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[BC]: Magellan's Devils (IC Thread)

Black Crusade Heresy PBP FFG Renegades DTTFE

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#1
Mazer Rackham

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Black Crusade Campaign:

 

 

++ MAGELLAN'S DEVILS ++

 

 

Bridge of Thor's Hand, (Space Marine Strike Cruiser) 0300 Zulu, 999.M41

 

His reflection stared back through the darkened pane of armoured glass.  Behind it was the blast shield preventing him from seeing the Empyrean, the Sea of Souls.  Even with the Gellar fields and void shields at maximum Garalon could fancy the scratch and scrape of talons, slithering fingers and grim pincers trying to break through the adamantuim plating and feast on those within.

 

He never got used to the sound, forcing himself to relax from his braced stance, as memories of making war in the belly of the Maelstrom subsided.

 

"What do you think, old friend?" the voice was haggard, rasping through mangled flesh and battered lips.

 

He wasn't used to that either, the sound no less grating than the imagined perils ringing the hull.  He took a deep breath as his Terminator Armoured bulk swung round, weighing his words.  He paused, looking at the hololiths and screens, depicting a small armada behind them, composed of looted vessels, maniacs, thieves and cutthroats of the highest and lowest orders.

 

"It lacks the glory of Badab, sire, but it will do."

 

The maimed figure in scarlet, black and brass contorted on the throne, a raw chuckle still ragged around the edges, even though many years had passed.  He reached down to pet the strange entity lurking by his armoured feet.  The Hamadrya looked up at its master, then gave a piercing, maleficent glare around the darkened bridge, striking the backs of the serfs and indentured crew left over from Battlefleet Maelstrom.

 

Even Garalon, a vastly experienced and hardy Astartes, harnessed in the mighty war-iron of Tactical Dreadnought Armour had to suppress a shudder.  The thing was odd beyond reason - even for him, who once fought daemons, and the Dark Eldar pirates of the inner hell-worlds.  He looked around the little-altered bridge of the Wolf of Fenris, Huron's prize from the battle of Parenxes.  The ripped panels on the wall at the back were Garalon's own work.

 

The Strike Cruiser was broadcasting decoy information and augur returns, and was essential to the plan.  For days now, Huron's slave-savants had broadcasted that the ship was coming to resupply after a hard-won battle against the Black Legion, whose activity was increased.

 

Thinking of the Despoiler's own, he wondered how far this gambit would go.  Abaddon the Despoiler was up to something, calling for all renegades against the Throne to embark on his great undertaking - and Blackheart was keen.  This would be his most auspicious raid yet:  The throne world of an Imperial system, for war materiel and slaves to bargain with for ships, to refit the Tyrant's Legion in its new image.

 

And what a ragtag flotilla had joined them in the promise of plunder!  Iconoclasts, Idolators, even a Desolator was back there somewhere.  Pirate ships with living Helltalons and much, much more.  Cultist groups, Heretek Circles, and the powerful Astartes.

 

"Yes..." Huron replied at length, "it will do.  Signal the fleet and prepare for translation.  It begins."

 

 

Welcome to Magellan!

 

This is the IC Thread for the campaign and where we will do all our roleplay and rolling.  The first few stages of the Invasion will be narrative mostly, where you, as Heretics will document your numerous atrocities against the Imperium, for vengeance, loot, or infamy.

 

As part of a Warband (or an individual) you will detail how your comrades in betrayal die around you as Blackheart's plan comes to fruition for him, and imperils you.  We will deal with the several phases of how this unfolds, but it will not be heavy, this after all is meant to be fairly sharp and rudimentary, but since we got a few players more than I bargained for - a little cinematic rigmarole is certainly in order.

 

The first order of business when running any Black Crusade game is what I call the Covenant, which are the rules we sign up to as Roleplayers to make sure everyone is comfortable with what we're doing and how far we go with our Evildoers.

 

Now, the good news is, that this is the B&C, and it has strict rules governing mature content, so most of this is already taken care of.  I would urge you, new to the forum or not, to refresh yourself with these rules before we begin play.  You can find them: Here.

 

That's about all there is to minding your P's and Q's, as we use Big Trousers around here and expect appropriate behaviour. smile.png

 

The rest of the Covenant relates to player interactions.  There are nine players in the group, and we must keep them all in mind.  If, when dice are rolling and your turn comes up, we will wait a suitable period for you to post your actions or narrative.  If you can't do this, because life has a habit of getting in the way, a placeholder or even bullet points is perfectly agreeable to let us get on with the game.  That said - this is a slower burn than my Deathwatch Campaigns, which I always run at a fair clip, so we have the time and the leeway to accommodate everyone.  After a short period of time, if I have no communication at all from you (not even what you'd like me to do in your absence) I will make a decision based on situation and character, taking appropriate actions to move the group forward.

 

In short - if you're stuck - let someone know what you want to do, and we'll sort it! smile.png

 

Now, rules.

 

I am not going to get everything right, as my experience with Black Crusade is limited to like three games.  The OOC thread can be used to correct and advise me, and it will be taken on board and I'll do my best not to repeat it.  Please don't beat me up about stuff!  This will be a mix of both Crunch and Cake, so if I have to fudge things, I will, but I will try and explain.  Some stuff WILL happen offscreen, most likely for pacing, and I hope that's alright.

 

If there's anything you're unsure of, hit up the OOC, where our canny veterans will dig into the nuts and bolts, helping out yours truly at the same time, and without whom, I couldn't cater for you all.

 

The Four Seasons:

 

Phase 1: Breaking The Line

This will involve the "Muster at Calth" type of deal, where everyone gets together and stands there staring up at a big hololith of the man himself, slack jawed at the audacity and sheer brass neck this Huron fella has to attack what is in effect, the Throne World of a small system.  He needs you because Battlefleet Magellen isn't going to be messing about, and your characters along with your "warbands" will be allocated to different ships, which will engage the enemy fleet cordon protecting the prize Huron seeks.

 

Phase 2: Planetfall

There are only a few sectors (for simplicity) that you'll drop into.  I plan for two, maybe three.  This is where you can start to bunch up as characters and become familiar with each other.  Here you will meet the PDF, some Stormtroopers, maybe Arbites, the common average garden type of Imperial Defences.  Again, this will be handled narratively or possibly pooling a number of Successes representing gains etc.

 

Phase 3: Imperial Response

This is when everything goes sour.  Huron leaves, the Imperium decides it's had enough of you and the enemies ramp up.  Space Marines, more Stormtroopers and legions of redshirt Guardsmen.  The Heretic fleet gets driven off and you're left holding a very sour bag.

 

Phase 4: Un-Chained Melodies

You are all captured (Killed on the surface or in battle in the void) and dumped into a Prison Barque floating above one of the worlds.

 

 

PART 1: TRANSLATION

 

You are all among your brethren when the call comes: Prepare for Warp Translation.  As the klaxons sound to announce the slip into realspace, the shudder ringing the hulls of the invasion flotilla stop and the shuddering of weapon impacts begins.  The Capital ship, guided by Huron Blackheart is well ahead of the pack, opening fire with bombardment cannons and macro-batteries.  Across the fleet, his image is beamed through the installed relays, displaying his brutish, crimson bulk and mangled face to everyone in the fleet.

 

"Now is the time, you who have been wronged, slighted or abandoned by short-sighted fools.  Now is the time to choke the Imperium on their own weak blood!  Now is the time when we rise, and the Imperium once again falls!  Now is our time!  Let them know, let them see - we do this for no-one else but ourselves!  The only thing to loose is our chains!"

 

His image stutters and vanishes.  Those in the holds and depths of the ships roar and beat fists against their chests, rushing to dropships and stolen void-to-surface craft.  Battle-sirens sound along with the thump and rattle of your own guns discharging.  The void war is joined, and ten thousand souls, mortal and Marine alike, gird themselves to raid, kill and plunder in a red tide...

 

PART 2: NO REST FOR THE WICKED

 

As a disparate body, you and the rest of your Raider ilk cease only in despoiling the world because you are forced to.  From the horrendous Helldrakes, to the mangled ruins of Chaos Space Marine bikes, nothing has been left unmarred or unmarked.  In return, the Imperium has struck back, the mailed and mighty fist of your previous, hated master reaching to throttle the life out you inch by tortuous inch.

 

The grip is completed as the forces of Huron Blackheart flee, leaving their pawns behind to reap the inevitable whirlwind that you all knew was coming, deep in your soul.  The thorns in your side consist of the Black Knights of the Templars, the zealous sons of Dorn, along with the Inquisition.  They claim to see clearly, they claim to come here to excise sin, but you know the truth.  They are bloody butchers, no better than you.

 

They merely have the blessing of a corpse god.

 

Irrelevant.

 

What is not irrelevant, is that you have been abandoned to their painful care, and it has been brutal.  Run to ground, bled and shackled, you are ensnared by those who would decry your failings, not understanding the freedom and the truths revealed.  Now they seek to break you, murder you even, but to what end is unknown...

 

PART 3: WAKING NIGHTMARES

 

The factions of Chaos are myriad, and this has been proven in deed as well as belief, for the Hereteks have abandoned their protectors and allies in the Heretic Astartes an seek to forge their own destiny in the Magellan System.  Now, the warriors geneforged by the Emperor's science, perverted to their own whims or the allegiances of those who give them their desires, are plunged into the raw, malleable putty of the warp, there to linger as the aeons of the empyrean roll over them.

 

Time means nothing in the Sea of Souls, just as the protestations and prayers torn from the mouths of the mortals exposed to it were nothing to whatever predators lurk within it.  A hundred-thousands deaths befell the wretches innocent and guilty alike, but there are still hearts beating in the ship...there is still life in the ancient circuits, and the Gellar Field, wounded sorely, over time has repaired itself.

 

Yet power ebbs and flows, and now only the ghost of protection remains for those abandoned to the depths...


Edited by Mazer Rackham, 11 May 2021 - 05:17 PM.

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My new non-40K book about railguns and powered armour is available now: The Ares Gambit.

My grimdark non-40k book about maniacs with jetpacks and assault rifles is also still around: Children of The Glyph.

 

Of course, you just can’t go wrong with usurping parts from toppled Imperial Fist bastions and shiny Templar plate - just don’t tell Mazer … ;p

 

 


#2
Petragor

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In the cargo hold of the Unchained Confederations cruiser "Sightless Seer", a red-robed figure tinkers with a humanoid hulk of steel. As he pulls on wires and applies jolts of electricity to select areas, the arms of the creation twitch and spasm, making clanging noises as heavy plates of armor collide, leaking a mixture of oil and blood from the joints. Noting the reactions of the metal creation, the robed one inspects the head, the only part not yet covered in armor. The face has barely retained any humanity, with the wires running across the cheeks and the eyes replaced with reinforced sensor lenses glowing a fiery red. The Heretek covers this final vulnerable spot with a last piece of plate, a helm of iron shaped into the form of a skull, thinner than the rest of the bulky armor and not covering the sensor "eyes", but undeniably more intimidating with the menacing crimson light coming from the eye sockets.

Hearing the calls to commence battle echoing though the halls of the ship, he turns away from his project and moves out of his small workshop and into the main bay, the tech-slaves stationed there bowing before him as they await orders.

"The time has come. Activate the first wave of Strife-Servitors. They shall soon prove the superiority of my designs for allies and enemies alike. And secure my prototype. With luck, it will be ready for field test soon..."

The slaves hurry to see to their tasks, as Ollkyrax the Battlesmith hefts his Power-axe and heads for the bridge, already calculating the time it will take for the "Sightless Seer" to come within range of planetfall, and by extension glorious close-range combat...


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#3
TechCaptain

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On the surface of Magellan, a robed figure slowly moves towards a large tower arrayed with various dishes and technological marvels that deal with space traffic. His small frame and robe meant few paid him much heed as he entered the center of traffic control for resupply and repair of Astartes vessels. It was inhabited by lowly menials and even a few Hypaspist Skitarii, the lowest of the low for the Mechanicus. His thoughts turning how those superstitious fools never learn, training in only rote usage of such sage machines, no true understanding of the machine spirits they invoke. It is sad, but now that Scairp is here, maybe he could feed the spirits a sacrifice of blood  to engage them into a higher function. As a former Mjorian he recognized most of the communication equipment even though that wasn't his specialty. Floating by his side was a oddly armored Servo-skull that was listening to all the scraps of conversation as he observed the going on in this center of technology. Carefully observing for a moment, long enough for even these trainee Skitarii to start to get suspicious, Scairp waited until his little helper had enough samples to make his job easier. 

 

The pair of Skitarii Hypaspists that were the door guard approached Scairp with their modified lasguns in a ready position. "Sir, state designation and assignment."

 

Scairp grinned under his hood and turned to look at them, waiting to respond until one was just within arm reach. Then in a flash Scairp's hand whipped out slashing the throat of the closing Skitarii killing him almost instantly not that it mattered as he collapsed, the same motion brought that Skitarii's modified lasgun to his hand and was triggered even before the enhanced reactions of the other Skitarii can respond turning that man's face into so much scorched paste. The menials only had a chance to realize something was wrongs as a series of las fire raked across the controllers killing most of them. 

 

Moving to one of the panels he began his work of shutting down defenses and confusing comm arrays to disrupt the Imperial response. As calls came in asking why the station was acting out of order, SAM responded to the comms in now dead lead controller's voice telling the other facilities all is good and it is simply a unscheduled facility test as per Magos decree. Suspicions adverted for the time being, it created a blind spot just wide enough for the incoming fleet, and last point was to send an encrypted message to his partner on this venture for the Unchained Confederation. "Battlesmith, engage in sector 2-0-7-8-1-1-7. Your favored prey is awaiting."


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Bloodmoon Hunters Armorial mini
With iron and fire the beast shall be lain low at the hands of the Hunters whose home is under the Bloodmoon. Bloodmoon Hunters on 40k Homebrew Wiki and 40k Theories Youtube Channel. “Here’s to you, Nicola and Bart, Rest forever here in our hearts, The last and final moment is yours,That agony is your triumph.” MGSV

#4
Necronaut

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The Iron Wolves had been shattered over three centuries prior by his reckoning. Shattered and finally picked off one-by-one until he was the last man standing. They had never turned traitor, had never truly forsaken their oaths to the Throne, but that had never mattered in the eyes of the Inquisition. The appearance, the facade of being traitors, of being renegades and pirates had been enough. And what were they to do, operating on the fringes of civilization? They only culled aspirants from the scattered feral and hive worlds within their domain as-needed; they only commandeered and plundered merchant and Imperial Navy vessels as-needed to maintain their war against the pirate scum and traitor legionnaires that infested their hunting grounds. When the Inquisition finally came for them, he had felt mostly sadness, not hatred towards his cousins who had been ordered to purge their dwindling numbers. Fury and indignation, yes, but nothing like the hatred that still burned in him for the traitors, for those who were a dark mirror to himself.

And yet here he was, alone and hiding in the bowels of The Serpent Ascendant, a vessel so thoroughly infested by corruption and corrupted filth that called themselves human, that the stench was enough to overwhelm his senses. Here he was prepared to wage war against those he had once stood watch over, those whom he had safeguarded with his own blood. He was unsure if it was merely luck or the callous humor of the dark gods, such as they were, but here he was, making a mockery of his oaths to his deceased brothers and the Throne. All was lost now; there was no path to redemption for him.

Vargr closed his eyes and summoned the faces of his brothers once again, the remaining survivors of the IVth company, the last of the Iron Wolves. They were all dead, entombed on a long-forgotten world trapped in the warp-tides of the Maelstrom. He would never see their graves again, of this he was certain.

He had managed to find a relatively secluded area within one of the hangar bays, and had parked and shrouded Geist under a camo-tarpaulin amongst a number of Rhinos. The stench of corruption was less pronounced here amongst the scents of machine oil and promethium. His last remaining companion, if one could call it that was an ancient combat-bike upon which he had ridden over countless worlds in search of war and plunder. Geist. The name had come to him whilst riding through another trackless wasteland from the growling of its mighty engine. He had heard it clearly as if Sergeant Haphet had spoken aloud to him. That was the first time Geist had spoken to him, and the first time the infernal machine had drunk of his vitae, as spikes had seemingly sprouted from the handlebars and pierced his palms. The pain had been excruciating.

+++

Huron Blackheart represented everything he despised in a man: hubris, arrogance, towering ambition… but he had to give respect where it was due. To return so mightily after having his prior empire cast down into ashes was something to marvel at. When the Tyrant's twisted visage appeared, his stomach turned briefly, his reverie interrupted.

The fleet would be dropping from the Warp soon. Time to make final preparations.

He rose from where he had been seated, polishing the plasma pistol, a monstrous relic of an age from well before his time. "Hellcaller" was its name, and it was the pinnacle of mechanicus craftsmanship. He had wrested it from a member of the Word Bearers in a successful ambush early on in his career as a renegade, and had been plagued by traitor marines seeking to claim it ever since.

Today would be no different, it seemed.

He was already moving when their bolters opened fire, rolling behind a rhino for cover. Two this time. They were bold, brazen even, to attack him on one of the Tyrant's ships, but little surprised him anymore. They encircled him like a pair of wolves, hungry for his blood and his armaments. "Come and take it," he growled, and threw his last stun grenade, pleased by the loud thump and clattering of a bolter that came in response to its report.

Just one left.

He primed Hellcaller, overcharging the weapon, and charged around the corner of the rhino. Bolter rounds exploded on his pauldron and cuirass, knocking the wind out of him, but he had his opponent dead to rights and returned fire accordingly.

Not today, scum.

His assailant was vaporized from the abdomen up by the overcharged plasma blast, leaving a charred ruin in its wake. A great gout of noxious vapour discharged from the daemonic face that had been artfully wrought over Hellcaller's casing. Hopefully no one else would come to investigate the commotion.

He dragged himself to his feet and inspected his armor for damage as he walked over to the stunned and twitching traitor Astartes. He did not recognize the markings on the pauldron, but no surprise there; the Blood Reaver had called dozens of different warbands from across the sector to war. These two would be not be missed, save by their fellows. The gods had smiled upon him this day, it seemed. He holstered Hellcaller under his backpack and drew his combat knife.

A wicked grin split Vargr's old, scarred features.

"You are a fool, but a lucky fool, whoever you are. Geist is thirsty and you shall provide ample fuel for this campaign..."


Edited by Necronaut, 06 April 2021 - 03:55 AM.

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#5
Mazer Rackham

Mazer Rackham

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Trading fire at ranges of ten-thousand kilometres sounds like it will not result in many strikes, but that is not the case.

 

As the Blood Reaver drives his Strike Cruiser forwards, the main attack of Battlefleet Magellan pummels the ships attacking in what seems a suicidal assault, but Huron knows about numbers, and about distraction.

 

"Open fire, all batteries!  Bring the bombardment cannon to bear on that station!" he snarls it with relish, his fist thumping into the arm of the command throne.  His urgings toss spittle from the side of his mouth where it is ruined and still does not close properly.  He could be taken for a madman, the battle rush upon him.  Once a Chapter Master of cooler temperament, his impatience then is only magnified now.  Huron wants nothing but revenge, and this assault is just another blow against what he sees as the prime betrayal.

 

Of all people, Garalon knows what makes Huron's black heart beat.

 

Explosions blossom across the station as her void shields collapse, yet the void battle represented on the hololith shows several of Huron's fleet vanish, the green pulsing triangles vanishing just as the defence station crumples under his guns.

 

Battlefleet Magellan has been caught out, Garalon sees it.  In sending parties to the surface of some of the key worlds, the ships have defended seven planets against assault, where Huron only wanted one.  As the Reaver's fleet spreads out, it forms a four-fingered snare of talons, with which to grip the stars.

 

Fighter craft and ordnance trade blows, bombers shriek out into the airless dark in howling joy, and all the while, Huron gets closer, on the edge of his seat, grasping air repeatedly with his flexing fist.  A Lunar Class cruiser fills the viewport and screens.  She is leaking coolant from her main drives, which trails out behind in thick globules  of shimmering iridescence that  advanced augur-picters in the Wolf of Fenris can perceive.  Each globule several dozen metres across.  Atmosphere vents, and the cruiser starts to tumble, dying from the mauling she has received.

 

Klaxons and clarions sound across the ships tearing at each other, until the spearhead forces its way into the guts of the defenders.  Literally.

 

"Ramming speed," Huron declares.

 

"Ram, aye."

 

The Wolf launches forward and bears down on the stricken vessel blocking it from the prize, drives burning hard to eat up the distance.  Garalon looks on, as the admantine and ceramite slab leaps - biting deeply into the throat and tearing it through.  In moments, a proud and defiant loyalist ship-of-the-line is torn in half, and Huron is through, passing between the spinning, bifurcated wreck.

 

"We are through," Huron grins and leans back in his throne, once more the master of his ambition.  "All ships - hasten to your dropzones and commence surface attack."

 

The green dots are being thinned, but a core follow the Wolf.

 

Planetfall is now inevitable, and the Reaving will begin.


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My new non-40K book about railguns and powered armour is available now: The Ares Gambit.

My grimdark non-40k book about maniacs with jetpacks and assault rifles is also still around: Children of The Glyph.

 

Of course, you just can’t go wrong with usurping parts from toppled Imperial Fist bastions and shiny Templar plate - just don’t tell Mazer … ;p

 

 


#6
Xin Ceithan

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The “Voracious” broke from Warp. 

Transition into bleak space was always bittersweet. Tendrils of multicolored light laced after it, seemingly reluctantto let the shiftship go as the vessel itself seemed slow to leave the embrace of the Sea of Souls. But the hunt called and prey had been promised in abundance. 

In the depths of it’s lair, Sabin yr Cuthil, , Fang-Thane of the Host Mercurial, Ravager of the Eastern Fringe, First among the Six Serpent Princes whose dance formed the devouring Storm took note of the translation as the world around him seemed somehow colder, less vivid. It was just one more reason to despise it and the mortals who clung to this stagnant mockery ofa life.Such little things. Soon, they would learn of the endless wonders and opportunitiesthey had been denied at given a glimpse of theunbound potential that the Sea of Souls could provide. He could almost taste their little minds breaking already. Itchuckled.

The chuckle rebounded from the walls of the lair, a high pitched, ululating whirr. It bacame aware of something fluttering away, a clattering of chains. The smell of synthetic blood.

Lazily, the beast opened it’seyes.

Multi hued vapors drifted through the vast chamber. The Serpent Prince liked to collect traces of atmosphere from the worlds the Host had visited on their hunts. A streak of milky white was disturbing the clouds closet to him. Ruined. A long sigh. It sounded like the descent of a downed Marauder bombing craft.In the distance, the noise was answered in kind. 

Once, when the “Voracious” had been little more than a simple and unassuming Auerstaedt pattern Escort Carrier. 

Then, the lair bay would have had room to house a dozen voidcraft. Now, it’s bloated flanks held only a single occupant, unwilling to share the space with others of it’s kind. The Serpent Princes hunted at the fore of the Host, daring each other to outdo the other, united briefly to bring down their prey. Butthey were fickle and spiteful things. Away from the hunt, theykept to to their lair bays, dreaming of prey downed and plunder taken, of glories past and yet unsung. 

Barbed chains dangled from the roof of the cavernous bay, hung with trophies. Here, theripped open shell of an Astartes dreadnaught walker. There, the melted remains of a the cockpit torn Lightning pattern interceptor. The oversized remains of some sort of chain fist, broken from an Ork Gargantuan. The remains of banners and uniforms fluttered, tatteredandburned. Flocks of multi limbed cherubim buzzed through the hold , chittering. Some were busy polishing the trophies assembled while others scrambled over the drifting bulk of their master, sharpening bladed edges and administering umbilical linkages. One of the those things had been disturbed by the chuckle and recoiled, cutting itself on a barbed trophy chain in the process.

As it drifted away, the Serpent Prince watched as the rest of the things flock crowded around it, clawing, tearing at it as they greedily devoured the one who had drawn the displeasure of their master. The shrieking sent a comfortable shudder through the beast.

Suddenly distracted,theFang Thane caught a glimpse of itself on the polished walls of his keep. It took a moment to appreciate the beauty of it’s own form.

Light reflected from the moon silver sheen of it’s body, edged in gilded ridges, trailing a mass of bladed chain and mecha-tendrils. The slender frame belied it’s bulk, easily reaching the size of a Thunderhawk gunship as became obvious as the beast passed through the shadow of the main cannon ripped from such a craft during a glorious hunt. Such a prize. It hoped to the present excursion would provide for similar entertainment.

The long snout seemed to resemble the form of reptilian predators from the rivers of old, half opened, revealing rows of dagger sized teeth. It caught it’s own gaze, momentarily transfixed as it gazed into the r glow of the two sets of three ocular clusters set inside the side of it’s skull, two rows of orange glowing orbs.Along its neck, translucent sacs of flesh metal pulsated along the churning of it’s turbine breath, colors swirling within as the beast savored the atmospheric morsels it inhaled.A set set of gilded horns beset with precious stones spiraled from its brow, the center a single pearly orb the size of a warrior in terminator plate. Here it proudly pronounced it’s state as a chosen of the flawless Huntress. 

A mane of multicolored fibers flowed from it’s head, the sensory cluster drifting in the breeze, broken only by two rows of huge douple intake organs jutting from the shoulders of it’s segmented, serpentine body. A host of umbilicals shuddered along it’s back, linking it to the core of the vessel that carried it, spreading it’s will. Pre hunt infusions of stimulants and other techsotericals churned into it. 

Along it’s flanks, vector thrust orifices opened from orientations resembling the half moon sibilant of it’s patron. 

Blades and hooks and mecha-tendrils flowed. The Serpent Prince had no need for something as unsophisticated as limbs or claws to hunt down it’s prey or sully itself with touching the ground.

It was a beast of the sea of souls and left such tasks to other, lesser beings.

Oh, yes. Them. 

As it drifted through the haze, the drake tore it’s gaze from the marvel of his shape and focused partsof his attention through the linkage umbilicals. It sifted through the streams where slave processionals bore the lithe bodies of the lesser flesh forms to the maintenance coven launch bay temples of the Talon and Harbinger hunt forms housed along the spine of the Voracious.

In the forward holds, hordes of mutant boarding parties brayed, eager for action. Thin limped triplets of void born crew tribes scuttled through the ship...

There...

No... 

There! 

It’s will surged forward.A mind linked flesh puppet on the bridge stirred, jerking upright.With a husky voice it relayed the intentions of the great Sabin yr Cuthil to the few things on the Voracious that were not totally in every regard under the utter control of the Serpent Prince.

“First Blade! Ready your warriors for the hunt!”


 


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#7
Petragor

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The way from the Sightless Seer's cargo holds to the bridge is quite long, even perilous in some areas where deranged underlings and mutated abominations roam the halls and attack any who pass, to steal their possessions for their own unimaginable purposes, or simply to eat the trespassers flesh. The Battlesmith is above suffering either fate however, as most assailants are felled by a few semi-automatic shots from his las-mechadendrite before they can even get close, judged and found wanting of the rush of a close quarters execution. A few use more advanced tactics however, attacking from hiding places or in large groups to overwhelm their prey. But when they close with the robed figure they find they're no predator at all, their knives and clubs proving ineffective against the armor underneath the cloth as a few swift blows from Ollkyrax' Power Axe mangles all it touches and sends the lucky survivors quickly scurrying back into the shadows to lick their wounds and search for an easier marks. After a few such displays of martial might, the attack come to an end, and Ollkyrax takes the final elevator leading up to the bridge level.

By the time the bridge is reached, the Sightless Seer is already engaged with Imperial forces, high-ranking cultists managing their battle-stations to prevent their assault to come to an early, anticlimactic end.  A three-armed and six-eyed mutant oversees two consoles at once, another former slave of the mechanicus prays to the ship as he tries to mend a malfunctioning power cable, and the whole crews seems filled with anticipation for the ground battle to come, assuming they aren't killed here, far from glory and further from the daemonhood which most of them dream of.

Through the viewports, the battle can be seen clearly. A few line ships of the corpse-emperor's navy are bombarding the Seer and its escorts, trying to halt their advance toward the planet behind them. They receive their fair share of missile and lance barrages in return from the Seer's own batteries, but this only causes them to focus fire on the larger threat to their hull integrity. Soon, the invisible barrier of void shields around the ship begins to weaken, then crack, then break, as a macrocannon shell scrapes right above the armored bridge. The instant the shields are gone, a beam of light briefly connects one of the larger imperial ships with the Seer, a telltale sign of a Teleportarium. A lieutenant wearing imperial guard flak armor desecrated with spikes and hypnotic patterns turns from her command console to Ollkyrax as she speaks. 

"Void shields are down, several decks are reporting loyalist lightning strikes. What are your orders my lord?"

Ollkyrax glances at his datapad, temporarily dismissing his design notes to check on the completion of his earlier orders. The screen reports that the first group is at 42% activation and rising. Ollkyrax allows himself a smirk. That will be more than enough.

"Seal all bulkheads except those connecting the struck locations to the cargo bays. Tell the crew to hide and wait for my creations to finish their bloodshed if they value their lives. Once they leave they will emerge and hunt down any remnants of loyalists scum that were quick enough to hide before returning to battle stations."

The lieutenant simply nods and quickly works to relay the message, and servants all across the ship hiding behind bulkhead doors or slipping inside maintenance lockers as imperials wonder where all the opposition went. They aren't left wondering for long however, as they hear thunderous footsteps swiftly approaching from the open hallways, and the Battlesmith's very own Strife-class servitors charge forward on their quadruple mechanical legs seeking only the destruction of everything their simple sensor arrays can perceive. A few unfortunate cultists who couldn't properly disengage are trampled as the machines can't properly tell friend from foe with someone to direct them, but this only further demoralizes the imperials who fire wildly at the approaching servitors. A few are felled by concentrated las- and autogun fire, several more are laid low by plasma and melta weapons, but once just a few get close enough to swing their chainswords at the enemy, the battle is pretty much over. Screams and chain-revving echo through the hallways, and pict-recorders overlooking the gruesome scene are covered in sprays of blood and brain matter. But once the brutality dies down and the servitors begin to simply walk around in circles aimlessly, Ollkyrax sends out a signal to the machines, sending them half marching, half sprinting back towards the cargo hold, allowing the crew to clean up the imperials and the mess.

On the bridge, Ollkyrax looks through the messages on his datapad as the Seer continues the void fight, shields re-activated and following through the gap Huron's flagship has made in the battle line of the defenders. The tech-slaves are picking through the remains of the battle and report that 21% of the Strife-class servitors were brought down, 7% of which beyond repair. Ollkyrax orders reinforcements to be drawn from the rest of the cargo hold, and the damaged servitors to be respectively restored and scrapped before he orders the deployment of the third wave. Receiving confirmation that his orders will be carried out, he looks to the crew, now significantly more confident in their ability to make landfall.

"I shall return to the holds. Prepare deployment vessels for when we come within range of planetstrike. I intend to oversee the assault personally."

With that, he leaves, once again holding his datapad, this time to analyze combat data and perhaps make a few last-second adjustments before the true fight begins...


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#8
TechCaptain

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Scairp watched the void battle on the screens and controls he had at the station he took over. While he idled about waiting for the invasion to begin, he took his time to take his access, and began downloading any relevant information to his dataslate, and began planning for if things both go right and wrong. There was no trust in dealing with such groups as Huron had brought together, it was about who was either strong enough or smart enough to survive. Taking that into account, he needed the latest information either for trade or to be at the right places at the right times.  SAM meanwhile was also downloading information but for a slightly different purposes, he was recording different Friend or Foe tags, communication encryption keys, shield frequencies, and latest specifications on any technology that was within reach of the network/noosphere he was accessing. There was such a treasure trove that this was the real prize to him, for he didn't care about revenge or anything as trivial as land, no knowledge was the true source of all. The possibility of the invasion failing and needing an escape route occurred to him as well that some of the various Chaos followers falling into the habits of death and destruction made all this more imperative. 


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Bloodmoon Hunters Armorial mini
With iron and fire the beast shall be lain low at the hands of the Hunters whose home is under the Bloodmoon. Bloodmoon Hunters on 40k Homebrew Wiki and 40k Theories Youtube Channel. “Here’s to you, Nicola and Bart, Rest forever here in our hearts, The last and final moment is yours,That agony is your triumph.” MGSV

#9
Mazer Rackham

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+Claw Tertius, you're falling behind,+ Huron's words are ripe with censure and flavoured with something approaching disappointment.

 

The opportunistic waves of renegades are becoming blood-sotted with the immediate slaughter, too short-sighted or short-tempered to see the endeavour for waht it was.  Long term planning was in short order among some of the Khorne worshippers.

 

It all served the purpose, Garalon knew.  This wasn't the first time the Tyrant threw chaff into fire.  Moreover, Huron could afford the losses inflicted on the fleet, and once in range it was important to give the ground-based defence weapons something other than the Blood Reaver to shoot at.  SO far, splitting the fleet into three parts had been quite effective, spreading out the defenders and splitting their forces further.  A simple ruse, but it took spine to commit to it, suffer the diminished ranks of vessels and soldiers for it.

 

They weren't squandered, it was just brutal calculus, and thanks to numbers, Magellan was almost in the grip of the Tyrant's Claw.

 

+Garalon!+ he barked.

 

His lord needed to say nothing more.  The Terminator clad henchman stomped down to the transit lifts and found himself in the cargo bays, where the rarest craft in the fleet lurked.

 

A flight of Storm Eagles.

 

They wore all manner of livery, from the Astral Claws to the Executioners, Salamanders and Marines Errant.  A motley assortment of bastards.

 

Garalon heard and felt the presence of the Inner Circle, Huron's trusted elite unit of killers equipped much the same as himself.  Red Corsair Space Marines spilled from accessways and hatches, clutching bolters and chainswords and all manner of weapons, running at battle-pace, far outstripping the mortal soldiery trampling across the deck to mount their assault craft.  More Astartes would be mustering for Dreadclaw assault, the screaming engines of the recoverable craft hurling the genhanced killers at the planet below.

 

As the terminators boarded the first Eagle, Garalon stood at the fore in his still silver-and-blue warplate, brandishing the obscenely large power maul Skullcracker, bashing it on his towering Storm Shield in a brute display of power.

 

+For the Tyrant!+

 

Thunder and ozone filled the launch bay.

 

And Hell fell onto Magellan.

 

We will now move to Phase 2: Planetfall.

Go ahead and have your characters fall out of a drop pod or assault craft - a Thunderhawk is perfectly valid if you wish.  Choose one of three zones to fight in, which will dictate your adversaries:

  • Commercia (Adeptus Arbites, PDF, Magellan IG Regt)
  • Fabricatorum (Adeptus Mechanicus, Skitarii, PDF)
  • Habitorius (Adepta Sororitas, Adeptus Arbites, PDF)

Have fun - and don't forget in your narratives to let it go both ways, the Imperials have to kill a lot of you, let them do it as much as you do it to them!


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My new non-40K book about railguns and powered armour is available now: The Ares Gambit.

My grimdark non-40k book about maniacs with jetpacks and assault rifles is also still around: Children of The Glyph.

 

Of course, you just can’t go wrong with usurping parts from toppled Imperial Fist bastions and shiny Templar plate - just don’t tell Mazer … ;p

 

 


#10
Steel Company

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“Akkad!” he yelled out, pausing to add, “You’re a damned coward, you hear me Akkad!”

 

A shorter Astartes turned to look at him, a brother inducted at the same time, though his brother had risen higher in the ranks of the Claws than he had. And that was something Sevaris was fine with, he knew what he was, a beast. The shorter Astartes came over to him, banging on his pauldron as he teased, “And you are denser than a neutron star!”

 

The two of them laughed at their own way of greeting each other before the air turned heavy and Sevaris said, “You need to get with the program, Huron is our master now.”

 

Akkad spat at the ground as he said, “I won’t. He is dangerous Sev, too ambitious and risking too much too fast.”

 

“It’s not our place to question him, the Claws voted for him to lead us.” Sevaris continued.

 

Akkad shook his head as he said, “I cannot. I voted for him, but he’s going to be the death of our chapter.”

 

Sevaris looked Akkad in the eyes and asked, “If you can’t, you will be stripped of-“

 

Akkad turned to show the removed markings he used to carry as he said, “They have already been taken, and I have been banished.”

 

“Banished, to where?” Sevaris asked.

 

“The Death Watch, you could come too, a marksmen of your skill would be welcomed.” Akkad suggested, placing a hand on the pauldron of Sevaris.

 

Sevaris for his part had his features darken as he said, “There is still time for you to get with it, Akkad.”

 

Akkad shook his head again as he spoke, “I won’t bend the knee to him.”

 

Sevaris balled his fist before striking Akkad across the chin as he bellowed at him, “Then you truly are a damned coward to see through your choice.”

 

Turning and walking away, Sevaris heard his friend calling after him, “Huron will be the end of us all, Sev!”

 

++++

 

“Sev!” someone called.

 

“Sev! We’re almost at the drop point!” they called again.

 

“Sev!” they bellowed at him, kicking his sabaton.

 

He stirred from his slumber, turning his helm to them, his display highlighting her fine features as she adjusted her body armor and she asked, “Dreaming about Badab again?”

 

Sev sat up a little more, looking around the empty cargo hold of the shuttle as he said, “Olivia, remember to pick the right time to be so familiar with me, do it again where others can hear you and-“

 

She nodded as she said, “I know, I know, you’ll snap my neck. But do you think doing this job for Huron will get you close enough to take the shot?”

 

Sev shrugged in his plate before attaching the feed belt to his autocannon as he said, “It’d better.”

 

Looking back up he saw the light of the drop ramp start to flash red as he moved to the ramp he looked over his shoulder at the woman as he said, “Get a head of me and try to open the gates to make short work of these fools.”

 

She nodded and said to him, “Good luck.”

 

Giving a dismissive wave to her he planted his feet and waited for the ramp to drop.

 

++++

 

As the ramp dropped down, Sev looked at the ground rushing out behind him. He understood this kind of drop, low to the ground, the ramp almost scrapping the ground. He turned and started to run backwards, as he came off of the ramp, he’d be skidding to a halt. At least that was the plan, what happened was the craft pulled up quickly and he slid out the back and found himself standing atop a cathedral. Below him he spotted make shift defenses, the roar of bolters and red armored warriors firing at the masses of mortals that were in service to Huron.

 

Sev watched the engagement going on below him, he knew who would win already, the warriors in red were too well dug in for his allies to effectively take. But this was only obvious to him, he could see the warriors in red were clearly nervous that they would be over run, just as his allies weren’t sure they could over run them, but still were trying.

 

“Better to kill a few of them, and save more forces for later.” Sev said to himself as he hefted his cannon up to his hip, letting the machine spirit of the gun seek the first target.

 

His auguries picked out a ramshackle makeshift breaching vehicle, armored enough against bolters. With a sneer on his lips he pressed the firing stud, the weapon rang out with the heavy base drumming of the heavy round slamming into the plates, through the plates and into the vital spots of the machine. After but a short burst the technical exploded, raining flaming debris on the hordes, breaking and scattering them to the wind.

 

From below him, he heard cheering from the impearl forces, as they turned to face him, it became more clear who they were, Sisters of Battle. He watched as they pointed at him and proclaimed, “See sisters! The Emperor has sent one of his Angels to aid us!”

 

Sev felt nothing as he turned the cannon on them, the rounds that had been so useful in bringing down even other Astartes cut through their armor, through their soft bodies. As the last of them fell in a heap of broken bodies he climbed down from the roof, more would die this day.

 

With a mighty push, he opened the doors to the cathedral, inside he could see a huddled mass of civialns, and a singular sister, armed with a bolter. He stalked towards her, she greeted him with a smile as she said, “See, the Emperor-“

 

She never fiished those words, as with a quick motion, he drew his bolt pistol and snapped off a round, taking her head off at the shoulders as he said, +does not protect.+

 

Slipping it back into his holster, he removed his combat knife and begun the bloody work of ending those in this place, corrupting it with their blood.


Edited by Steel Company, 31 March 2021 - 03:31 PM.

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To all you Space Wolf Players... Its called a Razor and the Soap isn't a Daemon.
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The Iron Hands, they are the real emo marines. Seriously. The Dark Angels aren't the ones who sit around cutting off bits of themselves, wearing black, and complaining about weakness and ennui...

--Octavulg

#11
Ancient_Sobek

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The storm eagle bucked like an ill-tempered stallion as it made it’s way down to the planet’s surface. The pitching motions and constant vibration gave the impression that the assault craft was as eager for battle as the men it carried. The pilots fought to keep the craft restrained as they lined up on their attack vector. They had been assigned a drop zone with in the city’s main fabricatorum district. Haasek was ill-pleased by the assignment. He understood the strategic necessity of destroying or securing the vital industrial base. A foe that cannot feed its guns is easily defeated. The sector was defended by the Mechanicus which was the problem for Haasek. There was something unsatisfying about butchering the metal men. They were so inhuman they couldn’t even die properly. 

 

With a huff of disgust he turned back to the men behind him in the troop hold. They were his pack, his brothers in war. Each one an exceptional killer in his own right, but together they were a force of nature. To his left sat Bokar, a giant even among other Astartes. He held his weapon before him, a giant chain cleaver the size of a man. Its handle resting on the deck as he slowly honed the chain teeth to a killing edge. Opposite Bokar sat Vargus. Where the giant was a wall of destruction moving inexorably forward, Vargus was a graceful ballet of death. The power tulwar he had taken from the champion of the Marauders  slicing through his opposition like a deadly breeze.

 

Lothek seemed non-plussed as they continued their decent. His meltagun held casually across his lap as he napped. Lothek had been been a part of the pack for longer than any other. He was the perfect underling, he held no desire for power as long as he got to destroy the hated imperials. Lastly there was Skell, the newest member of the pack. Haasek could see the nervous twitching of his limbs as he fought to contain the rush of adrenaline running through him at the thought of the coming fight. His hands flexing on the grip of his chain blades. He was young, but showed promise. This battle would show whether he was worthy to be part of this brotherhood.

 

Beyond his pack mates the rest of the hold was packed with renegades, cultists, and traitors. Each one eager to fight back against their former masters from the Imperium. They would most likely die in the first moments in the battle, but they would help blunt the fury of the defenders until the pack could come to grips with them.

 

Haasek addressed the motley horde before him readying them for the coming battle. “Remember why you are here! Each one of you has suffered at the hands of the Imperium, each of you have felt the callous indifference with which you were regarded. Your lives meaningless beyond the quotas you helped meet for your overseers. Fight now! Fight for the freedom to be your own man! Fight to show these bastards that you will no longer beg and grovel for their meager scraps. Take back your lives from them and make them bleed in return!” The collected rabble roared in defiance raising their weapons in the air and cheering. The thought of fighting back crushing down the fear they all felt.

 

Bokar let out a deep chuckle over their private comlink. “They are are all dead and don’t even know it” The others chuckled at his quip.

 

“Likely, just remember why we are here.” Haasek replied, “I don’t care about Huron or his grand schemes. The Tyrant can have this blasted world. Get in and grab what we are after and let’s get the hell out. Let these other fools die for his cause.”

 

The pack sent their acknowledgment as Haasek turned back to the front of the storm eagle to witness their approach. 

 

Anti-aircraft rounds and shoulder fired rockets shot past them, shrapnel pinging of the storm eagle’s hull. The serf pilot did well, weaving and jinking the ship through the worst of the fire. Haasek and his pack barely noticed the jerking motions though from the sounds further back in the hold the mortals were not fairing quite as well. 

 

“Three minutes!” Yelled the co-pilot as he prepared the ship for the final approach. He sent the ship’s on payload of missiles streaking toward the defenders. The fire was devastating, but indiscriminate. The intention less about destroying their targets than about forcing them into cover so that his payload of troops could be delivered.

 

“On your feet you lot!” Haasek yelled, “It’s time to show these corpse-worshipping dogs that we won’t be their puppets anymore!” 

 

 

+++++++++

 

 

Skitarii Marshal Rho Kappa Kappa Psi sent a data squirt to his command echelon informing them that heavy enemy forces were dropping into the Fabricatorum district and that additional support would be needed. Turning to his Sub-ordinate he relayed new troop allocation assigns and target priority vectors.

 

“Our orbital guns are not responding so we must concentrate our fire on those assault craft. Bring them down!” He blurted in binaric cant, gesturing to the way of gunships, drop pods, and cargo vessels depending on their locate.

 

Onager dune crawlers and kataphron destroyers sent waved of fire toward the approaching craft and anti-aircraft emplacements added their own deadly refrain. Marshal Rho gave a satisfied blurt of noise as several of the enemy craft were destroyed on their way toward them.

 

“Take cover!” His Sub-ordinate voxxed as a wave of return fire shot toward their emplacements. Marshal Rho ducked behind the hastily prepared barricaded as the enemy missiles slammed into their entrenchment. Skitarii bodies were flung into the air as the missiles detonated. Secondary explosions added to the chaos as ammo supplies cooked off in the raging fires the devastation.

 

He heard the telltale whine of engine thrusters reversing as an enemy storm eagle landed just in front of their emplacement. He linked into his support servo skull floating nearby, using it’s auguries to get a clearer picture of the situation.

 

“Troops! To your firing positions, enemy assaulters inbound” He blurted urgently over his company channel. “Don’t let them reach our lines!”

 

Radium Carbines and plasma calibers began firing toward the storm eagle as it touched down and it’s assault ramp dropped to the ground. A horde of screaming renegades and cultists rushed toward their position unleashing fire from their lasguns and makeshift slug throwers. The fire power was shoddy but effective as skitarii troops died on the firing line. The defenders barrage faltered as they lost men and new troops struggled to fill the gaps they left.

 

Within moments the enemy were upon them, scrabbling over their barricades and causing mayhem within the skitarii lines.

 

Marshal Rho hefted his radium pistol and waded into the enemy troops. He blasted some with irradiated shells while breaking others with his command rod.

 

“Hold Damn it!” He shrieked as he fought to keep them from being overrun.

 

 

+++++++++

 

 

Haasek watched as the rabble ran forward into the guns of the defenders. He could hear Bokar chuckling over the com link. 

 

“Focus!” Haasek snarled “It’s time to work”

 

The pack started forward at a sprint before igniting their jump packs and launching toward the battle line. They landed amidst the melee with explosive force, sending skitarii and cultist alike flying. Bokar went to work with his massive chain cleaver, swinging it gore soaked slashes sending blood, viscera, and mechanical parts into the air as he inexorably advanced into the mass of warriors before him. Lothek followed in his wake, his meltagun targeting the larger mechanical foes in their path. Haasek could hear him laughing maniacally as he turned a pair of Kastelan robots to slag before turning his weapon on the fleeing datasmith that had been controlling them.

 

In the distance he could see Skell astride an Ironstrider, his twin chain swords hacking at the rider as it feebly tried to defend itself. The mounts twin-linked autocannons fired wildly as the pilot was torn to shreds. The volley of fire tore through the defenders and renegades alike before the mechanical beast slammed into the ground. Skell landed in a roll, igniting his jump pack as he came to his feet and laucned himself toward his next prey.

 

Vargus followed as Haasek drove toward the Skitarii Marshal, his tulwar deflecting enemy attacks as his pack leader went for the kill. To his credit the Marshal stood his ground, his radium pistol sending a volley of fire at his oncoming foe. The shots went wide however and Haasek was upon him. The marshal threw himself back, the pistol dropping from his hands as he used his command rod to deflect the chain axe swinging toward his head. He continued retreating, staying just out of reach of the murderous axe swings before suddenly lunging forward, shoulder-barging into Haasek and knocking him back. He brought his command rod down in a vicious strike shattering the left eye lens of Haasek’s helmet. He brought the rod back around in a followup swing trying to capitalize on his luck. His attack was stopped dead as a massive fist caught his hand.

 

“Not bad” Haasek said, the voice laced with static from his damaged vox. “But not good enough.”

 

He ripped the Skitarii Marshal’s arm from it’s socket, casting it aside as the chainaxe buried itself in his shoulder blade. The Marshal gave a blurt of binaric scree before dropping to the ground. Haasek turned to survey the conflict swirling around him. The loss of their command unit caused immediate disruption among the remaining skitarii forces as conflicting data orders from the remaining squad leaders brought confusion. Haasek nodded to Vargus before launching himself into the fray.

 

 

+++++++++

 

 

Tech Priest Dominus Pheron Novax regarded the data inloads streaming through his cogitator array as he watched the holo table before him. The loss of their main anti-orbital weapons had hampered their defensive capabilities and there were now 29.68725 % more enemy forces reaching the planet surface than had been projected. The attack was aimed at 3 main attack vectors, but the only one that concerned the Dominus was the defense of the fabricatorum district. If they were to survive this attack they would need to maintain control of their industrial processing plants. 

 

He directed his sub-ordinates to re-route skitarii forces to the gaps appearing in the battle lines defending the prime tank factory in sector gamma-36. A red warning beacon erupted on the holo table near the factory coordinates.

 

“Update” he said pointing toward the new beacon.

 

“Sir, it appears we have lost contact with Skitarii Marshal Rho Kappa Kappa Psi.” It appears he is no longer operational. “Final transmission follows”

 

“Defense line lost. Traitor marines within our line. Send House Heracles.”

 

Pheron growled in frustration. “Make it so!” He barked before turning to the next data link.


Edited by Ancient_Sobek, 04 April 2021 - 06:11 PM.

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#12
Necronaut

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The Serpent Ascendant shuddered as it entered reality once more. A lithe and agile ship, it dove towards the doomed planet and its amassed defenders like a stiletto plunging into a jugular vein. Its prow lance fired upon unsuspecting Imperial ships, sending escorts down into Magellan's gravity well as noiseless infernos. The captain, currently in the throes of several potent narcotics cackled maniacally over the ship's vox, "Onward into the jaws of death we ride! Praise the Prince of Chaos! Feast upon their souls, master!"

Vargr grunted exasperatedly many decks below in one of the hangars, as he finished bleeding his victim out into the fanged orifice of Geist's fuel tank. The combat-bike's engine revved contentedly as it drank in the dead Astartes's vitae; any blood that missed the opening was drawn directly into its armored plating. He shuddered at the unnatural absorption and could swear he saw new proto-spikes starting to form along the chassis.

+That insane fool is going to get us killed before we make planetfall,+ he said half to himself. He kicked the armored corpse away, and sat astride Geist, waiting. The befouled frigate creaked and shook as it suffered return fire from the defending Imperial vessels. Vargr shook his head and revved the combat-bike's engine, eliciting a feral roar.

Almost on queue, the captain's voice materialized once again over the vox, his words slurring now, "Landing parties to your drop shipssss. For the Tyrant and Slaanesh!"

+++

The orbital bombardment had pounded much of the commercial district into smithereens by the time Vargr’s transport made planetfall, and Geist roared through the rubble-strewn streets. Shell-shocked civilians wandered around in a daze only to be hacked apart by Vargr and a contingent of the Hounds of Huron with whom he joined in the bloodshed. They left a trail of gore in their wake, along with the sounds of cruel laughter that were quickly drowned out by the din of the assault bikes.

It was glorious to be riding as part of a biker horde again, and he realized how he had missed the bonds of brotherhood all of these years. With an exultant cry he steered Geist into a knot of fleeing civilians, not bothering to gun them down with the twin-linked bolter. The war-bike's wheels ground some into paste while its bladed attachments tore the rest to ribbons. This was mindless, meaningless slaughter of the weak, of those Vargr would have once given his life to protect.

He followed the Hounds of Huron on their rampage, eventually slamming into a contingent of planetary defense forces. The bikers descended upon them like the barbarian riders of ancient Terran myth, a ravening horde of cold killers driven by bloodlust. Countless bolts of Las-fire and heavy stunner rounds poured out from the PDF's hastily constructed battlements, cutting down two of the Hounds of Huron, but onward they came. Geist's twin bolters came to life, spitting out fiery death into the ranks of mortals as the gap closed. Showers of blood and the wet crunch of mangled flesh accompanied him as he drove directly into their ranks, not slowing a fraction. He sensed the gluttonous exultation emanating from his iron steed as Geist tore through them.

War had come to Magellan. War and suffering.


Edited by Necronaut, 06 April 2021 - 05:03 PM.

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#13
Petragor

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Finally, after an arduous warp journey and a tense void engagement, the Sightless Seer is positioned in orbit above the world of Magellan. In the ships underbelly facing the planet, massive gates open and out of them spew dozens of cargo containers outfitted with simple thrusters that begin to propel them towards their goal, the steel jungles of manufactorums on the surface. More cargo crates rest dormant behind those rushing out of the Seer, this is but the first wave. Not far behind the crates, a small squadron of corrupted Valkyries launch from the Seer’s actual hangars, transporting Ollkyrax and his tech-slaves, who are considered slightly more valuable than the servitors, and also less likely to survive the barely controlled descent of the cargo crates.
 

The journey of the invaders is not made easier by the response of the Magellan's defenders. While his ally in the Unchained Confederation, Scairp the Mjornian Manipulator, had infiltrated the surface, sabotaged the communications and ensured that the surface-to-air cannons would be silent, the Skitarii of the Fabricatorium districts were far from clueless. A massive void battle is quite hard to miss after all. Taking initiative, the servants of the Omnissiah had activated their Onager Dunecrawler and configured them with Icarus Arrays while the void battle yet raged, and deployed throughout the area under their protection. Now, Icarus Autocannon rounds, Gatling Rockets and Missiles fill the skies above as those on the surface of Magellan finally have a chance to strike back against their attackers.

Ollkyrax’ Valkyrie squadron responds to the flak by taking cover behind the cargo crates below them, as they are quite heavily armored. The thrusters welded on them are not as durable however, and as some of the containers lose them to flak from the Icarus Arrays they begin to plummet, doomed to crash to the surface and destroy most, if not all of the Servitors inside depending on the height of the drop. The Valkyries quickly begin to run out of cover, and begin to take their fair share of fire as well. The Valkyrie Ollkyrax is carried on, takes an Autocannon round directly in the left engine intake, and the pilot begins to lose control. Straying away from the safe landing zone given by Scairp, the aircraft crashes instead into a servitor conversion facility,  Relatively unharmed, Ollkyrax and his small entourage of tech-slaves and an escorting Strife-class servitor disembark and examine their surroundings. Ensuring his servitor bodyguard yet functions, Ollkyrax turns to his servants.

“Secure the area. I want this location repurposed into a repair and production center for the Strifes.”
 

The servants bring out their autopistols and tools, beginning to explore the building and modify the machinery around them to be compatible with the servitor pattern of their masters creation. While they work, Ollkyrax makes his own servitor follow him to the roof so he can get a better view of the battlefield. He arrives just in time to see one of the containers landing a few buildings away. The thrusters turn around at the very last second and slow down the descent just enough so the servitors inside are unharmed and ready for battle. As the servitors begin to slaughter the manufactorum workers and responding Skitarii rangers around them, one of the surviving Valkyries swoops down to deliver the Tech-slaves inside, so that they may direct the servitors to fight with more efficient tactics. Similar situations happen with two other surviving containers further away, and from the crashed containers a few still functional servitors emerge, beginning to harass the thinly spread Skitarii. Most of the Icarus Dunecrawlers continue to fire upon incoming chaos landing craft, but some are forced to turn their weapons to the ground as the Ollkyrax’ Strife-servitors, various cultists and even heretic Astartes forces draw close to their positions. Opening a comms line to the Sightless Seer, the Battlesmith relays his newest orders.
 

“Deploy the second wave of strifes, ensure the anti-air defenders are too busy to respond to us. Prepare the third wave for deployment when the air defenses are eliminated. Direct any servitor casualties to my current position, my servants are setting up a reinforcement center. Contact me only if you have important news regarding the battle or my prototype, I’m joining the fray.”
 

Receiving confirmation from the Seer that his orders are understood, Ollkyrax moves back down to ground level and out of the facility with his Strife-servitor, beginning the hunt for any nearby defenders.


Edited by Petragor, 31 March 2021 - 08:08 AM.

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#14
Xin Ceithan

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+++You know, I remember when this was all fields...+++

Static distorts the rest of the remark Orkosmakes over the vox, but Yshan Nykash can not help butlaugh, almost despite himself.
The air around him is filled with tracer fire. Las discharge and explosions backlightthe serrated skyline of the hive spires which forms a range of artificial mountain as far as even his genhanced senses can see. Which isn`t that far at the moment, to be fair.
Dust and debris are everywhere, Vast banks of clouds roll between the spire blocks asacidic rain continuously hammers his warplate.It his highly doubtful that Magellan Prime had been any sort of idyllic retreat even before the millennia since the coming of mankind reshaped it. The recent orbital bombardment and planetary mass landings have certainly not helped. 
One of the Great  Crusade era remembrancers might have called it surreal, butYshan has spent so much time on worlds in the embrace of the Primordial Ocean that he knows that would be hyperbole, even he can not recall the names of those remembrancers anymore.
But is has become a sort of private joke among them, the sourly Olympian remarking on his past travels and theaters of deployment, telling tall tales of his exploits and conquests wherever they go.And who knows? Some of it might even be true...
Even if he were still in possession of his full memories, they have reached a point where it becomes ever harder to tell where the facts end and the stories begin. It is not called “ the long War” for nothing.

+++Then you should have reached the objective already++
Yshan remarks smugly, noting that Orkos and his cohort of bestial infantryare still lagging behind,locked in a firefightsomewhere on the archways below.Time is of the essence and here, in realspace, time is not on their side.
He takesa moment to evaluate the situation, letting his jump pack cool down as he lands, hunched on down a wider balcony overlooking one of the highroads. The fabric of his unadorned black robes flatter around him and he drawsdown the hood over his helmet, more out of an almost forgotten memory of mortal habit than out of a real
need for protection from the elements.
On the balcony, an auto-sermon blares hymns of devotion to the corpse on the golden Throne. The servitor israised from an fixed plinth, just a wire bound head and torso jutting from the metal shrine, surrounded by electro candelas and votive banners that snap in the wind.
Even after all this time, these things never fail to raise his ire.

-Only the uninspired mistake ostentatious display for true devotion-

Ysahn raises a hand and focused his will. Green lightning streaks forward and washes over the alcove, igniting the banners and short circuiting the mechanism. The servitor frame spasms violently . Thehymn turn into a high pitched squeal of electronic nonsense as it`s flesh burns and melts away. Then, silence.
The Sorcerer nods. Much better.
Above him, the silver plated shapes of the attack craft from the Host Mercurial dance their movements dictated as much by the very mundane efforts to evade enemy fire and acquisition of targets as the attempt to draw the attention of their patrons as they triggered injectionsof esoteric trace metals into their Jetstream to trigger multi colored plumes h from their exhaust They dart and wave, drawingrunes and sigils into the sky. Like some mad aerial dance they race towards another,then dart away, splitting up to dive towards an unseen target on the ground below. Every so often, Yshan canmake out the spinous shape of one of the Princesof the Host as Thehelldrakes swimthrough the clouds in search of worthy prey . They aremagnificent creatures, Ysahn has to admit and glorious testamentsto the magnificence of the primordial truth.
But, as above, so below and even the haughty princes of the mercurial Host cannot hope to rule the skies while ignoring the ground below. That was were the warriors of theAscending Spiral came in. Their task was to clear the path and mark potential troublesome -or especially entertaining- pockets of enemy resistance and make to make surethe hordes of mutants and beastmen that made up the bulk of the host’ s ground forces were sufficiently motivated and focused on the task.

There was another aspect to consider as well. As creatures so tied to the tides of the primordial ocean, the Princes of the Host Mecurial, while certainly powerful, they were still limited while active so deep in bleakspace. Tobe able to freely roam and reap to the utmost of their abilities, the Veil had to thinned.
And thus it fell to the more mundane elements of the Host to bring downto thebarrier between reality and the beyond.

A task for which the current allegiance of theHost Mercurial and the Astartes of the Ascendant Spiral had been formed in particular.
From Yshan`s point of view, this part formed the lynchpin on which hinged the outcome of this whole operation in the end.

The self styled Tyrant of Badab had amassed a respectable force but if he was to succeed, his forces would have to be relieved, and soon. Magellan Prime was a capital world of the Imperium and while Huron`s capabilities were quite commendable, Yshan had seen larger and better organized crusades into Imperial space falter and fail.
It wasn’t that he was sort of naturally leaning towards the importance to be placed on the ways of the Primordial Truth and the eight fold path. It was a simple matter of logistics, as boring as that might be.
Without opening Magellan Prime to the full glory of the primordial Truth , the invasion was doomed to fail.
Personally, Yshan doubted consolidation of Magellan was the main objective Huron was aiming for anyway. The Tyrant was willfull and boisterous, a mere upstart to the veterans of the Long War but Yshan did not think of the former Astral Claw as a fool. While they had never met in person, you could hardly put thesharp end of anything into a being, metaphysical or corporeal, around the Maelstrom Zone without hitting anything related to the Blackheart over the last century or so. The tides were risings thegods were stirring. Even in his diminished state, Yshan could feel that there was a storm building in the depths of the great Ocean.
There was a bigger prize here, one that Yshan had`t quite figured out yet. He cursed silently.
And of course there was talk that the Blood Reaver was courting the attention of the Despoiler himself.... this little adventure here might just be the thing to get noticed.
Yshan smiles wearily. Well, that was why they were in this mess in the first place, wasn’t it?
Well, that, and the thrice cursed thing that was supposed to be locked up at the Ordos Facility at the Virgenes Ark... If they hadn’t moved it a,ready...

+++Orkos, stop daydreaming and get your mongrels moving. There is another armored column heading your way....+++

 

A series of blink clicks, but finally, he manages to highlight a position on their runic feed. Their equipment is ancient, and it shows.

Only the Great Ocean is eternal...

+++Astervan - see if you can mark that as special treat for the Host. Maybe we canbring down some Talons on it.+++

The Raptor squirts an affirmation and Yshan canjust see the flare as he rises from a position on another rockcrete peak several clicks to his right.
Yshanhas lost track of Makeem, but that isnot unusual as such. Closing hiseyes, he canfeel the presence of the Janusian ahead of him, the whirling Soulfires of their possessed brotherbrightly burning ahead of them.
A movement to his left catcheshis attention, anther bright blurr of souls plain to see to his witchsight.But this one is different and seems annoyingly pure. Triggering his jump pack, the Sorcerer closes the distance, leaping from balcony to balcony among thespire tops until he can make out the actual movements below.
A group of red armored Sororitas areleading a processional of armed militia below.He can not make out the words over the wind, but there is the singing again. He rolls his eyes. What is more, there are armoured vehiclesamidst them and while they seem more akin to mobile shrines,Yshan does not doubt their lethality. The gods arein a bad mood today and they are obviouslydemandingan offering.And a show.
Well, what else is new...
Readying his weapons, Yshan jumps from the building and triggers the flight pack.

+++Close with the objective. I`ll get us some favors..+++


Edited by Xin Ceithan, 11 April 2021 - 09:26 PM.

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#15
Trokair

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Ok here is what I had been working on since the weekend. I had not realized that the narrative had moved on so much, especially in the last day, will try to get another post prepared as soon as I can.

 

 

 

 

With barely a ripple the Vayu surfaced into the real, preserving its momentum it quickly moved away from the wrap breach and drifted silently but with purpose towards the distant star and the Magellan system in general.

 

The Vayu, an Orion Class Star Clipper modified for speed and stealth, had made the transition out beyond the ort cloud of the target system and above the plane of the systems planets. On the bridge the crew was busy, checking equipment, analyzing sensor returns or status readouts. As the minutes dragged on each station reported in, all systems in working order. No signs that they had been spotted, given how far out from the system and the normal wrap translocation points they where, but better to check.

 

“Distance to inner system estimated 45 to 60 days at normal burn, 28 to 32 at high burn.” Reported the Helmsman.

 

Captain Yaralog acknowledged this report like all the others, but it was the Sorcerer, Lukian, who spoke.

 

“Any trace of Huron’s fleet?”

 

“Not yet, long range scan show plenty of in system vessels, both commercial and defense, and what is likely to be an Imperial Navy flotilla.” Stated the senior sensor adept.

 

Tactical added “Based on the plans provided from Huron’s tactical planners the main fleet should arrive within 30 to 40 days, depending on the flow of fate within the Empyrean.”

 

“Wait a little or not?” the captain asked out loud, to no one in particular. The crew knew that Yaralog often mussed to the bridge at large before giving actual orders, so did not respond to the rhetorical question. Timings would have to be precise if they where to deliver their complement of troop as intended, and better to be a little late then to early, as the former would still allow them to deliver while the utter would be death.

 

Lukian on the other had was new to the Vayu, and obviously took the Captains utterance as a request for orders. “Go, we need to be in position to strike when the fleet shows up.”  

 

While nominally in command, as the appointed leader of the Strike force onboard, he had not earned the respect of the bridge crew, nor Captain Yaralog. An Astartes he may be, but his commitment to the Bound Intent measured in mere years, not lifetimes and generation. And battlefield command was hardly a qualification for voidmanship.        

 

The bridge crew glanced to Captain Yaralog, who after a long moment nodded. The kick of the engines starting up was palpable, and while it would take a while to gather full power the acceleration was far greater then Lukian had expected.

 

With the course set they were committed with constant acceleration for about three weeks, then there would come a point for the final decision to commit, divert or delay. If they continue at full acceleration they would skim past the Imperial planet and its defense, able to deploy their troops where they wanted. However if they where to early then the forces would be trapped wherever they deployed and would be overwhelmed by the defenders. The Vayu would need quite some time to decelerate and return, and that would be without the advantages of speed, stealth or surprise.

 

They could delay the final approach a little, but not by much, by cutting the engines and just relying on their build momentum to carry them in. They would be not as fast, but still have a high enough velocity that they were all but uncountable by the imperial defense, bar a lucky strike, and by making the last leg on momentum they would be even harder to detect.

 

Lastly they could divert with a course adjustment and just sail through the plain of the system away from the enemy. However they would take even longer to turn around and get back into range and therefore would essentially be out of the fight even if Huron’s fleet arrived.

 

It would all come down to what inelegance on the enemy’s disposition they could gather, communication from Huron’s fleet, and countless other small factors. 

 

---

 

The alarms rang out across the bridge and other key locations across the ship. In his quarters Captain Yaralog woke with a start, knowing what the alarm meant he rushed for the bridge. Wrap breaches had been detected. Hopefully it was Huron’s Fleet arriving.

 

Four days ago they had to decide which path to take before the choice would become mutely exclusive. With no intelligence as to when the others would arrive rushing in to deploy was too risky in Yaralog opinion and experience, and he preferred to just change course and sail by. However for this mission Lukian position held sway, so the compromise of running silent for the remaining distance, trusting in stealth and acquired momentum and the hope that the fleet would arrive in the next few days.  

 

Reaching the bridge he did not even have to ask for an update, the senior adepts on duty where ready to report.

 

“Multiple wrap breaches across the system, and looks like the new arrivals have immediately opened fire. In system defenses are scrambling. Still waiting for confirmation that it is Huron’s assembled fleet but it seems likely.”

 

“As soon as you have positive identification of Huron’s flagship open communication to confirm and integrate with their tactical. Engines full power, we are a little too far out still. ” He ordered, and then opened a channel to Lukian and the strike force barracks level. “Prepare to deploy, we will be in strike range in a few hours.”

 


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#16
Mazer Rackham

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Garalon is no fool.

 

The Astral Claws Storm Eagle gunship contains only the Circle and a few trusted retainers from the old Legion, even if they were slathered in scarlet and black paint.  This was the beheading strike, the cut to rip out the throat talking to the off-world forces, coordinating the defence which would in time no doubt, become the counter-attack.  The doors to the hangar bay were destroyed by the Eagle's weapons and the ten Terminators deployed, their Imperial Storm Bolters chattering in peals of thunder.

 

Detonations rippled across the defenders who scrambled to form a painfully thin line, exploding into red mist and gobbets of viscera, their Spire House uniforms shredded into burned tatters.

 

+First Talon!  The Astropaths!  Second Talon with me.  We must do homage to the Governor!+

 

His boots thumped down into the remains of their only opposition, trampling flesh to jelly - but he knew that there would be more as the Hive roused to their breach.  It was just how fast they could reach their objectives and cut Magellan's collective throat.

 

Then...

 

Then the Prize.


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My new non-40K book about railguns and powered armour is available now: The Ares Gambit.

My grimdark non-40k book about maniacs with jetpacks and assault rifles is also still around: Children of The Glyph.

 

Of course, you just can’t go wrong with usurping parts from toppled Imperial Fist bastions and shiny Templar plate - just don’t tell Mazer … ;p

 

 


#17
Trokair

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“Coms, relay the following to Huron’s flagship; On behalf of my Masters the Bound Intent is at your services for the payment promised. We will deeply in accordance with your tactical and strategic plans as provided earlier after we have secured our payment. Should the payment be lacking or insufficient after we have secured it we will withdraw. Tell your master Huron that next time we will require payment upfront, l and not in the enemies lines.”

 

Captain Yaralog relaxed a little in his command chair. That the agreed payment was not to hand had nearly caused him to just let the ship fly past and not engage, but the substitute promised, if they could secure it  would more than make up for it. The Masters had given him some leeway in deciding whether they take part in Huron’s assault and that alternative price or prize would be acceptable should there be issue.  

 

He reopened the Channel to the sorcerer Lukian and looped in his second in command as well as several of the senior adepts. “We have a new price agreed for our deployment; unfortunately we will have to secure it for ourselves first. I’ll forward the full intelligence provided by Huron’s spy masters and their tactical analysis, familiarize yourself, and let’s hop the informants where truthful.”   

 

Giving them a moment to scan over the information he just forwarded he continued “Our strike window will be in just over fourty minutes, and will be open for between 272 and 319 seconds according to our current calculations, these will be refined shortly. In that time we must strike, secure the vault and retrieve our payment, then we must redeploy to support the assault on the Fabricaturm. There are already friendly forces engaged on the ground there, though exact information is scares, if in doubt attack the fools of the corpse god.”

 

---

 

Lukian was facing Homunculus Squad five when the 10 minut aler flashed across the deck. Time was almost upon them. Drawing on that other dimension he reached out with his mind and coxed the psy-crystals to life as tech adepts  swarmed over the constructs and attended to the mechanical side. A ritual often repeated, but one were care must always be taken. Checking each mind construct in turn he found them all functional, though two shoed stability degradations, when they got back to the Sirsir they would need their mind construct to be reiterated, or maybe just replaced.

 

Having completed the rites Lukain rejoined his bodyguard and comrades, the only living Astartes on this mission. The rest of the force was five squads of Homunculi of the latest series, all battle proven and reliable. A handfull of Golem war constructs where also being readied, but those would go directly to the Fabricaturm zone, their bulk likely to be a hindrance in the nuns little warren of misery.

 

Mortal troops were also massing for deployment, they would be the third wave and help secure the vaults and guard the adepts that would extract payment.

 

The rumble from the lower deck told Lukain that the Deamon engines were also being awoken, to be deployed as distraction all over the front and behind enemy lines, he was glad that he would not be near them when they were unleashed, unstable and unreliable as they were.

 

Another klaxon alert spoke of the dwindling time until deployment. One last check of his command and the plan and then it would be time to step onto one of the teleportation platforms with his forces.

 

The final countdown begun. “10 seconds until strike” the mechanical synthetic voice of one of the adepts issued from the Teleportarium’s loud speakers,.

 

At five seconds to strike the first wave of telporation platforms activated, sending their cargo of primed explosive, sentry turrets and other nasty unmanned surprises down to the surface. Their success was or failure irrelevant, and certainly not part of any plan, but even if only a few bits got through it would cause confusion and provide cover the main strike.

 

“Three seconds until strike”.

 

Lukain wondered what the view from the bridge would be now, approaching the planet at a ludicrous velocity, the enemy sensors most likely not even having registered their approach.

 

“Two seconds until strike”  

 

The energy build up around him was now palpable, stray arcs of electric discharge into the deck, the hum of the machines. Would they survive this time?

 

“One”

 

The world stretched, twisted, reality was out of lunch for that eternal moment that took no time. The howl of deamons as they passed through their realm, lashing out at prey so near and yet so far.

 

Lukain and his bodyguard found themselves in a chapel, the preying nuns not even having the time to turn towards the crack of displaced air that heralded their arrival when the bolters opened up. The intial slaughter done they moved quickly to secure the room.

 

On Lukain’s HUD the seconds since strike counted down, three seconds spent. As his squad engaged some reinforcements that came in from a side room  Lukain checked the status update of the Homunculi squads, One, three and four reported objectives secured. A spike in squad fours performance drew his attention for a moment; no doubt they had run across a large group of nuns for their kill counter to be so high.

 

Five seconds and squad four reported that it had secured the armory, that only left squad two, supposedly securing the vault. From the HUD feed he could see that they were engaged with the enemy, armoured forms returning fire. So at least they had not ended up inside a wall or worse. Eight seconds and still the firefight raged on.  At twenty seconds the third wave would arrive, it was critical that secure sites were established for them, and the tech adepts would need time to break into the vault.

 

Ordering the closest Homunculi squad to move in to support Lukain and his body guard also headed that way, making short work of any mortal that crossed their path. The other three squads moved outwards, to sweep for strugglers and secure other secondary locations.

 

Fourteen seconds and the vault guardians where finally laid low as now two squads of homunculi bore down on them. Ordering the other squads to deploy their beacons Lukain continued towards the vault.

 

21 seconds since the strike and the HUD was filled with conformation from the unit commanders and tech adepts of the third waves save arrival.

 

39 seconds, armed and organized response where now beginning to clash with the outer perimeter his forces had deployed. The heavies counter attack came from the Arbites fortress to the north of the covenant complex. Other resistance and counter attack, whether local troops or armoured nuns were less of a threat as they were either to scattered or to ill equipped to be a threat to the Astartes equivalent homunculi, that however would not last.

 

Finaly arriving at the vaults entrance Lukain observed the tech adepts busy, aply some arcane machinery to the vaults doors to break them open. He could feel the psychic backlash as wrap energy was drawn in and deployed.

 

60 second, they were falling behind schedule when the vault was finally breached, the tech adepts and their mortal followers swept inside, seeking the promised payment.  Others were busy setting up stronger teleportation beacons and enhancers to take the cargo back onboard.

 

66 seconds, a squad of armoured warriors stormed in, singing some hymns to the corps god, they got four strides into the room before a wall of bolter fire silenced them.

 

83 seconds, the treasure secured and was being ferried out of the vault to the teleportation markers, though Lukain noted items that while valuable was not what they were here for, whether it was out of hast or some adepts trying to amass some private treasure he could not tell, but he made a note to speak Captain Yaralog. The first load disappeared, snatched back to the Vayu.

 

Reviewing the current deployment and engagement he ordered the other squads to retreat. The imperial response to their incursion was ramping up.  

 

137 seconds, time to pull out. the tech adepts where the first to depart, most of their troops went with them while others sought places to go to ground, they would strike back later.

 

180 seconds, ignoring the howl of the imaterium Lukain found himself back aboard the ship. A new countdown begun in his HUD, and also over the Teleportarium’s speakers, counting down to their second deployment, there would be no retreat from this one, the Vayu would shortly be out of range and it would days or weeks for it to slow down and circle back.

 

The adrenalin and rush of the engagement still with them Lukain took a moment to collect himself. There would be more war, more slaughter, for now he had a momentary pause. Time he could not waist. As soon as they had appeared back on board serves and servitors had rushed forward with fresh supplies, to restock the ammunition spent in the initial skirmish. Across the vast chamber the treasure was unloaded and supplies for deployment loaded. He recognized parts for a coms array and sensor tower, no doubt while they were on the ground others had already been teleported to the main front, and command infrastructure deployed.

 

Drawing on the psychic connection to the homunculi Lukain reviewed each mind construct, squad by squad, all where in order, until he came to squad four, it was missing three units. Calling for the cogitator feeds of squad fours sensors he quickly found out why, in the last seconds before being pulled back aboard they had met a heavy counter attack, and the fallen units had been driven out of the teleporter beacon radius.  He made a note to see if they could be retrieved later, but for now the time was running out.

 

298 seconds since the first assault, and back into the frey they went, this time to the Fabricarium war zone. Lightning crackle as the teleporters surged once more.

 

Crew rushed to extinguished resultant fires. The Vayu had exhausted all its energy reserves, and five teleporters where destroyed, and others would need repairs. As it momentum took it beyond the planets reach Captain Yaralog revived the data flow, they had secured payment, and delivered its troops. Once they were far enough to safely start up the engines they could begin the long slow and return some time thereafter to retrieve the surviving troops and hopefully take on additional spoils from a fallen world of the corps god.  


Edited by Trokair, 07 April 2021 - 09:45 PM.

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#18
TechCaptain

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Scairp monitored the chatter on the various vox networks with a smile that was malicious. Skitarii Marshal Rho Kappa Kappa Psi's passing opened opportunities in the Noosphere network as he dug further in keeping the orbital guns offline. With the Marshal down he was able to capture a burst of command codes transferring to the next highest ranked Skitarii, and Scairp knew how to use it effectively. He wouldn't shut down communications like he had with the orbital guns for even now it was a back and forth with the Techpriests of Ryza who form the core of the leaders here. That cyber battle cost him some of the element of surprise anymore as they worked on tracing him down and trying to re-engage their defenses. His main advantage now as they didn't know he was working from one of their command terminals and not a remote link. With the communications he deliberately used the comms to send false reports and confusing orders in the voices of the dead and the living as recorded by his SAM. 

 

All the while this hid his true gains in retrieve tons of information and turning it into things he could gather later on his dataslate and elsewhere. He also laid the groundwork for traps in their systems should they gather their wits enough to find his true purpose. The knowledge that the Battlesmith has started his assualt as well made him even happier in the knowledge everything was going to plan. 


Edited by TechCaptain, 05 April 2021 - 07:42 PM.

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Bloodmoon Hunters Armorial mini
With iron and fire the beast shall be lain low at the hands of the Hunters whose home is under the Bloodmoon. Bloodmoon Hunters on 40k Homebrew Wiki and 40k Theories Youtube Channel. “Here’s to you, Nicola and Bart, Rest forever here in our hearts, The last and final moment is yours,That agony is your triumph.” MGSV

#19
Ancient_Sobek

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Haasek stood atop the rampart, dead bodies heaped around him. As the blood of his enemies dripped from him he raised his eyes to the sky. A low rumble filled the air as bulk conveyors began landing. With the air defenses down and the drop zone under their control they could bring down larger tanks, equipment, and additional troops to secure their beachhead. The massive ships, converted from civilian bulk haulers, shook the ground as they touched down. Their ramps slammed to the ground and began disgorging more heretics to bring this planet to it’s knees.

 

“Ok you bastards, quit playing and rally on my location. Our target is in this sector. The sooner we secure it the sooner we can get off this gods forsaken planet” He sent over the squad com channel.

 

“One sec” He heard Bokar reply. The sound of his massive chain axe roaring then screams of the dying echoed back through the link. “Okay, on my way.”

 

Haasek shook his head and began advancing deeper into the city. The others appeared around him as he advanced, the blood covering their armor attesting to the fierceness of the initial assault.

 

+++++++++

 

As the made their way deeper into the Fabricatorum they could see the carnage that had been caused by the initial orbital bombardments. The bodies of the cities defenders were scattered about the ruins next the to smoking remains of troops transports, battle automata, and artillery emplacements. The squad picked it’s way through the rubble, wary of stumbling upon fresh opposition.

 

Vargus checked the auspex again. According to the data the Heretek had given them, their prize should be located in a mechanicus facility just ahead. He indicated the building and the squad proceeded forward. Haasek had know idea what the artifact was, he just knew it was worth a lot to the Heretek Magos and he was willing to barter handsomely for it. The gods knew they needed it. They had taken heavy losses on Malastare and they needed new supplies and war material to make up the difference. It had been a hard fight, the damned Tarellians had ambushed them, and Rikus has taken a disintegrator to the face. Now they had to train this new pup, Skell. He was good with a blade, but his cockiness was going to get him in trouble. Rikus would have hated him. He chuckled inwardly at the thought.

 

A loud crashing sound shook him from his reverie. The booming thuds shaking the ground announced a new threat.

 

“Get down!” He voxxed as they all dropped prone into the rubble.

 

Ahead he saw two massive shapes approaching through the miasma of smog and smoke from the fires raging across the city. Peaking around the corner of his makeshift cover he got a better look at this newest threat. His preysight tagged the two massive machines as imperial knights, a Warden class and a smaller Armiger class. This was going to be an issue. They weren’t equipped to deal with this kind of armor. He scanned the area looking for an alternate route. They would have to find a way around to get to their target coordinates. Looking to his left he saw a Manufactorum. Part of the wall had been caved in by artillery fire. The mass of machinery inside would hopefully mask them, or at the very least make it more difficult for the knights to maneuver. 

 

He turned back to his pack and used battle cant to signal radio silence, the sharp quick hand gestures indicating their new route and the location of the enemy threat. Each of his brothers nodded their affirmation and began picking their way toward the factory, keeping low to avoid the sensor sweeps from the two knights stalking the area. As Haasek made his way toward the opening, he heard a shrieking warhorn blare out as the armiger caught sight of them. 

 

“Bloody Hell! They found us! GO! GO! GO!” He yelled over the com link as he dove into the factory.

 

The smaller knight barreled through the wall of the building, broken glass and permacrete raining across the factory floor as it tore into the space. The monstrous war engine growled as it tried to pin point its quarry in the darkened building. Moventment caught its eye and it let loose with its thermal spear. The super heated blast ripping into the machinery of the factory as Skell narrowly escaped the destruction, his jump pack carrying him deeper into the building. The knight roared its frustration and send heavy stubber shells flying after the renegade.

 

Haasek made his way to the command lectern, hitting several switches he was able to activate the assembly line. Machines started moving, conveyor belts began sending half build tank chassis through the space, forges roared to life. The factory became fill with a cacophony of machine noise and movement. The knight stalked through the space, the noise and motion confusing its sensors as it growled its frustration. 

 

Looking over the edge of the gantry he was perched on, Haasek saw Bokar making his way toward the knight trying to stay in its blind spot. He brought his power fist up and sent several pistol shots toward the knight’s head. The shells pinged harmlessly off its armor, but succeeded in drawing it’s attention away from the threat approaching from its rear. The armiger let out an angry blurt of noise before sending another blast from its thermal spear toward him. The command lectern took the brunt of the fire, but the force knocked him flat. He scrabbled forward, igniting his jump pack to carry him out of danger as a follow up shot ripped the gantry to pieces.

 

As he landed he heard a roar from Bokar. The renegade charged the knight and swung his massive chaincleaver into the knee joint of the armiger. The teeth broke and shattered as they tore into the rugged metal of the knight’s leg, but it was enough. The structural integrity of the leg gave out and it buckled beneath the weight of the machine. The armiger collared on it’s side. Haasek jumped toward the dying knight. He gripped the hatch with his power fist, ripping it free. He grabbed the pilot inside crushing his head within his clawed hand.

 

There was no time to rest as the knight warden made its entrance. Missile from the launcher on its back slammed into the area as it unleashed a torrent of fire from its gatling cannon. Broken pieces of machinery and shattered tank hulls filled the air as the destructive fury of the knight laid waste to the factory floor. Vargus lept skyward, his tulwar slicing through the chains holding a leman russ turret aloft. The huge chunk of armor swung free on it’s remaining chains, slamming into the side of the knight. The blow staggered it, the machine stumbling to the side. It blared its fury through its warhorn, as it tried to retaliate against its attacker. The gatling cannon spun up, but the damage caused by the turret slamming into it had fouled its ammo feeds. When the pilot tried to fire the gun, the ammunition jammed and exploded, setting off a chain reaction that ripped the arm from the wounded knight. Bellowing in rage it barreled toward the fleeing renegade. It didn’t notice the second traitor land on its carapace.

 

Lothek cackled as he fired his meltagun point blank into the pilot’s hatch. The blast melts a hole straight through the armor cladding, igniting the interior of the cockpit. He yelled triumphantly as he leveled his gun toward the hole to finish off the pilot within. The pistol shot hit his squarely in the abdomen, tearing upward through his hearts. He died instantly, his body falling limp as the knight toppled over. Haasek screamed in rage as he landed next to the body of his pack mate. Skell landed right behind him. He casually pulled a grenade from his belt and tossed It into the steaming hole of the knight’s cockpit, the explosion finishing off whatever left of the loyalist inside.

 

The others landed next to their fallen brother. The pack was wounded now. They removed their helms and looked upon his body. In turn, each scavenged what they could. Ammo, grenades, armor, nothing was wasted. Haasek took his helm to replace his own damaged one. They took one last look and left. They still had a mission to complete.

 

+++++++++

 

“This is it” Vargus said, the chiming of his auspex validating his statement. They were 26 levels below a small, unassuming forgeworks. The building had been rather nondescript, just one more workshop among thousands spread across this sector of the city. By the looks it was the personal forge of a minor tech priest, the tables and benches strewn with various mechanical projects in various states of repair or dissection. Skell had been the one to notice the small scuffs on the workshop floor that told of the hidden door in the back wall of the storeroom. The door had led to a lift that took them deep into the substrata of the city.

 

The lift had led them to a vault door, its surface etched in strange markings and warding symbols. None of them had ever seen anything like them before, yet they had a disturbing familiarity. It was like something deep within the oldest parts of their brains recognized the danger these markings warned of. Pushing his unease aside, Haasek gripped the handle of the vault door and swung it open. They hadn’t come this far to turn back.

 

Beyond the door was another workshop, this one however was quite different. It was clear that whatever magos used this space was studying knowledge that was both proscribed and heretical. Glass cylinders lined one wall, mutated bodies filling each one. The occupants appeared to be some sort of human/animal crossbreed. Their features bringing to mind the things that dwell deep in the oceans. The space was also littered with weird artifacts, sculptures, and other archeological treasures. They tables were strewn with dusty books and drawings of the artifacts. Each covered in footnotes and data entries in a crabbed spidery script.

 

Haasek wasn’t sure what to make of the workshop, but it definitely seemed like the place there prize would be found. “Spread out, search the area. You will know what we are looking for when you find it.” He said.

 

He walked over to the main work bench and began looking through the items scattered upon it. The notes he read were confusing but seemed to indicate that the magos was part of an archeological dig on a remote plateau of a local planet. His team had discovered pre-imperial ruins of some long dead alien race. He had shipped the artifacts back to his lab here and had tried to catalog them. The scribbles became more erratic and the text less lucid as he looked through the other notes scattered about. Nothing that indicated the location of their prize though.

 

He walked deeper into the workshop marveling at the bizarre experiments and arcane devices littering the place. In the back of the shop he found a passage leading to a smaller room. The space was decorated with hexagonal tiles each marked with the same runes they had seen on the vault door. Against the far wall stood a small effigy of a bizarre alien being, its form unnatural and disturbing. Standing in front of the effigy was Vargus, he was looking at something sitting on the small table below the icon, his form lit by the votive candles strewn about the room.

 

Haasek walked closer, “What did you find?” He asked his pack brother.

 

“I… I think this is it” Vargus replied, he went silent again as he stared down at the object before him.

 

The item was a small polyhedral gem. Each facet had been meticulously crafted and each edge was unnervingly sharp. The gem was for want of a better word, perfect. The material it was made from was hard to determine. It was a crystal so black it seemed to swallow the light, yet it also seemed to shine with an unnatural light. This dichotomy made Haasek’s head ache. The gem was resting inside a small wooden box lined with satin. Upon closer inspection microscopic wards were woven into the delicate fabric swaddling the precious artifact. 

 

Haasek reached forward and closed the lid of the box hiding the gem from their eyes. Immediately the feeling in the room shifted, as if a dark cloud had been lifted. He put the small box into a pouch on his belt and slapped Vargus on the shoulder. 

 

“Let’s go, we got what we came for” he said as they both took one last look at the bizarre icon.


Edited by Ancient_Sobek, 14 April 2021 - 02:51 AM.

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#20
Petragor

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The Battlesmith and his mechanical servant move through the more narrow alleys of the Fabricatorums, working their way towards the thick of the fighting.

They pass the occasional Skitarii warrior, and even some horribly lost manufactorum workers. All they come across are cut down by chainsword or poweraxe, or shot in the back by Ollkyrax when they attempt to flee. Barely slowed down, the pair of invaders continue towards the landing site of the main force.

Reaching a courtyard, they’re almost immediately pinned down by fire from Galvanic rifles, as a squad of Skitarii rangers respond to the approaching threat their sensor specialist detected through their omnispex. Taking cover with his creation, Ollkyrax has only a limited angle of vision to observe the battlefield.

In the middle of the courtyard beyond, one of the dunecrawlers who shot down many of the Battlesmith’s vessels earlier continues to fire it’s Icarus Array skyward, resulting in an increasingly large portion of the vessels above transforming into balls of flame. This dunecrawler is also equipped with a top-mounted Cognis Heavy Stubber, which the Skitarii Gunner manning it uses to suppress the followers of Huron in front of it. Small pockets of cultists sit trapped in buildings, occasionally peeking out to look for an opening in the defense which doesn’t exist. A few of the more foolhardy attackers lie dead in the courtyard, their corpses rotting at an accelerated rate thanks to the radioactive aura of the nearby Skitarii Vanguard acting as a front line against any that would threaten the dunecrawler behind them.

Ollkyrax sends out a signal to his subordinates using his dataslate, and receives word that the the group of nearby servitors and Tech-slave controllers are among the supressed, hiding behind the doors of a nearby warehouse instead of throwing away their limited number of servitors on a useless suicide assault. However, with their leader on the scene, an assault will be costly but not suicidal. The Battlesmith transmits his orders.

“Have the Strifes to attack the Vanguard in front, and use your own weapons to supress the squad of Rangers in the rear. That’ll be all the opening I need.”

Moments later, the warehouse doors in the edge of the courtyard burst open, releasing a horde of Strifes rushing towards the defenders, followed quickly by a plentiful, but inaccurate autogun fire, as the Tech-slaves struggle to shoot their target in the Chaos. It works however, as the defending Skitarii turn their attention toward the Strifes and the Rangers seek cover from the incoming shots, Ollkyrax seizes his chance. Charging forward with his own Strife, they close before the pinned Rangers can fire on their approach, and most are quickly cut down by the swings of the Battlesmith’s poweraxe. However, their leader, the Ranger Alpha, draws a Power Sword and blocks the strike intended for him, aiming an Arc pistol capable of damaging armored vehicles back at Ollkyrax. As he shoots however, the Battlesmith’s conversion field turns the incoming destruction into a bright light, leaving the entire Ranger squad around him blinded.

Letting the Strife servitor finish the scattered Rangers, Ollkyrax runs towards the Dunecrawler and climbs on top. The Gunner notices him, but is unable to swing his Cognis Weapon back to face his attacked as Ollkyrax delivers a swift las-round through his chest, wounding him. The Gunner tries to escape into the dunecrawler and close the hatch on the Heretek, but this plan is rendered useless when Ollkyrax manages to strike the hinges, preventing it from closing. As he climbs inside and swiftly kills the rest the crew inside, some of the shots impact the interior components. The dunecrawler detects this slight and the machine spirit within screams a song of rage and sacrifice, one which Ollkyrax recognizes. The vehicle would rather Self-destruct than let itself be captured by Hereteks.

Climbing out of the dunecrawler and jumping off the roof as quickly as he can, Ollkyrax escapes death as the armored crawler explodes behind him. Debris flies all around, and the Conversion field groans and sparks under the pressure of the projectiles, but manages to stay activated. The Vanguard are less Lucky, and the injuries they sustain from the blast are enough for the Strife servitors and cultists to push through and end them.

As the radiation-ravaged Strife Servitors stumble back towards the repair facility Ollkyrax secured earlier, the Battlesmith checks his dataslate once again to organize the less damaged servitors, and decide the next move his forces will take. Looking at the tactical data he is receiving from the Sightless Seer, he notices a Group of heretic Astartes nearby, fighting through the defenders stationed there. Ollkyrax gives a binaric signal to move towards that location. Linking up with the Space Marines would aid the battle effort, and perhaps lessen the casualties the Strifes were enduring in the ground battles.

Edited by Petragor, 05 April 2021 - 08:00 PM.

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#21
Mazer Rackham

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With the last great gasp, the final Ogryn bodyguard died, pinned against the wall by Garalon's stormshield.  There was a dull, wet slap as the mace thumped the brute's head into ruin, then relative silence.

 

The floor and walls dripped with gore and scraps of half-charred meat, the power field of Skullcracker burning with ozone stink, where it boiled off the bodily fluids in a reek of grisly perfume.  The figure on the throne at the centre of the marble dais was stock still - sheeted in blood, he looked as though he too was a corpse, but it was merely the fact he was soaked in the blood of his courtiers and the nobles of the upper spire of Hive Magellan Primus.

 

"Traitor!  Heretic!  Vandal!" the Governor spat, his military uniform was sodden dark red from its former navy blue.  He shuddered on the throne, forcing the words out, with defiance being the only weapon he had.

 

Garalon reflected upon the Tyrant, also ensconced on his command seat high in orbit, raining down fire and lunatics onto a white-marble city now smashed and broken, smeared with crimson stains and soot. He switched off the active power field and dropped the mace head to the ground, cracking the slab underneath.

 

+Where is the Engine?+

 

"I know not of what you speak."

 

+Lying is a sin, is it not?  I will have to help you find the truth,+ and so saying, he advanced, leaving Skullcracker standing proud.  His gauntlet gripped the Governor's left arm and wrenched brutally hard, the crack and snap of ligaments horrific in the quiet.  +Where is the Engine?"

 

Garalon lifted the man, now a ragdoll.

 

The Governor spat, the bloody slime running down the blunt face of the Terminator helm.  "Go to hell."

 

+Let's go there together.+

 

He reached for the other arm.


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My new non-40K book about railguns and powered armour is available now: The Ares Gambit.

My grimdark non-40k book about maniacs with jetpacks and assault rifles is also still around: Children of The Glyph.

 

Of course, you just can’t go wrong with usurping parts from toppled Imperial Fist bastions and shiny Templar plate - just don’t tell Mazer … ;p

 

 


#22
Ancient_Sobek

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Bokar cursed as he handed the scope back to Haasek. Across the city square they could see the rendezvous point were they were supposed to exfil from. Unfortunately a PDF platoon was moving right across their route. The guardsman before them posed little threat, though there was always something to be said for mass lasgun fire. It was the storm lord tank accompanying them that would be the tougher nut to crack.

 

The metal behemoth was a rolling arsenal, loaded with heavy boaters, Lascannons, and last but not least the Vulcan Mega-bolter that would shred them before they could even get close. This was the last thing they wanted to tackle, but the window for their pickup was closing fast. If they didn’t get off planet soon they would be stuck here. Haasek took another quick look at he approaching tank and then scanned the surrounding buildings. His eyes stopped on the the construction crane atop the manufactorum to their left. He looked again at the the tank before turning back to his pack.

 

“I have an idea”

 

“Is it a good one?” Bokar asked?

 

“Depends if I live through it. Now here is what I need you to do.”

 

Haasek had made his way quickly to the roof of the manufactorum. The construction crane attached to the building loomed over the square below. He clung to the crane arm as he made his way along it, going slowly so as not to draw the attention of the troops marching past below. He checked that everything was ready and watched as the enemy marched below him, as the tank came into position he said a curse under his breath and stepped off the crane.

 

The soldiers marching along were oblivious to the dark mass falling silently from the sky above. At the last second Haasek ignited his jump pack halting his meteoric descent as he slammed into the troop hold of the tank. His legs buckled as he crashed into the floor of the hold, the gunners manning the stubbers turned in shock at the large heretic suddenly among them. Haasek thumbed the activation stud of his chain axe and lashed out, bisecting one of the guardsman. The other frantically tried to pull a sidearm but Haasek rolled toward him slamming the guardsman through the armor plating with his power fist.

 

Getting to his feet he unlocked the delta charge from his belt and attached it to the crew door leading into the tank. He set the timer and dove back, using the corpse of one of the guardsman as an improvised shield. The concussive blast slammed into him, knocking him back against the far side of the troop hold. Tossing the body aside he Tossed a couple of frag grenades into the gaping hole were the hatch had been before charging in.

 

+++++++++

 

Bokar laughed as he watched Haasek drop from the crane onto the storm lord. “Ok, the crazy bastard has done it. Wait for his signal” he voxxed the others. 

 

They had each made their way within striking distance of the column of troops using the debris littering the square to mask their movements. Each waited for the chance to engage the PDF troops, their weapons primed and ready. The sound of the tank rumbling through the streets was almost deafening. The ground shook as its mighty treads ground the permacrete to dust. They could feel the pulsing beat of its engines vibrating the air around them. There was a loud boom from the rear of the tank and it suddenly ground to a halt. The troops stopped and turned at the sound of the noise, their lasguns rising at the possible threat from behind them.

 

Silence followed for a few seconds as the troops grew more uneasy. The company commander cursed under his breath at the sudden delay. These troops were needed urgently in the southwest sector to shore up the failing defenses in that area of the city. Damned tankers always think they are running the show he cursed to himself as he started toward the tank. They better have a good reason for this hold up or some unfortunate trooper was going to have a very bad day explaining it to the commissariat. “Don’t stand there like a bunch of useless servitors, get back in formation!” He bawled as he stalked toward the storm lord. 

 

There was a metallic click and the mega-boaters exploded into life. A torrent of deadly fire ripped through the troop column. Bodies were scattered like leaves before a hurricane. Those directly in the path of the cannons were turned to a fine pink mist that rained blood and vicera down upon the horrified troops that remained.

 

+++++++++

 

That must be it, Skell thought as he saw the soldiers ripped apart by the unexpected attack. He toggled the igniter on his jump pack and leapt toward the frightened troopers. His twin chainswords whirled around him as he landed butchering men left and right. He saw Vargus land 20 meters to his left his power blade slicing into a las cannon that a heavy weapons team was frantically trying to set up. His return stroke slicing neatly through their necks, heads tumbling to the ground. Bokar landed to his right. The giant roared as he tore through the troopers, frantic lasgun fire pinging off his armor as his chain cleaver reaped a bloody path toward the front of the tank.

 

Skell unhooked a couple of frag grenades and tossed them into the mass of bodies before launching himself skyward. A stray shot from a heavy stubbier clipped his pack and sent him spiraling into the crowd. He rolled to his feet, hitting the emergency release and dropping his damaged pack. He charged toward the command squad in front of him. He tossed his chainsword at the trooper with the grenade launcher. It flipped end over end before burying itself in the soldier’s chest, the grinding teeth pulling it deeper into the body as it fell. His hand free he drew his bolt pistol and fired wildly ahead, the squad dodging the shots as he closed the distance. Skell brought his other chainsword up in a viscous swing, bisecting the squad’s medic in a flurry of gore. The blade reached it’s apex and swung back down toward the Vox operator. The trooper twisted as the blade fell, the teeth of the chainsword biting into the bulky communications gear. His blade was ensured and he was pulled off balance as the Vox operator stumbled and fell. He cursed as he felt a sharp pain in his side. He turned his head to see the company banner speared into his side. The sharpened point of the banner pole dug into his guts as his blood soaked the cloth of the banner. He tumble to his side as the force of the banner bearer’s attack bowled him over. He rolled onto his back, tearing his helmet from his head. He coughed and dark rich blood spattered his face an armor. He heard the crunch of approaching footsteps as the trooper came closer. Skell lifted his bolt pistol feeble, but the gun fell from his hand as the blood loss took its toll. The banner bearer drew his sword, reversing his grip before stabbing it into the heretic’s throat.

 

+++++++++

 

Haasek tore into the tank’s fire controls with his power fist rendering the tank useless. Wading through the blood and body parts strewn across the tank’s turret control room he made his way back toward the blown hatch to join his comrades. There was a lurch that threw him off balance as the tank suddenly started moving again. Haasek cursed as he was knocked to the deck. He scrambled toward the hatch to the lower control rooms. There must be somebody below trying to operate the machine. Gripping the handle he pulled as hard as he could, but he hatch wouldn’t budge. With no more meta charges he would have to find an alternative solution. A click of static came from his vox unit “Huntmaster to Hounds, eta 30 seconds. Prepare for exfil.”

 

Haasek grinned as he sent a reply. “Hound 1 to Huntmaster, be advised, LZ is underattack. There is a big bastard here. I’ve disabled the main guns, but enemy is attempting to gain control. Light him up.”

 

“Roger Hound 1, coming in hot”

 

Haasek pulled himself free of the turret and launched himself skyward as the sound of the storm eagle filled the sky. He landed and dove for cover as the missiles from the war bird tore overhead, screaming toward the enormous tank.

 

+++++++++

 

Bokar strode through the mass of troops, his great chain cleaver a wave of mutilation before him. He could feel the las fire bouncing off his armor, a few rare shots penetrating deeper. He growled in annoyance as he moved. He could feel his body reacting to the damage, healing itself as he went. 

 

He heard the tank’s engine rev behind him before it started crawling forward again. Bokar and his prey turned and ran from the metal behemoth bearing down on them. He shoved enemy troopers out of his way as he fled. Many stumbled and fell. He could hear their screams as they were crushed beneath the advancing treads.

 

Over the earthshaking growl of the storm lord’s engines he made out a new sound. The high pitched scream of airborne ordinance. He lifted hid head to see a swarm of missiles streaking toward his location. He ignited his jet pack as they shot past trying to desperately clear the blast zone. He could feel the heatwave of the explosion envelope him before a heavy weight struck him in the back. His body was knocked from the sky and tumbled to the ground. 

 

+++++++++

 

Haasek saw the spinning chunk of armor strike Bokar square in the back. The jagged metal impaling him and dropping him from the sky. The body tumbled to the ground and came to rest. The unnatural bend of his limbs signaling that he was dead. He cursed under his breath as he made his way toward the landing zone on the other side of the battle.

 

The storm eagle made a loop and dove back into the square, its guns blazing. The fire scattered the remaining enemy as the ship came to a hover, its rear hatch open. Haasek saw Lokar fly into the storm eagle’s troop hold. He ignited his own pack adjusting his vector to rendezvous with the hovering craft. He took one final look at the battlefield as he left. He saw Skell’s broken body, a bloody banner draped across him. He also saw Bokar’s cleaver. It had fallen from his dying hands as he was struck down. It had landed tip down into the fleeing back of the PDF commander. Bokar would have found that incredibly entertaining.

 

As his feet hit the deck of the storm eagle’s ramp he grasped Lokar’s arm. His last pack mate held him firm against the whipping wind as the ship took off across the sky once more. 

 

“Do you still have it?” Lokar asked over the howling wind.

 

“Yes” Haasek said as he pulled the small wooden box from his belt pouch. “This had better be worth it.”

 

Lokar took the box from him “I’m sure it will be” he said before giving Haasek a violent kick toward the still open hatch.

 

Haasek hit the deck, his body rolling as the airship jinked through the tracer filled sky. He slid to the edge of the ramp before finding his grip. He fought against the howling gale as the storm eagle tore through the sky. He saw Lokar loom above him, gripping the Box in one hand and the ramp’s hydraulic strut with the other.

 

“YOU BASTARD!!” Haasek cursed at the traitor.

 

“We are all bastards” Lokar replied before kicking Haasek free. Watching as his former pack leader tumbled into the roiling smoke and fire below.

 

+++++++++

 

Lokar closed the ramp and made his way to the grav seat, strapping himself in as the storm eagle accelerated out of the atmosphere and away from the war below. As the ship rocked beneath him he opened the box once more. His eyes drawn to the dark brilliance of the ancient gem, the chittering whispers once again caressing his deepest thoughts.

 

“Shall we set course for the Magos my lord?” The serf-pilot asked over his comlink.

 

“No.” he said “No, we have received a better offer.”

 

 


Edited by Ancient_Sobek, 14 April 2021 - 02:53 AM.

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#23
Xin Ceithan

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++++++++++++

 

Two orbs of plasma punch into the bright red armor and the Sororita  collapses backward into the mess  that has become  the militia column’s rearguard. Reloading, Yshan turns towards the last sister of battle still left standing. Well, not exactly standing..

 

The Sorcerer has mostly ignored the mass of mortals  around him, apart from a quick slash of his blade or a blast from his flame projector.  The men and women of the militia are caught somewhere between atavistic panic and helpless fury, mostly dependent on their distance to the carnage the heretic Astartes is causing  among them. Their emotions are feeding the Great Ocean  either way, but they are just morsels thrown into the tides and their small souls will not hold the attention of the Neverborn for long.

 

The female warriors of the Adeptus Sororitas are  another matter entirely. They are an elite force and seasoned veteran all, even if they ultimately lack the transhuman capabilities of one of the Legiones Astartes. Under more favorable conditions, Yshan would delight in an opportunity to match his blade work with them or at least taunt them for their shortsighted devotion to their corpse of an Emperor.

 

Not today. 

 

The  fight on the skyway is fast becoming a sort of microcosm describing the battle for greater Magellan all around them.

Yshan has initially been able to use the general confusion and the element of surprise to ambush the Imperials and taken down a few key assets, leaving the mortals in disarray. But there is still quite a lot of them and from the other side of the skyway, more Sororitae are on their way towards him, heavily armed, annoyingly pious as they rally the militia around them. The shrine of a tank closest to him is turning it’s turret, also attempting to find a clear field of fire. As proclaimed defenders of human, they have been reluctant in turning their guns on the people of Magellan to kill a single renegade Astartes, but Yshan knows that that reluctance is also running out fast,

 

War is a numbers game and the numbers are not in his favor. 

At least, that is what they were  going to tell you if asked one of the dullards clinging to the Codex Astartes.

 

Because, of course, Numbers can be tempered with. 

Which is sort of the point here. Numbers are also a bit  dull in the end and the Gods do not look kindly on those who bore them. Understandable, in a way.

 

So, this isn’t just about numbers. It is about entertainment.

 

None of the battle sisters among the rear guard Yshan  is currently engaging are actually dead.  Not yet. The mass of mortals might be easily overlooked but the continued suffering of those sworn to the Corpse Emperor punch a series of ethereal spotlights into the Veil. Yshan hopes it enough to catch a brief moment of attention. 

 

The single remaining Sororita is still clinging to the devotional banner she was carrying. It is still being held painfully erect, and the woman is using it to steady herself over the ruin of her shattered leg. She begins pulling herself up along the heft of the banner pole. Literally and figuratively still protected and supported by her faith in the Emperor, that one. Yshan grins, approving of  the symbolism. 

 

Wonderful. 

 

He really hopes the gods are watching.  If anything, Yshan still considers himself a master of tactical theatrics. He wouldn’t have survived in this game for all this time any other way. 

 

The battlesister fumbles for her holster, hate in her eyes. Yshan lunges forward, jump pack flaring.

 

Let’s give them a show.

 

His smashes into her armoured frame, shoulder first, barreling them  into a group of mortals. His mind’s eye is still open, so he is not just relying on the already impressive speed of his genhanced body. This fight is already over.

 

Revelation snaps up on his right, the force blade catching her left forearm just  before the warrior can bring the bolt pistol to bear. The shot detonates in the crowd. 

 

Sparks fly as he lets the blade slide down under her arm, aiming for  the weak points along her  joints. A sharp pain flares on his left as she slams the bladed end of the banner tip into his flank. As predicted. Inconsequential. If he doesn’t finishes this fast, that will be least of his worries. 

 

Grunting, Yshan  focuses on the pain, letting it flow through his mind and into the blade. A greenish hue dances along the force blade, warp lightning arcing from the unhallowed nails impaling the eagle winged skull at the hand guard. The Woman curses at this display of witchcraft, the curse is cut short, turning into a scream as the blade burns through the joint. 

 

Another shout. Close. Looking up, Yshan can see more red armored forms pushing to the crowd,  coming to the aid of their sister. They are almost upon them. Another stab through his Armor’s  flank brings his attention back to the Sister in front of him. 

Another curse, another sting.  Spit runs down the visor of  his helmet. Charming.

In return, he  butts the bulk of his helmet into her face. This relationship has clearly moved beyond words.

 

A flick of his wrist cuts Revelation free, then he slings his blade arm under her right shoulder. He hooks his left under her other shoulder and triggers the flame projector into the crowd behind them, more to cover his next move than for anything. A thought, a grunt and the jump pack fires.

 

The engines roar in protest as they begin to lift with the additional weight of the struggling battlesister. The machine spirit clearly does not approve of his newest acquisition. 

 

Bolt shells detonate around them. Apparently, the sisterhood has decided to spare her companion the disgrace of being captured by the enemy. You have to respect that sort of dedication. 

 

Explosions bloom around them. His force field manages to shield them from  the worst of it, but the erratic blinking of increasingly angry runes tells him that the ancient piece of technology   is already operating at capacity and only seconds from failure.

 

They might just make it. But, of course, the gods very much prefer the story to have a certain twist. 

 

Another volley of Bolger fire catches them and one, finally, punches through the shimmering oil-on- water skin of the shield. The jump pack wails as one  of the engine sputters, then fails.

 

Trailing smoke, Yshan and his unwilling companion spiral down, then drop rather unglamorously just behind one of the statues of some obscure Imperial Saint lining the skyway. A sharp yell. Even in power armour, the human body is not designed to break the fall of an armoured Warrior of the Legiones Astartes.  Yshan feels something break beneath him as they slam into another.

 

Shards of rockcrete and shrapnel ricochet around them. But for  the moment, at least, the blocky representation of St. Dogan the Cripple is taking the brunt of it. Yshan shakes his head.

 

“You know, if the Emperor decides to protect the likes of me, you people really should reconsider your commitment...” Yshan remarks to no one in particular.

 

The Battlesister herself is by now barely conscious, mumbling, coughing up blood. Yshan reaches for her mouth, almost gently, catching the liquid. Then, the Sorcerer begins to chant and slowly, uses the talons of his gauntlet to carve a set of runes into her face. There are voices over the vox, something about the space port, but Yshan has no time for this now. He can feel the Neverborn circling around them and this part calls for focus and precision. A moment of lapse, a single imperfect carving and everything will be ruined. 

 

He lets out a deep breath. There. 

 

Yshan  takes a last look at his work, at her. Her breath is unsteady and weak. Wisps  of Smoke are coming from her lips. Unlight  begins to gleam behind her fluttering, half closed eye lids. 

 

Hooking  her head up in his left fist, the Sorcerer brings Revelation to bear. A clean cut. The body drops. Smoke streams from the stumps. It takes all of his gifts and experience to continue the invocation and find that one moment between the gunfire still raking their position. 

 

Now. 

 

Yshan leans out, inhumanly fast and casts his grossly projectile down, lobbing it between the squad of Sororitas on the Skyway. 

As he drops back into cover, he can just make one of the Sisters of Battle throwing herself forward, willing to shield her sisters with her body just as her compatriots go prone and attempt to find cover themselves.

 

 Everything is in place. Yshan gives a small praise to any god willing to listen as he once more attempts to ignite his jump pack.

The machine spirit wails, sputters once but then obeys.

 

Lifting from behind the ruined statue, Yshan makes out the the Sororitae below. In the middle of them, the would-be martyr is laying on her side, apparently  confused and staring at the ruined skull she just dragged out from under her body. It is still belching smoke.

 

Yshan can only imagine her face, hidden beneath her helmet.

He starts to laugh.

 

The leading battlesister is on her feet already, shouting, pointing a sword at Yshan. They lock eyes briefly.  The remaining Sisters bring their bolt guns to bear.

 

Yshan raises Revelation in front of him in a mock salute, still rising.

 

Suddenly, Sound  and light seem eerily distorted, as if the skyway had been submerged under running water all of a sudden. The image is rippling, rolling like waves. 

 

Then the screech. hit. 

 

Everything  on the skyway waves, wobbles and then either  burns, melts or simply explodes as the serpentine moon silver form  of Sabin yr Cuthil vents the full force of his primordial scream into the mass of Imperial defenders. What Reality is left behind is irrevocably scarred. 

 

Yshan’s jumpack settles him unsteadily and seemingly out  of breath on the roof of  nearby hab-block. Even just of range, his head is ringing and his witchsight burns both from the massive tide of unreality just unleashed and the sheer magnificence of being so close to the Fang Thane.

 

You simply have to love a good performance. 

 

Thus exhausted, Yshan is just a bit too slow when another shadow falls over him. 

 

Turning, he can just make out the similar massive, if rather less elegant, shape of a Thunderhawk gunship bearing down on the skyway, apparently in pursuit of the Helldrake Prince of the Host Mercurial. 

Still his  Astartes senses allow him to take in the black, white and red herald,y of the hated Black Templars... Guns blaze. The deep booming of heavy ordinance. 

 

“Throne in...”

 

Yshan jumps. 

 

He doesn’t need any form of precognitive gift to know he won’t be fast enough. 

 

Noise and heat blossom around him. It is almost beautiful.

 

The explosion whips him from the roof.

 

++++


Edited by Xin Ceithan, 18 April 2021 - 03:52 PM.

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#24
Mazer Rackham

Mazer Rackham

    ++ SCLOPETATOR SIMULAMINIS ++

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Garalon stands still, admiring the spinning globe that is no doubt The Engine.

 

It is a thing of beauty, in a strange mechanical way.  Cube shaped, it is a dark steel, the outer skin lined with myriad ports and pits that glow with a crimson light.  White arcs of raw energy pulse over it and it spins slowly, oscillating without touching the exposed power conduits that seem to bind it in an ever-tumbling axis.

 

He allowed the twisted remains of the Governor to flop down onto the floor, and he carefully opened the large maglocked case at his waist to extract a strange, short rod.  One end is brass and copper bound in a grip more suited for a smaller hand, whilst the rest is a shaft of obsidian with a steel, pyramid tip.  As he extended the wand in his hand towards the Engine, it responded, slowing in rotation until it fully stops.  The power of the generatorium-altar began to fade and the chamber is cast into a sepulchral half-light.

 

+Now, take it, use the rod,+ a voice snarled in his ear, the cold commanding edge upset by a ragged mouth and raw throat.

 

Garalon reached out and as his questing fingers touched the device he pushed it, the giant block of metal solidly refusing to move.  Bringing up the wand, it revolved once more, presenting a port the right size.

 

He slotted the wand in, the cube snaring round it with a sharp snap.  Two bulky grips erupted from the surface, and sheathing his weapons, Garalon took the handles and pulled.  The device almost unbalances him with how light it is, almost is if it isn't fully there.

 

A warning klaxon erupts across the chamber, and he suspected the entire Hive Primus.

 

++ Warning.  Habitat Ultima/Gyroscopic Harmony/Interrupted.  Vacate Locale. ++

 

++ Damage Control Warning.  Destruction Level: Structural Extinction.  360 seconds.++

 

++ Ave Mechanicum. ++

 

Garalon knew it was time to get back to the Wolf.  +Second Talon! Stand by to teleport!+

 

+ 356.+

 

The strange cerulean wisps of smoke and crackling of dirty non-lightning began to circle the members of Second Talon.  The Engine didn't seem bothered by it in the slightest.

 

+ 300.+

 

A strange grinding noise began above the combat team, the ancient plascrete ceiling and rockrete gargoyles began to shudder and crack, then with a howl which could have been the exhalation of an angry god, or Garalon's own lungs turned into a gale-force wind as the teleportarium snatched them all from the belly of a dying beast.

 

+ 250... +

 

The count continued, as the hive began to fall apart - a jigsaw of engineering now a ruin, held by threads of fear and the prayers of the populace.


  • Xin Ceithan, TechCaptain, Ancient_Sobek and 1 other like this

My new non-40K book about railguns and powered armour is available now: The Ares Gambit.

My grimdark non-40k book about maniacs with jetpacks and assault rifles is also still around: Children of The Glyph.

 

Of course, you just can’t go wrong with usurping parts from toppled Imperial Fist bastions and shiny Templar plate - just don’t tell Mazer … ;p

 

 


#25
Mazer Rackham

Mazer Rackham

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++ MAGELLAN'S DEVILS ++

 

+ PHASE III +

 

Hall of Reliquaries, the Unrelenting Crusader (Black Templars Strike Cruiser) 1945 Zulu, 999.M41

 

"Huron Blackheart runs, whilst the dogs he leaves behind fight over the scraps.  If only we arrived sooner."

 

Castellan Garvald stood in his simple black and white robes, feeling the shudder of the deck as his gunnery officers brought their macrocannon to bear on the enemy ships still lingering outside the dropzones of the planet.  It was fortuitous, the desperate psychic message reaching the Black Templar flotilla of four Strike Cruisers, escorting a crusade force back from prosecuting a war against the bestial Orks.  A massive body of the Imperial Guard stood ready at muster for an emergency deployment, but the Black Knights would go in first, despite what Inquisitor Pol Renthor demanded.

 

Garvald grimaced.  The human was in a position within the Hereticus, a Lord of some repute, but such titles and webs of intrigue did not impress the Castellan.  He would be foolish to ignore them, but more so to be cowed.  He grunted.

 

"Lord?"

 

Garvald looked at the young Swordbrother who was the Serjant of his bodyguard.  Eight men strong and true knelt in his audience, as was proper.  He ceased caressing the banner of the Fighting Company and strode over to them, a rough smile of apology on his face.  He gave his right knuckle to the man who touched his forehead to it.  "Rise friends."

 

The hum and jostle of intricately carved warplate and silver devotional chains filled the hall with muted chime.  Garvald nodded, it was appropriate.

 

They got up to follow him as he strode to the window overlooking the world of Magellan.  A week of fighting was announced by the large fires burring like orange lamps in the cities below, a pall of blackened ash streaked across the sky, the powdered remains of a hive and all within pulverised.

 

Signal traffic from Knight Houses engaged with maniacs, the Holy Orders of the Sororitas mown down by heavy weapons and the bludgeons of the Arbites broken and trampled by Heretics, whilst mounted oathbreakers ran roughshod over the debris, the screaming engines of bikes and the livid howls of Helldrakes torturing whoever was foolish or unlucky enough to still be alive and outside a bastion.

 

Enough blood had been paid to win the time needed for him to arrive.  The planet could still be saved.

 

The Emperor had indeed guided them - but he still felt the bitter shame under his tongue at having taken so long.  It wasn't his fault, but the notion wouldn't be shed.

 

"Bring my harness," he called over his shoulder, "and prepare the Fighting Company for immediate Drop Pod Assault.  Today, the Heretics who malign this world, shall die."

 

The thump of eight fists to breastplate answered his challenge.

 

On the Back foot:

 

Alright everyone, this is where we start condensing everything.  Over the course of two weeks, your warbands have been beating up everything in sight, but now the Imperium has arrived in style and are going to put paid to your shenanigans for once and for all (mostly).  As well as the remnants of the Sororitas and Arbites, the PDF and IG levies, the Space Marines and fresh, crack troops in the form of the Elysian 577th have begun to land by grav chute and drop pod, mainly in the Fabricatum zone.

 

With the destruction of the hive, the other zones are basically rubble, dotted by sturdy defences, and so there's an oddball kind of siege going on, where there are islands of Imperial Defence amongst the sea of filthy heretics doing whatever ghastly things they want.

 

Knight House Heracles (after being beaten up by some of you) and their AM Skitarii forces (armed with very naughty Galvanic Rifles) are now working closely with the Black Knights.

 

Inquisitor Renthor has decided to land in an Arbites precinct to the south of the collapsed hive, in the destroyed Commercia District, where he shelters with his Stormtrooper bodyguard.  He has issued a challenge over the vox-caster network, which is being blared from warhorns, emergency sirens, and the like for the Heretics to come and face their doom.

 

"Filthy traitors, you cannot hide, nor can you withstand the majesty of the Emperor!  You are all judged Diabolous, Extremis Perfidia!  Come and die dogs, cowards, tools of Huron!  Tonight, Devils of Magellan, you will answer to the God-Emperor for your crimes! Tonight you repent!"

 

If you haven't already, arrange for your characters to bump into one another.  Perhaps one of you gets into trouble and another for pragmatic reasons, saves them.  This begins the web of intrigue and favours owed and starts the building of party dynamics.  Pick who you're going to stand with, narratively fight your way to or with them, and then I will start Structured Time so you can have a glorious last stand.

 

I will start with everyone in the Fabricatorum zone.


  • TechCaptain and Necronaut like this

My new non-40K book about railguns and powered armour is available now: The Ares Gambit.

My grimdark non-40k book about maniacs with jetpacks and assault rifles is also still around: Children of The Glyph.

 

Of course, you just can’t go wrong with usurping parts from toppled Imperial Fist bastions and shiny Templar plate - just don’t tell Mazer … ;p

 

 






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