The Battle of Castobel
Cult-General Elak Sarda
“How can we hope to win this battle? Our enemy is War incarnate!”
–Final words of Lance Corporal Dunsan Elvar of the 3rd Terrax Guard.
Imperial propaganda portrays Elak Sarda as a heretic, madman, and pawn of the Ruinous Powers. The doctrine of the Stigmartus portrays the infamous Cult-General as nothing less than a living god. Unfortunately for the future of the Jericho Reach both views are proving accurate. Despite being a charismatic leader and exceptional strategist, the Cult-General thinks nothing of sacrificing thousands of capable warriors in suicidal engagements for his amusement. An object of worship for billions and a selfproclaimed god, Sarda nevertheless refuses the adoration of those outside the Stigmartus warrior cult, leading brutal pogroms against tribes of would-be followers which routinely spring up across the Charon Stars. Though champion and overlord of the former warlords of Khazant, whose scions comprise the majority of Stigmartus officer-bishops, Sarda claims no familial ties to any known bloodline of the expanse, nor does he claim any planet as the world of his birth. Indeed, his origins are unknown, as if the Cult-General did not exist until his first assault upon Vanity in 788.M41. Elak Sarda’s appearance is well known among Crusade forces thanks to the innumerable statues and shrines the Cult-General leaves in his wake. A tall man with handsome, strikingly angular features, Sarda looks every inch the ideal military leader. One might even confuse the Cult-General for a stoic Imperial Guard commander were it not for the latticework of scars covering every millimetre of exposed skin. Stigmartus dogma claims the name and rank of every cultmember is inscribed upon the fl esh of the Cult-General, just as scars of rank and fealty mark the fl esh of each Stigmartus. As his warriors fall in battle, their names upon the Cult- General’s skin are said to bleed. As the Stigmartus know war without ending, so Elak Sarda strides the Cellebos Warzone, leaving an unbroken trail of blood to mark his passage.