A Safe and Shadowed Place (Short Story)
|Collected in||Death and Defiance|
War Without End
Scattered and leaderless after their disastrous defeat at the hands of the Dark Angels, the remnants of the Night Lords fleet head to a prearranged location: the world of Sotha, on the fringes of Ultramar. They expect to find some of Guilliman's XIII Legion opposing them, but they're not prepared for what awaits them when they stumble across one of the most important worlds in Imperium Secundus.
Gendor Skraivok, a low-ranking Night Lords commander, ponders the remnants of one of the Legion's splinter-fleets that has fled to a pocket of hidden space on the outskirts of the Sotha system, on the edge of Ultramar. Of the remaining ships, only three including his still have power, and during a brief conference the captains of the other two ships announce that they are leaving, abandoning him to his fate. Determined to regather his resources and make his ship space-worthy again, Skraivok summons two other Night Lords. One, Kellendvar, tortures the location of the other, his birth-brother Kellenkir, out a crew-serf and finds him aboard one of the drifting hulks. Kellenkir is absorbed in the grisly and pointless torture of several captured serfs, and Kellendvar has to resort to violence to bring his brother back to Skraivok. Soon after, a second Night Lords' splinter-fleet commanded by Krukesh the Pale arrives out of the Warp and Krukesh forces the three to swear him their allegiance. Skraivok directs him to observe the regular pulses of energy coming from Sotha, but instead of a normal pulse a brilliant beam of psychic energy lights up space and is answered by another from Macragge, prompting Krukesh to direct his forces to investigate further.