Interior illustration for the recently released Deathwatch: The Emperorīs Chosen (FFG).
These Space Marines will never get tentacle raped!
Truly, you're keeping that old school black and white warhammer 40k style.
Thatīs what I was requested to do, although now I look at the image and I wish I could work on it further.
“Something alien stirs amid the frozen, night-shrouded surface of
Andronicus Prime, and the Deathwatch responds. Kill-teams sweep the
shattered ground and targeted bombardments take place from orbit. In
the aftermath, a Watch Station is established in the turbulent asteroid
fields that now strangle the near-orbital approaches to the planet.”
–Notes from the Liber Eriochus, 273.M36
The worlds of the Andronicus system are, without
exception, barren, hateful places scornful of the
presence of mankind. Of all the worlds, the eighth
planet, called Andronicus Octus, knows the tread of humanity.
Andronicus Octus is no colony world, however, for there are
no natural resources there or anywhere else in the system
that would justify the effort of extracting them. Rather,
Andronicus Octus is host to two quite singular facilities.
One is the so-called Mirador, an ancient observation array
wrought by the Adeptus Mechanicus at the very founding
of the Jericho Sector, or possibly even before then. The
other is Watch Station Andronicus, a Deathwatch fortress of
Watch Station Andronicus is unusual in that its presence,
and something of its history, is known to the high
command of the Achilus Crusade. What none of the annals
or cartographicus archives record, however, is that the
Andronicus system is host not just to one, but two Watch
Stations, the second existing very much in the shadow of the
first and therefore all the better hidden from prying eyes. This
secret facility was established several hundred years before
Watch Station Andronicus, and for a different reason entirely.
Long ago, the Adeptus Mechanicus ceded stewardship of
the Mirador to the Inquisition. The Tech-Priests were fearful
that, with the coming of the Warp storms that so bedevilled
the Imperium during the Reign of Blood, the Andronicus
system would be consumed by the anarchy that had claimed
so many human worlds and would be unable to perform its
sacred duty. The result was the Carthenis Dictum, a compact
that eventually led to the Inquisition taking control of the
Mirador that it might be utilised to further the mission of
the Deathwatch in the Jericho Sector and beyond. This much
the annals of the Jericho Reach record, but few are aware of
a secret history, and the true reason Magos Carthenis was so
willing to broker the agreement that handed control of the
Mirador array to the Inquisition.
The Mirador has existed in the Andronicus system since
time immemorial, no known archives describing the exact
date or circumstances of its creation. The facility is centred
around a vast array of impossibly ancient archeotech, a unique
combination of pre-cognostication engines, meta-phasic
filters, and multi-spectrum quantum distillation drives. The
net effect of these barely understood devices and functions is
that the Mirador is able to observe events within hundreds of
light years of the Andronicus system, but without suffering
the otherwise crippling effects of what the ancient Terran
savants once called general relativity. In other words, being
immune to the temporal lag inherent in observing events
light years distant, the Mirador can, in effect, see into the
future. The Adeptus Mechanicus have made many attempts
to investigate this incredible phenomenon, and it was one
such experiment that brought about an event recorded in
the annals of the Deathwatch as the Scouring of Andronicus
Prime, an event in which a being later dubbed the Darkling
was summoned to hideous and blasphemous existence.
A secret adherent of a radical doctrine that espoused
experimentation and the active pursuance of new modes
of technology, Magos Carthenis ascended to command of
the Mirador facility in 251.M36. Had the Magos’ heretical
beliefs been known, it is highly doubtful he would have
been placed in command of the facility, and it is clear from
what records exist that he wasted little time in delving
into the secrets of the Mirador’s operation. The ability to
somehow offset relativity in observing far off objects and
events fascinated the Magos, and in seeking to learn how
such a thing was possible and might be replicated, he came
upon an entirely new use for the Mirador. In secret session
with those of his kin who shared his radical mind-set, Magos
Carthenis proposed that the Mirador might be turned
towards the past, its arcane technologies utilised to scry
times and places long ago obscured by the passage of aeons.
Carthenis and his co-conspirators formulated a plan. They
would turn the arcane arrays of the Mirador on the nearest
body to Andronicus Octus, at that time Andronicus Prime,
in order to test the process. If they could observe the distant
geological past of Andronicus Prime, they reasoned, then
they would turn the Mirador upon the system’s star itself.
If the creation of that star was made visible to them, then
what other secrets of the universe might be
uncovered? Perhaps, they dared to
dream, creation itself
might be laid bare.
And so, the ancient, barely understood systems of the
Mirador were focused not on some distant body, but upon a
neighbouring planet. The array’s mighty processing streams
and logic conduits were shunted into a new configuration,
one that Magos Carthenis believed would reveal the state of
Andronicus Prime at the very moment of its creation. Even as
the vast capacitation banks screamed with barely contained
power, the entire facility vibrating with the focusing of such
unknowable energies, the Magos and his circle gathered in
the prime observatorium to witness what no mortal eyes had
ever before seen.
What they saw upon the surface of Andronicus Prime
struck utter terror even into the cybernetic hearts of these
most sound-minded of Tech-Priests. The planet was revealed
to them in its earliest state, its surface barely cooling and still
host to an entire sea of raging lava. It was what stirred amidst
the boiling oceans that struck the Tech-Priests mute with
fear. From each lava sea there writhed a mass of coiling limbs,
some dozens of kilometres in length and questing hideously
onto the land and into heat-hazed air above.
So vile was the sight of a newborn world in the grip of
such things that the Magos ordered the array shut down
immediately, his staff scrambling to enact his order even as
he retreated to the facility’s forge-chapel to shrive himself
of his sins. It was only when he emerged many hours later,
however, that Magos Carthenis realised the true extent of the
heresy he had committed. The things that had, billions of
years ago, existed upon the surface of Andronicus Prime had
been summoned forth from the abyss of time, and even as the
horrified Tech-Priests looked on, were stretching writhing
tentacles for the void itself.
THE SCOURING OF
How the masters of Watch Fortress Erioch anticipated the
appearance of the horror of Andronicus Prime is not recorded,
but it is certain that they did, for it was only an hour after
the calamitous use of the Mirador that a wave of black and
silver drop pods scythed through the tortured skies of the
stricken world. Deploying from their landers, a half-dozen
Kill-teams spread out to engage the massive, coiling tentacles.
It is comparatively rare for the Deathwatch to field more than
a single Kill-team at one time; this was evidence, were any
required, of the severity of the situation. Soon, the drop zone
was aflame with the fires of war, the fearsome weaponry of
the Deathwatch deployed with lethal efficiency. The enemy
were writhing tentacles pitted with lamprey-like mouths that
sucked and gnawed at the bodies of those they managed to
grasp. Space Marines fell, each a nigh irreplaceable loss to
the Imperium, and all the while more of the hideous limbs
broke through the barren ground. Soon, the featureless
landscape was transformed into a writhing forest of suckermouthed
tentacles, the weapons of the Deathwatch blasting,
disintegrating, shattering, melting, and vaporising limb after
limb even as more pressed in at every quarter.
An hour into the operation, one of the warriors made a
discovery that changed the tide of the battle, and in addition
had consequences that would linger for millennia to come. A
Librarian of the Exorcists Chapter, Epistolary Sabazius was
particularly gifted in the art of inflicting death by way of his
psychic powers. He was well used to the psychic death scream
uttered by nearly every living creature, regardless of its
origins, yet when the creatures assailing the Deathwatch were
slain, as hundreds were, he detected pain, but no death. There
could be only one explanation—every one of the countless
thousands of coiling limbs belonged to a single entity, the
central mass of which must surely still lie somewhere deep
beneath the crust of Andronicus Prime.
When Epistolary Sabazius’ urgent report was transmitted
to the Deathwatch commanders in orbit, the order was given.
A concentrated lance strike was directed into the surface a safe
distance from the embattled Kill-teams, a strike so focused
it bored a crater several kilometres into the crust. The lance
strike created a vast wound, hundreds of metres across, from
The annals of Watch Fortress Erioch record the fate of
Epistolary Sabazius and his fellow warriors only as far as
the moment they stepped from the rim of the infernal crater
to vanish in the raging depths below. Within minutes of the
Kill-team’s disappearance, the surface of Andronicus Prime
trembled as to a sub-sonic roar of some dying beast, and
the tentacles assaulting the main force withdrew into the
ground. For long hours, the tortured depths were wracked
by unimaginable forces, yet none on the surface or in orbit
could establish contact with Sabazius or his brethren. At last,
the surface shuddered as with some terrible subterranean
implosion, and all fell silent.
The mustered Kill-teams searched for any sign of
Epistolary Sabazius and his Kill-team, yet none could be
found even after many days. No sign of the terrible beast
called forth from the pit of aeons remained, yet the masters
of the Deathwatch knew that did not mean it was banished
forever. Eventually, the search for the missing was called off
and the gathered frigates unleashed such a fearsome barrage
on the surface of Andronicus Prime that large fragments of
the crust broke away, exposing the planet’s lambent mantle
and creating a halo of planetary debris through which only
the most insane of pilots would attempt passage.
Only once the masters of the Deathwatch and the Ordo
Xenos were satisfied the creature was defeated did they
depart, declaring the shattered world forbidden, and leaving
behind them a Watch Station to stand silent sentinel over
That vigilant guardian shall ever be known as Watch
Station Sabazius, in honour of the lost hero who defeated
That fish eye camera gives a really action-packed feel. Also, everything is going to hell pretty quickly.
Love the simple shades that turn into rocky outcrops and moons in the background. You're probably sick of hearing this, but your talent is astounding. Glad I watched ye, mate.
"This planet shall be cleansed in the name of the emperor!"
I bet the guy with the flamer is having lots of fun.
...must not make hentai joke.
The tilt is really good here, make it look like a desesperate situation.
The tilt is really good here, make it look like a desesperate situation.