Emir Jibraaiyl of the Sepahii, First Company of the Brotherhood of the Gauntlet, knelt in prayer and complete silence before the Arsh, a statue of the Emperor on the Golden Throne located in the Chapel of the Casbah. The Arsh was situated so when faced a Marine would also be facing the Kuub. Emir Jibraaiyl knelt in silence and utter concentration, he was to become one with the Emperor’s divine will and in preparation to do so he prayed with his armour in immaculate condition and weapons fully prepared, for how could he be one with the Emperor if he was not as vigilant and worthy as he can be? His armour was that of the veteran vanguard equipped with jump pack, the order of the First Company of his chapter, it was composed of a dark grey with orange details. On his arm was a finely crafted power fist, its construction of the highest quality. It was a large and powerful silver artefact, it was shined to gleam perfectly, and on it were inscribed prayers and oaths to the Emperor, Jibraaiyl’s other arm held a chainsword pressed down to the floor in reverence before the Arsh. The silence was total for the Emir to submerge himself in his reverence, Jannah always held a beauty of tranquillity to compensate for its lack of life. He disturbed this tranquillity to recite a litany to the Emperor, a display of his devotion.
In the name of Emperor, the most beneficent, the most merciful
All appreciation, gratefulness and thankfulness are to Him alone, Emperor of Mankind
The most beneficent, the most merciful
The possessor of Man's soul and fate
You we worship, and you we seek help
Direct all of us to your will
The way of those on whom you have bestowed your grace, not the way of those who have earned your wrath, nor of the heretic blinded to your light
After he had finished he returned to silence reverence in which he could submerge himself into the Emperor’s will. Whilst deep in silence he was interrupted as the large solid metal Chapel doors swung open and the foot falls of another Marine in armour enter. Jibraaiyl did not need to turn from his prayer to identify who it was as Jibraaiyl knew the footfall’s of this Marine well enough to identify him from that. It was Vizier Katibin, who held the honoured position as Chief Keeper of Lore. Jibraaiyl also did not need to inquire as to the nature of the interruption as a Brother would only interfere with the prayers of another for one reason, if there was a dire danger that needed to be dealt with. However Jibraaiyl inquired regardless to ascertain the nature of the threat.
“Why do you come to me, Katibin?” Jibraaiyl’s voice was even, his eyes still closed under his helmet but he was no longer in a deeply concentrated state of prayer.
“Andalus is in peril” Vizier Katibin’s tone was cold and serious, a simple statement of fact, aspects that were common among marines of the chapter, albeit a trait Jibraaiyl himself did not share, and his tone remained so as he continued “You are needed on the surface of the planet, Emir Jibraaiyl” Jibraaiyl rose from his kneeling state and turned to face the vizier, the chainsword in his hand still facing downward.
“Cultists?” Jibraaiyl inquired quickly
“No” Vizier replied accompanied with a shake of his head as he continued in a more serious and grievous tone “The Glistening Host.”
Jibraaiyl’s grip on his chainsword grew drastically, forcing him to apply restraint in the fear he might do damage to a holy instrument of the Emperor. Such anger was not characteristic of his Chapter but he felt a strong surge of it at the mention of the reviled enemy, to hear them able to attack so quickly and without warning nearly overcame him. Their atrocities were well recorded in the history of Andalus, how they were the source of a still lingering corruption of hedonism that still befouled the planet. Their numbers had slain many of the Chapter and their name was reviled. He managed to take control of himself and was able to bark one quick question; “How?”
The Vizier too found some emotional impact from the situation as he took time for his response “It would appear the enemy is extremely cunning. They took aboard a pirate vessel, one with a very extensive stealth system. They landed in the Xaras desert and were able to travel to the capital of Al-Mor. We only just heard of their arrival, it would appear the slaughter in the city is… extensive”
Jibraaiyl took a moment of silence to take in the information before he responded.
“Let us make haste then, Brother. It would be ungracious of us to leave our visitors waiting” Jibraaiyl told the Vizier as he marched outside of the Chapel to the ships where he would board one and enter a drop pod. There was work to be done.
Jibraaiyl felt a shake in the drop pod as he sat with his head facing downwards and realized it had been released from the ship and was entering the atmosphere. It would not be long before it reached the surface. Accompanying him in the drop pod were men of his First Company, exemplars of the virtues of the Brotherhood of the Gauntlet and staunch servants of the Emperor. He knew his men well and could feel the tension that ran through them, the thought of a world under their protection attacked so easily disturbing their usual level headed attitude. The traitor’s strike was more than at the heart of the planet, it was a strike at the heart of the chapter too. It would be a long journey to the planet, and Jibraaiyl knew that as their Emir he should use it wisely. Jibraaiyl raised his head and began to speak.
“Who are we?” Jibraaiyl asked aloud, the attention of his company soon drawn to him as he continued “We are the Brotherhood of the Gauntlet” There was a pause of silence, broken only by the sounds of the drop pods descending down the atmosphere.
“Who are we?” Jibraaiyl asked again and continued after a pause to let his men pay further attention “We are Space Marines, the Angels of Death”
“Who are we?” Jibraaiyl repeated, his voice rising this time as he once again continued “We are instruments of the Emperor’s will” Jibraaiyl took a pause to look at his Brothers and found them enraptured in his words, he knew he must continue.
“Who are we? We are the guardians of the Emperor’s chosen. We are the harbingers of doom to the Emperor’s enemies. We are his will. We are his grasp. We are his unending might, the burning light of mankind that rejects all darkness that threatens it. We are janissaries. We are Brothers.” At the last sentence for emphasis Jibraaiyl rose to stand. He took pause to observe each of his Brothers face before continuing again. In the background the sound of the drop pod’s descent grew louder and louder as it soon approached the ground.
“Tell me, do you know who we are?” Jibraaiyl asked his company, shouting so his voice may be overheard over the fall of the drop pod.
“Yes, Emir!” roared the response of the company.
“Then show me!” Jibraaiyl yelled as he raised his power fist in the air and as validation of his words the drop pod came crashing down to the ground as the thunderous boom of the Emperor’s fury.
The marines of the Brotherhood descended onto the city of Al-Moor like the fists of the Emperor himself, tactically deployed throughout the city. Each squadron had their orders to most effectively deal with the threat, reconnaissance had shown that a Slaanesh cult comprised of local nobility within the city arose and took arms with the Glistening Host as soon as they arrived. Jibraaiyl’s orders were to deal with a high destructive force indicated in a temple to the Emperor, reported to have many sighting of bloodshed although the source of the destruction was unknown, he was to be accompanied with only a small segment of five other veteran marines to deal with the threat due to the large amount of ground the chapter was required to reclaim.
The city itself could be seen as a tribute made by the traitors for it was as the forces they served; Chaos. Flames ran throughout the city, blood soaked the walls and ground, swirling in patterns as if placed there by a maddened artist. Jibraaiyl would not let anger overtake him from the disgrace the traitors had brought to this world once again, he was determined to serve his chapter and remove this foul taint. He signalled his small squadron to follow him as he took haste and headed for the temple located in the centre of the madness struck city utilizing the jump packs with the great need his duty brought about him.
He and his squadron were halfway to the temple when they had first sight of the enemy, a cluster of ten marines from the Glistening Host gathered in an alleyway only a short distance away. Their armour was white, although not to the eye from a distance so stained and coated with blood it was, and a garish gold a symbol of the opulence that damned them on this world in the first place, their equipment were foul chaos tainted bolters. They appeared to be painting blood of the fallen citizens of Al-Mor in a ritualized fashion, a symbol of Slaanesh smeared in blood on a wall and an elaborate pattern accompanying it, beautiful and terrible at the same time. Jibraaiyl recognized one corpse as an Arbite captain, one who had helped the Astartes on reconnaissance in a raid on a Slaanesh cult. He remembered him as a kind and gentle man, the thought forced Jibraaiyl to calm himself lest he act too rash.
Although their orders commanded them to make all haste to their objective, Jibraaiyl and his squadron refused to ignore this atrocity. Priming themselves for battle they charged at the traitors, filled with a righteous battle fury and hope for the element of surprise. Unfortunately the traitors were not as entranced by their rituals as they appeared and noticed the attack, they turned upon the loyalist bolters in hand letting out a yell of anticipation as they shot ferociously at the fast approaching Jibraaiyl and his squadron. Jibraaiyl noticed the marksmanship of the traitors proved sufficient to fell one of his Brothers, the traitor who accomplished it letting out a smug sound of satisfaction as he succeeded but the gap between loyalist and traitor was soon closing. Jibraaiyl noticed one traitor had far more abundance chaotic runes and seemed large than the others, this Marine was aiming primarily at him and begun to shout at Jibraaiyl.
“Yes, come! Come! Come Loyalist dogs, simpletons of the Emperor! Let your blood rain above me, let it dance and make sweet music as it sprays itself in wonderful ordainment! Let its red hue paint me in worship to the Dark Prince of Pleasure, let it be a wonderful tribu-” The Chaos Marine was interrupted as Jibraaiyl closed the distance between them with a start from his jump pack, dashing in the air as he took a small number of bolter wounds to his flank, and grasped the helmet of the traitor in his silver powerglove as he soared. With one fell squeeze the traitor’s head burst, staining the gleaming silver of the power fist with a deep dark red.
“Traitors talk too much” Jibraaiyl muttered darkly to himself as he landed on the ground, the traitor’s headless body slumping and falling behind him.
Likewise other members of Jibraaiyl’s squad dispatched of the traitors in the proceeding melee although yet another of his Brothers fell to the traitor’s bolter as the traitor collided with him in the air, throwing him to the ground and let loose a stream of his bolter direct through the loyalist’s helmet, covering the traitor even more with blood. The traitor let out a cry of ecstasy as the loyalist blood coated him, this cry was silenced as Jibraaiyl beheaded him with a fell swoop of his chain sword which ripped the cry from his throat as it tore through his helmet and flesh. Jibraaiyl and his Brother took a moment to commemorate their fallen Brothers as they then proceeded to approach the temple.
When the marines reached the temple a small moment was taken to evaluate its status. The central dome of the temple was a crater, a gaping hole in the roof. One of the two front pillars of the temple, upon which were situated aquilas, had fallen into a mighty rubble and inscribed deeply into both pillars was the mark of Slaanesh. A flight of steps lead to the temple, they were of significant size and inscribed with litanies to the Emperor and His Imperial Majesty, down them ran a stream of blood that collected into a large pool of blood at the bottom of the steps, a welcoming for the loyalist marines. The marines quickly arose to the entrance, blood spattering upon the legs of their armour, and swung the doors open.
The temple was once a large ornate hall, filled with pictures commemorating the glory of the Emperor and the Imperium, filled with priests working in His Name. Now it was blood painted tribute to sadism, the corpses and organs of priests used to decorate an intricate pattern on the floor, their blood used to paint the walls with an eldritch unknowable language that hurt they eyes to rest upon. In the centre resided a man, an angel. He was twice the size of Jibraaiyl with large black wings behind him. His skin was an ivory white and he had long flowing black hair as dark as the deepest abyss behind him. At first it appeared he was wearing some light robe that left his ivory arms free but under further concentration Jibraaiyl realised it was a robe weaved from multiple corpses, flayed and stitched together seamlessly with their eyes pleading of an unending agony. Under further inspection the mouth moved slowly in a low monotonous wail, ever-present no matter what noises accompanied it. Its features were androgynous, perfectly formed, alluring and most of all perfectly symmetrical, not a feature out of line. Its hands had dark, large and sharp nails that gleamed like shining onyx to the eye. The creature looked deeply into Jibraaiyl, as if it saw past his armour and was looking at him as if he were bare before the universe and the creature found him wanting. Jibraaiyl knew it for what it was, a daemon prince, a foul servant of its Chaos god, an enemy of the Imperium and a scourge upon his Chapter. Its mouth opened slowly, angled in a condescending smile like a cat finding a hapless mouse.
“Why what do I have here? Some new toys to play with? Oh my, the Dark Prince has given me his blessing today. Come, little men. How shall we play? Shall we dance? Oh what fun we shall have” The Daemon’s voice was as soft as velvet, a purr that melted into the ears are wrapped the mind in its coil, alluring and seductive to the core but at the sime condescending as if the Imperial brethren were but children. But the Marines of the Brotherhood held firm in their faith and did not waver.
“Silence, foul daemon. Your filth shall stain this place no longer! We shall cleanse you from this place in the name of our Chapter, the Imperium and the most venerated Emperor!” Jibraaiyl rallied as he held his chainsword aloft and pointed it in the direction of the daemon. The daemon stared at him as if pondering his existence and threw back its head in laughter. The laughter of the daemon echoed an unknowable malevolence and resonated an aura of fear as it echoed throughout the hall, but the Brotherhood stood firm in their conviction.
“Silence! For the Emperor!” Jibraaiyl let out as he and his three remaining brother rushed at the daemon prince, charging with all their zeal and might. The daemon refused to acquiesce to the marine’s demands and continued its terrible laughter, as the marines assailed forward it outstretched it arms. The fingers of the daemon suddenly grew at a terrible rate, one that even the augmented eyes of the marines could not keep up with. In a flash one of Jibraaiyl’s brothers was impaled by a finger, the pointed nails as sharp and powerful as any dagger. The squadron halted their charge, forced to dodge an unending barrage of tendril like fingers which swayed like whips, constantly growing with additional joints. Jibraaiyl sliced an oncoming tendril in half with his chainsword by ducking under its thrust and slashing at the flesh, but a new point with a dark nail arises from the newly formed stump and the cycle begun anew. The marines were forced to calculated dodging to avoid the finger’s fatal tip, one marine attempted a desperate charge at the daemon, thrusting his weapons desperately at it. A mouth of the daemon’s skin robe opened and an elongated tongue grasped the marine’s leg, forcing him to falter and the prone marine was soon impaled multiple times by the tendrils of the daemon, which lets out a laughter of glee as the blood sprayed along its tendrils.
In what appears to be cowardice the other Brother begins to retreat, a sight that drew the daemon’s amusement and interest however Jibraaiyl feared not for he knew his Brothers were loyal to the end. One daemonic hand’s worth of fingers follows the fleeing marine across the hall as Jibraaiyl makes slow but steady progress approaching the daemon as he dodged the other tendrils, but an untimely dodge lead one tendril of daemon impaling the fleeing Marine in the arm to the wall at the elbow, his legs were then quickly also similarly painfully impaled by other tendrils. In the remaining free arm the marine held a chainsword which in a last ditch attempt to serve as a distraction it threw at the daemon’s head, the marine’s aim was true but the daemon’s neck bent an unnatural 180 degrees to avoid a collision with its face, reverting its neck normally again to reveal only an unnaturally large smile as a tendril finally approached the decoy marine and impaled his heart, blood gushing on the floor of the hall from the wound through the armour.
Jibraaiyl however had finally been able to make enough progress to make a horizontal slash at the daemon utilizing his chainsword as he make a drastic charge utilizing his jump pack towards the daemon, slicing a wound in its torso. The smile of the daemon quickly fades into a scowl as all of the mouths on its robe let out a scream than pains Jibraaiyl’s ears, the wound of the daemon does not hamper its assault however and Jibraaiyl is grasped by the tendrils of the daemon and thrown to the other side of the hall. The force of the daemon’s throw does extensive damage to even the marine’s augmented physiology, sending wild surges of pain throughout his body, and Jibraaiyl finds his strength fading. He knows that he may well falter in this battle but he knows even more certainly that the daemon cannot be allowed to live, so he takes the only resort left to him. An emergency injection of agga is initiated, the pain fades from his mind and his mind becomes monotonous. Only the battle exists. Time appears to slow to Jibraaiyl as he rises from his injuries and charges once again at the daemon, no other function but the current combat in his mind.
The daemon has a sneer etched on its face as it lashes out its tendrils at Jibraaiyl however the marine is able to avoid them with extensive agility and grace, gaining remarkable ground against the daemon. As Jibraaiyl is mere meters away the daemon transforms one of its arm into one large fleshy tendril with a sharp shiny point much like it’s fingernails. With a swift powerful blow it impales Jibraaiyl mid-torso and lets out a screech of pleasure, the veneer of superiority dissipated into maddened sadism, as large chunks of gore covers itself. The daemon lifts its impaled foe upwards so as to gaze at its enemy’s visage and witness its agonizing death. However, much to even the daemon’s surprise, Jibraaiyl grasps the impaling arm and pulls himself along it to be within grasping range of the daemon where he then grasps the daemons neck in an unnaturally strong vice grip, blood exuding from where he places his hold, in his other hand he lifts up his chainsword and points it downward to in between the daemon’s perfectly symmetrically parted eyes.
“Feel death’s grasp!” Jibraaiyl cried out as with all his strength he simultaneously squeezes his grip on the daemon’s neck and impales its face with his chainsword, tearing it’s perfectly modelled symmetrical face with righteous fury. The daemon lets out a death screech from all of its mouths, a deafening and bone chilling wail as it is banished from the matterium and as its corpse topples to the ground. Jibraaiyl’s impaled body rests atop it, the agga’s effect wading as he seeps into a deep darkness.
Jibraaiyl’s body was able to be recovered and due to the advance apothecary techniques of the chapter he was able to be placed into a dreadnought. His death blow to the daemon demoralised the raiding Glistening Host, forcing them to flee and saving Andalus, his name is praised throughout the planet and admired throughout the Chapter and referred to with great honour as Antarrah Jibraaiyl.
Jibraaiyl was allowed to continue to serve in his new form. As a guardian of the Emperor’s chosen. As a harbinger of doom to the Emperor’s enemies. As a burning light for mankind. As a brother of the Brotherhood of the Gauntlet.