Today is a piece which takes place after the story Brother Cambrius is writing. It presents the Character "Legio Captain Cyprian of the Infernals", who has had some cameos and roles in other stories so far.
This character actually has its basis in a piece of artwork by Aqatone, which he graciously "donated" to the Nestir V AoD. The image is also sorta the basis of this story, given that it fit pretty perfectly into a story part I had been planning on writing anyway.
You can find the image here: http://www.bolterand...howtopic=177911
Many thanks to Aqatone! - Give him a great big hand and a thank you!
Tomorrow I will put up another part in the story of Captain Holus' fate, then R2B5 will follow on Thursday and finally R2B6 on Friday, which will be the last story in this Round.
CAPTAIN CYPRIAN'S SEARCH OF OCCASUS NIVEUS MONTIS
Snow was falling in huge clumpy flakes as the Storm Eagles of Captain Cyprian and his team of Legio Marines flew nearer to the "Occasus Niveus Montis"; the mountain that Adramalech's battalion of traitors on the snowy Occassus plains had been heading towards.
Operation Permafrost had revealed this force to Imperial High Command and then Captain Eutronus Amorphous' Sons of Doom had intercepted and made short work of them.
The force of some five hundred traitor guardsmen had been totally annihilated, but not before the Sons of Doom had dragged all the info they could out of the group's leaders. From the poor wretches that survived the battle between the Traitor Guardsmen and the Astartes of "the Sons", they had learned the location of the place they were headed towards. An ancient Eldar pirate fort dug into "Occasus Niveus Montis", a particularly tall mountain to the west. Now it was up to Cyprian and his Legionnaires to locate, clean and secure the old pirate fort once and for all.
A few minutes passed while Cyprian sat deep in contemplation, before the Storm Eagles finally touched down at the base of the mountain. Captain Cyprian was the first to set foot on the untouched land, but as he did so, his legs sank almost forty centimeters into the snow and Cyprian cursed. This planet was bothersome. The rest of the Legio Marines under his command soon followed and in groups of five they started searching the mountainside. Visual aids like magnification and thermal imaging, as well as Auspex was actively used in the search, yet it was a huge mountain. Without pretty accurate coordinates from the traitor guardsmen, they might never have found this place at all. Yet as it was, only two hours went by before the first of many cave entrances was located.
While on patrol, Cyprian thought back to his time before the Legio. Originally he had been from the Third Company of the Infernals Chapter, an Ultramarine successor founded over three thousand years ago. In terms of Imperial history that was relatively short, but even so, his Chapter had a long and proud history. Although his Chapter was relatively unknown, Cyprian was proud to be an Infernal.
At no more than sixty years of age, Brother Cyprian had been asked to serve with the Legio and the young, brash Marine had been quick to accept. Little had he known at the time that few if any Marines serving with the Legio ever returned to serve with their Chapters of origin again.
Looking down at the shoulder pad bearing his Chapter's insignia: two swords crossing eachother like an X alight with flames, he thought about the first time he had seen it, and the first time he had been honored with the right to wear it.
He missed the vibrant, fiery orange armor from those days. The colours of his Chapter. - His Legio armor was black and red as any Legio Marine's, and it was a great honor to be chosen to serve with the Legio. It meant you were the best of the best, but still Cyprian longed to see his own once more.
He remembered how Brother Capitan Ellius of Third Company had taught him everything he needed to know as a Marine. The Captain had taken a special liking to him because of his mastery of the Bolter and it had been said that within the Infernals, he was second only to his Captain in proficiency and accuracy with this type of weapon.
Once, upon their return to their homeworld, Ignis, Chapter Master Calas Valerian had also presented him with full battle honors while serving as an initiate with the Scouts. The honors had been presented for his exceptional skills with Sniper Rifles. - Allegedly Cyprian had saved his Captains life using such a weapon, but Cyprian himself wasn't so sure. After all, the Captain was an excellent fighter.
Now the Infernals were charged with paroling the Eastern Fringe and the last thing Cyprian had heard about them was that they were re-assembling upon Ignis after beheading a full-scale rebellion on the planet Ebbanon.
Cyprian would have liked to be there with them, but instead he was here on this frozen rock, searching for traitors that hid underground like a mouse hides in its hole.
Still it wasn't all bad. There had been plenty of fights ranging from small skirmishes to huge battles. Given the nature of the planet and the places in which the battles had been fought though, cities, caves and tunnels mostly, there hadn't been any titanic battles of ave-inspiring proportions that would go down in imperial legend. Still, the battles fought here were important on a grand scale, for if the Imperials failed then a whole sub-sector would be affected and the Imperial Warmachine of the whole sector could suffer.
Also, this war had seen more Space Marine Chapters involved than most, which was educational and interesting in its own right. The enemies were somewhat intriguing and more often than not the planet itself had been like an adventure.
Nestir V, cyprian thought, looking about at the white snow and sharp mountains. Is a planet that may seem to the untrained eye, to be steeped in nothing but the monotonous white of snow and icy death.
But those that have spent some time here know that it is so much more than that. - It is a place of utter beauty.
Upon his arrival in the Nestir system, it had appeared from space, like a ball of white marble surrounded by a shower of stars. Innocent and pure it had been floating there surrounded by a halo of what seemed like glowing gems.
Since then he had learned that it's pristine, innocent white surface, was been steeped in the red of blood and the black of Promethium. He had been involved in many battles and searched huge regions allowing him to see wonders few others on the planet ever got to. But he had also seen much of the beauty that was commonplace on the planet.
On the surface during the day, tiny ice particles would twinkle and dance like a scattering of fairy dust on the wind. While the ground would shine out in the purest white, reflecting the sky like a billion tiny diamonds.
At night the sky was filled with swirling kaleidoscopic lights of multicolored hues that lit up the landscape in such a way that watching it became an adventure in itself.
Even on the darkest of nights, when one would think everything dreary, the stars of the night sky would twinkle and shine out as pure as if one was floating in space itself. And to top it all off, a shimmering belt of asteroids lit up the sky like a scattering of glowing jewels.
Staying out on patrol or in scout camps in nature at times like that was downright magical.
Then as morning would break, the horizon was lit on fire in glorious streaks of orange, pink and gold, leaving one with an impression of having witnessed the birth of divinity.
To those that had truly seen Nestir V, it was a planet shining in the purest white of innocence and the multi colored hues of infinite adventure.
Cyprian sighed. He missed those patrols too now, so maybe this place wasn't so bad after all. He just wished there would be more action. After all, months upon months of patrols and searching didn't seem a worthy task for an Astartes in a way.
Recently though, he had been promoted to temporary Legio Captain rather than just a Sergeant. That had presented him with new challenges and seeing the overall picture of strategy and tactics had made the job of searching out potential enemy areas much more interesting.
This place, no matter how beautiful in the tiniest of details, was only one more step in the overall plan that lead towards victory.
At that thought Cyprian's mind was pulled fully back to the search at hand again. A few of his other Legio Marine teams had already discovered small cave entrances and had started searching them, but now, scaling the ridge of the mountainside, Captain Cyprian came upon a cave entrance of his own.
The rest of his team hadn't caught up yet and Cyprian turned to see how far off they were. Upon turning, he was taken a bit aback by the magnificent vista of this place.
He was a few hundred meters above their landing zone and he could clearly see the Storm Eagles down there with their guards standing vigilantly outside. The rest of his team was still struggling through the thick snow, and were probably about a minute or two away. Then lifting his eyes, Cyprian could see more mountains in the distance, protruding majestically out of the ground. Partly hidden by snowfall that looked like a form of fog from this far away, the mountains were still beautiful and Cyprian felt his sense of adventure and discovery appear again. Maybe that trait was one of the reasons he had been chosen by High Command to lead so many search parties in these far secluded locations.
Cyprian turned towards the cave entrance again and took a few steps towards it. It was strange he thought. It looked natural, but he felt like it also held traces of having been constructed somehow. One of the search party's servo-skulls swiped past him and turned slightly to regard him as it flew by, before turning again to search out the area ahead of it. The skull would map out the outer cave and create a tactical map that could later be delivered back to High Command as part of the final report on this place.
Cyprian's team was almost upon him now, so he took another few steps towards the cave entrance and noted what had been bothering him. Connecting his auto senses to the remote camera and mapping lasers of the servo-skull within the cavern, he explored that sight further.
Beneath the icicles hanging menacingly down from the overhanging snow, to one side, it looked like a pile of Ork skulls had been gathered with a huge Ork glyph placed on top of it. Barbed wire was coiled out all throughout the place and it looked like maybe hundreds if not thousands more Ork skulls littered the floor in there.
The Captain's team finally caught up with him and Cyprian held up a hand, signaling for them to halt, move out and form a security perimeter.
From within, the servo-skull kept feeding back even more detailed images and a live vid-feed. It was indeed a seeming Ork burial ground. Thousands of Ork skulls were gathered within caves and tunnels stretching hundreds of meters inwards. - Finally, having secured enough intel, Cyprian gathered his men and entered the cave complex.
+ + + +
A few hours later they reappeared outside. It was starting to get dark and the Legio teams were gathered again. They had met with no resistance, but they had found navigating the outer caves a bit hard.
Thousands upon thousands of Ork skulls, glyphs and weapons had been found. For safety's sake, the Legio teams had purged it all with flames. They wanted no Ork spores to survive in this place if that was even possible.
After navigating past the Ork skulls, the Marines had found that the place within had actually been a Space Hulk at one time. Overtaken by Orks it must have crashed here in the past, only to be merged with the mountain and concealed beneath millions of tones of snow and ice.
The areas within the mountain were a mix of natural caverns, artificial tunnels and ancient space ships mangled together from many different cultures.
The Marines also discovered traces of Eldar pirate activity, though it must be centuries since the place had last been used.
Cyprian's theory was that the Ork's had crash landed here and that a possible Waaagh formation had been attempted, but that the Eldar that had been using the mountains as a base of operations had eradicated them. This told them something about the size and strength of the Eldar Pirate activity that had once been present on Nestir V.
Unknown to the human population, this enemy force had saved them from another enemy. The whole place drew up a strange story of secrets and battles from long ago. How Adramalech would have known of this place in enough detail to send one of his own forces here though, was a mystery. - Perhaps he was in league with the Eldar Pirates in some way.
One way or the other, Imperial High Command would have to have this place searched out more thoroughly. If it was indeed an ancient derelict Space Hulk, then it may contain data and technology salvageable and usable by the Imperium.
If it had been up to Cyprian, they would simply have demolished the place, but he was sure the Adeptus Mechanicus arco-tech areological teams would have done more than frown on that course of action.
Finally having returned to the Storm Eagles once more, Cyprian's teams had sat up and were ready to depart again.
Cyprian took one last look at the now dark landscape before entering the cargo bay of his ship. The planet's astroid belt lit the mountain and the snow falling all around it, in a way that made the mountain seem like it was crawling with the ghosts of old. For a second, Cyprian even imagined them to be the raging spirits of a long dead Waaagh, but the notion was silly and childish he knew. - The product of an over-active imagination.
He turned and went inside his transport, the cargo door closing slowly behind him. Tomorrow they would have to send security details and search teams here. It would cost the Crusade valuable resources, but the Adeptus Mechanicus forces were sure to insist on this course of action he knew.
Still, it was out of his hands and he knew it was unlikely he himself would return here any time soon.
With everyone securely onboard, Cyprian's Storm Eagles took off and headed back towards Hive Secundus, leaving the strange, ghostly mountain behind for another time.
Left behind on the ground, the translusant blue appertain of an Eldar Spirit floated lazily on the breeze, watching them disappear.
Edited by Chaptermaster Graymantle, 14 January 2010 - 07:47 AM.