Transcript of Codex Ultimatus
Herein lies an account of the arrival of the first legions of Zaros to Gielinor.
Although Zaros's easy manipulaton of our autocratic leader had been impressive, the twelve legions he now owns have yet to see his military acumen.
My legion - the first legion - was rightly chosen for the honour of being the first to witness it. To this end, he had brought a maniple of my legion - just over one hundred Avernic shock troops to this place known as Gielinor, to scout the area in preparation for the arrival of his entire host.
To transport even this handful of troops such a distance was a remarkable feat, but to bring forth the rest would require a huge expenditure of energy - one that would weaken even him.
We arrived in a region that was ruled over by (though it would perhaps be more accurate to say terrorised by) a beast that the local tribes had named Loarnab. The locals paid tribute to it by way of sacrifice, in hopes of keeping it appeased, but they were only providing it with a feeding trough. Like a stray virius, feed it once and it will harass you forever more. They worshipped it like a god, and while it is true that the beast had divine power, it was still just a beast - albeit one with awareness of and purpose in its actions.
In order to lay claim to this region and establish a foothold, we were ordered to kill this beast. We lured it out with a buffet of sacrifices taken from nearby villages and chants of 'Hail Loarnab'. We did not have to wait long for it to emerge from its lair.
The beast was reptilian, with a low-slung body that sprouted two finned heads. As it moved in to feast, the trap was sprung - my tsutsaroth roped its limbs and heads, pulling in all directions, while my smaller troops hacked at its necks. Within moments. It had lost both of its heads, and I turned to Zaros with pride at the ease of our victory. But he stood unmoving, waiting. I turned back in time to see four heads regrowing in place of the severed two, and my tsutsaroth being thrown about and set upon.
The beast fought back with such savagery, killing many demons, but my troops were well disciplined and did not rout. They fought on, but for every head they removed it grew two more - an impressive ability, worthy of absorption, but with such an ability its victory over us was just a matter of time, and Zaros simply watched. I'll admit, in that moment, I questioned his superiority.
After an hour, most of my demons lay slain, the beast now sported a dozen heads. It was at this moment that Zaros acted, and with one thunderous cry he signalled the demons to retreat and captured the beast's attention. It saw him for the first time and charged, the beast's shadow lengthening over him... but Zaros stood his ground, only moving aside at the last second.
From where Zaros had stood not a moment ago, from the beast's own shadow, erupted a mass of hideous purple tendrils, which snared its forelimbs and tail, bringing it to a crashing halt. From the sky around it, more tendrils: sickly green felt their way into the beast's maws, gagging and choking it, while bloody red ones whipped at its back and pierced its hide. The beast bled profusely, I shall never be able to forget the sound it made, of so many heads crying out at once in anger and pain.
At first the beast merely seemed enraged, and struggled against the tendrils, but each effort just saw them tighten their grip. Before long, it could scarcely move. Our new lord approached the beast and, as he did so, fear filled each one of its many eyes, and then confusion, as our lord began to twist the many heads back on themselves, intertwining them with each other and locking them in place like some intricate puzzle of flesh.
Finally, its eyes glazed over with hopelessness, as the beast came to the realization of its fate, and its powerlessness to avert it. Even I almost balked at our new lord's actions, not wishing such a cruel torture on even my most ruthless opponents - except perhaps Duke Picus and his blasted omens. I wondered at Zaros's motives. Why waste time tormenting a vanquished beast?
At first, I thought it an act of pure sadism... But Zaros worked his will once more - not tendrils this time, but an ice-covered crystalline structure, which seemed to sedate the beast somewhat and salve its wounds. Between the tendrils and the crystals it was held firm in a broken, tormented state, but placid.
Within the ring formed from the many twisted heads of the beast, Zaros conjured a new portal to Infernus. This had been his plan all along: not to kill the beast, but to turn its divine essence into a power source for a portal. The remainder of my legion was the first to arrive through the hydra gate, and, as it did so, one of the beast's heads turned to stone. I could see in the beast's eyes that it knew what was happening, but it simply laid there in its contorted state, breathing slowly.
Over the course of a month, the remaining legions poured forth from Infernus, and with each arrival, more of the beast's power drained and another of its heads turned to stone. With the arrival of Duke Quirinus's twelfth legion, the last of the beast's heads turned to stone, and so too did its body. Only then did the tendrils subside and the crystal dissipate. The 'god' that had once been Loarnab now stood as a twisted monument a sign to any who would oppose Lord Zaros, whose superiority was now absolute. Hail Zaros!
- Duke Nemesis the Inescapable