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This article, Mark of the Artist, was written by MisterTwoScoops. Please do not edit this article without their explicit permission.
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WARNING
CONTAINS GRAPHIC DESCRIPTIONS


Crimson essence dripping from gloved hands, chromatic steel glimmering through the reminder of a consuming hatred. Such sights provoked hellish laughter from the wielder, consuming him with a joy such that containing it was impossible. Exhausted and weary, the laughter only continued forth without relent. Amber eyes which were surrounded in a sea of black gazing upon the icon of terror left in his wake. A sacrifice that twitched and writhed with the miniscule strength left in a maimed and defiled body, still desperate for release and terrified at the malefic being which inflicted such horrors upon it. 

Taste of Power

I. 

Flesh writhing, convulsing with the grips of primal fear as essence stained his clothing and flesh. Hadrak only found joy in such visceral sights, the ebb and flow of life at his command, cries of prey as masterful pieces to his ears. Dancing with glee amongst the scene of such a massacre while lost in the thought that these souls had him  as the font of their final thoughts. Hadrak began his advance from the spent village with the laughter of an ecstatic child echoing in tow. Wandering almost aimlessly through the temperate chill of the trees around him, dancing and bounding gleefully through beaten trails despite fatigue and pain wracking spent flesh. The murders providing an unprecedented rush, roars of adulation from the sea of voices within assuring the warped and twisted male of his path.

Nightfall proved however to be an experience far more rewarding than the simple rush of murder and the joy of inflicting complete humiliation. Hadrak's action drawing the long awaited attention of his dark patron, for Slaanesh delights spectacularly in the unabashed defilement and breaking of those most pious of souls. The fervor and hatred which consumed the young follower being of particular interest to the omnipresent and obsessive gaze of this fickle Chaos God. Enough so that Hadrak was even rewarded for such virulent efforts, however Slaanesh was merciful towards this eager of males and bestowed such a gift while Hadrak was unaware. 

Lost in a rush of drug fueled bliss and fervent energy coursing through the disarming male's slender and unblemished frame. The artist only advanced into one of the more civilized outcroppings on this agricultural world. A few wayward souls up and about to witness gleeful skipping and fluid bounds. The glinting of crimson stained steel underneath a full moon casting wayward reflections back to each observer. Hadrak dancing with complete abandon despite the looks received, concerned only with the moment, with the temporary high achieved beyond that of the drug, a more complete high which made the male feel fulfilled, even satisfied.  

II.

The first scream however went unheard as a pulsing and rippling energy filled Hadrak's maw, too preoccupied with the sensations abounding around and within to quite register the melodic scream which pierced the still night air. The cry which followed though did not escape this drug addled artist's enhanced hearing. Graceful and fluid strides slowing to gaze at the ragged child which looked upon him in dread. Only a slight turn of the torso revealed an unbound cloak, splayed to each side of porcelain flesh and another grisly sight which would disturb most adults, let alone a mere child. 

Dozens of scars riddled exposed flesh, some freshly inflicted wounds dripping rivulets of wondrous essence with each twisted heartbeat. Hadrak ignorant of the change he had undergone, still consumed by the hold of Rose that cascaded upon him. Falchion in hand, robe fluttering whilst stained fabric clung to the male's alluring yet grisly display of a body. The usual sway of hips accompanying an outstretch of arms, reminiscient to that of a mother wishing to embrace her terrified and confused child. 

"Shhh, calm yourself young one. How are we supposed to play if the adults ruin our fun?"

III.

Amongst a sea of serene nocturnal silence, a desperate, utterly terrified and quickly weakened scream burst forth as a siren. Multiple occupants jolting from peaceful slumber with the outburst of such terror and immediately themselves felt temporary shock. As the sounds of frantic shouts and the clamor of thrown objects rang out, Hadrak fastened the final chain. A click sounding out with another completion of work, locking in the fate of this nascent child before him. Stepping back, the scene was one to be envied as never before did this wondrous artist have access to such unbridled innocence. 

Collective gasps of shock and the heave of vomiting rang forth behind maniacal, crazed laughter. Pale moonlight casting a sheen over the young, taught flesh before them, Hadrak only pirouetting forth to the horror of those behind him. Upon actually taking notice of the crowd, Hadrak stopped and smiled warmly at the horrified observers. 

"Oh! Admirers of my work already?! This is just fantastic! Allow me to move aside that you can fully enjoy this piece. I'm particularly proud of this one, such innocent terror, broken trust... It's just so... exciting!"

A lone pivot only amplified the sorrow already felt, forcing more than a few to tears at the sight displayed. A young girl, splayed open. Legs bent upon a crossbeam and tied to arms that were broken and dislocated, allowing the tender flesh to be stretched and each hand made to grasp the heels of their respective counterparts. Very little in terms of bladework performed as Hadrak had no desire to mar the flesh unless absolutely necessary, however two incisions upon each prepubescent breast were the ports for both lungs to be pulled forth. Blood caking the girls taut and bare skin as she desperarely choked for air. The realization of her being alive caused more than a few to attempt stepping forward, yet the final part of this display froze them in place.

"Now... you're the ones who interrupted me, if it were not for you this poor, delicate child wouldn't be suffering right now. But you had to erupt forth from your beds and interrupt my work. Such eager patrons... always chomping at the bit for new work!" 

The angered statement shook the small group as their eyes all locked upon Hadrak's joyous yet annoyed visage. An ebony clad forearm catching sapphic moonlight created a gentle display before the harsh glimpse of polished steel shot forth. The resulting crack of bone and gurgling of a last breath pushing the more courageous of those over the edge while an elated smile crossed Hadrak's flesh. Tinged cheeks rising taught at the curling of chromatic lips signaled Hadrak's lunge. Blade in hand as the first swing was dealt, a pirouette deflected such an errant strike before a deep slash caught the assailant's torso and sliced deep. A cry resounding forth with continuation of such a macabre dance with angered patrons this artist's unwitting partners.  

IV.

Clanging of hastily dropped lanterns and the cries of angered parents added to the body count. Deft weaves, graceful strides, and a new serpentine grace allowed Hadrak flawless evasion of each strike. The perceptive killer's mind quickly realizing what occured after the flicking forth of his new serpentine tongue was finally witnessed. A crazed and voracious shout was released upon this revelation, striking forth now with a warrior's precision and the mesmerizing grace of a dancer. The glinting of steel, thud of errant strikes, cries of inflicted agony, all of it adding now to Hadrak's glee amidst the carnage of flesh and steel before him. 

Some chose to run, others tried yet were oddly transfixed by the display. Each flip, elegant kick, precise thrust, hypnotising twirl, all of these things capturing the attention of and horrifying the few onlookers. The act finished, faint pantings came forth from the trim and maintained body of this most eager of performers. However such respite wasn't long for him, as upon noticing one of the onlookers, in this case a woman transfixed and in tears at the wondrous yet horrific display, extended his sword arm out to the side. A theatrical twirl of the free hand as both legs stood crossed preceeded an elegant bow from the monster before her. Eyes masking the tempest raging within stared forth towards this patron mid bow, a toned and lithe body straightened. Immediately the worshipper of Slaanesh began his advance towards the spectator, stepping forth with a renewed vigor. Hips swaying as if on display, sleeveless and stained ivory fabric fluttering in the breeze behind alluring flesh. Upon approach, an outstretched hand lifted the slender jaw upwards, Hadrak's voice both smooth and laced with insidious venom drifted forth from an untouched face. 

"It is good to see that there is at least one who knows to enjoy such a beautiful display. I do hope you tell others, after all I don't make such pieces for them only to fade. No artist does my dear."

A light caress from impossibly smooth and slick ebony leather left streaks of blood upon the woman's enthralled, terror filled face. Hadrak without another word turned and simultaneously stowed his weapon. The sheath upon his waist the weapon's home, such a direction decided by wherever innocent whimsy carried. Only walking forth with a satisfied gaze, chuckling after a short while before laughing up into the void of night. Arms outstretched while each step meshed with it's former, leather and fur rubbed together and produced a display that was both macabre and beautiful. For even though Hadrak's beauty was, in his eyes unmatched, the scars and permanent stain of crimson upon ivory fabric showed the darker half to this siren. 

The Artisan's Wake

I.

Whispers urged the blossoming artist towards home once more, however to a world known already by his patron. One which epitomized silent suffering, the breaking forth of emotion and cascading eruptions of the self a tantalizing lure for Hadrak and one that was not refused. Though the journey to such a world was indeed a long one, it was such that allowed for the honing of techniques and the acquiring of new tools for the male's bloody yet magnificent craft. 

No warning was given to the victim's companion, not even the slightest hint of any disturbance with her beloved. However upon entering her room terror gripped this woman to such a point that speech was impossible. The sight before her playing out with an agonizing pace, slow as well as planned out. Each slice precise and flowing as muscle pulled from bone. Hadrak crouched forth as a glossed over stare from her husband contacted this unwitting patron of the Visceral Artist himself.

Strands of flayed muscle and flesh pulled away with a light tearing sound, congealed blood separated much like an organic velcro holding rent flesh. Metal stakes through each shoulder pinned the body flush against a dark grey canvas with a lone chain supporting the weight of such an opulent male. Irritated and worn skin pulsing with desperate attempts to rid itself of embedded metal to no avail. Blood simply flowly slowly over the alien piece while infection began it's toxic growth. This only added to the agony displayed even through a hazed expression. Hadrak gazing forth after the pinning of tapered strands gave way to designs that pulsed and writhed forth. 

A whimper garnering the callous artist's attention as well as the sliding of a plasteel door. Setting down a slender knife, dextrous fingers gripping a dormant weapon, Hadrak straightened himself with sickening speed and inhuman flexibility. A deep and satisfied exhale released from the unusually calm male whilst his gaze had been turned upward. Amber encased within pools of void locked upon a dangling steel chain that was attached and had been infecting the first half of Hadrak's piece. 

"Mmmn... I was wondering when you would show up my, lovely inspiration."

No sound came from choked whimpers, tears streaming down and muddling aesthetic paints applied with painstaking precision. Hadrak's quick pivot adding to the dread which crept upon this woman, tainted yet innocent eyes gazed upon the muddled azure which stared back in a desperate attempt at showing strength. 

II.

This emotionally crippled woman stood little chance against the rush which followed said encounter. A simple lunge forth catching her shocked gaze by surprise as a single gloved palm pressed firmly to emerald lips. The sinking of steel into plush left no sound yet the pressing of taut flesh to exposed skin forced a muffled yelp from his second victim. Such an outburst of resistance calmed once the pressure of thin steel slid into tender flesh, ebony fingers depressing the contents of such an implement into a body nearly as maintained as his own. 

Such beauty of course enraged the artist, as there could be not a single mortal as elegant and graceful as he. Thus such hatred pushing forth defilement and ravaging as the pinned husband, already crippled and immobile, gazed on in mute horror. Mouth opening to reveal no tongue and cauterized flesh which paralyzed vocal cords, previously muddied eyes regaining a horrified lucidity, knowing with full certainty the ability such rage and fear had in trumping the effects of most sedatives. Instead the first half of his art being forced to watch Hadrak's preparation of the second piece. 

"Such a lovely couple, don't fret dear canvas. You have been more than a good model for my work and you have my word that I'll return this lovely specimen back to you soon." 

Malicious and envenomed words echoed forth in a whisper which caught his attention, turning such fear into unbridled and impotent anger with Hadrak's disposal of his implement. Both hands free, the first hand which previously impeded speech slipped two slender fingers into her waiting mouth. The androgynous male pressed behind her, forcing the woman's backside against fur clad hips. The remaining digits snaking under the low cut hem of sapphire fabric, gliding over bare flesh towards an unexpecting female, one focused on the salivation and suckling of both present fingers. 

The act itself however was one which to Hadrak had been painfully short but necessarily so as the integrity of such beauty had to be maintained. A lone thrust violently penetrating unaware flesh elicited both a groan and shout from the loving couple. Agonized eyes forced to watch while a beautiful yet monstrous being ravished the love of his life before him. Her hips forced forward with every contact of the two, rivulets of blood seeped down between forcefully splayed thighs. Leather fingers pinching and gripping a tongue thus gagging protests and screams of ecstasy mixed together in his victim's conflicted mind. 

However before any pleasure was achieved, the insidious male pulled free of his prey's desperate entrance. A step back allowed the extending of a stiletto heel as such an implement impacted the woman's skull viciously. A loud crack bursting forth before blood erupted in a visceral spray upon exposed and scarred flesh. Hadrak's lips curled into an anticipating curve. As with the artist's own straightening and standing firm, his second piece dropped to the floor before anything registered, the male knew he had to work quick however as to preserve the scene of such an act into said husband's mind. 

Disembarking revealed Hadrak's display of shattered love to the crew which inspected each room to release passengers. The immediate and only sight of any disturbance was the couple itself. A nude and beaten female corpse suspended from a lone chain, one which was connected to the pinned and now choked out husband through simple pulleys. Hadrak having placed the pair tantalizingly close as the expression of utter despair was locked upon the male's face. His wife's body within inches of him yet unable to hold and console the damaged and apparently ravaged corpse. Evidence of both blood and ejaculate present on the pair. The woman's blood caking her thighs as the husband was the seeming recipient of a forced eruption from within his wife's aroused core. 

III.

Bleak, biting winds along with stinging rain greeted Hadrak's footfall onto this ruin of a planet. Such destruction alien to the artist as amber eyes lit up with the anticipation of something new, something desperately longed for in his centuries of life. Quickly though flesh reddened against the touch of a planet which ached to leech the life and energy out of those upon it, Hadrak's steps while fluid and filled with ecstatic trepidation were far slower than usual. Hissing breaking forth as pangs of stinging agony surged through the slender and androgynous figure, Hadrak stifling laughter at the immediate stimulation such a tortured planet gave. 

As the young artist soon found, such desolate lands were a veritable paradise for sadists. For after making his way into one of the ruined mountain strongholds, this one in particular situated within a carved outcropping in the shadows of vast mountains, Hadrak's pulsing and irritated flesh radiated heat from beneath such thin and nigh inappropriate attire. An unexpected greeting nearly surprised him utterly, however once more metallic lips twisted into a warming and insidious smile upon seeing the altered and abominable form of a single example of Melancholia's infamous Flesh Shapers. Within moments thoughts formed and fermented in the venom laced mind of this young artist, gazing upon such a like-minded and exotic specimen of humanity elicited a long flick of serpentine flesh from between chromatic lips. 

"My my... lovely exotic flesh, you'll do fine." 

Such tender and honeyed words following a caress of himself, fingers clad in fine leather sliding down exposed and scarred skin. Taut and lithe with a profile that drew the carnal urges of most to the surface, both legs spread slightly, wet leather glimmering in dim lighting and mesh clinging to hypnotizing curves. However such a tempting display lasted briefly before Hadrak stepped forward with utter silence and serpentine speed. Grasping the flesh of this altered and alluring male before him, silver lips pressed to his before impossibly thin metal punctured toughened and altered skin. Amber eyes snapping open before the remaining free hand caressed what exposed flesh there was. Namely that of his partner's lower back and thighs before finally parting with the surprising and soon intoxicated stranger. 

Screams went unheeded as such errant outbursts were the norm among these beings, cries of agony only bringing smiles to the faces of any passers-by. Hadrak thus had full control of such an encounter, the rending of flesh and forced entrance drawing forth more than pain from such a male as rushes of ecstasy bombarded an already warped mind. The combination of instability and narcotics pushing anyone over the edge and forcing them to succumb blindly to lust and carnality. Both of which such prey did with ease, almost to Hadrak's disgust, as one so eager to be defiled seemed little amusement. The next cry was one which sparked a resulting fury from this budding artist, an almost mocking bellow from prey that insulted such a beautiful and talented being as he. 

Unknowingly, Hadrak enacted Slaanesh's will to the letter, as such beings as to think they are equal to gods themselves and deserving of the Dark Prince's embrace with such paltry sacrifices and offerings offended the Omnipotent Prince. Hadrak the chosen tool of wrath, an ego insulted with a blade held by hands craving art as much as suffering. Finding a new kind of weapon for his crafts, one which made even these inured and wayward souls cry forth with such blissful agony as to make Hadrak's blade sing amongst their cries. 

IV.

The first attempt sincerely surprised the artist, as there was not a thought that one being deprived of any sensation produced such wondrous music. The desperate pleas and frenzied self-mutilation forced true laughter from Hadrak, untainted, pure laughter that held no venom nor coloring of a warped mind. In fact it could be easily said that at such a moment Hadrak realized the full depths of his own desires. The frantic clawing and cries to feel anything resonated and stuck within a sadistic and warped mind. 

Resulting from said efforts, Hadrak produced an odd scene that not many even thought of his expert hand behind it. Within barren, wind drenched fields stood approximately thirty crucifixes. Upon each of them eroded and chilled bodies which all displayed desperate wrenching and more than one still having a frozen mouth open with pained cries as their last utterances. The artist expanding his horizons, as for once little work was actually done, as after immediate sedation and temporary paralysis, victims were dragged, tied, and pinned to an individual cross of their own. Stakes driven into wrists and feet, arms dislocated at the shoulder after awakening and realizing the state each were in. Hadrak's own laughter nearly drowning out such cries, for suffering as pure and innate as this was beyond anything ever done prior. 

Flesh chipped and blue from frost started forming, utter desperation and icing tears flowed with glorious agony as their spring. Stripped nude in their slow and oddly painless deaths, knowing that such crippling agony should be flooding each and every limb with no sensation at all to bear terrifying to beings which naturally reveled in such extremes of sensation. Hadrak's joy knowing no limits, a voice bursting with strength and superiority belted forth over wails and futile thrashings. 

"Yes! THIS is the picture I so longed to paint. Utter despair, the annihilation of the soul... it's all so SUBLIME!" 

Unabated laughter from within boiled over into a frenzy of voices that all cried out in unison within the addled male's mind. Spasms surging through taut muscle caused flesh to writhe with each bout of continued joyous laughter. Cradling his own body before being forced to his knees from such an unprecedented rush. The marks etched into numbed flesh of arrogant prey pulsed with a joy of their own. Seemingly fueled by anguished cries of beings cruelly isolated and bereft of the extremes they so dearly craved. Left within a prison of their own nightmares and unaware of the cacophony resulting from death cries which encroached upon all of them. 

Eerily in unison, each victim wretched and pulled with one final bout of desperation against bonds and restraints which they were ignorant of. Deprived utterly of every sense as even the pain that followed such an unearthly howl into the heavens had been denied them. The fervent and eager enforcer of Slaanesh's wrath having the capricious prince's full attention upon the unified death cry. Raw vocal cords straining as blood crept forth from ravaged and torn throats with flesh frozen, flaking away from each sickening crack of bone and twist of the body beneath it. A roar composed of utter desperation belted forth from the collective group, only Hadrak's eruption of crazed laughter breaking through as the maestro of such an infernal orchestra. 

V.

What resulted chilled all those that heard to their core, moreso than usual and even terrifying the repressed and reclusive natives of Melancholia's barren lands. A cry of wounded souls bellowing forth on the unknowable winds to all corners of this world, carrying with it the final laughter of a being consumed by his own ecstatic fits. However within the moments of unabashed glee, a pool of void formed upon the taut and outstretched torso of this refreshed and renewed madman. Upon the sternum unblemished porcelain gave way to a lone mark, one which Hadrak had little option but to show with his own sensuous body. 

Pulsing forth with the heartbeat of a being far lost in vice and lust, such a mark concluded itself with a surge of shock that coursed through and finally ended Hadrak's bout of maddened joy. The shock locking up muscle and in fact raising the artist up off soft, soaked soil. Flesh arcing in a twisted display of power as such a branding settled into it's new home, Hadrak landing flat upon both feet and eyes hazed over from a rush which no drug or no act could replicate. One that earned the Dark Prince's favor and further set Hadrak's path into Slaanesh's intoxicating embrace. 

Sundered Purity

I.

Such attention from the Dark Prince demanded even greater deviancy, in this Hadrak delivered gloriously. The lure of proclaimed piety a siren's call to this insidious serpent. One prompting nascent action against the Anathema's supposed children in an absolute manner, where such defilement was thoroughly beyond question. Where the stench of defeat reeked and sobs rang out from amidst cries of unbridled pleasure. Without much effort Hadrak knew where he must go, what must be done and shivered at the thought of it all. Such a thing but a brief glimpse of the elation and rush which was to follow in this deviant artist's wake. 

Breaching forth into Imperial space, Hadrak's chosen method of transport, namely a pilgrim vessel that headed into the nearby Aliris Sector, to the Shrine World of Bezant. Taking the appropriate measures to disguise and shroud his true nature, Hadrak for the first time in his existence hid amongst delusional rabble en route to the artist's greatest prize. For the time being remaining quiet and out of the way, rarely talking with the so called faithful and sowing infant seeds of confusion within faith. Discrepancies that seemed innocuous such as a minor utterances of altered belief and musings of an Emperor which yearned for his children to be more open amongst their fellow humans. Sharing more and banding together against all threats which stood in contrast to Ministorum doctrine yet to the layman seemed sound. 

937.M40, just under 600 years after Hadrak's first indulgence into the endless pleasures of Slaanesh left the minutely known artist amid a veritable den of lions. Riding upon a transport vessel which neared it's destination to the hell which was the Anathema's very hold. However this vision was far worth the pain which wracked Hadrak's body from both disgust and minor withdrawal. Planetfall came sooner than expected, or at least as it seemed. No true way of telling the time on such journeys from within cramped masses of people desperate to see a statue or pray to a dead idol. 

As such the serpent's maw opened, desperate for it's fangs to find supple, tender flesh to ravage and scar. 

II.

The efforts put forth at first seemed fruitless, Hadrak staying and weaving both within and without the fabric of this dull society. A whisper here and there producing faint ripples before being stilled once more by the numerous and incessant preachings from those foul and prideful servants of the Anathema. Pangs of withdrawl wracked deprived and starved flesh as well as the more brutal killings which, while done infrequently, drew eyes from some of the more wary preachers. However as with all things, patience lead to greater rewards. This lesson taught well as immediate pleasure is not always the greatest and most intense, nor does it lead to the most depraved acts. 

Such following months saw the immense rise of such acts from this insidious and drug addled murderer.

The first chain in such acts served as both a message and warning yet more an act of defilement in of itself. Within one of the more outlying shrines, namely one which was entirely exposed, displayed a simple and grisly sight to those preachers which routinely inspected such small shrines to the Anathema's supposed presence. Upon an icon of the Aquila rested a lone male, one which had clearly expired despite the picture of bliss upon his face. Stakes driven through shoulders, arms and chest. The one which pierced the heart still scalding hot and sizzling the already charred and burnt muscle around such an obvious wound. What sent a chill down the spines of such young initiates were the words that Hadrak inscribed with such a kill. A cryptic message yet one which was beyond clear, inscribed within the language of these priests, namely the specific dialect that was due to Hadrak's extensive time upon Bezant's soil. 

"Sicut enim in conspectu tuo , ecce habes voluntatem amplectendi in veritate. Quod falsificatum petat contaminabit tibi  ut evertat illud ab intra vos . Et mundabimini ab intus tanta corruptio , quod meum in vobis sit."

By this point Hadrak was far from the scene, maintaining his facade of another pilgrim to such a world. Panicked men scrambling to remove such blasphemy amongst cries of impassioned and impromptu preaching. The first of many strikes to come concluded, none knowing of such a culprit and the message inscribed providing complete anonymity. Most importantly however, the desired effect of seeded paranoia set in, it's effects minor at first. Though over time gaining in both severity and madness in decress belted forth from priests eager to secure their own fates.  

III.

The next act was well waited upon, as rushing and bombarding such pious souls only would lead to increased aggression from them. Hadrak instead watched, listening with the guise of prayer and remaining as a mute before leaving such areas before spending too long there. The massive influx of new pilgrims providing wondrous cover for the veritable wolf within sheep's clothing. Yet such waiting was not to be done forever, as the second act was soon to be revealed to these arrogant and seemingly assured souls. Hadrak stepping forth once again to plant the seeds of doubt amongst those which were supposed to be protecting the masses.

This time debasment was performed in a blatant yet untraceable fashion to flesh and flesh alone. The integrity of such an act being preserved and the forced tolerance of such foolish icons a necessary evil in Hadrak's young and lustful eyes. Nightfall providing the perfect shroud as once more the serpent's fangs latched into the flesh of a pious body, to much greater effect than before fueling long anticipated elation. Of course this small taste was nowhere near enough even though it served to shake the priesthood and result in an unforeseen but graciously accepted result. 

The act itself performed in one of the myriad shrines under construction, a worker rushing to priests informed them of such events before more of the robed clergy entered this incomplete structure only to stop in their tracks. As before them were three of their brothers instead of one. The two lower priests bound and deprived of both sight and speech, bloody eye sockets wrapped crudely with tattered cloth. Jaws agape revealing burnt flesh and ripped tongues while the husks of men remained slumped over and motionless. Gazing up were two things that awaited mortified eyes, a message once more inscribed within their unique dialect upon the monument of their God. The Anathema himself seemingly bearing a message to wayward sons while holding another wounded brother within unflinching stone hands. 

"Fumat ex numero eorum, qui in te . Postremo non satis flectere sermo tuus veritas in cor callum elit. Teste ut nunc dicitur,  quod ratio frater moriens confessio eius."

Some trembled at the declaration of judgement yet more gazed on in confusion still, wayward eyes traveled up towards the displayed picture of sacrifice as a whisper that pieced the hearts of those witnessing seemingly cemented prophetic words to such men to their utter horror. 

"F-forgive me... brothers.. I.... the a-archenemy..."

Burnt flesh gripped the stone hand cradling his wounded and beaten form, seemingly desperate for release from the hell which this innocent priest was thrown in. Trying desperately to explain himself to those witnessing before falling to his own death but to no avail. For upon the sickening crack of bone and the flow of both infected and fresh crimson, a singular mark was revealed within torn robes. A mark of utter blasphemy to those that witnessed it caused fear to grip them utterly, for to think that such a being can penetrate this holy order so deeply and even have the nerve to blaspheme upon his dying breath gripped the hearts of those before him. 

IV.

The Bezant Ministorum reacted the only way it knew how, by purging the filth from amongst them and those holy pilgrims which tread upon their holy soil. In a fit of terrified and righteous might, the priests pushed to their breaking point from months of cryptic warnings and the seeming infiltration of their ranks. Such that any slight was punished with death be it pilgrim or cleric. Nothing was to be tolerated until thorough cleansing was completed. Such that for the time all voyages were cut off much to the ire of those in power. Moreso within the Ministorum itself as the stopping of worship was seen to be criminal and deserving of punishment. The wheels at such a point were in motion and the serpent's venom pulsed within the lifeblood of this world. 

The next days saw pyres littering dried and barren soil, not even the blood of such heretics allowed to touch this sacred land. Redemptionists and priests belted forth in a wave of seeming purity that to them was the saving presence of the God-Emperor. In reality it was the cruel workings of their very enemy that plunged an entire planet into anarchy, and all right under the blind eyes of such supposedly pious souls. The fear was tangible within soot filled air as the "righteous" and "heretics" fought amongst themselves. Some out of a contempt for heresy, others out of a fear as to what could occur if this were left unchecked. Vastly more however fighting for survival amongst the flurries of whirring chainblades and the roar of flamers which sprayed hordes of heretics with supposedly blessed flame. The greatest irony in this is that such a fury carried on simply for the sake of itself after the third day waned. Priest and Redemptionist alike having no warrant to slay those which surrendered to them, crippling fear and zealous hatred driving the wave of death forward in a crimson and ivory tide which seemed unstoppable. 

Hadrak's long awaited moment had come, for the serpent's long awaited dance was finally upon him. And woe to all that beheld such a masterful and deadly display. 

Caress of the Dark Prince

I.

Innocent blood soaked the lands and skies of Bezant, the result of Hadrak's efforts against the church of the Anathema. Much to the artist's joy the Ministorum "purged" Bezant of heresy, however the truth as would be revealed soon is that they killed innocents for simply no reason. Judgement was upon such a group of simonist fools, judgement by the hands of one which despised them and rightfully so. Judgement though, for crimes they willingly were lead into committing. 

The first cry ringing forth with little response as Hadrak wove through the masses of priests and redemptionists. Falchion to bear against such delicious flesh while continuing the masquerade of a faceless pilgrim. As before the elegant killer slithered through and dodged strikes with an inhuman ease, parrying most weapons with one hand before a simple cleaving of a limb or head finished the job. Such an advance even amongst frenzied priests did not go unnoticed, a shroud with unnatural steel cleaving through pious fighters with such hypnotizing grace and little visible effort. Before the shouts of heresy and condemnation were to be laid upon him by recalcitrant clergy, Hadrak's own words rang out to all present and pierced through the whirring of chainblades and the din of battle. Cries of agony from the wounded harmonizing with the malice soaked words of a being deprived of pleasure, one which was filled with hatred and filling each word which such contempt as to fool such priests. Making their already heretical hearts believe with no doubt that such an end was upon them. 

"Et in ea sanguis currit innocentia qui in pedibus tuis , et verba tua movent superbiam et odio . Et concidam ... omnes labores quos laboraverunt depopulationem super dorsa aliis fructibus cibum . Quos tu occidisti ultrices sanguinem vino!"

A shroud of void seemingly covered the previous spectre and utterly obscured any features of him, at least in the eyes of terrified priests and religious leaders. Those that worked so hard on purging heresy, the efforts all of them laid forth in utter cleansing finally upon the chopping block before their "divine" executioner. These thoughts gripped the hearts of such prey with Hadrak's slow and graceful advance. Slaughtering those who dared try an impede a being such as he met quick and painful ends. Moving with the fluidity of darkness, blades fell away and blows stopped with an inhuman strength. Years of being denied all pleasures bursting forth in a maddened, sadistic wrath which targeted all before him. 

The cowardice of even zealots began showing en masse against the seemingly unstoppable push forth of this veiled spectre. Preachers, confessors, teachers and missionaries, all were held to account for the heresy they committed in worshipping the Anathema. Hadrak's blade knowing no bounds before stopping eerily upon those which witnessed and started such beautifully chaotic and hate filled acts. A blade shockingly clean despite it's many kills and reflected horror upon those before it. Once more a whisper broke out to those kneeling and weeping upon cracked and ruined earth, death abounding before them in a scene of utter annihilation.

II.

The death knells of this world were upon it, and much too fast for a response to be levied upon it by those foul agents of the Anathema's inquisition. A command to those before him, Hadrak's disguise remaining firm as such revelation was not necessary just yet. Instead the rush of accomplishment filled the now executioner, his efforts just upon completion, the Dark Prince himself saw a gift fitting for this eager and amusing follower of his. The thought of leveling an entire world dedicated to his sworn enemy filling this unknowable deity with extreme delight. Thus Hadrak's gift was received at the moment before final breaking commenced. 

Nearly shattering the minds of those before him, swirling energies encompassed Hadrak while not disturbing the scene. Winds kicked up around them all as the aroma of soot and charred flesh now abounded to almost intoxicating levels, the artist himself unaware however, instead bellowing forth a command which sealed the fates of those before him. 

"Clama ad redemptionem supplex et dominus dederit illi destinatam ."

This final utterance heralded sight that stunned the insidious serpent as terrified priests begged and pleaded for mercy upon the edge of a seemingly unstoppable force. It's mere presence enough to terrify them before magenta orbs gazed into the souls of each and every male simultaneously. Freezing them all mid-sentence for the unbridled tempest within this executioner was now undeniable. Voices inside Hadrak's mind cried out with glee and ecstatic screams, his falchion lowered before the terrified beings. The previously free hand finally removing that which shrouded Hadrak's true appearance from all for so long, and now that which terrified the priests most was realized upon the revelation of their executioner's alliegance. 

"Do not fret worried children, Slaanesh forgives you...."

III.

Inquistor Drasus made footfall onto broken land after a forced planetary bombardment. To the male's disgust, daemons ran amok through ruins and ravaged flesh as the once proud structure made in worship of the God-Emperor had been warped and disfigured into a pleasure palace upon this now ruined land. Adepta Sororitas arrived alongside Drasus' own ship at his request and immediately advanced without orders as such heresy was unthinkable to behold. The worst Inquistor Drasus had to see was far from here however, as the source of such rampant anarchy stood amongst ruins much like the palace of a despot king. Unbridled opulence and depraved bliss standing in contrast to death and destruction with those partaking in it screeching forth in glee. Forcing a breath out of this jaded male's body, following it were words that condemned this tortured world and finally releasing it from the enemy's grasp. 

"From beneath the ink soaked skies doth the Stillborn Prince decree all manner of profanities upon the nature of creation. The sight before me would not even cast a glance from one as horrific as he. True horror lies in the hands of the imagineers and the gesinger who leave unto Slaanesh a sorrowful second. The spoilt child hath thrown his tantrum. I am but here to pick up the pieces."

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