|This page contains spoilers for:||Brothers of the Snake (Novel)|
Priad's company was engaged in a sporadic contest with the Dark Eldar in the Reef Stars when a distress signal arrived from Baal Solock[1a]. As was the custom of the Snakes when one of their client worlds called for help, the chapter dispatched a single warrior to assess the situation and deal with the threat, or summon reinforcements if necessary (though it seldom was)[1b]. At the time of his mission, Priad had been a member of Damocles Squad for just over a year, before which he had been a petitioner[1b]. The Baal Solock mission was his fourth combat action, and his first solo mission[1b].
Since his company's Strike Cruiser was in the stellar neighbourhood, Priad was able to arrive at Baal Solock two months after their distress call, whereas it would normally take ten to twelve months for a ship from Ithaka to arrive[1a]. Upon landing, Priad was greeted by Primary Clerk Perdet Suiton Antoni and her honour guard, who informed him that the Primuls (an archaic term for the Dark Eldar) had attacked her world[1c]. After a day at the Legislature palace, he agreed to let her accompany him to witness the cleansing of the Dark Eldar, on the conditions that she obey him at all times and that she would only carry the barest weapons, along with the High Legislator's dog Princeps[1a][1d]. They departed aboard his Land Speeder for the Pythoan Cantons[1d].
Priad soon found the crash site of the ship where the Dark Eldar had arrived on the planet, and killed every last one of them[1e]. He allowed Antoni to keep the jawbone that the Dark Eldar had been carrying as a trophy, since she had killed one of the primuls with her meagre weapons, and left instructions to quarantine the region of the Dark Eldar's crash site before departing the planet[1b].
When the Iron Snakes came to Rosetta to battle the Chaos forces on the planet, Damocles Squad was given the mission of liberating Rosetta Excelsis Refinery Nine, where they were attacked by Dark Tusks Chaos Space Marines[2a][2b]. After Sergeant Raphon was killed, Priad took Raphon's Lightning Claw and inherited his title of Sergeant, a position that Raphon had been grooming him for since Priad's induction into Damocles five years earlier[2b]. After clearing the refinery, Damocles squad discovered that it was tainted, and that something was sleeping down in its oil reserves. Priad ordered the Refinery destroyed with explosives[2c].
When Captain Phobor led six squads of the Iron Snakes to help the Imperial Guard liberate the planet Eidon from the Dark Eldar, he ordered Damocles Squad to the eastern side of Eidon city to ensure the Dark Eldar would not break from the city when it fell[3a].
But the Dark Eldar came upon their position en masse as they fled out of the city. Priad attempted to bring the city wall and its fortification down by ordering Brother Andromak to fire his plasma gun at a weak point in the structure, but the shot failed[3b]. Librarian Petrok, having sensed their plights, arrived upon their position and ordered Andromak to fire again two more times, and this time the wall collapsed. Petrok then led Damocles Squad into the breach and defeated the Dark Eldar, killing "a thousand over and again"[3c]. Once inside, they discovered that the Dark Eldar had mined the entire city and the phosphor vents. They moved the explosives one by one to where they could be detonated safely[3d].
Captain Phobor again led the Iron Snakes to Ceres at the request of Inquisitor Mabuse to purge the Chaos cult "The Children of Khorne" that had risen on the planet. Four full squads of Marines retook Nybana, the main township and landing field, and killed every last cultist there[4a].
Damocles squad were sent northwest to check some of the remaining townships for taint: Nyru, Yyria, Flax, and Hekat. Nyru and Yyria proved to be clean, but the entire population of Flax had been slaughtered by the cultists[4a]. They moved onto Hekat, which was marked on a Chaos corn-doll that Mabuse had previously recovered from the cultists, and were attacked by a daemon that was invisible to their equipment. It severely wounded Calignes and apparently took Brother Pindor with it as it fled[4b]. Damocles Squad later confronted the daemon again and Brother Kules shot it dead, but not after it had killed Brother Illyus. Kules found Pindor in a silo, suspended on a crucifix and about to be sacrificed by the cultists to summon an "avatar of Khorne", and rescued him[4c].
Damocles squad suddenly found themselves attacked from all sides by the very farmers that they had tried to save earlier, and lost Apothecary Memnes and Brother Calignes. The fight lasted until the next morning, resulting in 3 marines and 470 cultists dead. Priad left Ceres along with Damocles, but not before telling Mabuse it his fault Damocles walked into a trap that he should have seen[4d].
Returning to the Chapter House on Karybdis, Priad requested Khiron as a replacement Apothecary for the deceased Memnes, and was denied, being informed that Khiron had been condemned for killing a fellow brother[5a][5b].
Priad went to visit Khiron in the Tholos to investigate the stories of his alleged madness. Khiron explained to Priad that there was a daemon in their midst, one that had possessed Brother Krates, and that was why he killed him. However, Khiron had used a gun instead of flames, so the daemon had moved into another host. Khiron told Priad that the daemon's smell had no equivalent, and that he would know it once he smelled it. Khiron also informed him that he had asked for an oethanar in two sunsets, so that he would at least die with the Chapter knowing he was innocent. Priad later sensed the daemon's smell in Captain Skander of Phocis Squad during a combat drill and attacked him. After a short hand-to-hand struggle, Priad grabbed a flamer from one of the marines who were trying to pull him off Skander and incinerated the possessed Captain. As Skander's body burned, the dying daemon emerged from his corpse: a small thing, with leathery bat wings and tendrils of articulated bone for fingers and a hundred blinking eyes for a face. It died along with Skander[5c].
Priad then led a rescue party to the Primarch's Causeway on Ithaka to save Khiron from the oethanar. Braving the retyarion (wyrm-storm), ulbrumid waves, and several wyrms, Priad managed to reach Khiron. But a kraretyer (a mature bull three hundred metres long) appeared and attacked them. They managed to kill it with multiple harpoon casts, with Priad delivering the final one that went right down the wyrm's throat. Khiron was saved and installed as Damocles Squad's new apothecary[5d]. Priad spent the next ten months reforging Damocles into a fighting unit.
Damocles Squad was chosen by Chapter Master Seydon to attend the coronation of Queen Gartrude's successor Naldo as the Chapter's emissary guard to Iorgu[6a]. While there, Priad encountered Inquisitor Mabuse, who told him that Queen Gartrude had been murdered, albeit in a subtle way so it looked like the action of old age[6b].
As the coronation ceremonies began, rain began to fall in a deluge that the normally arid world had never seen before, which was regarded as a bad omen. After lightning storms killed the capital city's astropaths, on the night of the coronation, rioting broke out in the low quarters in the city, and drastically intensified as dawn came despite the brutal response of the Magistratum[6c].
The fearful nobility began fleeing the planet, and the visiting representative from the Imperial Guard ordered Damocles Squad to escort them to safety. However, Mabuse sent his mechanical index finger to contact Priad, requesting his aid. Damocles Squad leapt to action and commandeered a skimmer yacht parked outside the palace. Unfortunately, it belonged to the Princess Royal of Cartomax, who brazenly shot Priad with a micro-laser from under her furs after he ordered her away. Mabuse intervened and displayed the holoform sigil of the Inquisition, which caused her to flee, wailing[6d].
While travelling to rendezvous with Mabuse at the Sacred Mound, Damocles squad encountered "phantoms" and began firing, but soon found that they were harmless. Once there, Mabuse explained that a Chaos cult had murdered Queen Gartrude because they wanted a coronation, because only during a coronation would the stasis locks of the Sacred Mound be disengaged and the heirloom treasures of Iorgu be removed for the ceremonies. The heirloom treasures were part of the components of a stasis system that keeps a powerful daemon dormant, and now the cult was trying to wake it. The phantoms, the storms, the auroras, and the corposant were all generated by the psychic birth pangs of the waking Sleeper[6e].
Mabuse then led them through the inner burrows of the Mound in an attempt to to put the relics back and re-engage the stasis system before it's too late, but was fatally injured and had to pass the relics onto Priad and his marines to finish the job. As Priad reached the heart chamber, the Sleeper was almost awake, and beginning to coalesce into solid form. Fighting his way past the cultists and the tide of insects that threatened to swarm him, Priad slotted each relic back into its place at the altar, and the stasis lock re-engaged[6f].
After the calamity, Damocles squad received fifteen formal communiqués of denouncement from the nobility of Iorgu, all of whom were ignorant of the disaster that had almost befallen them. However, a message to Chapter Master Seydon made by Mabuse with his dying breath cleared them[6g].
When a full twenty-five squads of the Chapter were deployed to fight the Orks invading the planet Ganahedarak, Priad refused to deem his squad battle-ready after discovering that all members of Damocles Squad had conducted the forbidden trench dive, and they were left behind to undergo a month of primary regimen[7a].
Then Librarian Petrok suffered a vision of Seydon's strike force in danger of defeat, and ordered Priad to prepare Damocles for immediate deployment to Ganahedrak along with the five other Squads who had remained behind[7b]. They arrived aboard the battle-barge Temerity, and found that Seydon's force was cut off and surrounded, caught in the midst of an Ork civil war. Petrok's relief force was set down on the plains outside the city Pyridon, and met the Ork force that had chanced upon the city head-on and exterminated it[7c].
A mission was then launched to rescue Seydon's force. The relief force caught an Ork warband unaware as they slept, and managed to buy enough time for Seydon's force to break out to the extraction site. Before Damocles squad pulled out, they set charges and detonated part of the valley face and buried thousands of Orks under tons of rocks[7d].
The Chapter pulled out of Ganahedarak to consolidate its forces. During a meeting, Petrok recalled his dreams about a set of jaws and about Priad, and requested that Seydon let him and Priad go to Baal Solock[7e]. Seydon approved, and they embarked aboard the cruiser Bullwyrm. While there, Petrok was suddenly found stricken with an unknown illness and slowly lapsed into a coma. Petrok visited Priad in a dream and revealed to him that the Dark Eldar had been manipulating the Orks, namely the group that Priad had purged on Baal Solock. They had stolen the jaw-bones of an ancient and revered Ork Warboss, a relic to the Orks, and carried it into human space so that the Orks would blame mankind for the theft[7f].
Priad went down on the surface of Baal Solock alone and met with Perdet Suiton Antoni, now the High Legislator of Fuce, who informed him that the Dark Eldar had returned. He asked to see the teeth that he had left her with as trophies, and she led him to the museum where they had been put up for display ages ago[7g]. Priad was attacked by a band of Dark Eldar, and came face to face with their lord. He survived only thanks to the poison in his Betcher's glands that he had acquired from a snake-bite some time ago, and killed the lord. Damocles squad then purged the palace[7h]. Using the recovered teeth samples, the Chapter's Apothecaries managed to replicate the jawbone, which was then used to lure the Orks out of the Reef Stars and into one of the Dark Eldar's own raid worlds[7i].
After returning from Baal Solock for the second time, Priad relaxed his own draconian standards slightly, and dived the trench on Ithaka himself[7j].
- 1: Brothers of the Snake (Novel) by Dan Abnett — Part One
- 2: Brothers of the Snake — Part Two
- 3: Brothers of the Snake — Part Three
- 4: Brothers of the Snake (Novel) — Part Four
- 5: Brothers of the Snake — Part Five
- 6: Brothers of the Snake — Part Six
- 7: Brothers of the Snake — Part Seven