M41.99 +++ Thought for the Day: Brave are those who know everything yet fear nothing. Archivist Sven Tourval +++ Attached to Xentath Offensive, Reporting to Primarch Roboute Guilliman, Lord Militant of the Imperium of Man
The traitors on this world dig their trenches deep. They transformed the mud flats of Xentath II into a killing field of mines, tripwires, fortified emplacements, and arcane traps months before we ever set foot on this world. The once-loyal preachers of Xentath now call their followers to a new kind of worship where the most faithful are the most debauched. The lawful authorities have either joined with the heretics or found themselves swiftly hung as macabre trophies of sacrifice. Xentath challenges the Imperium with its very existence.
It has certainly challenged me. Recording the deeds of your Primaris Marines remains a singular honor, but I confess that no previous deployment ever visited such misery upon me as Xentath II. The rain here seems endless and unearths a carrion stench. A wrong step sends one knee-deep into the muck that covers this world. And I cannot shake this feeling that we are observed at all times by something or someone outside our perception.
But if the Astartes of the Blood Angels share my discomfort, they make no sign of it. In between moments of desperate conflict there exist long stretches of time where I can observe the Blood Angels closely. They spend their time discussing martial and artistic theory in equal measure, often while painting their armor to a bright red sheen. Their discipline remains rock-steady though. Their patrols fan out from our position at all hours of the day and night, probing the enemy's defenses so that we might break this stalemate.
The Ash Walkers are different in almost every manner. Their impatience for combat contrasts with their otherwise steady and implacable nature. This impatience does not stem from a vulgar bloodlust, insofar as I can tell. Rather, they have the impatience that young people possess when they feel the eyes of others observing and judging them. The weight of their parent Chapter's glorious history weighs heavily upon them, despite their own obvious piety and martial prowess. In the occasions where the conflict on Xentath spills out across the fields and the trenches, it is the Ash Walkers at the fore of these attacks. Their flamers turn the mud below into clay and their bolters turn the enemy's trenches into mass graves.
I must set aside my writing for now. The traitors' bombardment will commence soon and churn more mud upwards into the grey sky. But my accounts will continue as the war progresses.
Should it progress at all.