Twisted (Short Story)
Twisted is a short story written by Guy Haley. It was released in February 2015 and included in the Blades of the Traitor (Anthology). The short story was released on audio as part of the Blades of the Traitor audio collection for "Audio Week," Advent 2015.
Since he was crippled by rebel treachery on Sixty-Three Nineteen, Maloghurst 'the Twisted' has continued to serve Warmaster Horus as his closest aide and confidant. His loyalty has remained constant, but the XVI Legion has changed - rivalry and personal ambition run rife, and although Horus's authority is supreme, his equerry's is certainly not. When a daemonic plot to infest the Vengeful Spirit comes to light, Maloghurst reluctantly turns to the few allies he has left: the mysterious Davinites.
Maloghurst the Twisted, equerry to primarch Horus, receives petitioners in the Lupercal's Court aboard the Vengeful Spirit. He rebuffs yet another bid by the Davinite contingent aboard the ship to be allowed to tutor Horus in the ways of the Warp. Moving about the ship on his business, Maloghurst reflects on the growing distance between himself and his primarch, which is endangering the privileged position that keeps him secure in the Sons of Horus' martial culture where he is despised as a cripple. He becomes aware that a daemon made of oil and smoke is stalking him, trying to seduce him into letting it use his body as a host. Seeking the knowledge to repel it, he visits the Davinite enclave and begins learning warding rituals. Under the guise of the final ritual the Davinites shackle him to a eight-pointed cross and invoke the daemon, wanting it to possess him so they will have influence over the Warmaster once more. However, Maloghurst easily breaks free of his chains and summons a squad of battle-brothers who slaughter the Davinites, deriding the simplicity of their plan and their audacity in thinking they could outwit him. Using an item he sanctified earlier Maloghurst banishes the daemon back to the Warp. He reports back to Horus that the Davinite attempt to seize power has been foiled, just one of many such plots Maloghurst has dealt with. Horus is pleased but dismissive, leaving Maloghurst to contemplate his insecure future.