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A Broken Throne - Eagle Warriors

Brotherhood of the Lost

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#101
bluntblade

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Here we are:

 

  The Golgothan Wastes had long been known as a perilous place, with Imperial forces shunning the light of its dying stars for decades. Finally, as the Imperium encompassed the space around the Wastes, the first advances had been planned. The 18th Expeditionary Fleet, commanded by Susanoo Empyon of the Lightning Bearers, was first to enter the theatre, with their objective the beleaguered Forge World of Sarum. There they found an alien host laying siege to the system, which they met in battle and destroyed.
 
  However, the lifting of the siege proved a false dawn. The Akiran magi who treated with the Redjak cult of Sarum identified blasphemous practices among them, and with the verdict of heretek, reunion turned to savage warfare. Still bloodied from the prior battle, Sentinel Empyon was obliged to lead his forces into an arduous campaign which dug the Redjak out from their fortresses within the crust of the planet. After two months, the Omnissiah’s justice was served, but now the 18th Fleet was in no position to continue. Their campaign plan had called for swift resupply by Sarum, and now every part of Empyon’s armada from the Rakurai to the Titans of the Legio Telesto and the Lightning Bearers themselves had taken punishing losses at the hands of the deviant tech-priests. Thousands of vehicles lay damaged or destroyed, and millions of Imperial dead covered the leaden face of Sarum.
 
  Faced with this grim tally, and lacking any immediate means of resupply beyond scavenging and salvage, Empyon notified the War Council that a second fleet would be needed to complete the task. The 18th could hold Sarum as it was restored to productivity, but do no more than that. With this message he sent a number of recommendations, offering his opinion that a Primarch’s leadership would be needed to ensure a conquest as swift as the Council desired. Furthermore, he advocated that the conquest be entrusted to the Eagle Warriors.
 
  The XIIIth Legion was well-placed to finish was the Lightning Bearers had begun. Socraes Travier had at this time the bulk of his Legion at his side, with extensive auxiliary elements. All were fresh from resupplying at Nox. Travier studied the dispatches from Empyon’s abortive campaign, refining his fleet’s disposition and plans accordingly. Thus he began to orchestrate a war whose hallmarks would be mobility and incendiary violence - the kind of war by which the Eagle Warriors had earned their name.

Humble scrivener - alternate Episode IX attempt now complete!

 

Caretaker of the Lightning Bearers and member of the Broken Throne alt-Heresy project


#102
Beren

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Though the Quarith War remains one of the best known triumphs of the Great Crusade, not all Legions participated in it equally. Most who only participated to a limited degree, if at all, found their strength occupied by pressing matters elsewhere. In the case of the Eagle Warriors, it was in hindsight something of an active choice that Socraes decided to restrict his Legion’s participation. Instead of fighting the war for the glory of the Imperium, Travier had a very specific set of objectives in mind. This was to lead to the XIIIth’s most significant battle over the course of the campaign.

The Primarch found himself fascinated by the scientific achievements accomplished by the abhorrent practices of the once-human Quarith. By this point, Travier had been inured to such atrocities by his devotion to yet darker practices. Instead of seeing something to be destroyed, he saw something to be exploited and sought to do so to the full extent of his capabilities.

Though the engagements of the Eagle Warriors were for the most part only in the form of minor skirmishes, these have been recorded across most battlefronts of the war and in the presence of all widespread Quarith genome types. Several of the more exotic and uncommon variants, such as Phase-Renders on Naskar or Dream-Stalkers at Bask, are also believed to have been targeted by such retrieval missions.

The true objectives of these attacks was of course concealed from Travier’s fellow Imperial Generals. When questioned as to why he did not muster his Legion’s strength in full to contribute to the main battles of the war, struggles in which the fates of entire worlds were decided, he replied that his Legion was enacting a policy of surgical strikes and ‘containment’ in order to eliminate advanced Quarith prototype-hybrids and similar threats to the wider war effort. Given the disproportionately high casualties suffered by the XIIIth on several of these missions, he was seldom questioned further.

As the last redoubts of the once-humans were gradually worn down and destroyed over the course of gruelling Imperial campaigns, Socraes’ opportunities for further specimen collection began to diminish. Time was running out, and there was one prize that exceeded all other held by the Quarith. Studies of their genetically violated thralls undoubtedly equipped the XIIIth’s Apothecarion with a wealth of forbidden knowledge. This however was nothing to the secrets that could be gained from the instruments and minds responsible for the existence of these creatures in the first place.

Mithaas was a world heavily fortified by the Quarith. The fact that it was otherwise lacking in strategic value in terms of its positioning or resources had seen it so far passed over in favour of more pressing targets. A significant force was in the process of being assembled, including four maniples of the Legio Excoriator and 15 sizeable frontline regiments of the Imperialis Auxilia, when the Eagle Warriors struck without warning.

Breaching orbital defenses with ease, the XIIIth Legion fleet was soon deploying wave after wave of assault troops to the planets surface. Giving the Quarith forces no time to regroup, the attack was relentless and unceasing. The damage inflicted was a convenient side effect to the fact that it kept the bulk of the abhuman armies away from Travier’s primary goal.

As violence and and bloodshed was meted out elsewhere, a hail of burning stars was blazing towards the vast encrustations that housed a portion of the beings and works responsible for this bloody crusade. Caestus Assault Rams, Dreadclaw and Kharybdis drop pods raced through streams of weapons fire that defied classification before slamming into and through the hive’s outer shell.

The first wave disgorged the Kaskuta, savage and psychologically unstable shock troops utterly suited for this sort of close quarters butchery. Behind them came the terminator elite of the Jaguar Toa, marching in the vanguards wake through wrecked rooms painted with foul ichor and littered with the corpses of the facility’s defenders. At first they acted simply as a mobile bulwark behind which the Apothecarion could begin their work in relative safety even though the battle still raged. As the Kaskuta exhausted their numbers, perhaps by design, in slaying yet more bizarre and lethal examples of Quarith genecrafting the Jagua Toa pushed forwards to form a second front line. Where their disturbed brethren had fought heedless of the damage done to themselves, the foe, or their surroundings; the terminators moved with a reserve rare for the Eagle Warriors. It is quite simple to deduct that they wished to mitigate any damage done to their specimens or the equipment surrounding them. Once the initial resistance had been removed, it seems that a stance of containment rather than obliteration was adopted. It is at this point records of battle within the facility cease.

Though running engagements with uncoordinated Quarith organisms persisted on Mithaas, Socraes informed the War Council that further reinforcements were quite unnecessary. The armies originally assembled to storm the planet were gladly redirected elsewhere, where they would proceed to contribute in reducing the timescale of several drawn out sieges. The conquest of Mithaas is recorded as having taken five months to complete, after which the Quarith headquarters were obliterated from orbit “in order to prevent the proliferation of technologies deemed forbidden by word of the Emperor and by the Crimson Accords of Mars.”

Such an action was lauded my many as an outstanding example of Socraes' fidelity. In truth, it only takes a little research to determine that there was a near constant flow of heavily armoured shuttles between the Jade Talon and the Quarith's base of operations. A little more digging, and certain parallels between the genetic abominations produced by the Quarith and those fielded by the Eagle Warriors begin to emerge.

Edited by Beren, 16 July 2019 - 08:47 PM.


#103
bluntblade

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It looks to me like we need to do some character work on the EW. We have key figures in the Legion, but besides Travier they rather lack characterisation.

Humble scrivener - alternate Episode IX attempt now complete!

 

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#104
MikhalLeNoir

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There was one champ who warned the wardens on board of the flagship. Takar?

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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#105
bluntblade

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True, though I wanted to make some tweaks to his position (partly to explain why he wasn't purged.

And he's very much established to be a Blackshield, not one of the Legion's main leaders.

Edited by bluntblade, 23 October 2019 - 12:27 PM.

Humble scrivener - alternate Episode IX attempt now complete!

 

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#106
Doctor Perils

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It looks to me like we need to do some character work on the EW. We have key figures in the Legion, but besides Travier they rather lack characterisation.


Are you thinking new characters or expanding on the pre-existing characters?
sml_gallery_29004_12090_3983.pnggallery_77459_13226_2824.png The War Wolves - Previously known as Lord Thørn

#107
bluntblade

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Both.

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#108
MikhalLeNoir

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If he warns the Arngrim Valten on board sure he is a blackshield.

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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#109
bluntblade

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So we really need to work on Travier's inner circle.

Humble scrivener - alternate Episode IX attempt now complete!

 

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#110
Kelborn

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I've spoke with Sim about the situation of the Eagle Warriors.

As they are our main villains/ antagonists, they need some attention. Can't be dealt with as the very last one, eh?

Beginning November, I'll spend my time working on the Eagle Warriors. It's not a take-over or such, more a taking care of until either Meros returns or we are forces to elect a new master.

Have to finish my entry for the Liber Swap Challenge until end of month but I already got some ideas/ thoughts. But first, I need to dig into this thread.

Is AOs old thread still valuable or was it retconned?

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#111
bluntblade

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There may be some useful ideas, but we did retcon most of it.

Humble scrivener - alternate Episode IX attempt now complete!

 

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#112
MikhalLeNoir

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We should see, that everything fits to our legions. I think that will be the biggest challenge.

How become Ixi and Gwal friend for example.
Why did he fall
Does he still have his fathers ghost transplanted in his mind?
Which form of insanity does he have?
Is he insane?

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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#113
bluntblade

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I'm going set out my views: he shouldn't be mad, and I don't like the father's ghost in his head.
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#114
Kelborn

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Like I said, I need to catch up but as of now, I'd rather have him being the enforcer of a ruling starseer caste or such. Being raised in their ideology, He struggles with the Imperium and only slowly adapts.
The whole ghost father thing is quite...difficult and strange.

Maybe give Travier something like a journal or whatever, with "prophecies" written down by his people, which can be Interpreten as the latest events of the GC. The more he dives into his worlds old lore, the more he is assured that everything is already written in stone, thus starting his downfall, etc. by following his "version" of those prophecies/ whatever. Bit vague like Curze and his "set path", which one might question if it was by his choices he made himself or a fix destiny.

Just my two cents without reading anything. ^^"

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#115
bluntblade

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The priesthood thing is fairly entrenched in the fluff, so I'd rather leave that.
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#116
Doctor Perils

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Blunt, had you written up one of your Praetor profiles for them?

Also I can try and see about devising a character smile.png I'll try and aim at something not priestlike or sorcerorish

Kel, would you be willing to chat with Griff and the others about possible characters and unit slots for crunch?
sml_gallery_29004_12090_3983.pnggallery_77459_13226_2824.png The War Wolves - Previously known as Lord Thørn

#117
Beren

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I quite liked the way he was entirely hostile when found, for what it's worth. Makes for more distinction from Lorgar.



#118
Kelborn

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Sure but like I said, I will start with them in November.

And even then, give me some days to get familiar with them and the real world related stuff, gather some thoughts, etc :)

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#119
bluntblade

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Yes I have. Forget his name, but his title is Worldcarver.

But we do need some characters to play key roles on Delos and elsewhere.

Edited by bluntblade, 24 October 2019 - 06:47 PM.

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#120
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Maybe we should just have everyone come up with their own new character.
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#121
Kelborn

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You guys could do that for sure, while I'm studying and come up with my own ideas in November. And then we'll have a look on them together. :)

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#122
Kelborn

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Alright, I promised that I'll start doing research for the EW and here we are. It's November and here's my current schedule for November and onwards:

 

- Reread First Heretic & Forgeworlds take on the Word Bearers to refresh my memories about canon

- Read the gathered lore of the EW found on their wiki page, the monthly challenges and the stories thread

- Get familiar with real world Aztec, Mayan cultures

- Dive into the lore of Age of Sigmar's Seraphon (or rather the old stuff of the lizardmen) & Warcraft's Zandalari Troll Empire (which suits the EW more than my Preds when thinking about it)

- For the lulz, Sith (Book of Sith, The Old Republic) :P

 

Don't how long but this will take me but my goal is to finish both, Word Bearers and Eagle Warriors by the end of the month in order to start potential revisions and additions.


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#123
Beren

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Placeholder


Edited by Beren, 02 January 2020 - 09:28 PM.

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#124
bluntblade

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Might ask Algrim to do a Drowned Techmarine who could belong to the Sirenstorm.

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#125
bluntblade

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Finally merged my intro to Golgotha with Beren's work on the main body:

The Scourging of the Golgothan Wastes
 

  The Golgothan Wastes had long been known as a perilous place, with Imperial forces shunning the light of its dying stars for decades. Finally, as the Imperium encompassed the space around the Wastes, the first advances had been planned. The 18th Expeditionary Fleet, commanded by Susanoo Empyon of the Lightning Bearers, was first to enter the theatre, with their objective the beleaguered Forge World of Sarum. There they found an alien host laying siege to the system, which they met in battle and destroyed.
 
  However, the lifting of the siege proved a false dawn. The Akiran magi who treated with the Redjak cult of Sarum identified blasphemous practices among them, and with the verdict of heretek, reunion turned to savage warfare. Still bloodied from the prior battle, Sentinel Empyon was obliged to lead his forces into an arduous campaign which dug the Redjak out from their fortresses within the crust of the planet. After two months, the Omnissiah’s justice was served, but now the 18th Fleet was in no position to continue. Their campaign plan had called for swift resupply by Sarum, and instead every part of Empyon’s armada from the Imperial Army to the Titans of the Legio Telesto and the Lightning Bearers themselves had taken punishing losses at the hands of the deviant tech-priests. Thousands of vehicles lay damaged or destroyed, and millions of Imperial dead covered the leaden face of Sarum.
 
  Faced with this grim tally, and lacking any immediate means of resupply beyond scavenging and salvage, Empyon notified the War Council that a second fleet would be needed to complete the task. The 18th could hold Sarum as it was restored to productivity, but do no more than that. With this message he sent a number of recommendations, offering his opinion that a Primarch’s leadership would be needed to ensure a conquest as swift as the Council desired. Furthermore, he advocated that the conquest be entrusted to the Eagle Warriors.
 
  The XIIIth Legion was well-placed to finish was the Lightning Bearers had begun. Socraes Travier had at this time the bulk of his Legion at his side, with extensive auxiliary elements. All were fresh from resupplying at Nox. Travier studied the dispatches from Empyon’s abortive campaign, refining his fleet’s disposition and plans accordingly. Thus he began to orchestrate a war whose hallmarks would be mobility and incendiary violence - the kind of war by which the Eagle Warriors had earned their name.
 

  With the Sarum now obliterated, Travier lacked any form of established forward base to supply the needs of his war. The campaign became one of sporadic violence, attacks aimed to cripple infrastructure and cause maximum damage before withdrawing. Those outposts established often relied far more upon concealment than a strong defence to keep them from harm. Regular supply convoys from the nearest Imperial strongholds were likewise a necessary component in sustaining the campaign.

  In this light, Travier's achievements are all the more impressive. Hostile fleets were left wrecked in the void, noncompliant cities burned on their planets. Often Travier would strike a vital location, slaughter the defenders and withdraw. When the defenders attempted to reoccupy the site it would be subject to orbital bombardment. Attempts to bring the Eagle Warriors to bear and destroy them came to naught. One attempt in particular backfired spectacularly.

  Porpharis was an armoury world responsible for the supply of the techno-barbarian armies of the polity known as the Torak Dominion. Of all the factions of the Wastes, the Dominion had been one of the most persistent in attempting to locate and destroy the hidden enclaves that were the only immediate point of retreat for the Eagle Warriors. Having had their forces ambushed and bloodied over the course of several months, the Dominion made one last attempt to swing the tide of the war.

  An armada was assembled, slavering warriors and near-feral war machines packed in their holds. With their preceding losses, the bulk of these had to drawn from garrison duty. Specifically, Porpharis's reserves of manpower were believed to have been vastly reduced. The armada's target was an abandoned Sarumite outpost that had since been reoccupied by the Xandrian Mechanicum as part of their efforts to supply the XIIIth's campaign. A barren moon in orbit of a desolate planet around a dying star, its hastily erected defences would likely have been unable to repel the assault.

  A day after the armada departed from Porpharis, a massive warp translation occurred on the edge of the system. Hurtling out of the warp came vessels clad in the worn livery of the Eagle Warriors, ship after ship. The Legion’s strength had been assembled to strike a blow that could cripple the Torak Dominion’s military capabilities, and thus rapidly accelerate their fall. Behind them came a scattering of armed transport barques, eager for salvage that could extend the reach and intensity of XIIIth operations beyond what the current logistical situation allowed.

  The initial battle in orbit was so brief and one sided as to not be worth describing in any detail. The depleted defenses were boarded or swept aside with ease as assault craft plunged through the skies. Scattered resistance on the surface was equally futile, isolated defensive units being massacred with ease. Travier himself lead the attack on Vault Raggen, both the largest storage facility and the largest remaining stronghold.

  Before a Primarch, they could not stand. Nor would they be allowed to.

  Across the planet, the Astartes moved to secure their prizes. The door to each doorway and hatch was blown open. At Raggen it was Etalnoch, Master of the 12th Cadre and member of the Aztekis Circle, who was given the honour of entering the great portal first. Upon doing so, he uttered a cry of warning and rage, reaching for his blade. A second later he was trampled by the bulbous frame of a xenos construct as it hurled itself towards the nearby Legionaries. Socraes stood witness to it. Immediately recognising the implications of the warmachines presence, he drew the great spear Macuahuitl and met the machine’s charge. With a single strike his weapon burst clearly through his foe, spitting it like a noble does a stone-boar. As he did so, he gave the order to fall back. The roar clash of metal on metal and the dull whine of weapons powering up beyond the archway meant his followers needed little explanation as to why.

  The scene was repeated to some degree at every vault. Units from three different xenos species and seven human polities have since been identified as having participated, swarming the Eagle Warriors with armies that were never supposed to have been present. At the Mandeville Point the armada wrenched its way back into reality, accompanied by the fleets of their newfound allies. For now the evidence of a greater threat had allowed a fraction of the Waste’s inhabitants to band together. Undoubtedly they would have fallen back into their petty wars once their mission was accomplished. For now they fought together.

  Yet the order of retreat was not intended as a declaration of defeat. Socraes was not only coordinating plans for withdrawal with the surviving Cadre Masters. He also issued commands for the Legion’s aircraft to sweep across the battlefields, and for the Camazotz recon squads to deploy. The Eagle Warriors retreat had drawn the enemy from their burrows, and now they probed for weaknesses. A score of generals ad warlords were identified, brazen in their presence at what they believed to be a sure victory. Among them was the Lord of the Torak, surrounded by his own retinue of geno-enhanced murderers.

  Even as the Eagle Warriors prepared to take flight, they struck. Eagle Hunters and Kaskuta at the fore, the full force of each Cadre present was directed at the nearest priority targets. They were to be swift, they were to be merciless. They were to leave the ashes of victory bitter in their opponent’s mouths. With their reinforcement fleet yet to arrive, and having sacrificed air cover for the element of surprise, the enemy was most vulnerable from the sky. Bombardment and targeted strikes collapsed vault entrances, trapping armies within. Walls of flame and flying rubble partitioned those elements on the surface, seeking to isolate the prey from the herd.

  One by one, the present leaders of the coalition forces were massacred. Topaltzin, Cadre Master of the Eagle Hunters, took vengeance for his fellow Aztekis by striking down the Torak Lord with a blow that split his head and sundered his ornate torque. On the other side of the planet, the Primarch had to content himself with killing anything that got in his way.

  With the hordes now reeling and disorientated, the retreat began full. Still snapping off boltgun shots at the closing foe, Legionaries raced aboard their transports under the cover of Fire Raptor Gunships. After a final scattering of orbital bombardments, the fleet made to exit orbit.

  The closing fleets of the enemy were still too dispersed to prevent the following withdrawal. Though it required the sacrifice of their accompanying transport barques, the vessels of the Eagle Warriors were able to successfully rupture the cordon and inflict further damage as they did so.

  The final result of the Golgothan gambit was utter failure. Their enemy had escaped, and many of their finest generals had been slain. If their culture had any resemblance to our own, the battle’s aftermath must have been fraught with recriminations and accusations. Indeed, it was the first and last battle of this particular coalition. Any further campaigning on the part of the expeditionary fleet was withheld for just long enough for the politically weakened Torak Dominion to be ravaged at the hands of its neighbours, before the Eagle Warriors fell upon those weakened cultures and put them to the torch. Thus were the perils of the Golgothan Wastes left as ashes.


Edited by bluntblade, 20 November 2019 - 08:28 PM.

Humble scrivener - alternate Episode IX attempt now complete!

 

Caretaker of the Lightning Bearers and member of the Broken Throne alt-Heresy project






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