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Know Thyself (Short Story)

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Know Thyself
Know-Thyself.jpg
Author Andy Smillie
Publisher Black Library
Collected in Black Library Weekender

Cover Description

Sent to meet with Flesh Tearers Chapter Master Gabriel Seth to discuss a recent incident in which the Flesh Tearers and Space Wolves came to blows, Inquisitor Corvin Herrold boards the flagship of the Chapter, the mighty Victus. But when he discovers a shocking secret, Herrold finds himself a prisoner of Sanguinius’s most dangerous sons, and his audience with the Master of the Flesh Tearers proves more perilous than he could have ever imagined.

Synopsis

Inquisitor Corvin Herrold boards the flagship of the Flesh Tearers, seeking an audience with Chapter Master Gabriel Seth, and ends up in greater danger than he could ever have imagined.

Officially, Herrold is seeking to question Seth about the recent events at Honour's End, including a bloody confrontation with the Space Wolves. But the man who meets with Seth is a decoy, and the real Herrold infiltrates the ship, seeking proof of the Ordo Hereticus's long-held suspicions about the Flesh Tearers. He believes himself vindicated when he finds a Marine chained to the wall in the bowels of the ship, having recently succumbed to the Black Rage. Then Herrold is surprised and knocked out by Chaplain Appollus, while his retinue are slaughtered by the other Flesh Tearers.

When Herrold regains consciousness, he is given a harsh object lesson by Seth: Librarian Balthiel creates a mind-link with the recently-fallen Brother, and Herrold is exposed to the full measure of the Black Rage; even a few moments' exposure is almost enough to break his mind. Seth tells the Inquisitor that this is the daemon the Flesh Tearers wrestle with every day, the daemon that, at best, they are able to harness and use as a weapon against the Emperor's enemies, and, at worst, steals away their lives and their sanity as they continue to serve the Imperium. What right does a worm like Herrold have to accuse them of heresy?

Departing the Victus, alone, Herrold removes his rosette and drops it on the floor; he has decided his Inquisitorial career is over, no longer having any faith in his own judgments.

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