Archon Oberon-Geren Mackareth of the Undivided Blood Kabal rested upon his throne and reveled in the spectacles of both pain and pleasure arrayed before him. Or so it would appear to an outside observer. Though he hungrily drank in the suffering of slaves displayed before him, arranged in macabre vignettes, the Archon’s mind was elsewhere. Oberon’s thoughts were consumed by his myriad plots and machinations, overlaid by a pervasive hatred for his rivals.
As a denizen of one of Commorragh’s middle tiers, Archon Oberon was a step above the muck of the eternal city, but only barely. Every Kabal that did not reside in the upper tier of the dark city aspired to carve a bloody path and rise to claim a slice of the higher levels of Commorragh. Of course, the upper levels were dominated by the great and ancient Kabals, each commanding entire tiers for themselves. By comparison, Oberon’s fiefdom was small and insignificant. But that would change.
A recent raid unearthed something that had greatly excited his haemonculi. Oberon’s chief Haemonculus, Zakarias, had been frustratingly obtuse on the subject and the Archon was at a loss as to what all the commotion was about. The raid had been on a pathetic mon-keigh backwater planet and yielded a paltry haul of slaves and trinkets. Oberon tried in vain to guess what Zakarias might have found to justify the months of suspense, not to mention the exorbitant amount of resources the ancient haemonculus had requested for his experiments.
But today, Oberon had been promised results and was impatiently awaiting the hour when he would meet Zakarias in his dungeon and finally learn what fruits his investment had yielded. Externally, the Archon displayed an air of studied nonchalance, giving the impression that nothing of any particular importance was afoot. In the dark city, secrecy was a matter of course and duplicity the key to survival. Oberon inhaled deeply from a pipe offered to him by a scantily clad female slave and enjoyed the effects of the narcotic fumes in order to pass the time.
The hour finally drawing near, Archon Oberon rose from his throne and sauntered onwards. His elite cadre of Incubi formed around him without a word, and followed their master out of the chamber, even as the Archon’s minions bowed and scraped as he passed. After several twists and turns, taking back ways and crossing secret doorways, Oberon was satisfied that any spies following him had either lost him or been killed by the creative variety of traps that lay hidden along the path that the Archon just took.
At last Oberon arrived at Zakarias’ laboratory. He was greeted by a pair of the Haemonculus’ foul smelling Wracks. Monstrosities that had once had the honor of calling themselves Eldar, yet willingly allowed themselves to be mutilated in pursuit of eldritch knowledge. As distasteful as Oberon found them, he was well aware that the relative immortality that he himself enjoyed would be impossible without the Haemonculi and their Wrack servants.
The Haemonculus’ minions led Oberon into the laboratory, past quivering victims, grotesquely mutated flesh and barbarous apparatus, until they reached a circular room with a glass tank containing blueish liquid at its center. Beside it stood Chief Haemonculus Zakarias, who currently appeared more or less humanoid, though he had grown two additional hands from his body and his features were generally unrecognizable as anything Eldar. “Greetings, my Archon, so good for you to have ventured down to my most humble workshop.” Zakarias said, in a grating voice. Oberon hid his disgust well and said “Yes, yes, spare me your pointless placation and show me your work.” Zakarias turned and pointed at the tube. Inside, the Archon could make out a strange pulsating mass of flesh, though he truly could not say any more than that. The Haemonculus did not allow his master to remain ignorant for long. “Amongst the refuse that was collected in your last raid, my Archon, were the remains of a mon-keigh mutant, the so-called ‘Space Marines.'” He explained and pointed at the contents of the tube this was developed from the distilled gene-seed that was recovered. Oberon rolled his eyes and expressed irritation “you waste my resources for this nonsense?! Better Haemonculus than you have attempted to manipulate the mon-keigh super soldier genes for centuries and all of them have failed.”
Zakarias contorted his face into what presumably passed for a smile and gestured for permission to speak. When this was granted, the Haemonculus explained “with respect my Archon, these are not the diluted genetic material that may have been found within any mon-keigh captured within the last ten thousand years. This gene-seed belonged to one of the original mutants created from genetic material taken from one of the fabled mon-keigh primarchs! Long have the secrets of their creation eluded us, but I believe that these pure samples are the key for unlocking the deepest mysteries of the art.”
Zakarias’ excitement was palpable, but Archon Oberon was still doubtful. “That seems all well and good, Zakarias, but what value could this these esoteric discoveries have for me?” He asked. The Haemonculus’ beady eyes veritably sparkled as he replied “the possibilities are endless, my Archon, if we could but acquire more samples for these ancient mon-keigh mutants, we could adapt their properties to your Kabalite warriors, or even yourself! your body would become more resilient, your strength far greater and your ability to regenerate from an injury vastly increased.”
“Interesting, I must think more on this” was all that Archon Oberon said. As he stalked out of the dank laboratory, his mind was afire. The possibilities were indeed endless, and many of those could very well give him the edge he needed to crush his rival Archons. However, the raid that this gene-seed had been collected from was in the Sorathian system, an isolated place with only a single entrance into the webway. He would need his minions to be sent ahead to scout the region and relay information to him. But who could be trusted enough to be silent for this mission and yet expendable enough not to be missed? Oberon smiled to himself as he realized who amongst his vassal petty Archons he would call upon. He need not tell him everything after all…