The Black Death- A Grand Crusade Story

 

The Black Death

The great palace on the Throne World of Crimea is filled with the energy of life, but not the same life you or I would think of.  Starting in the air plague drones and their nurgling counterparts buzz through the air followed by huge swarms of rot flies and clouds of pure pestilence and stench.  The world rotates at just the perfect speed as to ensure half of the planet is light all of the time and half is dark.    Daemons go back and forth across the threshold of light and darkness as if it doesn’t exist, but the millions of cultists, zombies, and slave alike won’t venture near the border.  Plague Marines stand guard at each of the entrances to the Palace. Every once and a while releasing streams of bile purification onto groups of cultists and/or slaves as they pass by.  Cackling and watching as they transform into nothing but zombies within minutes of the deluge.

Within the walls of the Palace Nurglings move about creating daemon havoc throughout the halls and otherwise empty Palace rooms.  Setting each other ablaze in toxic filth, fighting and clawing, and just a quickly laughing uncontrollably.  The Chaos inside is the worst torture you could imagine.  One where the torturers find pure joy in their work.  As you make your way into the inner sanctums off the palace the Nurglings abate and the order one would expect from 10,000 plus years of warfare sets in from the Plague Marines.  This leads into the center throne room, where a gigantic Daemon Prince broods over a throne and a map of the galaxies within his control.  The Daemon’s name is lost to the ages, and he is now referred to as only the Black Death.  It’s believed that this name comes from some ancient Terran history and this Daemon Prince is in fact some derivation of a soul that was once mortal from Tera prior to being part of Dusk Raiders and then Typhus’s own Grave Warden Terminators during the Horus Heresy.

The name is very fitting as the Black Death doesn’t take over world the same way most other Chaos Space Marine warlord’s do.   Himself and a select group of would be world conqueror’s infiltrate shipping vessels bound for new and developing worlds. By the time the ship reaches its port it is always fully given over to the plague god.  As the souls inside pour out they start the process that within days to weeks will usually encompass the entire world.  The Black Death uses Papa Nurgle’s favor to its fullest often only fighting small battles to take of enormously prosperous worlds.  The citizens of those worlds having two choices; bending the knee and joining the cults of the black death or becoming one of the mindless zombie swarms carrying his plagues across the face of their home world.

The map in front of the Black Death glows with trophies of his world’s conquered.  The Fortress world of Devastation one of the brightest trophies on the map is his most recent conquest.  Somewhat smaller but still outshining the others is the Forge World of Torment.  These two worlds surrounding by a Death World with no name, an Agri-World of Abundance, a Shrine World renamed The Fall, and a Quest World referred to as The Salted World.  It’s clear the dark lord is contemplating his next conquest, and possibly what it could mean to his larger goals.

Within the circles of his Plague Marine followers all whisper about the goals of his many larger goals.  The one rumor that stands out the most is that this whole conquest is an effort to prove to his former Captain Typhus that his former Terran status doesn’t take away from his favor with Father Nurgle.  Similar rumors exist in smaller volume that he is still trying to win favor with Mortarion.  The one truth is that his favor with Grandfather can’t be denied.  His Daemonhood alone being enough, but the way the plague flows when he hits a new world can only be compared to Typhus Grandfather’s Herald himself.  The Black Death only has one more map in his throne room and that is Tera.  His lust for worlds that may lead him to this place to take on the false Emperor is directly tied to whatever it is the Black Death is trying to prove.

Chapter 1:

The Black Death has chosen his favored Plague Marines to join him in his next round of conquests.  As befitting his team, he will have volumes of plague spitting weapons, as to ensure that the plague his follows spreads makes as much contact as quickly as possible.  He also brings two marines with flails, as to help their ability to ensure they can spread death and pestilence to as many individuals, as possible.  The final member of this quest is always a Plague Marine leader with power fist.  If the Black Death isn’t close there will always need to be a method of tearing down any barrier.  The rest of their army will be created once they hit the next port.

The Black Death has a secondary support team that he hasn’t shared with any of his followers.  They will be coming from the Forge World of Torment, and may only be seen in the worst of circumstances or the greatest opportunity to get closer to the Emperor of Mankind.  The real question is can his weapons of plague and pestilence be enough to overwhelm who is likely waiting for him in the warp.  Will the False Emperor hear the prayers of his followers that slave on the worlds of the Black Death and send his own to take down the Dark Lord of Pestilence?   Would the golden warriors of the emperor be enough to bring down the Black Death, or will the Black Death be able to overwhelm them in droves of zombies and cultists?  Is the favor of Grandfather enough to overcome the desires of the Emperor?

Chapter 2

The Black Death emerged from the warp on the Death World of Feces.  This Death World is overcome with excrement from the giant slug like creatures that inhabit the planet.  The slugs will eat anything and everything they come into contact with almost instantly turning that into waste. The Imperium had realized that these slugs represent a particular type of execution for Heretics, and have operated this Death World as an execution planet for centuries now.  The Black Death knew of a particular Heretical marine who was wearing a suite of armor when he was executed that drew him to this world.  This armor carried the faith of Grandfather Nurgle providing the bearer with an ability to not only shrug off the most violent of attacks but also to spew Grandfather’s favor back on the enemies of the wearer, many times turning them instantly into the wearers legions of Poxwalker zombies.  As the Black Death had slowly grown his territory and favor since his days as a Human helping to spread the Black Plague on Terra ages ago, he continued to pursue this new relic.

His movements were no longer completely in the shadows, and the Emperor was able to catch a glimpse of this ferocious traitor has he landed on Feces.  The Emperor had known the former sole of this Human, had tracked down his work thousands of years ago has he helped to spread the Black Plague.  This was one of the oldest of all traitors, as this time represented the rise of the Chaos God known as Grandfather Nurgle and this traitorous servant must die.  The Emperor was able to see and realize the history of this Daemonic Prince all at once. He was able to see that this traitor would later infiltrate the ranks and receive the gene seed of this Dusk Raiders.  He would then move onto the ranks of the Death Guard as Mortarion became their Primarch, and then serve in the 1st Company under glorious Capitain Typhon.  This traitor had been the designs of Grandfather Nurgle all along, and potentially helped to spread the corruption that would eventually turn Typhon to Typhus and bring the peril of the entire Death Guard legion.  The Custodes were dispatched immediately.

This Black Death may have always been in Grandfather Nurgle’s favor, but he had never compared to Typhus and Mortarion.  He was a member of their Death Guard, and even have thousands of years of service to Grandfather he was still beneath them.  It created a desire to carry their favor, his job was to bring them to Grandfather, and once that happened it never ended.  It was a fascination of proving that he belonged in Grandfather’s favor to them.  Little did he know that a battle was coming on this world of Feces, that would grab the attention of at least one of these glorious leaders.

The Black Death almost immediately started to break open the Heretical Death Camps the Imperium was operating turning the recently freed prisoners into his cultists, and creating an uprising across the planet that would enable him to wade through the mountains of excrement on Feces for the armor with Grandfather’s favor.  Many of those cultists choking and drowning to death in the rivers of excrement, and becoming zombies further turning the planet to Grandfather’s favor.  Then the warriors in gold appeared.  It’s as if they knew exactly where the Black Death would be, it’s as if they could see all of his moves in the warp, it’s as if they were three steps ahead of him.  However, the Black Death new this for what it was, his opportunity to prove his was one of the greatest warriors in Grandfather’s army.  The two sides clashes almost immediately the Golden warriors having to wade through newly freed heretical prisoners driven by Grandfather’s new freedom to gain revenge for their death sentences. This was almost futile for them, but as the Custodes killed them in droves they weren’t actually dying they were creating an entirely new force of Poxwalker zombies that they would have to wade through once they finished off the cultists.  Would this stream of corruption ever end?  The Black death unleashed his secret weapons.  These disgusting tanks of vile ooze were his most recent development and his Forge World did not disappoint.  The pounded the Custodes from behind the legions of zombies.  The Custodes were extremely resilient, but were breaking underneath the weight of the never-ending stream of zombies.  The Black Death was slipping and sliding in and out of the Warp attacking where and when he wanted, but taking damage from the ferocious warriors each step of the way.  He only needed to create a diversion long enough to for his never-ending stream of new freed prisoner cultists to find the armor.   His was nearing the end of this existence when they finally did. He took to the warp knowing that as his disappeared so would the final remnants of the Custodes.

As he re-emerged from the warp on a near-by mining world he looked back through the eyes of his zombies and realized that his Poxwalker zombies were able to overwhelm the Emperors guardians and take the Death World prison planet over, effectively adding this now useless pile of poop to his planetary conquests.  By silencing the Custodes they were also able to effectively keep the Emperor from being able to track the Black Death’s next movements.  His armor acquired he would wait on this mining world and heal before his next steps would be taken.

Chapter 3

Little did the Black Death know but his refuge mining world, was not as isolated as he had thought.  While he had started to create a cultist uprising to take the planet his was no ready for the Ork incursion that would meet him head on so early in his uprising.  The Orks were able to smash into his forces and kill his cultists before his plague was able to take hold enough to turn them to zombies.  Only the few zombies that followed him in the warp would make it to this planet, and they would need more time to develop into a force that would eventually be able to take the planet.  The Black Death jumped immediately into the battle newly invigorated by his new armor, and collapsed the Ork forces from the top down.  This newly capable warrior was finally strong enough to draw the attention of Typhus his former captain from a far with this battle.  This ferocious showing of strength would not only gain Typhus attention, but draw the Contagion Lord to his eventually location.

Chapter 4.

Typhus wanted to test his new toy and sent word via nurgling emissaries to the Black Death that a Dark Angel force on a near-by AgriWorld being fed from the fertilizer of his recently conquered planet of Feces was holding something insanely valuable.   The Black Death stowed upon a fertilizer ship to make his drop on the Dark Angels in an attempt to gain whatever it was that Typhus coveted so dearly.  Unfortunately, the warp is a fickle thing, and the Dark Angels seemed to have known about his presence almost as soon as he made land fall on their AgriWorld.  It’s known within the warp they are traitors, could it be that they have the favor of one of the Chaos gods themselves.

Regardless the Black Death knew this needed to be done quickly and he would have to get to this coveted item before he could take the entire planet.  Unfortunately, his haste cost him most of the forces that he brought to this challenge and left him with only he sweltering Poxwalker zombie force that was the remnant of the forces he brought with him.   He left them contained waiting for just the right moment to let the Dark Angels walk into his last trap.  The Dark Angels were clearly in the belief that his forces had something important to them, could this be Luther pulling strings?  Or is this their lord and master the Lion getting his information from the dark gods?  Regardless they committed the whole of their forces as they always do to taking this one bastion of zombie power.  The minute they breached the doors they were overwhelmed by a zombie surge that had been building within the ruined fortress since the Black Death had arrived.  The Black Death escaped through the warp to allow for the zombies to take care of the Dark Angels before returning to retrieve his prize.  To his delight the unleashed zombie plague had not only overwhelmed the Dark Angels but shortly thereafter been able to overwhelm the largest majority of the AgriWorld.

The Black Death reported his success back to Typhus immediately.  Typhus was so pleased he made the command decision to move Terminus Est to the Black Death’s throne world of Crimea and promised to share the next steps of his grand plan once he arrived!