Clearance code accepted…
I am writing to inform you and document my recent entanglement with the heretical cult forces of the Stigmartus and their un-dying leader, Elak Sarda. He has been remitted into the custody of the Deathwatch Black Tower and will be sequestered and interrogated. I have requested to be present to represent the Ordo Hereticus and to ensure that he is properly and safely disposed of in death. He is a significant capture for the sector, though I fear that dismantling his power and disposing of him will be a tricky endeavor.
During our most recent mission, our team encountered resistance from forces of the Stigmartus. They were easily dispatched, to the last man. Upon a final assault on the remnants of their forces in the area, I discovered that Elak Sarda himself was present near the battlefield.
After a valiant battle in which the Marine brothers crushed this last wave, I directed our team to the location of Elak Sarda and his cadre. There were 9 present, potentially observing the battle from afar. He had with him a psyker who in a moment, seemed uncannily aware of my scouting sight. There were also 3 robed figures of slighter stature which may have been adepts or chaotic scholars. The other 4 were armed and armoured as a supposed Elite body guard to Elak Sarda.
They did not evade or resist our ranged assault. I found this to be fortuitous, but then in my infinite paranoia, thought it too easy a blow, especially when I knew that their witch was most likely aware of my presence and knowledge.
Most of his cadre was immediately disposed of and incinerated by the missile barrage let loose by Brother Livii. I saw Elak Sarda sink to his knees and wanted to ensure we were eradicating the correct person. Upon reading his true essence, it was clear to me that this was indeed, none other than Elak Sarda, Commander of the Stigmartus forces. However, in my read I also gleaned a full insight into his emotional energies and primary state. It was one of distinct Triumph.
In horror I realized that my paranoia’s were correct, but in a manner which I had not forseen. I believe that Elak Sarda’s method of undying must incorporate some form of re-birth or reincarnation in a heretical blood sacrifice that might have included the death energies of his various troops sent to easy slaughter and culminating in the sacrifice of himself and his cadre to forces of an enemy. This is all supposition, but all I knew was that letting the heretic die would be giving him his only desire at that moment.
This was not to happen.
With the speed of the Astartus, I was able to be swiftly carried to Elak Sarda. Acting quickly, I kept him from death, bestowing upon him a Miracle of the Emperor’s power. I thought it a fitting tool and blessing to thwart his evil machinations. By the Grace of the Emperor.
He was the only survivor, the rest of his cadre perished. It became apparent that there was a ritual star and circle drawn on the rock face in a large encompassing pattern with the dead cadre and Elak Sarda in the center focal point. The Astartus Kill Team broke the ground upon which this foul symbol was drawn.
Steeling myself, I attempted to interrogate the subject but quickly saw that conventional methods were of no use. I had his eyes and ears punctured to dull his senses while making sure he had no method of ending his life. I ordered him stripped, armour and clothing removed and inspected. The only thing of note was the elaborate scarring and self-mutilations on his body.
In my ritualistic and occult studies, I have become warily familiar with recognizing certain perversions and symbols of warding used by agents of chaos. Some of these patterns were ensconcing his body. He was most likely cognoscente of my nature and abilities by then and I became unable to read his aura and fate further. He was protected and actively resisting me. In my analysis on determining where his power came from, as he is not psychically imbued, it seemed to me that these scars and wardings were a connection to his chaotic and unholy patron(s). As you know, the Stigmartus, as a mass, participate in self-mutilation and ritualistic scarring.
Upon isolating certain symbols of power in his flesh, I drew my blessed blade Atropos and with prayers and psalms to the emperor of cleansing I began to cut and slice away the markings on his flesh. Since I did not want to contribute to the foul mutiliations of his body, I devised a way to counter this, again, using the Emperor’s Grace flowing through me to repair and renew untainted skin beneath the layers of perverted flesh I carved away.
To this effort, I finally found resistance and reaction in Elak Sarda. None of my interrogations and tortures elicited any response other than an uncanny, steady, self-assured smugness.
I believe this was a method to be pursued. Unfortunately, my focus was disrupted and the scarring was recarved by my hand as foul powers broke it’s way through my intentions. His skin is cursed and there is a confirmed power in his scarring.
As this was occurring in the field with other threats still abounding, I was encouraged to put aside my field tests and plans for that moment and submit Elak Sarda into the custody of a trusted Librarian of the Deathwatch to watch over his security until we were able to return him to the Erioch. Once the chain of custody was concluded between the Librarian and myself under the proper jurisdiction and procedures between Inquisitorial authorities, the Kill Team and I returned to complete our original mission. Epistle Eustace, Librarian of the Deathwatch, kept close guard of Elak Sarda and he and I ensured his protected return to authorities on Erioch with no interruption.
He now awaits his fate in Black Tower dungeons.
I also recovered a tome from one of his heretic priests. It seems a perversion and mockery of the Imperial Guardsman’s Handbook. This was a standardized text held by his various unit leaders. Upon careful, and warded study of the text, I have determined that it is of unnatural origin. I captured a second text and upon brief, but accurate inspection, I determined it to be an exact copy. Therefore I burned and disposed of this text immediately. I have stored, locked and warded the first text I recovered and have delivered it to Erioch along with Elak Sarda. There are no threads or beacons in the warp to which this text could be traced, but I have warded it all the same.
This text, which I have carefully, but briefly studied, has been determined by me to be a facet of an original essence. It is more than a copy and not even necessarily a separate book entity. This tome connects in essence to an original, in which a dark power might extend it’s influence through a myriad of consistent facets. I believe this is the power that infects the Stigmartus forces with an all encompassing will. The cohesion of such a force, with all it’s chaotic influences, has always been a wonder to our Ordos. I believe this is a significant clue and insight into the method of the Enemy.
I await summons from the Iquisitorial Authorities here on Erioch to conclude this subject matter. I will also await further instructions from you, Hjalmar, and our Ordos’ superiors as to how they would like to proceed in such an investigation and eradication of the Heretic Elak Sarda.