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Zetsuris, known also as the God of Despair, is a minor Chaos God whom draws strength from all feelings of despair and crushing hopelessness across the galaxy. Since the opening of the Great Rift, his power has grown to almost equal that of the four Major Gods. Those who know of his existence believe him to be a fraction of Nurgle, but this has not been confirmed. His sacred number is 9, and the Mark of Zetsuris is a nine-pointed star with an orange tear inside of it.

Background

Zetsuris has existed for as long as sentient life, and as they grow, so does his strength. He draws strength from all feelings of overwhelming hopelessness, despair, futility and sorrow across the universe, and as such is particularly powerful. His explosive birth in the early history of humanity's exploration caused the opening of the Warp Storm called Malfactus, and the first Despair Cults were formed.

He has since slowly spread his influence across the Galaxy, gaining more and more power. His first Space Marines servants were the 45th Chapter of the Death Guard, who turned to him after the events of Isstvan III. This Warband would slowly raid the north-east edge of the Segmentum Ultima, until they were destroyed by the Ultramarines. Zetsuris remained relatively inactive after their destruction, lacking the firepower to make a significant attack, until the opening of the Great Rift and his power growing exponentially. He made a deal with Tzeentch to gain followers near the Citrix Maledictum, and it succeeds. Zetsuris gains a new Warband and a sub-sector of cultists in a vastly different position in the glaxy to where he was previously. However, Tzeentch now has Zetsuris in his debt, which will come back to haunt the God of Despair in the future.

The Realm of Futility

Zetsuris' primary Warp Realm is called the Realm of Futility. Visibly, it resembles a never ending labyrinth, with dark drooping walls, and next to no light. Anybody trapped in it suffers a complete mental breakdown after a few days if they don't escape. The realm inadvertently supports Zetsuris, as those inside it feel a total loss of hope and experience the futility of trying to escape. They will eventually succumb to insanity and commit suicide, or one of Zetsuris' Daemons will consume them.

Daemons

Lesser and Greater Daemons

The Daemons of Zetsuris don't have a specific name, but are referred to in the same way he is; Bringers of Sorrow, Crushers of Hope or Servants of Despair. Visibly, both the Lesser and Greater Daemons resemble humanoid carrion beasts; most commonly vultures, but rats and hyenas have also been observed. In addition, all of his Daemons wear thick, smothering black cloaks that hide their faces, and walk in a hunched position. His Daemons typically use a sharpened Cat-O-Nine-Tails (9 pronged whip) as their weapon, although some Lesser Daemons use scythes or axes.

Being in the proximity to these Daemons causes an intense feeling of sorrow and futility. Even experienced soldiers have been seen to drop their weapons and run when a host of Daemons converges on them. Those with weak minds are particularly at risk, as the overwhelming feelings of despair and hopelessness have caused some lesser soldiers to kill themselves. Very few have observed the face of a Daemon of Zetsuris, as it is said that the cloak covers a face that can kill a living being in an instant, breaking down their mind into raving insanity in a matter of seconds.

Cenobytes

Those mortals that survive in the Realm of Futility, or that observe a Daemons face and survive are forever changed, becoming Cenobytes. These Cenobytes are essentially slaves, forced to follow the will of Zetsuris. However, they do remain partly sane, and have great power. Once being turned into a Cenobyte, it will seek out the nearest Despair Cult. It will typically instantly be promoted to the leader of the cult, as they act as a direct conduit for Zeturis' will, and are highly valued.

Cenobytes are also extremely powerful. In the battle of Ska'Fel I against the Imperium, a Cenobyte of the Muted Cabal led its strongest warriors into a Space Marine Strike Cruiser, slaying a Lieutenant and several veterans before retreating out of sight.

Notable Servants

Despair Cults

The general term for all cults and cabals that worship Zetsuris as their patron deity, the Despair Cults are numerous, but congregate mostly around Malfactus, and a tendril of the Great Rift that extends partially towards Holy Terra. These cults dedicate their entire existence to empowering their God, and as such don't kill their prey, but tend to capture and torture them. One of the many rituals that is used to do this is called the Hunt. During the Hunt, the strongest prisoner is allowed to escape from the prisons that they are held in, in a way that appears to be an accident. They are then slowly hunted, and the cult's members use every fear and intimidation tactic available to erode the prisoners mind, and herd them into a trap. After the prisoner is recaptured, they are returned to the cells mostly insane and beaten. This serves to illustrate the futility of the prisoners' situation, and to discourage further escape attempts.

The Muted Cabal

The strongest of the Despair Cults, the Muted Cabal has taken to inciting fear in its captives in the most brutal ways possible, and by sowing their mouths shut. They own vast expanses of land and torture rooms on Ska'Fel V. Despite their size, they remain highly organised in comparison to lots of the lesser Despair Cults.

It is led by the High Cenobyte Behr Thorenshield, who used to be an Inquisitor, before he was turned during the opening stages of the Ska'Fel battles. He quickly took to leading the newly formed Muted Cabal, leading it against the Imperial forces and keeping it organised in the inevitable power struggle that followed the tide of new cultists.

Warbands of Zetsuris

45th Death Guard Chapter

"I have seen the truth! There are two constants in this universe; death and despair! We are worshiping the wrong God! Follow me, and we will bring doom to the Corpse Emperor! Follow me and we will pledge loyalty to the just God, one that will grant us power beyond imagining!"
— Thagus Fortan, Cenobyte of Zetsuris, to the Death Guard 45th Chapter, circa 005.M31.

Shortly after the Isstvan III Atrocity, the 45th Chapter of the Death Guard, along with a small amount of legionaries from other Chapters, turned to Zetsuris after their 45th Chapter Master, Thagus Fortan, became a Cenoybyte of Zetsuris during the battle. A Lesser Daemon, drawn by the massive Chaos activity and the despair of the trapped loyalists, had preyed upon straggling members of both sides, until Thagus battled it, revealing its face and subsequently becoming enslaved to Zetsuris.

For almost nine millennia, the Warband served Zetsuris, raiding the north-east of the Segmentum Ultima periodically, and expanding his territory surrounding Malfactus. They were responsible for the complete destruction of a Chapter in the region by causing the sun to expand drastically, consuming the system in a blaze of fire. Shortly before the 13th Black Crusade commenced in 999.M41, the Warband was lured into the path of Hive Fleet Kraken by the Ultramarines. Immune to the terror tactics of the Warband, the Tyranids obliterated Zetsuris' only Warband.

Loss of All Hope

Formed from a formerly loyalist Raven Guard Successor Chapter shortly after the opening of the Great Rift, the Loss of All Hope has only served Zetsuris for a short time, but has proved themselves to him by capturing an entire sub-sector in his name. Their leader dedicated himself to Zetsuris to get revenge on the Inquisition, and became a Daemon Prince after the capture of the Vor'Kai Sub-Sector.

Symbol

The Mark of Zetsuris is a blue nine-pointed star with an orange tear drop inside of it. It is carved into the weapons of his cults and Warbands, and onto the foreheads of his most favoured followers.

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