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Brotherhood of the Lost

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#801
simison

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Is the judging done?

Also, everyone seems to be unanimous on the three questions.

So, HW will be Feb, and only one judge.

The last big question is what should the new schedule be?

EDIT: Current schedule is 6 Legions then 1 non-Legion. We also need to do a non-Legion in March.

Edited by simison, 03 January 2019 - 03:50 PM.

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#802
Chief Captain Redd

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Maybe a 2 legions then non legion?
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#803
Kelborn

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As I said on discord: 2-3 Legions, than 1 non Legion like Redd already said.

 

We got quite a lot non Legion factions, etc. to flesh out. Nightguard, Shepherds of Eden, Knight Households, Blackshields, Regiments and so on.


tn_gallery_87379_12273_68539.jpg  tn_gallery_87379_12273_193556.jpg  tn_gallery_87379_12273_86064.png
 
Brotherhood of the Lost: XXth Legiones Astartes, the Predators http://www.bolterand...-the-predators/
Brotherhood of the Lost - The Icarion Insurrection: http://www.bolterand...od-of-the-lost/

#804
simison

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After a discussion with Beren, I've come to the realization that the Fifth Legion really doesn't need any more stories for the upcoming release. As such, I'm pulling them back and Feburary will be a non-Legion as it was originally meant to be. 

 

After waiting a day, the suggestions thus far is as follows:

 

  • 3 Legions then 1 non-Legion (Kel, Mikhal)
  • 2 Legions then 1 non-Legion (Kel, Redd)
  • 1 Legion then 1 non-Legion (Sim)

 

 

What do people prefer?


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The Second Son: Narrative of the BOTL Vth Legion Primarch

 

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#805
bluntblade

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One, then one

#806
Lord Thørn

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1/1 too probably: as Kel says, there are still quite a few non-Legion factions that could do with being fleshed out, especially when including insurgos and blackshields and such.

One of the more "urgent" factions that should get some extra info would be the Cognis Heretica (or at least the DarkMech faction on Mars)? I know the martian campaign is pretty well fleshed out, but some stories previous to it and after it would be good

 

Also including stuff like particular campaigns, worlds or regions of space could be of interest, as well as more nebulous themes like "relationships" for example



#807
Demus Ragnok

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1 for 1
Of Fire.

Fire gives light removing dark and shadow.

Fire gives purity driving out corruption.

Fire gives strength consuming weakness.

#808
Raktra

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One for one now.

"I may be but small, but I will die a colossus."

 

Brotherhood of the Lost: The Berserkers of Uran:
http://www.bolterand...ceral-boogaloo/
 

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#809
MikhalLeNoir

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How many non legion factions do we have?

Open for Comissions, just PM me. The Wardens of Light were like golden blades, cutting down their enemies scarring the darkness.

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#810
Kelborn

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Several Knight Households, mortal regiments, blackshield forces, the Nightguard, Shepherds of Eden, Nox, Sisters of Battle and I'm sure that there are more I forgot to mention.
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Brotherhood of the Lost: XXth Legiones Astartes, the Predators http://www.bolterand...-the-predators/
Brotherhood of the Lost - The Icarion Insurrection: http://www.bolterand...od-of-the-lost/

#811
Lord Thørn

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Sisters of battle or silence?
But we can also expand on specific factions which were grouped up together in larger wholes, like how the Heredes didn't have their own go, instead being placed under the umbrella of the Imperial Army

Also, there could be possible focuses on parts of a legion like "the apothecarion", "rare technologies", "reaction to daemons" etc.

#812
Skalpynock

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I vote for a 1/1 ratio, especially given the number of fractionous Astartes detachments we have who don't fit in their legions (Shepherds, Morningstars, Viper Fangs...)

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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

 


#813
Raktra

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"reaction to daemons" etc.


‘Serkers pre-Insurrection: PUNCH IT IN THE FACE
‘Serkers post-Insurrection: EAT IT

"I may be but small, but I will die a colossus."

 

Brotherhood of the Lost: The Berserkers of Uran:
http://www.bolterand...ceral-boogaloo/
 

gallery_92945_11930_20871.png


#814
Kelborn

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I was speaking of Daer'dds sisters.

Even the Terran tribe of my Preds could count as "not fitting the overall Legion". In this case, they'd be still part of the Preds but on a quest during most of the time, so they actually might fit..
tn_gallery_87379_12273_68539.jpg  tn_gallery_87379_12273_193556.jpg  tn_gallery_87379_12273_86064.png
 
Brotherhood of the Lost: XXth Legiones Astartes, the Predators http://www.bolterand...-the-predators/
Brotherhood of the Lost - The Icarion Insurrection: http://www.bolterand...od-of-the-lost/

#815
simison

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After a day and a half of discussion, the new schedule is 1:1. 


Project Leader of the Brotherhood of the Lost

 
The Second Son: Narrative of the BOTL Vth Legion Primarch

 

Brotherhood of the Lost has arrived on Patreon

 

gallery_92945_11930_24196.png

 


#816
Beren

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I'm not entirely sure that everything in here is strictly correct, but here goes.

Masks

There are many kinds of masks that one can wear. The physical and the mental. The mask meant solely to conceal, the mask ment to convey a message, attitude or emotion. One can wear the mask that allows them to fight, that portrays a soullesness required in war. When the need has passed these masks will be dropped and normalacy resumes. Then there are the masks that hide the truth that you were anything but a soulless creature of war.



Some battles are characterised by brutality. Others by the sheer numbers involved. This one was characterised by speed. Not solely by the speed of the aircraft bursting through the sky nor by the vehicles zipping across the weatherbeaten terrain. This battle was blindingly swift even down to the individual combatants. The gold clad Mon-Keigh were fast. Their jump packs sent them hurling from foe to foe. They spat their explosives at their targets almost to fast to avoid and even in melee they proved far superior to their lesser kin. The Aeldari were faster. One by when the mon-keigh were falling, their armour pierces by shruiken fire or perforated by Aeldari powerblades. Olakas laughed as one of their crude chain weapons savagely beat through the air where his head had hung a moment before. The disciples of the so called Phoenixes could worship their masters all they wished, he did not need them to lecture him on the arts of war. Not against these primitives. By now he was behind the Mon-Keigh and had severed both the arm bearing the chains weapon and the pistol wielding hand of the wrist. With a final thrust the Aeldari warrior severed the brutes head even as the wounded warrior attempted to hurl his body at the one who had maimed him. Olakas’ war-mask twisted his emotions into a savage glee at the sight. Later he might give them a small measure of respect; he had fought well for being a member of the lesser races. For now, his war-mask would not allow it. No weakness could be exposed to the enemies of his species. Especially not in a place like this.

The Farseers were unnerved, uncertain about the outcome of this battle. The skeins of fate were tangled. Phantom forces dragged and twisted them. He and his fellow warriors had been told that both victories, defeats and the events could be seen. But something else could not. Sometimes they had seen victory turn to defeat in an instant without any clear image of what had caused it. Normally such scenarios would call for caution. Here, their enemy was too swift for that. Olakas had to give them credit, they were surely learning from past defeats suffered at the hands of his people. They kept moving, rarely staying still. They melded fire support with their own arm to arm prowess seamlessly. Even as Olakas parried away a blow and placed a shruiken shot into the eyepiece of one of the armoured soldiers, he saw one of his kin caught by a projectile. Their blood, flesh and armour fragments were made a geyser by the explosive charge. Another was caught by the shrapnel burst. Their elegant bound became an inelegant lurch coming to a yet more inelegant end on the blade of a mon-keigh combat knife. Perhaps later he would grieve. For now his war-mask denied him that luxury too.

Everything in the battle moved at break-neck speed, yet it seemed to drag ever on. A new variant of their sarcophagi walkers - a parody both crude and cruel of his people’s own wraith guardians - had used their primitive thrusters to tear through a squadron of gliding grav-tanks. These were expected though, their threads had been seen whether severed or intact. The phantom in the skeins of fate had yet to be found. Then a shift in the battleline. Olakas felt rather than saw it, his brethren moving to intercept something. Someone. One of their warriors cutting their way through to the trio of Farseers. The Farseers, whose warpflame had lit up the battlefield since the first clash of blades, seeming to shrink away. Olakas took in the leader’s features as he bounded towards him. There was a melee weapon in each hand, of a kind not dissimilar to the vambrace blades occasionally wielded by his fellow warriors. Though it was these weapons that were sliding through Aeldari bodies to leave them broken on the ground, it was the face that the Aeldari warrior felt his eyes linger upon. It was a face for one thing, as opposed to the blank helms worn by most of this particular groupings. Not his real face, unless the mask imitated what lay behind it. A face that, despite being in the center of a furious melee, seemed to bear an expression of the utmost politeness and sincerity. What kind of warrior would craft such a visage to carry into battle?

Despite being already nicked scored by damage the mask was clearly of fine craftsmanship. Gilded gold glinted in the bursts of light generated by weapons fire. The placid face remained unchanged even as crimson droplets sprayed across it. Not that it could change. By the time Olaka had concluded his little internalised conversation he was stood between it and the Farseers. At least a dozen more War Dancers stood nearby. The Mon-Keigh, seeing himself surrounded and outnumbered, slowed to a halt. Had what happened next not seemed absurd and illogical, even for these primitives, Olakas might have reacted swifly enough to kill the warrior first. Instead, while the rest of its armour buried body slowed its right hand whipped up. The Mon-Keigh removed the mask.
His own mask, the mental war-mask the Aeldari used to ready themselves for violence, kept him safe from the terror for a few moments. Then he could hear the screams. From the Farseers, from the War Dancers, even from the wraithstones still embedded in the armour of the fallen. His own cry of agony mingled in with it. The warp had vanished, like a great void had suddenly been torn into existance where the Mon-Keigh’s face should be. With it went the warp bound portion of Olakas’ own mind, sent hurtling into the abyss. He barely saw the blades fall upon him.

Edited by Beren, 10 January 2019 - 06:02 PM.

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#817
simison

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Lughna Keene

 

While the Scorpion was the famous first to defy Gwalchavad's will, he would not be the last. The next mass defections would be lead by Bearer of Light Keene. Caebonnagi by birth, Keene did not climb the ranks through a combination of acrobatic martial prowess and blinding, bold assaults. Instead, he displayed a talent for coordinating different forces and felt most comfortable in the pilot's chair. While avoiding audacity, Keene proved to be a reliable commander, steadfast, and sure. 

 

By the time of the Insurrection, Keene had completed a century of service. Fighting in Segmentum Lamia, the Day of Revelation shocked Keene and his brothers. Not long after the order came for all Wardens of Light to return to Caerbannog. Thus began a long trek across half the galaxy. While several skirmishes plagued their progress, what agonized Keene were the desperate cries of civilians begging for protection. Duty-bound to return to Caerbannog, the most he could offer were reassurances that the XIIth would return. 

 

On that account, he would be disappointed.

 

After taking two years to finally arrive at the homeworld, Keene was appalled to learn that Gwalchavad had declared that the Wardens of Light would remain neutral in the Insurrection. The most radical Wardens had already left under the Scorpion's leadership. While over half of the Legion remained, they were not united behind their Primarch's decision. Keene joined a faction that lobbied heavily to their genesire to join the war, confident they could persuade him to leave his inactivity.

 

A year later would see the Primarch Hectarion and his Crimson Lions enter the Segmentum Pacificus. Charged by the Warmaster to re-secure the segmentum, Hectarion reached out to his brother, asking him to assist the Imperium. Keene and his allies pounced on the opportunity, claiming that regardless of how Gwalchavad felt about the war, the innocent did not deserve to suffer. While Hectarion undoubtedly focused on suppressing the separatist and independent movements, many feuds and petty conflicts had exploded without the Imperium's moderating strength, and xenos raiding had increased tenfold. It was only under these arguments did Gwalchavad relent. Keene and his like-minded brothers hoped this would merely be the first step before the Wardens of Light took their rightful place among the Imperium. 

 

The campaign that ensued is recorded elsewhere. 

 

At its conclusion, Gwalchavad declared he would go no further. He had done far more than he intended, and he would only watch over the Caerbannog and the Corridor. This would be the final straw for Keene and his closest allies. Keene abandoned his Primarch and his Legion as he and several thousand others left, forming their own fleet. At first, they fought with Hectarion as he continued on into Segmentum Tempestus. Their alliance came to an end when the Lord of the Dominion insisted on invading the Han System. The Warrior of Peace garrison had taken no action against the surrounding systems and had behaved honourably. Keene argued that they should obey the Warmaster's original intentions, but Hectarion would not be dissuaded. 

 

Once again, Keene would lead his brothers away from the leadership of another Primarch. Nor would Keene and his fleet join the Imperium proper. The former Bearer of Light chose the common man as his highest objective. 


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Project Leader of the Brotherhood of the Lost

 
The Second Son: Narrative of the BOTL Vth Legion Primarch

 

Brotherhood of the Lost has arrived on Patreon

 

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#818
MikhalLeNoir

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The Stand

‘It is the only way First Warden. We must get Gwalchavad to safety, heresy is afoot and it will not stop for us.’ Scorpion growled audibly through his helmet grill adjusted his primarch’s weight across his shoulders. He knew that the Blademaster was right, there was no other way, but it pained him to lose a brother he had known for so long. ‘Take Agony, no treacherous scum will tarnish its hilt,’ Arngrim threw the axe to Scorpion, and unsheathed his power sword sidearm, it felt alien in his hand, so used to the weight of his weapon being at the end of the haft. Scorpion turned to the bodyguard with him, ‘Javious, Chauvin, Franc, and Raphael stay with the Blademaster to cover our retreat.’ The four marines nodded at the command and stepped forwards towards Arngrim.

The defenders assumed a standard cross fire formation they had become so used to employing against their enemies. ‘Strange,’ muttered Chauvin, ‘I have never fought a marine before, I have fought mutants, heretics, xenos scum, but never another marine.’
‘A grim challenge Chauvin,’ bellowed Javious over the gradual roar of the oncoming horde, ‘I hope our brother legions are not subject to the same malady,’ the last statement was accompanied by the whir of the internal stabilises as he hefted his heavy bolter to bear down the corridor. The Wardens of Light were trained to set up cross fires, this was their speciality. Most Marines had an innate understanding of any given tactical situation but the Wardens took this to a whole new level. Already the four Marines and Arngrim were split either side of the corridor, the T-junction at the end of it was covered from both angles, no one was making it round the corner without a heavy helping of firepower coming their way.

The first group of Eagle Warriors rounded the corner and were greeted with a hail of bolter fire. Javious laced three with a string of heavy bolter fire, the blessed shells exploding ceramite, flesh and bone with little or no impedance. ‘It pains me to kill our brothers, but we must press on for the safety of the primarch,’ as he spoke into the vox bead in his helmet, Chauvin dropped a marine with a well placed shot to through the optical port of his helmet. The Blademaster said nothing, his actions heavy, every bolt he fired hit it’s mark, Eagle Warriors dropped in their droves down the corridor, and with each death his hearts weighed heavier. This is not right, we shouldn’t be killing our own, what has happened to curse us all so, we were made for war, but we aim for peace. The oxymoron made Arngrim’s lip curl in an ironic smile, as more and more of the Eagles poured through the t-junction they began to loose space, backing up slowly but surely to the bulkhead where he had last glimpsed his primarch. ‘MAKE THESE TRAITORS PAY FOR THEIR INSOLENCE, BURN THE HERETIC, SUFFER NOT THE TRAITOR TO LIVE!’ Arngrim launched himself into the mass of oncoming marines, his tonfas ignited with power and he sliced the first he came across from the groin straight up through the shoulder, marine tried to grab him to slow his movement but he drove his knee up to the face and heard the crack of bone as the marine slammed back into the bulkhead.

Javious had already emptied the magazine of his heavy bolter, in such a target rich environment ammunition was bound to dwindle, especially against such innumerable odds. He looked left as Raphael was overcome by two Eagle Warriors, he managed to kill one, jamming the barrel of his bolter into the enemies chest and letting fly with two rounds. The marine became a red mist, but this was followed by the other driving his power sword in a horizontal arch decapitating Raphael, his gold armour tarnished with dark blood, the now headless body slumped onto its knees and fell forward. Javious roared as he threw the heavy bolter at the closest Eagle Warrior, not expecting the weight the marine was taken off balance momentarily, the opening was all Javious needed, he grabbed the wrist of marine and yanked him onto the blade of his combat knife, following up with three bolts from his pistol to the chest and head. The icon representing Raphael on his HUD blinked into grey, he muttered a silent prayer for his fallen battle brother. As quickly as Raphael’s knee pads hit the deck, Franc’s data readout also spluttered to red then to grey, Javious looked up from the marine he had just killed, to see Franc pinned against the bulkhead, riddled with botler holes and pierced in four places by large spears brought to bear by the Eagle Warriors. The overlapping fields of fire were no longer enough, and with the Blademaster wading into the frey Javious voxed over to Chauvin, ‘we must move as one with Arngrim, let him not fall alone, but with his brothers by his side.’ The two marines began to spread fire carefully around the Blademaster, they stemmed the tide of onrushing marines for enough time to step up alongside Arngrim, Chauvin emptied the last of his bolter rounds, dropping 5 more Eagles, and drew his single power tonfa, thumbing the activation switch to make it burst into life. The three Wardens stood stoic, Eagle Warriors lay dead in droves around them, they had made them pay dearly in blood for their transgressions against their primarch, the blast door cogitator was burnt out, Arngrim could hear it hissing behind them, there was no way through now, all that mattered was holding here as long as possible.

By R.B

Edited by MikhalLeNoir, 09 January 2019 - 09:02 AM.

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Open for Comissions, just PM me. The Wardens of Light were like golden blades, cutting down their enemies scarring the darkness.

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#819
simison

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The winners for the December Fluff challenge

 

Black Library Narrative: Simison's "The Colleges"

 

Forgeworld Historical Text: Beren's "Techmarine Hishto Sissietan"


Project Leader of the Brotherhood of the Lost

 
The Second Son: Narrative of the BOTL Vth Legion Primarch

 

Brotherhood of the Lost has arrived on Patreon

 

gallery_92945_11930_24196.png

 


#820
Beren

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Dagda Llyran

A Nemesis Consul of the XIIth Legion, Llyran was one of those Wardens of Light who accepted Gwalchavad’s decision to remain apart in the civil war that wracked the Galaxy and fiercly defended that choice against his more impetuous kin. Unlike many XIIth Legion Pariahs by this point, Dagda had his capabilities first unleashed in the fury of battle after negotiations suddenly broke down during the Compliance of Hergon. After barely surviving his ‘awakening’ and the decimation of both sides, the newly arisen Nemesis became morose and prone to stating that war had ‘stolen his soul’.

It would therefore come as a surprise to many, himself included, that he was assigned to the mission sent to secure Nox. Given higher responsibilities than those usually associated with his rank, Llyran’s role was to act as something of a restraint upon the expedition, to ensure that no battle it fought could be judged unnecessary or wasteful. According to some accounts, without the Pariah Consul’s words the expedition may not have reached Nox as fast as it did. Though the Empryean was awash with cries for aid the task force made straight for Nox.

Despite his misgivings about the expedition, Dagda Llyran would die upon Nox. He was last seen by his fellow Nemesis Consuls, having abandoned his Mask and engaged a cadre of the Eagle Warrior’s Kaskuta in an attempt to buy time for the remaining Wardens and their Abyssii allies to evacuate. Back upon Caerrbannog the nature of his death would be claimed as vindication by those on both sides of the debate as to whether to interfere further in the war. Gwalchavad himself remained silent upon the matter.

Llyran’s depiction here is based upon pict-captures taken by the Mechanicum Abyssii during strategic briefings during the evactuation. Most notable here are Pariah Mask and Nemesis Blade, both of which are more inelegant than typical for ranking officers of XIIth. Apocraphally, both were designed to the Nemesis Consul’s specifications and crafted from materials salvaged from the devestated capital of Hergon, where he first joined the ranks of the Soulless.

Edited by Beren, 12 January 2019 - 08:10 PM.

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#821
bluntblade

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XIIth Legion Praetor
Cunegalaz
The Twentieth Chapter
 
  Despite being born and raised in the city of Alulwch on Caerbannog, Cunegalaz was not one of the famous blademasters that many associate with the Wardens of Light’s command cadre. While a capable enough fighter with his power axe, his ascent had begun with leading a heavy support squad, and for much of his career he served as a Siege Breaker. In this, and many other kinds of engagements he demonstrated an expertise that earned the acclaim of his peers. Cunegalaz became known as “the Wyvern” for the skill he showed in wielding firepower against the enemies of Mankind.
 
  His skill was instrumental in saving Cunegalaz’s Chapter and several other companies on Gatra V, quickly mustering a storm of ordnance that deterred all but the most fanatical Eagle Warriors from closing with them. In the aftermath, Cunegalaz could not reconcile himself with Gwalchavad’s decision to abstain from the war. He quickly threw his lot in with the Mikhal Sasori and committed the Twentieth Chapter to the relief effort on Tanabor, matching his skill against the technologically-enhanced cohesion of the Steel Legion.
 
  Cunegalaz's Mk IV armour bears several distinguishing marks of the distinctive Taegeuk pattern of MK IV power armour. The only aesthetic change made is the colour; the Caerban heraldry, and the stylised dragon image that Cunegalaz made his own, are very much evident. While he carries his axe and a plasma pistol in this image, his deadliest weapon in truth is his nuncio-vox, which Cunegalaz used to orchestrate the ferocious bombardments that helped drive the Steel Legion from the field.

Edited by bluntblade, 19 January 2019 - 10:06 PM.

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#822
MikhalLeNoir

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The Beast and the Darkness

I.

The cave was dark, pitch black. Alastar stumbled on a rock, he swore out loud, as he fell cracking his knee on the hard cold floor. He sat there for a moment feeling nothing but the throbbing around his knee cap. He’d come here at the behest of his mother, his father had been missing for several hours, usually not one to stay at the tavern after his shift, so she had sent Alastar out to look for him. He had found his father's cloak outside this cave entrance, and entered without thinking about the need for a source of light. Alastar had only come to the realisation of his predicament when he was already fifty meters into the gaping maw, the darkness enveloped his body, he could no longer see his hands as he held them out to fumble for the route through the cave. He proceeded forward, he needed to see if his father was here, ‘Father, Father are you there?’ As the cave echoed his question he tripped again, this time whatever it was that caught his foot also moved slightly, he bent down groping in the darkness for the branch, and he touched flesh, cold damp flesh. His heart jumped as he felt upwards towards what he realised was a neck and a face, and a pendant of specific design about the neck. A tear emerged from the corner of Alastars eye as he ran his fingers over the familiar design, a design he had ran his fingers over many times before, a design he had looked upon as he was held in the arms of his father.

Alastar was so concerned with his father's corpse he didn’t see the two small lights emerge around a nearby corner, they swayed clumsily back and forth as they grew bigger and began to take the shape of almonds. The small radius of light began to spill towards Alastar, illuminating the section of the cave in an eerie low light, Alastar looked up from his father, and met the gaze of the creature but before he had chance to do anything he felt a sucking from inside his body, he sagged to the knee he had hurt earlier. It didn’t hurt now, this wasn’t true though, everything hurt, Alastar choked and spluttered as he turned pale and cold, the lights blinked and turned away, but the damage was done, Alastar collapsed onto his father, the force of his body moved the older mans arms to his sides, and there they lay.

II.

Taliesin listened with horror writ clearly across his features. ‘It’s already killed several people Sir, more than ten perhaps. The local villages in the area are being evacuated as we speak,’
‘does anybody have a reliable report of what this thing is?’ He asked.
‘No sir, not what it is, but we have reports of what it does…’ The answering Knight went silent, ‘well Cullin speak up, we need to know what this threat does before we go riding straight into its jaws!’ Taliesin rounded on the subordinate expecting an explanation of what he meant, ‘well?’
‘Well sir, erm,’ the knight cleared his throat, ‘I’m not sure how to say it. The villagers have reported that the bodies are just left there, lifeless, eyes and mouth wide open.’ Taliesin did not show the fear that rose within him like a newly lit fire, this was far from normal in their part of the world, Boletaria was a small nation not really of the concern of the larger more powerful ones and as such it enjoyed a relative amount of inactivity, had one of the other nations decided that they needed to be attacked? He turned top the collected squad of Knights, although none of them showed it, he knew they all had the same nerves as him, this was out of the ordinary but it needed to be stopped here before more bloodshed happened. ‘Ok men, gather your kit, let us show this creature what we are made of here in Boletaria.’ With that his knights dispersed around the barracks to collect their equipment, Taliesin couldn’t help but feel strange about this new threat that had emerged.

III.

‘Onward for Boletaria, onward for Luiseach!’ Taliesin kicked his jetbike into action and sped off at the head of the Knights. He pushed the machine to its limits, too much time had already been wasted he thought to himself as dipped and dodged the rock formations that floated around Caerbannog.

The village was quiet when they arrived, rain fell heavy as it always did and a mist drifted low across the cobbled streets. Taliesin swung his leg off his jetbike and strode towards the village tavern, the lights inside were still on, and although the village was deserted, it seemed to appear as a beacon for those left behind by the evacuation. He opened the door with an authority that came easily to him now, and scanned the room.

The bartender stood with two patrons behind the bar, one of them had his head on the bar half asleep, while the other gulped his whiskey as he eyed Taliesin suspiciously. ‘Come in out the rain Gentlemen,’ the bartender greeted them with a toothy grin, ‘for Knights of the royal house, any drink is on the house!’
‘We have not come to drink barkeep. Do you not wonder why the village is so quiet this evening?’ The bartender shook his head, ‘not really my business m’lord,’ he replied,
‘Well, there is a creature on the loose in these parts, it would be sensible for you to get these two men out of here,’ at this the bartenders eyes grew wide, either he was willfully ignorant, or had not left the safety of his bar in a while. Taliesin motioned to two of his Knights, they moved towards the bar to help the passed out man up and out of the building, ‘take them to the evacuation camps whilst we clear the area,’ the bartender opened his mouth to complain, ‘don’t worry barkeep we will make sure your tavern is left attended incase any other brave men decide to raid your stores.’ The other patron now spoke to Taliesin, ‘it’s no use ya know, there’s no escape once it lays eyes on ya, I seen it I did, seen it suck the life out of four people in seconds, even ya fancy lances won’t save ya ‘ere,’ he moved towards the commander, a move that was echoed by several of Taliesin’s knights, ‘no,’ he raised his hand, ‘let him speak, we need the intelligence. Where did you see the creature?’
‘Out by the caves on the edge of the village, people have been going in but not coming out, not since the star fell two nights ago. Word spread quickly, I went to help out…’ the man went quiet, ‘it didn’t go to plan, so I kept meself away from that point on, just drank ‘ere in tha hope it’d blow over.’ The man bowed his head in shame, Taliesin stepped towards him and placed his hand on the man's shoulder, ‘sit, please, I need to know everything so there is no more death, we can stop this now, but I need to know what you saw. Bring this man a drink, Knights establish a perimeter, I want you moving in two’s, reporting in every ten minutes, there will be no further bloodshed while I am here.’ He sat down opposite the man as the bartender bought over a bottle of amasec with two glasses, Taliesin would not be drinking till the creature was caught or killed, so one glass remained upturned and empty, the other man however gladly poured himself a measure and threw it down his throat, grimacing at the burn. ‘You say a star fell here two nights ago?’ he began, ‘what do you mean by that? Was it a comet? Or just debris from the islands higher up?’
‘Not a comet m’lord, it was too solid, comets burn up and scatter like ash in the wind, this..this still had form when it hit the cliffs. It smashed into the rock face and seemed to burrow deeper after the impact, but my did it light up the sky when it flew past, like a saviour from above, cutting the rain and cloud in two like a fiery sword,’ the man refilled his glass and once again drained it, ‘some of the farmers from the edge of the village were worried about rock slides from the impact, so they set off to make sure everything was still sturdy up there, ya know, can’t afford to lose any cattle in these times Sir,’ he moved again to fill his glass, this time Taliesin placed his hand softly over the container, ‘no more till you finish now, I need you thinking clearly,’ the man nodded took a deep breath and continued. ‘The first lot of farmers, they didn’t return, and when their families realised how long they’d been gone they asked more of us to help. I went with that second lot, there were eight of us, maybe ten, we armed ourselves as best we could, and headed into the cave, I got lucky and was asked to guard the entrance in case the creature tried to escape that way. They all went in, and not a single one came back out,’ the man began to sob, ‘none of them m’lord, ten men, and all I heard was the shouts as they dropped like flies.’ Taliesin had heard enough, ‘get these men to safety, he knows nothing more, he needs rest and a warm meal,’ he stood up and once again placed his hand on the man's shoulder, ‘we will see to it this creature is destroyed, thank you for your information, my men owe you a great debt.’

IV.

The cave mouth gaped like a giant maw. Taliesin raised his fist, his men stopped at the signal, ‘two fo you at the front of the cave, make sure this thing doesn’t get out,’ as he issued the order he realised it may not even be in the cave, it had been almost twelve hours since the man at the bar had ran from the entrance to the comfort of the bottle. ‘I want lumen globes everywhere, light this whole place up like a carnival.’ His men rolled the lumen globes into the cave mouth and the massive hollow began to seem slightly less threatening, ‘motion scanners on, if any of you see anything at all I want to know about it, I don’t intend to lose any men today.’ The group moved forward as one, sweeping every angle of the cave before stepping tentatively towards the rear of the entrance.
‘Movement at three hundred,’ they all snapped towards the angle, aiming their rifles, ‘keep moving forward this cave has to end somewhere,’ Taliesin lead the way, sweeping with his rifle, with a mind to grab his shock lance at the first sign of trouble. As they rounded the first corner in the cave one of the lumen globes spluttered and went out, then another, Taliesin thought he saw a small shadow sprinting between the two before they died, his mopation tracker picked up nothing and he ignored it as a trick of the light. Within a second another two lumen globes faded to black, his men said nothing but he knew what they were thinking, lumen globes were supposed to last for hundreds of years on one charge, there was no chance that these were going out naturally. As the globes were snubbed out Taliesin began to feel his skin crawl, one of the soldiers called out, ‘does anyone else feel that?,’
‘Feel what?’
‘The cold, my skin feels like it’s allergic to something,’ he replied,
‘Like when you’re caught in a breeze right?’
‘Yes, or like you’ve just woken from a bad dream.’

‘Form up on me, defensive positions. Remember your training, focus your minds, cleanse your soul, be one with your hand, be one with your weapon,’ Taliesin barked into his vox bead, his men repeated the mantra. In the short time it took his men to form up the rest of the lumen globes dwindled and the cave was plunged into darkness once again, it was then that the motion trackers began to pick up movement.
‘Movement at two seventy,’
‘Movement, one eighty,’
‘Motion, ninety,’
‘Sir, it’s everywhere,’
‘I can’t follow it,’
‘It’s moving too fast, I can’t get a bead on it,’
‘Steady men, rifles up, fire at will,’ the cave lit up like a strobe. Rifles discharged in all directions from the defensive perimeter his men had set up, behind him Taliesin heard one of his mens rifles clatter on the cave floor, the icon representing him on his heads up display blinked from green to red, then grey, he turned and aimed in the direction clipping off two shots, but hit nothing as his motion sensor went haywire registering blistering movement away from his shots, as though the creature had dodged it. He tried in vain to follow with the barrel of his gun, but it had already moved behind him, two more men down, he rounded once again this time he saw it properly, it looked like a child, with eyes as bright as a star. Taliesin felt himself weakening as he looked towards the two lights. One of his men saw him stagger, and pushed Taliesin to the side away from the lights, he looked back towards his soldier as the man dropped to his knees and keeled over forwards onto his face, eyes agpe. ‘Don’t look at the lights, that’s it’s power, cover your eyes men, use the motion trackers in your helmets, but don’t look directly at it,’ two more icons bled out to grey on his heads up, ‘we need to stun it so we can cover the head,’ he thumbed the activation switch of his shock lance, the energy field erupting around it, his men followed suite, the cave now bathed in a rich electric blue as they formed up once more to avoid the oncoming attacker.

It came fast from his left, he swung hard and low but didn’t make any contact, out of the corner of his eye he saw the beast flip over his shock lance and spin to avoid another in mid air, it was an infant, but no adult he knew could move like that let alone a child. It grabbed the man next to him, Cullin let out a scream of terror and he fell on his back with the beast upon him. The scream ended a second later, Taliesin spun again with his shock lance, but the creature had already moved, leaving behind the soldier with nothing but a rictus grin across his face. ‘Cullin, he kicked the soldiers arm, Cullin get up,’ there was no movement at all and he noticed Cullins icon fade to grey, he was down to fifteen men of the twenty five that had entered, and the creature showed no signs of slowing down. Taliesin’s mind whirled, he could not think how he might subdue this beast, it was too fast for him and his men, ‘form up, drop your shock lances outwards, we’re going to trap this thing, Erwin, Forbes, grab your cuffs, Keene take off you cloak, when it comes everyone else bring up your shock lances and we will make a cage, once its trapped, Keene wrap its head with your cloak, keep your eyes closed at all times and hang on to it, once we have it hogtie it.’ His men complied immediately the blue glow that had swamped the cave dimmed, ‘everyone keep your eyes down, on my command we lure it in.’ He saw the two beads of light stop about fifty meters away, they blinked twice and began rushing towards the defensive circle, as it came close the men spread and let it break their ranks, it was greeted by the heavy cloak of Keene who launched himself on top of it, pinning it to the ground, however the beast was strong and threw him off with ease, still wrapped in the cloak two more of the knight threw themselves at it as Erwin and Forbes moved to hogtie it, the four men struggled as Taliesin jabbed at it with the shock lance, the sound it emitted was that of a child in distress, the screams cut through him. Finally the beast was tied and covered, Taliesin ordered his men to drag it outside towards their waiting jet bikes, ‘we will come back for the dead later, for now we need to imprison this thing,’ his words dripped with disdain, ‘but sir the orders are to kill the beast,’
‘I know what the orders are Knight, I gave them and I’m changing them, this is but an infant, are we to become child killers this evening? No, good, then we’re changing the mission, let's get this beast back home, I think Queen Luiseach will want to see it first.’

Open for Comissions, just PM me. The Wardens of Light were like golden blades, cutting down their enemies scarring the darkness.

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