The sound of tired footsteps echoed through the vastness of the Great Hall, as the dark cloaked figures made their way to the center of the temple. The black and cold walls, littered with grotesque images and daemonic visages stared down upon the zealots as they made their ever so usual path into prayer, for that is all they knew to do, and all they are meant to do.
For such is life within the walls of Ka'nibu'raam, the temple of the cursed path, shrine and fortress of nameless, the faithful of Tzeentch. The endless masses within the temple, shielded from the dark sun's kiss above them and the horror of the Screaming Wastes which surrounded the mountain into which the grim beauty of Ka'nibu'raam was carved into. Within its walls, they were all equal, nameless servants of darkness and the forbidden teachings, devoting their whole life to prayer, but also the keeping of knowledge.
He was one in the mass, another nameless shade of dirty black cloth, obeying and serving as any other of his peers as he made his walk towards the center. Forgotten languages, or those so horrible to be spoken, reach his ears from all sides of the halls. Others crying in anguish, or reveling in exalted zeal, he could not tell, but it was natural for him, no longer horrible, as he keeps threading the path he chose for himself. There are no thoughts of doubt, even as a small voice in his mind might tell him otherwise, no, there was only wonder. The libraries filled with scriptures which oblivion had sealed eons ago, maybe even with a reason, stood open before those who called this temple home, and for what a small price? A mere life in devotion in return for knowledge which surpases the age of man? It is truly nothing.
He turned his head as the massive gates closed, hiding the cursed red skies and black clouds which engulf the world outside. The mighty rock and walls above and around him made him forget about the worries of the world, as anyone else there has. They are not to fear, neither what is outside nor inside the temple, not even what lurks deep inside the darkest corners of the mind or what the ages have hidden in ancient lore. They are to only seek, find and keep what ever discovery they can, to further understand that what man can not understand.
He kept going, ever forward as the praying echoes began mounting up the closer he got, until a cry erupted. A doomseer, they call it, going mad from the unholy visions and dreams, they begin screaming about the end, be it the end of the world, universe, galaxy or life in total. But this time, he felt different, the cries of his doomseeing comrade were of a kind he never saw thus far. Such conviction and zeal in each of the words he said, he stopped as his heart suddenly felt fear. The roaring thunder, the bloodthirsty giants and the extermination his brother in faith spoke of so fanatically felt so real, as if they were happening right now.
Taking a deep breath he continued along the path as the doomseer collapsed to the ground, as the others went on. Even as he thought he had defeated the fear once more, he too now felt a sense of impending doom, a sense beyond anything he could smell, hear, feel, touch or see, something which itself was far from beyond human reason. Had madness taken his mind too?
But as he got closer to his destination, above the great arch which ends the Great Hall, he finally remembered, he had dreamt about what the other said. He stood there in shock, and soon the rest stopped as massive roars were shaking the temple, and a part of the roof falling down after a great explosion. The once quite mass, erupted in panic in the sight of impending devastation.
As a massive iron coffin dropped from the sky, he felt drawn to it. He dreamt of it too, and as he got closer his dream came back to him in more and more shocking detail. Some brothers backed away while others came in awe to see it, and he was amongst the first. He had no fear no doubt, for he had seen it all in his sleep. The odd feeling in his gut became stronger as his eyes gazed upon the symbol. Upon the black surface of the coffin, marked in white, a human skull engulfed in flames. He suddenly knew what was going to happen, and backed away as the door where the sign stood dropped.
Fear had returned to his heart for a moment, unable to remember what happened next, as he could only remember darkness and nothing else. He looked closer, as his heart was beating like it hadn't in many years. And suddenly, he was calm, his heart stopped racing, as he finally understood the end of his dreams when his eyes were met by the red shining light of the helmed giant in front of him. There was no fear, only death...
The first or the thousandth, after waging the Long War for all this time, all drops from orbit feel alike, but, for the first time in his warmongering life, Gulgur came upon a sight he had not seen thus far. The weak, frail shadow of a man dressed in dark cloth stood before him, and where he would otherwise expect fear in such unworthy mortals, none of it could be found in the one standing in front of him. Is he merely a fool unaware of his doom? the thought raced through Gulgur's head as he leaped forward, swinging his might maul at his unsettlingly calm target.
He knew too well that the maggot before him was aware of the end, and such a thing he did not expect to find in these walls, not from the likes of him, for who is he not to shake in dread as Gulgur Titanbane, the Horror of Gaemys, Hammer of the Raven God, and Slayer of Prophets, to whom even might captains of countless chapters fell prey to? In the end, Gulgur would not care, as when they face him they are all alike, they all are dead men.
His maul, sweeping with thundering speed, crashed against the frail body. He could sense the bones shatter as the unholy metal of his maul, drenched with the blood of thousands, collided with the torso, throwing the victims meters away into the hordes of other nameless thralls within the mighty halls of the temple.
He knew they would be no match for him, even more so, there was fear that they might not satisfy his lust for bloodshed. Never the less, he went on, swing after swing clearing a path through the mass, as the corpses kept pilling up.
Amongst the many screams echoing in the mighty halls, the cry of bolter fire could be heard, emerging behind him. One bolt, one corpse, it is an axiom he learned fighting for so long besides Wrathmar of Mosor. Gulgur never understood his preference for a mere bolter, a weapon so dull and average, common as the sand on beaches, yet, there was some poetry in Wrathamr's never failing aim. The bursts were nearly harmonic, each massive shell exploding with velocity upon the target's chest, lungs, ribs, heart and spine being crushed in the explosion.
The foe was a boring one indeed, yet, even without a proper fight, the quantity of corpses more admirable. Swing after swing, bolt after bolt, the two made their way forward amongst the massive, grim walls. Gulgur charged on first, as he had always done. He could sense the cracking of bones as he walked over the corpse covered floors. His maul leading onward, as he rushed away from his comrades.
Yes, somewhere even behind Wrathmar, he could hear the abominal sounds of Soren's wicked magic, as black ice covered all doors, or rather, exits, from the hall. Even as he was a brute, Gulgur had admiration for the sorceries which his god bestowed, or at least, the most brutal of those sorceries. Yet, the same admiration lacked when it came to Soren himself, instead, there was animosity. In their case, the road from animosity to admiration was firmly blocked by their characters, as well as countless disputes, ending in broken jaws, burnt skin, and in the very least, collateral damage.
„He doesn't get in my way, I won't get in his“ thus spoke Gulgur to their master as he chose them to land together. And both kept it so, sharing the belief that, once their quest, this damned search, is complete, they can part ways for good. But there was yet a long way to go, and the massive corridor did not make that any less bothersome.
Neither did the machines which emerged infront of them. Daemonic engines, towering several heads above even the mighty, fallen astartes, their hands either long claws or canons of an unholy red glare. Five, there were five worthy foes waiting infront of them, much to Gulgur's joy.
Two of those were armed with rocket launchers upon their black, metal backs, both opened a barrage, firing everything they had on them. It was a swift move of hand which froze the projectiles in the air, as Soren turned them to where they came from.
Fire and smoke followed as the missiles crashed upon the machines. Outnumbered and outguned, the three might warriors were still not outpowered. Swiftly as Soren's magic worked, so did Wrathmar's bolter load with a new magazines, and each bolt fired left a frozen mark on the target. Metal or not, if it is frozen, it breaks easy under his swing, and so, Gulgur leapt on once more. The bolts hit all critical places, each now shattering under his mightly blows, reducing the mighty engines to rouble.
With the last obsticle cleared, they embarked down a spiral walkway, reaching into the dark abyss of the underground, where only dim blue burning lights shine in the endless shadow, lighting the path towards their goal. They will not fail.