Every year in the town of Bruegelburg on the planet Brabant Prime there is a festival to commemorate the victory of the Dark Angels and the 10th Belgic Fusiliers over the forces of the Great Enemy. The planet, long settled by the Fusiliers, has seen peace and prosperity until only recently, when a cult began to gnaw at the edges of society. Posing as immigrants, they had skulked their way into town in ones and twos, plying the foul beliefs to the weak minded and the perverse. Their foul worship would culminate in a profane summoning ritual to be held on the night of the festival, ushering in a new era of depravity.
|The Herald, the Child, and the Knight|
"Elsa, thou shalt be a vessel of my light." He said in fatherly tones. "Take up the arms of the past and lead my people. Burn the foul heretics from the village."
Young Bert, who favored her, became her knight, and took up his father's bayonet and pistol. Tom, who had practiced his horn for many an hour, now blew notes louder and clearer than any man twice his age.
The more people she told, the more were filled with holy fervor. First, her playfellows, then her parents, then their friends (seasoned veterans of the Imperial Guard long since gone to seed). Their weapons slumbered behind the oaken doors of the provincial armory, but had been maintained day by day with care. On the night the procession was to take place, many revelers flocked to the structure to arm themselves without questioning why.
|Sister Hester, Willing Bess, and Old Gert|
That they shirked their usual duty tonight was no matter. The lamps along the parade route burned brightly with the great flames of faith.
|Sire Flatley, Mister Goodfellow, and Tig the Midget|
|"Who gives a child a chainpike?" "It's quite alright, old fellow. You see, he's forty-six."|
|See now, the holy procession. Hear the hymns of victory, the horn of triumph!|
The bearers represented the four Pillars of the Imperium. To the fore, the Astartes leading the way on their crusade through the lost worlds, bringing the Emperor's light.
Following in their wake, the Adeptus Mechanicus, bringing inexorable progress with their industrial might.
With them, the Ecclesiarchy, arming the people with the sword of Faith and girding them with the armor of Contempt.
Moving them ever forward, the might of the Imperial Guard, undaunted and unyielding to the last.
The Saint himself was bedecked in the livery of his chapter; the green and bone of the Dark Angels. He bore the Lance of Atragon, a weapon that lay low a mighty demon of Chaos, even as the fell beast smote him down. As the revellers drew near their goal, the holy bolters roared to life, scything down the followers of darkness like so much rotten grass. The lance flared brightly with the Emperor's light as the reliquary and its bearers surged forwards, its pointing finding home in the reeking armor of the foul sorcerer.
And little Elsa? Well, that is another tale.....