It had begun life as a pile of raw materials. Brass, adamantium, explosive, fuel. Then, painstakingly and over the course of many days it had gradually taken form as the artisan's deft fingers crafted it into its final shape and etched those words on its casing, Luctum Vanquor Totem
, light conquers all. Then it had been loaded into a magazine and languished for years in ammunition storage. Now, loaded into a bolter and in the weapon's chamber, it was about to be used for its purpose, the purpose for which it had been built. Its tiny machine spirit hungered to be let loose; to fly forth from a weapon's barrel and tear into flesh and bone. Then, a gold armoured finger pulled the bolter's trigger and it flew forwards, speeding through the air until finally, it exploded in the join between a Stygian Jackal's helmet and breastplate.
Kylan smiled grimly as the Jackal's neck exploded in a welter of blood and gobbets of flesh. The warrior fell to the floor, clutching at the remains of his throat and desperately trying to drag in air through his shattered windpipe. All around Kylan, the Stygian Jackals were being felled by precision bolter shots or slices from tonfas. The light had come for them and they, like so many others, would fall before it. These Stygian Jackals had been raiding refugee ships for the better part of a year now and Kylan hated them for it. The sons of Gwalchavad rarely felt hate but when they did it burned hotter than the fire of a thousand sons, burning through their veins until unleashed upon the source of their hate. It felt good to do so, letting all the fire that had built up inside him out in a storm of rage. Kylan felt pure again, unsullied by hatred's dark touch.
His needed this. His superiors had denied him the chance to lead his company on a hunt and kill mission against the Stygian Jackals. Yet light must always stand in defiance of the dark, else it is not light. So Kylan had asked for volounteers from his company. They had all volounteered to a man, eager to release the hate building in their hearts just as their captain was. Now they scythed their way through the Stygian Jackals, releasing the acid from their veins. There would be consequences for this independent action. Kylan knew that. But he didn't care.
Kylan stood before a council of Wardens of Light. They had been called upon to judge him. He accepted and had expected that. But then, something he did not expect happened. The great doors of the Chamber of Judgement swung open behind him and in walked Gwalchavad, his newly gilded armour glittering in the light and while he still walked with a stifness that spoke of overtaxed muscles and the devestation caused to his body by Travier, Kylan's heart leapt to see him for the first time in a decade. Then Gwalchavad strode over to a throne in the centre of the pannel of judges and sat down, giving a barely perceptible nod. And the trial began.
It went on for three hours. Finally, when the primarch had had all the evidence laid before him, he spoke, his words gentle and soft spoken yet somehow carrying to every corner of the room and underpinned with steel. "Captain Kylan. You have breached discipline and hunted a force of Stygian Jackals, causing the deaths of four Wardens of Light. By all the laws of the legions you should be stripped of your rank and undergo servitor conversion". Then the primarch fixed Kylan with his gaze, his penetrating blue eyes staring at Kylan from behind his mask and boring into the very depths of his soul. "Yet these are not the times when those laws were written. Darkness encroaches all around and threatens to consume us all. You were right to make a stand, for the light can never give way before darkness".