Call of the Abyss @Jorimel @DeranVendar @dx144 @Grall_Stonefist Sounding like the Pholax of old, the Contemptor Dreadnought turned around and ran straight for the stricken Predator. Astartes inside of it managed to fire three more shots at the walker, each of these round easily soaked by the adamantium shell and doing little to stop the murderous machine. Pholax hit the tank with his entire strength, power of the blow managing to bring the Predator up on one side before the Dreadnought pushed it and with a stomp, ended the life of the Word Bearer inside of it. The speakers that spat the heretical messages went dead as well, the fires licking the outside of Pholax's coffin doing nothing to prevent what came next. With missiles loaded and fired, hell was unleashed. Denatus saw the destruction and was faster than his enemies, the explosions rocking the deck and hot shrapnel flying through the air. Most of the Breachers were wounded by this point and the Destroyer could operate freely with his meteor hammer, the ball and the chain claiming lives with newfound ease. Other Emperor's Children rallied in similar fashion, encouraged by the presence of their veterans, they doubled the efforts and the hold Word Bearers had was broken. Extrovious found his footing and with a proper swing, cut through the chest of first Terminator. Second one died as his entire squad opened fire and avenged fallen Kaiser by turning the enemy legionary into paste. Devastators from the Squad Pestin dealt with what remained of the Breachers while Aleph claimed the final blow as his opponent finally gave in, with a quick strike the swordmaster decapitated the enemy Techmarine and cleared the floor of opposing elements. This was but a small skirmish, there were plenty of intruders to repel and from what Sidon said, Armory was the next location. "Sergeant Extrovious," came Praetor's voice, there was plenty of firing in the background, "They are pushing hard to take the place from us, they even brought Army regiments with them. I'll need as many of your men as you can give me," there was a pause where Extro lost Sidon for a moment, the loud explosion breaking the line before the old warrior came back, his voice strained as he was hurting now. "There's another issue...Captain Flavius reported a saboteur party moving away from the main routes and trying to push through the crew quarters in order to reach the Reactor dome. I lost contact with him but you are close, so make a stop there and investigate what happened." Flavius was one of Sidon's peers, although not as old as him he was also Terran-born and serving under Apox earned him some exposure, especially during initial campaigns against Dark Eldar. Losing him, especially in such dire time, would be a terrible blow to the Millennial and that was undoubtedly one of the reasons Sidon was concerned. ********* With most of the troops safely under Sergeant Pestin's command, the parts of the old 4th Squad moved with all due haste towards the last known sight of Captain Flavius and his warriors. It didn't take them long, couple of decks up and they were in the middle of primary dormitories for "Sovereign's" mortal crew, currently empty due to security demands or otherwise clear in order to evade unnecessary casualties so close to the boarding party entrances. Locator beacon on Flavius' armor was also located deeper into the maze but what was even more interesting was the fact their comms activated, none other than the Captain himself addressing them as they got closer. "Brothers...the Word Bearers broke through and came in number...we cannot hold them...request immediate assistance..." He repeated the words couple of more times before the link died. For Pholax, it wasn't that easy to navigate the corridors but the speed was of the essence so many rooms were broken as he waded through, small price to pay when the Astartes lives were on the stake. However as they moved deeper into the ship, darkness gathered around them and that good old sense of unease began creeping in. Extrovious was first one to notice the differences, the twitches at the edge of the sight, the silent growls, the smell of sulfur - something wicked was waiting for them and they were heading straight for it now. Flavius' locator finally screamed as the group came around the corner into what used to be a great mess hall with great many tables in it and a kitchen in the back big enough to supply a small army. "Brothers...the Word Bearers broke through and came in number...we cannot hold them...request immediate assistance..." once again the voice of Emperor's Children Captain called to them but no more speaking in their ear. The dead Captain's head was mounted on an altar made of other heads, legionaries of the Third placed on the top while smaller skulls of human crew formed the base. Blood was everywhere - alongside body parts - but to one who would look closer he would see that the red vitae formed a specific form on the floor, one of eight-pointed star. "Brothers..." voice which was not really Flavius didn't come from the altar in the center of the star, but from the towering figure besides it. Decked in black plates covered in script that hurt the eye to look at and chains wet with blood stood a monster with a smile of gold. "Brothers," he spoke and his clean shaved face spread into a smile, the voice soothing and melodic, a resemblance of his Father no doubt. It was also the same voice who spoke through Predator's speakers during their initial combat. "I thank you for answering my summons," the spiked mace, crozius arcanum corrupted just like its wielder hung at the side, next to a large combi gun, but neither these sidearms nor the Cataphracti Terminator Armor were the real weapons of this Word Bearer. "I am Dabogar and I bring message to you all." Behind him, five hooded figures appeared. They were smaller in stature, humans no doubt, but there was definitely something wrong with them. Their faces and hands were hidden beneath the robes and they all moved at the same time, as if they were but simple clockwork mechanisms given life. Unnatural energies swirled beneath their feet, each move they made created ripples on the ground which now looked like surface of a great dark ocean. "Denatus," Word Bearer spoke and the hooded figures turned towards the Destroyer, whispering his name again and again. "You are already dead, it is the curse of your craft," and truly, no matter how much the radiation took away from him until that moment, Denatus suddenly became tired. His limbs were heavy, the affliction taking over him threatened to completely drive him to a halt. Word Bearer's voice didn't help either. "But we can take it all away. The Decayed One commands such ills and it is under his order that I came to offer you his blessing. All you have to do is ask." While the Word Bearer spoke, Extrovious felt cold breeze on his face and the momentary detachment. Frost gathered around the grip of his executioner's sword, the cry of a thunder in the distance catching his attention. Beyond the Word Bearer, his acolytes and the mark on the floor lied a mighty mountain, its top flat as if some vengeful god cut it off with the swing of his axe. Dark clouds gathered around it, the storm brewing in the distance a small interlude to what was coming. He knew this place of course, like the shade of the Crimson King promised, the wards in Extro's mind buckled and gave him the necessary knowledge of blood, ruin and death. He fought and killed here, who exactly he wasn't sure, but the cracking of bones beneath his feet heralded the destruction of worlds. "She calls to you Extrovious, can you hear it?" a lone figure stood opposing him, the elements seemingly having no effect on it. Slightly shorter than the Sergeant and dressed in furs like some tribal chieftain, his features were covered by a horned, skull-faced, helmet but what Extro could see his opponent's skin was in fact, crimson. Black veins bulged, the skin looking more like an armor than flesh, metallic attribute further brought in front by the snow than melted whenever it touched it, leaving the warrior undisturbed. "You thought you could run, didn't you?", twin axes in each hand, while crude-looking, had the brutal edge to them that promised nothing but violence. "Cowards flee their fate, only the strong embrace it," taking a step forward, the wind blew but instead of coldness, the fire of a forge and the smell of charred flesh greeted Extrovious, "What are you?" To Pholax, Aleph and Denatus, the apparition which taunted their Sergeant was nothing more than a blurry figure in the distance, there was no snowy mountain although the smell of brimstone was all too real. For Pholax though, such senses were simply registered by the sensors on the front of his coffin, however the pair of eyes in the dark above him and the sudden warnings weren't part of Word Bearer's miasma. Large shapes clung to the ceiling, poised to strike at the moment's notice. "You deemed my words heresy," Dabogar continued, a certain edge entering his tone, "It is fitting though, that when faced with truth, weak souls crawl back into the confines of their own minds for the knowledge sounds too terrible to behold. My Brothers, the Anointed, were among the first to destroy the shackles and embrace the Primodial Truth. They will also be the last ones you will see before they break into your prison and devour your flesh." Pholax couldn't really see the exact shape of the ones the Word Bearer spoke about, but the spines, elongated claws and bulking armor made them something much different than what he fought before. "Which finally brings me to you. Aleph," the Word Bearer turned his golden eyes on the swordsman and the voices around Alephoros intensified, the hooded figures whispering his name but each syllable was twisted as if spoken through some broken apparatus. "Without even knowing, you carry the knowledge of the Old Night. Names of your forefathers, your tribesmen and the skills they passed to you weren't only theirs to give. Such knowledge is precious and doesn't come without a cost, which can either be salvation or damnation." Unhooking his crozius, the corrupted Chaplain pointed it towards Aleph, the challenge clear. "You play on Trickster's strings, each step of your dance leads you further into his grasp. Resisting is futile but I already know what would your answer be should I ask you to chose," firing mechanism clicked as two bolts were loaded in his combi bolter. "So do your best, Alephoros of the Sulpha tribe, last of your kind. Do your best and I shall do so too for the Gods are watching!" At the gates of hell: Dark Apostle Dabogar:30, Speakers: , The Anointed: 18/18, The Marauder:25 Aleph:25, Extrovious:30, Pholax:, Denatus:20 Dak Apostle Dabogar is a boss and as such, this battle will be slightly harder because the enemy packs couple of extra talents. As long as the Speakers are alive, Denatus will lose d3 HP each turn. During the opening turn, everyone but Extrovious will have trouble attacking Marauder himself. You can consider the Anointed to be Possessed Marines with extra oomph. Your talents are reset and you can use them again in this fight.