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Dzansk

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Dzansk was an Imperial Guard Captain in the Cadian 44th Heavy Infantry Regiment[1a], and had fought to defend the Fortress World during the 13th Black Crusade, until it was destroyed by the Despoiler[1b].

History

Sometime after the Great Rift's creation, the Cadian 44th had been charged with defending Kalides Prime's capital Dustrious, but it was later attacked by the Death Guard Plaguelord Morbidius[1a]. The Plaguelord's fleet easily destroyed the Imperial Navy warships protecting Kalides Prime and then bombarded Dustrious, which wiped out most of the Cadian 44th. Worse still, some of the Death Guard's ordnance had been laced with deadly contagions and those few Guardsmen that had managed to reach safety underground, reemerged to a city that was ridden with disease. Then the Death Guard Warband of the Lord of Contagion Gurloch landed upon Dustrious and the Regiment's General, Yorin, led what remained of the Cadian 44th against the Chaos invaders. Unfortunately, the diseases unleashed by the Death Guard not only sickened the Regiment, but also caused the capital's dead to rise as Poxwalkers, which fell upon the surprised Guardsmen. The Cadian 44th was soon overwhelmed and a thousand Guardsmen were killed by the Poxwalkers, including Yorin and the Regiment's upper command. This led Captain Dzansk to become the Cadian 44th's only remaining officer and he quickly ordered the ragged remnants of the Regiment to retreat, in order to strike back against the Death Guard later. After regrouping Dzansk led repeated attacks to harass the Death Guard and break the invaders bombardment of a force field protected fortress, that held Kalides Prime's Astropathic Choir. These attacks did little to disrupt the Death Guard's attempts to seize the fortress and cost the Cadian 44th a high number of lives. Sickened and fighting with rapidly dwindling supplies, the Regiment's end seemed near, until a sign of hope appeared when the Ultramarines strike force of Lieutenant Cassian arrived to combat the Death Guard.[1c]

Dzansk quickly made contact with the Ultramarines and told Cassian what has happened since the invasion began. Afterwards Cassian told Dzansk, that a Warp Storm had driven his strike force's damaged Strike Cruiser off-course and the Ultramarines needed to reach the besieged Astropathic Choir, in order to inform the Indomitus Crusade of their location. Dzansk had no idea what the Indomitus Crusade was, but after being informed of its goal and that it was led by Lord Commander Guilliman, the Captain was left in awe and offered the Cadian 44th's aid to the Lieutenant. Cassian gladly accepted it[1c] and then informed their forces, that he suspected the Death Guard were drawing out the battle as an offering to their Chaos God Nurgle, as Gurloch's forces had the numbers to simply storm the fortress. The strike force's Librarian Keritraeus agreed with this and said he felt the strength of the Warp increasing in the capital. The Astropathich Choir seemed to be the key to Gurloch's plans and in order to stop the Chaos ritual from succeeding, Cassian stated they most retake the fortress instead of directly fighting the Death Guard. As their forces were vastly outnumber however, Cassian needed the Cadian 44th to stage a diversionary attack on the Death Guard, which would give the Ultramarines the time they needed to enter the fortress. Once they did so, the Ultramarines would send word of Gurloch's plot to the Indomitus Crusade, which would surely arrive with enough forces to destroy the invading Death Guard. Once he heard Cassian's plan though, Dzansk claimed it would cost the sickened Cadian 44th dearly, and they would not survive if the Death Guard attacked them in large numbers. Cassian assured him however, that once the strike force arrived at the fortress, they would hold its gates open long enough for the Regiment to reach safety within its walls. Dzansk agreed to Cassian's plan[1d], but knew the Cadian 44th's fate was sealed, as they had been immersed within the Death Guard's diseases for too long. They could not risk spreading their sickness to the people within the fortress, nor would the Regiment make it off Kalides Prime alive. None the less, Dzansk rallied the sickened Cadian 44th and roused their weary spirits for one final charge against the Death Guard, for Cadia and the Emperor[1b].

As he had suspected though, the Death Guard overwhelmed the Cadians and Dzansk knew they had only minutes left at best. The Captain had stood back to organize the Regiment's attack, but he could no longer listen to their death cries and took to the field, after telling Cassian the Cadian 44th would buy the Ultramarines as much time as they could before they fell. He then ordered his Chimera to charge the Death Guard and fired upon them, until a Defiler destroyed the vehicle. The resulting explosion sent Dzansk flying from the Chimera's wreckage, and he passed out once he hit the ground. When he awoke, Dzansk was alone and knew he was mortally wounded. Despite this, he forced himself to stand and then grabbed the the Cadian 44th's Regimental Standard, before making his way toward the sound of gunfire. Before Dzansk made it though, the Contagion Lord Gurloch appeared and barred his path. Surrounded by his bodyguards, Gurloch easily lifted the battered Captain off the ground and congratulated Dzansk on the Cadian 44th's efforts against his Warband. The Contagion Lord then said he was done with the Cadians and after he killed the Ultramarines, he would be free to spread the plague they created on Kalides Prime, across the stars. By this time Dzansk was near death and lamented that he had no weapon to turn upon the gloating Gurloch - until his hand brushed against the krack grenades, attached to his belt. With the last of his strength, Dzansk pulled the pin from one of the grenades, before passing away[1b]. Though one of Gurloch's bodyguards saw what had happened and hurled Dzansk's body away from the Contagion Lord, the resulting explosion killed three of the Death Guard and gravely wounded Gurloch.[1e]

Source