Being banished had turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to it. Without banishment it would have been trapped. Bound within a body of flesh, confined inside the metal skin of the voidship, lost in the Immaterium. Trapped. If not exactly for all eternity, then for a very long time indeed. Long enough for a daemon to become weak of form and dull of mind; to slowly slide down into bestial obliviousness again. To no longer have the clarity of mind to know what it hungered for.
Being banished had saved it from a fate much worse than destruction: Entrapment and derangement.
More stuff the Keeper had failed to mention. When next they crossed paths there would be a reckoning: One that the insipid clawed daemon would not leave whole. It would take the form of a horned dark fire. It would slither forth in utter silence and secrecy to fall upon the unsuspecting Keeper of Secrets with unbridled fury. It would impale its enemy on a hundred spikes and tear it limb from limb. It would feast on the remnants and relish as if devoured the last bits of the Great Liar.
Being banished had provided other advantages as well. It allowed the possessor to truly appreciate the limitations of the flesh. Yes, the real world was a wonderful place of life and emption. Yes, wearing a body was an exhilarating experience in and of itself – and the only way to remain on the other side for very long. But with the wearing of flesh came so many limitations, especially if you wanted the host body to endure for any length of time.
Which any half-clever daemon most likely did: Good hosts were extremely hard to find, as it had experienced first-hand aboard the great colony ship Absalom.
The body limited it physically. The Warp was not really a place for physical prowess. So it was only natural that while on the other side one would want to really flex some otherworldly muscles. Play around and bit and enjoy the unfamiliar feeling of wearing a body.
Unfortunately this was a sure way to ruin the host; first the flesh would twist and transform, and eventually become unstable and unusable. You could toss the man-things around of course, move like the storm, and catch bullets with your teeth – but beyond that one risked ruining the host.
The body limited it psychically. Any possessing entity retained the ability to utilize Warp energies, but the physical world placed such stringent limitations upon its use. Running amok with the Warp as your cudgel could burn out even a good host in no time at all. Cunning whispers into the minds of the weak-willed, a little hoarfrost and hellfire, stepping through a wall or flying across a chasm – these things it could do, but no more.
The body limited it mentally. Last but not least. Your mind was quite literally no longer your own, no longer free of worldly constraints. You were now forced to work with whatever passed for a mind among the flesh-things. It didn’t feel so different then and there. While aboard the ship it has felt as cunning as ever. It was only afterwards it realized how dumbed down it had been. Forced to focus on the now. Limited multi-threading. Unless you had experienced it for yourself it would be impossible to comprehending how limiting a possessed mind really was.
The experience of possession had taught it more about the other side than the Keeper of Secrets had ever known, ever would know. It had made it realize that while possession was a nice way to experience reality it was not the magic wand it had been made out to be. It had its uses, but there had to be another way. And if there wasn’t a way it would make one.
It hungered terribly now. The hunger was actually far worse now that it knew it could be sated. Irony the man-things would have called it. Perhaps they were right. It wasn’t so sure. In its experience it was simply the way of things – the universe was a cold and uncaring place. Irony was but a way to excuse cruel reality.
Yes, the man-things. The key to its release was the Race of Man. Weird as it sounded the fleshy emotional things on that voidship symbolized the future. They were numerous and growing more so with every passing moment. They were brightly energetic and emotional. And every last one of them had a door hidden in the deepest, darkest corner of their minds, a door leading to the other side. Preciously few had the ability to open that door, but more would come in time, of that it was certain. Man was too exuberant and inquisitive to remain static. Whatever Man wasn’t it would strive to become.
There were other races of course, had been others, would be others. But their presence paled in comparison to the dark promise that Humankind held. Now there was a true Secret, a secret worthy of a Keeper. Without the trickery of the Desirous One, the subsequent possession, and the banishment it would never have realized. Now there was some true irony!
It laughed then, a deep throaty laugh. A laugh that had never been heard around those parts before. A human laugh.
It would be patient. It would learn. It would understand. It would plan. It would succeed.
But first things first – another thing it had learned from Man. First it had a Keeper to take care of.
Edited by Green Knight, 24 November 2013 - 12:43 PM.