A storm gathers on Cordos
Veril paced the halls of the tiny servant chamber in which he called his dwellings under the Imperium rule, but to many of the less talented servants could be considered palatial consisting of a bed, a small table, and not only a window but a small balcony (which was really simply a door leading to the top of a stone buttress). The plans were laid, his men would meet him in the courtyard, they would sneak in and steal the defensive plans for the planetary garrison structures as well as the governor’s palace and sneak out. The guards were likely drunk on the local brews that they seemed to favor. He had to admit, the odds were not good, but dying in an attempt was better than nothing. Any and all preparations were made. A small group would meet them outside after the plans were stolen, and they would be transported from town to town until he reached the Iron Triangle, the mountain range that the Imperial Guard had never dared to explore to it’s fullest due to it’s concentration of what they called warpstone and the radioactive nature the stone seemed to have.
Suddenly, his door from the balcony flew open. Assassins! He reached for his blades and snatched them up, lunging at what he imagined would be an assassin from the governor to slay him. His first strike rattled off the putrid armor of the intruder while the second smashed into a helmeted head only to simply bounce off. This was no assassin, and the armor was that of a space marine! He darted to the side to rebound and attack, knowing now to focus on joints as his weapons were useless against the ceramite plates of the armor itself, but it was too late. An armored hand snatched him up, holding him nearly seven feet off the ground at eye level with his intruder. He braced himself for the blow, but it never came. Instead, he could feel an intense scrutiny, almost curiosity, and then a grating, bubbling laughter welled up inside the armor and escaped the helmet.
Veril took the opportunity to actually look at his assailant more. He had seen a space marine’s power armor once. This was something different. The armor was bulkier, much larger. Terrifying to behold, but also clearly expertly crafted and likely ancient in design. The marine was well over seven feet tall and nearly as broad, with pauldrons that were the size of Veril’s body. The Marine carried a staff, crackling with what he suspected was powers of the warp. But something was strange, even beyond the size or shape of the armor. The black and green armor seemed putrid, as if the body inside was rotten and the armor was beginning to decay itself. It lacked any imperial symbols but instead had other strange, 8 pointed symbols. He suspected these to be the markings of chaos, but had never paid attention in the forced imperial indoctrination classes forced upon all of those that lived on Cordos. He felt it foolish to learn the history of their oppressor. In the dim light, he could make out on his left shoulder an 8 pointed star around an eye while on his right should he could see three flies, pointed inwards facing each other. Skulls adorned his armor and his eye-lenses glowed a green, sickly glow.
Suddenly he was hurled across the room onto the floor. Veril’s assailant finally spoke, but when he did, Veril immediately wished he had not. Something about this man scared him. Something unnatural. “Your plan will fail, little mouse. You plan to best the entire planetary garrison with a few locals and miners?” the, what Veril suspected, Chaos Space Marine began. “I am Robigo, Commander of the Bubonis Strike Cruiser, Sorcerer of the Purge, and I have a deal for you” Robigo continued. “If you can stir up the locals, and secure a foothold, I can supply troops and weapons to take this palace. However, the legions of the false emperor will come, and when they do they will destroy you if you stand alone. I arrived as they would, and your attempt to attack me resulted in a complete failure. I promise they will not be as forgiving as I have been. However, I see this as an opportunity for both of us. Should you succeed in taking the planet with minimal aid from me, I will prevent the Astartes from taking back this planet. But my help is not free”. Veril waited for the demands. Money? Slaves? Resources? He would not deal with this tyrant. He would not trade one oppressor for another.
Robigo continued “You seek freedom. I can empathize with this sentiment. This ‘Emperor’ that they hold to be a god is nothing but a man. You and your kind are too special to be under any man’s boot. He oppresses you, I wish to liberate you, to embrace you, as father Nurgle has taken an interest in you and your kind. You seem to be quite resistant to diseases, a trait that father Nurgle finds curious”. Robigo squatted, still towering above Veril, and leaned in close “What if all I asked was your willingness to simply share your planet. I will open a gate upon the planet’s surface so that the warriors of Nurgle and of the Purge may flow freely onto the planet. Never will a blade or bolter be raised against you or your kind unless you raise one against us first. All that father Nurgle seeks is to study and conduct research on the planet. Your species survival is important to him given your resilience to several diseases that he requires to see how and why your kind seems immune to many contagions. Consider this work to be of great importance, not only to a man, but a god. A real god, one that can grant you your wishes and see to it that you are protected”. Robigo leaned back on his heels, apparently awaiting an answer.
Veril, seeing his opportunity to build an alliance that could turn the tides of the battle before the first blow was dealt was immediately interested. He did not know of this father Nurgle, nor of any god. His people had their own gods, and Nurgle was not one of them. But an alliance with a chaos space marine force would be beneficial if they were true to their word. “What guarantee can you give me that no violence will be visited upon my people, nor any bondage be forced upon us” Veril shot back, inwardly pleased with his quick wit.
“What would I profit? If I sought to simply exterminate you and your people, I could have done this before the Astartes arrived and swept aside the planetary garrison as they appear quite ill prepared. I need you for your species, and even your small mind should be able to comprehend that if I need you alive, I have no intention of committing genocide” Robigo pressed, his tone suggesting impatience. Veril suspected that this man did not deal with questions well, and expected to dictate the terms more than negotiate. But ultimately, what choice did Veril have? He could ally with this man, gain his aid, and fight against him with an armed and free army or fight against him now where there was nearly no chance of success and less chance of survival.
“We will aid you and will help this father Nurgle to do his work on Cordos. Before you claim your right to be here on this planet with us, you will see to it that we win our freedom first” Veril said, standing as tall as he could so as to appear unafraid in the eyes of this Chaos Space Marine.
“Very well. You will have your war, and you will have your victory. Father Nurgle will be pleased with your cooperation. Myself and others will arrive to open the gate after you have your Palace and planet in your hands”. Robigo turned to the balcony and squatted to exit. In a blinding flash, he was gone, leaving Veril nervous but aware that his plans had a much greater chance of succeeding. However, he couldn’t shake that he had been swindled, and that it was the wording of the arrangement that he would regret, but he felt that even the Chaos Space Marines could fall to tanks and artillery and upon his victory the planet’s arsenals would be his.