|Unit Class:|| Disciple Unit|
|Requires:|| The Ashen Veil as State Religion|
|Starts With:|| +40% strength against Disciple Units|
Religion:The Ashen Veil
|Info:|| 10 +4 Unholy|
|Special:|| Will abandon civilization if state religion switches from The Ashen Veil|
+3 to the Armageddon Counter
The basilica was flooded with screaming, a mob calling for the death of Lita. Long suspected of witchcraft, she was found with crow's blood on her forehead and eyelids, evidence of her attempts at clairvoyance through dark rites.
The adjudicator listened to the guardsman's retelling of her capture. A neighbor claimed to have seen a cat walking backwards from her house and a pigeon handing upside down from the eaves like a bat. The guards had been called to check it out, not an uncommon occurrence for Lita. But this time she didn't open the door, and when the guardsman entered, they found her in her basement deep in a trance, with the crow's broken body beside her.
"What are the names of these demons you say I follow?" Lita argued, "Hate, suspicion, fear, weakness, pride. Do you believe these are my demons or your own? You scream because I killed a bird, yet you will return to your mutton dinner tonight and see no hypocrisy. You claim that what I have done is evil, yet the temple diviners perform the same acts with oils and burnt incense."
She shook with rage, her voice carried an authority far beyond her 24 years. She turned and glared at the townspeople, most she had known her entire life, and each one quieted under her gaze, but then picked the screaming back up when her eyes were off of them. The adjudicator was Goroff Grist and he had served in this role for nearly 30 years. He wasn't concerned with Lita's pagan ritual but he was very concerned with the effect she had on the city. This kind of disharmony could not be tolerated in a cultured society; she had been warned before about her questionable behavior and refused to become a good citizen. He had known the outcome of this trial the second she was dragged into the basilica.
Goroff opened the large tome before him. The hall went quiet as he scribed Lita's name and the verdict. Everyone strained to gain some clue from the stroke of his quill as to the final decision. Goroff sprinkled find sand on the ink and blew on it, then he closed the tome.
"The testimony has been heard and a just decision has been made. Lita of Alexandria will be exiled from the Empire. This exile will be initiated by throwing her from the Cliffs of Hastur. We will see if she will follow the crow's fate and have her body broken, or gain the crow's gift and be saved from the rocks below."
The crowd cheered the decision, Lita screamed and attacked the guardsmen that held her. They wrestled her into submission and began the march to the edge of the cliffs. By the time they reached them, the crowd had grown and hundreds of townspeople were there to witness her death.
It was an early spring day and the mists common to cliffs still hung around its base. Lita had stopped strugleing and stood unmoving at the cliffs edge. She told herself that she would die without weakness and step over the edge on her own, but she found herself unable to do so. She sensed something much worse than death over the cliff's edge. Then the guardsman pushed her.
She fell. Her life passed before her, pain inflicted by her and on her, actions performed both good and evil. She considered her own regret, had she become something she didn't intend? She pushed the thoughts from her mind, she was not the one at fault, but the people of Alexandria. She fed off of her own hate, wished only that they would suffer for what they had done to her.
She passed into the mists and heard the snap of thick leather, like the crack of a whip all around her. A dark form slammed into her and at first she though it was the ground, but her direction changed and she felt herself being carried along the cliff's edge. A beast held her, and she struggled to see its face. It had thick hide wings and skin that felt like a serpents, but hard and warm. The face was a man's, horrible and beautiful, horns and smaller bones pierced his skin and thick iron pins were inserted into the inside curve of his eye, just where tears are formed.
He took her to a dark place, Hell or some hidden cave, it was the same to Lita. She became his unwilling concubine, mother of his half-demonic children. His spells kept the many pregnancies from killing her, but they did nothing for the pain which was so intense that she wished for the times when she wasn't pregnant and had only to suffer the brutal rapes. And during the periods of the rapes she wished for the times she was pregnant.
Mardero was the last of these children. His birth was so traumatic that even his father's considerable power couldn't keep Lita alive through it. His first act in this world was to join his siblings in consuming his mothers flesh, the first of many human victims his father would bring them as they grew.
Now Mardero roams the land, unbound by the Compact because of his human heritage but as destructive and loyal to the forces of Entropy as any demon.