CLASSIFICATION: DARK OMEGA
AUTHOR: *** NAME CLASSIFIED ***
SUBJECT: Report on the mythical force known as the Servants of Twilight
RECIPIENT: Inquisitor Marr
This report represents all that I could find in response to your request for a summary report on the so-called “Servants of Twilight.” I have included what primary sources I could obtain. In many cases, however, no sources exist. Such is the nature of the subject of this report that most information about them is held only in myth, rumours, and fragments screamed by heretics under question.
Whispers tell of a secret coterie of heretics capable of driving whole cities mad, who possess mastery of darkness as a physical force, and who can walk between worlds at will. They are said to manipulate others, even other cults, through bribery and threat into doing their bidding. A few of the most obscure tales say that they seek to sow discord or manipulate events in some inconceivable plan to bring about the “final dawn of the lightless star,” an ultimate goal of unknown import or meaning (though I am sure Zerbe would jump to only one conclusion on the matter and perhaps already has). This is the myth of the Servants of Twilight as muttered between the vilest of heretics and scoffed at by many within our own noble ranks. I have in the further sections of this report attempted to give an overview of the manifestation of this fable within, and in regards to, the various environs where it persists.
Within the ranks of the heretic and blasphemer
Chiefly, the Servants of Twilight that circulates amongst heretics, recidivists, and cultists. It is not a rumour of the street but a story to terrify the vilest and most amoral members of humanity. The tale seems to be largely confined to the Calixis Sector, though I have found quaternary grade reports from Scarus and Mandragora Sectors that indicate that it has presence and force beyond the bounds of this sector of space.
In the main, however, the tales tell of a small group (or sometimes only one person) that comes amongst a cult/ criminal organisation/sect/family conspiracy and demands a service. Details of these individuals vary greatly from descriptions of seemingly normal people clad in plain black clothes to empty spaces that cannot be looked at.
No matter what the appearance of these visitors, the tales agree that these visitors know everything about those they demand service from and have powers (also a subject of much contradiction) that make refusal or resistance most foolish. The reported retribution for failure to do as demanded is also similarly overblown and so inconsistent as to only lend credulity to the entire phenomena being a particularly persistent meme, or a flag of convenience for heretics and recidivists to use as an enhancement to the status of their own position.
I have included the distilled import of two reports that relate to the Servants of Twilight for illustrative purposes: The Bearers of the Mirrored Visage were a small cult of warp dabblers, who thanks to the resource and influence of a few of its members had obtained a considerable body of esoterica and some of the knowledge to accompany it. Spiteful power seekers, they were discovered, interrogated, and executed by agents serving Inquisitor Ahmazzi.
The following is a transcript of an interrogation of one of the captured heretics (hereafter referred to as the subject):
Interrogation by Explicator Brehan of the members of the Bearers of the Mirrored Visage, Malfi 599.M40
2.599.M40. The subject did not respond to normal levels of interrogation, but in view of the nature of the subject’s crimes we proceeded to question with renewed determination. At times it seemed that the subject would die without revealing any further information. Thanks to the efforts of Questioner-Chirurgeon Xanti, our examination continued. After several hours, during which much of what we already knew was confirmed, the subject gave way to a series of utterances that are transcribed here:
[edited interrogation transcript begins]
[garbled speech] He came amongst us, his eyes burned. He killed Exalted Kireen, he reached out and my master was gone [garbled speech]. He was them! The Servants! It was them! We tried to run. He was always there, just behind us.
A period of prolonged incoherent and intermittent speech ensued, punctuated by pleas for protection. A combination of serum to enhance nerve transmission and a level seven pain stimulus induced the subject to renew its testimony.
It told us to destroy the Star Wanderer [reference—merchant craft destroyed in orbit around Malfi 167.598.M40].
It knew everything. [garbled speech]…like a live shadow. It said if we ever spoke of it then they would know and would come for us. What is that? What is that? I can hear it! They know! [it was unclear as to what the subject was referring to as no new noise could be discerned]
At this point the subject dissolved into oaths, curses, and eventual continual shrieking. The subject perished of organ failure shortly after its last coherent statement.
Statement of Colony Governor Braygan
Formally dictated to Investigator Legates Syranus and Tesson prior to the Governor’s official execution by quartering 389.M40, Locara colony, Drusus Marches, Calixis Sector.
I am Calid Braygan, formerly Governor Braygan of the Locara colony. I am a heretic. I make this confession before the servants of the Emperor in the hope of gaining absolution for my soul and the soul of my child.
My first crime is greed and coveting the rightful goods that are the due of the Holy Imperium: I had an understanding with the criminal conspiracy called the Watchful Hand. The agreement was for trade in illegally misreported trade surplus. I also let them conduct business under my protection within the colony and used them to dispose of a number of my enemies. This agreement lasted two decades. I made this agreement with the knowledge that any of these crimes would be enough to condemn me in the judgement of the most Holy Emperor.
My second crime is having dealings with those who I believed were heretics and blasphemous in nature:
A year ago a woman visited me. I cannot remember what she looked like—I have tried and failed in this. She informed me that my understanding with the Watchful Hand was at an end and that my understanding was now with those whom she represented. When I asked why the agreement had transferred, she replied that the Watchful Hand no longer existed. I asked whom she represented, and she said simply that she was a Servant of Twilight. I do not know what she meant.
She said that there was no need for a long-standing arrangement. One “gift” was all that was required. I was afraid, most afraid, and I do not know why. She said that I had one night to decide whether or not to agree to her terms and that I would have another option presented to me during that time.
The next day there was no dawn, no sun rose. The people went mad with panic, there were riots. The darkness, one night as she had said, did not end. When she returned, she asked for the single gift. I was afraid and I gave them what they wanted. The next day the sun rose.
My third crime is that I gave my son to the heretic. I do not know what they wanted him for. I know though that he was alive when they took him. I do not know why they needed me to “give” him to them.
These are my crimes before the God Emperor of Mankind and for these I shall be judged.
Within our own ranks
The Servants of Twilight are a divisive topic amongst our august colleagues of the Calixian Conclave. Many, I might even say most, consider them to be a mere warp-dabbler’s myth—a phantom used by charismatic heretics as a name of terror to further terrify their thralls and enhance their mystique. Some go even further, naming other supposedly mythic cults such as the legendary Sleepers of Solomon or even the so-called Night Cult that caused all the trouble recently between Nonoro and Sennacharib as the true cause of these distorted rumours. I cannot deny these claims, as truthfully there are numerous similarities to be found in these tales and many others besides!
A small few genuinely believe that the Servants of Twilight are quite real and represent the direst threat to the sector. I have spoken in private to members of the Adepta and even to cultists who would not dare voice the opinion publicly, but who live in terror of this cult, real or imagined. One particularly vile and obscure strand of rumour says that the Servants of Twilight count members of the Holy Ordos among their number and have control of several Inquisitors. I personally consider this last sentiment risible, though of course I know that you always consider it good to know these things. You devour knowledge as a starving man might bread in the desert.
Mayhap were I to consider the worst, I would perhaps say that their myth might well be exploited for some faction in the Conclave’s own ends—and I don’t have to tell you whom I mean…
In truth, I do not know what to make of it. I find that despite my years of experience and the judgement your service has honed in me, I cannot allow myself to come down on one side of the argument or the other. Nor am I able to shake the feeling of dread that these phantom whisperings bring. I find myself wondering what the consequences are if even a single word of it is true. Though I found her a vile fanatic, her words echo now in my mind: “lest the truth devour all.”
I remain, as ever, your most faithful servant.
- NAME CLASSIFIED ***