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The High Regent

War of the Eightfold Path The Five Ruins Alexandros Darshan VonSalim Primarch Primarchs Imperium

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#1
simison

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"Alex?"

 

Alexandros, Shield-Lord of the Halcyon Wardens, swung green eyes toward his companion. Pyrrhicles stood beside him, his aged features wrought into worry. Alone among the Halcyon Wardens, Pyrrhicles was not an Astartes. Instead, he was a man who had been gifted all the Imperium could offer to bring a man a step towards an Astartes. His lined face revealed Pyrrhicles was fighting a losing battle against time.

 

Alexandros focused on the hidden depths of anxiety within his friend's eyes. Few things could inflict such a state on the veteran champion. The Primarch gathered his thoughts before he stated the horrible truth wracking his mind. "The Emperor is gone."

 

Confusion joined anxiety as Pyrrhicles absorbed the news, comprehension far from him. "Gone?"

 

Straightening himself in his throne, Alexandros saw the entire bridge crew's attention was upon him. "Damage report," He ordered, his voice ringing strong and clear.

 

The task broke their reverie. As they bustled with their new task, Alexandros whispered to Pyrrhicles' ears alone, "Gone. The Emperor is no longer with us."

 

A fearful pause blocked the half-Astartes for a moment. "He is slain?" Pyrrhicles asked, his voice a ghost of a whisper.

 

Was he? Alexandros wondered as his eidectic memory recalled the event. After a moment, a measure of relief passed through Alexandros. "No. No, it is not his death I have sensed."

 

That left confusion and similar relief upon Pyrrhicles' features. "Then, how is he gone?"

 

Alexandros' lips twisted into a frown. "I... don't know." His eyes swept across the bridge of the Elpis. "First, let us deal with the disaster we can control."


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#2
simison

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~~~

 

No ship had made the transit without some damage. In most cases, this was a small thing. Gellar generators stretched, a few scuffles, minor crew injuries. The three ships Alexandros had personally saved displayed the worst damage. Power systems would need tending before safe travel was possible. One ship, the Orion's Strength, featured a long gouge in its side, a parting gift from the Immaterium. Even then, none were crippled beyond salvation.

 

It made the loss of the other nine ships stand out all of the starker for it.

 

Although Pyrrhicles' had protested, Alexandros had received a list of every Warden, officer, and rating aboard these ships. His mournful eyes scanned the list, memorizing each name. Time would not allow a proper funeral for the loss of so many, but Alexandros swore to himself a memorial would happen and a new monument to be placed beneath the Delian sky.

 

With a sigh, he finished reading the list and handed the dataslate back to Pyrrhicles. "As soon as the necessary repairs are done on Orion, the fleet will set sail for Terra.


Edited by simison, 11 June 2020 - 02:44 AM.

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#3
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"Terra, my lord?" Pyrrhicles asked, his lined eyes surprised.

 

"Terra," Alexandros repeated. "Our fleet benefited from my warning. Few others would be similarly blessed. The losses will be catastrophic and will span the entire galaxy." Alexandros grimaced. "The Ullanor Offensive began only a month ago. I shudder to think what is going on at the front. We must return to Terra for a full estimate of the damage and coordinate recovery efforts."

 

Pyrrhicles glanced starward. "Do you intend to guide us to Terra yourself, my lord?"

 

"No need." Darshan's astral vision peered from a safe distance into the Immaterium. "Seven, six, five, four, three, two," he quietly counted. At the silent end of the countdown, a new star forced its way into the roiling energies of the Warp. Battering aside power and obfuscation, the Astronomican lived again. Yet, it was a different beast now. It's radiance was dim at first. As Darshan watched, the star shuddered within the Immaterium before abruptly growing stronger. Feeding from new strength, it proclaimed its ascendance.

 

It did not change the fact that Darshan could not sense the Emperor from the star. He tasted and knew the will which kept the star in existence.

 

Magnus. How long did you know of the sacrifice that would soon be demanded of you?


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#4
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Chapter 1

The throne was golden. Of course, it was golden. The Emperor was many things, but his love of gold seemed universal. Alexandros peered over the large edifice, halfway between amazement and concern. No Primarch could truly be called stupid. Shortsighted, foolish, egotistic, all of these and more. But each of his brothers possessed an intelligence that  few mortals could hope to match. Even if his brothers did not avail themselves to that strength. The technology before him, however, was something beyond him. Oh, he had a vague sense of a piece here and a piece there. In some ways, it reminded him of the gellar fields that allowed passageway through the Warp. That was the extent he could divine from the machinery alone. What concerned him, however, was the red giant sitting in the center of the structure. A form materialized out of thin air in front of the Golden Throne. It’s skin was as red as its physical counterpart, except it was translucent.

 

The one eyed, ethereal giant nodded toward Alexandros. “Alex.“

 

Alexandros returned the nod. “Maggie. Are you well?“

 

A large grin broke out over the giant's face.“Well? I have never been better.“ Waving a ghostly arm outward, Magnus continued, “All of the galaxy, no, the entirety of existence stretches out before me. Oh, how I wish father had brought me here sooner.“The grin vanished. “As unfinished as it is.“

 

Alexandros cocked an eyebrow, but it was Malcador, Right Hand of The Emperor who spoke next. “The Golden throne is still in development. The Emperor intended to soon devote all of his efforts toward its completion.“

 

“It must be finished without delay,“ Magnus declared fervently. “All of humanity begs for it to be done, whether they realize it or not.“ Alexandros nodded, but his eyes flooded toward the stations surrounding the central throne. In 1,000 slots, a member of the Thousand Sons legion occupied a space. Although serene to the natural eye, Alexandros could sense grave discomfort from each of them. It created an atmosphere of stress and challenge throughout the throne room.

 

Magnus answered the unspoken question. “A temporary necessity. The Throne is not finished, and I am not strong enough alone to maintain its incandescence. Once the work is completed, they will be freed from that duty.“

 

“Their life force is weakening,“ Alexandros stated quietly.

 

“A necessity,“ Magnus repeated. “A non-lethal one. At the end of the day, they will be removed, to allow the next section to take their place.“

 

“It is for this reason that the entire Legion has been recalled and declared lost to the Warp.“ Malcador explained. “In due time, the Thousand Sons will return to the Imperium.“

 

Alexandros grunted, acknowledging their positions. “When?“

 

Silence passed between the other two. “Unknown,“ Malcador said.

 

“You have to understand, Alex,“ Magnus said. “This is the single most delicate piece of machinery known to man. And I do not possess father‘s intelligence. I can glean information from the Great Ocean, but it is a slow process. We must be methodical and ensure no error occurs. There is also the matter of the Webbway itself. Until it is truly ours, it will need to be garrisoned. The Custodians are now divided in their duties. My sons will have to serve in this capacity as well. Alex, if you could devote some of your own sons to the campaign, we could finish it quicker.“

 

“I doubt this will be necessary,“ Alexandros countered. “We should discover the Emperor long before this work is completed.“

 

“I hope your words will prove true, brother,“ Magnus began. “But from my own travails across the Great Ocean, I fear it might be some time.”


Edited by simison, 03 May 2020 - 07:27 PM.

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#5
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~~~
 
“It cannot be done, my Lord.“
 
Alexandros nodded. “I concur. Our focus should be on the Imperium proper. Magnus will have to wait until the appropriate time before we can start sending units to support the Webway construction.“
 
A wave of nods went through his highest officers. It has been sometime since all of the Legates had been summoned to one location. The Vanishing, as it was becoming known about the populace,  was a strong enough trigger to do so. Besides his highest commanders, Pyrrhicles and the other three heads of the Legion Orders were present.
 
“If we must engage in offensive operations,“ Irvin Ruel, Lord Commander of the First Cohort, continued, “It should be at Ullanor, against the Greenskins.“ The advice did not surprised Alexandros. Irvin Ruel had been the Master of the Fifth Legion, until Alexandros had been found and assumed his rightful position. The Jermanic had once been an assault marine before his eventual ascension to command. He carried that instinct for tactical aggression wherever he went. That was half the reason why Alexandros had kept Irvin as his highest officer. The two balanced each other, and Irvin was an important symbol of the legion's original Terran roots.
 
“The last reports indicate the front is stable,“ Sauhan, Lord Commander of the Second Cohort, stated. Alexandros' second highest officer boasted a much different legacy. Sauhan was a Sindhuan, an ethnicity from Delos' western continent. Brown of skin and eye, Sauhan had entered service decades after Irvin had left the earth of Terra behind for the Great Crusade. Although his legacy was shorter, it was as rich as Irvin's. Sauhan had proven himself a capable commander and student of Alexandros' personal drive to place others before himself. The synthetic eyes were a testament to that.
 
 
“It is,“ Ruel agreed, his blue eyes harsh against the soft glow. “Yet, if there is any threats that demands eradication, it is the Ork Empire on the doorstep of Terra.“
 
“A brigade will remain on Terra for the time being. And,“Alexandros commanded. “I will not entertain any offensive operation until we have safeguarded the territory we do possess and the citizens within.“
 
Ruel stared at the hologram of the galaxy. His face was grim as he considered the sheer number of warnings and negative reports highlighted with a red dot. The galaxy appeared covered in small sores. “If we are not going to eradicate that menace, a permanent garrison will need to be established to contain them.“
 
Sauhan nodded, his artificial gaze focused. “Will that duty fall to us, to the Riven, or to the Legions on hand?“
 
"More than one of those legions are ill-suited for defensive operations,“ Pyrrhicles pointed out. “And Morrigar's sons are stretched thin enough as it is.“ Unlike Sauhan and Ruel, Pyrrhicles did not command a true combat unit. Instead, he was the Grandmaster of the Order of the Shield. The Orders were unofficial organizations within the legion proper. Each Order was devoted to a different aspect of war and life. The Order of the Shield had devoted themselves to defending the innocents of humanity as symbolized by the shields they wielded. Of all of the Orders, the Order of the Shield best represented their primarch's personal philosophy of self-sacrifice and protection. It was not, however, an all-encompassing Order. Sauhan may have believed in those same virtues, but was not a member.
 
The other major difference between Pyrrhicles and the others was his nature. Pyrrhicles was not an Astartes. He had been a Delian Army officer serving Alexandros when the Emperor had come. A Hellasan, originating from Delos' eastern continent, he had refused to join the Imperial Army or leave his beloved leader. His zeal had impressed Alexandros who had rewarded him with the Imperium's finest medical technology. It had closed the gap between transhuman and human but not all the way. Despite his physical infirmities compared to the true Astartes, Pyrrhicle's had closed the rest of the gap with a fiery willpower not even most Astartes could match.
 
"Orders have already been sent out in regards to how to handle the Orks. We will contribute another brigade on that front as well,“ Alexandros explained.
 
"From whence through those orders come from?“ Pyrrhicles inquired.
 
“Malcador.”
 
Ruel frowned. “That’s will cause issues in of itself.”
 
“Until the chain of command has been repaired, he is the closest thing we have to a supreme commander,” Alexandros said with a frown. He was well aware of the trouble brewing, and the egos who would chafe against any move made by Malcador.

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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: War of the Eightfold Path, The Five Ruins, Alexandros, Darshan, VonSalim, Primarch, Primarchs, Imperium

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