The streets of the Hive were alive with celebration. Citizens cheered and looked down from windows and balconies as columns of men and armoured vehicles paraded through the streets, converging on the ceremonial grounds. Drums and trumpets echoed through the caverns of the hive, nearly drowning out the stomping of boots and the engines of war. Lord General Militant Theodorus stands on a raised platform. Alongside are Colonel Lukas Harlum of the Elysian Drop Troops, Chapter Master Maevan Sio and Captain Aderro of the Imperial Praetorians, and Field Marshal Jacques and Field Marshal Macher of the Death Korps of Krieg. The platform is flanked by the towering bulk of several Imperial Knights – The Imperius Dominatus, The Sword of Light and The Torch of Rage. Once all are assembled, the masses of the Imperial Guard stand at attention as the Lord General steps forward.

“People of Heavensreach! Today heralds a glorious triumph! Behind me stand the heroes of our righteous Imperium. While the foul xenos try to pillage our lands, and traitors attempt to tear us apart, this man stood as a beacon of hope, a righteous bulwark of vengeance to all who opposed the Imperium.”

The Lord General gestured towards the Kriegsmen, who stood silently and expressionless.

“Field Marshal Macher, and his brave men of the 85th Krieg Mechanized, held back the tide and pushed the traitors and Xenos from our lands. They reclaimed worlds thought lost to us, fought through the most unforgiving of challenges, and went above and beyond the call of duty. Where any man would turn and run, these men pressed forward. This valor is exactly what we need to finally free our worlds of the enemies who would see us brought to our knees. It is for these acts of bravery and pure devotion that I, Murmillo-Pontifex Lord General Militant Theodorus Odoacer, grant you Field Marshal Macher the Promotion to Lord General of the Crusade! He will lead the Crusade in my stead, so I may ensure the continue to attend my administrative duties here on Heavensereach. With Lord General Macher at the helm, I can act with a clear mind, knowing that our forces will be led by a man who shall achieve victory, and liberate all who are under the heel of the Traitor and Xenos!”

The unending rows of Guardsmen snap a salute, as Macher steps forward and in turn salutes Lord General Theodorus as he pins medals and rank insignias to Macher’s already impressive collection. The sounds of drums and trumpets again play, and applause from onlooking citizens rises from the streets.

Theodorus’ plan to inspire the masses seemed to have worked. He expected tens of thousands of men and women to soon enlist and swell the ranks of the crusade. In the weeks, the recruits will train and be dispatched to the far corners of the Gulf where they will fight and die for this cause.

The Crusade begins.

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