Hell Lord

Nemesis leaned forward, staring into the sensors that protruded from the Wraithlord's smooth carapace. The machine continued to pull against the massive chains holding it, its claws flexing as it tried to bring them to bear on its enemies. A shower of sparks erupted from the gun cradle from which the star cannon had been torn, as it tried to fire the non-existant weapon. Instinctive, Nemesis thought. Ignoring the dull roar of the dreadnought's engines as it tried to break free, she let her mind drift beneath its armoured shell, looking for the tiny crystal that contained its life.

The hatred radiated from it, so strong that she almost took a step back. Instead she allowed the cloud of emotions to envelop her, and began to sift through them, searching through the ancient mind inside the machine. She felt the fury of battle, the sudden numbness of death, the power of the machine, the deeply-buried longing for the simple pleasures of sensation that had died with the warrior's body, centuries ago. This was something she could work with.

Farseer Chel Da'madres looked up as his psychic senses warned him of danger. The battle, already costly, could be turned towards the decadent traitor Eldar if he allowed them to sieze the initiative. Sensing the patterns of a forming warp gate, he stretched his mind forward, looking for the shape of the threat that was arriving. For a moment he saw nothing, then a single soul drifted towards his mind's eye. Not a squad, he thought, but the enemy was something he didn't recognise. Carefully, he allowed his mind to touch it, hoping to learn something of its nature before it became necessary to devote valuable troops to defeating it.

The Warlock Ghala Ysiel knew nothing of this, having been concentrating on protecting a squad of Wraithguard who were preventing the enemy from advancing to assault range. The first she knew of the new threat was when the Farseer clutched his head and dropped to his knees, letting out a strangled howl. He looked up once, staring wildly through the blood pouring from his eyes at a shimmering light that had appeared just in front of the Guardians, then he collapsed, dead. Ysiel quickly signalled a squad of Scorpions to intercept whatever emerged from the growing warp gate.

The shifting curtains of light that formed the gate bulged outwards, then revealed their cargo. The Scorpion Exarch stared up at the thing as his squad leapt over the Guardians to defend them. Its hull was a dark, brooding purple, with silver blades flashing in the light as it strode forwards. The fingers on its mechanical hands ended in serrated blades, which clashed together as it fired the splinter cannons mounted on its arms. From its back rose the coolant vanes, covered in severed heads and skulls, and the smooth mask of the machine displayed a single glowing rune: Death. The thing that had been a Wraithlord shrugged off the sting of the Exarch's mandiblaster helmet, and tore his head from his body with one swipe of its claw.

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