well . . . two stories at least .
The first I'm rather proud of. It's not nearly professional grade writing of course, but still I wrote it about the thine Genestealer Cults were coming out. I think that's all the context that's necessary really. I'll let the good Father take it from here:
An imposing figure stands upon the balcony, his somewhat copious form looming over the still growing crowd far below. His golden and white robes flap in the afternoon breeze, and his gold staff glitters in all its gem-encrusted glory under the light of the sun. Around his stern, sagging face flock a half-score of cherubim, their laud hailers awaiting his voice. He looks down upon the flowing masses assembled below the balcony of the Ecclesiarchal Palace, the seat of power of his Diocese, as the smoke begins to rise from the fringes of the hive.
“Brothers and Sisters,” he bellows, his voice amplified a thousand-fold to echo over the tumbling spires and into dilapidated underhives of the city, “I come before you not as a Cardinal of the Ecclesiarchy, but as a fellow child of our Immaculate God-Emperor! This very day, this very hour, the enemies of our Lord on Terra, the enemies of humanity, are upon our doorstep, nay within our walls, our cities, our very homes! They come not from the void, or the irradiated wastes of the northland, but from our cities, from the highest spire and fom the deepest underhive, our mines, our villages and towns!”
His eyes blaze with holy fervor as he continues, “Laying bare their heresy for all to see they rise from the depths and descend from the heights, calling, from their blasphemous lips, upon the populace to rebel against their Emperor!” his jowls gyrate as spittle begins to pool at the corners of his mouth, “But we, the faithful, see through their lies, their heresy, evident in their every word! Xeno abomination they consort with, blaspheming against the word of the Emperor of all men! Mutation they spread with glee and abandon, tainting the purity of the glorious human form, the physical reflection of Him on Terra which we all possess! Against His church do they strike, kneeling before false deities!”
His staff sparks against the surface of the balcony as he reaches fever pitch, his arms whipping up and down as his words ricochet like bullets over the crowd and down the streets and alleyways of the hive as fire burns in his eyes, “Witches! Yes, psychic abominations they do shelter and hide from the Emperor’s saving light! These thrice-dammed infidels dare encroach upon the domains of the Emperor, our homes!? We cannot stand idle in the face of this affront to our God and Savior! We shall rise in response to their heresy! We shall fall upon them as the avenging light from above! We need not fear, for the Emperor is with us: He is our strength and our shield, and we shall not falter! With our bare hands we shall strike down the roiling mass of mutants, the insidious deceivers, the false prophets, which seek to tear us from our Emperor’s embrace!
Now he raises his staff overhead, pallid flesh holding the Ecclesiarchal icon high, “Gather your weapons: guns, swords, clubs, hammers, take all that you can find! We shall rally before the oncoming tide, and with the Emperor as our witness, we shall beat it back. We shall pursue the foe wherever they go; they shall lead us to their strongholds, reveal their dark hiding places, and their insidious schemes shall be laid bare before the Emperor of all! The gates of their keeps shall shatter, and the followers of the True God on Terra shall pour through and BURN. THEM. DOWN.”
His voice almost breaks as he sends forth his congregation, “Go forth; tarry not! Do the Emperor’s work and have no fear. Only in death does duty end, and only through death shall we live!”
This second one requires some context. It's about Inellia, a character I created using the Inquisitor's Handbook Adepta Sororitas Career and the Ascension supplement for the Dark Heresy RPG (1st edition). She's obviously not your typical Sister. Just know that her story is not representative of the Sisterhood at large. For reference, her character background is in the Hidden Content tag below.
Inellia knelt at the front of the chapel. Her knees ached as they bent, and she grimaced as she was placed a hand on the pew at her side to steady her decent. The pews provided minimal cushioning while kneeling, and Inellia eschewed even that, her knees resting on the rich tiling of the room’s center aisle. She welcomed the pain. Her hair, striking in its whiteness, framed a ghostly pale and gaunt face, and pink eyes. Some said her albinism was the mark of a tainted soul. Sometimes Inellia agreed with them. Through it all her eyes never left the face of the statue before her. The likeness of Saint Lucia, one of the six founding Saints of the Adepta Sororitas and patron of her order, the Order of the Valorous Heart. The statue was not the only of Saint Lucia in the Convent Sanctorum, and the chapel it sat in was often empty, but that suited Inellia. Her wrinkled and calloused hands almost shook as she raised them before here to begin her prayer. Juvant treatments could only do so much after one hundred eighty years of life. She suppressed a hiss of pain as the fabric of her vestments, rough by choice, pulled at raw flesh on her back. Her ritual flagellation had increased in fervor in the past days, and the blood normally hidden by the black cloth had become apparent to several of her Sisters, though they had said nothing. She began chanting her prayers.
Inellia jumped as the deep ring boomed from the Convent’s highest steeple, audible to all those within its walls, and to many without. It was the call to Vespers. She had not noticed the time passing. Normally her afternoon prayer and meditation were southing; At least, as southing as she allowed anything to be for herself, but today the knot of pain, anger, and guilt in her stomach had only grown. As she left the chapel, a though came to Inellia. She looked back at the statue of Saint Lucia and almost smiled. Yes, but there was no time tonight. She made her way quickly down the corridor toward the cathedral were the Sisters would be gathering for mass.
The hem of her black vestments swished lightly as she walked down the halls of the Convent Sanctorum. The rough fabric tugged painfully at the raw flagellation wounds on her back, and blood ran down her spine. As it should. As she deserved. All the preparations had been made, but still she was uneasy. If only she had been stronger. She need not have done what she had done this morning, but that only made what she was about to do all the more necessary. She stopped before a nondescript door set in the gilded marble wall hesitating a fraction of a second before knocking. For a moment, there was no answer; maybe the Sister Superior was out, but the door opened. She looked up at Sister Superior Gendel, about six inches taller than Inellia’s five feet nine inches.
The Sister Superior appeared surprised to see Inellia, hesitating infinitesimally before speaking, “What is it, child?”
“Sister Superior, I have come to make a confession. Many confessions.”
The Sister Superior’s eyes widen at Inellia’s words. For a second her mouth seems to move soundlessly, then, “Come in.” As she closes the door behind them, she continues, “Sister Inellia, you are . . . hardly an average member of our order. I am past my fifth decade, and counted among the Order’s senior Superiors, but you are surely thrice that,” she finished with a questioning tone; Inellia had never discussed her age, or her time with the Inquisition, with her fellow Sisters, “Do you not wish to speak to the Canoness? I’m sure she would see you.”
Inellia shook her head quickly, “No, Sister Superior, I ask that you hear my,” her words begin to stick in her throat, “confession, as proscribed by the Rule of Sororitas.”
Sister Superior Gendel nodded slowly, and motioned for Inellia to sit, and did so hersef. She too wore the simple black vestments of the Order of the Valorous Heart, a small metal pin over her heart marking her elevated rank, though like most Sisters the cloth was of a much finer weave than Inellia’s. She looked into Inellia’s eyes, “What is it that you have to confess, child?”
“I apologize that my confession will require some explanation, and beg your forgiveness,” as she speaks Inellia removes a metal disk the size of her palm from within her vestments and hands it to the Sister Superior, “That is the mark of my service in the Ordo Hereticus of the Inquisition, given to me by my Inquisitor upon my elevation to Throne Agent. One silver stud for each year before that point, and one gold for each year after.”
The Sister Superior gazed at the disk, at the crimson rosette emblazoned at its center, squinting as if to count the suds arrayed in rings around its edge, “How many years did you serve the Emperor’s holy Ordos?”
“One hundred forty-five years, Sister Superior, until my Inquisitor died and I was permitted to return to Ophelia VII.”
The Sister Superior’s eyes widen slightly, “A great honor to serve the Emperor in such a way.”
Inellia hesitates before she speaks her next words, “I had a duty to the Emperor to do as my Inquisitor bid. I did so faithfully, in accordance with the duty proscribed by my vows, for a century and a half, but in doing so I have committed innumerable sins,” tears well up in her eyes, but she continues to meet the Sister Superior’s gaze.
“On Enta III, the 828th year of this millennium, I killed Father Mazoc Yanth. I had been ordered to stand watch while my fellow acolytes bought information from an underworld contact, and to shoot interlopers on sight. The Father had been investigating our contact, and had tracked him to our meeting place. I saw his face, I knew his station, and I put a bolt in his head.
“Two years later, the Inquititor ordered me to interrogate . . . torture a man. It was not uncommon, and was often a practical method of rooting out heresy, except that the man I tortured and killed was a man of pure faith. I listened to his screams, his prayers to the Emperor that I caused, thinking them lies from the mouth of a blasphemer, but the Inquisitor had simply wanted to make a point. To me and to the man’s family,” Inellia’s voice wavered as tears ran down her face, over the blood red fleur-de-leis tattooed below her eye.
She continued in this way, recounting in excruciating detail every sin, every trespass she had committed in a century and a half of life. As she finished, Sister Superior Gendel slowly leaned back in her chair. There is a sad look in her eyes, but her voice is hard as cured ceramite, “Sister Inellia, what you -“
“Sister Superior, there is one thing I have omitted,” Inellia says in a rush, then pauses to look up at the Sister Superior. Sister Superior Gendel nods, and Inellia continues, “In the 872nd year of the millennium, I was sent on detached duty to the Ordo Xenos and the Deathwatch, to oversee a Kill Team made up of Astartes of dubious faith. Almost as soon as we deployed on our first assignment, we encountered a Psychic Pariah and her mother. The mother, having harbored a mutant and being an unnecessary impediment to our mission, I killed, but the girl I took with me. Though a mutant, she was a valuable asset, and a great boon in dealing with an unchained witch. I saw to her training myself, and took her on as my personal agent. Over the decades I found myself coming to care for her, a mutant,” Inellia shakes as she struggles to maintain eye contact with the Sister Superior.
“When I returned to Ophelia VII I put the girl - she’s was hardly a girl anymore, almost a century of age -” the corners of Inellia’s mouth quirk slightly upward as she speaks; she smooths her face immediately, though her eyes are still wet, “I brought her with me, and she lived in a secluded part of one of the orbitals. When, last night before Vespers, I decided I must make my confession, I knew I should bring her with me to be cleansed; I should kill her myself, but I couldn’t,” Inellia cried freely, her gaze wavering.
“I couldn’t kill her. I . . . I love her, she is almost my daughter. She’s a mutant. A defilement of the human form, a stain upon His galaxy, and . . . I love her,” she finishes in a whisper.
Then Inellia breaks down completely, her head in her hands, heaving sobs over and over and muttering, her crimson chaplet clutched against her face. Sister Superior Gendel stares over Inellia at the wall behind. A single tear runs down her face. Softly, she speaks, “where is the mutant now?”
Inellia slowly raises her head, her white hair in disarray and her eyes red, “I, she, she’s gone,” she replied, despondent. “I gave her every access code and identification number I could remember and sent her away this morning. She’s gone.”
The Sister Superior nods slowly, her face set in a grimace, “you will seek atonement?”
“Yes. For Everything.”
Originally I intended (and I still plan to, eventually) go on to write about Inellia's penitence (she's bound for the Sisters Repentia). It's going to be great but I ran out of time, and I think this is a nice ending.
I hope you enjoyed something here! Please lever a reply!
Edited by Servant of Dante, 06 February 2017 - 03:46 AM.