The Sorceror's Plan
A short story about a Chaos Sorceror of Tzeentch and his quest to enslave a rather unconventional form of minion.
WARNING: Contains exceeding amounts of Fluffrape.
May WILL produce considerable amounts of Nerdrage.
As his metallic boots stomped through the mud and slush of the shallow swamp, the Sorcerer of the Thousand Sons wondered how long it would take those beasts sleeping under its surface to purge all life from this planet and return it to its former status as a sterile, lifeless world. One could hardly imagine, that it once was but a barren rock, devoid of atmosphere and water - for the planet was now teeming with life and its ground covered with lush jungles, which were separated only by large areas of swamps,through which he had already waded for weeks. As more and more mosquitoes hammered against his armor like small, annoying bullets, the Sorcerer reflected that a dead world HAD its advantages after all.
Regardless, he had his vision, his very special plan. A plan that was regarded as insane by his brethren and minions, even though worshiping the chaos god Tzeentch made this word sound harmless, if not appealing.
This very special plan however had nothing in common with their worship, their begging for power until it consumed them. The Sorcerer did not oppose Tzeentch himself naturally, he still considered him and him alone to be the ultimate answer to all questions - what unnerved him was his ascend to power, or to be more precise, the slow pace of it. To long he had to be the bootlick of narrow-minded Chaos Lords and other foolish men, which were busy with fighting potential rivals rather than finishing off the rotting Imperium of the Corpse God.
Whenever he dreamed, Tzeentch would show him how he could burn the pile of meat on the Golden Throne to ashes, how he would reduce the already deformed corpse to nothing more than cinders and how all the psykers of mankind would scream in pain as the demons of the Everchanging One would rip out their souls. <br\>Unfortunately,his power was limited and directly facing his superiors would result in his certain death. What he needed was an army, a force with whom he could topple all the blasted Chaos Lords and other miserable wretches from their thrones.
Obviously, he could not hope for the help of the other Thousand Sons, for they too would not face the wrath of their self-proclaimed leaders. Neither could he build up a cult of human followers, as they would not stand any serious chance against the Chaos Space Marines and the Sorcerer only felt disgust for these pathetic beings anyhow. <br\>He had already made out a brilliant scheme, which would have allowed the lapdogs of the false Emperor to find and butcher his misguided leaders, only to abandon the thought, since it would not only risk his existence, but that of the Legion as a whole, something he would never dare to even think of. Instead, he had created his own very special plan. It was a radical idea, so radical indeed that he'd probably lose his head before ending his sentence if he had proclaimed it to the other members of the Legions.
This plan began to take form when the Sorcerer and a small raiding team managed to intercept and board a lone Eldar vessel, which was apparently traversing from the Craftsworld of Biel-Tan to those of Ulthwé. <br\>After he and his team had slaughtered the crew, they began to pillage anything that seemed useful to them, amongst which were various magical artifacts and even a handful of soulstones. While the other Marines were loudly discussing what would be the most excruciating thing they could do to the Souls of the Eldar, the Sorcerer's mind felt something which he could only describe as disturbing - yet he felt strangely gravitated by it.
As this sensation reached its climax, he was standing above the remains of one of the Eldar, and only know he understood what made him stand out from the rest of the crew - it was a civilian.<br\> Whereas all other Xenos aboard the vessel were carrying the armor of the Guardians, this one was clad in ornate robes. They might have been pleasing to the eyes of an Eldar before he had drenched them in Xeno blood, but they certainly were not what a warlock or even a farseer would wear.
One way or another, the sight of an Eldar civilian on such a ship puzzled him and even more so did the strange sensation, that had evolved into a throbbing pressure in his head.<br\> He did not lust for the Eldar himself, naturally,as he was not a child of Slaanesh. It was something in the possession of the Eldar, something of horrible might and power.
As he searched the dead body, he reflected how amusing this sight must have looked like, as the limp body felt like an oversized doll in his hands. After he had searched the corpse the third time through, his impatience began to grow dramatically, and he would surely had let the corpse be, but in this very moment the Sorcerer realized that this Eldar did indeed possess the thing he longed for, though he did not carry it on the conventional manner.
It was inside of him.
Inspired by this thought, he grabbed a ritual blade, cut the body open and under the sound of breaking ribs,he found the object of his desire - a small, elaborate orb which was seemingly implanted into the Eldar when he still walked through the halls of his craftsworld. <br\>Nonetheless, the Sorcerer instinctively knew that this thing was definitely not made by Eldar hands. It was small, maybe the size of his eyeball, and still inscribed by a myriad of elaborate runes,whose shapes contradicted all logical shapes of geometry and even those he had seen in the warp. <br\> Even more disturbing, it pulsed with a sickly green light - he knew from whose hands this artifact had sprung, yet this only created more riddles. Why would the Eldar, sworn enemies of the soulless machines, safeguard this object, even hide it within one of their own kind?
Though his mind cried for answers, he hastily grabbed the orb from the Eldar's entrails, only to be rewarded by a pain as if the ball was white-hot. He would have screamed, but centuries of battle and training had made him capable of ignoring this pain,even taking a grim, macabre joy in it, as he still desired the object above all. <br\>Before heading back to the other Marines, he quickly let the orb slip into a pouch at his side, which was usually reserved for all kinds of material a ritual for the dark gods would need. During the ride in the boarding ship that would take them back to their own battlecruiser, his brethren eyed him with strange looks, feeling visible uncomfortable if not even outright fearful. <br\> Still, not a single one of them dared to raise his hand against him and as the Eldar ship behind them exploded in a white flame, their shuttle safely brought them back to the Gift of the Warp, the vessel with whom they had followed the Eldar.
From this day on, the Sorcerer was obsessed with the orb. His brethren began to avoid him, as the Orb opposed the Warp which flooded through their bodies and made them feel weak and helpless. He cared not,for this only gave him more time to study the orb without having to fear the curious and greedy eyes of the Chaos Marines around him, which would have surely betrayed him to their leaders for their own sake. <br\>However, while he spend days and weeks trying to understand the secrets and the purpose of the orb, the only thing growing from it was his frustration, as the artifact remained the same enigma it had been when he collected it. And though he could hardly feel the pain that had rushed his mind the first time he grasped for his trophy, it slowly began to drain his powers, for the fiendish device severed his connection to the warp. Again, he was more than willing to cast it away or smash it into a thousand pieces, but when he already had his bootheel above it, he heard a silent whisper, coming from all around him.
At first he thought that the orb had finally began to mock him over his tireless and foolhardy research, yet the voice grew louder and he eventually realized that Tzeentch himself was talking to him, like in a fever or a daydream.
The Sorcerer expected to God to punish him for working with those things even a follower of Chaos would find utmost heretical, but instead, the Everchanging One congratulated him for his finding and promised him power beyond imagining if he would understand its function. <br\> Despite feeling honored to be directly approached by his God, the artifact had driven him mad for far to long, and so he asked Tzeentch just how he could understand it. The dark god smiled down upon his follower and gave him a number of visions, depicting old ruins of the Eldar that were built before the birthcry of Slaanesh ruptured the very essence of the universe.
He understood. <br\> As one of the few races, the Eldar had seen the War in Heaven, the battle of the old ones against the machine-beings and their masters -if he could hope to find any information about their artifacts without having to enter one of their tombs, this old temple was his best, maybe his only chance.
As he regained his mind, willing to thank and praise Tzeentch for his help, the voice was already gone, as sudden as it had appeared. <br\> Regardless, he now had a goal, he had to find this temple, no matter where it was. Knowing that the other Marines would still have his head on a silver plate for pursuing his goal, his vision, he lured some of the weak-minded human cultists which lived on the Planet of the Sorcerers into his service and stole a ship from one of the planets many starports.
He wandered through the Galaxy, often coming dangerously close to Imperial worlds or the splinters of Tyranid Hive Fleets. In the end, it took him almost 60 decades to find the world the temple was situated on, a barren wasteland at the very rim of the galactic disc.
As he entered the temple, he was all alone, for his crew had already died, first by natural causes and then by his hand as he grew annoyed of their permanent lamenting.<br\> Thus, the only sounds he could hear were the steady steps of his boots and his stressed breathing through his respirator, for this world had lost its oxygen millennia ago. No living things confronted him as he strode through the empty halls, but the structure itself was seemingly trying to kill him - numerous times, he managed to avoid large chunks of stone that rained down from the ceiling and could have crushed him. At one point, he even broke through a stairway, which suffered from both old age and the weight of him and his armor.
Finally, however, he found what he was looking for, a masterfully crafted relief which adorned one of the walls within the Inner Sanctum of the temple. <br\>It depicted two Necron armies facing each other, their weapons firing hundreds of thin lightnings at their respective enemy. At the back of each force,two tall figures rose up in clouds of dust - one of them veiled in a long cloak and wielding a gigantic scythe, the other one with the body of a handsome adolescent, crowned by a strange set of horns. <br\>Above the relief, a number of runes was cast onto the wall. The Sorcerer could not read them, and neither could the Eldar of his time, but he still understood their meaning like through a miracle of the warp.
It retold a legend that was already old when Slaanesh still slumbered, a battle fought between the Necrons, or to be more precise, their rulers, the mysterious C'tan. <br\> One of them, known as the Deceiver, had constructed an arcane tool which allowed him to take control of the Necrons from another Tombworld,which in turn belonged to one of the other C'tan,the Nightbringer.
The latter discovered the power of this artifact when the Deceiver turned his very own Legions against him. <br\>Though they posed no serious threat, he was still enraged beyond measurement and gathered a considerable force of his minions to hunt down and eventually devour the treacherous Deceiver, as he had already done it with many other C'tan.
The Deceiver already had expected such a behavior and had built up an army of equal size, so that these two forces as they were depicted in the relief finally battled each other on a planet near the galactic center.
While both forces would have been capable of razing entire worlds with ease, neither side could score a win against the other one, as the Necrons rose again in the very same pace as their comrades fell. The battle went on for years, until the Deceiver finally decided that there was no sense in it and that it even more so threatened their position in the war against the Old ones.
The C'tan proposed a bargain with the Nightbringer: The dark God would be allowed to destroy the Deceiver's artifact and the Traitor would have to bring him half the life energy from each population he annihilated. <br\>The Nightbringer grudgingly accepted the bargain, for even though he knew that the Deceiver would try to outwit him in time, he considered the War in Heaven to be a far more pushing and rewarding matter.
He then took the arcane orb and crushed it with his scythe, fragmenting it into a myriad of pieces that would flew into every corner of the galaxy and beyond. <br\>The Deceiver,again,had expected such savage behaviour, and while he was fighting against the Old Ones, he had a Necron Lord loyal to him search the orb's fragments.
Said Lord, named Prophet of Time by the Necrons, had almost completed his task after untold millennia, but as he had found the last splinter and reconstructed the device, his small battleforce was overwhelmed by a large army of the then-young Eldar, which had noticed the machines search and managed to follow the Prophet of Time for years.
Fearing that the Deceiver could possibly empower this tool to take control of not a single tombworld, but every Necron he would like, the Eldar decided to destroy the artifact,but not even their mightiest weapons could even scratch it. <br\>Thus, they had little other choice but to hide it, and from this very day, the Orb of the Deceiver was one of the best-kept secrets of their ancient race,for the Necrons were already a horrifying enemy but would be their certain demise if led under Unity.
Back at the temple,the Sorcerer was overwhelmed by this flood of information and details,until it slowly began to make sense. The puzzle was completed. <br\>He assumed that,after the birth of Slaanesh, the Eldar would carry the artifact from Craftsworld to Craftsworld,so that the Deceiver would never find out where it could be. The vessel they intercepted was supposed to carry the Orb from Biel-Tan to Ulthwé and they had taken it at this very moment.
The Sorcerer praised Tzeentch for this coincidence, even though he reconsidered that it had to be the hand fate which was guided by the dark God. <br\>One way or another, the Sorceror had reached the point where had to make a decision - the decision what he should use this tool for.
Actually, there was only one thing he could use it for, but this way was so repulsive,so heretical that every other follower of Chaos rather would have turned into a demonspawn than pursuing it.
The Sorcerer however, had gone far beyond this, far beyond good and evil. Strengthened by the though that Tzeentch supported him and that he could bring ruin to the Imperium of Man,his path seemed clear.
He knew where the battle had taken place, and even after all this time, the Necrons would still have to follow the Deceiver - or his device,actually.
So here he was again, knee-deep in the bog,which compromised large parts of the planet where this old battle, the Tomb War, had taken place.
His further studies had shown that the many crypts under the surface of the planet were inactive - apparently, the battle had damaged them so badly, that the maintenance systems had shut down. Knowing that the Necrons inside not threaten him anymore, the Sorceror had entered one of the old Tombs, which had been sleeping for millennia. <br\>He saw that the Stasis fields were still working, yet the spider-like machines laid dead on the ground, whereas other chambers were filled with thousands of small scarabs that would repair and awaken the common Necron Warriors,if they were provided with energy. <br\> All of his dreams and vision seemed to break in upon themselves, not because of an overwhelming force, but because these blasted critters lacked life.
The Sorcerer however, would not give up again, not after all the madness he had gone through. <br\> His perseverance had led him to a point in the swamp, where the scanners of his aging ship had shown weak signatures of Xeno energy. He assumed that this was an old Monolith whose teleportation system malfunctioned when it was damaged during the Tomb War <br\>If his hopes should fulfill, his device would be capable of reactivating the Monolith, who in turn could supply enough power to get the maintenance systems of the Necron Crypts working again. <br\> And if these would work again, he could control the entire Tombworld with this little, precious Orb that he had crafted into a Necklace.
Surely, this plan had its risks. Maybe he could awaken the Necrons,but the device would fail to enslave them. Maybe he would just outright summon the Nightbringer himself to this place. But the Sorcerer did not care for his own life anymore, for he had gone into the depths and embraced madness.
His own thoughts revolved around this very Orb like planets around a star - he could overthrow the foolish leaders of the Thousand Sons, maybe even topple Magnus the Red, he could strike the Imperium of Man, he could even....
"So where's da stuff we be searching,Chief?"
The Sorcerer managed to keep an scream of pure rage inside of him. He suddenly began to wonder just why in the name of Tzeentch he had hired these human scoundrels to escort him and, more importantly, why they actually would follow him.
This planet was truly a backwater, and it wouldn't surprise him if Imperium of the Corpse God would not even know of its existence, yet the Chaos Sorcerer should have made a rather daunting look to the local population anyhow.
Still, these meddlesome scumbags had offered him, a Chaos Space Marine, their skills as guides the second they saw him. And to his own shock, he accepted their offer, probably thinking that this was just another test or gruesome joke of Tzeentch to prove him worthy as his new Warlord, simply because few humans being are foolish enough to approach a Sorcerer when they see one.
With well-considered calmness, he turned around and explained to the mercenaries, his mercenaries, that their target was nearby and that just a little more patience would reward them greatly. <br\>He could still dispose of them later, maybe to test whether the Necrons' weapons would be still functional.
After two more hours of traveling through the bog, he finally stood before the Monolith. The larger part of it had sunken deep into the mud and only its crown, together with a transparent but darkened green crystal were still above the ground. <br\>The Sorcerer instinctively knew what to do. He climbed onto the Monolith's crown and pushed the Amulet with the Orb against the powerless crystal. For some agonizing seconds, nothing happened and the mercenaries at his back nervously fingered their primitive guns, but then the crystal suddenly sprung back to life.
He hastily jumped down from the crown again, the Orb still in his hands, as the Monolith abruptly began to rise from the mud, its lower parts still covered with slush and moss. <br\>Behind him, he could hear how the guns of his mercenaries fell to the ground, one by one.
When the morbid construct of the Necrons had completely emerged, a door on its front opened, revealing a portal. Seconds later, Necron Warriors stepped through it, the Gauss weaponry aimed at the Sorceror and his minions. Withing mere seconds, the calm skeletal figures had encircled them.
The humans hastily tried to grab their weapons, but a single thought of the Sorcerer later, they were vaporized by the Gauss guns. <br\> Only one of them remained, his arms around his knees, rocking back and forth - much to the amusement of the Orb's wearer, who considered this as an Omen for the fate of all those who would dare to oppose him from now on.
As he reflected all the new options his personal tombworld would bring him, another Necron emerged from the portal, a Lord judging by the looks of it. It slowly descended down to him, and only stopped when its eyes were on the same height as his ones. <br\>Within a heartbeat, the Lord recoiled his arm to bury his Staff into the face of the Sorcerer, only to be stopped as the blades in front of the staff were but centimeters away from his helmet.
He could see hatred in the eye-sockets of the Lord, hatred of such magnitude that it even dwarfed his very own hatred against the Imperium of Man. Surely, the Lord wished for nothing more but to kill him, to slaughter him in the most brutal way possible, but he simple could not. The Orb protected him like a charm and as long as he carried it, the Necrons would be completely unable to harm or even disobey him. <br\> As a malicious grin formed under his helm, his mind was invaded by the rash, surreal voice of the Necron Lord, with words which no living being had spoken since eons, and which almost boiled over from the hatred and disgust the Necron felt while facing the Sorcerer.
He casually pushed the staff away and moved his face even closer to its metallic skull, whispering with a smug smile..
"Scream as much as you want, you are mine now".
As he had finished this sentence, an explosion occurred right behind his back. Though the Necron Lord stood perfectly still, the Sorceror was thrown against a nearby tree. As he quickly recovered, he saw that a blinding white light had taken the place of the sobbing mercenary. And out of the light he heard a voice, the very same voice that had told him of the Eldar temple.
" Ah, as I can see, you have made good use of the orb. Sparkling,really. "
The Sorcerer's eyes widened. Only now he realized that this very voice sounded nothing like the crescendo of sounds and noises that compromised the one of Tzeentch.
" I must admit, I had feared that you would destroy the Orb when you found it, as you and your...kin...tend to feel rather..uncomfortable when seeing such artifacts."
The voice was smooth and calm, the voice of a gentleman maybe, or of one whose complicated actions finally earn their reward.
" You however, have kept a cool head and did just do what I have expected you to do. "
The blinding light slowly faded away, revealing a tall, floating figure.
" It is people like you that make my life so much more easier, old chap. And so much more fun. "
The figure was a handsome adolescent, with a crown of horns and skin made of bronze.
" And don't get me wrong, I'm really, really grateful for you running my errands, but... I think I'd like to have my toy back, now."
He had worked for him all along. His lust for power had lured him into the web of this ancient being. <br\>He tried to turn around, to run, but as the bronze figure made a simple gesture, the necklace around his chest exploded and the tiny orb flew into its open hand. <br\>Its face changed from a warm smile to faked sadness.
" Well, sadly, we can't have you stumble into the Nightbringer and tell him all our plans,can we? "
The Sorcerer wanted to scream, but as he tried to breath, the Necron Lord had already impaled him with its staff.
" Seems that our ways have to part now, old chap. Farewell. And, before I forget that, I think that Tzeentch guy may just be a little bit pissed off. I surely don't want to know what he'd do to your soul if he'd get it. "
As the final drops of life left the Sorcerer's body, the C'tan took a short look at the tiny Orb in his hand,smiled and eventually remarked in conclusion:
"Just as planned."