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Skraal

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Skraal was a Brother-Captain of the World Eaters Adeptus Astartes Legion who lived during the time of the Great Crusade and the beginning of the Horus Heresy. He is most notable for his participation in the hunt of the Furious Abyss, a campaign which saw him work in concert with Astartes of the Ultramarines, Thousand Sons and Space Wolves against the traitorous forces of the Word Bearers.[1x]

History

Apart from his participation in the campaigns known as the Sack of Scholamgrad and the burning of the Ethellion Fleet[1i], little is known of Skraal's career before he and the units under his command happened to be present aboard Vangelis station at the outbreak of the Heresy. Ultramarines Fleet Commander Lysimachus Cestus, assembling a mission force to investigate the presumed destruction of the Fist of Macragge, was able to convince Skraal to join his ad-hoc assemblage of Marines and Imperial fleet elements.[1b] Skraal led his unit of twenty World Eater Astartes aboard the Wrathful, where they were employed to repel daemonic boarders.[1c]

The surviving World Eaters were led by both Skraal and the Ultramarine officer Antiges on a daring sabotage mission against the Furious Abyss - the destroyer of the Fist of Macragge and much of Cestus' investigatory fleet - whilst the Word Bearers' vessel had dropped anchor at Bakka Triumveron.[1e] Skraal alone survived this disastrous mission, a 'hidden guest' aboard the Word Bearers' ship.[1g] Avoiding all attempts to capture or kill him, Skraal also managed to resist being suborned by the words of the Word Bearer's commander, Zadkiel.[1h]

Skraal was able to survive alone and on the run inside the giant vessel for several weeks, until he was finally able to link up with his fellow loyalists some time later, in the wake of a second boarding action by forces under Cestus' command.[1k] During this last attempt to destroy the Furious Abyss, Skraal chose to sacrifice himself to buy Cestus and Brynngar Sturmdreng time. Cleaving his way through Zadkiel's personal guard, Skraal suffered many wounds and was finally stopped by a bolt-pistol shot from Zadkiel at close range. Before collapsing, Skraal was able to swing his chainaxe one last time, shearing through both Zadkiel's pistol and his hand. Zadkiel then stabbed the defiant World Eater through the head, killing him.[1l]

Appearance and Abilities

A remarkable sight, Skraal's head was covered in scar-tissue, with pronounced veins and a recurring twitch that spasmed his right eye; this combination made him appear somewhat unhinged. Indeed, Skraal appeared on edge fairly frequently. He wore armour as battered as his face, a skull-helmeted, dented and chipped suit of Mark.V Power Armour painted in the blue and white colours of his legion. His voice was described as having an iron quality to it.[1a] Skraal armed himself with chainaxe, bolt pistol and storm shield.[1d]

A formidable warrior, Skraal battled with his berzerker lusts, recognising that the need to engage the enemy in close combat was not always tactically astute. Nevertheless, he also recognised that the need for he and his men to spill blood was one of paramount importance, and so allowed and even encouraged the killing of non-combatants such as the work-crews of Bakka Triumveron.[1f] Intensely passionate in some regards, Skraal channeled his emotional responses into a pool of rage he could use to fuel himself in combat, becoming a close-combat warrior of extreme ability. This aspect of his nature was challenged at his witnessing of the profane treatment given to the corpse of Antiges, where Skraal's rage was cooled, the World Eater eventually being shocked into a state of numbness.[1j]

Sources