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Lysimachus

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#1
Lysimachus

Lysimachus

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Hello all!

Well, as part of Silver Phoenix's Iron Gauntlet challenges, I've been working on adding to the fluff in the Iron Gods IT, including creating some new characters for them. One of the last challenges was to write a piece of fiction based on the Chapters created and I decided that I would expand some of the fluff I'd written for one of the characters into a story.

Below is the first Chapter that was written as part of the character creation challenge (this bit wont count towards the required word count for the story) which I'll add to as I go.

C+C is very welcome and thanks for looking!

Lysimachus


Chapter 1

The tavern was little more than a shack, constructed of a frame of steel pipes and rusted pieces of corrugated tin. Inside it was dark, lit only by a handful of crude oil lamps, their light further obscured by the smoke of countless iho sticks.

A man sat alone at one of the poorly made tables, the other patrons leaving a wide space around him despite the close confines of the bar. He was big, far taller and broader than any other man there, and was knocking back the strongest local rotgut like it was sweet spring water. The giant was shaven headed with a brutish looking face and several of the regulars whispered to each other that given his size and constitution he must have Ogryn blood.

Degier’s augmented hearing easily picked up the muted conversations around him but he did not care what the men thought. ‘Half Ogryn’ was as good a cover as any he had used in the last two years. He threw back another shot, hoping against hope that this one would have somehow miraculously gained the potency needed to overcome his enhanced metabolism.

He sighed. It hadn’t. He waved for the bartender to bring a second bottle and the awestruck man approached and silently placed it on the table. Degier glared at him until he left. He hated the scum dwellers, and every other pitiful inhabitant of the dilapidated Hive that rose for several miles above them. This whole backwater world meant less than nothing to the Imperium of Man, and yet… and yet… every man, woman and child here had more place in this galaxy than Degier himself. He poured another glass, thinking back to a different life, one of purpose, pride and brotherhood. He remembered Brother Luc’s bellowing laugh, Brother Thero’s sharp wit and Brother-Sergeant Tyrianne’s wise old eyes watching over them all.

Degier grimaced, drinking down the fiery liquid. He also remembered Luc and Thero emptying their last clips at the enemy and Tyrianne’s final, desperate swings with his power sword. All of his squad brothers should have outlived him, yet he had been the one to survive. Better to have died, the thought crossed his mind again as it had so many times, than to live as what he had become. He was about to pour another measure when some instinct, some sixth sense made him pause and ready the compact auto-pistol he carried in a holster under his long cloak. Over the last two years, he had come to trust these strange instincts.

A moment later, two men entered the bar and Degier stiffened. Though their clothing and the smoky half light did much to conceal their height and bulk to a casual observer, to one familiar with their kind, as Degier was, they were unmistakeable. Astartes.

Knowing that they too would immediately identify him, and wishing that he had allowed the denizens of the bar to come closer around him, Degier looked around for an escape route. The first Astartes sat down leisurely by the exit, casually putting his feet up on another chair but watching the patrons of the bar with utmost care. The warrior had a goatee of silvery hair and darkly tanned skin.

The other hid his face under a hood but, after confidently scanning the room for a moment, walked quickly to where Degier sat. Without asking he sat at the table, throwing his hood back. Degier frowned, his mind racing. Surely these two did not hale from the same Chapter, for the second Astartes had pallid white skin and his hair and eyes were both jet black? Calmly the second warrior drew out from under his cloak a long thin knife, its blade blackened so as not to catch the light, and deftly began to clean under his fingernails with the tip.

Degier watched him for a moment and was suddenly, irrevocably sure he was dealing with a very dangerous man, a killer of sociopathic proportions. He frowned. Whatever the newcomer’s abilities, he was not as dangerous as the man he had interrupted. Degier was about to challenge the intruder when the pale killer spoke, his voice soft and sure.

“My employer has a proposition for you, Brother. If you wish to hear it, meet us at landing pad Beta-7 within two hours.” He looked around them at the ramshackle tavern and smiled, though it never reached his black, dead eyes. “Maybe you’re tired of wallowing in your own pity.”

Degier bristled, and could feel the burning rage, the hateful power, flaring behind his eyes. With an exhalation of pure effort, he forced it down. The Astartes had already risen. He walked back out of the tavern without a second glance and the other warrior moved quickly to follow him, leaving Degier to sit in amazed silence. He remained there for the best part of an hour, not touching glass or bottle, trying to make a decision. The dark warrior had used the term ‘employer’ and this, combined with the startling difference in appearance of the two Astartes, left Degier with only one conclusion. Mercenaries. The very thought of the Emperor’s chosen fighting for personal gain left a bad taste in his mouth. He held back a sudden snort of grim laughter, reminding himself that he was in no position to judge the failings of others.

More and more, though, his mind returned to the way the two Marines had looked as they had left the bar, walking with a sense of surety and purpose, and each confident of the support of his partner. Brotherhood and purpose. These were the things that defined an Astartes, things that had too long been missing from his life.

Finally Degier stood, picking up the glass of rotgut as he did. The giant made to knock back the fiery shot, then paused as the glass touched his lips. With a rueful grimace, he slowly placed the drink back down on the table, untouched, then walked quickly from the darkened bar.

* * * * *


Edited by Strike Captain Lysimachus, 24 February 2013 - 08:27 PM.


#2
Nacho Wolf

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This is very good, am I right in thinking you had a hall of honour thread about these guys?
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#3
Lysimachus

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Thanks and yep, most of the main characters in the story have (or will have) mini's to represent them, must change my sig to the Iron Gods HoH thread!

Anyway, started in Chapter 2, around 1,800 words so almost there for a Silver on the 5th Challenge, C+C still very welcome!




Chapter 2

Landing Pad Beta-7 was little more than a disc of rusted steel that had been crudely fixed onto the thick plascrete that formed the outer surface of Armis’ Hive Primus. Situated more than two thirds of the way down the Hive’s mountainous side, the pad was nothing like the graceful platforms that extended from the very tip of the Armis Spire and were used only by the nobility, who ruled this world, and their guests. Such worthy visitors should not have to breathe in the foul and mildly poisonous smog that covered most of this dying world’s surface and wreathed the lower half of the Hive. These vile clouds were, however, highly useful to the denizens of the lower Hive who wished and were able to trade with their counterparts of Hive Secundus and Tertius, or perhaps even with those who travelled from across the stars, in a degree of privacy. In fact, it was aboard a transport bringing in various contraband materials to a similar platform that Degier had arrived on Armis several weeks earlier.

Degier looked out from the shadows of the great cargo doors onto the open platform. With both relief and apprehension, he saw that the two mismatched Astartes were here, lounging beside several large crates. With a deep breath, Degier marched out to join them, his enhanced metabolism barely having to work to compensate for the toxic mist. As he approached, the dark-eyed Marine stood up and stared coldly at him.

“Didn’t think you were coming,” he said finally, before turning away to inspect one of the crates. As he did, the other man also rose, grinning widely.

“Don’t mind him; he’s just not gutted anyone in the last hour or so.”

Degier frowned, wondering whether the second man was joking, then simply shrugged and nodded.

“Name’s Ghoran. He’s Castor.”

Ghoran extended his brawny arm in greeting, which Degier half-reluctantly took in a warrior’s clasp and gave his own name.

“Good.” Ghoran nodded, satisfied. “Wait there a minute.”

He walked away a few paces, pulling out and speaking rapidly into a handheld narrow-band comm. link. After a few moments, he turned back towards Degier, calling to Castor as he did.

“Pick-up in four! He’s coming himself!”

Castor frowned and immediately began checking the crates more carefully, while Ghoran turned his full attention back to Degier, his eyes narrowed.

“Now, some questions before we go any further. Are you hunted by your Brethren? We have no interest in getting involved the internal affairs of any Chapter.”

Degier swallowed uncomfortably and shook his head, struggling for a moment with how to answer the question without revealing his deepest disgrace.

“They think I died with my squad” he answered finally. “We were assigned to board and destroy an Ork patrol ship. We were successful, but most of the squad were killed, then there was an explosion… by the time I freed myself, my Company was gone.”

Ghoran looked at him closely for a moment, clearly aware that Degier was not telling him everything, and then shrugged. “Fine. Got any kit to bring with you, Degier? Weapons? Armour?”

Degier grimaced. He had lost his Power Armour on Phenphir’s World, forced to abandon it in order to escape from several agents of Imperial authority that had taken an interest in him. Its loss galled him still; a final, tenuous link to his former life broken. Rather than explain, he simply shook his head. Ghoran nodded sympathetically and slapped Degier’s shoulder with a blow that would have crushed the bones of a lesser man.

“Aye, lad, there’s more than a few of us who’ve been through it.” He paused. “Don’t you worry, though, stick with the boss and he’ll see you right.”

Before Degier could ask who ‘the boss’ was, a shout rang across the platform.

“In the name of the God Emperor and his Most Holy Inquisition, surrender!”

Men stood in the portal. Most of them, around thirty in number, were Adeptus Arbites, clearly identified by their black, beetle-like armour and heavy shotguns. The last was taller, though cadaverously thin, and wore a long coat and carried a weapon that glowed ominously in the mist.

Ghoran’s reaction was instant. With blinding speed, he drew a bolt pistol and fired in one smooth movement, taking down one Arbite with a smoking hole in his carapace armour. Degier ducked as the Imperial police returned fire, shotgun shells hammering into the crates they sheltered behind. He felt the rage building in him again, a pressure behind his eyes and an odd tingling sensation in his fingertips. Doing his best to hold it in check, Degier pulled out his auto-pistol and added his firepower to Ghoran’s, the highly accurate burst picking off another Arbite. However, it was clear that they were pinned in place, at the mercy of the enemy’s greater range and better cover.

Ghoran roared something into his comm. link, but suddenly something impossibly bright swept across the corner of Degier’s vision, utterly destroying one of the heavy boxes in front of the bearded mercenary. The Inquisitor had fired his plasma weapon! If he was allowed to continue, soon both Degier and his newfound ally would be captured or dead.

With an agonized grimace at the choice he had been forced to make, Degier gave way to the rage within him, feeling the tingle in his fingers become a flood of burning pain. He stood, the air around him beginning to crackle with pure power, and turned to face the Imperial troops. One of them managed to raise his shotgun and let out a terrified warning.

“Psyker!”

With a snarl of hatred, Degier raised his hand and gestured at the man who had recognized him as the shameful aberration he was. Without any warning, a bolt of blue-white lightning sparked wildly from the Astartes’ fingertips across the platform to strike the unfortunate man full in the chest. The black carapace armour cooked and melted along with the flesh beneath it. The Arbite collapsed, his whole body a smoking ruin, but Degier had already turned to look for his next target. Chain lightning leapt from body to body and the stink of ozone and burnt flesh filled the air. Five warriors were down before Degier’s eyes fell upon their leader and crackling light arced towards the gaunt Inquisitor.

Just as it seemed certain that the burning power must slaughter the Imperial agent, he raised one hand almost casually against it. With an almighty crash, the lightning rebounded as if from an invisible wall and out into the smog. Degier growled angrily but the Inquisitor appeared calm. He looked intently at the renegade, his eyes deep and dark, orbs of an unfathomable blackness that Degier suddenly felt himself falling into. He didn’t know what the Inquisitor was doing to him, but couldn’t tear his gaze away from those eyes. Confusion and nausea swept though him and even as he tried to focus the mental fury within him to retaliate, it seemed to dissipate from his mind. As Degier stumbled, the Arbites moved cautiously forward again to surround the beleaguered Astartes.

Suddenly, something, a shadow, huge and impossibly fast, moved through the toxic mist high above the landing platform. A violent staccato chattering, loud enough to drown out every noise on the pad, filled the air and a torrent of explosive bolts scythed into the ranks of the Arbites, tearing bodies apart with bloody force. The shadow dropped lower through the smog, resolving itself into a shape that Degier immediately recognized, although he had never thought to see its like again.

The Thunderhawk Gunship, coloured in mismatched greys, continued to fire its heavy bolters as it descended and the outclassed Arbites began to flee back inside the safety of the great Hive. The Inquisitor also turned to run, but even as he reached the safety of the portal, a shadow rose from the darkness within. The gaunt man staggered backwards onto the landing pad, gazing with profound confusion at the knife hilt embedded in his chest. As he crumpled, the shadow stepped forward, revealing itself as the black-eyed Castor. Degier gaped. He had not noticed the dark warrior outflanking their opponents at all, had not seen even a hint of movement. The sociopath was clearly even more talented than Degier had realized, but he had no time to appreciate the renegade’s skill.

Even as the Thunderhawk touched down, its assault ramp was already lowered and a score of warriors, all clad in full power armour coloured the same dirty grey, poured forth. The first squad quickly took up covering positions around the ‘hawk, their bolters ready, and then the second rushed out and past Degier and Ghoran to hold the cargo doors in case the Imperial enforcers returned in greater force. In a matter of seconds, the small band had established a solid beachhead and Degier had to admire their speed and professionalism. However, the arrival of the grey warriors also raised several questions in his mind. Who were these men? Surely not just any group of mercenaries. A score of well trained and equipped Astartes, aided by the unparalleled mobility provided by their winged transport, made for a force that could conceivably conquer the entire Hive, perhaps even Armis itself. What leader, presumably the ‘employer’ Castor and Ghoran had spoken of, could command the loyalty of such a force?

From behind him, a gravelly, confident voice rang out and answered Degier’s question.

“Ghoran, you old whoreson! Report!”

As Ghoran hurried over to the Thunderhawk’s ramp, Degier turned and was suddenly struck by the sheer sense of presence of the figure before him. He was massive, towering over Ghoran and clad in monstrously bulky Tactical Dreadnought Armour. His right arm was encased in a power fist mounted with a storm bolter and in his left hand he carried a wickedly curved axe with almost negligent ease. His features were patrician, his nose aquiline and his dark eyes cold and cruel. However, it was not only the giant’s physical appearance that so struck Degier, but also the aura of power and authority he projected. Degier was aware of the mercenary leader’s mind at the very edge of his senses; a frightening blend of cold intelligence, arrogance, cunning, and hunger for power, all underlain with the unpredictable madness of a true despot.

For a moment Degier stood frozen, staring. Seemingly aware of another’s eyes upon him, the beast turned from his lieutenant to look at Degier. With a nonchalant wave of his brutish power fist and a comradely grin that did not reach his eyes, he beckoned the youthful psyker over.

Degier approached slowly, forcing down the abominable power that burned instinctively within him as he neared the undeniable threat of the renegade commander. As he came closer, Degier found himself bowing his head respectfully. The lord looked down regally and nodded almost imperceptibly in return.

“I…” the giant rumbled coldly, “am Talek Varn.”

Edited by Strike Captain Lysimachus, 31 July 2010 - 07:40 PM.


#4
Nacho Wolf

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Nice job, this is really coming together. Mayby you should think about putting the pictures in this thread as well, might get more people to comment, I'm starting to feel lonely :D

Edited by Nacho Wolf, 01 August 2010 - 03:38 AM.

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*Strokes big viking beard* Girl? What is girl?


#5
Brother Argent

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Nice SCL. Its good to see the Renegades portrayed as nice guys for once as opposed to Captain Evil McEvil. I haven't thoroughly read over it (yet) but from what I skimmed I like Degeir, which is a hard thing to achieve. Good work.

I'll give it a more thorough read when I aint so damned busy.

#6
Lysimachus

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Thanks guys, and I'm glad the characters are coming across as likeable, that's kind of what I was going for (or as likeable as a bunch of bloodthirsty pirates led by psychotic megalomaniac get, anyway!)

Anyway, here's the third and possibly final Chapter. It ends the story arc quite well (I think) and gets me up to around 4,000 words for the Challenge, so...
Having said that, there may be some more tales for Varn, Degier, Ghoran and the rest at some point in the future. :P

Aannywhooo... here's chapter 3, let me know what you think!




Chapter 3

Without warning, Degier found himself sinking to one knee. Even here on Armis, at the heart of the Sub-Sector and far from the dangers of the mysterious Solios Nebula, people had heard the name Talek Varn. The master of the Iron Gods was a legend, a terrifying bogeyman used by parents all around the borders of the Nebula to frighten their children into obedience. For centuries, his reavers had threatened the worlds of, not one, but two Segmenta, almost entirely unopposed by the greater Imperium around them. Degier’s senses had not failed him, for here was a monster, a tyrant, a man to be feared and respected above any other that he had met in many years. Finally, he found his voice to speak, though he kept his eyes firmly fixed on Varn’s armoured boots.

“You are a long way from home, my Lord.”

Degier could almost taste the pirate king’s subconscious glee at his infamous renown, but Varn’s reply was outwardly humble and comradely.

“Bend your knee to no man, Degier,” the giant grinned, gesturing for the psyker to rise. “At least, not before you have heard his terms, anyway.”

Slightly perplexed, Degier stood and Talek Varn, after dismissing Ghoran, continued.

“And yes, my men and I are far from my realm. However, I hope that the prize I have sought is worth the risk involved.”

“Prize, Lord?”

Varn raised one eyebrow and then let out a bark of harsh laughter.

“You, Degier, you are the prize. A man, an Astartes no less, of your ‘gifted’ nature, wandering the worlds of Imperium alone, is a very rare thing.”

“You knew of my curse?” Degier breathed.

“Of course I knew! I have eyes and ears all around the borders of my kingdom, merchants and captains who will trade information in return for safe passage. Stories of a giant who hurls lightning from his fingertips and causes earthquakes with a word spread quickly. Who do you think that corpse Castor is now ransacking was searching for? Not the Iron Gods, or their master. No one knows we are here. The Inquisition hunts you, Degier.”

Degier swore softly. He should have known that his last escape had been incomplete. He looked around nervously.

“Fear not, lad,” Varn half whispered. “I can keep you safe from those vultures. In any case, there is one thing you are incorrect about. You are not cursed, you are blessed! You have powers, beyond the understanding of most mortals, strength that can bring you glory and reward unimagined.”

“The witch is an abomination, the mutant a heretic by his very existence,” Degier replied bleakly, looking out into the toxic fog and remembering the look of disgust on Brother-Sergeant Tyrianne’s face. “So did my Chapter teach me.”

“What really happened on that Ork ship?” Varn asked curiously.

Degier spun back to face him, shocked by both the suddenness and perceptiveness of the question.

“Are you a witch yourself that you know all my secrets?” he gasped.

Varn laughed again, that same harsh bark that held little real mirth.

“No, lad, I am no psyker. Rather, think of me simply as an able judge of character. Tell me the truth Degier. I will have no secrets held from me by those that would be my subjects.”

Degier nodded slowly. Perhaps it would be better that the truth was told, even if it was to this amoral reaver. Here at least there could be no judgement for his many sins. He began slowly:

“My squad was assigned to board the Ork cruiser, destroy it. We torpedoed in near where we thought the main engine room was located but the ship was far more heavily defended than we had expected. The xeno-filth were everywhere, all eager to spill our blood. We pressed on, but one by one, my brothers fell until only four of us remained. We made our final stand in an antechamber near the warp engines but even as I fought I could feel the power in my fingertips, the burning in my mind. The Orks were about to overrun our position when… ”

“The instinct to survive is very strong, lad,” Varn explained kindly. “Sometimes it can awaken things in us that we did not even know existed. I have seen it happen before.”

“The power burst from me like a torrent. It leapt from Ork to Ork, burning and slaying. I destroyed scores, perhaps even hundreds of the vile beasts in a matter of seconds. Our path to the warp engines and the completion of our mission was suddenly clear, but my brothers were not grateful for what I had done, they were horrified. My Sergeant looked at me like I was lower than the smouldering xeno corpses that surrounded us. He ordered what was left of our unit to turn their guns on me. I was just as appalled as they were at what I had done, but the power within would not allow me to stand still while they killed me. I… I…”

He paused, unable to speak the words aloud. Images flashed again across his mind, Luc and Thero emptying their last clips at their enemy and Tyrianne’s final, desperate swings with his power sword. Emperor, but he needed a drink!

“That survival instinct took over again?” Varn interrupted quietly.

Degier nodded sadly.

“And so you know my greatest shame. I am both an abomination and a murderer of men far better than myself. Perhaps that will make you less eager to share my company. In any case, I took the melta bombs we carried to the warp engines and escaped the cruiser before more of the crew could arrive. The vessel was destroyed utterly, along with the remains of my brothers. My Chapter must have assumed we had all died achieving our objective, and I hid rather than face their judgement, their disgust. I have been running and hiding ever since.”

“Your Chapter were fools.”

In spite of the obvious madness of assaulting the armoured beast, Degier found himself clenching his fists in sudden anger and gathering his mental strength. Varn saw this and raised a conciliatory hand.

“Do you really owe them your loyalty any longer, Degier? They turned on you! You owe them less than nothing!” he sneered. "See the truth for yourself, child. This Imperium was built by those with the gifts your brethren cursed. The Emperor was the greatest psyker ever to live. Only a fool could not see it. More than this, your brothers were hypocrites. How did they communicate or travel across the void without the aid of Astropaths or Navigators? Witches and mutants. If such ones truly were cursed, would that not make all Mankind cursed by association? You are not cursed, lad, you are gifted beyond measure.” Varn paused, his eyes alight with passion. “Serve me, and I will show you all that you can be.”

“Become a renegade, a mercenary?” Degier responded, sudden scorn vying with the hope in his heart.

Varn smiled thinly, ignoring the veiled insult.

“I am a true son of the Emperor. Were he to step down from his golden throne I would be the first to kneel; but to bow to the wishes of the weakling old men of Terra? It is beneath the dignity of a true Astartes. I will make my own way in this galaxy, as do all those that follow me.”

Degier instinctively knew the lie in Varn’s words even as he spoke them. This man would bow to no-one, not the High Lords, not the Emperor Himself. However, he could not help but appreciate the man’s charismatic pride. Was the life he offered really any worse than the one Degier had chosen for himself?

Varn grinned, seemingly aware of his uncertainty.

“You would find me a good master, Degier, ask any of my men. I am always loyal to those who are loyal to me. Generous too.” He nodded to one of the Astartes at the foot of the Thunderhawk’s assault ramp, who waved at someone aboard. “In fact, I have a gift for you, if you are interested.”

His curiosity raised, Degier watched as a pair of non-Astartes crewmen dragged a long anti-grav pallet down the ramp. As it came to rest in front of him, he was stunned. Laid out on the pallet was a full suit of powered armour, painted in the same grey as Varn’s and his troops. Not just any suit, though, for this was a work of art, a complete set of Mark VI armour with its distinctive greaves and studded left shoulder pad. The breastplate and feet were beautifully artificered and thick cables ran up the chest into what Degier assumed to be some form of psychic hood. At the side of the armour lay a long staff, almost the height of the suit itself, mounted with an ornately carved horned skull.

Degier gaped, speechless. Though he knew nothing of the wargear used by the Librarians of other Chapters, the armour was undoubtedly a true relic, almost as ancient as the Imperium of man itself. Finally he found his voice.

“Where did this come from?” he whispered.

“I found it more than forty years ago, in the Hall of Antiquities on Mardego IV. The fools barely even knew what they had in their possession and I insisted on being part of my tribute. Gods, how it came to be there I cannot even imagine!” He smiled with satisfaction. “I have been waiting forty years for a man to wear it.”

With a sigh at the thought that he would have to admit to Varn that he knew nothing of how to use such equipment, that his former Chapter did not train psykers but rather executed them, Degier ran a regretful hand over the curve of the studded shoulder pad.

The touch was electric. Degier was suddenly aware of the armour in a way that he had not been a moment before. He could sense an impression of the dozens, perhaps hundreds, of Astartes who had worn it, each leaving behind a psychic echo of half-images, feelings and countless battles. Even more than this, he could somehow feel from the armour the numbing frustration of millennia spent gathering dust, unfulfilled and useless. Without any words having been spoken, Degier was sure that whatever he needed to learn, in some strange way the suit itself could show him.

Slowly, he looked back up at the giant figure looming over him, and saw the cold glint in Varn’s eyes. The desire, the lust for dominance within the tyrant, whether over Degier or anything else, was an almost palpable thing. For a moment, Degier was ready to turn away, to give up the beautiful armour, and run from the beast before him. Then something stopped him, something even stranger than what he had felt but scant seconds earlier. Out of the vile fog, out of the ether itself, Degier heard a voice speaking. It was a grizzled, ancient voice, seemingly wearied by unending years; and yet somehow its tone was familiar to him. Neither Varn nor any of the other pirates present appeared to hear the whispered words, but their import rang clear to Degier.

“He is a despot. A power-hungry madman, a thief, a liar and a brutal, cruel murderer; he is and will be responsible for the deaths of thousands of good Imperial men and women. And yet one day, with the right guidance, his actions and those of the men that follow him will save not just planets or systems, but whole Segmenta. Blood follows him, blood… and glory.”

Even as Degier wondered at the meaning of these words, the dark-eyed Castor hurried over from where the Iron Gods watched the portal into the great Hive.

“Lord Varn, we need to move. The Arbites are bringing up the local troops, heavy weapons and several vehicles too.”

Varn nodded thoughtfully.

“To be expected. The Imperials do not wish to part so easily with their prize. Well, Degier, it is time for you to make your choice. Death, if you are fortunate, at the hands of the Emperor’s lackeys; or life, riches and glory at my right hand?”

Degier frowned, only half listening to the renegade Lord’s question. It had taken a moment to realize why the ancient, weary voice had sounded so familiar to him. But for the gruff, cracked tone that spoke of the speaker’s great age, the voice sounded exactly like Degier’s own. He sighed, still perplexed but resolved anyway, his decision made.

“I am with you, my Lord Varn. Blood… and glory.”


**********

Edited by Strike Captain Lysimachus, 05 August 2010 - 06:54 AM.


#7
Ace Debonair

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;)

Wow. I just signed up for the same challenge. I wish I'd read this first - there's no way I can write something half as good, forget matching the quality of this.
I was hooked from the first sentence to the last.

Truly, you are a skilled wordsmith, Lysimachus. :)

#8
Lysimachus

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Thanks Ace, glad you approved and nice to have you back around!

And don't worry, I'm really looking forward to reading yours too, will it be Stonebound/Rift Lords/one of the others ( ;) ) or even a 'cross-over' between more than one?

#9
Ace Debonair

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Thanks Ace, glad you approved and nice to have you back around!

And don't worry, I'm really looking forward to reading yours too, will it be Stonebound/Rift Lords/one of the others ( ;) ) or even a 'cross-over' between more than one?

Ooh, it's gotta be the Rift Lords. :P A little something I dreamt up when working on the early parts of their IT...
If it's half as good as this, I'll be pretty happy.


Varn smiled thinly, ignoring the veiled insult.

“I am a true son of the Emperor. Were he to step down from his golden throne I would be the first to kneel; but to bow to the wishes of the weakling old men of Terra? It is beneath the dignity of a true Astartes. I will make my own way in this galaxy, as do all those that follow me.”

Degier instinctively knew the lie in Varn’s words even as he spoke them. This man would bow to no-one, not the High Lords, not the Emperor Himself. However, he could not help but appreciate the man’s charismatic pride. Was the life he offered really any worse than the one Degier had chosen for himself?

This was, without doubt, my favourite part. For just a minute, even I was convinced Varn was sincere.
And I've read the Iron Gods' IT. ^_^

#10
RedShoes

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I've seen your renegades in the Hall of Honour many times but I have to say: this story really brought them to life. You are truely a great writer. My favourite part was the entire thing as I found it wasn't a story, but a work of art.
QUOTE (shan vener @ Apr 5 2010, 09:50 PM)
thats my first thought. just make sure astorath doesnot come to your fortress monestary

"Poor tortured brothers, I have come to give your souls sweet, sweet release..."
"No actually sir, we're all fine here!"
"But..."
"No really, you're a busy man, and we heard there's some Flesh Tearers who just finished going nuts a couple systems over. Thanks for stopping by, next time we'll make sure to have some drinks ready!"
"But..."
"Bye, High Chaplain! Tell Dante we said hello!"


It seemed to surprise everybody that the Angels Sanguine were actually the vampires from Twilight.


Even though it dosen't seem like it I also play Space Wolves and Space Marines... not much though.

#11
Lysimachus

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Thank you very much RedShoes, I'm glad you enjoyed it! I'm actually working on another IG atm so keep your eyes peeled! :lol:

#12
Midgard

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Just went through the story and found it very well done, very gripping. The characters were written in a way that made me care about them, and that made them seem fully fleshed out. Thumbs way, way up.

Twisthammer - alternate history reimagining of Warhammer 40,000

Conqueror - Book One of Twisthammer (novel)

Midgard - melodic death metal

My Amazon author page


#13
auwombat

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Great writing Captain!