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REF TALE - The stories

Brotherhood of the Lost Lost and Forgotten Alternate Heresy

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#1
Kelborn

Kelborn

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In a galaxy far, far away...

There is only war!

 

Welcome brothers, sisters and followers of the alternate Heresy project "Brotherhood of the Lost".

 

This thread shall serve as a summary of all official and completed stories our participants wrote.

 

We hope you'll enjoy the show.

 

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Dear members of the brotherhood,

 

please have in mind that this thread should only consists of those fluff bits, stories, etc. which were approved and completed. If you have written a new story, please post them in the appropriate thread for discussions, revisions and so on.

 

Furthermore start your post here with the included Legions and in which time (or book) it will fit. This will help those of us who have the tremendous task of designing our books to have an overview. So please keep this thread clean!

 

Example:

 

Author: Kelborn

Included Legions: The awesome bling bling guys, The bloody thousand, Berserks in underwear

Time: around 087.M31; Book XVI "The Never-ending Story of Madness"

 

[Story]

 

No comments are allowed. We want to avoid another exploding thread.

 

That's all.

 

Let the story telling begin! Fluff for the Fluff god!

 

Kelborn

 

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You would have a tale of the Imperium that was? Well you might, but, pray, you must be more specific, for there are a great many stories to choose from. Would you hear of the Crusade, when the name of Icarion inspired only adoration? Or perhaps you would prefer a story of how the noble Warmaster and his warriors rallied against the betrayal. Then again, your appetite may run to more ghoulish matters, when the veil was torn aside and the nightmares crossed over, of Raktra and his gore-spillers or Morro's depravities. Maybe you would hear of Terra itself, our nadir and our zenith. We may speak of all of these. You have but to choose.

The Great Crusade
 

Spoiler
Mighty Heroes Battle to Rule the Galaxy

Humanity is ascendant, marching outward from Terra under the leadership of the Emperor of Mankind. From the ashes of the Age of Strife he has forged a mighty and glorious Imperium, and has proclaimed a Great Crusade to secure his people's rule over the stars. Vast armies give battle in His name and for the cause of Unity, that the entire Galaxy might be their domain.

The enemies of the Crusade are many, ranging from human tyrants and mutants to aliens of all kinds; the brutal Orks and duplicitous Eldar are but the most numerous. Perhaps vilest of all are the Qarith, a once human culture made unrecognisable by rampant genetic meddling, forged into aliens of terrifying might. Against these foes the armies of Man wield incredible technologies. Vast warships traverse the void and the strange passages of the Warp. On the battlefield the creations of Mars range from powered armour for the Emperor's warriors to the god-machine Titans, which can lay waste to almost any foe.

Yet the Emperor's greatest weapons are flesh and blood, enhanced far beyond mortal capabilities by the brilliant mind of the Emperor Himself. They are the Adeptus Astartes, the superhuman Space Marines. Organised into eighteen Legions, each mighty enough to shake the very stars, they are each led by a son of the Emperor - the Primarchs, His generals and champions. Some, such as the Iron Bears and the Wardens of Light, are praised across the Imperium. Others are viewed with simple awe, for the Crimson Lions and Fire Keepers are fierce warriors with little regard for anything except conquest. A few have a much darker reputation, and even the most loyal citizen shudders at the names of the Grave Stalkers and the Berserkers of Uran.

Above all others in this mighty brotherhood stand two. Icarion, the First Found and the Emperor's most beloved son, who has led the Lightning Bearers since the first decades of the Crusade, and Alexandros, who is as much a statesman as a general, earning the adoration of the common people both for himself and his Halcyon Wardens. Joined by a bond closer than any other that exists between the Primarchs, they also share the gift of foresight, which has propelled them to victory over impossible odds.

But events lie beyond even the sight of such gifted warriors, and the edifice of the Imperium is riddled with tensions. As the flames of war spread, Mankind's champions will be put to the ultimate test.

Reunion - the Shepherds of Eden and Berserkers of Uran

Ghost Crusade - the Lightning Bearers

Liberators - the Godslayers

A Difference of Opinion - Niklaas, Raktra and Alexandros

Judgement - the Godslayers and Void Eagles

Inwit - the Shepherds of Eden and Berserkers of Uran, part 1 of 2

Shepherd - the Shepherds of Eden and Berserkers of Uran, part 2 of 2

In the Arms of Valkyries - the Crimson Lions

Feral - the Berserkers of Uran

Desperation - the Predators

Painful Observations - Alexandros and the Jade General

Mechanised - the Halcyon Wardens, Shepherds of Eden and Iron Bears

Circumvallation - the Fire Keepers and Eagle Warriors

A Message - the Dune Serpents

Prospero - the aftermath of the tragedy of the lost Space Wolves and Thousand Sons

The Eagles Hunt - the Eagle Warriors

The Beheading - the Scions Hospitalier

Captain Sarrin - the Iron Bears

A Siege At Dusk - the Crimson Lions, part 1 of 2

Hive - the Grave Stalkers and Crimson Lions, part 2 of 2

A Proper Depiction - Daer'dd and the Iron Bears

Laeran - the Iron Bears and Scions Hospitalier

Lineage - Lotara Sarrin and Ellen Temeter

Koloss - the Lightning Bearers, Halcyon Wardens and the Emperor

The Jackals and Prey - the Stygian Jackals and Lightning Bearers

Death World - the Fire Keepers

Ascencion - Alexandros at the Qarith Triump
 


A New Order



Spoiler
The Galaxy is Changing

The Great Crusade continues as humanity cements its hold on the Galaxy, but no longer does the Emperor stand at the forefront. Instead, as He turns His unmatched intellect to other, mysterious projects, Alexandros has been given the mantle of Warmaster, and stands in charge of the Crusade.

The apparent passing over of Icarion - first found of the Primarchs and ever the favoured son - was met with shock, even from Alexandros himself. While Icarion supports his brother, he too wrestles with his conflicted feelings. Other Primarchs are less forgiving, and Alexandros has faced muted opposition to his ways of directing the Crusade. However, he is beloved by the common man, and with some constant supporters among his brothers, he has successfully advanced the borders of the Imperium even further.

However, with all the pride and ambition built into the Imperial war machine, the Warmaster presides over a tinderbox. And just out of sight, powerful and malevolent forces spy their chance to spark an inferno.

Whispers and Worries - the Iron Bears and Scions Hospitalier

Dinner for Eleven - the Scions Hospitalier

Stature of a Giant - Alexandros and Niklaas

Once More, With Feeling - the Scions Hospitalier

Ritual Union - the Iron Bears

Daughters of Daer'dd

A Family Dinner - every Primarch

Marek - the Shepherds of Eden

The Great Games - every Legion

A Lone Wolf's Burden - Ellen Temeter and Ancient Ærrionof the Crimson Lions

Adjusting - the Lightning Bearers, Halcyon Wardens and Dune Serpents

Uneasy Allies - the Iron Bears and the Warbringers

Treat It Like A Duel - the Scions Hospitalier and Shepherds of Eden

Severity - the Scions Hospitalier

Tea Time - Icarion and the Jade General
 


Day of Revelation



Spoiler
The Imperium Reaches Breaking Point

For decades, Icarion has striven to serve under the authority of Alexandros, but despite his affection for his brother and father, he has long coveted the title and power of the Warmaster. Now voices have reached him of a betrayal the Emperor intends to visit upon His own sons. Seeing no alternative, he has begun to build an army with which he might depose the Emperor and take his place as ruler of Mankind.

In utter secrecy he has solicited allies among the Primarchs, purging his own Legion to ensure that no dissent can undo his scheme. Entire Legions await his command, and even among others his words have found willing ears. With these forces he intends to carve out an empire of his own, leaving the Emperor isolated. If he can win the support of Alexandros, victory will be his for the taking.

But even then they will not be unopposed. In Yucahu and Daer'dd, Icarion faces the prospects of brothers who will never forsake their father, and if Alexandros does not side with him then vast swathes of the Imperium and its mortal armies will resist him. To ensure his advantage, he has schemed to break the backs of the Legions he believes will not join him. Exploiting the authority delegated to him by the Warmaster, he has manipulated his prospective enemies into battles where they will be ambushed by those loyal to him.

The board is set, and the first pieces are in motion.

The First Strike Upon the Eagles - the Void Eagles and Stygian Jackals

Treachery in the Depths - the Scions Hospitalier and The Drowned
 


Insurrection



Spoiler
 


Inferno



Spoiler
The Galaxy is Fire and Blood

Forced to reach out to xenos in the search for allies, the Imperial Warmaster has stalled the advance of the Insurrectionists. Ancient, alien technologies are unleashed upon their enemies, wreaking devastation on one battlefield after another. However, while the Imperium has withstood the tensions that such cooperation brings, fresh horror arises to assail the Loyalists.

Alexos Travier has swayed Icarion, pretender to the Throne of Terra, to the service of Chaos. Even as the Stormlord’s erstwhile followers are splintered, the favour of the Dark Gods has gifted him terrible power. Across the Galaxy, the loyalists under Alexandros fight to hold back the tide against the Insurrectionists as the awful forces of the Warp arise. After decades of war, the Insurrection has reached a new, apocalyptic zenith.

The borders between the two empires are marked by thousands of ravaged worlds, but now the Insurrectionists surge over the scorched lines, bringing fresh horror to the Imperium.

Secessionists under Kozja Darzalas and the Jade General flee from the insanity Travier has brought about, but Icarion's forces remain huge and are now bolstered by the denizens of the Warp. Even Space Marines, once among humanity's greatest heroes, pledge themselves to Chaos and are shaped into abominations by the aether. The “Revolutionaries” fear the destruction that Icarion might visit upon them and turn to gene-manipulation, hoping to create an army that can best the Stormlord's Legions.

Alexandros and his remaining brothers fight desperately to keep these dreadful hordes from attacking the Throneworld, where the Emperor continues his decades of struggle to keep the Warp from consuming Terra itself. The noble Legiones Astartes have lost hundreds of thousands of warriors, to say nothing of the billions of mortal warriors who have died. Every hour, more lives are given to holding the line.

As the Emperor's greatest foes reveal themselves, the choice could not be more stark. Either the Warmaster and his allies prevail, or Mankind shall be engulfed by the tide of blood and madness.

The Fall - the Godslayers
 


The Reckoning



Spoiler
The Cradle of Mankind Burns

At last, Icarion's forces lay siege to Terra itself, and final victory is within the Stormborn's grasp. Hundreds of worlds have burned and uncounted lives extinguished in the final push to the Throneworld. Now traitorous Space Marines make war upon the world they swore to fight for, and the laughter of daemons pollutes the air. They are close now, close to destroying the one who set himself to the task of destroying the Ruinous Powers themselves.

The Emperor remains silent beneath His palace even now, as the Neverborn and their allies - now a cruel mockery of the majestic warriors He created to save Mankind - assault the fortress. The Warmaster Alexandros stands in his place, every facet of his military brilliance turned towards staving off ruin. Under his command an army as fierce and battle-hardened as the Imperium ever possessed draw their weapons and defy the traitors, hoping they can last long enough for help to reach them.

For Terra is far from the only battlefield in the Galaxy. Loyalists burn through the Warp to reach their allies, renegades and Blackshields fight for their own myriad agendas, and the Secessionists led by Kozja prepare for a desperate ploy of their own. The most ruinous technologies of the Mechanicus are brought to bear against the heretical innovations of their former brethren. In the hands of Space Marines and their Primarchs, blades thirst for the blood of those they once called kin.

No time remains to draw breath. This is the plunge.

The Parting - Alexos vs Gwalchavad

Never Give Up, Never Give In - the Crimson Lions
 


The Age of the Imperium



Spoiler
In the Grim Darkness of the Far Future, There Is Only War

It is the 41st Millennium. For more than a hundred centuries the Emperor of Mankind has sat immobile on the Golden Throne of Earth. He is the master of mankind by the will of the gods and master of a million worlds by the might of his inexhaustible armies. He is a rotting carcass writhing invisibly with power from the Dark Age of Technology. He is the Carrion Lord of the vast Imperium of Man for whom a thousand souls are sacrificed every day so that he may never truly die.

Yet even in his deathless state, the Emperor continues his eternal vigilance. Mighty battlefleets cross the daemon-infested miasma of the Warp, the only route between distant stars, their way lit by the Astronomican, the psychic manifestation of the Emperor's will. Vast armies give battle in His name on uncounted worlds. Greatest amongst his soldiers are the Adeptus Astartes, the Space Marines, bio-engineered super-warriors. Their comrades in arms are legion: the Imperial Guard and countless planetary defence forces, the ever-vigilant Inquisition and the tech-priests of the Adeptus Mechanicus to name only a few.

But for all their multitudes, they are barely enough to hold off the ever-present threat to humanity from aliens, heretics, mutants - and far, far worse. To be a man in such times is to be one amongst untold billions. It is to live in the cruellest and most bloody regime imaginable. These are the tales of those times. Forget the power of technology and science, for so much has been forgotten, never to be relearned. Forget the promise of progress and understanding, for in the grim dark future there is only war. There is no peace amongst the stars, only an eternity of carnage and slaughter, and the laughter of thirsting gods.

(all credit to Games Workshop for that final blurb)

Ruiner, a tale of the Black Legion and the First Dark Crusade
 

More personal tales:
The Second Son - the life and times of Alexandros

The Mycenor - the story of Hectarion

The Praetorian of Terra - the story of Akylles, of the Halcyon Wardens

 

 


Edited by Lord Thørn, 28 November 2017 - 10:52 PM.

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image




Brotherhood of the Lost - The Icarion Insurrection: http://www.bolterand...od-of-the-lost/


This is my mod voice. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My mod voice is a means to an end.

Let us avoid it, alright?


#2
Sigismund229

Sigismund229

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Sorry, didn't notice this thread before posting on Raktra's thread

The Climb

Author: Sigismund229, the fluff god himself(jk)

Legion: The Berserkers of Uran, VII legion

Time: C.940 M.31
The snow. It was always the snow. In all the time that he had been on this accursed world, Castalle had yet to find a more annoying or deadly aspect of the world's climate. It seemed that whenever he was assaulting one of the mountain jails on this world a snow storm would whip up and then whether you would survive was anyone's guess. You could be knocked from your foothold or a narrow mountain trail by an avalanche or the snow would freeze to the rocks, creating a slippery ice surface on which it was difficult to find purchase with power armoured fingers and feet, like Castalle was struggling to do now. For the moment he had purchase on the ice but he could feel his left foot slipping. Pre empting it, he moved his foothold and hauled himself further up the sheer vertical cliff in front of him as the wind howled and tore at his armour, trying to haul him off of the rock wall and throw him to his death. His armour told him that he was 7,900 metres above the ground. Not even an astartes would survive a fall like that. Growling, Castalle dragged himself up yet again, finding another foot and handhold. This time, his right hand slipped off his first intended hand hold meaning he had to bear his bodies entire weight upon his left arm and leg as he fumbled around trying to find a hand hold for his right hand. Castalle grinned triumphantly. He could see the top of the mountain and the fortress jail of the convicts. The most difficult part of the assault was almost over and although he'd lost three brothers, Ludwin, Zeremas and Coine, all of whom had fallen to their deaths after losing their grip, he was strong and he'd made it. He didn't grieve the brothers he'd lost. The manor of their deaths showed their weakness and weaklings were fit for nothing but death, just as those weakling Shepherds had been fit only for death, although for reasons Castalle had never understood the primarch let them live provided they left the legion. 

As he came within 50 metres of the fortress, the vertical cliff face began to even out, so that as the inmates opened fire with autoguns on Castalle he could afford to removed his left hand from its hold and use it to draw his bolter and start to pick off inmates who were firing upon him with their pathetic little autoguns. Every shot he fired was a kill shot, every one ended another pathetic weakling's life. Castalle took pride in that, just as he'd taken pride in the class room of children he'd butchered on Carnix IV, passing the Ashen King's test with flying colours. He still wore their skulls on chains around his belt. So Castalle shot and shot and shot, laughing with each enemy life he ended and shouting "First Blood!" over the vox. Then it happened. Just as his bolter clicked empty and he mag locked it to his breastplate so that he could reload with one hand, the avalanche hit him. He tried desperately to hold on, his fingers clawing inefectually at the ice, but he couldn't do it. As tonnes upon tonnes of snow hammered into him, he lost his grip and fell, his body landing with a sickly crunch on the stone 4000 metres down. 

As Castalle was glorying in the bloody toll he was reaping on the defenders, Sergeant Gasg's gaze was fixed up. Climb, reach the enemy fortress, get inside, slaughter them, don't fall. That was all that mattered, not idiot things like first blood. So it was that Gasg's gaze was fixed up and so he saw what Castalle didn't. He saw the snow begin to tumble down the mountain in an avalanche and, before it him him, he dug his fingers deep into the rock, using his enhanced strength to firm his grip, and then he waited. Sure enough, mere moments later the snow came hurtling down into him, slamming into him with the force of a sicaran battle tank. However, where Castalle was weak and lost his grip, Gasg stayed strong and kept his position, weathering the storm and letting it roll over him. However, as he stood, immobile, he saw the life signs of nine more brother flicker and fade as they fell. Of his squad, only he and Sar were still alive. 

When the avalanche passed, he loosened his fingers from where he had dug them into the rock and continued climbing up the mountain like a spider. Gasg had been surprise to discover that climbing up Kulaggo's mountains wasn't too different to being a tunnel rat on Uran, a task he'd become expert at in his time in the prison, with his think, lanky body being perfectly suited to crawling up the gutters and drainage pipes of the mass prison blocks of Uran. If anything, being tunnel rat was more difficult. 

He scaled the mountain quickly and efficiently, rarely losing his footing. Behind him, his fellow former tunnel rat, Sar, wasn't too far behind, moving only a bit more slowly. The autogun fire the convicts were pouring down on them was little more than a nuissance, an irritant. Little else. When he reached the small walls of the fortress-prison, Gasg leapt over the them, punching his fist straight through the face of the first convict he encountered, a boy who couldn't have been more than fourteen. Then Gasg lashed out with one of the chains on his armour, tearing a bloody gash in the body of anyone it touched. Only after his helm's kill counter told him he'd killed fifteen foes did he draw his bolt pistol and start blasting away with it as well as smashing its handle into the faces of any who came close enough. Each bolt shell he fired tore through one opponent and then went straight into another, often going through four men before detonating. Thirty two kills. He had been on the wall less than a minute. 

By then, other Berserkers were joining him. First Sar, hacking away with his chain axe, then other Berserkers from other squads began pouring over the walls. The climb had taken a heavy toll on every squad but Gasg knew that was no bad thing. It helped distinguish the weak from the strong. The weak perished. The strong endured and assaulted the enemy fortress as Gasg and Sar had done and when they reached the walls, the battle was over very quickly. The fighting on the walls was over within half an hour. The massacre that followed took three days and by the time it was over, there were hundreds of bodies hanging from the walls by chains to remind the survivors who they owed their allegiance to.


Edited by Sigismund229, 18 March 2016 - 04:43 PM.

The Brotherhood of the Lost

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The IIIrd legion, the Crimson Lions formerly known as the Blood Wolves. http://www.bolterand...-crimson-lions/

 

 

 

 


#3
Sigismund229

Sigismund229

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Gathering together all the stories relating to Turrus and his band of renegades

Ambitions of Kinghood

Author: Sigismund229

Legions: The Crimson Lions(traitors), the Nightguard. 

Time: C.030 M.31

Brother Tybor of the Nightguard crept along the metal coridoors of the vessel, his iron shod boots barely making a sound. While he had supressed most of his life as a legionaire of the XIV, he hadn't supressed the skilld acquired as he could still use those to track and kill allies of the warp, those who sought to have it pass the Nightguard's vigil and swamp the galaxy. It was one such individual he tracked now, a former astartes of the III, Turrus. Just ahead of him, Tybor saw his quarry wondering the coridoors of this corrupted ship alone. A small smile spread across the Nightguard's face as his quarry approached and Tybor sank into the shadows. As his quarry moved past, he readied himself to pounce. However, as he was about to do so, Turrus spoke. "You there, hiding in the shadows. What is a member of the Nightguard doing aboard my ship?". This threw Tybor. However, despite his surprise, he threw himself at Turrus, his combat blade ready to sever Turrus' neck tendons and his bolt pistol prepared to blast a hole as big as his fist in Turrus' forehead. He was quick and his rangy body moved easily through the air, as any true son of the deserts should. However, his foe had seen the attack coming and batted him aside contemptuosly with his pyschic might. As Turrus drew his enormous two handed sword, his voice came again, delivered straight into Tybor's mind. I'll ask you again whelp he said Why are you on my ship?. Tybor didn't answer. Instead, he raised his bolt pistol and fired a single shot before his mind and body sere frozen in place. The single bolt shell was obliterated by Turrus, and as he walked over to Tybor, he said What a shame before slamming his sword hilt into Tybor's jaw, breaking it and knocking him out.

- - - - - - - -

Tybor's eyes opened. He was manacled, he could feel that much, the cold metal resting against his wrists. However, as his eyes adjusted to the dim light, he saw that he wasn't alone. In front of him, sitting what appeared to be a crude metal bed, was another astartes. This one was in full battle plate, his armour cleaned of most traces of any heraldry save for the dirty red on his right arm. His face was pale and covered in tatoos, his eyes that strange grey green that Tybor associated with the III. He had a neatly trimmed beard and his hair was plaited back into one long braid. In one hand he held an axe, small, clearly designed to be used one handed, and in the other a whetstone he was using to sharpen it. "You're..." he began, before being cut off mod sentence as a voice said in his mind Turrus Fairhair, formerly of the III legion, yes. A more interesting question is who are you?, the warrior speaking not once opening his mouth or looking up from sharpening his axe. "I am brother Tybor of the..." he began but the voice interrupted again Of the Nightguard. I know that already. I mean who are you really?. Tybor gave only silence as an answer. Alright then. Tybor it is. Why do the Nightguard want me dead?. "Why do you think?" growled Tybor "You're a traitor. You made a pact with the warp. You seek to drown the galaxy in it". For the first time in their conversation, the legionnaire looked up, grinning. A pact? No. An alliance? Yes. I have as little desire to see the galaxy succumb to the warp as you Tybor. The only difference is that, for the moment, to serve the warp suits my personal ambitions. Once it no longer does, then I will break my alliance with the warp. It's as simple as that. Tybor shook his head "Nothing involving the warp is simple traitor. You're a slave to it whether you know it or not". Looking down again, Turrus said Oh really? Have much personel experience do you? No? I thought as much. Tybor simply shook his head again and askes "And what are these goals the warp will help you to achieve? Overthrowing the Emperor? Gaining revenge?". Turrus stood up and made to leave, saying Oh nothing so bland or boring. You see, that was my goal when I was first exiled, vengeance, but not now. These days I've decided that I must prove myself worthy of my father and then, he will allow me to re join my legion. Tybor sneered and asked "And how do you propose to do that?". Turning his head to look back over a shoulder guard, Turrus said "By becoming King of the Maelstrom? How else?" and walked out.

 

A new treasure

Author: Sigismund229

Legions: The Crimson Lions(traitor), the Lightning Bearers

Time: C.015 M.31

 

 

Golash glanced to his right where Krak was disposing of a Lightning Bearer who kept scratching at Krak's shin plates, despite his entrails spilling onto the floor. Over the vox, krak said "Doesn't it amuse you how they continue to struggle?". Golash shrugged, his armour(an artificer mkIV suit he'd "acquired" from a V legion officer) emitting a smooth hum where Krak's ill kept mkII growled, replying in his twin voices, one the man the other the demon that had attached itself to him at "birth", "Not particularly. All that matters is that blood flows". As he watched, Krak removed his helm in order to enjoy the Lightning Bearer's torment with his own eyes. Krak's unhelmed visage was an ugly and hideous thing, criss crossed with scars, his eyelids stitched open so that they could never shut. Like many of the astartes created by Turrus since his exile, Krak was broken, a hideous parody of what astartes were supposed to exemplify. Sheathing his falcan blade but keeping the masterfully crafted sword he had won of Hyrak, Golash's face became that of the demon momentarily as he barked "End him" at Krak. While he would normally humour his brother, on this occasion they had to withdraw as quickly as possible. This was a hit and run, storm the ship, seize any valuables on board and withdraw. Already, Golash's fellow Beainaiath were reporting seizing large amounts of ammunition from the lower decks. Krak's gaze snapped up at the bark, his never closing eyes staring at Golash who simply stared back. Eventually, Krak turned his demented gaze back to the Lightning Bearer at his feet and chuckled, saying "Goodbye brother" before slashing the Lightning Bearer's throat, gore spraying all over his shin plates. Nodding, Golash continued down the corridor towards the store room at the end of it. Once there, he looked at his unhelmed bretheren and said "Helm's on. There may be a vacuum inside". Grunting, they re helmed, slamming their battered and dented helms in place. Sure enough, when Golash keyed the code that Iak had acquired from the ship's computers into the door and it opened, his armour detected an immediate drop in room temperature and the hissing of air going in. "What's inside?" demanded Amak, his sharpened teeth turning the sentence into one long sibilant hiss rather than genuine words. Golash didn't answer, instead just looking at what was in front of him. There were hundreds of suits, arranged in perfect rows, which resembled mkIV but with a conical, beak like helmet. Activating the vox channel to Turrus, Golash said "Turrus, I've found armour. Hundreds of suits of it, probably being shipped from Mars to Madrigal". Over the vox a reply came almost instantaniously. "What type? MkIV?" came Turrus' calm and subdued voice. Shaking his head, despite knowing Turrus wouldn't see and hearing Iak laugh, Golash said "Better. Some new varient. Hundreds of suits". The only response was chuckles. 

 

A mystery

Author: Sigismund229

Legion: The Crimson Lions(traitor)

Time: C.012 M.31

The screams drifted on the glacial wind, like echoes of events long past. Perhaps they were echoes. Turrus could never tell. Sometimes the things he saw, smelt and heard were genuine other times they were visions sent by the gods, in the same way that sometimes his actions were his own and at other times he was merely a pawn of the gods. On this occasion, it was the former. He remembered that once, many years ago, before he was banished, he had been reading a dusty old tome from the libraries of Prospero. It had been an ancient thing, written in the long forgotten Anglic tongue, named "An hystori af Årthor und thy nyts af thy rond table". In that book, it had spoken of an ancient King, who had united his people and defeated the Sakson invaders. All of this had been set into motion when Årthor had drawn a sword named Ekskalobar from a stone. When Årthor died, if he ever existed, his sword vanished with him. For millenia humans had been hunting it and for millenia none had found it. Then, in the 22nd millenium, one explorer named Gewayn had discovered, on the frost world of Kernow, a series of ice caves and a skeleton he believed to be that of a King. He said that the skeleton had been old and decaying, the remnants of a crown atop its brow, but in its hand was a sword as sharp as the day it was made, an enormous, ice blue blade with ancient terran runes etched onto it in gold. It was that sword Turrus sought, for with it, he might finally have his vengeance upon the being who called himself the Emperor of mankind. If it weren't for his decree's, then Turrus' father wouldn't have banished from his legion, the only family Turrus had ever known, cast him out to live amongst the rodents of humanity and to scratch a living pirating ships. It had been the Emperor's doing that Turrus was banished, for the Emperor had been afraid that through his research and the favour of the gods, Turrus might one day grown greater than even the primarchs. All these thoughts of sweet vengeance as well as the bitter past rattled around inside Turrus' head alongside the laughter of the gods as he walked down the icy tunnels of these caves. Eventually, he came across a vast chamber, surpassing all the chamber Turrus had passed so far. Entering it, Turrus found that in the centre was a human skeleton and in its grip, a sword that exactly matched that described in Gewayns tales. Walking over to the body, Turrus siezed the sword and hefted it up, feeling its weight and cutting the air with it. With each swing, Turrus felt the age of the blade as well as the tormented soul trapped within it. Looking down at the skeleton, he said "Terribly sorry" before sheathing the sword and walking out, the screams growing louder in his mind as he did so.

 

A warm welcome

Author: Sigismund229

Legions: The Crimson Lions(traitor), the Warbringers. 

Time: C.001 M.31

Vizenko walked along the bone coridoor, his footfalls and those of his escort, a marine named Maridius, echoing eerily around the coridoor. Then, out from one of the side chambers, in which Vizenko thought he saw a vat of some kind, came a...thing, astartes in only the loosest sense of the word. The warrior had nailed a human face to his faceplate, perhaps in some mockery of life, and the rest of his armour was pitted and cracked, with horns, bone and occasionaly rotting flesh, which appeared to be that of the warrior beneath the armour. "Brother" the marine hissed at Vizenko's escort "I see we have a visitor" and with that the astartes took off his helmet, revealing a face that was both scarred in the fashion of the Crimson Lions and also rotting, in places revealing the skull beneath. The the warrior then hissed "Let me welcome him" then giggling and drawing a monstrous flaying knife. Vizenko's escort shook his head and said "Not today Golakk, this one wants to see Turrus", before shoving the monster away. Snarling the monstrous astartes leaning in close to Vizenko and said "I'll see you later, Warbringer" and then walked off, sharpening his flaying knife as he went. "Forgive Golakk" said Vizenko's escort "He is, like many of my brothers, not entirely sane any more". Vizenko just nodded and gestured that they should continue. Eventually, they arrived at a massive, high beamed chamber built entirely of black marble, its doors two massive silver Lions. At the far end of the chamber, sat an astartes in pitch black armour, the only bright points his silver face mask and white narcethium, symbols of the role he had once occupied within his legion. Bowing, Vizenko said "Lord Turrus, I...", stopping when he felt an icy grip wrap itself around him. 'Hmm, interesting' said a whisper inside his mind 'You were banished for you experiments as I was. So father was right. It is against the Emperor's will'. As these whispered words echoed around the inside of his skull, the figure on the throne's head turned to face him. Chuckling the figure said "I believe you can be of use to me. I, Turrus son of the Mycenor, welcome you to my fortress Warbringer". 


The Brotherhood of the Lost

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The IIIrd legion, the Crimson Lions formerly known as the Blood Wolves. http://www.bolterand...-crimson-lions/

 

 

 

 


#4
Big Bad Squig

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A Cordial Welcome

Author:  Big Bad Squig

Legions:  Godslayers, Iron Bears, Custodes

Time:  Whenever Koschei was discovered...

 

  The sky-ships drifted down through the clouds, one by one slowly descending towards the rocky ground.  Koschei watched from the tower.  They were not organic, that much was sure, festooned with gold that shone even from this distance.  His hand drifted to his knife on instinct.  Something felt wrong.

  Below him, panic.  Waves of men and women came crashing around the tower’s foot, all seeking safety that their homes clearly no longer provided.  The mass of bodies darted and changed like a flock of birds.  He could already hear their feet as they clattered up the steps.

  “Guard!” he shouted, unsheathing his knife and marching down the steps.  On his cry, ranks of Zbruchan Guard darted from their positions on the tower’s battlements, following Kharkovic.  He turned to the closest.  “Regent.”

  “Sir.”

  “Take your Goliaths.  Get the people out of the watchtowers – if this goes south, large structures will inevitably be the first attacked.”

  “With all due respect, sir, do we really know what ‘this’ is?”

  Koschei turned away, raising the knife above his head.

  “Advance!”

  He strode forward, feeling an energy that had been missing for a long time.  Those following struggled to keep up, weighed down by shields and weapons.  Slowly, Koschei crested the hill above the ships.  They were still, waiting for him to make his move, and yet he felt something.  A presence, jabbing at his mind, stronger even than that of the old High Lord.  He narrowed his eyes.  Growled.

  As his troops drew closer, something changed.  Hatches and doors on the largest ship slid open.  A moment of ominous stillness.  Then, all at once, a tidal wave of bodies swept out of the openings, barrelling forward and then stopping, standing completely motionless in two columns on either side of the main entrance.  Koschei noted that the figures looked Zbruchan in shape, yet they were so much larger – although not yet his height.  They wore what he assumed to be armour, with segmented plates that overlapped like the carapace of an insect.  The largest figures were bedecked in gold, carrying long glaives with blades that glowed, while the smaller ones wore mainly black.  They held a variety of blades, hammers, and elongated devices that looked similar to trimmed down crossbows.  Which, Koschei saw a moment later, were all trained on his head.  He held out his hand to stop his Guard, instead stepping forward alone.

  “Greetings!” he shouted across the plains.  The figures’ glowing eyes followed his every movement.  “What business have you with me?”

  The figures stood in stunned silence.

  “Well?  Or have you made such a dramatic entrance simply to stare and say nothing?”

  The wind whistled across the rocky plains.  Koschei took a tentative step forward, and was met by a cacophony of clicking as the figures pulled at their mysterious crossbows.

  “Afraid of me?” he asked.  He felt the presence again, poking and sifting through his thoughts.

  “Do you know what happened to the last man who tried to do that to me?  Come and find out, for I tire of waiting.  Tell me why you are here, face to face!”

  Almost immediately, he regretted his words.  Out from the entrance, there stepped two enormous men, larger even than Koschei himself.  The first wore a suit of banded chainmail and plate.  In place of fingers, he had a set of black-tinted claws that shone in the light, the framework of which extended down his forearms.  His face was the same as that of Koschei’s, and any other Zbruchan he had met.  They were the same.

  Yet it was the second man that drew Koschei’s attention.  Gilded armour, covered in jewels befitting a High Lord.  A sword billowing with flame.  And eyes that saw inside of Koschei’s soul.  It was him he had felt before, intruding on his thoughts.

  “At ease,” the clawed one murmured, advancing.  The figures lowered their weapons.

  “My son!” called out the swordsman, throwing open his arms.  Koschei’s stomach lurched.  He felt uneasy.

  “My son?  My father was split in two by a sword before my eyes.  I smelt his blood, and the smell of his flesh being set alight.  The ash that was once his skin rose on the wind and blew past my face.  You,” he spat.  “You are no father of mine.”

  “I am sorry,” the man replied.  “But I have come to take you home.  I created you.  To lead.  To rule over a legion of men.  To burn worlds beneath your feet.  All you need do is swear your loyalty to me.  We can save our race.  You and I, uniting the stars.”

  “I shall be no tyrant,” Koschei replied, his knuckles growing white as he clutched the knife.  “Nor any puppet of a king.  Not again.  I kneel before none, nor do my people.”

  “Please,” the man said.  “Allow me to discuss this with you.”

  Koschei felt the man’s mind against his once more, smothering him with its assault.  Something within him broke.

  “Stay out,” he hissed, stepping towards the swordsman.  “And stay off my world.”

  He bolted forwards, blade above his head.  As he ran, the swordsman raised his hand, sending forth a gust of force to restrain him.  It dissipated before it came within ten feet of Koschei.  The man growled, parrying Koschei’s downward strike before responding with a slice for his sword arm.  It barely grazed his flesh.

  “Stop!” the other man pleaded.  Koschei hissed in reply, lunging for the swordsman’s chest.  Parried again.  Next, he fainted left, then sliced right, but the man anticipated the move and made to parry again.  Before he could reach the blade, Koschei flicked it beneath the sword and hammered into the sword’s other side, knocking the man’s arm aside.  He drew his knife above his head.  Then, he felt claws on his arm.  The other had snatched the knife from his hands.  Roaring, he barged into the thief, who – despite Koschei’s momentum – barely moved half an inch.  He heard a sword being sheathed behind him, and he turned to attack the swordsman who was now unarmed.  The other man grabbed his arm at the last moment, pulling him backwards.  He stumbled.  The clawed man caught him, wrapping a muscled bare arm around Koschei’s throat.

  “Calm down, brother,” he growled through his shaggy beard.  “I don’t want to have to get violent.”

  The swordsman turned away, striding back through the tunnel of golden-armoured warriors.

  “He’s going to be a difficult one,” the other man shouted after him.

  “That’s exactly what we said of you, Daer’dd,” came the reply, before the swordsman was swallowed up by the ship, and disappeared from Koschei’s view.


Edited by Big Bad Squig, 19 September 2016 - 05:58 PM.

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#5
Demus Ragnok

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A Difference of Opinion

Author: Demus Ragnok
Legions: Halcyon Wardens(Alexandros), Fire Keepers(Niklaas), Berzerkers of Uran(Raktra)
Time: Sometime after Raktra takes command of his legion

It was Naihab’s first deployment as part of the Triakonta. He stood opposite brother Jeshimon, both of them clad in hunchbacked termintor plate, great axes held to their sides. Next to each of them stood the honor guards of the primarch Alexandros upon whose flagship they were standing. Within the strategium, beyond the door beside which Naihab stood, three primarchs conversed. Alexandros gestured at features highlighted within a hololith display, speaking about concentrations of green skins and shoring up defenses of human settlements. The hololith shifted and magnified a new image. The Fire Keepers primarch Niklaas began pointing out locations for artillery revetments, breast works, tank traps and choke points.

Naihab could see the third primarch, Raktra, shaking his head. Without waiting for Niklaas to finish Raktra began a loud commentary about wasting time playing in the dirt when they could be killing Orks. Alexandros raised a hand as if to speak, but Raktra only got louder. Niklaas leaned over resting his elbows on the hololith table. Arms folded, he bowed his head as if examining something on the floor between his feet.

Naihab remembered overhearing one of the senior legion commanders saying once that the primarch’s temper was like a spring storm, sudden, swift and terrible. This would be the first time Naihab would witness the fire within his primarch.

“ I hear they call you the devil!”

Niklaas was a man who never raised his voice. And even now he did not shout, but his voice seemed to fill the entirety of the great starship.

Raktra turned to face Niklaas, who slowly raised his head to meet his brothers gaze.

“Raktra the white devil, isn't that what they call you?”

Naihab could feel his hearts quicken, sweat began to bead on his helmeted face. Something in his primarch’s tone made him unsettled.

“ Did I ever tell you I met the devil once.” Niklaas stood to his full height, arms dropping to his sides.

“ I went for a walk in the forest one night and ran smack into him.”

“ And he took a :cuss: bigger than you.”

“Brothers” Alexandros stepped into Raktras path as he made toward the Lord of the Fire Keepers.

Raktra leaned around Alexandros pointed at Niklaas, “We’ll see how big you are when you've got Hell’s Teeth in your skull!”

“Brother that's enough”, Alex shouted over Raktra’s bellowing.

“Alex”, Niklaas asked in a calm tone, “ may we borrow one of your training cages.

Naihab was sweating in his terminator armor. He shouldn't have been.
He wasn't exerting himself, he was standing still, watching.
The source of his physical reaction was the scene Naihab saw playing out before him.
For twenty three minutes two primarchs had exchanged blows. For twenty three minutes Naihab had watched, standing silent, unmoving, with a knot of emotions in his belly he could not understand. The training hall was silent. All other matches had ceased, everyone watched in silent wonder as two of the Emperors sons spared with bloody intent.
Blood. That was the condition. The primarch Alexandros had pronounced it with a tight expression.

“This duel is for honor. The first to draw blood shall be named victor.”, and with a gesture he ordered the cage closed.

Alexandros had stood statue still from moment the bout began. Naihab had thought for a moment that he could see the psychic primarch’s aura flash with frustration from time to time.

Raktra was armed with a pair of daggers he called “Hell's Teeth”. Niklaas had carried no weapons that day nor had he selected any from the training racks. Neither primarch was armored save for a vest of brass scale that Niklaas had removed before entering the cage.

Raktra the Berzerkerkin had been attacking relentlessly from the moment the enclosure had sealed. Niklaas had seemed almost passive at first, blocking and slipping blows, maneuvering around the cage. Then suddenly Niklaas took a brief offensive, he side stepped a charging Raktra and landed left hook into Raktras kidney. Raktra spun away with a look of almost surprise, before continuing the onslaught. The match continued the pattern, with Raktra attacking relentlessly and Niklaas landing sudden powerful body blows.
Which Naihab found odd.
A simple blow to the face could cut Raktra or bloody his nose ending the duel. But Niklaas had passed on openings for that and attacked only the body of his brother.

And then it happened, something Naihab wouldn't truly understand until many years later.

Raktra charges Niklaas, both hands raised, daggers in a reverse grip. As Raktra came forward Niklaas clasped him by both wrists, and planted his lead foot on Raktra’s lead foot pinning it. Niklaas then surged forward driving his right knee into Raktra’s gut.

Naihab saw the Berzerkerkin’s body go limp for second as the breath left it.
Niklaas pushed his dazed brother away from him and Raktra fell, his foot still pinned under Niklaas’ boot. Before Raktra could recover Niklaas stooped, grabbing one of his brother’s daggers. Niklaas faced Alexandros, raising his left hand, palm out, fingers spread. With his right hand he drew Raktra’s dagger across his palm before dropping it to the floor.

Alexandros immediately gave the nod to open the cage.

“First blood to Raktra” Alexandros shouted, “This bout is concluded”.

Niklaas walked away from Raktra, who was standing but still winded, in the cage.

“I hope you will overlook my surly temper brother.” Niklaas spoke quietly to Alexandros.

A Halcyon Warder apothecary cleaned Niklaas’ left hand, before stepping away.

“My engineering companies will begin work within the hour. I will see you on the battlefield.”

Niklaas clasped Alexandros’ right hand and departed the training hall. Never looking back at Raktra. Naihab and Jeshimon turned and followed their primarch.
It seemed to Naihab that the entire ship was still dead silent.

Edited by Demus Ragnok, 25 September 2016 - 02:50 AM.

Of Fire.

Fire gives light removing dark and shadow.

Fire gives purity driving out corruption.

Fire gives strength consuming weakness.

#6
Sigismund229

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The Rage of the Fallen

Author: Sigismund229

Legions: The Crimson Lions and Berzerkers of Uran

Time: C.045-050 M.31

Behind the adamantium of his faceplate and wreathed in amniotic fluid, Ærrion's face contorted into a snarl as he opened fire on the Berzerker's of Uran. What had the Crimson Lions expect from Raktra's get? Discipline? Loyalty? Ever since Raktra's disovery, these traits had vanished from the VII, with only the oldest of them holding true to their legion's ideals. Those were the true VII, not these black and white grubs Ærrion now fought. Ærrion shed few tears over the ending of their worthless lives. He took joy in their deaths. Their blood drowned his sorrow, his anger, his hate but most of all, their deaths allowed him to forget, to forget everything except dealing death. However, he could never truly forget. His new form haunted his steps wherever he strode. His ironform was masterfully wrought but there were certain feelings it could never truly capture, the feeling of blood splashing across his face or the crash of a bullet slamming into your armour. It was in these moments that Ærrion remembered he died over 160 years ago amidst the black spires of Ivrax and it was with this recollection that the faces came back to him. Ari, laughing and joking as he killed, Torsan, his gallows humour livening their spirits in even the darkest moments. All dead. All rotting. All gone. 
Ærrion was ancient, a relic from the legion's past. He still wore the slate grey and blood red of the Blood Wolves, just as he still had a rearing golden wolf emblazoned on his ironform. He had worn those colours and that sigil his whole life and so he now wore them in death. So it was that he had remained a Blood Wolf while the rest of what was once his legion became the Crimson Lions. While they were honourable to be sure and worthy heirs to the Blood Wolves, the Crimson Lions weren't Ærrion's legion. Not really. He fought alongside them, covered them, gave them his strategic wisdom and fought foes against whom they couldn't hope to be triumphant yet he was a Blood Wolf where they were Crimson Lions. Occasionally they would ask questions about what it felt like to be within an ironform, about the power it gave you. While Ærrion told them of the honour there was in fighting on beyond death what he didn't tell them was the truth. He had never felt more alone or more enraged than in his ironform. The loneliness made Ærrion want to howl in rage. It had given him power that was unimaginable for a flesh and blood man, even astartes, he had never felt more alone or more helpless than in his present form. Death had permanently wrenched him away from the bonds of brotherhood, for the dead could not be brothers of the living. All of his brothers waited beyond the vale, on the other side, while Ærrion was trapped in this world, unable to join them, constrained as he was by his interment. Yet Ærrion was also afraid. He feared the dark and the memories it brought. So he fought. He unleashed his rage at being trapped in this form in battle and fought to avoid the dark because he was afraid. A sneer crossed his scarred lips, sneering at his own weakness. He hated it and his brother's had known he would hate it when they imprisoned him in this lump of metal and they'd done it anyway. So he killed, he killed until he almost forgot it all and then killed again. But he still had a duty and he would continue to stick to his duty until the final breath finally passed his lips. Roaring and ignoring the flashing runes telling him his plasma cannon was overheating, Ærrion charged. He was a son of Albyon and the last Blood Wolf and he would roar, shout and fight until he was dead, no matter what came. 

 

A gift for a King

Author: Sigismund229

Legions: Crimson Lions, Iron Bears, Space Wolves

Time: N/A M.30

Maridius, Lord of the Hypaspists, the Crimson Lions first company, looked over the orbital ballet being performed in the skies above Medus V, as ships from both the Crimson Lions and Iron Bears jostled for space in which to enter into its orbit. Beside Maridius, a god of war was doing the same, a levaithan in bronze and silver. Hectarion Mycenor. As Maridius thought this, Hectarion spoke, his voice a bass rumble. "Tell Myrvallen Balath of the 'Shadow Hound' that if he keeps on his current course he'll collide with the 'Hereah'". To Maridius' right a human with a vox immediately set to work doing so. "Also, inform Myrvallen Dronthar that if he enters into an orbit there, his Clans drop pods will land several kilometres off target. And his squadrons side is exposed to an enemy counter attack".

"Brother" a voice called out from behind them. Even before he'd seen who it was, Hectarion was grinning. As he turned, his Lions pelt cape swaying slightly, as though in the wind, Dear'dd walked towards where he was standing, slowly and unhurriedly. When he reached them, the two demi gods embraced in a bear hug. "It's good to see you again brother" said Hectarion. While Hectarion was just barely shorter than Dear'dd, it being such a minute difference that few would notice, he was nowhere near Dear'dds broadness. As such, Hectarion had the worst of it in the bear hug. None the less, he grinned at seeing his brother again. "Had I known you were coming on board the Lupa Sanguis I would have had my techmarines prepare a barrol of Nerith. Then we could have drunk the night away and talked of past glories". Dear'dd grimaced at the mention of Nerith and said "Never again. I'll stick to Huronian mead". Maridius grinned. Nerith was a traditional celebratory drink of the tribesmen of Mycenae. In addition to being one of the few substances in the galaxy that could give a space marine, or even a primarch, a hangover, mjod being the other,Nerith also acted as a haluconegen, even with primarchs advanced physiology. Hectarion let out a short barking laugh and slapped Dear'dd on the back, saying "I forgot you and your legion couldn't handle your drink". Then, indicating the orbital preparations taking place all around them "It shows in how sloppy your legions orbital discipline is". Dear'dd smiled and said "Not all of us can be expert boarders brother. Besides, I didn't come on board to hear you critisize my legions orbital discipline". Hectarions grin changed to an expression of both worry and curiosity "Why did you come then? Has something happened to one of our brother like happened to Lem...them?". Dear'dd shook his head and said "No, nothing of the kind. I came to give you this". Looking past Dear'dd, Maridius could see a servitor carrying something covered in cloth. 

Removing the cloth, Dear'dd revealed a chain axe of truly wonderous craftsmanship. The head was attached to the rest of the axe by a pair of rubies cut to look like claws. The teeth were Stone Lion teeth edged in adamantium, the back spike an Aquiline head and the pommel a gold lions head. However, as Hectarion hefted the axe, his gaze fell on one thing in particular. A Fenrisian krakens tooth. His eyes widened and he looked at Dear'dd, who said "The Dauntless few shall now march to war again, in spirit at least if not in body". Hectarion nodded as his mind was dragged back a century to a moonlit night on Terra at the start the Great Crusade. There they had sworn that nothing in the galaxy would stop them while they fought together. Hectarion sighed. That had been long ago. Much had changed. 

"My thanks brother" said Hectarion to Dear'dd. Dear'dd then nodded and said "You finally have a blade that's worthy of you". Then, as if some unspoken signal had passed between them, they both looked to the same corner of the Lupa Sanguis' bridge. There they saw a shadow with hair that was blowing in the wind and a pair of shapes circling around it's feet. The figure grinned and nodded, before walking off into the distance. Looking back at each other, Hectarion and Dear'dd both nodded. Then Dear'dd said "Come brother. We shall war together once more". 

 

The Bear's Fist

Author: Sigismund229

Legions: Crimson Lions, Space Wolves

Time: N/A M.30

Hectarion walked into the small forge he had on board the Lupa Sanguis. He had had it built many years ago, when he'd first met Dear'dd and his brother had taught him the smiths craft. While Hectarion was nowhere near Dear'dds skill, he often found peace in his forge when the bouts of irrational anger that occasionaly plagued him were at their worst. Once again Hectarion looked at Godstooth. Such a mighty gift. Then he looked over at the corner of his forge, where there were the shattered fragments of Lions Bite. He had broken it over the back of one brother. Now, he would re forge it in a different form for another. 

Hectarion had spent hours searching through the ships stores, taking only the purest ingots of metal for this project. His brother deserved nothing less than the best. Then, Hectarion began to work. He wouldn't stop working until he'd finished. When the sparks from his hammer hitting the metal burned his skin, he ignored it. When the heat of the forge cause his skin to blister, he ignored it. Nothing would stop this project from being finished. 

After several days, much of the weapon was ready. Hectarion knew his brother preferred brute force over skill in combat and so it wasn't a spear or an axe he had made for his brother. It was a magnificent war maul, as tall as a Crimson Lion in cataphractii armour. The haft was formed from wood gathered from the Ironwood trees Mycenae, with an adamantium core to prevent the wood from snapping. On the base Hectarion had placed a roaring bears head made of iron. However, the head of the maul was the true piece of art. Held up by four bears made of iron, the head was made of a type of gold he'd heard referred to as "Blood gold" or "Rose gold". The head shone a red gold and on every side, there was a Mycenaean rune of protection, filled in with silver. While Hectarion had once thought such things to be supersticious nonsense, on those occasions that his legion had fought pyskers, the runes had seemed to help. And so, Hectarion had included them in this weapon for his brother, so that, should his brother ever face the horrors of the Warp, he would return unscathed. Hectarion would not wish the touch of the warp on anyone. The final aspect of the head were the spikes which came out of the head. Each one was made of adamantium from his old axe, Lions Bite. The final part of the maul was the leather wrappings around the base of the haft, stained black. 

When Hectarion lifted up the maul, something which even he found difficult to do, he smiled. For a brief moment as he was looking for any fault in the weapon, he thought he felt a shadow at his side and a cold fenrisian wind upon his skin, a stark contrast with the heat of the forge. He thought he could hear Russ' laughter and Freki or Geri's growls. Then, the moment was gone. He was alone in the forge once more. Yes, this weapon would do. Finnally, the last of Hectarions closest brothers had a weapon that was worthy of him. 

 

Brothers

Author: Sigismund229

Legions: Crimson Lions, Iron Bears

Time: N/A M.30

Two boarding pods smashed into the side of the ork vessel. As the ramps descended, the orks charged and unleashed a withering hail of fire that would have killed any normal space. However, it was not any normal space marine that was carried inside. Roaring, Hectarion Mycenor, primarch of the Crimson Lions, charged out of the boarding pod, revving Godstooth. In seconds, limbs were flying. 

Mere moments behind him was Dear'dd, primarch of the Iron Bears. Unusually, Dear'dd was wielding a massive maul, easily as tall as a space marine in full cataphractii plate. As his brother hacked and sliced through the orks, Dear'dd swung his maul and batted orks aside as though they were ants. 12 seconds after they had first left the boarding pod, every ork in the area, over 189 greenskins, was dead. As two more boarding pods impacted and began to disgorge members of Dear'dds Totem Guard and Hectarions Myramodons, Dear'dd walked over to Hectarion, grinning. "You're getting slow brother" he said "Once upon a time the orks would have all been dead before I even got off the boarding pod". Hectarion grinned back and said "Bah I just wanted to leave some for you to test your new maul". As their bodyguards joined them, Hectarion said "How about a race? Who can getthe enemy commander first" and stuck out his hand. Dear'dd, still grinning, took his wrist and said "If you wish brother". Hectarion turned his head towards a pack of orks who were coming towards them, then back to Dear'dd and raised an eyebrow.

With that, the two gods of war rushed forward towards the orks, their bodyguards desperately trying to keep up and failing. As the two primarchs reached the orks, limbs went flying, as did ork bodies broken by Dear'dds maul. When their bodyguards reached the site, it was all over and the primarchs were already moving on again. One of the Myramodons, brother Brennus, sighed. This always happened when Hectarion and Dear'dd fought together.

As the primarchs fought their way through the ship, they left a trail of ork bodies, either torn apart or simply smashed aside, that their bodyguards could follow. Nothing the Myramodons and Totem Guard found was still alive. When the two bodyguard reached the bridge, they found Hectarion surrounded by ork nobz, who had either been carved apart by Godstooth or had their skulls smashed by Hectarion shield. Dear'dd was at what seemed to pass for a command throne, gore covering his right hand and an orks headless body beside him.

 

An inner agony

Author: Sigismund229

Legions: Crimson Lions, Jade General

Time: N/A M.30/M.31

Hectarion growled as he demolished the fourth practice cage in as many hours. Even after he'd torn the mechanisms apart, he continued to pulverise the machine until its component parts were nothing but balls of metal and wire. The Jade General, Izumras, a monicker that had stuck, always had this effect on him. Izumras brought him both peace and agony at the same time. He made Hectarion feel completely calm, obliterating the molten core of anger that lurked in the darkest parts of Hectarions heart. However, at the same time, he made Hectarion feel as though his mind was being ripped into a million pieces. Because of this, Hectation tended to try and avoid contact with his brother. 

As Hectarion finished crushing the training device, another figure walked into the training deck. Hectarion grimaced as the pain returned. He didn't need to see him to know who the figure was. None the less, he turned to greet his brother. Forcing a smile, he said "Hello brother. We don't often see you down here". His brother nodded, slowly, unhurriedly and said "I profit from the moments of peace our kind find instead of preparing for the next war". As Izumras hefted one of the practice blades scaled to a primarchs size, he indicated the practice cage and said "Shall we?". Hectariom shrugged and said "If you wish", taking a practice blade for himself too. As the two began duelling, with small moves, testing the others reactions and awareness, Izumras asked "You seem pained by my presence. I thought our father banished the deamon from your soul?". Hectarion gritted his teeth as his brother made a deft strike that caught him off guard. As he responded with a series of hammer blows, he said "He did. For that I'm thankfull". Izumras nodded, as though he knew this already, and said "You have no latent pyschic ability and you are still pained by my presence. Why is that?". Hectarion shrugged as he batted aside an attempted killstrike and struck back. "I don't know. A hangover from my brush with the denizens of the Warp? Who knows". Izumras parried Hectarions strike, nodding again. Hectarion expended all of his energy on a flurry of blows that should have been kill strikes. However, the Jade General simply wove aside before coming up, his blade pointing at Hectarions throat. 

Hectarion threw his practice blade down at his brothers feet and left the practice cage, walking away to some other part of the ship. The Jade General watched his brother depart. It was as he'd feared.

 

Remembrance

Author: Sigismund229

Legion: Crimson Lions

Time: N/A M.30/M.31

Amidst the enormous, vaulted oak walls and marble memorial plaques of the Gallery of the Fallen stood a single, lone figure in dark red battle plate, his crested helm held under one army and his chainblade sheathed at his side. Nathaniel Garro, a Rix of the III legion looked at the plaque commemorating those lost on Ivrax sadly. So many names, so many fine warriors who would never march again. Asgar Kritius, Solun Decius, Meric Voyen, Erud Vahn, Kalaeb Molor, Sollan Gath, Autek Mor...so many warriors lost for the gain of a single world, so many bright lives extinguished. Many of Garro's closest brothers had perished on Ivrax, choking on their dissolving lungs or burnt alive. Garro had endured. His gaze moved to another plaque. Infernus. A volcanic world of constantly shifting tectonic plates, Infernus had cost Garro what few close brothers had remained to him, the savage orks of that world killing them. Not even their bodies or gene seed were retrieved, immolated as they were by rivers of lava. All that remained of them were their names, etched in gold filigree onto this memorial plaque. Ullis Temeter, Shadrak Smythe, Vermanus Cybos, the Cthonians Luc Siderae and Garviel Loken. It was a paltry memorial to such fine warriors. While the Iron Bears had also suffered heavy losses on Infernus and Garro had grieved for their deaths, it wasn't their deaths that had left him cold. Ever since his oldest brothers perished on Infernus, Garro was incapable of feeling the bonds of brotherhood as he once had. Their deaths left him a cold and lonely figure, always set apart from his brothers by their lack of understanding. After all, how could any of them understand what it had been like to fight in the Unification Wars? Or what it had been like to take the first steps into space of any Terran in millenia? So Garro spent much of his time outside of combat in this gallery, remembering his brothers who were long since forgotten by most others. After all, who remembers the dead if they did not know them in life? 

Garro's gaze snapped away from the memorial wall as the claxon sounded. They were exiting out of the warp. Garro's brotherhood was in the first wave alongside the Inroiar. Clamping his helm in place and picking up his boarding shield, Garro made a fist and clanged it against his breastplate in a salute to his dead brothers, saying "Till Valhal". Until the end. The III's battle cry. Garro's brothers had died fighting until the end. Garro would do the same. Whether today, tommorrow, next month or next year, he would die eventually, violently and then he too would go unremembered. That was just a fact of life. Garro marched out of the Gallery of the Fallen. Someday he would join his brothers in death and his name too would be recorded on a memorial plaque but it wasn't there yet and he still had a duty to do. 

 

Discovery

Author: Sigismund229

Legions: Lightning Bearers, Halycon Wardens, Crimson Lions

Time: N/A M.30

Alexandros Darshan vonSalim strode down the ramp of the stormbird that had carried him and his Myrimodons to the surface. Behind him, dozens more stormbirds were landing, disgorging rank upon rank of Halycon Wardens and Lightning Bearers onto the grassy surface of this world and beside him the Emperor of Mankind and Icarion the Stormborn were marching out of similair stormbirds. On this occasion, the Emperor was clad in his magnificent gold armour but was, thankfully, not emitting the blinding glow he normally did on formal occasions. I don't like this world came the whisper of the Stormborn's voice in Alexandros' mind There's something wrong here. This place stinks of the warp. Alexandros nodded and replied I don't like it either but if father suspects one of our brothers is here.... Looking around him, Alexandros observed that there were wild animals watching them from amongst the trees. While a normal human would have had trouble seeing them, Alexandros had no such problems. They looked like enormous wolves, each one, by Alexandros' estimate, easily capable of killing an astartes. Lovely wildlife he said to Icarion, who replied I'd noticed. Yet another reason to not like this world.

Then, a large group of individuals emerged from the trees in front of them and as Alexandros watched it just grew larger. By his estimate, there were at least 40,000 individuals in front of them and at their head was an enormous figure, taller and broader than both Icarion and Alexandros and they were wearing battle plate. Behind the figure an enormous lion fur cloak was billowing in the wind and in the figures left hand was a round shield, similar to that wielded by all the other warriors Alexandros could see but scaled up to suit his size, and in his right was a similairly large axe. Our lost brother evidently said Alexandros to Icarion. It's our brother in body only replied the Stormborn I sense two different personalities inside him. There's our brother and then something else. A warp entity. Looking more closely at the figure, Alexandros saw that Icarion was right. However, there was more. The two beings were locked in a battle over who controlled the body. And his brother was losing. From the frown on their father's face, Alexandros saw that his father had seen it too. Seeing what would happen next in his mind, Alexandros roared "Phalanx!" over the vox to his warriors, who immediately began form up. In front of him, Alexandros' brother and his warriors did the same, locking their shields together. Then, hundreds of horns blew and the army of his brother charged, their war cries forming into one giant wall of sound which crashed into Alexandros and the astartes as if it were a physical wall and the horns horrifying shrieks were enough to chill Alexandros' blood. And they charged.

While the astartes and Custodes opened fire and their bolter shells slammed into the front rank of the shield wall, felling hundreds of enemy warriors, while some, to Alexandros' horror and surprise, seemed to ignore the mass reactives exploding in their flesh and charge on through them. However, these warriors, doubtless driven my the enormous amounts of adrenaline pumping through their bodies, closed the distance faster than Alexandros would have thought possible and the front ranks slammed into the massed ranks of astartes, who just barely managed to retain their formation, as men from the rear ranks leapt over their comrades in the front and landed in the midst of the Halycon Wardens(those who weren't shot to pieces with bolter fire before they could land). Beside Alexandros, a Halycon Warden went down, a blade buried in his neck. However, over the entire front the astartes were now getting the better of the fighting, their superior armour and physique kicking in and these savage tribesmen, in spite of their insane bravery, were being felled in their hundreds as the V and I blasted mass reactives into them at point blank or drove combat blades through their bodies and the tribesmen's own blades had little effect on the astartes' armour. Then, Alexandros heard an inhuman roar of regret and agony rip across the battlefield. The sound was so horrendous that it caused both tribesman and astartes to cease fighting. Looking for the source of the noise, Alexandros soon found it.

At the Emperor's feet lay the figure who had led the tribesmen's charge, his massive form bent over and gently rocking back and forth as tears streamed from his eyes down to the earth. Looking inside his brother's mind, Alexandros saw broken honour, injured pride, unimaginable agony but most of all he saw horror and regret. He heard the same phrase being repeated over and over again Forgive me.... Then, in an ethireal voice, at once calm and subdued but at the same time imbued with power and the weight of ages, the Emperor said "Hectarion Mycenor, my son, you have endured much suffering and pain before I reached you. I have banished what I could of the warp entity gripping your soul, now, know peace". As the agony within his brother subsided, Alexandros saw Hectarion kneel before the Emperor and whisper a single word. "Father...".

 

The Tournament

Authors: Sigismund229&Sanguiniusreborn

Legions: I can't be bothered to list them all 

Time: N/A M.31

An enormous cheer erupted from the members of the Lightning Bearers who were in attendance as their champion knocked Eritos of the XIX down onto the ground, the dust of Mycenae sullying his pearl white plate. Out of the corner of his eye, Hectarion thought he saw a small smile tug at the corners of Icarion's mouth and small scowl spoil the features of Pionius. Hectarion grinned. He couldn't help but find the brotherly rivalry that these celebrations brought to the fore amusing. Turning to Dear'dd, Hectarion said "What was that you were saying about Eritos' footwork and posture again brother?" causing Dear'dd to grunt and reply "I knew I shouldn't have started betting with you on matters of warfare..." causing Hectarion to shrug and say "Not my fault I'm the most experienced warrior here". As the Lightning Bearer knelt before the Primarchs and the Emperor, prior to taking his leave of the arena, Hectarion stood up and shouted "A toast to the victor!", a statement which drew great shouts of approval from the Iron Bears and Crimson Lions, less so from the Scions and the legionaires of more "civilized" worlds. After having downed his cup of nerith in one, and as the Lions proceeded to do the same, Hectarion turned to Dear'dd and said "Your turn brother" with a grin. Groaning, Dear'dd followed suit, barely stopping himself from exploding into a coughing fit, a feat not managed by all his warriors. His head swimming slightly from alcohol consumption, and trying to ignore the smiling face that nerith was causing him to see the Sun as, Dear'dd, with a noticeable slur in his voice, said"How the hell do you lot drink that stuff on a regular basis?". Alexandros, who was also suffering from the intoxicating efffects of nerith, said "Perhaps Mycenaeans are simply a tougher bunch than you Huronians?" before giggling. While this took a few moments to sink in, when it had, Daer'dd stood up and, slamming his fist into his chest, shouted "Not possible! I'll give you tough in a minute you prissy diplomat!" making a lunge for Alexandros before being restrained by Pionius, who(due to a refusal to drink) was still sobre and so far steadier on his feet than most of his brothers. Once Daer'dd had been persuaded to sit back down, he noticed the askara steaks that had been brought in by a servitor and picked up a whole tray, saying to Alexandros, "I'll deal with you when I've finished these", before picking up the tray and attempting to pour the steaks down his throat. This made Pionius raise his eyebrows in disgust as he said "You honestly expect that to work?". Ceasing his battle to shove as many steaks down his throat at once as he could Dear'dd turned to Pionus and circling an arm round his shoulder said, whilst attempting to keep chewing, "Of course. Why wouldn't it? Alcohol makes anything possible!" before resuming his quest for more food. Clapping for the next winner, a Crimson Lion, Pionius said "Quite" then turning said "Where's Hectarion?". Pointing to the corner of the Imperial podium Alexandros said "Brawling with Raktra and Morro, what else?" before sniggering at some joke he'd just whispered to Icarion, one with which the Stormborn seemed less than impressed. Turning in his seat, Pionius saw that Alexandros had been right. Hectarion currently had Morro in a headlock whilst smashing Raktra's right hand into his face over and over again saying "Why you hitting yourself?". 

Malcador said to the Emperor "Isn't it wonderful to have the whole family together?" before dodging a gravy float that someone had just thrown across the podium. Turning from observing Gwalchavad giving a tipsy lecture to the Jade General(who was formulating a plan to have a suit of jade armour made so that he could finally be sparkly) on the correct way to make a necklace of roses before being hit by the stray gravy float and soaked in gravy, the Emperor said "Quite. Do we still have the extra strong nerith Hectarion gave me for my last birthday?". Malcador nodded. The Emperor, by now observing Morro trying to chat up the goldfish and Niklaas and Dear'dd attempting to make a helmet out of discarded cups, said "Bring it up. I'm going to need it". 

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

Malcador watched in carefully-masked awe as the Emperor casually necked another goblet of Nerith like it was water, quietly sipping on his own drink as the Master of Mankind drowned his paternal frustration.

Down in the arena a new pair of combatants had started their bout and Malcador watched with disinterest as a Berzerker of Uran named Wraxx futilely sought to bring his opponent, a Warden of Light by the name of Maccal, to heel. The golden form of the Warden agilely weaved back-and-forth between the Berzerker's wild swings, driving his foe to greater heights of fury as every missed swing of Wraxx's snarling Eviscerator was answered by a stinging cut from Maccal's Power Tonfas. Each wound was only small, but Malcador could tell the placement of the strikes were deliberate, with every slice the Warden was destroying vital servos, actuators and other components necessary to the wearer's mobility.

Malcador gave a slight smirk at Maccal's daring, if arrogant, strategy, he was going for a paticularly dramatic victory that would drive the crowd wild and keep them talking for months by leaving Wraxx immobilised and unable to continue the fight within his crippled armour. A completely bloodless victory, not to mention humiliating for his opponent. Truly, Malcador thought to himself, Gwalchavad's legion have inheirited their father's pacifistic streak, if not his sense of good sportsmanship.

A cry of disappointment roared through the crowd however as the Berzerker finally grew wise (though some would call such a thing paradoxical) to the Warden's tricks, catching Maccal in the gut with a powerful knee as he sought to duck under a two-handed swing of the Eviscerator. Stilling reeling and winded from the hit the Warden had no time to recover as Wraxx seized his chance, leaping atop his stunned foe and beating him relentlessly with the thick handguard of the weapon, shattering the Warden's eye lenses and denting his helmet under the brutal assault. Even as the Custodes referees declared Wraxx the victor via knockout he still thrashed at the unconscious Maccal for a moment before reluctantly standing to acknowledge his win. Malcador gave a hurrumph of bemusement, he hadn't expected the Berzerker to win, despite the Warden's reckless strategy, a surprising turn of events.

To his right Daer'dd roared with drunken enthusiasm as the next pair of champions entered the arena, one in the bronze-and-sable of his own Iron Bears, the other in the amethyst-and-rose of Alexandros's Halcyon Wardens. Immediately he and Alexandros began to alternate between cheering for their sons and arguing with each other, whilst Pionius and Hectarion quickly exchanged bets. A slight smile crossed Malcador's wizened features at their childish bickering, Brothers through and through, he thought to himself.

"Leman would have loved this."

Malcador quickly turned to reprimand whoever had uttered that name but stopped as he realised it was the Emperor himself who had spoken. With shock he saw his liege-lord's features bore a sad, wistful expression that Malcador had never seen before. "My lord?" He asked cautiously, the Emperor was leant back in his throne, head resting on one hand as he downed what Malcador noticed was his forthgoblet-full of Nerith.

"Leman." The Emperor said quietly "He would have loved it, all of us together like this... Eating, drinking, watching duels." He gave a hollow chuckle. "Magnus too, although he'd never admit it. He'd complain and refuse to socialise, he'd call it a waste of time, an exercise in barbarism with no productive outcome."

Malcador listened intently, his Master rarely shared anything personal, let alone something like this. The wistful cheer faded from the Emperor's expression, replaced entirely by a look of sorrow that struck Malcador harder than he'd like to admit. "I miss them." He whispered quietly, the roar of the oblivious crowd sounding so distant in that moment.

Suddenly, a comforting hand gently placed itself upon the Emperor's right shoulder, causing both of them to look up. Icarion the Stormborn gave the Emperor a sympathetic smile, though his azure eyes betrayed the same pain as his father's. "Icarion..." He began, but Icarion held up a hand for him to stop. "No father, no looking back, you know they wouldn't want that." Icarion replied, his tone soft but firm. Malcador watched in silence as the Emperor gave a low sigh, slowly nodding his head in concession. "Hmm, you are right my son, I must not wallow in the past... Now then, shall we return to the match at hand and see if Daer'dd has regained any of his dignity?"He said, giving Icarion a genuine grin that the Stormborn returned before the pair returned their gaze to the arena.

Malcador found himself staring at then for a moment before following suit, still processing this rare moment of... Humanity, he decided, from his liege. In all his millenia of service he'd almost never seen his master like that, an all-too-brief glimpse at the man buried beneath the titanic power & radiance of the Emperor's persona. He was snapped out if his thoughts by a roar of disappointment from the crowd as the two champions below collapsed, apparently having knocked each other unconcious simultaneously, much to their Primarchs' joint exasperation.

As the Custodes declared the match a draw and the combatants were removed from the field, Malcador found himself smiling as he took another sip of wine, a day of surprises indeed. 

 

You're in the Lions now

Author: Sigismund229

Legion: Which do you think?

Time: N/A M.30/M.31

Vericos whooped in joy. Waves splashed across the longships bough, soaking him. Not that he would have noticed. The storm had been raging for hours, rain beating down so hard it felt like an axe beating against your helmet and the god Franí had been hurling down bolts of lightning, yet none had hit the Grudith longship yet. Despite all these dangers, the waves, the tipping of the ship, the lightning, Vericos whooped, gripping the rigging for support as another wave crashed across the bough. Nothing could dampen his spirits. He and his fellow tribesmen had been away for 3 years, fighting for the Thírí since they were 13, a pledge their tribe had made when defeated in battle. In all those years, Vericos had never forgotten his home, the frozen lakes and snow in winter and the storms in summer. Above all however, Vericos remembered the breeze on his face as he stood above the lake beside his father and uncle. Raising his falcan above his head, Vericos whooped and shouted "I'M COMING HOME!" at the top of his lungs and laughing. He had waited three years to return, three years to feel the cool breeze upon his face, three years to see the father, mother and sisters he had left behind in going to fight. Surely now, after all those years, nothing could kill him. Laughing as lightning lit up the sky once more, Vericos saw a flash of red and bronze dart across the sky, one of the gods servants surely. Truly, the gods were on their side, they had even sent a servant to watch over Vericos and his comrades. Then beside their longship Vericos saw a jet black group of scales emerge from the sea. A drakfaraigge. Waving his falcan, Vericos said "Hello my friend" chuckling as he did so. 

Then, Darros appeared at Vericos' side and clapped him on the shoulder saying "We're nearly home. We've made it" with a grin. Turning to where Darros was looking, Vericos saw mountains. Land! Home! Vericos' dreams had come true! He was home! Standing up on the prow of the ship, his only real purchase being the rigging, Vericos shouted in triumph and roared out "Father! I'm coming home!". Cutting his palm, Vericos put his hand in the water, letting the salt water wash the wound clean and take his essence to the halls of Franí in thanks for the safe journey. However, then, an enormous head rose from beneath the waves, onyx black with a pair of jade green eyes. Rising 8 metres out of the water, the beasts head was huge and this wasn't even its full size. "DRAKFARAIGGE" roared Darros before the creature picked him and Osulf up into its maw and sent them down to its belly. Vericos growled and sprinted to where he'd placed his drakhook. Drakfaraigge were tough, tougher than even the mighty Stone Lions, but he'd been through too much to give up now. Seeing the flash of red and bronze again and another flash of lightning, Vericos shouted "THE GODS ARE WITH US! DON'T GIVE IN!" to his fellow warriors. However, then something happened none of them could have expected. The drak brought its tail up high above their ship and brought it crashing down, destroying the mast and sail, splitting the ship in two before the beast dissapeared beneath the waves again. Gripping the rigging for all he was worth, Vericos refused to fall off the boat and into the water. He couldn't die this way...not when he was so close...

The drakfaraigge rose from beneath the waves again. Vericos snarled. If he had to die, he would do it with a sword in his hand and fighting. Hauling himself upon onto what was left of the prow, Vericos unhooked the drakhook from his belt and threw it, hooking the drakfaraigge through one of its nostrils. The beast howled in pain. Smiling grimly, Vericos leapt from tje prow, holding himself away from the waves through upper body strength alone and began to hack at what passed for the animals neck. He only got one good chop in though before the beast flung its head back and him upwards, catching him in its jaws, the sword sized pieces of bone sinking deep into his flesh. Vericos howled, half from agony, half in frustration. He couldn't have come this far for nothing!

Drawing his dagger, Vericos plunged it deep into the creatures jade eye, causing it to release him as it went back into the depths. While he tried to keep his grip on the hook, the effort was too much for his weary, bleeding and mangled body and he had to let go. Using the last of his strength, he swam up to the surface to catch one last glimpse of the mountains and one last breath of air before he vanished beneath the waves for the last time, his spirit flying to the halls of Hados. As he rose he saw the mountains rising up in front of him. Grinning, he fell back into the oceans icy embrace. He wouldn't see the lakes, or the snow or feel the breeze upon his cheek, the pleasure of a woman beside him, not anymore. But, at least he'd had one last fight before he died and what warrior could ask for more? He would be happy to go to Hados' hall with this as an end to his tale, the drakfaraigge's pain as his legacy. Smiling, he surrendered to the ocean, to the darkness. Then, he felt himself lifted up by cold hands and felt himself laid upon the wind, his blood pooling around him. Looking up, he saw one of the Bassi above him. He reached out to touch its face as it said "Well done young warrior. You have earned your place by our side and be re born, to wage war in the stars alongside the gods". Smiling as he sank into darkness, Vericos said "Hados, I come to join you".

 

Prepare for boarding

Author: Sigismund229&simison

Legions: Crimson Lions, Halycon Wardens, Berserkers of Uran

Time: N/A M.31

Warning claxons sounded all across the Lupa Sanguis as word spread that Berzerker boarding pods were on their way, each one filled with dozens of Raktra's mad progeny. Achilos rushed to the nearest predicted impact point relative to his position. When he was there he saw that there already two dozen aishetari as well as a heavy support squad. As the commander of this gathering turned to face Achilos, the metal floor beneath their feet shook and molten metal flew everywhere. As soon as the door began to open, the Lion opened fire, their commander roaring for them to form up. However, when Achilos went to join them, their commander, a grizzled old veteran called Faian, said "Not you Warden. Hurry to the bridge, you can't die in a mere holding action". The door was almost fully open as Achilos stated "The Halycon Wardens never run" only to be surprised as Faian shoved him back and said "Tjey do from this!" before throwing a glance over his shoulder to where heavy bolter fire was pouring into the boarding pod. Surely, nothing could survive that could it? Achilos was snapped out of his revery by Faian shoving him again and shouting for him to run before calling to his men to form up. Bemusedly, Achilos wondered why. No ordinary thing could survive the barrage of fire the pod had been subjected to. However, it wasn't any ordinary thing the pod carried. Bursting out from the pod roaring came Raktra, primarch of the Berzerkers, heavy bolter shots pinging off his armour as he bulldozed his way through the Aishetari, smashing Faian to one side only for him to dissapear beneath a crowd of Berzerkers, hacking at him like meat. 

Suddenly, a legionnaire of the VII charged at Achilos, forcing Achilos to decapitate him with his power sword. However, a second one came at him but was tackled to the ground by an Aishetaros whose face had been hacked apart so savagely that nothing but a flew flaps of skin remained, the rest being raw red muscle, contrasting with the whites of his eyeballs. The marine then slammed his fist into the Berzerkers face until the ceramite splintered and brain matter spilled out onto the deck. Standing up, the Aishetaros shouted "RUN!" at Achilos before shoulder charging a Berzerker and slamming him into the wall, driving a looted chain axe to chew through the marines neck. Whereas his fellow Wardens would have conducted the battle with strategy, Achilos could only look on in horror as these two legions hammered each other, two unstoppable forces colliding and neither giving way. Where the Wardens sought to minimise loss of life, these two legions fought each other with rage, hatred and brute force, and they fought with more hatred and savagery than ever before against men they would once have called brother.

 

With bitter shame, Achilos turned and fled from the boarding action, finally honoring Faian's wish. With the exit to the ship's interior on the other side of the melee, Achilos ran along the hull to find safer passage. Gripping his power sword and his shield, the Warden sergeant longed to be with his brothers. Yet, to earn the rank of Lieutenant, he had to join the Legion Exchange service. Achilos was nearing the end of his term aboard the Lupa Sanguis when the Insurrection filled the galaxy with war. Unable to secure transportation back to his legion, Achilos had fought besides the Lions ever since.  

 

Stepping into an ammunition depot, he scanned the area before deeming it clear, rushing toward the hallway leading inward to the ship. He was only three steps from it before the room shook as another pod slammed into the ship. In only seconds, more Berserkers would be filling the room, and though a veteran, Achilos doubted his ability to hold them back. His eye caught the storage container next to him and realized it was filled with meltabombs. The pod doors exploded open as Achilos sliced off the top with his sword. Bolts rang against his shield as the first of the Berserkers charged out. Grabbing and activating one of the bombs, Achilos threw it in the Berserkers' direction before sprinting through the bulkhead before spinning around to make a stand. The hastily thrown projectile flew past the invaders and hit the wall where it exploded. 

 

The rush of oxygen signaled a hull breach. While filled with psychotic rage, the Sons of Uran were cunning and merely activated their grav-boots, laughing at the lone Warden. Their humor was brief when the emergency bulkheads activated, sealing off the room. Figuring he had bought the ship a few more seconds, Achilos went back running towards the bridge. 


Edited by Sigismund229, 18 March 2016 - 08:28 PM.

The Brotherhood of the Lost

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The IIIrd legion, the Crimson Lions formerly known as the Blood Wolves. http://www.bolterand...-crimson-lions/

 

 

 

 


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Demus Ragnok

Demus Ragnok

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Author: Demus Ragnok
Legion: Fire Keepers and Halcyon Wardens
Time: some time after Alexandros' appointment as Warmaster

First to disembark was Naihab, Champion of the 10th Legion. His terminator armor was lacquered scarlet, trimmed in polished nickel and black opal. The warrior carried a greatsword held high in salute.
The launch deck of the Halcyon Wardens flagship, Elpis, had been converted into a parade ground. Companies of Astartes in formation formed a corridor, bolt guns and blades held at attention.
Three terminators followed Naihab. Each carried a heavy pole axe, the chosen weapon of the Triakonta, honor guard of the primarch Niklaas.
Next came the Iron Brazier, icon of the Fire Keepers Legion. A dish of blackened metal three meters across resting on a base in the shape of twelve kneeling beasts. Their heads horned and jaws fanged. A coal fire danced in the bowl. A legionnaire, his armor ceremonially blacked with soot, guided the brazier by unseen means as it floated on gravitic suspensors.
Behind the Iron Brazier two more Triakonta marched. After them the primarch of the 10th legion himself.
Niklaas was immense, broad shouldered and barrel chested. He dwarfed the warriors near him.
His armor was polished steel plate and brass scale, etched and inlaid with rubies and onyx. From his breastplate rose a high gorget in the shape of the Aquila.
Across his shoulders Niklaas wore a cloak of crimson fur edged with white.
To the primarch's left marched his chief equerry, Djozer. To his right two Astartes carried a casket on long poles. The box was hewn wood with straps and corners of black iron. The lid of the chest was a collage mural of polished bronze, depicting the Emperors’ arrival upon Obsailes.
At the end of the assembled columns of Halcyon Wardens stood the reason for this great procession. Alexandros, Primarch of the Fifth Legion, Warmaster of the Imperium of Man. He stood atop a low dais. To his right stood his equerry Pyrrhicles and the ancient Lord General Bowditch of the Imperial Army. A squad of Myrmidon Terminators stood in a semi circle behind the dais.
As he neared Niklaas made the sign of the Aquila.
The 5th primarch returned the salute. “Welcome brother. You do me great honor.”
“Surely the honor is mine.” Niklaas replied.
“Alexandros my brother, Warmaster of the Imperium by decree of the Emperor, I attend you this day to pledge to your authority the strength of my legion and the forces bound to the 77th Expedition.”
Niklaas gestured and the casket bearers brought their burden forward and placed it on the floor before the two primarchs.
He reached down and touched the lid. At his touch platinum circuits running through the slab came alive. White light coursing through them illuminating the entire surface. The light faded and the burnished metal collapsed in upon itself, folding away to either end of the container. Within the box rested a carved figure. Niklaas lifted the statuette and held it on the palm of his armored hand. Perched atop a globe was a simulacrum of the Imperial Aquila in burnished gold.
“Extend your arm brother.” Niklaas instructed.
The Warmaster extended his right arm. Niklaas touched one of the twinned heads of the statue. The seemingly inert form fluttered it's golden wings, lifted from its place and glided over to Alexandros’ waiting arm.
There was a brief applause from some of those gathered.
“And now if you will Warmaster,” Niklaas gestured the casket aside and took a place beside his brother, “I present to you the commanders of the 77th Expedition.”
First to follow upon the primarch's introduction were the Grand Masters of the Fire Keepers. First came Tachmon, his helm artificed in the shape of a human face with a long beard. He walked with a tall staff in his hand. Next was Ahoth, a massive hammer in his hands. On his right shoulder the skull of a beast with tall spiral horns. Ahoth was followed by Harar carrying a three bladed spear.
High Chaplain Hezekiah came next, his crozius maul in his right hand.
Two dozen Legion officers followed, all in full parade dress. Each saluted the Warmaster before stepping aside to stand at attention with their fellows.
Two Magi of the Mechanicum in russet robes shuffled forward, accompanied by guardian servitors conveyed on pairs of pedrail wheels.
Lord Burl of the Legio Tonarum rode in on an equine automaton of blackened steel. He held a silver sickle in his right hand and a pair of balances in his left.
The High Margrave of House Auroch entered escorted by two immense cyborg bodyguards. Their bodies modified to appear like the man-o-taurs of ancient myth.
An Arch Duke of House Havec attended in burnished silver armor and ochre cloak.
The mortal commanders of the Army regiments attached to the 77th Expedition filed in.
Lord Marshal Gibbs of the Merican Solar Cohort wearing a crimson cloak. An Agha of the Sarmant Silahdars in blue velvet robes, her long hair pinned in a gilded frame atop her head.
A Duke of the Crucian Dynast was carried in on a palanquin adorned in bright colors.
A General of the Obsailan regiments attended in a dull grey uniform and leather cape.
Each made obeisance to the Warmaster.
With the procession complete the gathering moved into a massive banquet hall.
There was much feasting and much drinking of wine. Roles of honor were read. Musicians played. Mortals reenacted battles from both the Vth and Xth legions histories.
Alexandros smiled and clapped often. The giant Niklaas, usually solemn, cracked a smile once.
Later in the evening a train of Xth legion menials entered the hall carrying boxes of various sizes. Of the Emperors’ sons the only rival to mighty Niklaas’ craftsmanship was Daer'dd. Niklaas had spared no effort in putting his ability on display this day. He presented gifts to officers of both legions and even to some mortal commanders. Swords, bolt guns, and pistols all of such fine make as to be without compare. Pauldrons with inbuilt field generators that were proof against all but the most terrible of weapons. Coats of scale armor no blade could pierce but as light as a fine silk tunic.
Then came the final container, a dull iron vault large enough for two Astartes to fit within. Two tech marines guided the box as it floated inches above the floor. Before were the two primarch's stood the tech marines shifted the container so that came to stand on its end. It was taller just than Niklaas himself.
“What's this?” Alexandros asked, eyebrow raised.
“Something I think you'll find to your liking.” Niklaas replied gesturing to the tech marines. With their servo arms the two marines carefully removed the front and back panels of the container.
Within the box rested a form under a linen drape, of humanoid shape, roughy the size of a primarch. Niklaas watched his brother’s reaction. Something beneath the drape had pricked Alexandros’ psychic senses. Niklaas seemed amused by this. “It is entirely unique brother, custom in every way.” The Warmaster reached up and pulled at the linen cover. The cloth fell away.
“I call it the Lorica Praeses.”
It was extraordinary. Bulky and yet sleek at the same time. The heavy cowl common to terminator armor surrounded a helm cast in a serene human visage. Bunched cables connected the helm to the armor's internal workings.
Inlaid in the chest plate was the three ring icon of the Warmaster’s legion in platinum and amethyst and onyx.
“It is a battery, psychically attuned to your mind. As well as armor proof against most weapons.”
Alexandros examined the armor silently.
“The only things that should give you pause are a stupendously powerful psyker or my hammer.”
The two primarch's exchanged a look.
“I think you should try it on brother.” Niklaas commented, clapping the Warmaster on the shoulder.
Of Fire.

Fire gives light removing dark and shadow.

Fire gives purity driving out corruption.

Fire gives strength consuming weakness.

#8
simison

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Stature of a Giant

Author: simison
Legion: Fire Keepers and Halcyon Wardens 
Time: 000.M31, 3 months after Alexandros' appointment as Warmaster

 

~~~

 

It had only been a few weeks since the Prosecution. Days on end spent poring over legion deployments, communicating with the other members of the War Council, and adapting to his new role as Warmaster. Finally, Alexandros had established his office, completed his transition, and entered into a routine of sorts. With his affairs in order, Alexandros had sought out his brothers, eager to hear their counsel, renew bonds of friendship, and to check his family. Not a day had passed before a personal request came to him from Niklaas, an event which would celebrate Alexandros' promotion and introduce him to the highest heads of the 77th Expeditionary Fleet.

 

Alexandros accepted without second thought.

 

Which led him to the present. Standing on a dais in full military regalia, he held Aegis in his left hand, while the Spear of Terra occupied his right. Crafted by Dear'dd and empowered by the Emperor, the Spear of Terra was Alexandros' badge of office. Xiphos remained in its scabbard on his side, but was swiftly becoming an ornamental weapon, a bridge between his past and present selves. The Spear of Terra hummed with power that always felt like the Emperor was by his side. 

 

With the Emperor's absence, it was a welcomed feeling. 

 

With overt pride, Alexandros watched the procession as Niklaas introduced and presented the finest warriors under his command. Standing at Alexandros' side were two familiar faces, both occupying the border between human and transhuman. 

 

Pyrrhicles waited on his right and was a closer simulacrum of a marine. While Lord General Bowditch, on Alexandros' left, remained a closer cousin to man than transhuman, he had been obliged to endure juvenat treatments and extensive cybernetic enhancements in order to continue serving in the Great Crusade, despite nearing his two-hundredth birthday. The half-ring of Myrmidon behind Alexandros were the real transhumans. Each of them had attained the rank of Citadel, the highest rank within the Order of the Shield. All stood at attention as they were honored by the procession.

 

Once that was concluded, they moved into a banquet hall. Despite Niklaas' infamous dour ways, Alexandros was happy to learn that it didn't affect his ability to throw a good party. Scrumptious dishes, potent wine, and lively music filled the hall. Alexandros cheered when performers reenacted a few of the storied victories their legions had enjoyed. With the presence of Lord General Bowditch, Alexandros was delighted to see one of the reenactments was of Battle IG-88, the first victory Alexandros had won in the name of the Emperor, and the first time he had met Bowditch, long ago when he had been a mere lieutenant. Among other plays, one featured the Zynibak Campaign, one of the rare battles where Alexandros and Niklaas had fought side-by-side.

 

The highlight of the festivities was when Alexandros had achieved his ancient goal to get Niklaas to smile. 

 

At least, that had been the highlight until Niklaas had revealed a secret hand. While their brother Daer'dd was well-known for his superb craftsmanship and generous spirit, Niklaas delivered hundreds of gifts of mastered quality to their sons that rivaled Daer'dd's past exploits. It was the last gift that would prove to be the biggest surprise. 

 

Alexandros watched with naked curiosity as a final box was delivered before the table of honor where he and Niklaas had rested. “What's this?” he asked, eyebrow raised. 

 

“Something I think you'll find to your liking.” Niklaas replied gesturing to the tech marines. With their servo arms the two marines carefully removed the front and back panels of the container. Within the box rested a form under a linen drape, of humanoid shape, roughly the size of a primarch. To Darshan's surprise, he could feel the touch of the Warp upon it. 

 

Niklaas seemed amused by this. “It is entirely unique, brother, custom in every way.”

 

Hearing the unspoken prompt, the Warmaster walked up to it, reached up, and pulled at the linen cover. The cloth slid away.

 

“I call it the Lorica Praeses.” 
 

It was extraordinary. Bulky and yet sleek at the same time. The heavy cowl common to terminator armor surrounded a helm cast in a serene human visage, evoking the idealised images of man favored by the ancient Grekians. Bunched cables connected the helm to the armor's internal workings. Inlaid in the chest plate was the three ring icon of the Warmaster’s legion in platinum and amethyst and onyx. Alexandros marveled at the intricacies of the armour.

 

“Remember the Qarith? On one of their ocean worlds, deep within the crust was a vein of rare crystals that have a natural affinity for the Warp. My sons were searching for alternate alloys when they made the discovery.They act like a battery and are psychically attuned to your mind. Needless to say, your physical being will enjoy the greatest protection that can be found. The only enemies that should give you pause would be a psyker beyond compare or my hammer," Niklaas explained, a master's pride swelling his voice.

 

The two primarch's exchanged a look.

 
“I think you should try it on, brother.” Niklaas commented, clapping the Warmaster on the shoulder. 

 

Alexandros grinned, "I believe I will, brother."

 

Summoning his serfs, Alexandros held out his arms as his current suit of armour was carefully removed from his body. As this happened, the two Fire Keeper tech marines activated a series of runes which opened the Lorica Praeses to its new owner. Ready, Alexandros stepped forward and into the armour. Working with practiced precision, the tech marines secured the suit, while the Warmaster's serfs watched and learned. With the last seal fixed, Alexandros took a moment to simply feel the terminatour armour enclosed around him. Already he could feel his powers humming with new energy. Darshan closed his eyes and expanded his senses and was shocked to comprehend his new limits. He had always been able to sense the minds within a given system with a modicum of concentration. But now, he could see the bright lights of humans even neighboring systems to his Warp-sight. He returned to the present situation and chuckled at his last discovery. While a space marine was a giant to a mortal man, a terminator was a giant to a space marine.

 

For the first time in his life, Alexandros stood high enough to meet Niklaas' gaze without craning his neck. He laughed. "I am forever indebted to you, Niklaas." 


Edited by simison, 02 October 2016 - 12:15 AM.

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#9
simison

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Little Brother

Author: simison
Legion: Alexandros (Halcyon Wardens), Icarion (Lightning Bearers), & Daer'dd (Iron Bears) 
Time: 855.M30

 

~~~

Alexandros stepped off the ramp with the precision of a veteran officer. Wearing magnificent purple armor, the Primarch's luxurious red cap billowed behind him as he walked on the newest world the Imperium had rediscovered. He cut an imposing figure as he moved towards the world's delegation. 

 

Or, he would, were it not for the fact that he walked by the Emperor's side. The ruler of Mankind not only wore his finest, golden armor, he exuded tangible brilliance. Any mortal who glimpsed at him could never doubt his magnificence or his right to guide Humanity's path through the seas of the future. 

 

Keeping his eyes forward, Alexandros reached out to the individual on the other side of the Emperor, telepathically. Father is indulging himself today.

 

Icarion's answer was, as always, measured and respectful. The occassion certainly calls for it. It is a rare event to discover another lost brother. 

 

It's a pity Leman couldn't be here, Alexandros said with a hint of mischief. He certainly would liven up the upcoming festivities.

 

That he would, Icarion agreed. Although, he might have met his match with this one.

 

Were it not diplomatically rude, Alexandros would've nodded in agreement as he studied their newest brother in person. His visions hadn't truly captured Daer'dd Niimkiika's sheer physical presence. The olive-skinned Primarch was easily bigger than Leman and had the muscles to match his size. As of this moment, Daer'dd's attention was locked onto the Emperor, while sporting one of the largest grins Alex had ever seen. The Seer sensed pride and happiness sitting on top of a foundation of pure relief. Curious, the Alex looked a little deeper as the Imperial party came to a halt. The relief seemed to pour out from a deep sense of lonelines.

 

There are few like us, Icarion commented.

 

True, true. And every brother returned to us is a gift to both us and the Imperium. 

 

Daer'dd bowed before the Emperor of Mankind, greeting him in his world's tradition. 

 

The Emperor lifted a hand. "Rise, my son. My heart is gladdened to have found you and to welcome you to your rightful place in my Imperium." 

 

The pride swelled, until Alex thought Daer'dd would burst from it. Yet, there was no sense of surprise. He knew? I don't detect much power from him, Alex observed.

 

Nor do I, Icarion seconded. Just a faint whisper.

 

The Emperor twitched a finger. The signal given, Icarion and Alexandros stepped forward and bowed to their newest sibling. "These are two of your brothers, Icarion the Stormborn and Alexandros Darshan VonSalim."

 

Only now did the orange-and-black eyes of Daer'dd see through the Emperor's presence and see them. Alexandros did not know how, but Daer'dd's grin grew even wider. "Brothers!" He repeatedly excitedly, stepping up to Icarion first. "I am honored to meet both of you!" Perhaps sensing Icarion's wishes of not being touched, he bowed toward him, which Icarion reciprocated. 

 

"We are as honored to meet you," Icarion replied with a small smile. 

 

Daer'dd uttered a laugh before greeting Alexandros. Looking downward with an amused chuckle, the words slipped out, "Such a little brother!" He caught himself and added, "No offense meant."

 

Alexandros couldn't help but grin back, Daer'dd's mood was infectious. "Worry not," Alex replied, throwing an amused sideways glance at the Emperor. "I have grown accustomed to being the smallest of giants."

 

"Excellent! I wish to hear everything about all of you! Tonight, we will celebrate with a feast fit for kings with all of the Huronian mead you could possible drink!" Daer'dd declared as he slapped an oversized hand against Alexandros' shoulder. 

 

"Well, I'm certainly looking forward to it," Alex answered.

 

Again, Alex?

 

Come now, Icarion, it can't be possibly be any worse than mjod.


Edited by simison, 18 March 2016 - 11:09 PM.

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#10
simison

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Ascension

Author: simison
Legion: Alexandros (Halcyon Wardens), Icarion (Lightning Bearers), & 13 more
Time: 000.M31

~~~

Alexandros suspected, that after millennia of guiding Humanity from the shadows, the Emperor relished these moments were he could indulge in grandiose splendor. Today, the Emperor had gone all out. Fifteen legions, Tens of thousands Imperial Army Regiments, and a hundred Titan Maniples had been summoned to this new Trophy World to bask in the Imperium's glory. To enjoy the event, Alexandros had neglected the future and lived in the moment. He, along with eight of his brothers, stood behind the Emperor as he regaled their audience with one of his finest speeches. 

 

As was custom, and as it should be, Icarion stood at the head of his brothers. The first to be reunited, Icarion had earned more battlefield glories than the rest of them and had known their Father the longest, serving alone by the Emperor's side for thirty years until Alexandros' discovery. While certain brothers complained that Icarion's glory was due to chance, none could deny that the Emperor consulted more with Icarion than with anyone else. Alexandros and a few of his brothers were aware of a simple truth: only Icarion enjoyed the Emperor's complete trust. 

 

While this grated on a few, Alexandros was at peace with it. His own liberal interpretation of the Emperor's commands and the mandate of the Great Crusade had its own costs, but he was a loyal son who loved his Father and knew he was loved in turn. Besides, Alexandros was more comfortable with someone else serving in the spotlight, while he worked from behind the seat of power. 

 

Alexandros blinked when he sensed a change in the Emperor's tone as he came towards to an end. No longer speaking of past glory, the Emperor was speaking of a bright future. One without him in it. Discipline kept the confusion off his face as he listened. 

 

The Emperor was leaving the Great Crusade.

 

Through his ability to see auras, Alexandros could see a wave of shock pass through the entire assembly as a tidal wave of orange. He cursed himself for not giving himself a small warning through his foresight. Then, he felt another shock as he realized that Icarion was also surprised. 

 

Before Alexandros could digest that one, the Emperor turned around to face his sons. "Alexandros Darshan VonSalim, step forward."

 

His body obeyed the command as his mind reeled. 

 

"You will lead the Great Crusade and minister to the Imperium in my stead," The Emperor continued as he removed the golden laurels on his head. "My authority will be your authority. For this singular honor and responsibility, I dub thee 'Warmaster'."

 

Alexandros had to stop himself from yelling 'NO! This is not my place! Icarion should be here!' Instead, duty spoke for him as the Emperor placed the laurels on his head. For who could deny the Emperor? "I accept this title, my Emperor, and will do all I can to honor its office."

 

The Emperor stepped back as he gestured to take a step toward the assembly. Then, the Emperor saluted him. "My Imperium! I give you your Warmaster! Hail Warmaster Alexandros!"

 

A deafening cacophony engulfed the world as the armies of Man saluted. 

 

But Alexandros knew the truth.

 

Only half of them put their hearts into it.


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#11
bluntblade

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The Diplomat
Author: bluntblade
Legion: Alexandros (Halcyon Wardens)
Time: 850.M30

Tarugtai Yesugei watched the stranger walk across the steppe and tried to decide what he felt. No man of Chogoris had ever looked like that, nor worn his beard in such a way. Nor had any simply walked into the domains of the clans before, bearing no weapon. Then again, looking at the stranger and feeling the aura he projected, only a fool would think him unarmed.

It had been a month since strange lights had been sighted over the plains, and the hunting parties had ceased to torment Yesugei's people. Conjecture had been rife, and the zagyin arda had been tasked with determining the cause. Many had suggested yaksha; they knew well the havoc that one could wreak.

Once, Yesugei had seen a young Khan, distraught at the murder of his family by a flatland nobleman, undertake a terrible ritual, entwining his essence with a blood yaksha that he might exact vengeance. Even now, he shuddered at the memory. The wise sipped at the cup; that man had drained the dregs and more. He became a whirlwind of horns, hooves and talons which had ripped through the nobleman's household before carving a bloody path into the steppes, driven only to kill. Yesugei and other zagyin arda were sent in pursuit. At great cost they had burned the creature- from existence, leaving a circle of bare earth where, nearly forty summers later, nothing grew.

The giant with the red hair crouched at the edge of this circle now, frowning. Perhaps he recognised the touch of the aether here. Then he stood and walked on. Yesugei quietly urged his horse ahead, out of sight, before loosing his body of light. Now, gliding over the grass, he could take a real look at this strange presence whilst remaining-

“Do you take me for a yaksha?” Yesugei hadn't expected that. The stranger's eyes locked with those of his astral form, amusement writ large on his face. His Korchin was strangely inflected, but word perfect. When no reply was forthcoming he carried on, striding confidently in the direction of Yesugei's physical form. “Come now, is it so strange for a man to desire conversation after two days alone on the Altak?”

+Not half as strange as a man alone on the Altak, weaponless but unafraid.+ The other's mind certainly did not feel like any yaksha, aether-touched though it was. There was something very human about it, and something else. Over his long life Yesugei had served seven khans and counselled four of them. He had known men of great wit, purpose and vigour, but they paled beside this stranger.

“I have not found anything on this world that would trouble me inordinately, and in any case I have no desire to wield a blade here. Before we go any further,” he added as he crested the hill and Yesugei slipped back into his own body, “my name is Alexandros Darshan VonSalim. Yours?”

“Targutai Yesugei.”

Szu Yesugei, it’s a pleasure and an honour. Now, I will come clean- the sights and sounds you will no doubt have noticed are the arrival of my people in the plains. We arrived there as conquerors- I come to you as an emissary.”

“Whose emissary?”

Alexandros smiled ruefully as he stepped forward to look him in the eye. “We name Him Emperor but, after the silk-clad lumps of suet we found in those palaces, I rather wish we had chosen a different word. If you'll permit my indulgence, Khagan fits Him much better.” Yesugei gave him a hard stare. “You doubt me? Then perhaps I should bring a couple of the Qo emperors to your kuraltai. Your old khagans managed to, what kill one or two each, tear down a few palaces? Well szu, my father has not even set foot on this planet, and one way or another, every ruler in the other quarters has bent the knee to Him. The strongest of those who resisted held out for an hour against myself and a thousand warriors. I do not exaggerate, and let me be quite clear: this is a small campaign for us.”

“You conquer the Qo nations and call it a small undertaking?” Yesugei searched the giant’s aura, and found nothing to suggest falsehood. The physical evidence didn't invite much argument either.

“Your legends speak of how men once strode among the stars, and then fell to the dirt. For over a hundred years now, my father has led armies of billions to reclaim them. Forces larger than you can imagine stand beneath his banner. The khans of a thousand words have bowed to his might and vision. We hunt the aliens that hound our kind across the cosmos. And on that note, I've personally seen to it that no man from the flatlands will ever make bloodsport of your people again.”

He stood taller now, and his aura burned almost unbearably. Yesugei wondered how he would look with a blade in hand. Probably more formidable than any man on the Altak. “The Khans will wish to hear this first hand, and see some proof for your claims.”

“Then call the kuraltai for tomorrow and look west an hour before dawn. Then you will understand what we offer, and you will not doubt our might.”


Edited by bluntblade, 28 September 2016 - 11:46 PM.


#12
bluntblade

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Captain Sarrin
Author: bluntblade
Legion: Iron Bears, Daer'dd
Time: 998, M30

 

+++++

 

The Dragon of Autumn plunged towards the Qarith fleet above Mordian like a raptor, hurling missiles and las-fire. Ahead, Lieutenant Lotara Sarrin could see the pincers of the Imperial fleet, Navy on one side and Scions Hospitalier on the other, glowing with Warp residue. She glanced at Captain Barryk Carya, bolt upright and teeth slightly bared. His gloved hands danced over the consoles embedded in the arms of the command throne even as he snapped orders, directing his own crew and the captains ahead and behind.

Four battleships peeled off with their escorts, rolling to hammer the Qarith perimeter from above as the Dragon dove beneath, guns tearing upwards. Two frigates raced ahead, compensating for the battleship’s relative lack of conventional forward firepower. Caught between two volleys, the Qarith vessels were obliterated. But that was just the outer layer, and now the Imperials were taking a share of the punishment as the Qarith retaliated, ripping chunks out of their hulls and vaporising fighter craft. They were packed tightly together above the planet's gravity well, presenting a hideously dense mass of firepower. A conventional engagement, with ships kilometres apart, would struggle to make much impact, giving the Qarith timw to harvest the inhabitants of the hives below.

The commanders had conceded that it was a brilliant gambit by the enemy, striking far from the worlds where the Astartes were bringing destruction to the Qarith. If it succeeded the Imperium would have to contend with billions of the monsters within its own borders. The Qarith force was anchored by a hideous, gargantuan ship at the centre, and only the Dragon had the means to bring it down quickly enough.

If they couldn't crack the blockade, they had their orders from the Emperor Himself. On twenty ships at the rear of the fleet, virus bombs were being prepared for the worst eventuality, ready to give the Emperor's Peace to an entire planet. A step backwards, anathema to everything they stood for.

Urgency had driven Carya to propose this strategy; the fleet would come tearing out of the Warp, straight into the enemy fleet and getting right amongst their vessels. Surprise would be their main advantage- other than that, victory would come from inflicting severe damage too quickly for the enemy to counter. If the Qarith monster was brought down it would immolate everything in the vicinity, so every other Imperial vessel was to support the Dragon and its escorts from a safe distance as it clawed a path towards its target.

At 24 Terran years of age, Lotara had seen more than her fair share of space combat (and truth be told, perhaps spent too much time in simulated battles) but none of it had prepared her for this. It was the equivalent of a lower-hive street fight; gangers wrestling in the mud, biting and gouging. Fighters, debris missiles and las-beams filled the void. About the only projectiles not being used were boarding torpedoes. There simply wasn't enough time for them to be effective; the mission was to tear through the Qarith and rescue the population below. Every Space Marine was needed on the surface.

Carya barked another sequence of orders, and the Dragon unleashed a scything broadside. Lotara watched two separate Qarith ships crumple like tin under a boot, contorting as decompression tore them open.

"Strange, isn’t it, to think that once those ships were once a part of our inheritance?” Daer’dd’s voice, normally loud enough to drown out everything else, was simply another noise amidst the near-constant impacts against the ship's shields. “Had things gone differently, we would prize these among the greatest treasures recovered by the Crusade.”

“The Qarith have disfigured them just as they have done themselves,” she replied. The vessels must have once been elegant in a way that few Imperial vessels could match, their hulls recalling the sail ships of ancient Terra. Now some were contorted into insectile shapes, with a foul iridescent sheen to their hulls. Others had components which resembled the most disgusting specimens of aquatic life, grafted onto the vessels and bulging with bizarre weaponry.

"And as they will do to our people unless we purge them.” Daer'dd’s hands bunched into fists. He caught her glance, and nodded ruefully, eyes on the command throne. “Aye, I struggle with times like this. I never mastered voidwar, and I must simply put my faith in those who have.” It truly was a strange sight; a demigod, silhouetted against the carnage he was powerless to influence, and the mortal in the throne, orchestrating the strike with the ship he had designed.

“Svarrensson, wake the dragon,” Carya shouted as the ship clawed its way toward the heart of the Qarith fleet. “We've got one shot at this. Quintus, Randell, ready the forward Nova cannons! Clawhammer, Kulmahammas, get clear!” Then the Qarith flagship came into view, or rather, enough enemy ships were destroyed for them to get a proper look. “Throne…” Lotara breathed.

Perhaps it had been an orbital once. Perhaps it had been the pride of Mars’ shipyards. Now, it resembled nothing so much as a thornbush rendered in adamantium, bristling with weaponry and swarming with fighters. Even as the Dragon and its escorts ripped past the last enemy line, light flared across the spines and something glowed within the huge maw of the ship.

"Oh, pask-” Svarrensson rasped before the behemoth hurled a vast gout of radioactive slag at the attackers. Kulmahammas soared clear, but the horrific mass engulfed Clawhammer, hurling it back at the Dragon. The whole thing struck the battleship's shields with hideous force. Lotara would have been a bloody smear on the wall had Daer'dd not seized her, bracing himself against the fury of the Qarith attack. Svarrensson and Randell were less lucky. The old Fenrisian’s neck snapped as he struck a pillar, while Randell was thrown into Grimm's shoulder guard with a nasty crack, flopping to the ground unconscious. And the captain… Carya had been hurled from the command throne to land in a heap of broken limbs, blood pooling around his head. Without his commands, the Dragon lurched, unable to bring its full power to bear on the enemy ship.

Lotara reeled, gasping, until she became aware of a new warning siren. Wheeling around, she spotted a swarm of Qarith bombers gathering for take advantage of the shock. “Lord, join Quintus on the novae!” Daer'dd raced over to the console, where Quintus was already passing the commands to fire. The cannons shredded the oncoming craft, but they could see the monstrous construct's weapon powering up for a second blow- one that even the Dragon wouldn't survive. And now she was unpiloted...

Lotara half ran, half staggered to the command throne, stumbling over Svarrensson’s sprawled form and nearly slipping in Carya’s blood. Fortunately, there was no mistaking the trigger she wanted. An bronze talon, and for the button, the eye of Terra picked out in ruby and onyx. She forced the ship into a shallow dive, at the same time plotting a rapid rise. “Victory or death!” She yanked the trigger back, her thumb stabbing down on the button, and the Dragon roared.

A jet of coruscating light engulfed the Qarith behemoth. Its shields withstood the impact, but the sheer heat reached inside and whatever engines powered the construct overloaded. Lotara set the engines to full burn and the Dragon shot upwards as the massive structure burst open, shattering most of the Qarith fleet. The bridge resounded to the triumphant roars and whoops of the surviving crew and Astartes as the rest of the fleet fell upon the remaining Qarith. Troop transports moved out to take up position above the hives.

Lotara slumped back in the throne, gasping. Finally the enormity of what she'd done sank in, and she started to laugh.

She didn’t know how long she laughed, but when Daer'dd cleared his throat, she was jolted back, and her eyes followed his steps to the lifeless Carya. The Primarch knelt and closed the captain's eyes. “The Emperor knows your name, friend.” Then he rose and faced Lotara. “The task is only half-done. I want the ship in position by the time I reach my pod.” Then his tone softened slightly. “I reckon you can manage such a task after that display, right?”

Lotara forced herself to nod, forcing down the mix of shock and elation. “It will be done, lord."

The Primarch turned at the door, looking back at her. “The ship is yours, Captain Sarrin.”

“Captain…” she murmured, before raising her eyes to his and flashing a fierce grin before he followed his guards to the hangars. “Aye! Good hunting, my lord."


Edited by bluntblade, 23 October 2016 - 02:36 AM.


#13
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Reunion
Author: bluntblade
Legions: Berserkers of Uran
Time: 918, M30

 

For many Astartes, the reunion with their Primarch was a strange event, however joyous. Differences of culture, ideology and tactics almost always asserted themselves. However, one tale stands out as perhaps the strangest; the experience of the VII Legion's "Dawn Blades" Chapter or Host, as such formations became known within that Legion.

Even during Unification, the Host distinguished itself among the nascent Shepherds of Eden, fighting alongside the Lightning Bearers in the Tempest Galleries and winning splendid victories against the Panpacific Empire's Aoteran strongholds. However, it was halfway through the Crusade that a number of remarkable officers rose to command the Dawn Blades, foremost among them a Cthonian - Kohr Darraegon. Under him served two Terrans named Khârn and Edric Theraul
t, along with two other Cthonians; Edric Therault and Xavier Uraeddon. While their personalities varied, they all displayed a talent for bullish, close-combat tactics, and thus earned the nickname of “The Shepherd and Hounds”.

For all that their reputation as fierce warriors was justified, Darraegon and his captains strove to exemplify the Shepherds’ exceptional regard for human life. Any battles they fought against human civilisations were carefully planned to ensure minimal loss of life. They especially favoured drawing the enemy out from their fortresses, sparing population centres from attack.

The Shepherds exasperated some Legions, but won respect from others as well as many Imperial Army divisions. With their exemplary combat record, the Dusk Blade were among the most highly acclaimed. They served with distinction under Alexandros and Daer'dd in numerous theatres, but their finest hour came with the Auretian Compliance.

When the VII came upon the Technocracy that ruled the Auretian Sector, they found it under attack by a massive Ork armada. Despite having only his chapter and Army brigades, Sejanus did not hesitate in committing to an attack on the greenskin invaders. Captains Khârn and Aximamd met with the Fabricator Consul to formally offer the Imperium's aid, before fighting through three days of brutal combat on the walls of the Iron Citadel, while the rest of the Chapter battled the greenskin fleet above the planet. By the time the nearest Expedition Fleet arrived, the Ork advance was in disarray and the Technocracy more than willing to join the Imperium.

The Shepherds had never risen higher, and when the news came that their Primarch had at last been found, many were rapturous at the prospect of the glories that surely lay ahead. What happened next can only be thought of as proof of just how few certainties the Galaxy holds.

Quintillian Macro,
The Orphaned Astartes

 

-----

 

Kernunnos shook under Khârn's feet as he strode to the artillery range. Frustration gnawed at him. He hated siege warfare; no matter how it was conducted it would harm civilians, and guaranteed a flawed compliance. For his Legion, a successful campaign meant that the other side, one way or another, opened their gates. If you kicked them open, people tended to remember and resent it. After a year of war, though, the Tyrants were never going to meet the Astartes in open combat, and instead they were forced into this.

As he drew closer to the great guns, he spotted young Aximand and one of his sergeants conversing with Sejanus. “Factories in the northeast quarter,” said the sergeant- Haren of Skandmark, Khârn remembered. “We can hit those with minimal civilian casualties, and either let them stew for a time or force a breach while they're reeling.”

“We'll need to hit the gates right before,” murmured Aximand. “Once we're inside, the factory district will offer more defensible positions than anywhere else. We can tie the guards down there, and Torvun’s flyboys will be free to deal with the Tyrants.”

“And we'll be free to rejoin our brothers,” Sejanus grinned. “and finally meet him.”

-----

Reports had been few and far between since the news first came, but the Host's camps had been alive with whispers for a month now. Their Primarch was found, and had assumed command over the Legion. The camps resounded with questions, the main one being the nature of their sire.

“Something like Alexandros, I'd say,” Hakur had contended, one night. “Surely it's no accident why we fit so well with the V.”

“I'd have thought something more like Master Sejanus, writ large,” Aximand suggested. “Just can't picture anyone who better embodies our-”

Sejanus cuffed him on the back of the head as he entered the tent. “Trying to flatter me, Vilkas? You'll have to do better, I've had Primarchs compliment me.” His grin took any sting out of the remark, but Vipus still cringed as the tent filled with laughter.

Khârn replied without looking up from his chainaxe as he cleaned the mechanism. “Easy on Vilkas, sir. You know how easily starstruck new captains are. All the same," he added, "I can't say that this silence sits well with me. Knowing for certain that we'll meet him soon, and being stuck here.”

Uraeddon shrugged. “Better than living off bits of information from the other Hosts and our cousins. I guess he has a sense of occasion, Khârn. At the same time, it lights a fire under us to finish this compliance quickly and cleanly, hand over to the governors and get back to the Legion.”

-----

That remark came back to Khârn as he watched Uraeddon running toward them. Xavier was normally the most reserved of them, but here he was, racing along with Andus trailing behind him.

“They're coming!” he gasped, skidding to a halt. “The Primarch, the whole Legion, they just translated in-system.”

“Ready the entire Chapter!” Sejanus barked. “I won't have us meet our master looking any less than our best.”

But no sooner had the words left his mouth than a torrent of fire struck the city. An orbital bombardment, nothing else could be that loud. Khârn stood aghast as dust and smoke engulfed everything. They heard the tell-tale shrieks of drop pods, but couldn't be sure how many.

“Vernak!” Khârn snapped into the vox. “We're blind down here, what the hell is happening?”

“We're not sure how many, they just told us to get out of the-”

“Where. Is. Our. Primarch?”

“In the city… they just dropped straight in.”

The officers turned and stared into the smoke, as a new sound rose above everything else.

Screaming.


Edited by bluntblade, 02 October 2019 - 08:23 PM.


#14
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Inwit
Author: bluntblade
Legion: Berserkers of Uran, Raktra
Time: 927, M30
Major characters: Slynnat, Khârn, Nix

Raktra's brothers often invested much time and effort in keeping the Berserkers away from human civilisations as time and again, societies had to be dragged kicking and screaming into Compliance after recoiling from the VII. Indeed, rumours tell that when Daer'dd was asked about his most profound regret, he only hesitated slightly before saying “letting Raktra beat me to the Inwit Domain.” - Luwin Fleor, Fraternis Fracturo

Inwit was, without doubt, the foulest war Khârn had ever fought in. The bitter cold, honourable and formidable enemy, and the sheer lack of necessity made a vile mixture. One they had had to swallow for over ten months now, as they ground their lonely way to the heart of the little empire. Reinforcements from the Army and Godslayers had briefly become involved, only to leave in disgust after a few battles.

Khârn fervently wished he could have joined them. He would rather fight any number of hideous xeno swarms than wade through his master's leftovers. And we thought glories awaited us, when the news came.

Raktra's contempt for the Shepherds had not abated, but despite attrition and the pressure to conform, most of their number still upheld the old virtues. The Dawn Blades had suffered with their fellows; Hakur had fallen to an Eldar champion two years before, and Uraeddon had been lost with almost his entire company in a disastrous boarding action against the Diasporex.

Raktra withheld new recruits from the Shepherd companies until they embraced the vicious culture of the Berserkers. As a result, the Shepherds’ number were gradually eroded, miserably fighting on the flanks as their Primarch tore into the heart of whatever stood before him.

-----

“By my deeds I honour him; the Ashen King.” Nix Pyrruk whispered the mantra as he activated his chainsword. All around him, Berserkers did the same. Then the drop pod doors blasted open and they were charging into the city of Gruhuken. Bolts and las-fire glanced off walls and the air was thick with dust. Soldiers on both sides had already fallen, gore staining the deep snow. Inwit armour was tough, but it could only withstand so much damage from Astartes weapons.

Nix craned his neck and howled in delight as hundreds more pods streaked towards the ground. This was their day. After months of attacking military bases and installments, they could rip the heart from an enemy settlement. And there… oh, there he was.

Atop the battlements the Primarch destroyed all who came before him, smiting with his great chain and Grinder. The chain dashed men and women from the wall to splatter the ground below, and the Grinder reduced them to pulped meat. He had purposefully pitted himself against the Inwit’s best troops, and they were like children fighting an Ork. Cries rang out from the Berserkers as they screamed their master's name, spurred on to destroy the Inwit forces.

The Inwit troops were perhaps the most disciplined humans ever to face the Berserkers, and their excellent training and equipment exacted a respectable toll of blood from the Astartes. But they just couldn't stop the tide of murder, and eventually their morale began to erode. None fled, but their defence was deteriorating as they realised that their very best was not enough to keep these warriors back. The Berserkers only heeded their own losses to holler in approval of an especially savage death, or to jeer at a warrior who fell too easily. They were the ash-wearers, the bloody-handed, and death to them was something to do spectacularly, in a mad suicide attack.

Nix saw one Astartes bathed in napalm, which would set off any explosives on him in seconds. Without hesitation the warrior leapt on top of an enemy squad, and pulled them into an embrace before the bandolier of krak grenades detonated. Charred meat rained down in lumps. The featureless masks of the Inwit troops gave nothing away, but they visibly recoiled from such fanaticism. The Astartes nearby gave gleeful screams and redoubled their attack. Several Inwit paused, horrified, and paid for the hesitation with their lives. Their more steadfast comrades survived about a minute longer.

Nix snarled as he parried a blow from a power axe- the Inwit’s form-fitting, leaden-hued armour, partially covered by heavy greatcoats, was starkly different to the Astartes’, but their weapons were remarkably similar. He rolled his wrist and brought his sword down on the man's shoulder, ripping open his chest cavity in a fountain of red. The white of his gauntlets was barely visible now, and he knew the rest of him would be coated as well. Another Inwit fell at his feet, legs amputated at the knee by a power blade. The disruptor field had cauterised the wounds, and he was doomed to a slow death come exposure. Instinctively, Nix knelt and performed the mercy stroke. Down-up.

“Soldier!” He turned to see Captain Terkut behind him. Even with his helmet on, he was plainly furious. “Don't waste time easing the enemy's pain! They're in our way, they suffer!”

“Yes sir!” Internally, Nix chastised himself as the squads regrouped around the officer. He felt their eyes on him. Weak, damnit. Their wounded will die anyway, I should know better than that. His friend Slynnat would've known better. His one real friend, with whom he had fought his way through the trials to become an Astartes. Now they had been separated - deliberately, Nix reckoned, to see what they were really made of.

The Captain pointed behind him, where other Astartes were moving steadily through the streets. “See that, boys? The bloody sheep are catching up on us because you wretches aren't fighting like Berserkers. Every second you spend killing a man on the ground,” he continued, striding ahead, “is time you're not killing one that's still standing up and shooting! Tell me, what are you?”

“Zerkers!” The Astartes followed.

“And what kind of zerkers did Cthonia and Uran puke up?” They broke into a run.

“Bloody-handed zerkers!”

“And whose are ya?”

“Raktra's ashen bloody-handed zerkers!”

“Then follow me and kill like zerkers!” the sergeant roared as the run became a sprint.

-----

It was easier to simply mop up after the Berserkers than to fight in the flanks. The Shepherds could administer the Emperor's Peace to the mortally wounded on either side, and any surviving enemies would not allow themselves to be taken prisoner. Khârn felt shamed by such moral cowardice, but it was preferable to the alternative. Every time his bolter barked or his axe descended, it destroyed technology that could benefit the whole of mankind and drained a bloodline which had endured the horrors of Old Night and risen from the ashes.

Just how many potential heroes of humanity, how many would-be Astartes, have we cut down since this war began? The Inwit were anything but decadent: their immaculate, utilitarian armour spoke of a pragmatic, honourable people, and this was echoed in the way they fought. More than ever before, it would be a sickening sight when Raktra dealt with the survivors.

In the first few battles after the reunion the Shepherds had continued to take prisoners whenever possible. Raktra responded by having all the prisoners hacked apart by his honour guard, and later gunned down by his Berserkers. The Shepherds offered to campaign separately. Raktra refused, out of what they could only assume was hatred of their methods and a desire to cement his control over the Legion. The Shepherds would not be permitted to wage war as they had before. A few Primarchs had protested, but to no avail. The Shepherds were locked into a slow spiral towards extinction while their erstwhile brothers trampled over their virtues.

The Berserkers vanished into the streets ahead of them, leaving a trail of the dead and dying. Khârn drew his combat blade, and knelt to lessen the suffering.

-----

With the Inwit defence in tatters, the Legion was moving to assert its dominance over the city. The squads moved into the residential zones they had passed by earlier, where the last few thousand enemy troops were reforming as best they could. They were tough and well-disciplined, and fought to protect their loves ones. They held out for ten minutes.

As the last of their opponents fell, the Berserkers penetrated the civilian shelters, splitting into squads as they went. The enemy's strength was broken, and now their spirit would go the same way. Torkut barged into the throng of weaklings and seized a young girl.

“Now, Pyrruk, you'll prove to me that you're a true Zerker” he snarled, hauling her in front of Nix, who hefted his chainsword, readying himself to cross the threshold and become a true son of Raktra. Then, trembling, she raised her eyes to his and he froze.

Memories from before ascension flooded his mind. The attack on their home… the terror on his sister’s face as she was dragged out from under a table… and the cleavers. He reeled. It was as if a great weight rested on his chest. His head swam. He tried to regain control, but the echo of his sister's fear cut through all the indoctrination and hypno-conditioning.

Sound penetrated his consciousness, as if from a great distance. The sergeant was bawling at him, his face contorted with rage. Nux turned towards him, and saw something his comrades had missed.

No time to shout a warning. A bolt wrecked his power pack and more struck his legs and torso as the fibre bundles spasmed, dropping him to the floor in a pool of his own blood. The Inwit had one last show of defiance left in them; soldiers appeared on both sides as the civilians scrambled for cover. The Berserkers reacted quickly, but not fast enough, and the enemy no longer cared for self-preservation. Bolts found the weak points between armour plates, and grenades exploded between the Astartes, ripping limbs away. The stony mask of the Inwit cracked, and what lay beneath was molten fury. Fighting the dead weight of his armour, Nix raised his head in time to see Torkut brought down by three headshots even as he tore men limb from limb. Then his helm clanged against the floor and darkness swallowed him.


Edited by bluntblade, 05 December 2016 - 03:21 AM.


#15
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Liberators
Author: bluntblade
Legions: Godslayers, Dune Serpents
Time: 920, M30

Orange and green. A hideous contrast, but an appropriate one it seemed to Sergei Medvud. These, of all xenos, were creatures that Mankind could never share a galaxy with. The Ork’s only conception of other life was something it could kill, or use to make tools for more killing. Here on Altai II they had enslaved billions, turning hive cities into factories of murder.

Fighting them had a strange duality. On the one hand it was a hideous melee, bereft of any grace as the greenskins piled in. The marines fought simply to keep their heads above the tide. At the same time, it was gloriously pure. Their objectives were never more certain; aliens to kill, humans to rescue. Medvud’s bolter blazed away while his power fist buckled armour and pulverised bone. Either side of him his company were doing the same, scything through the greenskin ranks.

Ahead he could see a group of their lumpen “gargant” war machines trundling towards them, lobbing crude rockets at them. As often happened, he thought somehow that the wretched things travelled rather faster than their bulky frames and scrap components should allow.

But no matter. As a blaring war horn sounded behind him, a vast foot moved over the Godslayers’ lines to crush scores of greenskins. Then the Spiritus Ferrum levelled its guns and targeted the gargants. The Ork machines opened fire on it, but their primitive munitions had no hope against an Imperator-class Titan. Plasma blasts reduced each gargant to cinders and gouged huge craters of molten glass among the Ork ranks.

The rest of Legio Fortissimus came after it, hammering the enemy as the Godslayers poured around their feet. Tanks and Land Raiders heaped ordnance on the flanks, driving the Orks back toward their fortress-city.

By then however, the Dune Serpents had begun their work. Anti-aircraft guns suddenly swivelled to target the greenskin army. Some fired, others were too crude for anyone but an Ork to use - in those cases they were simply destroyed. Army and Astartes dropships began to descend into the city, turning it into the anvil on which the Godslayers would break their foe. On the battlements Medvud spotted a giant in pale purple. Azus himself, casting greenskins from the battlements. While he and Medvud’s Primarch were so dissimilar in temperament, united against such an enemy they were a lethal combination.

Then, refocusing, he saw another vast figure striding through their ranks, huge even in the shadow of a Titan. Brandishing his blade above his head, Koschei roared, “For the Emperor, for Mankind, death to the greenskin!” Echoing the cry with all the fervour they could summon, the Godslayers smote the alien horde once again.

Edited by bluntblade, 20 August 2016 - 10:50 AM.


#16
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Shepherd
Author: bluntblade
Legion: Berserkers of Uran
Time: 927, M30
Major characters: Nix, Khârn, Sejanus

Nix woke up groggy, gingerly moving fingers and toes to check they were still there. Finding that everything was present, he lifted his eyes to the figure sat opposite.

The first thing he noticed was a Shepherd's warplate, which raised plenty of questions on its own. Then his vision snapped into focus, and he could make out the man's face. Equine, and deeply tanned, with a strangely appraising expression. This could only be…

“Khârn? I mean, Captain Khârn?” The ward was busy, so this risible show of respect for one of the hated Shepherds went unnoticed.

“Aye,” came the reply. “If you want to know why my squad rescued you, I’ve put it down to force of habit.”

“My squad didn't bring me back?”

A mix of emotions crossed the Shepherd’s face. “Your squad were wiped out completely, save for you. The Inwit were unforgiving warriors. We went in, cut the rest down and found you still breathing.” Khârn frowned, and continued. “How did they manage ambush you so completely?”

“They were distracted… by my failure.” Nix sagged, the shame flooding back with even more force.

“Failure?"

“They put a girl in front of me, I-”

“You ‘failed’ to kill a civilian?”

“It was a test of resolve… I don't know what you make of any of this.” Khârn leaned forward, forefinger tapping at his chin but didn't speak. Nux carried on. “We're meant to be capable of anything, and I… I saw things from Uran, and I couldn't do it. I’ve-”

Massive footfalls echoed from the corridor. Khârn turned, scowling. Nix stopped speaking. He felt like there was a vice around his chest. Was this fear? Another failure they hadn't wrung out of him? Then the doors opened and the Ashen King stepped in, clad in surgical robes with a rubberised apron. His pitiless eyes scanned the room, alighting on a few Astartes. Then he advanced towards Nix.

No one outside the Berserkers’ ranks knew of this, and it was never directly spoken of within the Legion. But the whispered implications were clear. Every Berserker owed his Primarch a debt for his geneseed. This was to be paid as a lifetime of service. Those who failed, however, could not pay him back. And so the White Devil would come to collect in a different way. This, he realised, wasn't a ward for those meant to heal and go back to war. This was where the gene seed of the weak was kept fresh until it could be harvested.

Raktra’s face contorted behind the mask as he surveyed Nix. “Your weakness cost me a squad, wretch. You are manifestly incapable of making good your debt.” He took a scalpel from an attendant, stepping forward. “I've never seen a warrior of Uran afflicted with such feebleness. So here I am, to cut your sickness out of my Legion.”

“No.” Khârn stood, blocking his Primarch’s path.

“Get out of my way, sheep,” spat Raktra. “Do not presume to meddle with the true warriors of the VII.”

“True warriors?” The words came out quietly, but in the silence Khârn might as well have shouted. “I've brought down xenos monsters and human warriors alike. I served this Legion for decades before we found you, and I'll not be dismissed so easily. I will not see this man and his fellows butchered for their gene seed.”

What could be seen of the white face was a sneer. “So what will you do?”

“Leave, and take them with me. Ten years has been long enough. I won't serve under you any longer.”

“And whose coattails will you ride then? Daer'dd’s? The meekling, Alexandros?”

Khârn was silent for a moment. “I don't care who. I may just follow Sejanus. He's more worthy of my loyalty than you ever were.”

The ward echoed to the rasp of Raktra’s anger. “Say that again.”

Khârn stood his ground and raised his voice. “I will bow to any Primarch or Astartes before I bend my knee to you!”

With a roar, the White Devil barrelled forward, twisting to bring a huge fist down as Khârn rolled out of the way. Tiles broke under his assault.

“Take that back and bow to your master!”

“Never!” Khârn ducked out the way of another fist, but even a veteran could only outrun a Primarch for so long. Raktra’s boot slammed into his back. Khârn’s impact left a dent in the wall, but he was quick enough to dive away from a fresh attack.

“Take. It. Back.”

“No.”

Then Raktra was on him properly, battering away with fists and feet. After half a minute he stepped back, glaring down at the battered figure on the floor.

"You can break every bone," the Terran captain spat, a stray tooth rattling on the floor. "and you can strip the skin from my back, but you won't hear me surrender. I will not set aside my honour- not even for you."

Raktra's face contorted behind the mask. “You really are the worst of your kind, Terran. Honour is weakness made pretty.” He retrieved his scalpel from the floor and advanced. “I'm going to enjoy this.”

And then the sounded or more booted feet sounded, and a group of Shepherds burst in, Hastur Sejanus at their head. Without even a word, every man among them drew his bolter. None went so far as to aim a weapon at the Primarch yet, but the intention was clear. Moreover, Raktra had come without any retinue save a couple of apothecaries.

“You will let him go.” Sejanus growled, and for the first time Nix understood how such a man could hail from Cthonia. Cold fury emanated from him, even as he faced down his gene-father. “We will keep to the terms Captain Khârn proposed, and we will depart immediately. The Shepherds will campaign alongside the Berserkers no longer.”

“You treasonous bastard, Sejanus,” hissed Raktra, but he saw no lack of resolve in the Chapter Master's face. “Do you really think I won't butcher you all?”

“You could, but the death of an entire Chapter’s command echelon will turn heads. Even you couldn't shrug that off.”

Raktra seethed. “Fine! Take these weaklings and go. But know this, I will see to it that you never claim another recruit. Your weakling Chapters will be ground down eventually, and I will be there to see the last of you die with your pathetic virtue.” With that, he stormed from the ward.

“Brother, I don't know whether to thank you or curse you,” Sejanus said, helping Khârn to his feet. “All this for a Berserker?”

Khârn gestured towards Nix. “He's no Berserker. Can you walk, lad?”

After all Nix had seen, it was an effort to speak, but he managed “With crutches, sir, yes.”

“Right,” Sejanus turned to his Captains. “Do the same for every man who can walk. The rest we wheel out.”

“Where will we go?” said a pale captain- Haren, Nix guessed.

“We will set out for Delos, but I want you and Nero to link up with the Iron Bears’ fleet. We’re exiles now, brothers, and we need all the support we can get."

-----

Petitioning the Emperor in this way was without doubt Alexandros’ most controversial act before his elevation to Warmaster. However, Pionus Santor, Hectarion Mycenor and Daer’dd Nikaana stood behind him, and few of their brothers were willing to plead for Raktra. Consequently, the Shield Lord and his allies prevailed in the debate.

The old Chapters took up the official name of the Shepherds of Eden once more and were designated Legio Auxilia. With this, they were granted recruitment rights to Terran regions that several Legions had discarded.

With Hastur Sejanus at the helm, the Shepherds regained their strength over the next couple of decades. In this time they served under several Primarchs, most notably participating in the Koloss Syntheticide alongside the Wardens of Light.

At the time it appeared that they had resumed their glorious course after a temporary period of turmoil. But none could have known the depths of the hatred they inspired in their Primarch, both for his estranged sons and the ones who had set them free to roam the Galaxy once more.

-Quintillian Macro, The Orphaned Astartes


Edited by bluntblade, 05 December 2016 - 03:22 AM.

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#17
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A Message
Author: bluntblade
Legions: Dune Serpents
Time: 992, M30

“Maintain formation. We are 2km from where they were sighted.” The great block of men and machines trudged along the road. These strange men who came to them with lies of another Emperor were out here, following the execution of their seditious delegation. Their heresy would be expunged under a hail of righteous gunfire. Then the Terran Empire would set out to bring these renegade worlds to heel.

These were the finest, most ruthless troops the Emperor could muster, led by a cadre of his prized Invisibles. The dawn light gleamed on their guns and armour, immaculate in majenta and silver. Their weapons had ground dozens of weaker worlds into submission. Nothing had stood before them, nor ever would. The major glowed with pride as his mind turned to the subsequent conquests and the glory yet to-

Geysers of bile green erupted among the platoons. Men fell to their knees, as corrosive gases ate away at their skin. Panic engulfed the army as soldiers fumbled at their bio-sec gear and officers tried to maintain the formations. The major realised that the gas wasn't spreading far, despite the horror it had inflicted. This wasn't the main attack.

“To arms! To arms!” He screamed, but his words were lost in the storm of gunfire as volleys stabbed into the formation with hideous. Every shot saw a man's head or chest blasted open. Suddenly armoured giants were all around them, between their formations, mowing them down and closing rapidly. In one synchronised motion they let go of their guns and drew wicked, curved swords. Then, with the same chilling precision as before, they dismembered the platoons. More puffs of gas, but colourless- small bursts of neurotoxins, which destroyed any remaining discipline as men dropped like flies. The giants walked through the dispersing fumes without any apparent trouble.

The Major turned and ran to his tank, but tripped over something on the ground. A man's lower torso. He recognised the armour. They kill Invisibles. He made to crawl away, activating a vox-link to his superiors.

“General, the capital must be fortified! They are butchering us, they-” something hard and heavy set itself down on his back, and a vast hand pulled his head back.

“General,” a deep voice growled into his mic as a knife slid under his throat, “my name is Azus. I believe your subordinate has informed you sufficiently of his situation. Now he will tell what we are going to do to you, and your false Emperor.” The knife twisted to stab up, and the major’s last message came as a series of gurgles as he drowned in his own blood. The last thing he heard was “Azus” issuing orders. “Tell 2nd, 5th and 11th companies to commence. The capital falls at dusk tomorrow."

#18
bluntblade

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A Proper Depiction
Author: bluntblade
Legion: Iron Bears (Daer'dd)
Time: 999, M30
Major characters: Ellan Temeter

Ellan Temeter made her way to the Fuel Tank, a former storage space in the Dragon of Autumn which the Remembrancers were rapidly making their own. It seemed that every contingent had set up a watering hole on their appointed vessel, and the soldiers who served under the Iron Bears were unusually receptive.

Never more so than just after a battle had been won. After months of cautious chipping away at the xeno defences, the Scions Hospitaller had weakened the enemy enough for the Iron Bears and their mortal auxiliaries to join them for a shattering assault. The Laer’s central atolls had been seized and the road to victory was clear. The halls resounded to the sounds of celebration, and even if Ellan hadn't wanted to relax and get some fresh accounts of the war for Laeran, the amourous racket from either side of her quarters would have driven her out. Strange how, after hours of combat, all the soldiers want to do is exert themselves some more. So she made her way to the bar, slipping around boisterous troops and colleagues.

She had a rough idea of how she would structure her account of the war against the Laer, but despite the excellent work of the pictographers she was collaborating with, it felt lacking. The last few months had brought a steady stream of acclaimed picts and paintings, but she and her fellow scribes were struggling. Some documentarists argued that the environment put them at a disadvantage; Laeran’s beautiful seas and riotous alien cities certainly favoured the imagists, but Ellan felt that the problem went deeper. Something about the conflict eluded them, leaving them unable to truly encapsulate the Great Crusade's glories.

This was partly why she had opted for a more wide-ranging narrative. A discipline master’s viewpoint for one engagement, a stormbird pilot's perspective for another. Given a few weeks it would be complete, her third contribution to documenting the Crusade. Her previous work had been more of an effort to describe the Iron Bears’ way of making war alongside their comrades in the Crimson Lions, although she had stopped short of attempting to profile their lord. Daer’dd seemed unknowable, as did the rest of his brothers, to judge by the publications from other fleets. Still, she had managed to interview a few captains from each Legion, and they offered some excellent material to work with.

She sat down under a painting of the ship's captain- undoubtedly titled Fire the Ursus Claws if the subject's snarling expression, blazing eyes and outstretched fist were any indication. She sank into the conversations; a large poet arguing with a colleague over the merits of using paper over data-slates, and a pictographer grumbling about how the Bears had flattened the Laer temple before the remembrancers could reach it. Over it all, a sense of dissatisfaction pervaded.

“Ishaq, you really shouldn't complain so much,” an iterator declared. “Such degenerate designs, rendered by xenos hands, deserve…” He tailed off, slack-jawed, and a hush spread through the bar as everyone turned to see the cause. When Ellan saw, she wondered how they hadn't noticed sooner.

Besides everything else, there was the sheer size of him. He seemed almost too large for the space around him, and even in plain robes there was no disguising those colossal muscles. Ellan had seen garish picts from earlier ages, depicting heroes with absurdly honed physiques. Daer’dd would have made any one of them look quite feeble. And then there was the aura around him, animalistic but endowed with frightening intelligence.

“And let's not forget the teeth” the primarch added. Not that there was any danger of that, once the remembrancers had seen him open his mouth. “Now, I have come here tonight to register… a certain dissatisfaction with your work.” Horrified whispering spread through the mass of people and dozens backed away.

“Why, lord?” It took Ellan a moment to recognise her own voice. By the time she did, she was very alone, face to face with the master of the IX Legion.

“Why, Miss Temeter?” came the rumbling reply, and it rose in volume even as the tone remained flat. The primarch was plainly fighting to keep a hold on his emotions. “Because I have read the scribblings of your order, and I am appalled at their inadequacy in doing justice to the leaders of this Crusade!”

The pool of empty space around Ellan grew larger still, and she had to stop herself swaying as thoughts ran through her head. Another contingent disgraced and expelled. So many opportunities lost… and they'll blame me. They'll remember who spoke back to him…

She had no choice but to plough on. “What dishonour have we done to the primarchs? We have reported their deeds with only reverence and solmenit…” A raised eyebrow brought her up short, and she realised that the emotion Daer’dd was attempting to rein in wasn't anger. The chuckling caused glasses to rattle throughout the hall as Daer’dd squatted down opposite her.

“Exactly! You're so damn solemn about us that I barely recognise my brothers in these chronicles. I mean, just look at Alexandros as Ogliv Vashynk describes him. ‘Honour of rock, integrity of the stars’... you'd think he never cracks a joke! Can you imagine looking up to such a starch-arse?"

The mortals fell about laughing at such incongruous words from the mouth of a primarch, and as the mood thawed Astartes began to enter the room. Ellan forced herself to speak up again. “So, how can we redress our order's failings?”

Daer'dd grinned and made a gesture at something over her shoulder. “Well,” he grinned, “you must learn about my brothers from a source who knows them well, and is as candid as a warrior’s discipline and integrity will allow.” A servitor set a large tankard down before Daer'dd. “So, starting from tonight, we shall drink and make merry, and whatever you remember, you may use in your writings.”

“You mean, you'd permit us to record what you say when drunk?

“Do you mean to challenge me, remembrancer?” Now Daer'dd’s laugh was loud enough to shake dust from the rafters. He tapped his equerry on the shoulder. “Ten drinks for each of us. Get to it.”

Ten tankards were brought and set on the table between them. Each one, Ellan knew, was potent enough to liquidise a mortal’s innards. Despite his levity, the terror still hadn't left her. Was she sat in front of a madman? Was she to be poisoned as some kind of twisted warning to the remembrancers? Surely only Alexos and the maniac Raktra were capable of such a thing?

Then a tray was set down in front of her. Ten glasses of quite non-lethal wine, mortal-sized. “It's only fair to keep things in proportion” shrugged Daer'dd. “Now,” he grasped the nearest tankard in one massive hand as more servitors appeared, proferring drinks to the other remembrancers. “A toast. To a proper depiction of the Great Crusade!”

-----

Ironically, the first product of Daer'dd’s resolution would be a pict, depicting the master of the Iron Bears with an arm around Ellan Temeter’s shoulders, leading the remembrancers and his lieutenants in song while his guards stood, for once in a state of utter confusion, in the background.

Mercifully, history does not remember the exceedingly rude ditty. Nor, for that matter, who won the drinking contest.

Edited by bluntblade, 11 February 2017 - 02:24 AM.


#19
bluntblade

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Laeran
Author: bluntblade
Legions: Iron Bears (Daer'dd), Scions Hospitalier (Pionus)
Time: 999, M30
Major characters: Ellan Temeter, Achille Nibaasiniiwi, Odyssalas

“You should be grateful, you know,” Solomon Grimm said as the officers and remembrancers followed their Primarch to the hangar. “The launch was put back three hours. Lord Daer'dd granted you a little more sleep.”

“Why?” asked Ellan.

Achille Nibaasiniiwi grunted. “Showmanship.”

“Come now, Achille,” Daer'dd laughed. “They are here to witness the wonders of the galaxy, are they not? Surely you couldn't begrudge them a sight as fine as this?” The Second Praetor said nothing, marching in sullen silence.

Through the shields, Laeran hung in the void. The fleet sat in a geostationary orbit, and right now the oceans and vast atolls were obscured by darkness. The pictographers among the party snapped away. Around them Astartes assembled for the drop; fresh reinforcements and the second Wartribe, who had endured a brutal fight the previous week and been sent to recuperate and resupply in orbit. They had been cut off and surrounded for an entire day until Odyssalas of the Scions Hospitalier had broken through to reinforce them, fighting for several hours after that until the atoll was secure. Nibaasiniiwi had lost many brave men and burned with the desire to avenge them.

Ellan knew that his choler did not come from battered pride, but a sincere feeling of responsibility for his warriors; Nibaasiniiwi was normally in good humour despite the fearsome sight his augmentics presented. Both his legs were metal and ceramite from the thighs down, ending in clawed feet. These were the result of a savage fight against the spine-reapers of Horkbaj II, in which his legs had been crushed under an overturned Land Raider. The bionics that really caught the eye, however, were his hands. Daer'dd had fashioned them himself, fitting them with retractable blades that served to turn them into lethal talons. With these Nibaasiniiwi was one of the Bears' most dexterous and dangerous warriors. Ellan wondered if the Laer realised just how fierce their final reckoning would be.

Transports were readied, oaths of moment sworn. Nibaasiniiwi had his heard by Grimm and Daer'dd himself, and his dark mood lifted somewhat. Another perfect moment. Ellan suspected that these proceedings were being subtly orchestrated by the Primarch to give the remembrancers plenty of such opportunities. How much it was for their sake, and how much for the legion’s, she wasn't quite sure. She was still getting used to his company, and doubted she would ever presume to know his mind.

The ships dropped away from the Dragon of Autumn, coming around in a wide arc to pass by the great ship, then soaring on past the fleet of the Scions Hospitaller with their distinctive Trireme-pattern warships. A few minutes’ flight, and they knew exactly what Daer'dd had wanted to show them.

“Sunrises are a particular vice of mine,” he told Ellan, grinning broadly. And this one was perfect. The sunlight bathed the planet’s surface, glimmering on the seas and catching the atolls that dotted them. One by one the Imperium was taking those floating structures, putting them of alien taint.

The atoll where they set down was a hive of activity. Clusters of anti-air batteries loomed over ranks of aircraft, while troops, Mechanicus engineers and hundreds more swarmed throughout the base. Several kilometres distant, more atolls were visible, smaller but almost as busy, and aircraft thronged the spaces in between. Laeran had been a long, hard war and now the stage was being set for a final push to break the xeno occupiers.

Upon landing, Daer'dd set off for the edge of the atoll, motioning formhis retinue to follow and acknowledging salutes and hails as he went. “The Scions have been busy down in the depths,” he said. “But we'll have to work in tandem again today, so now they come back to us.”

As if on cue, dark shapes appeared in the water, rising to emerge as Stormbirds, albeit strangely modified ones. Phaeton-pattern, Elan realised. A hatch opened on the lead craft and a towering figure emerged.

He was clad in austere white armour trimmed with metallic red, very much at odds with Daer'dd’s beautifully wrought plate. Strange devices sprouted from his vambraces and he lacked the power pack typical of Imperial armour. His helm was strangely impersonal, fronted by a blank sheet of obsidian. Mag-locked to his back was an ornate trident, oddly out of place next to his accoutrements. Daer'dd's handiwork, Ellan realised; finer than anything she had seen him craft, it was a weapon forged for a Primarch. Although this man did not match Daer'dd's size, there was no mistaking him for anything else.

The vessel left the water and rose smoothly to float at eye level with the group on the atoll. The figure pulled his helmet free, and the sense of inhumanity was gone. “Brother!” called Pionus Santor. “Nice to have you join us.”

-----

Clinical was the word she decided on for the master of the XIX Legion. Everything about him spoke of efficiency; his armour was streamlined and smoothed down where Daer'dd's was ornate, and while the Bear was all expansive gestures and loud speech, Pionus spoke quietly and avoided any unnecessary movements. He was not unfriendly, merely businesslike. Following that clinical analogy she decided that where Daer'dd was some great weapon of war, Pionus was a surgeon's blade.

Certainly he wasted no time appraising Daer'dd of the situation, taking a holo-caster from one of his men. “The Laer have pulled almost all their forces back to this atoll. Their suboceanic fleet surrounds it so, given the concentration of air power and defensive weaponry, we will need to engage them on all fronts. There is a possibility that they may go on the-” he broke off as a communications officer in Scions livery approached.

“They're on the move, lord. Our eyes in orbit report fleets from five atolls and trench Acheron. They'll be on us within the hour."

“Thank you Patroclus. Inform the officers, I'll issue orders in five minutes.” Pionus turned to Daer'dd. “Well, I should mention Captain Odyssalas’ scheme.”

A Scion in Cyma plate and bearing a power glaive stepped forward, inclining his head to the Primarchs and Nibaasiniiwi. “The Laer have spread themselves thinly with this attack, but if we go for their strongholds with a large force they'll see our intention. What I propose is that a small unit- my assault and breacher squads, plus a squad of Librarians and two of Depthstriders- take a few Phaetons and hijack one of the Laer vessels. We've found that they're hybrids,” he explained, directing his words to the Bears. “Capable of functioning in the sea and atmosphere. With the Librarians we can force the pilots to crash one into an atoll before the Laer understand what's happening.”

“Then you hold them until we've shot their vanguard to pieces, giving us a beachhead” grinned Daer'dd. “Pionus, I like the way your man thinks!”

Pionus nodded, but his frown didn't shift. “We will have to remain here, brother. They'll need to see us if the ruse is to work. However, Odyssalas wants a detachment of your men to help secure the landing site. Can you offer any?”

Nibaasiniiwi stepped forward. “If I may, my lord? I pledge myself, my command squad and Terminator units, plus a score of the Totem Guard with my Primarch's permission” looking to Daer'dd, whose smile only widened.

“It's done.” He turned to Odyssalas. “You'll conceal the sortie within a counter-attack, yes?”

“That was the plan. After that, the defence can proceed however you wish.”

“Begin preparations, Captains.” Pionus turned his glacial eyes on the remembrancers. “Daer'dd, your scribes might be about to witness the Great Crusade rather more closely than they'd hoped.”

+++++

The Laer attack was terrifying, but at the same time it was beautiful to see the Astartes in battle and the flawless leadership of the Primarchs. But that was nothing to the combat which erupted when the xenos made landfall. The great swarms were too many for the turrets to wipe out, and so it fell to our soldiers to destroy them with guns, blades and hammers.

At the heart of the fighting were Daer'dd and Pionus. The Bear anchored the battle, inexorable, carving great gouges in the attackers’ formations. Pionus moved constantly around him. Some would liken it to a dance, but it was too mechanical for that. He was like a Narthecium, all precision, slipping into place to remove any threats that evaded Daer'dd's huge, sweeping strokes. Indeed, he reaped many lives with his Narthecium apparatus, which flicked out at will to puncture eyes and slit throats.

Above them fighters mingled in the skies, debris raining down on the sea even as submersibles contested the waters around the atoll.

I don't know how long it went on for. I recall little detail apart from seizing a lasgun when some of the creatures threatened us and wounding one before a group of Janizars brought it down. But the overall impression of the Primarchs’ might and prowess remains indelible. So different, but so flawless fighting in unison.

I do know that the battle ended when Pionus called in several squadrons of fighters and bombers from orbit. They fell upon the Laer craft, catching them between multiple fields of fire. Within minutes the enemy fleet was destroyed and communications came from Odyssalas’ men.

The final Laer stronghold was ours for the taking.


Ellan Temeter, In the Bear's Footsteps

+++++

The Stormbirds banked sharply, unnoticed amid the flurry of ships and fire. “Fifteen seconds!” barked Odyssalas’ as they flew clear of the battle. “Cousins, brace yourselves!”

One after the other, the vessels plunged into the water. They went deep, vanishing into the gloom. It was a strange sensation, travelling blind and relying on sensors instead, but Achille Nibaasiniiwi was reassured by how the Scions’ pilots took it in their stride. He glanced over Odyssalas’ shoulder. The Captain had selected a large Laer transport vessel as their target.

“So we eject here and here, and the Terminators force breaches. Those won't destabilise the ship too much?” It was easier to keep a lid on his choler if he focused on the particulars of the mission. Odyssalas had pulled together an impressive force at such short notice - a benefit of the Scions' loose organisation, he supposed.

“Not as long as we move quickly. Speaking of which,” he added, “all Astartes, double-check your seals and get into the airlocks.” He clapped Nibaasiniiwi on the shoulder. “Don't worry, friend. We'll avenge your losses soon enough.” Nibaasiniiwi managed a smile. Odyssalas had more of a warrior's spirit than many of his brothers, and had become a firm friend.

Fully sealed armour would withstand the water pressure for a few minutes, but only the Depthstriders’ plate would survive a prolonged submersion. Fortunately, if there was one thing Terminators were made for, it was breaching and boarding. The lead Stormbirds loosed their payload of Pyre Guard who, directed to the weak points by Depthstriders, immediately tore into the plating with power claws and chainfists. The other craft circled the Laer ship, taking out gun emplacements while their comrades worked.

“We've broken through, starboard bow!” came the message from a Depthstrider.

“Ready yourselves,” growled Odyssalas, bracing himself.

It was like a hammer blow. The pressure blast launched them out into the water shooting towards the breach, where the Terminators had forced the airlocks open. The Depthstriders used grav-repulsers to hold back the water as best they could. The rest of the units followed, aiming for different breaches. Once within, they would fight their way to the bridge and take over the craft.

The presence of the Librarians was a great help as they moved through the corridors, tearing through the aliens. The narrow passages were constructed for serpentine creatures, and often made close-quarters fighting difficult. Nibaasiniiwi darted through the mêlée, claws spilling yellow blood with every attack. He eschewed the bulk of Terminator armour and while that cost him some protection, it also allowed him to move and kill freely.

Beside him, Odyssalas’ glaive claimed dozens of alien lives. The last fight they shared had been tainted with desperation and the bitterness of lost friends. This, however, was a good fight. Straight into the jaws with the kind of daring that only Astartes could muster. He roared a challenge as they charged onto the bridge. As its guards were cut down, the pilot made to get up and face them, but a Depthstrider Librarian stepped forward and immobilised it. Then, despite the disgust that showed in his body language, he forced his way further into its mind.

The ship rose ponderously, the psyker fighting hard to keep the pilot under control. As more squads entered the bridge other Librarians were able to add their power to his, and the ship moved faster and more fluidly.

By the time confused shrieks began sounding over the vox, they were clear of the surface and descending towards a large gunnery emplacement. “Brace for impact!” Nibaasiniiwi bellowed.

The emplacement was crushed under the ship’s weight in an explosion of rubble as the vessel ploughed through structures before scraping to a halt. When the xenos went to investigate, they found the invaders and with them, their deaths. Then the atoll’s armies rallied, throwing everything they had at those who dared intrude on their territory.

It was a savage battle, against almost every variant of Laer they had encountered before. Nibaasiniiwi and Odyssalas fought side by side, weaving through the press of bodies to wherever the fighting was fiercest. The sky burned above them as Imperial ships bombarded the other defences from orbit, but the enemy just kept coming. For all their strength and prowess, even a Totem Guard could be brought down, and they didn't hold the line without cost.

But they held nonetheless, and fought with a resolve and skill that filled Nibaasiniiwi with fierce pride. Bolter fire punched craters in the coral and Odyssalas’ glaive danced, yellow blood fizzing as it met the disruptor field. Laer were blasted apart by volkite fire and eviscerated by chainblades. Others found their deaths in psychic fire and waves of force that crushed them against the walls. The Iron Bears were a mighty bulwark around which the Scions moved, killing with consummate precision. Their battle cries mingled, becoming a single bellow of “for the Emperor!” as another wave came at them.

Winged Laer raked them with steel talons while warrior forms lashed out at them with blades lit by blue fire. Other variants attacked with piercing shrieks uttered at unbelievable volume, that hit like siege hammers. They struggled against Terminator plate, but the sheer number and speed of the creatures still made them dangerous. Those brothers armoured in mk IV were often forced to use their tank-like comrades as cover, darting out to slay their enemies before they could flank the Terminators.

Nibaasiniiwi saw one Totem Guard brought down by a gout of green, electrochemical fire which engulfed the warrior. Staggering backwards, the man collided with Odyssalas, knocking him off balance. A winged Laer pounced on the Scion, slicing deep gouges out of his breastplate and throwing him on his back.

Snarling, Nibaasiniiwi lunged forward to intercept. He backhanded the foul creature to the ground and crushed its head underfoot. A warrior form raced towards them and he sidestepped before impaling it with a crackling claw. He cast the corpse aside and stooped to help Odyssalas up.

“I think that makes us even,” the Scion gasped as he regained his feet. “Thanks, brother.”

"No problem, Aanii."

Even as he spoke they realised that the bombardment had ended and a new noise became audible; the sound of many engines converging on their position. Looking up, they saw the contrails of dropships homing in, descending to unleash the Legions’ full fury on the stronghold. The Astartes roared in triumph as their Primarchs leapt from the lead Stormbird, and they raced into the coral city to join them.

+++++

While the best known images from the Laeran campaign depict the battles themselves, most notably Sky and Sea of Fire and Hammer and Trident, many critics cite a rather quieter scene as the finest visual work of the war. Honour Brothers depicts Captains Nibaasiniiwi and Odyssalas carving the half Aquila symbol on one another's vambrace in the traditional mark of brotherhood between Astartes of different Legions. While the surroundings bear mute testament to the destructive power of the Legiones Astartes, the scene itself casts a rare light on the humanity of our defenders.

-Andronicus Mediza, A History of the Remembrancer Order

Edited by bluntblade, 10 August 2016 - 11:55 AM.


#20
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A Siege at Dusk
Author: bluntblade
Legions: Crimson Lions, Grave Stalkers
Time: 998, M30
Major characters: Tincomos, Venutius

Fire lit the hive, within and without. The Qarith fortifications were slowly crumbling in the face of the Imperial attack. Among the great siege guns, Rix Tironnos watched with grim satisfaction. The Qarith had based their strategy on the belief that no other creatures could survive in the polluted wastes of Ladon II. Even now, in the war’s fourth year, they underestimated the forces of Unity.

Great rigs constructed by the Mechanicus provided their heavy weaponry a platform in the quagmire, beyond the reach of the Qarith guns, and the Grave Stalkers had exploited the uneven landscape closer to the city. Qarith Scarabs and warriors now joined the hills of scrap and refuse around the vast city. Stalker ambushes had splintered the columns of the once-humans, and the Lions’ phalanxes had crushed their troops, the jetbikes of Tauran harrying the survivors through their retreat to the city.

The knowledge that the enemy were crippled was deeply satisfying, for multiple reasons. Tironnos had dreaded giving the request for mortal troops, knowing how many would die from simple damage to their wargear in the toxic badlands. Now they were spared that, and the Chem-Dogs and Draksbrug Zul brigades could move on to fresh worlds, pushing the Qarith menace back. The Astartes and Skitarii would be quite sufficient here.

At the same time, it was fierce payback for the losses they had endured in prior battles. Finally, with knowledge won through years of cruel warfare, they were able to capitalise on the enemy’s weaknesses and earn some clean victories. It was all the more pleasing since the Scions had brought the foul truth of the Qarith to light.

Runes flickered across his helm's lenses as he took in the assembled forces. Here, a company of Astkar boarded Land Raiders; there a squad of Tauran carried out final checks on their bikes. Behind him, he knew that magos of the Legio Madrai led by Isærn were swarming over their gun emplacements, arming them. Somewhere above the clouds, drop-pods were being prepared. All ready to enforce the Emperor’s will.

A pleasing sight. Tironnos relished fighting alongside other Clans, let alone fellow Legions. It took away some of the monotony, and made it easier to end a campaign quickly. Here they had two full Clans, elements of two more,ents of two more, and three companies of Grave Stalkers, plus six thousand Iyacrax skitarii. A perfect force for this mission. Neither the Astartes nor the Mechanicum's bionic soldiery was troubled by the harsh climate beyond the hive walls.

The largest of the siege guns, the Icarus Arrays, began their final attacks on the walls, pummelling three points identified by Captain Ajaway’s men. Clans Baldan and Tauran would scour the battlements as Askar and Garda, supported by the Skitarii, punched through the breaches.

But most importantly, Ajaway’s troops would infiltrate the lair of the “queen” controlling the defenders. If what they claimed about their pariah abilities was true, and there was no reason to doubt them, they would reduce the battle to a clean-up exercise.

The vox crackled- Myrvallen Venutius. “Tinconnos? Our brothers and cousins request authorisation. “

“Askar and the Skitarii have it, sir. Baldan, Tauran and our friends of the fifteenth must wait just another five minutes. As for the gunners-” he adjusted his vox “-all siege gun units, continuous bombardment for seven minutes, commence! Now, Myrvallen,” he added, leaping down to board his Land Raider, “I'm on my way to join you. Just save a few of the enemy for me, eh?”

Edited by bluntblade, 02 May 2016 - 08:40 AM.


#21
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The first strike upon the Eagles
Author: Skalpynock
Legions: Void Eagles, Silver Scorpions
Time: 44.M31

As usual, the command bridge of the Ala Lux was a tumult. Human and Astartes operators conversing in nav-jargon, servo-skulls and scribes rushing to deliver data, servitors adjusting machinery, cogitators constantly flickering and bleeping. And above this chaos, the Highest Admiral Yucahu sat in his throne, in full battle armour, impassive. He had refused the title of Lord, arguing that there was no lord but the Emperor, and that we were his army, not his aristocracy, regardless of what some of his brothers thought on that matter. Decoration in the Ala Lux was sparse, compared to the likes of the Light or the Elpis, offering more importance to function. Still it offered a profusion of Aquilæ and Raptors, their sharp beaks overlooking the occupants with cold contempt. These were the symbols of our Lords, the Emperor and the War Council, and it is to them only that we bowed. My attention was caught by one such adorned door, which opened on a brother of the Legion. His spiked, segmented armour was unmistakable, as was his face, that of a Terran yet so similar to our Father's. Though a Terran by birth, Dakkar had never been of the Morning Stars, having completed his indoctrination protocols on the day the Eagle had been found; in a way, he was the first of the Void Eagles. Some spoke of secret oaths he had sworn, never to land on a compliant world, or even to land at all. I do not take part in spreading rumours, for mistrust has no place in our brotherhood. Yet subconsciously I found my gaze following Dakkar, to the command throne of the Highest Admiral. He walked at a decided, almost angered pace. Through the bridge's chatter, and given the distance and the peculiarities of our gene-seed I could not discern precisely what was said. However, they were so placed that I could read upon their lips what was said. To this day, I still regret doing so, for that conversation marked the beginning of an end.

"Sir, word from the comms have it that Sardauk has translated in-system. He has come unannounced, and does not respond to our hailing signals."
"This world's compliance will be swift, there is no need for his reinforcements. Though the assistance of his legion is always a boon, he is of no use here."
"Will relay. However there are more... troubling reports."
"Can anything really trouble you, Void-Born?" Such bouts of humour were not usual for our primarch. Perhaps there was none in that question?
"Indeed. Messages from the 94th indicate that they have been struck by Astartes ships of the 20th legion; the 73rd speak of being engaged by the Scorpions. Though Alvator hasn't been heard of in years, we have recently received distress signals from a ship under his command, telling of the Drowned having destroyed part of their convoy."
"Open direct communications. I will have explanations from Nomus."
When he rose from his throne and took the Hull-Ripper with him, we would later learn, our legion had joined a war of terrible proportions.


Blood in the Void
Author: Skalpynock
Legions: Void Eagles, Silver Scorpions
Time: 47.M31

Ramius Osaun rushed at the traitors, his cutlass crackling with energy. For weeks the Silver Scorpions had been harrasing his fleet; the Foresworn Faith the only ship not destroyed, and barely so. Whole segments of the frigate had been destroyed, condemned, or jettisoned. The only reason for its survival beyond dumb luck was her shielding, experimental malatek courtesy of the Legion's outcast techmarines. But today they had failed, and the Foresworn Faith had become a bloody battlefield. Learning the death of his Admiral had set the fires of vengeance alight in his soul. His duty was to rush to the bridge, to lead his brothers to victory. But the foe was standing before him right now, between him and the helm, a dozen shieldsmen or so. To have them in melee would have been suicidal, to shoot them worthless. Instead he grabbed a grenade in each hand, primed them, and chucked them into the squad of Scorpions. The blasts took half of them, more than he had planned any way. He grabbed his sword, and began to stab the concussed traitors. "Blood for the Eagle!" he yelled at one; "Blood for the Emperor!" as he took another's head; "Blood for Terra!" he screamed, driven by fanatical fury, disregarding the bolts that glanced off his armour.

"Eagles of the void, Sergeant Osaun here, voxing anyone still alive. I am in command now, Aquila bless us. Navigators, astropaths, serfs, Admiral Osaun here. Engage shields and Geller Fields. We are leaving this madness, the Emperor needs us by his side."


A matter of colors
Author: Skalpynock
Legions: Void Eagles, Predators
Time: 49.M31

Hieron's jump pack roared as he took to the sky, providing a clear overview of the battlefield under him. In the distance, he could see the armoured divisions of the Predators engaging the dropships that had deployed him. His gaze returned to the ground, and he fired at a scattered support squad of the XXth. He landed right after the grenade blasted, its incendiary contents setting the targets ablaze in their armour. "Served 'em right!" came a voice over the vox. "Can't bear the sight of them. They can't paint their armor right." he replied, while looking for possible survivors to finish off. As his chainaxe chewed through one of the half-corpses, he heard the muffled voice of his sergeant: "Brothers, brothers, please be rational. At least they're not the eagles-that-are-not-us!". The entire squad agreed on that point. "By the way, got a funny one from the remembrancers" Cavaraz, the squad's second in command, announced, "Apparently, the rest of the Imperium believes we all wear the green. The only propaganda they get are from the fleets of the Father and Culica." Hieron laughed, as he remembered how far from the truth that was. His own shoulderpads were a dark, dirty blue, an heritage of admiral Qalie's birth-world. He remembered the red of dry blood on Limtoc's warriors, the Terran white of the Third, and the legendary black of Alvator's forsaken Sons of Nothingness. Few actually cared for the heraldry of the main fleets half the Galaxy away. "Bah, colors won't matter when all they see will be clouds of fire falling on 'em!"


Edited by Skalpynock, 06 November 2016 - 06:30 PM.

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Legio IX: the Warbringers Proto-Legio IX: the Steel Guard

Legio IV: the Void Eagles Proto-Legio IV: the Morning Stars

 


#22
bluntblade

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The Eagles Hunt
Author: bluntblade
Legion: Eagle Warriors
Time: unknown, estimated 950-996 M30

The worlds we found were clearly a greenskin empire, and one that owned a great many human slaves. However, all have been scrubbed clean of life with such thoroughness that no trace remains of the conquerors. We can rule out Imperial activity as no records of these systems or their slaves exist. Needless to say, if the culprits are xenos then they pose a substantial threat. We will move on directly and seek to establish what transpired here. - Zytekas Volan, Explorator Fleet 62

-----

Throughout the domain of Uzgat Facegnasha, far from the advancing Imperium of Man, millions of humans toiled to feed the Ork war machine. Corralled in fetid slums, the worked their lives away, smelting, riveting and performing all the other tasks too delicate or dull for their thuggish masters. Any who were broken down by the constant labour were recycled, Ork overseers consuming their bodies and taking their teeth as currency. As far as the people knew, they were condemned to this life and their descendants after them. Some had been born into slavery, others taken from their homes by conquest. None questioned the axiom that no society could prevail against the greenskin.

So when the whispers began, they met with disbelief. Orks only lost battles when they made up both sides. Perhaps some new xeno species could possibly inflict some losses on them, but these rumours spoke of men seizing Ork planets. As such, they were plainly fever dreams.

But then the whispers continued and were heard from more slaves, and even the Orks as well. Giants, great warriors clad in green, with the will to stand before the Ork berserkers and with the weapons to tear down the rust-bucket fortresses of Facegnasha. Angels, the whispers dubbed them. Deliverers.

Before long, more worlds came under attack and the “angels” descended, slaying the greenskins with unbelievable speed and breaking open the slaves’ prisons. The humans exulted in their liberation, fighting back against the Orks to join their saviours.

Only when they stood face to face did they realise something was wrong. Something about the look on the angels’ faces. Something calculating and very much like avarice, but far worse. And as they recoiled the angels advanced, clapping then in chains and hauling them into their great ships. By the time they were dragged from their cages into the laboratories and saw the organ tanks and the instruments, they knew they had become something worse than slaves.

Edited by bluntblade, 22 June 2016 - 05:25 AM.


#23
bluntblade

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Judgement
Author: bluntblade
Legions: Godslayers (Koschei), Void Eagles (Yucahu)
Time: 953 M30


Yucahu stalked along the bridge of the Ala Lux, gazing out at the world below. Rebenochk Urshson followed his eyes to Nostromo's bleak clouds. No light escaped, so every sensor the fleet possessed was trained on the palace complex where Koschei had travelled to negotiate with the planet's rulers.

Urshon disliked staying up here while his lord trod the earth of a strange world. At least, from the intelligence they had gathered from neighbouring systems, nothing down there could threaten a Primarch. Koschei's diplomacy would carry the day, in any case. Another perfect, bloodless victory. If only our cousins could understand.

Yucahu had been persuaded to hold back from simply deploying the Astartes and demanding Compliance, but he was plainly irritated nonetheless. While he refrained from verbalising his annoyance for the sake of the Godslayers present, they could imagine his thoughts. Indulgent, wasteful, preserving the weak-minded. The views of the Void Eagles’ Primarch were well known.

Indeed, it said something about how Koschei had worked to earn Yucahu's respect that he had been allowed to make this effort. The fighting had been fierce as the Imperium moved to secure the edge of the Ghoul Stars, and the two Legions had at least come to recognise one another's prowess.

However, they were still distanced by their different ideologies and Legion cultures. The Void Eagles, to the Godslayers, lacked something of that brotherly spirit common to the Astartes. They were soldiers, mighty but cold and unapproachable. So unlike the Astartes that Urshson had fought beside, decades before. A shame that, even after the Emperor’s edict, the Morning Stars can't fight as their own Legion. The thought felt vaguely treasonous in the presence of Yucahu.

The sound of an alert jolted him out of his reverie. Yucahu raised his eyes to the teleport station. “Lord Karkovic returns to us,” announced the shipmaster, somewhat unnecessarily.

Green light flared, and Koschei strode forward with his retinue of diplomats and guards, teleportation residue clinging to his tunic. Behind the beard, his face was a mask of anger. Yucahu raised his eyebrows, but said nothing.

“Utterly corrupt,” Koschei spat. “Worse than anything we'd been told. There is no law, just the rule of gangs in the streets and corrupt bearucrats in the spires. They sneer at the idea of a better future for their subjects. I'll not accept such a society into the Imperium of Man.” The Godslayers formed up around him; the rest of the Legion had been ready for hours, able to deploy at a moment's notice.

“So what do you recommend?” prompted Yucahu, casting a curious look at his brother.

“We deploy to the streets. All four hives at once. We scour every alley and destroy the gangs. We have to purge this world of those predators.”

“And then the nobility? Do you wish the women and children spared?”

Koschei looked at him, stony-faced. “A child cannot be held accountable for the state of this planet. But the adults… every day they sit in their palaces, growing fat on the toil of the populace. They serve only their own interests.” He took a breath, and growled, “Once the gangs are broken, we tear out the nobility root by root. We will take every man and woman of this aristocracy, and throw them from their gilded spires.”

Edited by bluntblade, 13 August 2016 - 09:20 AM.


#24
Skalpynock

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Blood Takers

Author: Skalpynock

Legions: Warbringers, Dune Serpents, Morning Stars

Time: c. 047.M31

 

Keep them clean.” Kelasor had voxed them, and they had upheld that order. There began their grim duty. Astan unlocked his stalker bolter from his backpack, and signalled his squad to take place on the edge of the hill. They wore bastard plate, a base of Han-produced variant Mark IV fitted with the higher responsive Mark VI helms and gauntlets, their right arms painted black, betraying a major misdeed. Their left ones were clad in narthecia, yet they were no apothecaries. They were here to kill, not to heal or even take this world. The battle wasn't theirs. They were thieves, grave-robbers of the living. The Void Eagles had eluded them, as they had eluded the whole Imperium for decades. Data on their genetic makeup had been sparse, and insufficient for the extrapolation to continue. Their destructive approach at warfare was a pain to get intact corpses, these madmen burning their own dead as they fought. This battle would be easier: these Eagles were Terran renegades, bearing the Morning Star emblem, who had engaged the ever-accurate Serpents. If everything happened as expected, not a single shot would have to be fired by the disciples of Asklepias and Vizenko, save for a mercy-bolt to disfigure their targets. No trace of Warbringer presence would be written in official records, save for potential mentions of “unknown apothecaries”. The Blood Takers were ghosts born of necessity, no squad would ever be recognized for their deeds, not even those who would murder Custodians or scour the ruins of Fenris. Nor would those humans stationed on Luna or Terra, uncovering the archives behind the Primarchs and the Labryk Polaris project.


Edited by Skalpynock, 21 March 2016 - 11:56 AM.

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Legio IX: the Warbringers Proto-Legio IX: the Steel Guard

Legio IV: the Void Eagles Proto-Legio IV: the Morning Stars

 


#25
Sigismund229

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If...
Captain Ptolomeos of the Halycon Wardens looked out over the vast, sprawling mass of buildings that was Triumph City. At its centre was the vast marble mountain that rose up from amidst the flat earth where the Emperor had stood when he'd declared his intention to leave the Great Crusade and his decision to declare Alexandros as his successor. It was around this giant structure that all else in the city was built. In front of it was the main square with its enormous fountain. The fountain was in and of itself a work of art, with it being an enormous pool of water drawn from Qarith Prime's ocean and at its centre was a 10 metre tall bronze statue of the Warmaster, his spear pointing towards the sky as he rested his left hand upon his shield, with the fountain of water coming from his feet. The statue never failed to amuse Ptolomeos. It spoke of conquest and glory. Two sentiments less likely to be shared by the Warmaster Ptolomeos couldn't imagine. 

Spreading out like a spiders web across the rest of the city from the fountain and square were the streets, with houses of gleaming marble and stone on either side of the road. The city was divided into 20 districts, each one following the same structured, ordered lay out, each one centred around a fountain and statue of one of the Emperor's sons. It was within these streets and around the fountains that Triumph City's thirty million inhabitants lived, supplied with water via aqueducts leading from water refineries, food from the surrounding country and work from the enormous crystal and adamantium mines that existed on Qarith Prime. Yet in spite of all of this, the city had another, more important task, the task for which the city had initially been built by Niklaas and the Fire Keepers. 

That purpose was the enormous black marble tower on top of the mountain of white marble on which the primarch of the V had first been declared Warmaster. Known to the city's inhabitants and the Halycon Wardens who protected it as "the Beacon" the enormous structure served to project the Astronomicon outwards. As the Great Crusade had progressed, stretching further and further away from Terra, the Emperor had foreseen that, eventually, it would begin to run beyond the range of the Astronomicon. So, in the years immediately after the Qarith Triumph, he had built a series of Beacons on strategically placed worlds. Each of these beacons amplified the Astronomicon and contained a choir of pyskers to focus this amplified beam of psychic energy. Scattered across the Imperium, these beacons had allowed the Great Crusade to spread further out from Terra faster than it would have been able to otherwise and, while the present beacons were relatively crude, they might, had events come to pass differently, have obliterated the need for Astropaths and such a large choir on Terra. 

Steeling himself, Ptolomeos looked up from the city to the sky from the Dawn Wall where he was standing. Events hadn't turned out differently and now, the Lightning Bearers were coming to seize this world. Looking up at the burning sky, Ptolomeos tightened his grip on his bolter. It wouldn't be long now. 


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The Brotherhood of the Lost

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The IIIrd legion, the Crimson Lions formerly known as the Blood Wolves. http://www.bolterand...-crimson-lions/

 

 

 

 






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