Well at least they had some sort of proof that what the General was saying was in fact true. Whilst unwilling at first, Kalistabán had managed to persuade the General to tell him that the device in the temple would grant you unnatural healing, alter your body into perfection and make you practically indestructible. If this was currently plugged into the planet, then that would explain a lot.
Jorn wasn’t known for being a particularly large planet, however on their arrival Kalistabán had noticed that the planet was one of the largest he had encountered – as though it had grown in size.
Assuming that it had grown in size by creating new earth on its surface, Kalistabán concluded that this would have covered up the battlefield they had traversed – and would explain how a hulking ship could be covered in thirty feet of fresh soil.
Regrouping, Kalistabán lead his team out of the forest and to the edge of the temple.
What he had thought to be the ruins of a temple was actually just the tip of it, if this effect was planet wide then the temple would be mostly underground now, with only the spires on show. It may also be why the Tyranids were dormant. They couldn’t eat the planet as fast as it grew back, sedating their insatiable hunger and giving them no reason to explore the rest of the galaxy for food.
Hoping that all his predictions were true and that the Tyranids were indeed sleeping, Kalistabán lead his squad into the spire of the temple.
Starting a little further away from the energy source, Kalistabán was hoping to see what the conditions were like underground before getting to the interesting part.
Working their way through the temple they found few reasons to suspect anyone or anything alive was in here. Good, Kalistabán thought to himself, I could use an easy target for once.
Eventually they arrived at the main hall by following the main trail of bodies through the various halls and corridors. The doors had been blown off long ago and the relic was in the centre of the room, its beam of light emerging from it and disappearing into the high ceiling above.
Stepping into the room it was clear that it was here the Eldar had made their last stand. Whilst there was a large amount of dead Eldar in the room, they must have killed scores of human soldiers each before drawing their last breath. The room was full of death and destruction and whilst Kalistabán was usually more than comfortable around it – he cherished in it if anything… there was something not right in here.
Making their way to the relic and getting a better look of it, Kalistabán could make out its shape and structure: It was cylindrical and about a foot tall, covered in symbols that he recognised as the runes an Eldar Farseer, some of the most power psykers in the galaxy, would use to protect themselves from the horrors of the warp when using their powers. It seemed to just be standing on a great tomb, waiting for someone to take it.
Taking another step forward he noticed the body of an Eldar Farseer slumped next to the tomb. Garbed in long robes and rune armour coloured in a midnight blue and a helm of blazing yellow, Kalistabán identified the scheme was that of Craftworld Aliatoc. Whilst holding a witch blade on one hand, a powerful sword that contained its own spirit – one that the Eldar psykers could tap into to make an ordinary blade pierce the toughest of hides, his other hand had fallen open and a collection of runes were hanging from his hand. But none is this intrigued him more than one key detail.
In the centre of his chest plate lay the Farseer’s spirit stone.
Throughout the room and the many dead Eldar, this bright red gem was the only one still there – the only one that had been left behind. Precious to his Crafworld kin, they would never knowingly leave a spirit stone in the hands of another as it contained the spirit of the Eldar who carried it, caught as they died before the hands of Slaanesh could pull them into an eternal hell.
Cautiously moving towards the relic, Kalistabán stopped when he saw something move out of the corner of his eye, a shadow perhaps? Then he realised what it was – the broken body of the Farseer was twitching ever so slightly.
Turning to his men, he saw them, not looking at the Farseer, but at the other bodies in the room, all of them no longer lifeless, as if possessed by something.
Deciding to grab the relic and make a quick escape, he turned back only to find the Farseer blocking his way and although his eyes were covered by red lenses in his helmet, Kalistabán could tell that whatever soul the armour had been protecting had passed away long ago.
Instinctively raising his pistol, he fired a dozen of its poisoned rounds into the Farseer’s chest at point blank range. A single shard would usually fell even the toughest of creatures – and yet the Farseer didn’t even flinch.
With his squad taking their cue, the room was quickly filled with poisoned rounds puncturing bodies, monofilament netting shredding apart corpses in a spray of red and blaster rounds leaving occasional limbs in the wake of their destruction.
Swinging his sword to decapitate the Farseer, his blade was met by a parry by the witch blade. Off balance after the unexpected counter, Kalistabán had to parry a set of fluid swings from the sword, at a speed he knew the Eldar should have but using a strength he knew that he shouldn’t.
Doing his best to hold his ground he pirouetted to glance at the rest of the room and take a heavy swing at the Farseer. The whole room was alive with motion, and the numbers of the living were dwindling.
Accepting that there was no way of getting the relic at such close quarters against so many assailants, Kalistabán knocked the Farseer back a few steps with his swing, then quickly darted out of the room, leaving any of kin foolish to stay behind to their fate.