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"God-throne, they’re tough-ass bastards," Nayl muttered to me as I passed him coming out of the bay."
"Impressed?"
"Scared is more like it. Regular Cadian is soldier enough for me. These are elite. The elite of the elite. The Kasrkin."
"The what?" It wasn’t like an experienced fighter to show deference to other fighting men."
"The Kasrkin. The Cadian best, and you can imagine what that means. Holy Terra, they’re stone-killers!"
"How do you know?"
"Oh, please... look at their necks. The Caducades sea-eagle brand. Come to that, just look at their necks. I’ve seen slimmer trees!"
"Good thing they’re on our side," I said."
"I bloody hope so...
"

—Inquisitor Eisenhorn and Harlon Nayl, discussing Captain Echbar and his Kasrkin
Echbar was a Captain of the Cadian Shock Troops' famed Kasrkin, who led a squad of his fellow elites against the Chaos Cult known as the Sons of Bael.

He was slain in the resulting battle when he sacrificed his life to save Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn from death at the hands of an enraged Daemonhost named Prophaniti.

History

When a mysterious group took up residence at the Kasr Gesh Cadian Pylon, Inquisitors Gregor Eisenhorn and Neve mustered a small strike-team and set forth to investigate their activity.

A cruel winter afflicted the region, causing the gun-cutter that carried the strike-team to battle against powerful ice storms. Captain Echbar led a squad of Cadian Elite Shock, impassive troopers in winter camouflage Carapace Armour, who spent the journey prepping matt-white lasrifles and Stubbers in the crew-bay.

Echbar and his men had been requisitioned from nearby Kasr Grem by Neve, who knew of the Kasrkin's fearsome abilities. They quickly earned the respect of Eisenhorn's own retinue, with his chief bodyguard Harlon Nayl expressing outright deference, even fear, towards them. 

Upon reaching the pylon, Echbar readied his men. At Eisenhorn's command, they had logged the bio-spoors of the Inquisitors and their company into their sighting auspexes, ensuring that friendly-fire was all but impossible.

As suspected, the mysterious group was a Chaos Cult, led by a powerful Daemonhost called Prophaniti. Soon, the Inquisitors were fighting for their lives, surrounded by a horde of robed figures. More cultists appeared, pulling out their weapons and firing wildly into the night.

Las-fire came from behind the Inquisitors, startlingly close, whipping past their elbows and shoulders. Cultists crumpled, smashing some of their erected floodlights. Echbar and his Kasrkin charged in past them to engage the enemy.

Eisenhorn would later claim that the Kasrkin were somehow more terrifying than the Daemonhost. For Prophaniti was a supernatural thing, and one expected it to be horrifying. The Kasrkin were just men, yet it made their actions all the more astonishing. Six white blurs, they fell upon the cultists, lasguns barking at close range. They wasted no shots. One shot, one kill.

While Echbar's squad massacred the Sons of Bael, Eisenhorn, Neve and their retinues closed in on the Daemonhost. Prophaniti proved too powerful, however, and quickly whittled down its attackers until only Eisenhorn remained.

Though the Inquisitor fought bravely, he too found himself overwhelmed by the daemon. Having struck out with his sword, Prophaniti had gripped hold of its blade. Smoke rose from the creature's clamped fist as the sword became white-hot, forcing Eisenhorn to let it go with a howl of pain. The daemon tossed the buckled, molten steel aside, and reached out to slay its injured foe.

The next few seconds would be burned into Eisenhorn's memory forever. Indeed, he would later claim that he would never see such heroism again.

Captain Echbar and two of his Kasrkin troopers assaulted Prophaniti from the rear. Their lasguns could not fire because the Inquisitor and his fallen retinue were in their range-field.

Echbar tackled the Daemonhost, knocking it away from the stricken Eisenhorn. Prophaniti hurled Echbar aside, and then incinerated the second Kasrkin mid-leap with its eyes. The third jammed his Cadian bayonet up to the hilt in Prophaniti's breastbone. Fire exploded from the wound, down the trooper's arm and engulfed him. 

As his comrade fell, Echbar came in again, a ragged hole in his cheek and throat. His knife, clenched double-handed, split Prophaniti open down the backbone. Alas, the Warp-energies that boiled out blew Echbar apart. Screaming in agony, Prophaniti writhed away through the air. 

The Cadian elite had given the Inquisitor an opening by sacrificing their lives. They had fallen in the service of the God-Emperor, which is what every Cadian was born to do. 

With a single command from the stricken Inquisitor, help arrived. Lights blazing, a gun-cutter flew overhead. The aircraft trained its wing and chin turrets on the charging Daemonhost. When they opened up, their firepower was so monumental that Prophaniti's mortal form was completely vaporised, the daemonm itself sent shrieking back into the Immaterium.

By the end of the battle, the surrounding area was littered with dead. Most were the hooded corpses of the Sons of Bael.

Sources

  • Eisenhorn (Omnibus) - Malleus (Novel) by Dan Abnett, Ch. 14
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