The Imperial worlds that border the edge of the Hazeroth Abyss tell stories of the “worm that walks,” a nightmare that comes from the depths of the Abyss to slay the living and feast on the corpses of the dead. It is often dismissed as a myth by those in power, but the Inquisition knows differently. They know that the legends speak of a vile xenos race known as the Slaugth, carrion eaters who prize the recently dead flesh of intelligent beings above all other sustenance. They particularly delight in consuming cranial matter, from which they derive an almost narcotic—and quite addictive—pleasure.
With the abundance of humanity in the Calixis Sector, they have rapidly become the Slaugth’s chosen prey. However, for their own unfathomable reasons, the Slaugth prefer to use infiltration and human cats-paws to hunt them. Theirs is an inscrutable and incomprehensible plan, completely mysterious to those few within the Holy Ordos who know of them. It is, however, a plan that the Slaugth have adhered to without fail or dissent from their ranks, until now.
Intendant Recusant was a leader amongst the Slaugth, and for decades was in charge of certain portions of the Amaranthine Syndicate. However, Recusant has developed a taste for the narcotic pleasures of necrotic cranial matter. Over time that taste became an addiction, then an obsession. The Slaugth’s racial hubris has never considered restraint a virtue, and now Recusant finds himself driven by his hungers. That selfsame hubris will not allow him to admit that his cold, vast, and alien intellect—a hallmark of his species—has become tainted with his fixation. Now, he has broken from his dark masters, taking a small cadre of warrior constructs and Slaugh infiltrators with him, as well as a splinter group of the Amaranthine Syndicate. These luckless humans do not know that they have broken from the Syndicate as a whole, or that their master is a renegade. In their ignorance, they are loyal.
Recusant’s plans are short-term and self-centred. He is continuing the raids and terror tactics the Slaugth employ against isolated human outposts and starships. However, his actions are driving deeper into Imperial space, and his masters are not pleased at the actions of this ‘loose cannon.’
The Throne Agents may come across Recusant and his minions in several ways. They may have been assigned to investigate a trail of dead, drifting starships and deserted outposts, and come across Recusant as the hunters (although they may not realise the danger of the ‘game’ they have tracked!). In this situation, an interesting twist might occur. If Recusant’s masters learn of the Throne Agents’ activities, they may covertly aid them through the main Amaranthine Syndicate—providing them information as to Recusant’s possible future targets or even some small details about his true danger. The Slaugth won’t divulge their identity, of course, nor will they give up any information that could hurt them later. However, they would be pleased to see a problem like Recusant eliminated without their direct involvement.
Alternatively, the Throne Agents may be present on an outpost or starship when it is attacked by Recusant’s forces, and be forced to fight for their very survival.
In either case, Recusant’s forces use terror tactics in their attacks, deadly hit-and-fades to lure and bait the opposition while fraying their nerves and exhausting them before moving into the kill. Deadly ambushes that leave none alive, ‘disappearances’ in areas thought safe, and cutting astropathic or vox communications with the outside are all proven tactics that Recusant will employ.
To defeat Recusant, the Throne Agents will have one advantage. Recusant’s innate hubris, coupled with the addiction that clouds his judgement, means he is not an adversary to lead from the rear. Should the Throne Agents be able to confront him, he will be more than willing to engage in direct combat. Should he be slain, his small renegade faction will quickly splinter and disperse, the remaining Slaugth scattering and vanishing and the Warrior Vassals unable to operate independently and going into uncontrolled berserk frenzies. The humans under his control will either flee and hide, or be easy prey for the Inquisition.