The fabric of fate unfurled itself before Penthar -Illiec’s witch sight. The luminescent threads of lives and decisions twined and wove around each other, knotting around events which altered the direction of the weave. Some threads were frayed. Some, burned. Some were so long that it boggled even Penthar-Illiec’s mind. Many, many were shorn short. In places, the fabric folded in such a way as he could not see it clearly. Here, on Caldoss, the fabric was knotted and folded indeed.
The unwound threads of the future were today’s concern. The nearer events could still be easily manipulated, but the Doom of Tyrethel would only be prevented if current manipulations could alter the pattern that showed his home’s death at the hands of their Ancient Bane.
Twisting his wraithbone fingers in an dizzyingly fast series of patterns, runes laid themselves over those unwound threads, allowing him to overlay hypothetical events over them. Countless permutations were projected, and it was disturbing how many of them led to the same dark outcome.
Not all, though. There was yet hope.
The Exonarch weighed his options and selected one. It was not without risk, but it had the best chance of manipulating events in their favor.
The blood hued warband chopped their way through the thick jungles of Caldoss’s tropical region. Kethess, lord of the warband, sneered as he hacked through a vine or a python, he couldn’t tell which. This spawn-cursed jungle certainly had enough of both.
The offer put out by Adrastus certainly promised ample opportunities for blood and glory for the Dark Gods. Many worthy foes were present. His troop had already blooded themselves on some xenos they encountered, but he and his warband longed for true CARNAGE.
The bushes in front of him rustled and burst apart as a hulking brute in horned power armor stomped through.
“My Lord! There is a xenos encampment about ten clicks ahead of us. About fifty of those puny pointy ears.”
Kethess scowled, “Did they sense you?”
“No my Lord! Günthew’s squad is keeping watch over the camp, they contacted me when they couldn’t raise you on the com.”
That was good, if his entrance was indication, the Eldar would have heard him if he got anywhere close. He voxed the warband to converge on Güthews position. Khorne willing, they would shed blood today.
A few hours later, the warband circled the Eldar encampment. Kethess licked his fangs, eager to begin spilling blood. But no, best to wait for everybody to be in position. This campaign promised to be a long one, and shoddy tactics would cheat the Gods of the blood they demanded. The squad signals pipped in his ear. It was time.
With a howl, Kethess led his Chosen in a headlong charge at the encampment. His blood pumped in this ears. He whooped as the thin-limbed xenos scrambled for their weapons, far too late to make a difference. Axe raised high, his excitement reached a fever pitch as he swung downward at his first victim…
…and passed through it without hurting it at all. The illusory alien grinned smugly at him as it faded from his sight. Rage made Kethess’ sight go red as he whipped his head to either side, trying to see where the Eldar were. Massed laser fire cut down one of his Berserker groups to his left. A Maulerfiend exploded as melta beams lanced through it to his right. A truly gargantuan construct sliced a helbrute in half in front of him. As he turned to look behind him, an unnatural fear coursed through him and his Chosen moments before a psychic wail made all of the heads of his bodyguards explode.
A tall construct stood there, runes dancing around him as he lowered a spear at Kethess in challenge. Roaring as his warband fell around him, the Lord charged the ensorcelled creature. The spear slashed towards him, and he saw nothing at all.
Penthar-Illiec flicked the blood off of his spear. A jetbike pulled up next to him.
“Protector Gabrinsith, do you have it?”
“Place it somewhere that it can be found.”
Without another word Gabrinsith dismounted and placed an ugly, crudely shaped message box on the corpse of the fallen chaos champion. The Mon-Keigh Astartes patrol a few hours away would find the message. Their superiors would find it, decrypt it and discover that it referenced the location of one of their “Fallen”. This would cause the Dark Angels to redeploy their forces in such a way that would allow the forces of the Necrontyr to advance on the forces of Edrastus. This would in turn delay Adrustus and cause him to lose more forces. This act alone would not avert the Doom of Tyrethel, but it was a step in the right direction.