Blood Games (Short Story)
Amon Tauromachian, one of the Emperor’s elite Custodian Guard, returns to the Imperial Palace after a year on one of the Blood Games by which these exalted heroes train. Tasked with a new mission, he is sent to the hives of Hy Brasil to check on the loyalty of a notorious troublemaker. With the galaxy at war and half the Imperium’s armies in rebellion, any hint of heresy on the Throneworld must be stamped out. Amon’s mission draws him into a web of deceit and betrayal, where no one can be trusted and nothing is at it seems. Can he unravel the truth and secure Terra for the Emperor?
Custodian Guard Amon Tauromachian infiltrates the Imperial Palace as part of a 'Blood Game' designed to discover weaknesses in security. Ambushed by three workers when he attempts to purchase some drugs he effortlessly kills them and uses the drugs to temporarily stop his heart, allowing him to hide in a cargo crate and fool the security system that scans it. Inside the palace he locates the Emperor and makes it as far as raising his blade to strike before being intercepted by Constantin Valdor.
Given a new mission, Amon and fellow Custodian Haedo Emankon investigate Pherom Sichar, lord of Hy Brasil, who is suspected of leaking information to Horus. Infiltrating a meeting they attempt to arrest Sichar but are stopped by Rogal Dorn, who reveals that Sichar is a triple agent who is posing as a traitor but working for the Imperium. At that moment an assassin strikes, killing Sichar and eight others with a bomb before fleeing on a speeder rigged with explosives. Amon gives chase, kills the assassin and manages to send the speeder up into the atmosphere before it explodes.
- Amon Tauromachian - Custodian
- The Emperor of Mankind
- Constantin Valdor - Chief Custodian
- Lord Pherom Sichar - Hereditary Lord of Hy Brasil
- Haedo Emankon - Custodian
- Ptolem Sichar - 4th brother of Lord Sichar, CEO of Cajetan Imports
- Ibn Norn - Lucifer Black, bodyguard for Ptolem Sichar
- Rogal Dorn - Primarch of the Imperial Fists Legion.
- Gen Cheth - Assassin posing as a Lucifer Black
- The Hall of Leng, described as a location within the Imperial Palace in the Himalazia region of Terra, is most likely a reference to Howard Phillips Lovecraft and his Leng.