c. Games Workshop
“The False Emperor spread his corruption one hundred hundred years ago, tearing down the true idols amongst the stars. We are here to undo that wrong, make right the galaxy again. We shall sanctify the soil of Vigilus with the blood of the those who champion falsehood. We shall purify it’s cities of the Corpse-God’s lies, fill the hearts of the worthy with the Primordial Truth. We shall Crown this continent with the black of the void and in doing so consecrate this world in the name of my lord, Warmaster Ezekyle Abaddon, the Great Visionary. Fear not my friends, for you too may be in black and gold reborn.” – Dark Apostle Khaunt, First Confessor of the Masked Lord, shortly before the mass sacrifice at the base of a Noctilith Crown
The skies above Dontoria Hivesprawl had been smothered in a blanket of thick smog for as long as anyone could remember. Biochemical effluent, manufactoria burnout, industrial exhalations and the smoke of thousands of unsanctioned sump-fires had long ago created a noxious shroud of yellow-brown pollution that settled like a second skin over the centuries, staining buildings and streets alike in yellow corrosion, seeping into ground, water and people’s lungs alike, and smothering away the sky and blotted out all natural light like a damp rag guttering out a candle. Entire generations of hive-crawlers had lived and died under the this blanket of smog, and in this way, the citizens of the Big Fug were oddly blessed, for they were shielded from the madness of the Cicatrix Maledictum in a way that the other hive-continents of Vigilus weren’t.
On this day, though, the drab brown sky was punctuated by fierce streaks of yellow as Ork warplanes and missiles streaked overhead.
(Image above by Yang Zheyy at https://www.artstation.com/zheyang)
“…from the perfidy of the alien, o Emperor, deliver me; from the wickedness of heresy, o Emperor, deliver me…”
By Confessor Mattias Elastor’s count, he had voiced the Benediction of St. Cyrus twenty-two times in the last hour alone, and the Hymnal of St. Thor at Gathalamor another fifty-three. He couldn’t remember when he had last slept, or for that matter, when he had last eaten anything—his fear had been overriding his hunger, and at some point it had turned into just a general, bone-hollow weariness. It was that, and the shrapnel that had lacerated his left leg, which had eventually forced him to stop moving and take shelter in the half-exposed second storey of this ruined Administratum office.