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Here at the end of all things... (the last siege of Terra)


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#1
Lucifer216

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Hi all, 

 

I'm currently nearly 15,000 words into a story about a scenario in which Abaddon makes it to Terra and while the Blood Angels and many other chapters rush to its defence but no more aid or reinforcements are possible (due to a combination of the Imperium being broken by other conflicts and the Chaos Gods messing with warp travel). 

 

The story is told from the perspective of Barachiel, a powerful telepathic librarian of the Blood Angels. I've taken a slightly 300-esque approach in that my focus is more on describing individual encounters/skirmishes and the big events as opposed to depicting the siege as one titanic battle, as the latter makes the heroism of individual space marines rather inconsequential (one of the things I hate about 30/40k and especially Apocalypse battles is scooping handfuls of marines off the table. Barachiel's telepathy continually spawns plot holes for me to patch, but I think it's worth it as it means I can better explore other characters' emotions while still maintaining a first person perspective. 

 

I was originally looking to combine it with images of my Horus Heresy and 40k Blood Angels (and may one day do so), but the story is so far ahead of my painting backlog (and new painting projects keep springing up), that I'd rather publish it online first.

 

Because my writing style is pretty sparse (I'm a journalist by trade), it won't take me long to wrap it up. However, I'm curious to know if there's anything you guys would particularly like to see? I'm already featuring the Black Rage, the Sons of Sanguinius' hatred of the Black Legion and the effect the Talon of Horus has on them. Because this story is essentially about the end of the current 40K setting, anyone can die (with one notable exception....). 

 

Also, given that I made the rooky error of suggesting that vegetarianism is a good survival strategy on Baal sometime back, is there anything is a big no-no for you? I should add that I'm a massive fan of ADB's Night Lords and there are some homages to them in the piece. I've also modified it so that Guilliman is leading the defenders (given his recent return thanks to the Gathering Storm series). 


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#2
Helias Tancred

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Seeing the Sanguinor do some epic butt kicking would be nice. 

 

I'm a huge fan of First Captain Karlaen. Would love to see him in action, even if he does fall ;)

 

Corbulo should play some sort of role.

 

Also Blood Angel Sternguard, they get no love in an assault orientated chapter, and they are my favorite unit among space marines in general.



#3
TheRealMcCagh

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I'm sure you've already thought of this, but for sure include Sanguinius' vision from while he was in Imperium Secundus

Spoiler
I can't remember it all, but it's in the newish novel Dante in it's entirety, and is almost too prophetic to ignore.

 

 

edited to put it in a spoiler tag just in case. But it's kind of old lore that is jsut rementioned in Dante


Edited by TheRealMcCagh, 22 April 2017 - 09:14 PM.


#4
Xenith

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Dude, spoilers!

gallery_58096_11725_17801.pnggallery_58096_11765_15606.jpggallery_58096_11725_17950.pnggallery_29004_9303_844.pngfriday-award.pngXX



#5
sfPanzer

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Seeing the Sanguinor do some epic butt kicking would be nice. 

 

I'm a huge fan of First Captain Karlaen. Would love to see him in action, even if he does fall msn-wink.gif

 

Corbulo should play some sort of role.

 

Also Blood Angel Sternguard, they get no love in an assault orientated chapter, and they are my favorite unit among space marines in general.

I'd give them love if they had assault bolter tbh. Just doesn't feel right to have to choose between shooting or charging for a BA! :D


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#6
Arkangilos

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Dude, spoilers!

Eh don't worry, while he still should have used spoilers, he didn't spoil much of anything :P

 

Also, @ TheRealMcCagh, in case you just don't know how to use spoilers, it's [ spoiler ] what you want hid [ / spoiler ]. Just take out the spaces so it'll look like this

Spoiler


Previously known as Telanicus

 

Sanguinary Crusader Page (Lore, Models, Etc)
IT Warriors of Cain Unholy Chosen

The Four Star Pact (Chaos Alliance Lore, Model, Etc)


#7
Xenith

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Dude, spoilers!

Eh don't worry, while he still should have used spoilers, he didn't spoil much of anything :P

For now, but a moment of laxity spawns a lifetime of heresy.
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gallery_58096_11725_17801.pnggallery_58096_11765_15606.jpggallery_58096_11725_17950.pnggallery_29004_9303_844.pngfriday-award.pngXX



#8
Arkangilos

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Which is why I gave him the knowledge of how to use them ;)
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Previously known as Telanicus

 

Sanguinary Crusader Page (Lore, Models, Etc)
IT Warriors of Cain Unholy Chosen

The Four Star Pact (Chaos Alliance Lore, Model, Etc)


#9
TheRealMcCagh

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Dude, spoilers!

Eh don't worry, while he still should have used spoilers, he didn't spoil much of anything tongue.png

For now, but a moment of laxity spawns a lifetime of heresy.

 

I covered it up, my bad.

 

but the spoiler is from stuff much older than the novel. I can't even place where I first read about that prophecy. Old codex maybe?



#10
Arkangilos

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The prophecy has been known, but the description is only from the novel

Previously known as Telanicus

 

Sanguinary Crusader Page (Lore, Models, Etc)
IT Warriors of Cain Unholy Chosen

The Four Star Pact (Chaos Alliance Lore, Model, Etc)


#11
Xenith

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It's next on my 40k reading list, I swear, then i can stop hassling people about spoilers!

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#12
sfPanzer

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It's next on my 40k reading list, I swear, then i can stop hassling people about spoilers!

Haha yeah I have the epubs for Mephiston and Dante for weeks on my phone now but I never get around to actually reading those since I prefer to sleep when i'm on train to or from work. :D


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#13
Lucifer216

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Thanks for the advice. It shames me to say this, but I forgot about the prophecy. As it happens, I have the perfect slot in my narrative for this. However, I already have the bulk of the Blood Angels (including Mephiston and the Sanguinor) taking on Angron. 

 

Imagine this scene. The last Grey Knight is rushing to deliver a rather important box to the Golden Throne when something hideous and winged swoops down and blocks his path. Dante comes to his aid. 

 

What's the best choice of antagonist?

 

Named Daemon Prince/Primarch - personally I think a Daemon Primarch is a bit too much...

Named Greater Daemon (Fateweaver, Skarbrand, N'Kari)

Previously unknown greater daemon/daemon prince

Something novel - like a giant Heldrake?

 

 

Thoughts?



#14
DeathcompanyDante

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Kha Bhanda? Blood thirster of khorne who duelled Sanguinius at Signus Prime and broke his legs, before killing 500 blood angels. (This fuelled the awakening of either the red thirst or the black rage, can't remember which one). Then duelled him again at the gates of terra where sanguinius broke Ka Bhandas back. He appears every so often to ruin our day and is now (I believe) getting forces together to attack Baal?

Would be cool for Dante to go full rage mode and bring him down. I believe the Sanguinor has taken him down at least once?

Edited by DeathcompanyDante, 25 April 2017 - 10:58 AM.

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#15
Lucifer216

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Finished! Here's a Dropbox link to the entire piece (clocking in at 16.7k words):

 

https://www.dropbox....Things.pdf?dl=0


Edited by Lucifer216, 01 June 2017 - 05:24 PM.

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#16
Lucifer216

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Here's the first chapter as a taster:

 

Chapter I
A request 

 

Judging the true beginning of a tale is an imprecise and clumsy affair. I could begin with how I came to be one of the Angels of Blood or how I was taught to use senses beyond the five enjoyed by normal men – but I will not. 

 

I could give you a scholarly precise of how we came to such a state – an abridged history of the slights and slurs that sowed the seed for one conflict and through doing so ensured another – but I will not. I will begin from when I first had an inkling of what was to come. 

 

My brothers know me as Barachiel. In an ancient tongue it means the Angel of lightning. As I walk past a mirror, I catch a glimpse of my reflection. An aged face stares back at me with pale sapphire eyes and a close-cut battleground of a beard. Its blond hairs are giving way to salt and pepper silver. 

 

I walk into the chamber. My Commander is there, deep in conference with Brother Corbulo. Their faces are grave, as if in contemplation of some great tragedy. 

 

"Barachiel, I trust you are well?" Lord Dante's voice is as smooth as silk, despite the deep lines the years have cut into his noble face. I don't need my gift to know that his concern for me is genuine. 

 

"I am, Lord. How may I serve you this day? 

 

"I will get to that in time. First, tell me – is true that the history of our Father's legion is something of an obsession of yours?" 

 

"Yes, Lord." 

 

"Specifically the events leading up to the Primarch's sacrifice?" 

 

I nod. Even though this is merely a conversation, my awareness has shifted to that strange state when time's eye dilates and everything moves at treacle-speed. My hearts race. 

"Good. I and Corbulo wish to know a great deal. Not of the angel's final moments. All of us have relived those in our dreams and even in our waking hours. We need to know what it was like for battle-brother and line officer, both. Give us as much detail as you can, battle tactics, logistics, morale – we need it all." 

 

"I shall do so, Lord." 

 

It takes all my training to steady my mind and body. It is not the question that bothers me. Long have I pondered the ancient days when the Angel still walked among us. No, the thing that has pulled me bow-tight is the reason behind my lord's request. Even with my gift, I cannot presume to know the mind of one who was fighting the Emperor's foes more than a millennium before my birth. But still... This comes so soon after an avalanche of woe. 

 

Mighty Cadia has fallen before what doomsayers are calling Abaddon's final Black Crusade. The Astronomicon is now a flickering candle against the darkness when once it was a burning tower, bringing the Emperor's light to the furthest reaches of the empyrean. The massed hive fleets of the Tyranid have turned countless once-fertile worlds to barren rocks, while the xenos native to our galaxy sense mankind's faltering strength, reaving and plundering with wild abandon. We repelled the might of Hive Fleet Leviathan when it set its all-hungering gaze on Baal, but only just. Sanguinius’ bloodline was never as prolific as his brothers’ and for good reasons. The Knights of Blood are gone and the Fleshtearers’ struggle against the red thirst is finally at an end. 

 

Mankind recently knew hope with the founding of the Indomitus Crusade, but Guilliman’s attempt to emulate his father’s ambitions for the species he surpassed and failed in equal measure has been bludgeoned by blow after blow. Scores of fleets have been lost to the sea of souls, while the creation of the Primaris marines, proved to be hubris and nothing more. Corbulo will not speak of the eventual fate of the vat-matured titans we received from Mars, but I still see pain-daemons gnawing on the edge of reality every time I visit the apothecarion – their numbers and size swollen to grotesque levels by the feast of agony prepared by Cawl’s imperfect handiwork. 

 

My mind caresses the edges of a thought so terrible that I am nearly unmanned, reduced to the boy who once walked trembling, shiv in hand, into a nest of fire-scorpions. 

 

Dante looks at me as if my inner turmoil is laid bare for all to see. "Do all that you can – I ask nothing more." 

 

Corbulo speaks. It is difficult for me to concentrate on his words. He is too close to our genetic sire in aspect and the blood in his veins sings to me. 

 

"Keep this task a secret – if it became common knowledge among Sanguinius' sons it would blunt their killing edge and that simply would not do." His smile is dazzling, but doesn't quite reach his eyes. 

 

I nod. “My only regret is that you did not come to me sooner, before Raguel the Sufferer fell for a second time. I spoke with him often, but not enough I fear for the task at hand.” 

Dante and Corbulo exchange glances. Corbulo speaks; as he does so a shadow seems to fall across his perfect features. 

 

“There is another.” 



#17
Bob Hunk

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Good work Lucifer216, you've clearly put a lot of thought into this. happy.png

 

I have a couple of thoughts. If I don't mention an aspect specifically below, assume I liked it! msn-wink.gif

 

  • Please correct me if I'm wrong, but you hope to submit this to Black Library, am I right? I think the slight problem with that is that it's in a first person style, which is extremely rare for Black Library. It's just not their "voice". Probably because of all the alien, heroic and god-like individuals that their stories deal with - if we knew their thoughts then it might remove some of the mystery. If they do sections in first person then it's usually only for a three italicised paragraphs. I know it would be a pain, but you might want to consider changing the point of view.
  • I got that you were trying to capture the Blood Angels "refined" way of speaking, but the flowery language made a few sections hard going, if you don't mind me saying (sorry). Also it was then slightly grating on the rare occasion that it dropped, e.g. Barachiel refers to his apprentice as "lad" near the start.
  • A lot of the time I wasn't actually sure where the action was taking place. Were we on top of the Palace walls? Inside? Had they sallied forth and were fighting in front of the walls?
  • The fate of
    Spoiler
    should not be off-screen or handled in one sentence, and it certainly shouldn't be both! msn-wink.gif Arguably the same could be said of
    Spoiler
    What you sort of had was someone saying "wow, that was an epic fight the likes of which you'd never seen...shame you missed it!". Also what happened to
    Spoiler
    They appeared and were never mentioned again.
  • This one may be slightly nit-picky, but I feel that the bit where Barachiel
    Spoiler
    could have been much more subtle. It was screamingly obviously within a sentence or two of the start of Chapter VII. There's quite a good example (IMO) of
    Spoiler
    in the HH story The Purge, if you want to check it out.
  • There were a couple of references to things that were a bit jarring, such as the Mad Max reference in the scout's face-paint. While nice imagery, they kind of jerked me out of the story, if you see what I mean. I think that's because there hasn't been much made of Blood Angels scouts wearing face paint (to my knowledge), so I had to process two things, i.e. the brand new fact that they wear face paint, and then the fact that it was a reference to something else. If it had just been one of those things then it wouldn't have jarred. Hope that makes sense! smile.png

Anyway, I don't want to come across as too negative! Those were just the points that stood out to me, hopefully they come across as constructive criticism. smile.png Overall you've obviously put a lot of passion and imagination into this story, and there was certainly some lovely ideas and imagery. It actually gave me a burst of Blood Angels army building enthusiasm, which is essentially the highest praise you can give a piece of 40K fiction. msn-wink.gif Looking forward to reading more. smile.png






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