The secrets behind the growth of the Praetorian Stalkers are known to but a few, even within the Legion itself. Only the most fearless (or corrupt) Inquisitors have gleaned an insight into their development. They have discovered that ‘worthy’ candidates are subjected to a dark ritual, freeing them of their old body and transferring their soul into a new, more powerful, vessel. Candidates are placed in pairs into necrotech pods. Alkaloid fluids burn away the flesh, leaving nought but the nervous system and a soup of what they once were. The soup is siphoned off to be served at the highest tables within the Citadels. In a cascade of unnatural biomechanical manufacture each Praetorian Stalker is constructed within the necrotic womb. Initially the nervous system is fused to the musculature and sub-dermal aspects of the construct, which are then attached in turn to the dermal and then the epidermal layers. Once complete, armour plates are bonded to the creature on the molecular level, completing the process. Ultimately, pairs of fully formed Stalkers emerge from their pods dripping in the blood, vitae and Dark Symmetry of the bubbling birthing pool; twinned-terrors of necrotechnology and tortured sentient. Stalkers grown together form an unnatural empathy with each other, leading to malevolent unison and intuition; a hunting pack with a potential far superior to those brought together by training alone. Stalkers grown in a single egg develop symmetrically, the dark energies of the pool infusing them with equal power and strength. In recent years, following the success of the Praetorian Behemoth, the greatest of Algeroth’s Tekrons, Korlugon the Master of the Dark Technology, has tinkered further with the gestation protocols of the Stalkers. New ingredients have been added, crueller and crueller methods have been trialled and the ingredient mix has been re-evaluated. Most of these experiments have resulted in little more than aborted foetuses or stillborns. Most, but not all... For many months Korlugon tried in vain to breed an enhanced Stalker with not only greater strength but an equally enhanced intellect; a warrior and a leader to rival all, except the Nepharites themselves. Over the course of countless experiments he devised a method utilising nervous-systems of two volunteers, melding them into a single construct. The first incarnations were nothing more than malformed heaps of mutated limbs and conflicting personalities. Adamant that the fusion of two beings held the key to success, Korlugon set about trimming, truncating and removing superfluous dendrites, so refining his masterpiece into a singular abomination rather than a ghastly fusion of two. After many iterations, failures and refinements, a live Goliath was born. Its first act was to breathe a piteous scream; its second was to rip its own head from its shoulders. Korlugon was furious, his goal was close, yet continued to elude him. In his rage he stormed from the experimental pool, executing anyone or thing that got in his way. For days he poured through his research, searching for anything he may have missed. Finally a spark of inspiration came. He returned to the research pool and repeated the same experiment as before, but this time he added the dendritic off-cuts to the pod before starting the developmental process anew. A Goliath was born; a beast nearly twice the bulk of a normal stalker. This time, however, another creature skulked unarmoured from the mire with it; an evil, impish thing. Korlugon had succeeded. The Goliath is a beast fed on the strength and power of the Darkness within which it was grown. The vile Imp is the Goliath’s shadow, infused with all the malice, cunning and intellect of the Symmetry. The empathic link between the amorphic twins is so strong that they act as if of one mind. In battle the armoured Goliath strides forward, colossal scythe in hand. The manifestation
of Death itself, its visage draws the enemy in like insects to a violent and deadly flame. All the while the Imp hides in his twin’s shadow waiting; the powers of darkness shrouding him just as much as his sibling’s billowing shroud. Then as if from nowhere the Imp delivers a death strike, like a small serpent striking a rat from under the belly of a bear. The brothers smile as one as their unsuspecting target crumbles before them. Then quietly, as if a figment of a maligned imagination, the Imp disappears as it skulks back into his brother’s shadow.
No customer reviews for the moment.