She was the most beautiful and hideous creature he had ever seen and as he bound her to his will he thought of an exotic butterfly pinned to a collector’s board. She asked for his name and he willed his secrets to stay safe in the fortress of his mind and his name remained secret. And he demanded her name and she replied that she had many, and she listed them and with those names he bound her and decreed that she could not exist in the material realm without him. His will was strong and she was under his command. And he gazed upon her with pride at his accomplishment, but with each breath he felt his resolve slipping. He was not easily tricked and would not be so easily led astray, my mind is well guarded, he thought, some trickery weakens me.
He had tasted her scent in the air and it sent crazed patterns spiraling through his mind. In an instant he knew what he must do. With hot blades he seared away his nose and tongue and could neither taste or smell her any longer. A small sacrifice, he thought, as red pain chased the madness away.
And the creature’s dark eyes flashed with amusement and she cursed but when he instructed her, she did as she was bid.
The next time he called upon her his gaze fell upon her hungrily and he knew unnatural lusts. Again he could feel his resolve slipping and he knew there was only one solution. With a churigeon’s blade and steady hands he sliced into his eyes, and as a shadow in the darkness she had no hold over him.
And he imagined her smile with too many teeth, but she obeyed him once more.
Again he called on her, and her soft song whispered through the darkness. Her voice conjured shapes before his eyes and though he was blind he could see her in all her radiance. She sang promises to him that he knew were false but that he wished for with all his heart. And he knew that only silence would save him from temptation, so he shattered his eardrums and could hear her no more.
Then the witch may have laughed or cried but she did as she was bid.
He did not remember calling for her again but felt her hands upon his skin. He felt his body betray him, responding to her touch. He imagined her as a vivid light in the darkness he had created for himself, incandescent wings fluttered in his mind’s eye. He yearned for that light but he knew that it would be his death. With acid he scoured away his flesh, and in agony he swaddled himself in bandage. He no longer felt her touch, but he feared her hands were still upon him. My mind is my fortress, he thought, for faith in the Emperor is a barrier that can never be overcome.
And then the witch spoke inside his head. Defences he had thought unbreakable were revealed as a false facade and his last refuge was taken from him and he knew then he was doomed. He wanted to weep and cry out, but he could do none of these things and he wondered then at the madness that had caused him to mutilate himself so. In the darkness, the laughing voice in his head was all he knew in the world and it loved him like he was a broken child. I am bound to you, she said. But your will is no longer your own.
Excerpt from the Pseudomonarchia Slaanesh, written by the Mad Inquisitor Ab’az Al’Arak.
Translated by Inquisitor Ito.
My last life was spent in the service of the Emperor as an Inquisitor – an instrument of His will without peer. In the Emperor’s name I scoured the galaxy for traces of the taint of Chaos. In His name I fought tooth and nail with the daemon. In his name I unleashed the terrible holy fire that is called Exterminatus. I watched worlds burn and walked among the ashes. I thought myself a hero – such hubris! – yet what did I really accomplish? I have wasted a life, now I must begin anew.
Once I fell in love, it was unexpected and nothing had prepared me for it. I had set my life along a hard and frozen path and had never considered that it could thaw. I became more human and I will never forgive her for this. We were together for three days before she was taken from me, three days in a lifetime of a hundred wasted years. It’s strange how one death can have affected me so. One death in a lifetime of tedious murder, a drop in a bottomless ocean.
The gods of Chaos feast on humanity: the flesh is an appetiser, the soul is their repast. We seek to destroy them and yet we sustain them, nourish them as we war against them. We challenge them across the stars and they laugh at our brave dead. We hide in our fortresses and they revel in our fear. We hold up a torch to the darkness and they wait for it to burn out. They grow fat as they devour us. Our light fades. They will win, they will consume us all in time. It is inevitable.
After each Exterminatus my peers would summon me and ask me if I felt guilt. Guilt for those innocent lives I had ended, trapped on worlds that were beyond help. I would meet their gazes evenly: ‘No one is innocent’, I replied, for I had not yet met her. ‘There must always be sacrifice’. They nodded: an acceptable answer. They said that sometimes the roots of heresy are too deep, the corruption has spread too far, we must burn it all and start again. Much later, when I ordered the holy fire that led to the death of my one love they summoned me and they said I had made the right choice. When I looked into their uncaring eyes all I could think of was pulling out the corruption by the roots.
And so I begin anew. I have the weapon now, the Pseudomonarchia – such terrible knowledge hidden in the ravings of a mad man. I have buried my old name, it is too powerful a thing to carry carelessly around. Not that you would recall it. If my plans and rituals have succeed then I should be a ghostly memory at best, a specter at the hazy edges of your recollection. You may yet hear of me in your investigations, in your wasted lives of half-measures and futile actions. You may curse that an Inquisitor could fall so far. And if you have true wisdom you will keep your distance, for where I go the hungry gods of Chaos will not be far behind.
The dark gods feast on us all but I will deny them their sustenance. In their hubris they think we are but prey, and in our hubris we think we can prove otherwise. Exterminatus shows me the way: the corruption is too deep. Burn it all and start again.
And should they catch me, they will discover that my flesh is made of hate and my soul is poison and I will choke them even as they devour me.
Attributed to Inquisitor Ito, believed to be either a manifesto, or suicide note.
Madness, mayhem, erotic vandalism, devastation of innumerable souls – while we scream and perish, History licks a finger and turns the page.
Fragment from the lost Pre-Unification works of the grimscribe Ligotus, circa late M1.
This is the Radical Inquisitor Ito, known as a heretic to the few that know or understand his story. Once a faithful Inquisitor of good standing, personal tragedy has led to him taking a more drastic path. Procuring an ancient series of texts known as the Pseudomonarchia, Ito believes he has a weapon powerful enough to effect great change in the Universe. He has fallen far, making an ally of the Cannibal Prince of Slaanesh to whom he has promised his flesh upon his death. He has summoned a daemonhost known as the Sinnertwist, or the Slakemoth – a daemon of Slaanesh.
A bit gory, I know. But Khorne doesn’t have a monopoly on gore – Slaanesh is the god of excess in all things, and the Slakemoth is a daemon that revels in the excess of gore. Reading her true name from the Pseudomonarchia requires a flesh sacrifice and Ito is unwilling to pay that himself, so he has given this honor to another unlucky soul.
A quick painting project to help recover from the Rogue Trader who was a real pain in the arse. These two were largely speed painted and are something of a homage to one of my favourite miniature painters at the moment, Picta Mortis. The black is all rather translucent and shimmery, like wet leather and the gore is probably still sticky.
The Inquisitor is no disciple of Slaanesh, but the daemonhost is and I wanted them to work together as a mini-diorama. This is my version of Slaanesh, inspired by Silent Hill and Lovecraftian horror.