Salutations once again to all. I know I’ve been offline for a couple of weeks, and so I considered it appropriate to account for my sudden departure. On a couple of other forums that I frequent, I explained myself with the following story, and whilst admittedly Arcie may be the only man here who’ll understand where this originates from, I’m not letting all that effort go to waste so I’m subjecting you all to it, too.
++SECURITY TIER: Cobalt++
++ARCHIVE CATEGORIES: Ultramar; Imperial Guard; [CLASSIFIED]; Personal Correspondence; Research & Development; [CLASSIFIED]; [CLASSIFIED]; Tyranids; Strategy++
++DATE TRANSMITTED: 2581005.M42++
++DATE RECEIVED: 2604005.M42++
++TRANSMITTING ASTROPATH: Primaris Nolan Termum Leisthod++
++TELEPATHIC DUCT: Epsilon-mu-pheta-87++
++SUBJECT: Adventure Training Report #EY18-0001123++
++THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Justice comes after the grave.++
In humble address to His Most Eminent, Majestic and Most Honourable Marquess Janus Augustine VI, by the Emperor’s holy will Governor of the realm of Espandor,
My lord, I bid you the most respectful and reverential of salutations that may be conceivably mustered in dispatching this message to you. I can only declaim that I was awed and overjoyed when you graciously condescended to hear directly from me, a man who despite his rank is but a mere common soldier with no ability to pretend to anything even approaching the supremacy which you yourself bear on par with Lord Calgar himself in the service of the divine Emperor, praise his light. I understand and applaud completely your insightful desire to know in full and unfettered detail the circumstances surrounding the sensational discovery that me and my men had inadvertantely - but fortuitously - engaged.
In your intelligence and foresight, honoured Marquess, you deemed several years ago that elements of Espandor’s vigiliant Planetary Defence Force, in order to restore morale, broaden experience, and fortify constitutions, should be withdrawn from their regular service from periods in order to visit and train in all of the other environments that the wide, illustrious and bountiful realm of Ultramar can provide. In accordance with this commendable and intelligent initiative I, along with the batallion under my command and the entire remainder of my honourable regiment, was dispatched to blessed Macragge, in order to be granted a sample of arctic warfare in the polar ice caps of the rugged world.
My men expressed disappointment that our itinerary would not incorporate a short pilgrimage to the mighty and holy Fortress of Hera, bastion of the noble Ultramarines, but I heartened them with a promise that I would utilise my influence to include such a detour at the close of our time on Macragge (I pray that you will indulge this small indiscretion, my liege). A massive boon was granted to my batallion when, shortly after our arrival at out start point in the settlement of Shammony, a group of the legendary sapphire angels were seen training on a glacier at far range. It induced immense wonderment and amazement amongst my men, and held them rapt for hours - the sight of six hundred soldiers queing to glimpse the great Ultramarines for a few seconds with their binoculars was quite a faith-restoring sight to behold, honoured Marquess.
The first component of the regiment’s time on Macragge was to effect a traverse across an extensive and quite harsh mountain range interposed between the towns of Shammony and Zhermatte, and we were divided into many small groups - no mean feat considering that the regiment is four battalions string - in order to attempt this by different routes across the rugged terrain. This trek was physically demanding, incorporating a great deal of relief and gradient that was extremely disassociated from the gentle undulations we associate with our own homeworld. However, despite these difficulties, my men exemplified the rigorous endurance and resolute attitudes that is inculcated into the finest Espandorians, and rapidly acclimatised to the situation and even proceeded to enjoy the labour required of them, acting as if it was no more than an adventurous holiday expedition.
The event in question began in quite an innocuous manner, during a typical leg-stop after a sustained period of walking to let the soldiers enjoy a short rest. One of my men attempted to find a seat on a patch of scree, only to betray a lack of knowledge of the mountains that all except our guides (native to Macragge) must confess to, as the insecure slope proceeded to give way underneath him and be sent seething down into a glacial crevasse. Fortunately, the safety harnesses we were all attached to prevented the soldier from suffering a similar ignominious trajectory.
The small landslide the trooper had accidentally incited had revealed a previously-buried cadaver, which had been reduced to literally little more than a skeleton and a few scraps of clothing over decades of internment by the stones of these mountains. Our guides instructed us to be unsurprised by this - we are all aware of the hideous, appalling, terrible and tragic events that marked the loathsome and despicable descent of the Tyranids upon the pure and illustrious realm of Ultramar, and they informed us that relics of the heated and desperate struggles that wracked Macragge are frequently unearthed and vast amounts of material remain hidden beneath the moraine and snowdrifts.
We were going to content ourselves with reciting a few psalms over the worn skeleton of the former servant of the Emperor, reburying him, and moving on (the stout, dwarfish physique his heavy skeleton suggested identified him as a Squat, which regrettably invitied a great deal of disrespectful cat-calling and snickering amongst my troops which I issued reprimands for) - however, I noticed a small ledger, fashioned out of what is presumably some advanced, durable material that enabled it to survive the decay that claimed the remainder of the body and its equipment. This alone was worthy of note - much more than a common journal or prayer-book - and so I took the liberty of reading it. I could barely comprehend what I bore witness too - at first I thought that it was a work of fiction! - but the comprehensiveness and detail demonstrated it to be anything but some cheap pulp to while away the hours on a dull posting.
This Squat must have been an agent of some eminent and secret branch of the great Imperium, for I could find nothing to indicate his name and rank amongst what of his other effects that survived, only a single, unexplained alias - “White Dwarf”. His legacy - the tome that I was scrutinising - was truly phenomenal. Within its bounds was a comprehensive and detailed thesis on Tyranid physiology - I am not of the great Biologis Magi of the blessed Mechanicus, but I could see that it included everything from classifying dozens of different Tyranid breeds to studies on their unique, warping genetic structure, and even the stages of a Carnifex’s incubation, all recounted in so exacting terms that it indicated the most diligent, insightful and exhaustive study.
We had determined to keep our radios silent for the duration of the trek, but I immediately hailed an extraction vehicle to collect this invaluable record - I earnestly pray that my most honourable Marquess will forgive me for any self-aggrandisement I betray by this admission, but in the intense excitement the find generated I was convinced that I had retrieved something as valuable as one of the sacred S.T.C. systems! Whilst I was removed from study of the artefact since then, I am aware that it has caused a tremendous stir amongst all of the authorities of Macragge - even amongst the blessed and majestic Ultramarines themselves. I have been summoned to an audience with the regal and santified Lord Calgar to state this account personally, in preparation for which I am spending a fortnight in fasting and prayer - and the flurry of emotions which erupt and seethe within my mind whenever I contemplate I cannot hope to capably express even with the telepathic clarity and lucidity of this charitable Astropath - and I assure my great Marquess that I shall make an excellent account of Espandor in his presence.
It may be beyond my remit to speculate, but I am convinced that the Emperor’s rermarkable powers of providence have delivered unto us a means to strike back against the foul and despicable Tyranid menace that pollutes the stars and offends the pure radiance of the Astronomicom. The detail contained within this tome will be invaulable in devising countermeasures to unravel the infernal, twisted, corrupt and malign and offensive xenos forms with which the Tyranids disgrace all life and decency, I am sure of it! It may seem arrogant and portentous to forward this suggestion, but today could mark the very fringe of a sea change in our struggle against the most execrable Alien beasts, their most fearsome breeds, bristling with claws and slavering from a thousand distended maws, degenerated into soup, rendered as docile as copse bambas!
I am but a servant of the Emperor, Ultramar, and of you, my revered and most excellent Marquess - I do not demand glory and renown. Everything that will proceed from this, I commit to your regal blue blood and dignified name.
May The Light Of Guilliman Shine Upon You,
Lt.-Col. Roben Fraz, M.C. - Second Battallion, 18th Royal Espandorian Yeomanry.
And now we return you to our regular programming.