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Black Crusade (2011), p342-343 — Vorxec Calvarius

Within the ranks of the loyalist Adeptus Astartes, it is the Chaplain's duty to not only tend the souls of his chapter brothers, but to walk among them as a living reminder that they are the Angels of Death, that they are destruction made manifest. To stir the hearts of his fellow Space Marines a Chaplain recites the Catechisms of Hate, prayers and proverbs extolling the space marine and his role as death incarnate. For most members of the Adeptus Astartes, these directives are but a means to an end, their particular method of safe-guarding the Imperium of Man against the manifold threats of Xenos, Heretic, and Daemon. For Vorxec Calvarius, former Chaplain of the Silver Skulls Chapter, death and destruction are the ends for which he was made the means.

When he was but a Battle-Brother, Calvarius was a man dedicated to not only thwart the enemies of man, but to annihilate them wholly. His fervor made him a sure candidate for the Reclusiam and within the span of a few decades he was made Chaplain. However, during his second century of service, Calvarius participated in the purging of the Plague World of Horestis, commanding a half-company of Silver Skulls.

Horestis was a world infused by Chaos, dedicated wholly to the Lord of Decay. Fighting across the fungal-ridden Rot Fields, and purging the corroded spires of Hive Tortentus, Calvarius watched his fellow Space Marines drop around him, consumed by the virulent plagues. When the warp rifts opened, and the legions of Nurgle spewed forth, Calvarius fought them with Crosius and bolter, even as his brothers fell to the corroded blades of the foe. Finally, Calvarius stood alone, surrounded by masses of Nurgle's horde. As the chuckling bulk of a Great Unclean One approached, Calvarius finally went down on one knee. If the Daemon thought Calvarius was submitting, it was mistaken, for the Chaplain knelt to contact the warships in orbit.

The cloud-wracked sky shattered, sundered by a ferocious barrage of missiles. Each missile's warhead contained the tools of Exterminatus, the dreaded Life Eater Virus, and the epicentre of the strike centred on Calvarius and the Great Unclean One. The virus consumed all life on the world, releasing so much oxygen into the atmosphere that the very air caught fire and burned out.

The Imperial warships left Horestis, secure in the knowledge that nothing had survived. But they were wrong. Alone amongst an entire world, even amongst the daemonic legions that assailed it, Vorxec Calvarius somehow survived. He lay crippled and near death for forty-nine days, sustained by his own formidable will and by something else, some dark force that would not let him pass. As he lay there, the Reclusiarch was overcome by a glorious revelation. The Imperium and all life in the galaxy ultimately served the Lord of Decay. All life died, and if bringing death was his sacred calling, why should he not do so in the name of he who was responsible for the ultimate death of all?

Vorxec Calvarius knew from that moment onward that his loyalty lay not with the God-Emperor, crumbling on his Golden Throne, but with the Lord of Flies, Father Nurgle himself. At that moment he rose from where he lay, his body miraculously healed but a new fever burning within his mind. As if guided by fate, a renegade reaver vessel had recently arrived in orbit, hoping to salvage what they could from the dead world. Vorxec killed the landing party, then returned to their ship, demanding passage on pain of death. For several decades he wandered the galaxy, from one outbreak of pestilence to the next, collecting a multitude of plagues that he might spread their contagion throughout the realms of men and alien.

Vorxec has now gathered to him a small band of able warriors, each a host to innumerable afflictions. He has returned to his place as spiritual leader and his liturgies of pestilence and catechisms of infection stir in the zealous hearts of his followers. With his devoted retinue in tow, he plies the stars, from world to world, system to system, miring the galaxy in vicious epidemics.