KiAshra stood before the doors to the War Temple and sweated in
apprehension. Tomorrow would be her first day as a Warp Spider and
what lay beyond those doors more than unnerved her on so many
levels. It was always her family's tradition to eventually train in
the Spider aspect at some point when on the Path of the
Warrior...and that was part of the problem.
KiAshra jumped as the gentle touch of her mother startled her out of
her mental maze of anxiousness! "Come with me my daughter;" her
mother whispered as she put her arms around her oldest child. "
Tomorrow will come and go and you will do well. Have you not proved
yourself? You were my best warrior in the Guardian Squad that I
trained this cycle."
"The Path of the Warrior calls to you; and The Spider Aspect runs
hot in our family's blood. My time at this temple, when I was your
age KiAshra, was some of strongest character and courage building
training in my life."
KiAshra continued to walk with her mother.
"Chylessa,...mom..." KiAshra chose her words slowly...
"It is not the Spider Temple which sends black thoughts to me....I
wish to Embrace this Path with words more than I can say. It is my
uncle, Vrea-Mordyll. He is the Exarch I am assigned to be trained
under, He will be my master in that place. He is a legend and the
most fearful of any Exarch I ever met...so dour and empty....and Mom
he is our Blood!!"
"KiAshra you will have to champion your terror and I will help you.
What can I tell you that will make your mind clearer?"
KiAshra thought and spoke with a hurried voice. "I know that Vrea-
Mordyll was like any other of our elder kin, much like me or you
when he was young. I know the stories of how he came to be an
excellent Warp Spider as so many of our line have done before. Yet
he was strong enough to resist the Path of the Warrior that wished
to consume him. I remember how you told me he was almost consumed
and became an Exarch of the Spider Temple, but was able to leave the
Path of the Warrior to embrace the love for your sister."
KiAshra took a breath and spoke on softly now...
"That story gives me hope and courage....but the next part scares
me. I was too young to walk when Vrea-Mordyll saw his own father die
that battle. I mean his whole guardian unit was annihilated by the
Orks! His own men and his dad was one of them. Swooping Hawks saved
Vrea-Mordyll from that morbid hill. Maybe that is why he joined the
Shrine of the Hawk when he took up the path of the Warrior that
fateful day. And he eventually became an Exarch, but you never told
me any more details." Her mother looked to the star-dome above them
and then sighed. She looked into KiAshra' eyes and there was a tear
on her mothers' face.
"When the failure of that battle, the anger in his blood consumed
Vrea-Mordyll; he was doomed to the Path of the Warrior. Faster than
any other he mastered the Aspect of the Hawk. My family tried to
persuade my sister to let Vrea-Mordyll go. To leave him in is war-
lust and make peace with it. No, she would not leave him; and
herself walked the path of the warrior as a Warp Spider to relate to
him. But it was not enough, his will for war-lust, revenge, loathing
and hate pushed him to be doomed as an Exarch faster than any ever
before. He was gone to her, bless her spirit, she suffered so
watching him transform."
KiAshra listened with her mouth held open...."and then..." Her
mother continued, with more wetness on her cheeks now. They sat upon
a resting rock. "You were old enough to remember the Cursed Cycle.
The Chaos Marines chose to fight us on that ghost planet. The
Farseers could not divine anything that cycle and the promised world
was an ambush for our people." "As you helped tend to the young and
wounded that returned, I remember how sweet your young face looked
up to me. I was so glad you were just young enough not to go to
war." KiAshra interrupted..."You were so proud in your uniform when
you left. I could never imagine how devastated you were when you
came back. I still remember your sister's blood on your hands and
that terrible time..." KiAshra shuddered involuntarily. "Yes, that
was a sad time. A piece of me died that battle...but all of Vrea-
Mordyll died that day....or what was left of his proud spirit."
You see we did not have time to prepare the Titan Clans. The dark
marines and their forces shattered our line. Our titan clans could
have brushed them aside easily if they had been there. They had us
routed. They had only one Warlord Titan, but it was horrific. Thank
Isha that it was not yet possessed."
"As we regrouped the Aspect warriors sold their lives to protect our
flank. So many died. Vrea-Mordyll was the only survivor of his unit.
His Hawk's wings were melted from the Plasma Blast that melted his
unit like butter."
KiAshra's mother stared glassy-eyed straight ahead as she went on...
"As he stumbled in the craters tripping over the fallen and dodging
bolter fire; that is when Vrea-Mordyll found the destroyed unit of my
sister...They had died in bitter hand to hand combat with the foul
marines. Oh how that sight destroyed Vrea-Mordyll down to his core.
No one knows how long he wept holding her body. It is only known
that the Warlord titan almost crushed him as it strode past. Jolted
from his sorrow, Vrea-Mordyll, sought refuge in revenge, death
through rage, murder for his Bloody Handed Avatar. It is said that
since we never had time to awaken Khaine...that his bloody rage
filled Vrea-Mordyll and guided him that day."
"We know that he took my sister's Warp Generator from her bloody
body and wore it to gain access to the inside of the Chaos Warlord
Titan and murdered every member of its crew before causing it to
melt in a giant plasma explosion that doomed the marines that day.
Vrea-Mordyll has since been the only Exarch to Switch form one
Temple to another. This love and tragedy he shared with my sister
was stronger than even the Path of the Warrior!"
"You see KiAshra, you should not fear your Great Uncle so much as
pity him. For his spirit is as damned as if Slaanesh had captured
him for herself. You will find strength in him, use his sacrifice to
enhance our people....Let him be your master on this path." KiAshra
had more to dwell upon, but as she strolled down to the pond with
her mother, she felt, more than ever, a part of a greater legacy.