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REF TALE - Stories of the Ruins

Five Ruins Alternate Universe AU Legiones Astartes Imperial Army

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This thread will be an ongoing anthology of narratives set in the 5R AU.


The Blood-Seekers by Sim
Era: The Halcyon Age

Factions: Halcyon Wardens

Gregory read the orders with calm patience. A century and a half of life had taught him that much. His Chief Tribune, Stefan, stood at his side. Gregory's grey eyes finished the last bit of text. “We are heading for the outer edges of Ultima. It looks like we will be maintaining our offensive stance, after all.“

Stefan, a stout marine, nodded heartedly. “Someone has to.”

“Indeed,“ Gregory affirmed as he passed the datapad to Stefan. As for himself, he clasped his hands behind his back as he surveyed the bridge. The Fifth Brigade boasted a legacy that only the original four could surpass. A legacy that Gregory had done his best to uphold and to honor. The Crimson Crusaders, as they were known, contained the largest portion of Terran legionaries outside of Irvin Ruel's First Brigade. Such a simple fact, yet one that had no doubt influenced the Crusader's tendency toward aggression and assault operations. At least, compared to the rest of the Wardens.

His eyes studied the stars beneath his midnight colored hair. With so many brigades being rerouted to holding and defensive operations, Gregory could not deny a fierce sense of satisfaction for avoiding that fate. Perhaps the brigade would celebrate tonight with their traditional meal of raw meat.

His mouth watered as the idea gained traction.

An Astartes could consume many sustenances lethal to a normal human, but raw meat would not have been considered a favorite meal for any space marine. The Crusaders were an exception since it had originally begun as a habit to maintain the Omophagea. Then came that one incident on Volska where he and his officer cadre had explicitly eaten raw flesh in front of their enemies. The Volkan Confederacy had been flirting with either defiance or submission to the Imperium at the time. After that messy meal, with blood dripping down Gregory's chin, the Volkans had chosen submission.

It ahead created their nickname as the Crimson Crusaders.

Edited by simison, 05 January 2021 - 01:12 AM.

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Game Night by Trajan

Era: Late Great Crusade

Factions: Red Eyes, Shadow Warriors, Iron Revenants




Theoderaf stood, deep in concentration. He knew that his next move would decide the course of the situation in front of him. The fate of the Imperium rested on his decision. His left hand slowly moved across the table, as he stroked his beard with his right.

Clever. Very clever. I have only one option left open to me. I must risk it.

He selected Alexandros and his Athenoi Terminators and moved them onto the objective in the centre of the war table. The models stood there defiantly, with the wreckage of xenos vehicles and their corpses strewn across the ground.


Araphel smiled. “An excellent move, Theo. The best move you could have made.” 


Rang Talyc started smiling too. “But too little, too late.”


Rang began his turn, revealing his plan as a horde of Orks descended on the elements of the Imperial forces surrounding Alexandros, and the Ork ranged firepower began pouring in. By the end, Alexandros stood alone, his bodyguards all killed. 

Araphel clapped Rang on the back. “Well done, Rang, though I’m not sure the Orkish brutes would be as tactically dexterous. You win by seven points to our measly six and three.”

Theoderaf relaxed and walked over, “And I don’t think the Eldar would stay around longer than the first turn.” All three Primarchs began laughing, as Theoderaf and Rang clasped arms.

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The Muddied Path by Trajan

“Are they all this easy?” Whispered Rang Talyc under his breath. He remained looking out into the crowd that lined the street, keeping a stern face and with his arms clasped behind his back. 

Araphel chuckled lowly, not audible to anyone but the two of them. “No, brother, and you should not expect them all to be like this. Even now, this compliance is not over, anything could still happen.” Araphel was also scanning the crowd, looking for threats even in this moment of triumph. Surrounded as they were by hundreds of Astartes, anyone would be foolish to attempt such a thing. 


Araphel and Rang Talyc stood, pouring over the data laid out in front of them. The data slates scrolled and scrolled, showing hundreds, or even thousands of signals. The two Primarchs had spent hours going through all of them, organising them by location and time of sending. “Hmmm, this is a mess.” muttered Araphel. He dropped the data slate onto the desk, nearly breaking it without even meaning to. “One message says an invasion fleet has attacked a planet, then the next states that the world is in the grips of a civil war, then the next says everything is under control.” 

Rang nodded, standing back a bit from the table to better take in the whole picture. He stroked his chin as he contemplated the situation. “There is no discernible pattern from the messages, with planets sending signals seemingly at random. What do you suggest we do, brother?” 

Araphel walked around the table, joining his brother. “There must be something going on, even if we cannot determine what exactly. We shall divert the fleet west to deal with this, and there will be retribution for those responsible.” Araphel reached through the swarm of information and pointed at a single report. “This is the latest report, we shall investigate this first.” The table cleared of reports, a single holographic planet appearing with information on it presenting itself. “We head to the world of Ophidia.”

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The First Two by Simison

Era: Great Crusade

Factions: Halcyon Wardens, Iron Revenants


Gottfri had mentally prepared himself for being in close proximity to his father's powerful mind. He had not been prepared for his sheer physical presence. When the doors opened, the Emperor stood towering and radiant in golden armour of incredible complexity. It was like the power and brightness of a star had been condensed into a single being. After a momentary pause, the Emperor strode forward, attended by three warriors in golden armour carrying pole arms with rifles attached to the shafts. Taking a moment to distract himself from the walking sun, Gottfri peered into the minds of his senators. All worry, fear, and anger had evaporated and been replaced with awe. Simple, profound awe. If the Emperor had asked of them to resign their positions and come serve him, Gottfri had no doubt that he would be left with an empty chamber. As the Emperor came forward, Gottfri managed to glimpse the rest of the retinue entering the chamber.


The other giant proved to be a great contrast to the Emperor. What had once been pristine, white armour had long been repainted by the battlefield. Alexandros could count well over 600 scratches and small dents over it. The white had long faded as the original steel grey struggled to break through. It fought against a layer of aged dirt and debris. A few sections looked like they had been stained by several strands of ancient blood.


Alexandros was thankful that it did not smell. 


Despite towering over everyone beyond the Emperor, the giant’s gait was measured and suspicious. His brilliant blue stared straight ahead beneath brown locks, attempting to keep most of the room within his line of vision. There was a contained energy in his march, a readiness for violence.


Overall, Alexandros wasn’t sure to make of these contradictions. Power yet wariness. Height yet suspicion.


This is my older brother, Alexandros thought to himself as he offered a cheerful smile toward him.




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A Garden Conversation by Trajan

Era: Halcyon Age, Conclave of Terra

Factions: Warriors of Peace, Tempest Reavers


The Jade General sat in the middle of the garden, his eyes closed as he waited for the water to boil. He breathed deeply, taking in the aromas of all the flowers and plants around him, mixing together like a cocktail. He disagreed with the way the garden had been planted, with no attention having been given to how the energy of the garden flowed. Still, he could admire the physical attractiveness of the plants, gathered from all over the Imperium. As he sensed that the tea was nearly ready, he heard soft footsteps behind him. Still with his eyes closed, he called out.


“Hello, Ezharion, I guess that you came here for the plants too?”


The figure, not even breaking step, walked around to stand in front of the General. The General kept his eyes closed, listening to the water inside the pot, still waiting for it to reach the perfect temperature. Ezharion courteously stood a little to the side, purposefully not putting the General in his shadow. The General appreciated the little things that Ezharion did that showed he understood. The General gestured at the spot in front of him.


“Would you care for some tea?”


“Thank you, I would love to.” The General could feel his smile even with his eyes closed, and Ezharion sat down with his legs crossed. The tea reached the perfect temperature, and the General opened his eyes. He picked up a small glass jar filled with dried leaves, took a small pinch from each and placed them in two cups. Ezharion studied the cups, as he had never seen such a material. It was smooth, sleek yet fragile, Ezharion being scared to touch it in case he broke it. Sensing his reticence, the General gently lifted the pot of water and poured water into the cups. Ezharion watched intently as the water turned brown, and a sweet aroma reached his nostrils.


“Even now, I am discovering new ways to enjoy nature.” Ezharion smiled. The corner of the General’s mouth raised slightly, and he lifted the small round disc that the cup was on. He slowly passed it to Ezharion, who bowed his head and carefully supported the disc with his left hand as he held it with his right. The General raised a tiny spoon, and began stirring his drink. “Is there a plant from Han here in this garden?” Ezharion asked as he looked around.


“Yes.” The General pointed over his left shoulder. “That tree started as a cutting from a tree in my monastery where I grew up. A piece of Han in here feels strange though. Like a puzzle piece placed in a different picture.”


Ezharion nodded slowly, studying the tree intently. “I see what you mean, like a machine made from different parts. While they are functional, the pieces are not in harmony.” The General put down his spoon, and took a sip of his drink. He smiled to himself. Ezharion took a sip of his own drink, allowing the liquid to fill his mouth. The taste was strange, yet rather pleasant. Ezharion went to take another slip, but the General shifted subtly, and Ezharion stopped himself.


“You came here to escape from the Conclave.” The General stated, rather than asked. “Even though you put yourself forward for the position of Primarch Representative on the Council.”


Ezharion took another sip from his drink, and nodded. “Yes, all this politics is rather unexpected for me. I do not have the political upbringing of our brothers like Alexandros or Absalom.”


“Yes, some of our brothers are more blessed with political experience. Though from what I have observed, you have a rather large amount of support for your candidacy, rivalling even Koschei.” Ezharion grimaced, seeming to actually be genuine unlike the General’s assessment of his more political brothers. “You seem uncomfortable with this? Why put yourself forward then?”


Ezharion took a second, staring at his drink intently. “I wish to do the most good for my people. I thought gaining a position high within the Imperium would allow me to do that. But now I doubt it, as there are so many factions that must be appeased and dealt with, and I am not sure how I could do a better job than, say, Koschei or Niklaas.” Ezharion took a large gulp of his drink, nearly draining the cup. “What about you, General? Why do you run? You have no support from our brothers, if you do not mind me pointing out, yet you refuse to stand down? Why?”


The General finished his drink, and put down his cup and saucer. “One who stands straight does not fear a crooked shadow. I do what I know to be right, regardless of those telling me I am wrong.” He reached down, and lifted a rock from the floor of the garden. He passed it to Ezharion, who examined it. It was a near perfect oval, smoothed from all sides. “My beliefs are as this rock. Smoothed by the water of time and thought. It is no sculpture, like some of our brothers’ beliefs, large and grandiose yet brittle and prone to fall at the first breeze. While theirs stand tall for the moment, mine shall endure.” Ezharion nodded, closing his eyes and taking a deep breath. After a moment, a smile spread across his face, and he finished his drink.


“Thank you, brother, for helping me. Even though you probably did not mean to.” Ezharion laughed, not the booming roar of Hectarion but a low chuckle. He continued. “I admire you for remaining in the race when none support you. May I have some more of your drink?”


The General inclined his head slightly, and began preparing a second pot of water.

Edited by TrajantheGreat, 18 July 2021 - 01:30 PM.




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Shadow Observations

Era: Halcyon Age, Post-Ullanor Crusade 

Factions: Halcyon Wardens, Stalking Leopards, Council of Terra




Alexandros, High Regent of the Imperium, crossed his arms and quirked an eyebrow. He stood in the operating room's corner. The sound of surgical drills and other precise instruments stood a step above the the quiet binaric chant bouncing between the assembled tech-priest and his acolytes. Lord Chui Kubwa rested on his back on the central table. He stared at the ceiling above him, but Alexandros knew his focus was elsewhere. Alexandros glanced at the other mortal on the opposite side of the chamber. The Chirugeon-General's almond-shaped eyes did not leave Kubwa's form as the tech-priest worked. Lanicca's face was stoic, but that didn't stop Darshan's empyrean gaze from seeing more. 
No one so much as glanced in his direction.
That would have been unusual in most circumstances. Yes, the tech-priest would not have allowed himself to be distracted from his task. While augmetics were widely known and used throughout the Imperium, Primach augmetics was an extremely small field, and the one example had shown the process could be tricky. All augmetics required a proper biological key to prevent rejection, and the aggressive physiology of a Primarch often worked against augmetics. Azus, the lone existing case, had not shared any of the information on his augmetic publically. It had required a classified data delivery, limited only to the eyes of another Primarch. 
However, protocol would have compelled the tech-priest to assign one of his acolytes, or a servitor at the very least, to be on hand for the High Regent's pleasure. 
Less excuse existed for General Lanicca. She should have stood beside the High Regent, if to serve no other purpose than to offer the implicit image of unity between the High Regent and the Council of Terra. After several years of working together, Alexandros knew Lanicca would be mortified at such a breach of protocol. Not because she cared much for the Regent, but for the dignity of her station.
He didn't blame her.
After all, he was invisible.
The game had been an on-going one dating back to their second joint campaign. As one of the Imperium's premier telepaths, Alexandros had wielded his considerable talent to vanish from the eyes and minds of his enemies. That particular campaign had involved a particularly vigorous infestation of Greenskins, specifically their 'Kommando' variants. A Halcyon Wardens brigade had been able to strengthen the flagging Army defenses, but their divination psykers couldn't make the difference in their lack of stealth specialists. The defenses held, but they couldn't land a telling blow against the cunning barbarians. 
Thus, Kubwa had arrived with one of his tribes to serve as the blade. At the center of the xeno menace was a Kommando chieftain with eight enormous lieutenants. Individually, none were an equal to a Primarch, but they always fought and traveled in trios. To overcome them, Chui and Alexandros had attacked as a pair, which meant Alexandros had to keep up with his silent hunter of a brother. 
When the campaign had concluded, Chui had challenged Alexandros to a game of cat-and-mouse, pitting abhuman skill and experience against ethereal ability and ingenuity. That first one had ended in a draw. The hunt had lasted three days when the Emperor had sent a personal summons for Kubwa to attend him. However, they had made up for it since. The score, as of this date, was completely even.
After all of the pomp and circumstance Kubwa had stoically tolerated from the Triumph, Alexandros had thought to surprise him with a bit of casual mischief. An easy victory to make up a little bit for the loss of a limb. *No plan survives contact with reality*, Alexandros thought to himself as the magos stepped back for a final inspection. 
"Inspection complete," the green-and-black robed tech-priest intoned. 
Kubwa rose as he lifted his metallic limb before his eyes. He flew through some exercises and stretches, watching intently for any sign of loss or disability.
It was only after he gave his approval did Elisa approach. She froze when his head whipped to right where Alexandros was. VonSalim marched towards him, his invisibility falling by the wayside like a discarded cloak.
“That might be a new record, Chui,“ Alexandros declared with a victorious grin. 
Kubwa flashed a toothier grin in answer. “You were falling behind anyway. Figured I’d make it easier on you.“
“My gratitude.“ Alexandros added a sweeping bow. Elisa bristled at the breach in decorum, but he was willing to gamble she wouldn't do more. While he had never been as casual among the Council of Terra, they knew his views on etiquette were pragmatic, not all-consuming. "Chirurgeon-General," he declared with a brief nod towards the tanned woman. 
She returned the greeting, and Alexandros couldn't help but note that her midnight hair hung free of its customary bun. A sight he had not seen once in the council chambers. 
Alexandros knew far better than to attempt telepathy on high-ranking members of the Imperium. While he could guarantee his intrusions would go unnoticed nine times out of ten, all it took was a single violation to ruin decades of investment and manipulation. Aural reading, however, did not encroach upon privacy. At least, not in the empyreal sense, and Alexandros had viewed the ability as a more thorough means of reading a person's face which removed the ethical considerations. 
Elisa's cool chocolate-eyed gaze did nothing to conceal the colors flitting about her being to Darshan's vision. Darshan fought not to grin wider. Physically, the doctor maintained strict body control and a hard adherence to rigidity. Emotionally, she was scattered. Darshan counted at least five emotions fighting with and against each other.
Kubwa's was stranger to see. Abhumans had different emotional structures. Sometimes small, sometimes great. Kubwa's was more... feral, for lack of a better term. The results Darshan saw were quite interesting.
"How are you, brother?"

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Violent Ends

Era: First Ruin, the Breaking of Keld'abe

Factions: Iron Revenants, Shadow Warriors


Sergeant Tituncus surveyed the scene in front of him with his usual grim resolve, a frown etched onto his face and his brow furrowed. The scenes of friendship and revelry were not his preferred environment, particularly in these times of political tension. Though not high enough up the legion hierarchy to influence events, Tituncus had kept a keen ear out for the rumours and reports of the succession crisis that was secretly unfolding. This celebration between his squad and the squad of his sworn brother Krivart’s Shadow Warriors offered only a brief respite from training and preparing for the expected move towards Certus. His hand subconsciously brushed against his bolt pistol, loaded with Banestrike Ammunition as it always was when he left his quarters or the training halls. A slap on the shoulder snapped him out of his daydreams.


“Come on, Stoneface! I will get a laugh out of you before the night is done!” chuckled Krivart, his dark-skinned features grinning from ear to ear. Tituncus smiled faintly and raised his flask.


“Don’t mind me, Kriv, winding down isn’t really in my nature. Winding up on the other hand I can do perfectly well.” Tituncus put his arm around Krivart’s shoulder and beckoned to the table in front of them.


Krivart groaned theatrically as several nearby Shadow Warriors turned to the two and laughed at his discomfort. Tituncus took a large gulp of his drink and cleared his throat.


“There was one time when Kriv and I were on a campaign that I had to save his rear from a mortal with a combat knife. A mortal. We had been fighting on Podiri V for months...”




Tituncus finished his story and the huddle of Shadow Warriors and Iron Revenants surrounding him burst out laughing. Kriv raised his finger and tried to interject, but the group laughed him down. Over the din of the cheering and babble, Tituncus heard the vox in his helmet crackle.


“Excuse me, brothers.”


Tituncus got up swiftly and extracted himself from the group and headed to the corridor outside the room. He unclipped his helmet mag-locked to his waist and slid it on.


“Sergeant Tituncus of the 12th Company, reporting.”


“Code Cami Belli has been activated. Secure Corridor S1-2X and eliminate any who try to pass without authorisation.”


Tituncus stiffened, his mind instantly clearing and calculations beginning to churn. He unclipped the flap on his holster but did not draw his bolt pistol, and unsheathed his power sword a small amount to check it was ready to be drawn smoothly.


For the First and the Emperor.


Tituncus walked back into the room of chattering friends, and nodded slightly at the closest Iron Revenant, his second-in-command Mabius. Mabius returned the nod, slowly heading around the wall of the room until he had arrived unnoticed at the other door in the room. Tituncus made efforts to catch the eye of each of the ten Revenants, managing to nod to Sotanus and Drala before Krivart noticed his friend re-enter the room and made his way towards him.


“Everything ok?” He asked with a tone of confusion at his helmeted friend.


“Of course, my friend, forgive me.” Replied Tituncus, and he drew his pistol and hit Krivart in the chest. The Banestrike bolt round pierced the power armour with ease, sending Krivart to the ground with a cry of pain. Sotanus and Drala slit the throats of the two closest Shadow Warriors and threw their bodies into the crowd of Warriors in the centre of the room. One of the Revenants, stunned by the sudden violence, was knocked to the floor in the panic. One of the Shadow Warriors bolted for the far door, but Mabius blocked his path, grappling him and unloading his bolt pistol into his chest at point blank range. Tituncus drew his power sword and activated the power field, just as two Shadow Warriors rushed him. The first tried to shoulder barge Tituncus to the ground or deflect his sword, but Tituncus kept his guard up and sidestepped the charge. He jabbed with his sword into the thigh of the Astartes, hearing a cry of pain as the second Warrior wrapped his hands around Tituncus’ wrist. Tituncus twisted to try and break his grasp, but the Warrior pushed forward and the two Astartes tumbled to the ground. The Warrior shot his elbow into Tituncus’ helmet several times, but Tituncus refused to let go of his sword and began turning the blade towards the Warrior. The wounded Warrior crawled over to the two struggling Astartes and punched Tituncus hard, breaking one of his lenses on his helmet. Tituncus, stunned, released the sword and the second Astartes got onto his knees and pulled the sword back. An armoured boot sent the Astartes tumbling across the room as a blood-covered Sotanus stamped on the hand of the wounded Warrior as he tried to reach for the sword. Tituncus grabbed the sword and slashed it across the face of the Warrior, bisecting his head and sending the top half sliding down the nearby wall. Tituncus got up as Sotanus held the second Warrior in place, and Tituncus gripped his sword with both hands and thrust it straight through the Warrior’s head. Tituncus turned and saw that the rest of the Warriors in the room were killed, his squad piling the bodies in the corner of the room and removing any weapons or ammunition. Only one of the Revenants had perished in the fighting, Tituncus observing his face crushed under the force of a stamp.


Disappointing casualty numbers.


Two Revenants approached him dragging the wounded Krivart. Though there was a hole in his chest, he still struggled and breathed heavily. The two Revenants held him in place in front of Tituncus, who studied his friend.


“Traitor… Bastard… Why?” Gasped Krivart.


“I am sorry, brother. We shall be vindicated.” Tituncus replied as he raised his sword and beheaded his once-friend.




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Flight of Eagles

Era: 890s.M30, Great Crusade

Factions: Sky Reavers


Aato Väyrynen paced around the hall without much thought to his movements. He idly surveyed the many trophies and objects on display, systematically cataloguing them all and processing their historical information. His fingers tapped against his armoured leg in a rapid beat, the ring of metal against metal quietly echoing in the enemy hall. The distant sound of footsteps caught Aato’s ear, and he stood to attention as the Emperor of Mankind arrived. Aato noted the cloaked item in the Emperor’s hand, large and bulky yet easily carried by the Emperor with only one of his hands. The Emperor smiled as he approached, Aato feeling the Emperor’s radiance extend and envelop him, filling him with hope and reinvigorating him.


“Aato, you must learn to be more patient, you will need to exercise patience in your future campaigns and negotiations.” The Emperor said with a firm but warm voice.


Aato bowed his head, “Of course, Father.”


The Emperor lifted the cloak object and held it out for Aato. “I have a gift for you, a relic I found a long time ago in my travels. I believe you will put it to good use.” Aato could see the edges of the Emperor’s mouth prick up at the last sentence, and he carefully unwrapped the cloak. Beneath it was something similar to an Astartes jump pack, but with several alterations and systems that Aato had never seen before in his studies. Aato rotated the jump pack in his hands, the various thrusters bristling and maintaining their orientation as he turned it. His mind raced with trying to understand the mechanisms of the jump pack, already calculating potential flight capacity. He looked up from his inspection to see the Emperor studying him.


“This technology is incredible, it is like nothing I have ever seen. Is it ancient Terran?”


The Emperor nodded. “Of a sort. It pre-dates the Imperium, created during the Age of Strife for a creation that has long since died. I salvaged its remains from the wreckage of that bygone age, and kept it for when I knew there would be someone who needed it. Now, it is yours.”


The Emperor began walking towards the door leading outside, and Aato hurried to follow him. Once outside, He took the machine off of Aato and gestured for him to kneel. Aato bent down and kneeled in front of the Emperor, who walked around behind him and placed the jump pack on the back of Aato’s armour. Aato felt the weight suddenly shift as the armour and jump pack connected and the Emperor worked. Within seconds, the work was complete and the Emperor walked back in front of Aato.


“There, they are ready. Rise, my son.”


Aato stood up, feeling the new power running through his armour. He flexed his fingers and the jump pack roared into life, a low rumble from all of the thrusters. Aato mentally faced the left and the thrusters turned in that direction. He mentally spun and the thrusters moved seamlessly in circles and returned his focus to the Emperor.


“Thank you, Father, I shall honour this Siivet dearly. Though there is a tradition from my home...”


The Emperor looked bemused. “Which is?”


Aato smiled, “When you are gifted a weapon, you must test it immediately to prove its worth.”


The Emperor returned his smile. “Of course, I did not expect a scientifically-minded individual to accept something without testing it. Go ahead.”


The Emperor took a step back, giving Aato space to power up the jump pack. The jump pack roared as the rush of air filled the courtyard. Aato shot into the air, rising above the towers of the Imperial Palace in the span of a few seconds. He spun and flipped as he went, pushing his body and equipment as far as it could go, shouting with exhilaration as he went. He eventually slowed, stabilising his course and gently gliding to a stop hovering in midair. The Emperor rose to meet him, having no need for artificial equipment to do so. The Emperor came to a stop alongside Aato, managing to remain a huge presence without even needing to physically tower over Aato.


Aato turned to his father. “There is still one more way to test this. A race.”


The Emperor laughed, a hearty, booming laugh that echoed in the surrounding Himalazias. “As you wish, after this I must return to work and you to your training. I shall give you a head start.”




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The Oath of Moment by Trajan
Era: 830s.M30, Early Great Crusade
Factions: Red Eyes



Theoderaf took the final step, and forced himself to stand straight. He caught his breath, unused to the physical and mental strain that the climb had required. But here he stood, at the top of the Astartes Tower.


Theoderaf slowly walked towards a pair of large double doors emblazoned with the Imperial Aquila. Even now, or perhaps especially now, Terra filled Theoderaf with the feeling of belonging, as if this was his true home, more than the dark churches of Certus. Deep down, a part of him wished he did not have to leave. As Theoderaf approached, the doors slowly opened, and Theoderaf stepped into the interior.


“Well done, Theoderaf. You have succeeded.” Came the smooth, powerful voice that Theoderaf knew instinctively, the words filling him with joy and revitalising his spirit after the long climb.


Theoderaf had visited the Emperor’s chambers on several occasions, each time leaving with some new lesson learnt or a new assignment. This room, though in the image of that room, was filled with just two chairs, an open fire, and several ancient bookcases. Standing by the fire was the Emperor of Mankind, wearing formal imperial attire rather than his usual battle armour, yet he still stood taller than Theoderaf. The Emperor smiled as Theoderaf entered and the doors closed behind him, and Theoderaf bowed his head deeply. The Emperor gestured to the chairs, and Theoderaf chose the smaller of the two chairs. The Emperor pulled several books from the shelves, and joined Theoderaf, placing them on a side table.


“I am sorry we have not had much time to meet recently, your brothers grow in number with each passing day it seems.” The Emperor chuckled softly, and Theoderaf laughed with him.


“Of course, I understand Father. With four of us now, the Imperium is truly blessed.” The Emperor’s laugh dimmed slightly at the word blessed, but he let the moment pass.


“Your brothers, Araphel and Alexandros, have increased the speed of the Great Crusade greatly, leading their expeditionary fleets and gaining my victories for the Imperium. And now...”


The Emperor took the book on the top book off the pile and handed it to Theoderaf.


“It is time for you to join your sons.”


The book was an ancient tome, the cover feeling like Terran leather in Theoderaf’s hands, with golden letters written in High Gothic on the front. A large IV was inscripted at the top, and as Theoderaf turned the pages, he saw the tales of his legion, from its founding until the current year.


“Your legion has many honours to its name. I know you will add many more in my and the Imperium’s name. What you do will be written into the history of the Imperium, and it is your duty to help me reunite humanity.”


Theoderaf closed the book, glimpsing the other books on the side table labelled with other numerals.


“I will fulfil any task you give me, Father. My sons and I will not fail you.”


The Emperor smiled, rising to his feet. As Theoderaf rose too, the room shifted, the image of the interior changing to a large platform with a wide viewing window looking out over the Himalazian Mountains. The Emperor was in a second standing in his golden armour, the radiance hitting Theoderaf like a heatwave. As the Emperor drew a sword and a scroll of parchment, Theoderaf knelt on one knee, placing a hand on the weapon.


“Do you, Theoderaf, accept the role of Lord of the IVth Legion? Do you promise to devote yourself and your sons to the Imperium and humanity, no matter the difficulty of the task? Will you uphold my command across the galaxy, no matter the order or any personal misgivings? Do you pledge to do honour to the Imperium and me?"


Theoderaf felt the weight of the moment pressing upon him, knowing that Araphel and Alexandros had knelt where he was. He knew from now on that his life would change forever, that he would be fulfilling what his Father had always meant for him.


“I swear, may I act as your sword and be the instrument of your word.”


The Emperor removed his sword and the parchment, placing them on pedestals prepared next to the pair.


“Now rise, my son. I grant you lordship of Certus Minor and the IVth Legion, who you may shape as you see fit.”


Theoderaf stood up, and the Emperor placed his hands on Theoderaf’s shoulders. Theoderaf let the Emperor’s warmth fill him for the few fleeting seconds. Theoderaf rose and the two embraced.


“I know you will do the Imperium proud.”

Edited by TrajantheGreat, 27 September 2021 - 10:55 PM.




  • 247 posts

Return Trip by Simison

Era: Early Great Crusade

Factions: Halcyon Wardens


The High Regent stared at the ship's oculus. Sitting peacefully in the centre of the image and void was a peaceful brown and green ball, twirling contentedly on its invisible dance. Alexandros retained mixed feelings as he saw the final leg of his return to the birthplace of humanity. He had that left to campaign, to remind the Imperium and his brothers that he was still a potent warlord in his own right. The campaign itself had lasted two-thirds of a year. If he had remained on his original schedule, he would have been back late last year.


But he had not accounted for the nigh endless detours. For the first time in two years, he had a chance to re-immerse himself in the body of the empire. Days had been spent committed to hundreds of personal appearances at festivals, disasters, and more as he connected with citizen and elite, reminding them he was not a distant lord from far away Terra. He had done his best to spend as much time as he could spare with his brothers.


He had divided his time as best as he could and still hungered for more. He could not remember any time in his life that he had felt so pressed for time. Governing Delos as its ruler in all but name had been an enjoyable exercise of power and responsibility. He had always known he would never be able to connect with all of his citizens. He had satisfied himself with maintaining a presence in their minds through image and vid.


The Imperium was a different beast entirely. His words may eventually reached all of its citizens, but it could take years. An hour spent on one planet meant an entire cluster would not see him. There was a barrier there that he hated and struggled against. It recalled to him the ancient myth of Sisafis. 


In the end, he could not avoid the homeworld of humanity any longer, no matter how he wished against it. This was his last moment of respite before the deluge of duty swam over him once again.


He enjoyed every second he could as he continued his silent vigil.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Five Ruins, Alternate Universe, AU, Legiones Astartes, Imperial Army

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