Finding The Eightfold Path, History of the seven blessed. (part 2)



After the break it's time once more to delve into the blood soaked history of the Knight that would one day be known as the 7 blessed. 


A Loud Clang echoed through the cockpit bringing reality spiralling back, the Chronometer still read 888 years and impatience boiled the 7 Blessed’s blood. The waiting drove daggers of pain though it’s skull as it surveyed the meters and dials surrounding it with bestial eyes.
Reflexive signals and a blurt of scrap code echoed around the arming chamber in response, muffled by the machine’s shell. Sluggishly the war machine responded to those commands, its fist striking out at the clumsy adept that had triggered the pain response.
A muffled scream and a thump as the Dark adept hit the wall, a feeling of warmth on the back of his hand the moment blood splattered across the war machine’s massive gauntlet. Once again memories began to surface and the being passed back into the coma of bonding as he and his steed readied for battle.
Centuries had passed since first hearing the discordant music, hundreds of battlefields millions of deaths. How naive had he been back then, believing these brothers and sisters of the music would be true, but it had been a lie. Thrown into the frontlines, used as a distraction, treated like a dog. No matter how many veterans of the house passed while he survived, no matter the odds he overcame, no matter the foes he defeated he couldn’t impress them.

They called him Proditor, gave him the scraps of the armoury and dregs as his Sacristans yet that would all change.
On a back water Mining world the Household had joined up with traitor Marines of the Iron warrior legion. Resistance had been light and there had been little worth unleashing their trained dog on. The household had terrorised the citizenry as the Warsmith’s troops had efficiently dealt with what little resistance they encountered.
Yet one last fortification stood in the way of total victory and the real spoils, the Mine Gates. Defended by two mighty macro cannons it was time for Proditor to once again charge into the jaws of death.
Yet the Household weren’t the only Mercenaries of the Iron warriors, a warband of the XII lead by the legendary 8th captain fought by their side.

There was nothing more to do now, the Warsmith was impatient and this world held no challenge. It would not be a siege, no prolonged standoff, just brute force and cannon fodder. In the middle he stood surrounded by the slaves and chaff the IV legion would drive into the guns of the defenders.  Behind them came the daemon engines, experimental constructs of the legion and their dark mechanicus allies, barely controllable fusions of warp steal and flesh. Thirsting for blood these beast would chase after the rabble in front, like flesh carrots dangling just out of reach, ever driving them forward for the guns of the enemy held so much less to fear.
The insult was obvious, the household held failed daemon cursed wrecks in higher esteem than an ancient steed with a pilot of centuries experience. Fuming at this damnation the engine began its march among the rabble towards the imperial fortifications. As the beasts behind where unleashed what was a fearful cautious approach became a rout, thousands of captives and slaves poured forwards toward the enemy guns. Many of them shouted prayers of salvation pleading to be let in and away from the traitors, others cried out to the dark gods hoping to be heard and elevated in the eyes of their masters. It mattered not; the imperial filth would slay everyone without mercy all seen as traitors no matter how they came to be there.

As the rabble closed the defenders opened up, las shots and the chatter of heavy weapons coming for the closest fire points. But the macro cannons remained silent. The horde closed closer and closer yet the guns stayed silent and the fire from the guardsmen lessened, screams and the revving of chain blades could be made out over the din of the slave cattle.
This was no glorious charge into the guns of the enemy the battle was already happening and was drawing to a close. When the first macro cannon exploded the charge faltered and collapsed into uncertainty, the masses stunned into silence as the daemon engines leapt on the stragglers.  When the second cannon detonated the mechanicus beast drivers pulled the engines back and the slave mob stood still totally lost as to what to do.
Yet the Iron warriors where obviously ready for this, a spearhead of rhinos and land raiders made their way up from the rear crushing anything to stunned or stupid to move out of the way. By the time they approached the fortress all fire had ceased and silence reigned within its walls. Coming to a halt by the main gates the Warsmith and his retinue disembarked from the lead land raider and the fortress doors opened to greet him.

Warriors in red stepped out with chain axes in hand, led by the unmistakeable figure of Kharn. Those watching couldn’t hear the initial exchange and the household had made its way forward to stand ahead of their hated brother closer to the gathered marines.
Something was obviously wrong and when Kharn engaged his vox to an open channel it was clear that the bloodshed was far from over.  Across Vox and speaker grill the champion of the blood god condemned the cowardly actions of the Iron warriors, the weakness of the imperial forces and the affront to the blood god.  Blood was needed blood and skulls, only then would the lord of the brass tower look upon this world with anything beyond contempt.
The bloody champion raised his axe in a salute to the sky before burring it deep into the warsmiths face. For a moment nothing happened, silence rang across the field as even the daemon engines stopped momentarily at the actions of the berserker. Yet it was but a moment, a fraction of a second before warriors of the twelfth legion charged. Explosions rang out as blasting charges shattered the walls and more crimson warriors launch into both flanks from the beaches.
With the words of the betrayer ringing through his mind visions of greatness and glory swam before him, Proditor they had called him then Proditor he would be. No more scraps, no more chaff, glory or death was all that mattered. 
Blood for the Blood god

Seconds later and the engine of war had closed the gap to the household’s matriarch blood and oil pumping round the symbiont of man and machine as rage fuelled the vengeful strike.
Powerfield crackling with a storm of lightning the thunderstrike gauntlet tore the reactor clean from the Matriarch’s spine and launching it at her second with a volley of melta fire.
Attacked from behind the pair stood no chance, the matriarch’s steed collapsed lifeless while her reactor detonated on target, of the Baron nothing remained beyond the smoking fragments that slaughtered Iron warrior and slaves alike.
Such a sudden loss of the household’s command left the remaining pair faltering unsure where to focus before with screams of daemonic rage and hate the warp cursed experiments broke free and rampaged.
Absolute chaos erupted; with Berserkers on all sides, the hordes of slaves and chaff everywhere and daemon engines running riot the forces of the Iron warriors resorted to simple self-preservation.

Proditor warhorn shrieking praises to the blood god leapt onto the smoking ruin of the Matriarch’s steed as a stepping stone to fresh kills. Launching from the platform at the back of a rapidly retreating landraider gauntlet smashing clean through the engine, the raging warmachine once more used his kill as a missile crushing a rhino desperately trying to manoeuvre away from the rushing Berserkers.  Surviving passengers desperately tried to scrabble free of the wreckage only to be met by rage incarnate, chain blade scything the warmachine scooped up the Iron warriors it his gauntlet crushing them over his carapace and anointing the engine in the gene rich blood.
Blood flowed, riping through slaves, cannon fodder and Iron warriors alike and with equal ease nothing could stand the wrath of Proditor unleashed. With little sport in the running and screaming humans the war machine turned its attention to a pack of daemon engines charging them head on smashing and cutting warp infused flesh and steel.
As the last of the daemons crashed to the ground the pilot took stock of his surroundings, the battle field was awash with blood and ruin, the Berserkers where slaughtering everything that remained with only small groups of retreating Iron warriors as any resistance.  Blood hungry eyes searched the data feeds and screens for a worthy foe, 400 meters to the west a remaining member of the household battled a pack of quadrupedal engines of destruction with clawing fists and tentacles writhing from their flanks. It was clear the Errant was finished, metallic tentacles grasped from all sides while claw and fist ripped armour and cables. It had moments left at best.
Irritated at the lack of sport a searching for more the ground nearby erupted in a pillar of flame and debris before a second shell pummelled into the carapace and puldron of the steeds right hand side.

Swinging round and redirecting the Iron shield to the fore the warrior faced the last remaining household member. A paladin of insignificant rank it had survived the centuries by hanging onto Proditor’s tail and claiming his glory. Rage boiled and the blood god’s latest follower charged, Iron shield flared as the paladin fired again and again. Standing over the ruin of its matriarch the last remaining member of a forgotten household finally grew a spine before death took it.
The paladin like so many before it simply could not stand up to the rage incarnate unleashed so raw and fresh. Blocking blade on blade the one known as Proditor pummelled the paladin’s face plate. Staggering back the paladin desperately tried to bring the battle cannon to bear but was simply to slow. Swatting the cannon aside with fist the warrior of blood rammed his blade into the others chest, tearing it out through the top of the carapace bisecting the pilot in the process and showering the field with blood, oil and plasma.

The battle was over stepping back from the fight and allowing it’s hatred to cool the pilot once again took stock of the field. Something on the edge of conciseness brought his attention to focus, there before him stood Kharn, gorechild in hand.  At his feet the smoking ruin of the Matriarch’s steed lay dented and broken. A moment of destiny perhaps, leaning down and ripping the carapace and hatch open revealed the half dead and wounded pilot, coughing up blood. With a skill and care hardly imaginable for such a massive war machine the leader of the household was ripped from her steed and thrown half dead at Kharn’s feet where gorechild unceremoniously took her skull for Khorn’s throne. Mirroring the blood champion’s actions the warmachine hacked the head off the knight’s wreckage before the two turn and go in search of the last prey. Exchange complete a mighty blaze enveloped the knight’s ruined pauldron and the rune of Khorne blazes brightly the dedication is complete.

The seven blessed twitched in his throne and the images reseeded, after the battle he had claimed the best of the household’s Sacristans and ship and joined Kharn’s rampage across the eye of terror and beyond.  Years passed; lesser battles and slaughters flickered in his mind, Shadows of time between wars were dull and grey as the bonding ritual continued.

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