was done she approached yet another Drakon. She explained the plan of the Drakon she had spoken to previously. She then convinced this Drakon that by killing the other and stopping the plot, he would be rewarded by the Archon. Soon the forces of both Drakons were fighting each other. Taking advantage, Shifty disguised himself and made a fake assasination attempt on the Archon. As he escaped he implicated the Archon's officers in the scheme.
The Archon took his personal guard, and went to see what had been going on. He found the courtyard in a frenzy of battle between the two Drakons' men. He immediately assumed that the battle was an attempt at a coup d'etat. Not able to discern which were the loyal forces, he ordered his men to fire on both. It was at this point that Ezekiel and the Imperial Guard forces attacked.
With the internal dispute raging, the Dark Eldar were unprepared to fight off the human attack. With Connery and his Storm Troopers leading the way, the Guardsmen quickly breached the outer perimeter, and began to devastate the Drark Eldar. At this point the Archon gave up on his officers, and left for the Webway gate, leaving them to die. He was almost there when he was ambushed by Alereina and Shifty. The two of them had a desperate battle that nearly ended with both of them dying. Luckily Ezekiel stole up from behind while the Archon was distracted and ran him through with his Power Saber. The fight was over.
After this Ezekiel went on to fight many other battles with the Imperial Guard. His victory over the Drak Eldar managed to avoid serious casualties among his men, and because of this he had gained the trust of the men in his regiment, particularly Sergeant Connery. With each new campaign the name Obidiah Vernon gained renown. Among some of his accomplishments are crushing a rebellion and stopping an Ork Waaagh! through a successful Assassination of it's Warlord.
His success was rewarded after the Colonel of his regiment died. Due to his reputation and skill at command, Ezekiel was given the rare and prestigious rank of Colonel-Commissar. With this he led his men to victory on numerous occasions, and was even assigned a Commissar cadet for training. Despite his success Ezekiel was becoming tired of the Imperial Guard. He had become an outlaw in order to escape the oppresion of the Imperium, but now he often found himself enforcing it. Furthermore, dealing with miles of red tape and the occasional incompotent superior gave him headaches. Ezekiel began to make preparations to leave.
However, before he could leave he would go fight one last battle. A world had suffered from a revolt, and an attack by heretic forces. The Battle had been going badly for the Imperium, so the 518th Cadian was called in along with many other Regiments, and Space Marine forces. When he recieved the orders Ezekiel immediately set out to liberate the planet while working out his exit plans.
Things went badly from the get go. The ship that was transporting Ezekiel and his men was forced to make a pit stop before reaching the planet. Rendezvousing with a supply station orbiting a dead moon, the ship resupplied and prepared o complete their journey. Before they could make the jump they were attacked. Three Chaos cruisers arrived out of nowhere and immediately attacked the ship.
While the Imperial ship was better armed than any one of the three hostile crafts, it could not hope to fight all three at once. Luckily the Chaos forces were more interested in taking the ship than destroying it. They performed boarding actions, hoping to slaughter the crew and take the vessel for themselves. Ezekiel and his men immediately moved to counter the boarding parties. Ezekiel recognised the stench of Chaos on these foes from his encounter back on Sanctimony.
While Ezekiel and his men fought hard, and with valor, the Chaos Space Marines were simply to much to handle. It was then that Ezekiel brought out another of his plans. He had all the forces fall back depper into the ship, and lock the passages behind them. He then told the captain to open the external airlocks. Most of the Chaos Marines were sucked into the vaccum of space. The remaining hostiles were demoralized and disoriented. Ezekiel quickly dealt with the stragglers.
Ezekiel's men had done a good job in keeping the Boarding parties at bay. The time they bought was used by the captain of the ship to severely damage the Chaos vessels, which had not been firing with the hopes that their boarding parties would get the job done.
Two of the ships were destroyed and the last was forced to flee. Ezekiel noted that the ship was fleeing in the direction of their destination. He wondered how the hostiles had known where to intercept them. With a chill running down his spine Ezekiel urged the captain to make haste towards their destination.
When Ezekiel and his men arrived they found a desperate situation. Despite the superior numbers and resources and the command of the Imperial forces, the Chaos aligned forces were dominating the battlefield. The planet had been attacked by Alpha Legion Chaos Marines. Just prior to their arrival a Chaos Cult had started a revolt, which the Alpha Legion had naturally been supporting from the shadows.
Ezekiel learned that the imperial forces were being commanded by lord general Klein. While Ezekiel had never met Klein face to face, he had served under him. He viewed Klein to be an incompotent and unpleasant man, especially after Klein nearly blew him away with artillary shells while Ezekiel was coming back from an operation that klein had assigned him to.
However, while the incompotence among the high command had given the Chaos forces an advantage, there was more to it than that. The Chaos forces seemed to know when and where to strike. Ezekiel suspected that they were predicting their moves via the same method that they had predicted where to attack Ezekiel's ship. He also suspected, much to his displeasure, that it had something to do with a Psyker.
He soon set about the task of fighting the hostiles. While he and his regiment did better than some of the others, he was still being beaten back. The incompotents of the Command on this campaign was apparent, and was stopping those that could do their job from working effectively. In addtion the perfectly timed and coordinated attacks continued. Ezekiel knew that if something was not done soon the Imperial forces would be wiped out.
The first thing that needed to be done was to remove the influence of those idiots that were running the show. In order to do this Ezekiel slowly convinced some of the other Colonels to take their regiments and go off the reservation. While some of them were scared of what would happen for being insubordinate, most agreed. The Colonels were tired of being beaten like stray dogs because Lord General Klein was being an idiot, or trying to make himself look good. More concerned with victory and the lives of their men, they went with Ezekiel and put him in charge. It soon became apparent to Klein that his men were not going to listen to him further. In a last effort to rein his men in he spoke with Ezekiel over the Vox. He told Ezekiel that he would be hanged for insubordination if he did not fall in line. Ezekiel shut the Vox off mid-sentence.
Now that Ezekiel and the regiments that had gone AWOL with him no longer had to take orders from Klein, their ability to fight increased dramatically. Even so this was still not enough to turn the tide around. They were no longer being butchered, but the enemy was still winning. Ezekiel began to notice certain things about their foe. First of all they were far too precise and organised for Chaos followers, even considering the fact that they were being lead by the experienced Chaos Marines. Also the force as a whole were better equiped than what should be possible, even for the Chaos Marines. Ezekiel began to believe that there was a third party involved.
Still he had to press on. He devoted his forces to pushing back the enemy line as far as they could. He did this because he wanted to make an attack on the capitol which was under enemy control. He figured that both the leadership, and the secret benefactor of the Heretics would be based there. This was hard going as the Chaos forces refused to give ground easily. During one particular battle Ezekiel was forced to assualt a very fortified enemy line. A tank shell had nearly taken his head off. Luckily a nearby soldier tackled him, and got him out of the way just in time.
When he rose and looked at the Guardsmen to thank him, he was shocked. Firstly the Guardsman was a Guardswoman, and he knew her. It was none other than Clarana Sagilet. Confused, but overjoyed Ezekiel wanted to hug her right there, but the battle took precedence. After the battle he and Rowlorn went to talk with Clarana.
It had turned out that back on Sanctimony Clarana had been severely injured and buried under rubble due to a grenade. She was later found by a civilian family and nursed back to health. She had been unable to speak, and so could not identify herself. When she finally recovered Ezekiel and Rowlorn were already gone. Not believing that Ezekiel and her brother were dead, she joined the Imperial Guard in order to be able to move off the planet, and had since made Sergeant. Both Ezekiel and Rowlorn were overjoyed, Ezekiel kissed her, and Rowlorn gave her such a big hug that Ezekiel had to pry her out of it for fear of her back breaking.
Still, despite their joy they still had grim business at hand. Ezekiel decided that they would have to try something drastic in order to win this war. So he came up with a plan. While the world had a large civilised area where the people lived, the planet was mostly a Death world with the majority of the planet covered in dangerous wilderness. Ezekiel decided that he would take a small force and cross the wilderness in order to attack enemy HQ from behind their lines.
Ezekiel and his men spent many weeks in the dense and dewadly jungles of the world. Many of his men died. Luckily he still had a descent group of soldiers, as he had only brought the best and brightest with him. Halfway throught the journey they were ambushed by a team of three snipers. In order to allow the rest of the group get away Alereina and Sergeant Connery stayed behind to deal with them.
They spent many hours in a deadly game of cata nd mouse with the enemy snipers, but eventually they managed to get them all. Once they were through they inspected the enemies. Alereina was shocked, as the hostiles had been Eldar Rangers like herself. Confused and disturbed at the thought that her own people were aiding Chaos forces, Alereina attempted to find some kind of explanation. Connery said there was no time to think about it as they had to return to the group.
When they returned to the group Ezekiel could tell that their discovery was bothering Alereina. He comforted her, saying that they did not know the whole story, and should not jump to conclusions. He also pointed out that her people were known for seemingly random acts of hostility. This comforted her a little, though she made a point to tell Ezekiel not to speak of her people so disrespectfully. With this they finally managed to get out of the wilderness, and were firmly behind enemy lines.
The force then made the long trek to where Ezekiel believed the enemy HQ to be. Along the way Ezekiel found himself to be disgusted with the state of the city. It was wrecked, and the buildings were covered in grafiti with Chaos symbology. Every so often they would come across the mutilated corpses of the citezens of soldiers, to into a grotesque tribute to these foul gods. All of this reaffirmed Ezekiel's belief that anything Warp related is not to be trusted.
Finally Ezekiel and his group located the HQ. Ezekiel had hoped that the security would not be too formidable, as they were far from the front lines. To his dismay the HQ was well fortified and guarded. They would need some way to get in. It was decided that Connery and the Wildboys would cause a distraction while Ezekiel and the rest of the group went in in order to take out the enemy leadership.
The plan worked and Ezekiel and his group were able to infiltrate the compound. He finally found the room where the commanding officers were, and burst in ready for a fight. Within the room he identified the Chaos Lord, his Sorcerer and a force of bodyguards made up of Chosen. To his great surprise, and Alereina's shock, there was an Eldar Farseer present with a squad of Dire Avengers.
Alereina called out to the Farseer asking what he was doing there. He responded by saying that he was securing the future of the Eldar. He then turned to the Chaos Lord, and told him to get rid of this nuisance or he would withdraw his support, and then opened a Webway portal and left, leaving the Dire Avengers to help with the clean up. While he did not realise it at the time, this would be Ezekiel's first meeting with his long time enemy, Farseer Givaldris of Feyrahntal.
It was then that the fight began. Ezekiel and his men were at a clear disadvantage. While the abilities of the Chaos Lord and his Chosen were a significant problem, it was the Sorcerer and the Dire Averngers who complicated things. It was looking as thought this would be the end, especially when the Chaos Lord pinned Ezekiel and was going to deliver a Coup de grace. However before the blow was struck, an improvesed explosive devise smashed through a nearby window. It had been tossed in by Connery and his squad, and the explosion killed a significant number of enemies, including the Sorcerer.
It also distracted the Chaos Lord, giving Ezekiel the chance he needed to run him through with his Power Saber, instantly killing him. With the Sorcerer and the Chaos Lord dead, the remaining enemies were easy to pick off, especially since many of them were still disoriented by the explosion. Ezekiel broadcasted the news of the Chaso Lords death over the Vox Network. The now disorganised Chaos forces were a much less difficult enemy for the Imperial forces, and with the Eldar no longer supporting them with their precognition they were no longer able to predict Imperial movements.
With the Chaos forces defeated, it was time for Ezekiel to leave. For a long time now he had been familiarizing himself with the men he had served with. Eventuallt he managed to convince many of them to go AWOL with him when the time came. Among those that he had convinced were many Imperial Guardsmen, Some of the Imperial Navy personel, Enginseers and many others. He and his men boarded their new ships and set off. Before he left he sent General Klein a message over the Vox network.
- "Good evening General. You may remember me as Obidiah Vernon. My actual name is Ezekiel Cornatus, and I will be taking a portion of your men, ships and overall equipment. In return I have handed you a victory in spite of your gross incompetence. Oh, and don't bother trying to chase me. I made sure to disable the Warp Drives on the other ships. Good luck hoofing it back to Peltoris Minor."
- —Ezekiel Cornatus
As it turned out, this was the perfect time for ezekiel to leave. Harlannon and Macadeus had finally figured out where Ezekiel had been hiding all of this time. They came in order to finally place judgement on him. However, when they got there they found that Ezekiel had not simply escaped again, he had made off with significant Imperial resources. Harlannon sentenced Klein to death for his incompetence in allowing a wanted fugitive to work underneath him and steal a portion of the Imperial Guard.
Public Enemy #........ Errr.... Lets say 42
His sudden departure from the Imperial Guard, along with considerable military resource, had officially put Ezekiel on the wanted list. The galaxy is a big place, and there are countless menaces out there. Before Ezekiel had just been a small regional problem at best. Now The Imperium recognized him as a first class criminal.
He was now offcially marked for capture by both the Inquisition and the Arbites. Despite this he had not left the Imperial Guard with nothing to show for it. He now was the owner of his own Lunar Class Cruiser, along with Sword and a Firestorm Class Frigates. Furthermore with the personel that he had convinced to join him, he now had a small personal army, with the proper specialists to maintain it. He now had more enemies than he had ever known, but he also had the means not only to survive, but to thrive.
Alereina had decided to leave after the battle. Over the time she had with Ezekiel the two had grown very close. When Clarana returned she relized that things would become complicated with her around. More importantly she wanted to go back to her Craftworld. She was not ready to give up her Ranger lifestyle, but she wanted to gather information from her people. The Eldar that had been aiding the Chaos forces had deeply disturbed her as they had inspected them afterwards, finding no Chaos iconography or vivsible mutations. they had found no signs that the Eldar had been infuenced by Chaos at all. She left a week after the battle to find answers.
While he was looking to expand his operation, he was not foolish enough to test his luck with the Arbites and the Inquisition after him, particularly Harlannon. He decided to opoerate within the Borlatus sub-sector. The Borlatus sub-sector was an area known for having rogues, smugglers and pirates in abundance. Within it Ezekiel would blend in seemlessly. With an area to work in Ezekiel began try his hand at piracy and smuggling. he quickly found that he had a knack for it. While he, and his men took part in criminal activity they all made sure live by a code of honor. With this Ezekiel and his men gained a reputation within the Borlatus sector as a band of chivalrous rogues.
One day Ezekiel and his group were out doing their work when they were discovered by an Imperial patrol. Outgunned and with no chance of escape, it looked as if it was going to be the end of Ezekiel. Just then a group of ships entered the fray, crippling the Imperial ships. With the aid of this unknown ally Ezekiel manged to turn the tide, and force the Imperials to retreat. After the fight Ezekiel contatcted what looked to be the Flagship of the ally group.
It was then that Ezekiel found out that he had been rescued by Alister Brodmann. Alister Brodmann was a well known crime lord within the Borlatus sub-sector, having earned the title of Outlaw Lord of Borlatus. Realizing the prestigious company he was in, Ezekiel invited Alister aboard his ship for drinks. Alister refused this invitation, instead offering the same to Ezekiel. Faced with an offer he could not refuse Ezekiel entered Alister's ship.
Upon meeting the legendary criminal Ezekiel quickly felt a connection. Alister was clever, witty and charming, much like Ezekiel himself. For perhaps the first time in his life Ezekiel felt as though he had met someone that truly understood how he himself viewed the world. After plenty of small talk, and drinks Alister made Ezekiel an offer. He had heard of Ezekiel as well, and had been impressed by what he had heard so far. He offered to become business partners. Ezekiel would give him a cut of his profits, and in return Alister would take him under his wing, providing him with all the support of alister's considerable assets. After some debate, and bartering Ezekiel accepted Alister's offer.
For a good while after Ezekiel and his men were more or less a part of Brodmann's criminal enterprise. He gained quite a bit of experience and knowledge during this time. This Knowledge would be important later once he stroke out on his own again, but for the time being he was simply enjoying the ride. He became close with many of Alister's subordinates. This was particularly true of a theif within Alister's employ named Felicia Rouvery. Felicia was interested in Ezekiel as well, but Ezekiel would not betray Clarana's trust in him. Though Ezekiel made a point to keep an eye on her, as did Clarana.
Everything was going swimmingly until an occurence came along, and made Ezekiel begin to doubt his partner. The Arbites had apperently managed to comprimise the group of one of Alister's long standing business partners. Instead of support one of his longest standing, and most loyal allies Alister decided to have him gotten rid of. If the man was caught he could present the Arbites with evidence and information that would hurt Alister, So he sent this man a message telling him that they were having a meeting. When the man got there he was gunned down by Alister's men. Seeing Alister did to those who were no longer of any use, Ezekiel cut ties with the crime lord.
However Ezekiel did not realize the kind of man that Brodmann was. He was not the kind of man you simply walk away from. If Ezekiel was not working for Alister then he was now competition. Normally this would not have bothered Alister, as he had many enemies, but he knew that Ezekiel could actually give him a run for his money. Furthermore since Ezekiel had worked with Alister, Ezekiel had in depth knowledge of Alister's operation. Alister could not afford to allow Ezekiel to move freely, so he prepared to have this problem "Stabilized".
Alister had one of Ezekiel's independent business partners send him a request to buy some drugs at a very good price. He then had his men prepare an ambush at the meeting site. Ezekiel came thinking he was about to get a great deal only to walk into a trap. He might have bit the dust that time, but a combination of Shifty's good instancts and Connery's momentus combat skills allowed Ezekiel and most of his men to escape. Since his trap failed, and Ezekiel was now on to him, Alister called up all of his numerous assets, and put a price on Ezekiel's head. Ezekiel was now at war with most of the Borlatus sub-sector's criminals.
With countless criminals on his tail ezekiel was forced to play A cat and mouse game. The irony of coming to a lawless area to escape pursuit only to be pursued by outlaws was not lost on Ezekiel. Most of his crew strongly recommended that they flee the Borlatus sub-sector. This was the only reasonable thing to do, but Ezekiel's pride simply would not allow him to leave without serving up some just desserts.
Naturally this was not a fight that he could win by fighting fairly. Ezekiel needed something that he could use to gain an edge over Brodmann. After recieving knews that a high ranking Arbites was patrolling the sub-sector, Ezekiel had an idea. He attacked the patrol, encouraging them to pursue him. He then leaked information to Alister's spy network, giving them his location and making it seem like the perfect chance to crush him.
Alister was the first to arrive. He brought all the firepower that his influence could get him. He engaged Ezekiel's ships within an asteroid field. There Ezekiel usedd some clever maneuvers to keep one step ahead of Alister's ships. That was when the Imperial patrols came. Due to some information that Ezekiel had leaked the Imperial forces had come bristeling with guns. Relizing that they had caught a much bigger fish than Ezekiel, they engaged Alister's ships.
While Alister and his officers were busy with the Imperials, Ezekiel snuck up on Alister's ship and attacked. The surpize attack crippled the engines and weapon systems of the ship. Ezekiel then sent a Vox signal to Alister's bridge.
- "Well hello there old friend. We haven't chatted for a while, have we? You know, there was once a time when I admired you, when I thought that some day I would become like you. Now I realize that I can do much better than you could ever do. Did you really think that this was not going to come back to bite you? I am Ezekiel Cornatus! Public enemy number..... Um... Could you hold on for a moment? Hey guys, where am I on the wanted list? Well can we look it up? Fine, then just make up a number..... that is way too high up. If I tell him that they will all think I'm vain. Stop laughing! Something lower please..... Now that's too low. Do you wise asses want to destroy my self esteem? Grrrrr, lets just say 42 and be done with it. By the way, what does that flashing light mean?.... What do you mean the Vox is still on?! CRAP!!!"
- —Ezekiel talking to Alister over the Vox.
Before he left Alister to his fate Ezekiel extended an offer to tkae anybody who would rather work for him away from the situation. naturally many decided to back the winning horse, including Felicia. With that Ezekiel left Alister to face the music. His victory caused him to gain Alister's title, The Outlaw Lord of Borlatus. Afterward he decided to leave the Borlatus sub-sector and explore. Unbeknownst to him he had gained a formidable opponent in the process. Marshal Grogorim Tchek was the one that Ezekiel used to beat Alister, and now he had Ezekiel in his crosshairs.
A Tide of Green and Red
I while later Ezekiel and his men landed on a Feral World called Glurgock. Glurgock was a planet that was mostly covered in jungles, and populated by barbaric tribes, but had one civilized city where the Planetary Governor and the rest of the adepts stayed. Ezekiel was there in order to deliver a shipment of high-end drugs to a client.
Ezekiel, Clarana and Johansen went down with a few men to make the exchange. They met the client in one of the cities more famous nightclubs. Ezekiel had been enthusiastic about the deal because it was on a Feral World. Because these kinds of Worlds lack many of the comforts that the adepts stationed on them enjoy on civilized worlds they will pay lots of money for various pleasures. This meant that Ezekiel would be able to haggle for an advantageous price with the buyer.
When Ezekiel met with the client he started his haggling with an outrageous price. To his complete surprize the buyer agreed immediately. Ezekiel was shocked. He checked to make sure that his buyer was sure about what he had decided. He also noticed that the client seemed nervous, and anxious to leave. Curious about what was causing his client to be so understanding, Ezekiel told him that he would not be making any deals until they had a few drinks. The client initially refused, but Ezekiel toldd him that he could not trust a business partner that he could not drink with.
Using his typical charm, and his resistance to foreign substances Ezekiel nearly drank the client under the table. He then began to question him. He then learned that the client was trying to get off-world as soon as possible, and that many of the adepts on the planet were looking to do the same. This was because there was a war going on out in the jungles. The planet had been attacked by both an Ork Tribe and a Warband of Traitor Marines. The to forces were even then fighting over the rights to sack the planet.
With a little perspective on what was going on, Ezekiel decided that his client had the right idea. He concluded his business, getting a good deal from his nervous client, and headed for his shuttle with all haste. He did feel sorry for the natives, as they stood little chance against these two forces, especially since the imperial officials seemed happy to abandon them, but he could not save everybody from every danger he encountered. As his shuttle took off he said a rare prayer to the Emperor. They were just about gone when the shuttle was shot down by Ork Deffkoptas. He made sure to curse the Emperor as they were going down.
- "For the first time in ages I pray to you, and you reward me by shooting me down with Orks! WELL SCREW YOU TOO WINDBAG!!"
- —Ezekiel to the Emperor of Mankind.
Ezekiel's shuttle crashed on one of the nearby mountains that were surrounded by jungle. The shuttle was pretty much scrap at that point, and the pilot along with some of his men had died in the crash. After surveying the surroundings on a nearby cliff Ezekiel figured they were some distance away from the city. The presence ofthe Deffkoptas were proof that the battlefield was moving closer to the city. If Ezekiel and his surviving men wanted to get off of the planet alive they would have to reach the city before the Orks and Heretics did. They promptly set off towards the city on foot.
Along the way Ezekiel and his men encountered a small group of tribal warriors fighting, and losing to two Marines in red armor with Chainaxes. With his long record of service on the battlefield johansen immediately identified them as World Eaters. He told Ezekiel that if this planet had a World eater Warband as well as Orks on it, then things would get very bloody very fast, and suggested they get off-world as fast as they could. However Ezekiel did not have the heart to just leave the tribals to get butchered, so he intervened. Johansen took the first one down with a few precise shots of his Hotshot Lasgun, while Ezekiel beheaded the other while Clarana distracted him.
After the deed was done Ezekiel checked on the tribals. They seemed grateful to Ezekiel and his men, but then again Ezekiel could not understand their language. One of the warriors, who Ezekiel pegged as the leader, gestured for Ezekiel and his men to follow. At first Ezekiel hesitated, feeling pressed for time, but he noticed that the way that the warriors were leading them was in the general direction of the city, so he decided that it would not cost him anything to see what they wanted.
They went through a long distance in the jungle. All the while they had to fight and evade the Ork and heretic forces. Eventually Ezekiel had lost nearly everyone in his squad besides Clarana and Connery, and a few of the tribals remained. They stopped briefly to rest, only to be attacked by a Mob of Orks. There was little chance of escape, and Ezekiel knew that with their numbers it would be impossible to take the group on. It was looking grim when a group of shrubs, bushes and an unexplained trash can began to attack the Orks.
When the dust settled the Orks were dead. The assorted greenery shed their disguises, revealing themselves to be Ork Kommandos. Ezekiel was not entirely surprized, as he felt that the Trash can had given it away somewhat. Still, these were Orks like the rest, and Ezekiel did not understand why they had helped him so he prepared for a fight. The largest Ork walked up to Ezekiel, and introduced himself as the great Kommando Nob, Snikrom. It seemed that these Orks were not out to pulverize him, which he was grateful for as the Mob was rather big and nasty looking.
Ezekiel wanted to ask what the heck was going on, but before he could get to it Snikrom told him there was no time for talk, and told him to follow. Thouroughly confused, and seeing no alternative Ezekiel decided to sate his curiosity and follow the Kommandos to the disagreement of Clarana and Connery. After a little while the Kommandos lead them to a series of caves where Tribal warriors had gathered. Ezekiel sat by a fire in one of the caves while Snikrom explained the situation.
Basically Snikrom had been a part of the Ork force until he was kicked out. The Tribe that was attacking was part of the Goff Klan. It had recently taken part in a Waaagh! that had fallen apart. Snikrom's old Tribe had been from the Blood Axes, and had also taken part in the same Waaagh!, but had been destroyed when the Waaagh! fell apart. As such Snikrom and his Kommandos got stuck with the Goff Tribe. When they attacked the planet Snikrom and the Warboss got into a Taktikal dispute where the Warboss declared Snikrom and his Kommandos un-Orky, and kicked them out.
Snikrom wanted revenge. He found the Feral Worlders, and decided that they were not entirely un-Orky, and decided to form them into his own temporary Warband in order to stomp his former Warboss, and the Chaos Marines. So far his plans had failed spectacularly, as the tribals simply could not fight with the Ork and World Eaters. With his curiosty sated Ezekiel decided to get out of the situation as quickly as possible. However, Connery pointed out that there was no way that they could get to the city before it was sacked. That was when Ezekiel noticed that Snikrom and his Kommandos were in possession of a Wartrukk. Apparently they had stolen it as one last screw you to their Goff Warboss. Ezekiel then made a deal with Snikrom. He would help the Ork get back at his former Boss if Snikrom gave him a ride to the city. Snikrom agreed.
They were about to set off when Ezekiel remebered a key fact about Orks. They are bad drivers. Suddenly unsure of the course that he had chosen, Ezekiel hesitated. In order to reassure Ezekiel, Snikrom introduced him the his Mob's driver, Mik. Mik was a rather dull, boring looking Ork that usually responded in one syllable sentences. With such a dour ork driving, Ezekiel felt slightly more secure and got into the Wartrukk. This, as it turned out, was a mistake. Mik, while being a very dull Ork in general, had a unique talent for driving like an Ork intent on suicide, which his Mob naturally loved.
After a long drive through the jungle, which Ezekiel has often claimed had shortened his lifespan, Mik "parked" the Wartrukk at the city gates. As it had turned out, the Tribe had already entered the city, and were in the process of laying waste to it while fighting the World Eaters.
Ezekiel wanted to head straight to the space station and leave the whole planet in his rear view mirror as fast as possible. Snikrom had other ideas. He was quick to remind Ezekiel about their deal, and to point out the arm sized combat knife that was ready for Ezekiel if he went back on his word. After much whining and futile attempts at bargaining Ezekiel gave in, and the group began to look for the whereabouts of the Ork Warboss.
Finally they found out the route that the Warboss and his retinue were taking through the city. With a little strategic planning on the parts of Ezekiel and Snikrom the group set an ambush. It was all going well until one of the Ork Kommandos jumped the gun. It immediately turned into a deadly situation as the Mega-Nobz acting as the Warboss' bodyguards engaged the group. To make matters worse a mob of Stormboyz jumped in to support their boss.
Ezekiel realized that at the rate they were going things were going to conclude with him six feet under. Taking one of his usual gambles Ezekiel began to taunt the Warboss, inciting him into a duel with Ezekiel. For several minutes ezekiel and the massive Ork battled. Ezekiel was confident in his abilities, but even he knew that he could not beat the green giant in a fair fight, and thus he fought while simply trying to survive. His ploy paid off. While the Warboss was busy trying to crush Ezekiel's skull Snikrom had snuck up behind him. Snikrom jumped on the Warboss' back, and then slit his throat. With their boss dead the rest of the Orks fled, or began fighting amongst themselves.
Snikrom was impressed with Ezekiel's performance. He gave him a good stout fist to the shoulder while singing his praises. He had never seen such a gutsy, and interesting human before. Ezekiel tried not to show it, but his shoulder was in immense pain. Ezekiel made then stated that it was time for him to get off the planet, and citing that the aggreement had been fulfulled bid Snikrom goodbye. Snikrom responded by informing Ezekiel of his good mood. As a token gesture the Kommando offered to escort Ezekiel and his men to the port. Ezekiel aggreedm feeling that he was not yet out of danger and seeing the value of having a group of well armed Orks at his back.
When they reached the space port they were greeted by two unpleasant surprizes. The first was that the Orks had previously taken over the port, and had seen fit to "Ork up" all the vessels there. The second surprize was that the port had since changed hands, and the the Champion in charge of the Warband had made the port his command post. Violence imeediately ensued.
Ezekiel saw no chance of winning the confrontation, and was about to order a retreat when Snikrom stopped him. Snikrom ordered his men to bring out a improvised explosive device about the size and shape of a bascketball. He referred to it as the "Killa Killa". They lobbed the device into the middle of the enemy, then activated it by shooting it with a Rokkit. The resulting explosion killed the World Eaters, and levelled half of the space port.
After searching the ruined port they finally found a workable craft. However the modification made by the Orks had made it impossible to operate by anyone but an Ork. After Ezekiel took out his frustration by breaking his foot on the ship Snikrom offered a new deal. Snikrom would help Ezekiel get back to his ship on the condition that he take Snikrom and his men along with him. Seeing no other choice Ezekiel agreed on the condition that Mik be excluded from driving.
- "This might be the excruciating pain that is running through my foot talking, but you have yourself a deal. Just make sure that charming fellow stays out of the cocckpit! I must be insane for agreeing to this!"
- —Ezekiel agreeing to bring Snikrom into his crew.
They made it back to their ship, and prepared to leave. Ezekiel had a difficult time justifying the addition of a Mob of Kommandos to the rest of his men, but he eventually persuaded them into tolerating the new presence. Ezekiel made sure to deliver a distress call to the nearest Imperial world before leaving.
Fleeing the Coming Doom
A highly significant event in Ezekiel's life occured when he was engaged by an Imperial Navy patrol. He had been en route to make an exchange of merchandice with one of his business associates when he accidently jumped right in the path of an Imperial patrol. Recognizing the ships of the infamous Ezekiel Cornatus the patrol engaged. As a result Ezekiel was forced to make a random Warp jump or be destroyed. This would result in him stumbling upon a planet that few within the Imperium had knowledge of, Bororus Prime.
Down on the planet an alarm had sounded within the Fortress-monastary of the Heralds of Coming Doom. Checking their sensors, they detected the ships that had exited the Warp above their planet. The Heralds had always been a secretive Chapter, and had gone to great lengths to make sure that their Homeworld would remain hidden from all others. As such the arrival of a set of vessels over their planet represented a threat to the Chapter.
Ezekiel had not known about the planet or the significance of it at the time. Thinking it was simply another Imperial world ezekiel hailed the planets nearest space port, and used one of his covers to ask permission to disembark onto the planet. He was on approach when he noticed that the worlds Planetary Defense Guns had come on line, and were targeting his ships.
- "Greetings! this is Captain Hubert Baroon of the Veronica. Our ships suffered a little damage in a skirmish recently, and we would like to dock our ship in orbit above your planet for repairs. With your permission we would also like to disembark our vessels onto your lovely planet. So... I say! It seems that your palnetary defenses are coming on line. Are you running a test? Wait, now they seem to be targeting my ships. Now why would they... OH CRAP! Turn the ships around! Run for it!"
- —Ezekiel upon realizing that he was about to be shot down.
Ezekiel managed to just barely get away with his men. He got out of range of the planetary defense cannons and ran all the faster when he noticed a Strike Cruiser approaching from the far side of the planet. Despite all of this he still made the Warp Jump. Down on the planet the Heralds were mobilizing. This sudden developemetn threatened to exposed the long held secret of their Homeworld. Finally Doom priest Zarkreus Safrion order Calrion Arakiol and his 9th host to pursue and destroy those that had discovered their world.
Calrion immediately began to hunt Ezekiel and his crew. He utilized the formidable information network of the Heralds, the Oracleus. It took Ezekiel a little while to realize he had been pursued, and slightly longer to realize how connected his pursuers were. Once he did he used his own contacts to remain one step ahead of the Heralds.
Calrion and Ezekiel played their game of Cat and Mouse for five months. During this time Calrion seemingly cornered Ezekiel no less than three times. However in each case Ezekiel narrowly evaded him. Eventually Calrion truly cornered Ezekiel in the asteroid belt of the Bladia system. It seemed that this would be the end for Ezekiel. He prepared his men for a last stand.
However Calrion had other ideas. Over the course of those five months Calrion had seen what his prey was capable of. The fact that this seemingly insignificant rogue could elude him so well for so long had astounded him. He grew interested in Ezekiel, and began to research some of his exploits. What he found was a man with unbelievable cleverness and ingenuity. Calrion began to grow found of Ezekiel in the same way that a hunter gorws fond of worthy quarry. He felt it would be a shame to simply kill such an individual. So he contacted Ezekiel with a deal.
- "Here me now scum! It has been a long chase, but it is over now. You stand on the precipice of oblivion, but it does not have to end that way. Swear your service to the Heralds of Coming Doom, and I will spare your life.
Hmm... Interesting! So precisely what are my other options?
You know damn well what your "other options" are!
Spell them out for me would you?
Sigh... Death, brutal death, paiful death, slow death, horrific death and any other form of death you can think of that includes extreme violence.
I see. While horrific death seems interesting, I think I will hear you out. "
- —Calrion Arakiol and Ezekiel Cornatus
In the end Ezekiel took the deal. He had no choice. Ezekiel was brought on board the Reaper's Strike Cruiser. He was forced to take a Psychic Oath enforced by the power of one of the Herald's Seers. The Oath would make it so that he physically could not even talk about Bororus Prime to anyone outside the Chapter. Ezekiel from then on was informally inducted into the Chapter's Oracleus. He would use his expertise in the underground to supply the Heralds of Coming Doom with intelligence upon request. In return Ezekiel would be allowed to call upon Chapter assets if the situation warranted it.
Ironically the deal would prove highly beneficial to Ezekiel. he now had some access to the Oracleus. Utilizing this great information network gave Ezekiel an advantage over many of his competitors in the criminal underworld. As a result Ezekiel's reputation and wealth grew considerably. As part of the deal Ezekiel never used his contacts in the Oracleus to spy on the Imperium save to stay ahead of those hunting him.
A Meeting of Traitors
A truly significant event in Ezekiel life occured when he and his men were on shore leave on the Hive world Mugupok. There he would meet one of his best allies, and a duo that would become one of his most formidable foes.
Ezekiel had decided that it was about time for he and his men to have a break from business. The work had yielded enough profit that he could go for a few months without being active and still be fine. The men were tired from constant adventuring, and he wanted to spend some quality time with Clarana. For a long period of time she had been somewhat distant to him, and he wanted to give them both a chance to spend some intimate time with one another. He hoped that this would put her in better spirits. The fact that Felicia had not been subtle about her intentions towards him did not make the matters any easier.
He landed on Mugupok, and gave his men leave to do as they wished. Meanwhile he and Clarana made a retreat into one of the local Hive's spires while masquerading as a noble couple from off world. They also spent time in the Lower Hive. There Ezekiel gave some of his winnings to the Hivers, remembering all to well how tough it was living in the Lower Hive and how welcome charity was. As a result of spending time down there he managed to recruit some of the Hivers into his crew.
Everything was going well, and Ezekiel intended to stay on Mugupok for five months. However after a month of staying on the planet their plans changed. All of the sudden a crimewave swept through the Hive. Gangs within the Underhive and Lower Hive showed increasingly violent tendancies. To make things more ominous their attacks seemed to fall and places that were important to the functioning of the Hive, or were executed in a fashion that would cause panic. Ezekiel sensed the coming storm. He told those that he had become close to in the Lower Hive that they shoulkd find somewhere safe to stay, and ordered his men to regroup for departure. Ezekiel was having a bad feeling about whatever was about to happen, and he did not want to get tied up in it.
His plans changed when the he tried to leave. He Clarana and some of his men were in the Space Port, about to board their shuttle. Out of nowhere a large group of Gangers attacked the port. Ezekiel and his group helped port security to stop the attack. However the gangers managed to effectively destroy the port, preventing Ezekiel from leaving the planet. Ezekiel and his group met up in a local bar to discuss their next move. Ezekiel was simply going to head to the next Hive with a Space Port and then leave. However they learned that similar attacks had occured at other Hives from talking with some of the bar customers. Ezekiel realized that the oncoming storm that he sinsed was bigger than he thought, and he would not be able to avoid it. He came to the conclusion that the best course of action was to be proactive, and find out what they were dealing with so they could stop it.
He found out what gang had been responsible for the attack. He then used his contacts and found out the headquarters of the gang. He had learned that the gang had recently been growing much more powerful. It also seemed as if the gang had been recieving new equipment and weapons. It became apparent to Ezekiel that someone had been giving this gang, and in fact many other gangs in the Hive material support. He decided he wanted to have a talk with the Gang's leader. He sent johansen and his squad in first, and they quickly subduedd the gang with thier superior training.
Ezekiel questioned the Gang Leader about where all of the money and weapons they had were coming from. Initially Ezekiel got nothing out of the Ganger, but his prisoner became far more talkative once Ezekiel threatened to let Snikrom and his Boyz have some fun. It turned out that the Gang Leader knew very little about the situation. He had agreed to do the dirty work for some gangs in thw capital Hive in return for resources. He claimed the the gangs in the capital Hive had recently been united by someone. The gang leader did not know who, but had heard some reference being made to a pair that the capital Gangers had simply referred to as the "Brothers".
Eager to nip this problem in the bud, Ezekiel made his way to the capital city. Once he arrived in the capital he found that the situation there was even worse than it had been in the last city. The gangs were especially powerful there, and were causing serious problems. In fact it was so bad that even the Arbites were having difficulty keeping the peace. Furthermore as a result of the situation the people of the hive were on the verge of open rebellion.
Ezekiel could not help but feel that this level of discord was not natural, and in fact was most likely being caused by design. He quickly set about searching for these so called Brothers. He found his progress was hampered at every turn. The Brothers had become something of a shadowy legend amongst the scum of the Hive Primus. Most knew too little to be of help, while others were too scared to to talk to him. His hunt for the brothers also resulted in him being targeted by some of the local criminals. Clearly this was going to be a difficult search.
After a load of painstaking investigation, Felicia managed to find a club that seemed to have some connection to all of this for Ezekiel. Ezekiel took her as well as Rowlorn and Johansen to see if they could find out more. He got to the club, and started to look around. As it turned out they found a big lead. The owner of the club was a man named Vordrum Mortalis. Ezekiel spoke with him, and after a bit of probing it turned out that he was in fact one of the infamous Borthers that hew had heard about.
Ezekiel instantly moved to confront and capture Vordrum, but he underestimated his foe. Vordrum and his men proved to be dangerous adversaries. Ezekiel thought he was going to gain the advantage, but the insane Vordrum opted to end the fight by burning down the club with a Flamer. He then left Ezekiel's group as well as his own men to die. To make matters worse Vordrum had planted explosives within the club in case anybody ever learned the truth. Ezekiel and his friends barely escaped alive.
As Ezekiel and his men were leaving the destroyed club he suddenly found himself faced with a new threat. Out of nowhere a Space Marine with ramshackle black Power Armor approached, and assualted them. While they had the advantage of numbers it was not enough to match the prodigious skills of their adversary. The strange marine had the barrel of his Bolter to Ezekiel's head when Rowlorn distracted him with a well placed grenade. Taking advantage of the confusion Ezekiel managed to escape.
While he was curious about what had just occured, Ezekiel realized that finding out what the Brothers were up to took precedence. He rendezvoused with the rest of his men in order to plan his next move. After a little investigation he found out about a warehouse that the Brothers had been using for storage. He managed to sneak into the warehouse with Shifty and Johansen. There they discovered crates that was storing a potent toxic compound. Before they could continue their investigation the Marine from before appeared once again.
This time the Marine chose to speak first. He said his name was Barael Tollock, and that he was a Bounty Hunter. He then gave Ezekiel a choice, give himself up willingly, or have his bounty collected with Ezekiel in a body bag. Ezekiel decided to risk the latter, and once more they fought. However like before it was clear that Barael's combat skills were in another league, and he quickly gained the upper hand. He was about to execute Ezekiel when a large number of Gangers arrived, and attempted to kill them all. Between the skills of the four they made short work of the gangers.
When the work was done Barael expressed his surprize. He had believed that Ezekiel had been behind the discord that had been plaguing the world at the time since Ezekiel had been the only high level criminal on the planet that he knew of. However with the attack from the local scum Barael had realized that Ezekiel was mosty likely not the culprit. Ezekiel and Barael then spoke about what they knew of the current state of affairs. Ezekiel told Barael about the Brothers, and Barael told Ezekiel about what he knew, most interestingly that the criminals on the planet had been stocking up on clean water.
That is when Shifty came to a realization that shocked the other. He was familiar with the toxic compound in the warehouse, and he noted that it could not be converted into a gaseous form, and was too dense to make an effective spray. This confused Ezekiel as with those characteristics it would be difficult to use the toxin on a large scale, which from the amount he had seen in the warehouse had to be the Brothers' intent. It was then that Shifty pointed out the water.
Suddenly the whole picture clicked for Ezekiel. The Brothers were going to dump the poison into the planet's water supplies. They had increased the crime rate in order to have the authorities on the planet divert their attention. With the officials busy with the atrocious crime spree they would divert protection from other assets, such as the water. They would then use the opportunity to poison the water supply. With the Space Ports in disrepair from the terrorist attacks it would be difficult for people to import more water, or get people safely off planet. Finally with them having the only safe source of water they could get the people to do whatever they asked. The Brothers would take over the planet with ease.
Furthermore according to some documents that Johansen found within the warehouse, the attack was iminent. Ezekiel had to get back to his crew, and prepare to thwart the scheme, but before Ezekiel could leave Barael grabbed him. Barael demanded that Ezekiel bring him along, as he wanted to stop the Brothers as well. Even more so he stated that he had not given up on taking Ezekiel in, and that the moment that the crisis was over he would take Ezekiel down. Faced with little other choice, Ezekiel agreed to allow Barael to accompany him.
Once he had gotten back to his men Ezekiel began planning. Felicia had since done some snooping, and had finally identifieds who the Brothers were. Vordrum and Saleck Mortalis, a pair of Chaos worshipping super-criminals. In order to stop this plot from working he would have to prevent the Brothers from poisoning as many of the planet's water sources as possible. He would have to divide his men, and send them to protect the most crucial areas, but even then he was shorthanded. Left with no choice, Ezekiel began to recruit amongst some of the criminals that weren't in the pocket of the Mortalis Brothers, and the citezens of the world.
The attack came just as expected. Out of nowhere the planet saw a full scale uprising under the influence of its most powerful gangs. In the confusion the water sources were attacked. In response the people of the Hives rose up to defend their world under the leadership of Ezekiel's men. It was almost a planetary war. Felicia, Barael and Ezekiel took the primary reservoir, expecting it to be the most likely area for the Mortalis Brothers to directly attack. His guess paid off, and soon Ezekiel was facing off with the brothers and their personal guard.
The two groups fought for a time, but ezekiel managed to hold his position. The battle ended abruptly as the Mortalis Brothers were informed over the Vox that the majority of the assualt had failed, and that the surprized planetary forces were now beginning to regroup. With their plot foiled the Mortalis Brothers opted to run. They left a considerable force behind to deal with Ezekiel, and his men. Barael and Felicia volunteered to stay behind and deal with the Mortalis Borthers' henchmen while Ezekiel went after the criminals himself.
He finally caught up with the two villains when they had reached a personal docking bay with a FTL capable escape craft waiting for them. Ezekiel confronted the two of them, and as a result he ended up in a duel with Vrodrum as Saleck watched. Vordrum was a terrifyingly proficient warrior despite his frivolous attitude, and Ezekiel found himself being slowly beaten down. However he managed to gain a second wind, and it seemed as though he might turn the duel around. To increase his odds Felicia had caught up, and was ready to support him. He was about to jump baack into the fight with renewed vigor when Felicia stabbed him in the back with a knife.
- "Sorry honey. You really are my favorite person in the galaxy, but I prefer to back the winning team. You have got to learn that no matter how much I like you, you just can't trust me."
- —Felicia Rouvery
As Ezekiel was slipping into unconciousness he saw Felicia ask the Mortalis Brothers if she could join their side. She eventually managed to convince them to take her with them, and as she was boarding the craft she blew a kiss to the slowly fainting Ezekiel. They left Ezekiel there to die, and with the planet's Adpetus Arbites on their way to his location it looked like he was going to get caught. Luckily Barael arrived first, and he took Ezekiel back to his crew. They then left the planet.
Ezekiel woke up in the medical bay of his ship. As he woke he was stung by the recognition of Felicia's betrayal. However the medic told him something that gave him pause for thought. Despite being stabbed in the torso, Ezekiel had absolutely no damage to any of his vitals or internal organs. The stab had been painful, but the wound posed no threat to his life at all. This made Ezekiel think that maybe Felicia's betrayal had not been a total one.
As he left the Medbay Ezekiel found Barael waiting for him in the hall. Prepared to have to fight for his life, he was surprized when Barael told him that he had decided to let Ezekiel off the hook. Barael explained that he had become a bounty hunter so that he could slay evildoers in penance for some terrible shame he had committed in the past. Having watched Ezekiel's actions he had determined that while Ezekiel was a criminal, he was not evil.
Barael then made a request of Ezekiel. He believed that if he stayed near ezekiel he would come across many others that would be deserving of his wrath. Thus he wanted to travel with Ezekiel, and in return he would fight for the criminal, but he warned ezekiel that if he ever thought that Ezekiel had turned down a path of evil, he would personally execute him. While the warning made ezekiel nervous, he eagerly accepted the Marine's proposal. Barael's tremendous skills in combat would definately be a welcome asset.
- "If I follow you i will inevitably run across those that deserve to die by the blade. So I ask that you allow me to travel with you. In return I will crush your enemies so long as they warrant death. However a word of caution. If during my travels with you I should see you choose true wickedness, then I will be your end."
- —Barael Tollock
Later Clarana asked to see him. She explained that while she loved Ezekiel, she was concerned with her future together with him. She had been overjoyed when she had found ezekiel alive and healthy, and she was more than willing to fight with him, but she had hoped that at some point there would be an end. She had hoped that at one point Ezsekiel would stop fighting, and that they could settle down and live a peaceful life. Ezekiel then admitted that even if he could stop his current lifestyle, he did not want to. He loved his life of adventure and danger, and for all the suffering it put him through he would be loathe to give it up. He then told Clarana that it would probably be best for both of them to part ways. she agreed.
They dropped Clarana off on the next civilised planet they encountered. Ezekiel and Clarana made their emotional goodbyes, and then she departed. Rowlord puched Ezekiel for the heartache he had caused his sister, but then thanked him for doing what was right for Clarana. Ezekiel offered to allow Rowlord to leave with Clarana, but Rowlorn refused, sighting that he felt ezekiel was the one that warranted looking after more. Ezekiel then left with the new enemies he had acquired, and the loved ones that had left on his mind.
- "Great! Now I have to get involved with the Eldar! Honestly when your people are involved things get complicated Alereina. I wonder if I wouldn't prefer to be dealing with Orks?"
- —Ezekiel Cornatus
Ezekiel resumed his wandering through the stars. He was sad at Clarana's departure, but he could ill afford to grieve for too long with the life he lead. After all he had long been caught up in the affairs of powerful men. Yet he could never suspect that he would soon be caught within the affairs of the enigmatic Eldar.
He was relaxing in a cantina on a backwater Imperial planet when a stranger skuck up from behind and pressed a blade to his throat. He was taken into the alley behind the cantina where his attacker revealed themself. It was none other than Alereina. Ezekiel asked why she had approached him in such a way, to which she responded that she felt like messing with him a bit. She then stated that she needed to talk to him, and that they should find a safe place.
Ezekiel took her to a room in a local inn so that they could speak privately. Once they were settled in the two of them started to catch up. Ezekiel filled Alereina in on events since she left. She was sad to hear that Clarana had decided to leave, and was angry on hearing of Felicia's betrayal. Though she was the most shocked about hearing that Ezekiel had recruited an Astartes bounty hunter, and an Ork Kommando.
Once Ezekiel was finished recounting events Alereina began to explain some strange occurences that had been taking place since she returned to her Craftworld. Since she had returned the Craftworld had been suffering attacks from raiders, and pirates with increasing regularity. A representative from another Craftworld had come to Ulturahsen, and claimed that the Imperium had been sponsoring the attacks in order to soften Ulturahsen up for an invasion.
In response to this news Alereina had decided to look into the claim. Her investigation had mostly confirmed what she had been told, but she had found a few minor discrepancies that made her think twice about the news. As she had investigated further she suddenly found her routes of inquiry blocked off by some third party. She even had an informant that had claimed to know the whole story, but when she went to meet him she found him dead. The body showed signs of lethal damage by Eldar Shuriken weapons. Alereina did not know who to trust, and that was why she sought Ezekiel.
Just as they were going to continue their discussion they suddenly found themselves under attack. The door to their room was kicked down, and they were fired upon by what appeared to be three Eldar Rangers. Both Ezekiel and Alereina just barely managed to jump into cover before they were killed. Neither Alereina nor Ezekiel had been prepared for this attack, anhd thus were outgunned, and outmatched. Knowing that they had to escape, Ezekiel and Alereina flipped up the sofa they were hiding behind, and threw it at their assailants. They then jumped out of a nearby window, and ran away.
They made it back to where Ezekiel's crew was docked. Ezekiel and Alereina described what happened to the rest of his crew, who were surprised to see Alereina, and to hear that they had been attacked by Eldar. Alereina was now sure that there was something rotten going on between the Craftworld Eldar of her home Craftworld, and the other Craftworld. Feeling as if she had nobody else to turn to for help, she asked Ezekiel and his crew for assistance. While Ezekiel felt nervous at the prospect of getting in the middle of the Eldar's business, he couldn't say no to his old friend, and ultimately agreed.
Ezekiel and his crew went on their way under Alereina's guidance. Their destination was the Craftworld Ulturahsen. Before they reached the Craftworld Alereina had the crew stop. She explained that while she did trust Ezekiel and his companions, the risk of revealing Ulturahsen's astrological location was too great for her to lead them directly to the Craftworld. Once they had reached a particular spot Alereina opened a Webway Gate, and told Ezekiel that they would have to travel on foot from that point onwards.
Just prior to entering her Craftworld's Webway Gate Alereina stopped them again. This time she provided the group with special Eldar clothing. The clothing was equipped with special Holo-fields that would change the appearance of those wearing it, and their movements in order to make them resemble that of an Eldar. Since Rowlorn, Barael and Snikrom had body types that were incompatible with the suits' ability to compensate for they were forced to stay behind.
They entered the Craftworld, and as they were instructed they allowed Alereina to do all the talking. Even with their new suits and Alereina's instructions the group was very nearly found out on numerous occasions. Ezekiel was entoxicated by the Craftworld. The exotic architecture and culture stimulated him in a way that he had never felt before. However some of what he saw disturbed him. Notably the fact that it seemed Ulturahsen was preparinjg for war.
Alereina took Ezekiel to meet with her father, Vroginian, who happened to be the Autarch of the Craftworld. When they arrived Vroginian was in a meeting with a Farseer from the Craftworld Feyrahntal named Givaldris. Alereina introduced Ezekiel and the others as Rangers that she had met on her travels. The meeting was cordial enough, and then they left for Alereina's quarters. However Ezekiel found Givaldris somehow familiar, which perplexed him.
A Brush with Death
Ezekiel is a man with a true devil may care personality. He has been decribed on numerous occasions to be very charming. He easily manages become friendly with strangers and is usually the most looked at person in a room unless he chooses not to be. He is also known for his wit, and is a natural joker. Often he will make a joke during a very dire situation. He is well aware of his charisma and relies on it heavily. He prefers to talk his way out of or in to situations rather than using force.
Ezekiel often lives in the moment seeking to enjoy his life to the fullest. He makes sure not to take thias too far as he has had bad experiences with the followers of Slaanesh. He is quick to form a relationship with others, having had numerous romantic and sexual relationships with numerous people over his lifetime, both male and female. He has often joked that he must have over a hundred illegitimate children scattered across the stars. Despite this he only rarly opens up to his partners, only confiding in those he has developed a special connection with. He is also known to have a gamblers streak in him. Often he will pick risky choices, and it seems he gets a kick out of avoiding the potential consequences.
Ezekiel tends to be very open-minded, making friends with criminals, Abhumans, mutants and even Xenos. He has no problem with those that have beliefs that are not his own. This means he is usually very tolerant of other religions. Of coarse there are exceptions to his open-minded views. Chaos being chief among them. He also has a slight phobia in regards to Psykers. He is well aware that Psykers are people just like anybody else. However he is leery of their abilities and particularly hates fighting them. When it is known that he will have to face a Psyker, Ezekiel will often complain adamantly, which usually makes his comrades chastise him.
While he is very mush an easygoing and free spirit, he does have certain traits that are more rigid. He has strong senses of honor and loyalty. Someone that has earned Ezekiel's loyalty will find themselves with an ally that will never abandon them even if it puts him at risk. He also has a deep sense of right and wrong. This has caused him to develope and antiauthoritarian attitude that often puts him at odds with tyrants and bureaucrats. It has been noted that he does not like being told what to do.
Abilities and Traits
Ezekiel Cornatus is a man of many talents. Considered something of a prodigy, his talents were squandered in his youth. When he began his career as a rebel and a criminal his talents truly came to light. Ezekiel is a skilled fighter. He has good aim with a gun, and has mastered a variety of weapons throughout his career. He is comfortable with just about any role in combat. However, Ezekiel's true skill and martial passion comes out when weilding a sword. Before his life became more violent, Ezekiel had been very skilled at a game called Knicking that simulated a sword duel. That skill caried over when he began using the genuine article. Ezekiel has found very few opponents that have been able to match his skill with a blade. His favourite weapon is a Power Saber.
For all of his skill in combat, Ezekiel would much rather use his charm or cunning to win the day. Ezekiel has been gifted with a true silver tongue, easily able to persuade others. This combined with his guile makes him quite formidable. Ezekiel has a flare for grand schemes. His plans are usually creative and unorthodox. They are also often quite risky, taylor made to fit Ezekiel's gambler side. It should be noted however, that Ezekiel has a keen eye for spotting odds that he can't beat. If he believes that there is a good chance that he will get taken down, he will cut his losses and make a run for it.
One of Ezekiel's most unusual traits comes from his habits earlier in life. Back when he was a star musician and when he was stuch in the gutter, Ezekiel used countless drugs. needless to say that the withdrawl he suffered while kicking his addictions was severe. However, exposing himself to all of those drugs and becoming sober actually changed his body chemistry slightly. Due to what he went through Ezekiel's body has developed an acute resistance to foreign substances. This has been both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, Ezekiel is highly resistant to toxins and poisons. This has saved his life on more than one occasion. The flipside of this advantage is that his body is also resistant to many medicines, causing Ezekiel to require alternative treatment or incredibly high concentrations to be effective.
Ezekiel's final useful trait is not truly something that he has control of. That being his luck. While Ezekiel has suffered much throughout his life and had many misfortunes befall him, it has been noted that he has the devils luck. Often he escapes dangerous situations by the skin of his teeth, with only a slight twist of fate keeping him from the grave. At other times his outrageous plans work by sheer fluke. Regardless, his friends and comrades have made a policy of never playing him in a game of cards.
- Simone/Siat'moniar - Beautiful Eldar blade that has become Ezekiel's weapon of choice. Ezekiel recieved the Eldar Power Sword when he helped prevent the assasination of Vroginian, the Autarch of Ulturahsen. During the act his own Power Saber was broken. Vroginian gave Ezekiel Siat'moniar as a token of gratitude. Ezekiel began calling the finely crafted weapon Simone when he forgot how to say its actual name properly.
- Bolt Pistol - An average Bolt Pistol. He acquired it back when he took the identity of Commissar Obidiah Vernon. Ezekiel has had plenty of chances to replace the sidearm with more fancy, or high tech weapons, but so far has refused to do so. Ezekiel claims that he keeps it because the reliable weapon has seen him through many a crisis, and thus has alot of memories in it.
- Arpeligo - When Ezekiel first became a Rogue Trader he did not feel as if his persona was "Roguish" enough. He thus bought himself a Cyber Parrot which he named Arpeligo. The novelty of the Cyber Parrot quickly wore off as the cheap badly made Cyber Parrot would dig his talons into Ezekiel's shoulder, interrupt Ezekiel mid-speech, pilfer things and generally make an unholy racket. Ezekiel hates Arpeligo by his own admission, and would gladly shoot him if he would only stand still for long enough.
A mutant who saved his life after he was declared a heretic, Rowlorn is Ezekiel's closest and most trusted friend. Where Ezekiel is an outlandish individual, Rowlorn is more grounded. He is often the one to keep Ezekiel in check when he feels that his friend is being too reckless. Despite this Rowlorn is unquestionably loyal to Ezekiel, Supporting him through thick and thin.
- "Alright, so here is what we are going to do. Shifty I am going to need you to pick that guard's pocket. After which you need to sneak into the place and open the gate so we can..... When was someone going to tell me that I have been talking to myself?"
- —Ezekiel giving orders to Shifty, not realizing that he had already slipped away.
A quiet and reserved pickpocket that Ezekiel met at Aledra Station. Shifty did not trust Ezekiel at first but eventually came to be friends with him. Shifty has a knack for stealth and so often does "subtle" work for Ezekiel. He was not always a pickpocket and has dark secrets from his past that he would rather forget.
An Eldar Ranger. She hails from the Craftworld of Ulturahsen. She is also the duaghter of Vroginian, Ulturahsen's Autarch. She met with Ezekiel while on a mission and while their initial relationship was shaky due to lack of trust, the two have become very close.
Storm Trooper Sergeant Johansen Connery
- "What I mean when I say Deep Strike, is that we are going straight up their asses soldier!!"
- —Sergeant Connery
A Storm Trooper Sergeant who worked with Ezekiel during his time impersonating a Commissar. A gruff, grizzled veteran of many battles, he and his squad known as the Wild Boys followed Ezekiel after he left the Imperial Guard. He and his squad were well known for completeing missions that were extrmely difficult, and for their creative solutions to battlefield problems. Connery is a man who is incredibly loyal to his comrades, and puts his squad and mission before the orders of his superiors if he feels they get in the way.
Brother Sergeant Barael Tollock
Barael Tollock is one of the more unique and skilled warriors in Ezekiel's retinue. Barael Is a Space Marine that left his Chapter after doing something that brought him great shame and guilt. Upon going on his own Barael decided to become a bounty hunter. With his skills and a fearless approach to his job Barael established himself as one of the Galaxy's best bounty hunters. He first met Ezekiel in his role as a bounty hunter, and was in fact trying to kill him. After soem difficulty Barael realized that Ezekiel was not like the rest of the criminal scum that he usually hunted, and that he could possibly do more good by working with him. Since then he has been Ezekiel's secret weapon, as he is easily the best warrior in Ezekiel's crew and has been known to take on ludicrous odds and still come out alive. He has also come to trust Ezekiel enough that he revealed his darkest secret to him. He was a member of the Dark Angels that have become known as the Fallen.
Snikrom Trote Cutta
- "Dere ain't nobody whuts sneekier and cuttier den ME!!"
- —Snikrom Trote Cutta
An Ork Kommando Nob of the Blood Axes clan. Snikrom met up with Ezekiel after his former Goff Warboss kicked him out of the Warband for being unOrky. Ezekiel assisted him in getting revenge on his Warboss, thus earning the Ork's loyalty. Snikrom has taken a liking to Ezekiel an has told him that he could be one of Snikrom's Boyz when he becomes a Warlord.
Ezekiel met Chapter Master Tarkor Evangelus when traveling to the Segmentum Obscurus. Ezekiel needed fuel and landed on a planet, which the Red Crusaders fought immensly to keep. He was "escorted" to the main Red Crusaders HQ, where Evangelus had trouble on how to find a manouvre that he could use in the Codex he had written. Ezekiel then helped Evangelus, even though the Marines didn't trust him at all. It turned out that the battles were won, because of Ezekiel, and then Ezekiel and Tarkor met some more times during Ezekiels travel to the Segmentum Obscurus. Tarkor and Ezekiel got along pretty well, and when Ezekiel has gotten into serious trouble with the Inquisition, Tarkor would try to help out.
The psychicly gifted Lord Inquisitor was the last acquaintance that Zeke met during his life as a criminal and the first friendship he made as a "law-abiding" Rogue Trader. Ezekiel won Drasus' respect after he saved the life of the Inquisitorial Acolyte, and since then the two have shared an odd friendship. The duo have crossed paths with one and other on several occasions since their first encounter. Interestingly, Drasus has been the only acquaintance of Zeke who actually enjoys playing cards with him.
The Mortalis Brothers
Saleck and Vordrum Mortalis are two of the most wanted criminals in the galaxy. As well as leading several criminal syndicates, the Mortalis brothers are also followers of Chaos, with Vordrum, the elder brother being a devotee of Slaanesh and his younger brother Saleck being a follower of Tzeentch. Ezekiel has had many run-ins with this formidable duo, and they have sworn to kill him and take his heart as a trophy.
The mad Farseer of Craftworld Feyrahntal. He is an individual whos hatred for the races that have usurped the galaxy has become an all consuming obsession. His ultimate goal is to uttely destroy all the other races. Ezekiel has gotten in his way on numerous occasions and thus earned the ancient madman's ire.
An assasin of the Vanus Temple, Maxim is a brilliant operative spoken of in hushed tones as the "Mastermind". Brought in by Harlannon to kill Ezekiel, the Assasin has been highly unsuccesful to date. However, this has not drowned out his determination to finish the job. He was a originally assigned to kill Ezekiel when he became a wanted criminal. Despite Ezekiel's current status as a Rogue Trader, Maxim is determined to kill him as a matter of pride.
Morgaal the Deathless
Marshal Grogorim Tchek
Zeke's Criminal Profile
Hello all you people out there in Fanon world. It's me, your old buddy Zeke. Nowadays i am a Rogue Trader and thus can get away with just about anything. Mind you there are still a few Inquisitiors that would love to see my head on a pike. That aside I thought it would be fun to show you all the criminal profile that the Imperium had on me before I had my slate wiped clean. So enjoy! Oh, and while I am here, suck it Fourth Wall!
- "Live for the thrill of it, think on your feet and never let the Ork drive. Trust me."
- —Ezekiel's personal message to you, the reader.
- "Perhaps he is a god, but if he is so damn wonderful, then why hasn't he ever done anything for me?"
- —Ezekiel on the Emperor.
- "I bet 1000 crdits that I can talk the armor off a Sister within half an hour. Any takers?"
- —Ezekiel Cornatus just before losing 1000 credits.
- "So what if the Ineptus Arbites are after me? I doubt that there is enough brains between the entire organization to outsmart a Grox."
- —Ezekiel Cornatus
- "As people, I am okay with Psykers. If I meet one in a personal setting, I will try to ignore the itching feeling that they are rifling through my mind and be cordial. I have been friends with criminals, mutants, Xenos and even a Psyker or two in my day. So you see I really don't hate Psykers. However, say I am casually walking across a battlefield, minding my own business and enjoying my bloody day, and i nearly get blown to hell. I, disoriented, will get up thinking I had a near miss with an artillery shell, but I find myself looking at a bloke with fire coming out of his every bleeding orifice. Now that is not an acceptable situation."
- —Ezekiel Cornatus on his "Personal Issues" with Psykers.
- "Good evening soldeirs. It is your esteemded priviledge to have had me assigned to you as your Commisar. I felt that it is important that I explain some ground rules. Failure to salute will result in execution. Failure to rush headlong into certain death at my command will result in execution. Breathing in my general viscinity without my permission will result in execution. Not praying to me before you go to bed will result in execution. Making any noise in my presence whatsoever will result in execution. Not magically appearing in front of me when I call your name will result in execution. Having any opinions whatsoever will result in execution. Any challenge to me will result in execution, and like all Commisars and dogs I consider eye contact a challenge, so lets chalk that up to execution as well. Is there anything that I am missing? Oh yes! Touching the Commisar's reserves will result in execution. I am serious. If I catch any of you grubby fisted thieves trying to take my liquor, then may the Emperor have mercy on you because I won't!"
- —Ezekiel Cornatus during his time impersonating a Commisar.
- "I feel that I should make myself very clear. I HATE Chaos. I hate the hordes of crazy, and for that matter ugly cultists. I hate those big spiky armoured fellows that seem to make it their business to ruin everyone else's day. I hate the otherworldly abominations that rudely pop into our reality unannounced for tea and bloodshed. Most of all I hate those smartass Sorcerors who are always making annoying schemes and trying to blow my head up with their minds. So no. I would never consider converting to the damn religion."
- —Ezekiel's views on Chaos.
- "Lets see here. Should I go challenge the the large, spikey psychopath with the giant cleaver to personal combat and thus open myself to the possibility of a horrific death, or should I throw in the towel, run for my life and possibly have a chance of beating him on fairer terms later. Decisions, decisions."
- —Ezekiel Cornatus
- "You can't save anyone if if you're not around.
- It's not always best to stand your ground.
- Run, run, run away,
- Live to fight another day.
- Many fight, and then they're done,
- And in the end they save no one.
- Run, run, run away,
- Live to fight another day.
- Heroes may be big and strong,
- But tis the cunning coward that lives long.
- Run, run, run away,
- Live to fight another day.
- So when you're pressed don't struggle and flail.
- You may find better fortunes if you turn tail.
- Run, run, run away,
- Live to fight another day.
- In battle you may flee or strive,
- But the winner is the one that's alive.
- Run, run, run away,
- Live to fight another day.''"
- —A poem that Ezekiel made up when he was criticized for fleeing.
- "Say what you want about me, that I am scum, that I have no morals or I have no honor. It may very well be true. However one thing I take pride in is that I am free. Free to love, free to hate, free to grab glory with my on two hands and free to die a miserable death if that's where my choices take me. That's something that a lot of people can't say about themselves in this galaxy."
- —Ezekiel Cornatus
- "Sometimes it is good for Zeke's schemes to backfire. Otherwise that idiot gets way too cocky."
- —Rowlorn Sagilet
- "Zeke can turn the tide of a battle, that's for sure. The bad thing is that you can't be sure wich way he turns the tide."
- —Tarkor Evangelus about Ezekiel
- "Ezekial is a valuable agent, however he has a high profile and watched by the Inquisition. If there is any danger of him being traced back to this Chapter have him executed immediately, no questions asked."
- —Calrian Ararkiol instructing his Oracleus officers on how to handle Ezekial
- Ezekiel's close friends and comrades often refer to him as Zeke.
- Ezekiel has a fondness for audacious clothing, particularly hats. The only time he has outright rejected a hat was when he was shown a picture of a hat belonging to Inquisitor Lurk.
- All of Ezekiel's ships were renamed after girls he had dated. The first three ships that he requisitioned were renamed Veronica, Anna bell and Akira.
- Ezekiel has a deep love for spicy food. His tolerance for such foods has sometimes been described as superhuman.
- Ezekiel currently holds the galactic record for most encounters that began with a slap to the face, and ended in bed.
- Ezekiel's three favourite movies of all time are "Search Through the Darkness", a movie about an Inquisitor uncovering a Xeno plot, "Judge Vredd" about an Adeptus Arbites judge who is framed for a crime and "Defending the Aquila" about a Commissar who dies defending a world from traitors. This is ironic considering Ezekiel's stance on Inquisitors, Adeptus Arbites and Commissars being uptight, mostly corrupt and morally bankrupt bastards.
- Ezekiel's resistance to foreign substances makes it nearly impossible to get drunk, much to his dismay.
- Ezekiel's theme song is Wanted Dead or Alive by Bon Jovi.
- Ezekiel was once told that strongly focusing on a memory can sometimes keep a Psyker from probing your mind to a limited extent. As a result when he is with a Psyker that he feels may be reading his mind, Ezekiel dwells on memories of particularly memorable "Conquests" in his past. These memories are strong due to having strong emotions and sensory sensations associated with them. At the very least they prove distracting for a Psyker.
- Ezekiel has often been described as a chatter-box. He will often chat up enemies in a conversational tone. He is often known to digress during a speech as well. These traits annoy both enemies and allies at times.