The shuttle hummed with the sounds of the reactors powering it. It had been a good three hour since Sørian had flown from the bounty to the asteroid belt at the fringe of the system, ostensibly to assist in the effort to look for potable water. It was a simple gesture that allowed him to appear proactive in the eyes of the command staff and to have the privacy necessary to complete rituals outside the boundaries of the ship's hexegrammic wards. The wards that covered most of the ship were made with the specific intent of reinforcing the stability of real space to prevent warp incursions in transit. They also had the side effect of making it insufferably difficult to complete any rituals to the true gods.
Sørian took any opportunity to take his private ship out for "survey missions" and "diplomatic oversight" on behalf of the bounty in order to get outside the boundaries of the wards. Not that it seemed to be doing him any good today. He'd gone through a monumental effort to collect not one but two young girls from the crew and sneak them, bound and gagged, onto his ship before launch. And it seemed it would be all for naught.
Sørian looked down at the sacrificial altar for the third time since he'd made the sacrifice and wondered what he'd done wrong. It couldn't be the offering. A freshly slaughtered virgin's blood was always sufficient for gaining the attentions of a deamon of Slaanesh. It wasn't the altar. His shuttle was safely outside the range of he hexegrammic wards of the ship. The eight-pointed star was aligned properly in the middle of his fetishes and candles. He was in good standing with his patron. At least he believed he was, "So why can I only summon wisps and shades?"
It was infuriating. He'd tried two separate sacrifices and never managed to summon anything stronger than an insubstantial shadowy nothingness. The whispered and promised him greatness but could manage little else. He doubted he would even need the protection of the circle of salt to keep these worthless servants of his master away from him.
It was this area of space perhaps. There were uncommonly turbulent spaces in the warp where servants of the true gods walked at will so why not places where they dared not tread. But what would keep them from this part of the immaterial world. And why?
Perhaps he had entered the realm of one of the other patrons. A section of space could theoretically be dominated by one of the other four major powers or even one of the lesser gods of Chaos Undivided. He eyed the basin pool of blood. There was more than enough for another summoning. He needed answers, his patron would forgive him brokering a deal with one of the other gods so long as it wasn't with Khorn.
He flipped through the tome sitting on the table to his right. The blood dripped off his hands and soaked into the pages. They sucked up the blood greedily, the ink glowing brightly wherever it dropped. It was a dark sickly book, made from centuries of obscene ritual and perversity. Within it were the names of a million creatures to twisted to speak of only the least of which Sørian had been brave enough to contact. He stopped at a likely candidate and read to himself, "Tzzek'an'to'krax… yes a lesser creature of Tzeentch ought to do nicely."
He dipped his dagger into the pool of blood once more and dripped small droplets of blood into the circle of salt in the center of the room, "Thrice bound I call you, weaver of lies. Thrice bound I name you, deamon of the fates. Thrice bound I name you Tzzek'an'to'krax the profane. Thrice bound I summon you and done!"
It started as an insubstantial shape, a flickering blue wispy something. It billowed and grew and howled and sung till it grew into an twisted and avian figure twice as tall as a man. It's body was covered in shimmering and shifting feathers and iridescent robes that altered in impossible geometries of shape and color. Sørian gulped and looked down at his book. He had not summoned Tzzek'an'to'krax the impish teller of profane truth this was a daemon of the higher orders. A daemon whose name he did not know and might not be able to banish at will.
Sørian looked down to the circle of salt to reassure himself it was safely in place. It was. He looked back up at the creature being careful to avoid staring it in the eyes. Daemons could sometimes mesmerize the unwary with a look. A single misstep and he could be undone, "I greet you honored Herald of Tzeentch. How is it that I am favored by your attentions?"
The creature chortled and began to speak in a voice broken by shrill whistles and clicks. It seemed to have difficulty making human speech with it's beaklike mouth, "Knowledge is not given without payment lesser creature but I'll grant you a single boon. Curiosity man-child, curiosity brings me. You are a servant of the thirsting god beyond the well."
"Yes I serve the prince of excess," it was nothing to admit it. The daemon would know if he lied. They always seemed to be able to tell lies apart from truth, "I offer you this offering of virgin blood in exchange for information."
"No," the daemon tilted its head to the side. Somehow never moving its eyes as the rest of its head shifted, "I will not accept that offer. I am not some petty creature of the thirsting one. I am a weaver of fate, the taste of virgin blood holds no special meaning to me."
"Then what do you wish? My soul is not on the table at the moment," Sørian had not yet bartered with it and was unwilling to do so for anything less that daemonhood, "Would one of my true names suffice."
"I require neither," the creature's three eyes narrowed and multiplied, "I want to know what lies beyond the well."
"What lies beyond the what?" Daemons had an infuriating tendency to speak in riddles. At least this one hadn't picked up the insufferable talent of rhyming that so many of the lesser daemons were fond of.
"The veil of foresight! What lies beyond the well at the end of what is?" The daemon's face twisted into something cruel and angry, "Tell me or die! Tell me where the weaves go!"
"Creature you will bargain or be banished!"
"I spit on your pathetic magics! I spit on you!" The creature reached out to the barrier of light that surrounded it and tore through it with a single talon, "Tell me what lies beyond the well! Tell me where the weaves turn!"
Sørian started screaming out a chant of banishment, grabbing for the jar of blessed salt sitting on the table next to the book. He heaved the entire contents of the jar at the daemon and kicked the bowl of blood while screaming the rites of banishment. The daemon got within inches of his throat with a great clawed fist before fading into the insubstantial. It screamed, "Where do the weaves meet!" before disappearing with a crack of thunder and the smell of sulfur.
"Bloody hell," Sørian rubbed at his throat, "I'm going to need to start putting up stronger wards." The sooner they left this part of space the better, any daemon capable of just walking through a ward had to be an upper circle one. Upper circle daemons were dangerous to summon, even when they were of your own patron. It was an easy way to get killed or worse.
He chuckled to himself as he thought about it. If he was very lucky Hexathelidae was trying the same thing he was. He was willing to wager he was better at banishing and summoning than the bitch could ever hope to be.