[40K] The Rising Tide of Filth (40K version)
Hi all, as mentioned in the other story thread, this is the second of two stories following the rise of Nurgle warriors. Witness the horrid descent of the Angels Vigilant as they become the Filth Angels, cursed mockeries of what they once were.
THE RISING TIDE OF FILTH (40K VERSION)
057.M36 Founding of the Angels Vigilant
Positioned towards the galactic north-west, defending an obscure approach into Imperial space from the Eye of Terror, a thousand brothers were born into ignorance and fear. The forges of the False Emperor provided us with fine wargear with which we pursued a hopeless mission: to stem the wrath of the Gods themselves.
066.M36 The Order of Carrion
Traitors attacked our Chapter's recruiting worlds. Plague began to break out among the human populace. This was no physical illness. This was a contamination of the will, of the spirit, which turned great men into hateful wretches and devout warrior-priests into faithless prophets of doom. Great indeed was the shame of this time. Yet our Chapter endured.
We did not know it at the time but we were marked for greatness by a Power older and more wicked than the False Emperor of Terra. Not a single Angel Vigilant fell to the plague. We seemed, to the hopeless, embattled populace, to be upright, untouchable warriors of vengeance as we blazed bolter fire into the hordes of plague zombies. Little did the civilians know of our desperate, miserable battles against daemons, or the Great Unclean Thing that killed half a battle company, along with two of our treasured Predator tanks, on its own.
We remembered this display of might and later we would view our lost brothers as a sacrifice to the Grandfather... an appeasement... a downpayment on immortality for those of us who survived.
073.M36 The Fall of Blood Keep
With our home world bombed to smouldering pyres by our allies – and, with secret enthusiasm, ourselves - our Chapter plied the proscribed space lanes in a mighty fleet made up of Angels Vigilant, Imperial Navy and Adeptus Mechanicus vessels, putting to flight thousands of heretics and deviants as we searched for the source of the daemonic plague that had supposedly humbled our Chapter.
We burned out the nests of mutants and blasted their perverted cathedrals to scrap. At last, we reached the fringes of the Eye of Terror, where reality and madness became one. Undaunted by the power of the Gods, our first, second and ninth companies breached and levelled the fortress of the Blood God. Mighty Khorne himself took heed of us that day. For ages uncounted had his hosts marched forth to put Cadia's defenders to the sword and Blood Keep had been the unyielding bastion of Khorne's warriors.
Terrible indeed were we in our victory over the lords of war. We received something of Khorne's favour for our actions, several of our assault squads becoming snarling, feral killers, yet our Chapter was not to be his; most of our souls had been marked by another.
101.M36 Sacrifice of Martyrs
Our esteemed Chapter Master, Lord Valorous Drake, was personally slain by scions of the Plague God. All our brothers of the Reclusiam were slaughtered by Death Guard - though not before being forced, to a man, to renounce their belief in the False Emperor. It is still a source of wonder how persuasive it is to drown a man in bodily fluids, only to revive his corpse and repeat the process again and again.
107.M36 The Pendathen War
A warp rift opened in the void above a civilised world of the Imperium. Still shocked, still with a sense of utter violation from our desecration at the hands of the Death Guard six years ago, my brothers were thrown into the fight at Chapter strength. The odds of defeating this warp incursion were doleful. Some among us began to suspect that our Chapter had been cursed by its association with the Chaos Powers, and either fate or hidden Imperial agents had resigned us to death.
How were we to fight against the tide of creatures spilling from the warp? This was more terrible by far than our visit to the Eye's merest outreach when we took Blood Keep.
Pendathen was a terror. Man-shaped daemons rained from the sky, landing on their feet with weapons braced, ready to fight! We tore them down with bolter and chainsword yet more came. Glittering daemon-women danced and laughed around us, their attempts at seduction wasted on the Angels Vigilant, but those Guardsmen who would still fight beside us had no defence and were slashed, ripped and tortured to death.
Eventually we had to abandon the civilians and our erstwhile comrades to their fate. How the mighty Gods of Chaos roared with laughter! It boomed through the tortured sky like flickering lightning. Buildings rotted and collapsed while new, obscene structures made of meat and bone pounded up from chasms that opened in the ground. Order broke down as the last of those to enforce it were hung by chains hooked into their flesh. Pendathen became a haven for the Pleasure God.
The Grandfather only knows what tortures still occur in the cities of Hell which raised themselves from the ruins of civilisation. Barely half of my Chapter was evacuated, leaving the injured, the weaklings and the foolhardy behind, along with thirty million families... all of them playthings for the Gods.
111.M36 The Seeds begin to putrefy
No man among us remained unchanged by our battles against the creatures of Chaos. We envied the inhabitants of Pendathen, and dreamed of screaming citizens being suspended, by chains hooked into their flesh, above a burning city crawling with daemons. We were each whispered promises of power and glory in our dreams. Wrecked, tortured citizens turned eyeless faces towards our dream-selves and slobbered, through mouths without tongues, prayers that sounded like the screaming of children.
The Lord of Pleasure offered us sensations that would otherwise be denied to those of our kind. A few relented, more than had submitted to the bloodlust awoken during our conquest of Blood Keep, though most of us remained true to the Chapter's destiny.
Seeds of hatred had been sown in our hearts by our defeat at the hands of Typhus a decade ago. Not hatred for the Grandfather, no, nor for the other Gods who vied with him for our souls. The Chapter's hatred was instead for our fellow men who remained pure and chaste where the Angels Vigilant had been violated and drowned in filth. That filth was offering even now to possess us, to become one with us... to redeem us in a painful rebirth, and offer retribution to the Imperium which had created us for lives of horror. It would make us fearsome, far more than we already were. Resistant to damage, inured to pain. We would continue forever to kill and maim and destroy.
Living putrefaction seemed a small price to pay for eternal conquest.
166.M36 Birth of the Angels of Filth
Once, for a brief time, we reviled the Grandfather Nurgle. Now we adore him as our saviour from the False Emperor's lies.
A century and more of oppression under Imperial rule. As our nightmares grew steadily more vivid, more insistent, we threw ourselves into battle against the pirates and the lunatics prowling space around the Eye of Terror. There were Inquisitorial inspections of our battle-practice and our gene banks. We were regarded by outsiders as dour men, angry, yet still holding true to the Imperial faith; our patrons had taught us methods to conceal the truth from the Inquisition. In truth we were little better than those witch hunters; we became torturers for a while, extracting lies through violence for no better reason than that we could.
The Inquisition actually believed we were breaking into hidden truths about the nature of Chaos. They thought we were still trying to purge the taint of the Gods from our galaxy - do the fools really believe such a thing can be done? No doubt they would attempt our extermination once we had broken the Chaotic code, fathomed terrible ultimate answers to the questions posed by Chaos. Perhaps they felt it was better that we lose our souls in pursuit of forbidden knowledge than they, and when we had broken in this manner, they would end our suffering. We allowed them to go on thinking this.
Vessels of the Black Legion engaged our Chapter fleet in two fleet actions. The nature of Chaos is to pit itself against itself. We believe now that the ultimate aim of Chaos is not annihilation of all life or destruction of our galaxy. We believe the aim of Chaos is entertainment...the enjoyment of the Gods.
We triumphed over our Black Legion rivals, though not without significant loss. The mistrustful rulers of Cadia suspected that we had increased our fleet strength by capturing and converting two renegade battlecruisers, which was true. We cast down all the altars to Chaos except those of the Plague God. To these, we sacrificed Black Legion serfs and battlefleet crew, pushing their faces into the pestilential filth until they gagged and choked to death on meat and slime. It was appalling at first, to hear the sobbing of men who watched the fate of their comrades, knowing the same traumatic death awaited them, knowing they were powerless to prevent it.
We learned to stretch this practice out so that men wait days or weeks to be smothered. It also amuses us to attempt such a murder but to pull the wretches free at the last moment, before they find sanctuary in death, then return them to their cells. Begging, brutalised, they wait to go through this awful trauma again and again.
We are not torturers of the Pleasure God, taking pleasure in the act for its own sake, yet our Grandfather is not simply the God of Rebirth, he is also the God of Horror. Screams for mercy, when the screamer knows utter despair, are comforting prayers to our Lord in the Warp.
Our few Black Legion captives would not break and they could not reconcile our changing allegiance, finding themselves unable to ally with "tainted creatures" like ourselves, so we slaughtered them all and offered their geneseed to Grandfather Nurgle. Our bodies began to swell, melding with our armour. Fluid, like lubricating pus, wept from joints in our armour. We took to wearing full-face masks when not at battle-readiness,connected to backpacks containing rotting ornaments taken from the bodies of our foe. We began to convert our armour in this fashion as more of us came to realise we could no longer remove it.
Those few tech-creatures who refused to honour our wargear in this fashion became smother victims in the plague-piles of Nurgle.
We knew we were blessed when even our armour became diseased.
200.M36 Victory over the Wolves and the Treacher Inquisition
When the Eye of Terror swelled further open and a legion of the damned poured towards Imperial Space, my brothers and our cohorts caught the Cadian defenders unaware. Our fleet tore into the Imperium's flank and we tied down several companies of the brutish, stupid Space Wolves in a series of space battles. Neither the Wolves nor the Filth Angels could win any lasting victory as the Imperial Astartes prowled the haunted corridors of our vessels. When the Space Wolves disengaged to regroup around Cadia, our fleet was assailed by ships of gleaming silver.
Strange warriors in Terminator suits beamed onto the bridges of our capital vessels and slew the command crews. When our daemonic allies used their magick to prevent the Terminators from leaving, the unknown warriors began to slaughter their way through the ships they were trapped in. We lost three cruisers and a capital ship to self-destruction. Resurgent, our forces began to prevail against the enemy, when incredibly they overcame our patron's enchantment and were able to teleport away. We bombarded their vessels, inflicting grievous wounds yet somehow, impossibly, failing to cripple a single ship; then they were gone, leaving us to formulate new tactics.
We had one consolation: a Lord Inquisitor fell into our clutches. He railed against us, shouting words of exorcism that actually undid the enchantments keeping our daemonic familiars aboard the ship that held him. That still left us, unfortunately for him.
To this day the poor fool suffers drowning and suffocation before the power of our Dark Lord revives him. Where are his silver comrades now? Where are his words of power to prevent his constant death?
Where is the Emperor?
290.M36 Loyalty’s Rewards
Our Chapter has had many leaders since Valorous Drake, all of whom died on the end of a blade or, once, beneath the foot of an Emperor Titan. How we roar with laughter at the fates of our brothers, even as we secretly rail against the injustice of their deaths! That is the blessing and the curse of our faith. While our bodies are riven with disease, we possess vitality; while outwardly we are jovial, if that word applies to our monstrous, life-destroying behaviour, privately we know torment. Yet, even so, over the last century our strength has brought planets to their knees.
We joined a combined Host of Chaos which fought and killed Hive Fleet Triton. For our great victory, my Chapter was graced with daemon-spirits to live inside our bodies. While most of us still retain the strength of character to control ourselves, some of my brothers have become little more than monsters. Those who say we are already monsters know nothing; wait until they meet my possessed kin.
Three times has our entire Chapter done battle with the greenskin. Three times have we smashed their clans and ground the survivors under our heel. For this, the Soul Forges sent many sickening, crawling, howling abominations to fight beside the Filth Angels.
We conquered a machine-world inhabited by strange, skull-faced men of living metal. We left this world for our allies in the Dark Mechanicum, as we are warriors, not bone-rattlers. We discover new enemies to infect and destroy. We do not smear the paste of countless slave-creatures across alien computer consoles in order to divine how they work. For our generosity, we received an unending supply of battle tanks and the means to refit our damaged starships.
Scions of Slaanesh led us into the eldar webway and we covered them with infected artillery fire as they killed their way into a Craftworld's infinity circuit. A portion of eldar souls were given over to the Plague God. For this, we received three perverted Wraithlords powered by daemons, and the mercurial friendship of eldar outcasts who seek only to kill and kill again.
299.M36 Dark Ascension
It was in 299.M36 that a champion from our ranks was ascended to full daemonhood.
Fulblood Grutingasher, the Pox-King of the Van Dal colonies, led us into a heavily-populated Imperial star system known as Draycall. As the Imperial defence ships clustered anxiously around the more valuable worlds of the system, Grutingasher issued a proclamation: anyone who wished to join the Filth Angels would be spared. All those who resisted would become hosts to Nurgle's Rot and would die and become daemons. Either way, we would have their loyalty.
Faced with a battlefleet dedicated to the Primal Gods, led by a contingent of Filth Angels vessels displaying the markings of Nurgle, the worlds of Draycall collapsed into pandemonium. We sat back and waited while whole populations rose up against the Imperial masters too feeble to defend them. Eventually, those of us who had declared themselves warriors of the Blood God could wait no longer. We watched as they charged to their deaths. A few of their ships broke through and crashed upon one of Draycall's worlds. The fighting made us laugh and shout the praises of Nurgle, for when the blood has flowed to Khorne, all that remains is decay, representing Nurgle's final, ultimate triumph over the Blood God.
Draycall Prime contacted our fleet as the fighting died down. They begged us to spare them. They offered us treasures, power, wealth. They offered their wives, their daughters, then also their boys. Even as they did this, their forces bombarded their own citizens, seeking to kill their way to safe places.
Five billion souls pledged their allegiance to Chaos - to the Grandfather Nurgle.
Five billion against fifty billion is as nothing... yet more joined us as we commenced our assault and it no longer mattered that our new allies were outnumbered. The entire system ripped itself apart. We had our fun, we conquered our foe, and hundreds of millions died as we bestowed the Grandfather's gifts upon them. The dead outnumbered the living within days. Four worlds and innumerable moons became graveyards where those unafflicted by the Rot crawled, moaning, through the slime that had been forests and supped at the stagnant muck that had been water. We had our choice of new recruits and our number swelled by three hundred, then two hundred more. The young warriors were supplied with all the geneseed we had brought, acquired and stolen since our inception. Though millions of our new followers choked to death on their own bile, we had five hundred new Filth Angels and the means to equip them.
Grutingasher became the Lord of Rot in a night of filthy and debased ritual. At the culmination of a feast so dreadful even I dare not speak of it, a sick, pallid light shone down upon our leader and he was drawn into the heavens. The heavens? They were a roiling hell of green poison. The clouds themselves expelled toxins instead of rain.
A meteor descended. The Lord of Rot slammed back down to earth. Battle-brothers, even Dreadnoughts were thrown back by the force of our Lord's return. The thing that had been Grutingasher raised itself to its new height of twelve feet. A horned, one-eyed head at the end of a tentacle-neck looked at the assembled warriors as we found our feet. Wings - little more than tattered black things - spread suddenly, disgorging thousands of flies which buzzed around us, trying to get into our faces and our wounds.
"Now," our Lord said in a voice that was the buzzing of flies and the rasping of dying men, "I shall exist forever. Who among you will follow me to glory and damnation, to spread the Rot among the living, to reap the souls of the dead?"
The roar of our reply spread across whole worlds.
"For our saviour," hissed the Lord of Rot. "For the only Power worthy of our worship in this galaxy of madness. The carnage we have wreaked here shall be repeated a hundredfold. Humans, eldar, greenskin, tyranids, all will go through the sickness of the Rot, and all will make their choice: be wracked with pain unending, or be delivered into eternity as a Plaguebearer of Nurgle."
He turned his face to the turbulent sky. Clouds parted as if on cue, revealing the stars beyond.
"Our new brothers and sisters are waiting," the Lord of Rot said. "Let us not disappoint them."
The sledge looked sized for one of Santa's elves. It was made of shiny red plastic. There were no engines or weapons.
"Perfect?" Calgar snorted. "You couldn't fit Kevin McCallister in that! How are four of us going to get in?"
"You didn't give me enough points to buy anything proper. I had to get what I could afford."
"You fething wally, it isn't even blue." Calgar inspected the tag which was still attached. "Fun for children aged two to six."
"Milo does have a point, my Lord," said Dick. "When I suggested that we're meant to be the most balanced Chapter and should allocate our spending for all contingencies, you said – and I quote – 'If I want to hear the raving of a leftist commie, I'll watch BBC News'."