There was a ripple of energy. The City of Sight flickered in the Emperor's psychic sense, distorted by a new, powerful presence. He cast his mind into the ether, seeing at once its source; a being of immense energy, unrivalled save by his own sons.
"A Primarch returns," he said. At once, the Custodians and the black-armoured Astartes came to him. "Have the vessel brought to Terra at once, and inform Guilliman - he will want to meet his brother."
All but one man left. He wore the black of a Dark Angel, yet his armour was devoid of iconography. He was dressed in a prototype model of the new 'Maximus' armour.
"You have something to say?"
The Astartes bowed. "The Mechanicum are ready to begin supplying the Legions with Mk IV plate."
"Then have them do so."
He moved from the chamber, preparing himself to welcome home another lost son.
The procession out of the sepulchral starship that had come to dock near one of the great spires of the Imperial Palace was no less than the sort of monolithically impressive display warranted, in the capital of the birthplace of Mankind. From the hatch of the great vessel first strode an utter giant of a man, his impossibly tall stature exaggerated even further by a thinness to his proportions. The figure was cowled in great robes of cream and olive and dark brown, obscuring his features, while with a gauntleted hand he leaned on a tall and odd-looking staff. Power unseen but not unfelt radiated from this man, and all who gazed upon him felt an unsettling sense of unseen eyes watching from all directions.
He strode with the unshakable calm of fervent purpose across the great floor of the Imperial Palace, and from the ship behind him marched out an army. Men of but ordinary stature, these, but no less impressive for it; each and every one clad in an armored suit of verdigrised and dulled gray metal, cables running from breather-tanks to rebreathers that had been elaborately fashioned into intimidating full-face masks. They marched rank after rank from the ship in perfect unison, a grid ten wide and fifty deep.
When they passed through the Great Gates and into the Emperor's audience chamber, only a score or two of these somber, masked warriors continued with him, the rest of the honor guard staying respectfully behind at the threshold.
The immense figure and his followers filed into the throne room in complete silence. Then, in perfect unison, giant and masked warrior alike clapped a fist to their chest in fealty and dropped to one knee before the figure of the Emperor.
The giant figure spoke then, in a voice that was quiet and yet resounded still, filled with Power, though it seemed also raspy, as if the figure's mouth and throat were somewhat too dry.
"I have Seen," he spoke. "I have seen a Vision, knowing that I was summoned to this place and this day to forestall doom for my people, and for a thousand times a thousand peoples. I have answered that Summons, and so am I here before you."
"We came to you from a world that had known the lash of alien tyrants since time beyond memory. We come to you from a world whose tyrants we have overthrown, so that we might know the taste of freedom."
"I am Mortarion of Barbarus, and I have known since the day of our victory that we would, we must come here today. That here at the birthplace of mankind I would find the Just King, the Man of Gold; and that I would pledge to him, so that under his banner we may fight to spread the freedom we have won to all of humanity."
"I am Mortarion of Barbarus, and I name you my liege. I pledge my service to you, and I vow to you on my hope of salvation and deliverance that I will hold to that pledge until the end of my days."
"Here with me are a fraction of the men of Barbarus, my warriors. Their leaders and heroes and champions. They have come with me in the stead of all their peoples who could not, to pledge to you their absolute loyalty as I have."
With a gesture of his hand, each came forward, removed his mask, and pledged. The faces beneath those masks were an unsettling surprise; otherwise human, but corpse-pale, with hollow cheeks and sunken eyes of black where whites should be. But the looks of entirely human awe and devotion and loyalty as they gave their equally binding oaths was undeniable.
Last of them all came forward one man, from whom the others had kept their distance. He removed his breath mask, then knelt abjectly, head brushing the floor before the Emperor's feet before he straightened, still on one knee. He was young, little more than a boy, but his eyes held a terrible knowing, and his features had something of a cruel and inhuman cast to them.
"My lord, I am known as Calas Typhon. Since the day of my birth, I have carried an unsalvable shame. The shame of knowing that a fraction of the alien blood of Barbarus' tyrants runs in my veins. For my life, I have known I must atone for this shame, and thought that still nothing I would do could wash away but its fraction. Now, with Lord Mortarion's vision brought to true before my eyes, I know that that may change. I swear to you- In repayment for the privilege of fighting amongst the stars for you, I will not rest, I will not relent, and I will not consider my gratitude even truly begun
until I have participated in the liberation of one world for every living man, woman, and child of Barbarus who suffered beneath the rule of my ancestors. When I have fulfilled that oath, I will be cleansed of my shame, and in that gratitude, as I am Mortarion's so will I be your man forever."
The other Barbarans seemed somewhat surprised through their morbid visages, but the newly arrived Primarch radiated only approval as he spoke his next words.
"And so it is done, token to the hearts and dreams of all on Barbarus. Let us know how we may serve you in the cause of justice."
Standing, he turned to speak with the other immense figures at the Emperor's side almost as if speaking to someone he already knew in part, only to cease as another great, but tragically twisted, figure of purple was rushed past, dragging both figures away in the processsion. Some time later they emerged again, grim faced, and Mortarion sighed, seeming to lean even more heavily on his odd staff.
"I had Seen... But I had hoped it did not mean what I thought."
---------------------------------------------------------------------+++Message from Mortarion to Leman Russ+++
To know that so warm and wholehearted a welcome awaits me before we have even had chance to meet in person brings unfamiliar and welcome joy to my heart.
It is something I am not yet used to, this knowledge that the other champions of Man my visions have revealed are my brothers; this knowledge that I have brothers at all. It will take some time to get used to, to come to know you all better and find the closeness that is rightful between brothers, but I relish it. When need or duty sends, my falx will be by your side.
May you know clear skies and clean air,