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To Plunder The Stars Themselves, Episode 2

Iron Gods PBP

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#26
Mazer Rackham

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At the mention of blades, Orphiel slowly scanned the rack.  There were chainswords of various marks and states of repair, some looked almost brutish in their construction, and he could see they were obviously repurposed Orkish cleavers.  As he deftly stepped around Decimus, who proceeded to examine the blades, Orphiel strode down the long rack, towards the more roughly hewn lumps of metal that served as combat knives and crude swords.

 

Among them there was a an old leather scabbard, trapped inside was a blade with a winged hilt.  His fingers reached out to touch it and he remembered the scene in the Crag a few years ago, when the owner of the blade was...returned to his Chapter.

 

"Zachariah," Orphiel whispered into his helmet.  Another Secret revealed.  It was a good omen.

 

He grasped the scabbard by the middle and pulled the sword free from the other armaments, lying ruddy and ignored in a pile.  He showed it to Ghoran.

 

+Master Sergeant,+ he kept his voice low, soft.  +With your permission?  And another melta bomb.+

 

Requisition: Ceremonial Sword (3 Req), Melta Bomb (12 Req) = Total 15.


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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

 

 


#27
A.T.

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As the others began to pick through the racks of weapons Odysseus approached his own. The 'Dioscuri', twin heavy pistols that had served him faithfully, and his force blade 'Hector's Gift'.

 

Remnants of his past. His eyes crossed the room and settled on the prometheum weapons - nothing wose than a fire in space, but he questioned the message beneath Ghorans words 'no position to be wasteful'. Let the others test the quartermasters limits.


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#28
Lysimachus

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"Another melta bomb? Did you hear what I just said about not wrecking the whole place?" Ghoran jokes.  He turns slightly, looking over to Odysseus as he peruses the flamers.

"'Course, on the other hand, I've got no issue with the poaching scum that live there getting burnt to a crisp. If you want to take one, go ahead, one thing we got plenty of here is promethium. We refine it straight out of the rock."

"As to the blade…" he turns back to Orphiel, becoming suddenly serious and looking him square in the eye, "it seems fitting somehow, don't it? I can't say as I had much time for its previous owner, but I reckon you might be a better man than he?"
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#29
Mazer Rackham

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"...it seems fitting somehow, don't it? I can't say as I had much time for its previous owner, but I reckon you might be a better man than he?"

 

And so the mask fell, as Orphiel knew it would.  Ghoran's jovial "hail-fellow, well met" attitude slid under the disdain for the outcast Zachariah.  It seemed that the rogue hadn't seen fit to mend his ways when taken to the bosom of other outcasts.

 

Interesting - but then again, what honour was among thieves?  It was telling that although Varn was a renegade himself, his odd honour was something Orphiel could at least respect, could work with.  Just like Master Sergeant Ghoran, himself a tool in the Pirate Lord's arsenal.

 

Orphiel grinned in silent appreciation.  Were these Ghoran's words, or Varn's?  He wondered how many secrets had been so casually finagled from potential threats to Varn's position by the disarming camaraderie.  He made a mental note to check his armour and weapons for...surprises...later on.  Still, the man needed an answer, the challenge in the eyes lingered like smoke, and where there was smoke...

 

+Time will tell, Sergeant,+ but he let the smile infect the reply, and followed it by pressing the hilt of the sword to his temple in salute.

 

Professional courtesy, perhaps.


  • Lysimachus likes 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

 

 


#30
A.T.

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Odysseus nods at Ghorans words and then turns to look pointedly at Kai, the last of their number to step forward. The others here gave no illusions of command, fitting perhaps that one of his experience and capabilities would lead the assault but the shrouded figure gave no indication as to his thoughts.


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#31
Beren

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Svelk considers the various comments being levelled between the parties present. Wrecking the place... well, it was all about placement really. Some places you could place an explosive and have next to no effect, or preferably, a very precise effect. Fire was always good at flushing out resistance, and if you intended to hang around afterwards then cutting off the oxygen typically contained it.

The exchange between Ghoran and the cowled one is... different somehow, and Svelk tracks between them as he attempts to gauge the hidden meaning. In the end he cannot.

Svelk takes another glance at his squadmates' gear. A plethora of bolter weapons, including a heavy bolter and the stormbolter variant. Ammunition expenditure might be... excessive by his standards. Still, no one here was inexperienced. They ought to be capable of managing their supplies well enough.
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#32
Mazer Rackham

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As clothes maketh man, so a rather turgid and scribbling Remembrancer once wrote, weapons maketh Astartes.  Orphiel became aware he was being watched, and peered across at the Assault Marine, Svelk, looking at the modest, yet potent array of death-dealing devices.

 

I leave nothing but corpses...

 

And Orphiel could believe it.  The...industrial style weapon at Svelk's side spoke to Orphiel on the warrior level.  A swordsman if pushed, he preferred firearms to blade work, afraid of neither; but that cleaver was the work-tool of an axeman.  It brought to mind others he fought alongside, distant cousins of the Khan, who carried a blade known as the Khukuri.

 

To know the weapon was to know the mentality, and even among his own kin, axemen were not renowned for the finesse of duelling, but ending lives with a perfectly practical, solid chop.  The only thing worse were those warriors who favoured maces.

 

A swordsman would fight, stab and move on.  An axeman would hack, kill, and seek fresh meat - but a mace-knight aimed to spend time on his victim, to crush them, break them.

 

Almost as wicked as the gutting knife that Apothecary carried.  Smiles and bluster, and a knife sharp enough to carve a name into walls.

 

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes, he heard at the back of his skull, his mentor wagging a finger.  "We watch each other," he whispered as he seated the scabbard over his left hip.

 

He was complete.


  • Lysimachus likes 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

 

 


#33
Black Cohort

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"Do any of you have significant experience with these kinds of operations?  I am not known for my experience in this area."

 

His mind cast back to his last campaign, as his hand strayed to the smooth bone totem hanging from his belt.  How glorious it was to see nearly the entire chapter deployed planet-side along with other distance kin descended from the same Primarch.  At least until it had all started to go wrong, the fighting had lasted for weeks.  So many brothers lost, so much geneseed gone forever.


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#34
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Kai watched as the others as the others went to their respective weapons. Each one assessing their equipment, ensuring it had not been tampered with. As they took up their arms or perused the small offering available he got a better sense of them.

 

The one in the robes, perhaps one of the Lion’s wayward sons, was obviously a gunner at heart. The way he handled the massive storm bolter spoke of a proficient gun man. The one who introduced himself as Svelk had the bearing of butcher and the equipment he carried underlined that fact. The apothecary kept his load out simple, this made sense as he had a specific role to fill. Each of the others changed subtly as they were reunited with their preferred war gear as if a missing piece of their soul had been returned.

 

Kai moved to the cart with his own gear. He took his time, checking the action on his bolter. He reached over and pulled a scope from a nearby shelf. It was a bit scuffed up, but functional. He attached it to the rail along the top of his rifle before slinging the weapon across his shoulder. Next he checked his bolt pistol, like the rifle it had been freshly cleaned and oiled. He could find no fault with the Tyrant’s weapon techs. Sliding the pistol into the cross-draw holster he grabbed his combat blade and sheathed it as well. Next he began packing his webbing with extra ammo clips and a standard assortment of grenades.
 

Lastly he picked up the xenos blade. He wasn’t even sure of the name of the race that had made it. It didn’t matter now, he and his brothers had removed their stain from the galaxy. Still, the blade originally taken as a trophy has proven to be a reliable companion. Shorter than a typical power blade, it’s graceful lines held a killing edge that never dulled. He attached the scabbard to its customary position across his lower back.

 

Satisfied that everything was in its proper place he turned to regard the others. The lenses of his mark 6 armor slowly assessed each one before he spoke,

 

++ I’ve known the like of each of you before, moody and quiet, wary of others. Perhaps that is not a bad notion when dealing with the dregs around here ++ he motioned to Ghoran with a jerk of his thumb. Varn’s lapdog scowled at him, still irritated at being made a fool earlier.

 

++ Since none of you seem inclined, I am taking command of this little party. Each of you do your part and I will get you back safely. If you jeopardize this team or the mission I will not hesitate to cut you loose. Do we understand each other?++


Edited by Ancient_Sobek, 12 May 2021 - 01:47 AM.

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#35
Beren

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Svelk doesn't seem to react to Kai's words at first, then he ponderously and deliberately turns to face the ancient marine directly. The man is no novice, and judging by scars on his armour and the iron in his voice, his authority is not unearned. All the same, he was not here because he intended to leap to the bidding of one who claimed authority by word alone. Svelk regards the beads at the figures belt for a moment, wondering is he worships the saint-spirits, then he responds.  He speaks more quietly than before, but with an undercurrent of firmness to it.

 

"I do not need a stranger barking orders to get myself back alive, or the empty threat of an airlock to do my job. Otherwise..."

 

His stance shifts again, this time into something less confrontational and more relaxed.

 

"... if you can lead, then you can lead."


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#36
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So that would be the way of it. Odysseus answered the devastators question but directed his words towards Kai, "I have experience in boarding actions and if needs demand it my powers can reach across the void, if we can approach close enough without raising alarm". He shrugged, "though there are of course risks".

 

This one was clearly not new to the place nor to Ghoran. Odysseus walked to the prometheum racks and pulled one of the flamers free, unconcerned with which, allowing the others space to decide if whey wished to challenge for the position of command.


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#37
Mazer Rackham

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Svelk's steady belligerence in the face of Kai's blunt bullying was not unexpected for a Marine who also carried a butcher's blade.  For what is was worth, Orphiel approved at the show of force, yet this betrayed a modest chink in the Marine's psychological armour perhaps.  The Librarian matched Kai's force with casual indifference, also a good tactic, yet this too portrayed an arrogance to be exploited.  Both of them had, without much difficulty, stated their piece.

 

Good.

 

The alien blade was something else to consider.  From his speech, his armament, Kai was perhaps a believer in the ends justifying the means, and his bluster here spoke of great impatience.  Ardour was commendable, but impatience could lead to mistakes, and he noticed this was the second time someone had promised to get them all home safely.  Overconfidence?  Interesting.

 

Antagonising Ghoran.  Very Interesting.

 

The challenge was hovering, albeit Kai had laid down his law.  Vesalius hadn't leapt to the fore, Decimus had professed his preference, as had Svelk.  Perhaps the Librarian had merely waited, but his feigned insouciance over the Flamer units proved he'd acquiesced, but the fact he'd chosen a slightly more battered weapon than the one above meant he wasn't happy about it.

 

Ah.

 

Maybe the challenge was meant for him - thankfully, the ruminations gave time to think.

 

Remember always, Orphiel - I am master to the words unspoken, but slave to those I have professed.

 

+Lead on then,+ he replied into the charged silence, still smiling, +although, if you make a mess of it, I suppose no-one will be left to complain anyway.+


Edited by Mazer Rackham, 12 May 2021 - 09:52 AM.

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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

 

 


#38
Lysimachus

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After a moment Ghoran grins.

"Well, I'd call that more than a quorum by any standards, so that's settled. But if any of you decide to stick a knife in this loudmouthed boy later…" the grin widens "...you'll probably not get any arguments from me."

Then he shrugs.

"Guess the boss might prefer you didn't, though. Speaking of which…" his voice suddenly changes, becoming hard and disciplined, a Master Sergeant expecting immediate obedience and tolerating no disagreement, "Brother Kai, you will attend Lord Varn at the Command Centre. The rest of you lads can follow me down to the hangar bay."

***

Kai:

The Crag's command centre is a large chamber at the core of the stronghold. Dozens of serfs sit and stand at consoles and screens, carefully evaluating data transmitted from picters and augurs positioned across outlying asteroids hundreds of thousands of kilometres distant. Others serfs care for the internal systems and security of the Crag itself, and still more coordinate the movements of the Iron Gods disparate, far-ranging fleet.

Talek Varn stands at the heart of it all with an officer, looking at a large hololithic display. Though the Astartes Lord dwarfs the mortal man, Varn seems to be listening to him speak with something approaching respect. The officer, a heavyset, balding man wearing simple but well-tailored naval jacket and trousers, is outwardly calm enough. There is, however, a tension in his stance, a readiness to take flight... but this is an unsurprising reaction to the monstrous figure only metres away. You move fractionally closer, and Varn looks up immediately. A cold smile crosses his thin lips.

"I thought it might be you, Kai. Good." He nods towards the mortal. "This is Captain Xaver Achard of the Dagger Thrust, one of my most capable commanders. He knows the southern borders of my Nebula well. He will provide you with passage to the Arotil Salient and help you find your quarry. Your unit has command, but you would be wise to seek his counsel and listen to it."

He pauses, dismissing the Captain for a moment, then turns back to you, his voice utterly calm but his eyes hard.

"Only one man rules the Iron Gods. Me. Remember that, first and foremost. You are first among equals only and you command at their sufferance. You must gain their respect, not demand it, or they will surely pull you down. Learn their strengths, their skills, and then you will know how to use them best."

Varn smiles again, showing what seems to be genuine, if cruel, amusement as a sudden thought crosses his mind.

"As an example, if you find yourself pushed to order any actions that might be viewed as… dishonourable... by any more noble-minded members of the squad, have Orphiel implement them. He has a.. talent... for doing the things that must be done. Now, enough. Go! And do not fail me, if you ever want to learn what information I hold about your enemies."

With that, before you can question him further, he waves you away, your final audience over. Captain Achard steps forward with a quick bow and offers to lead you to the shuttle hangar where the rest of Squad Plunder should be waiting.

***
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#39
Necronaut

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Kai was it? Very well then.

After he mag-locked an old and battered chainsword onto his hip, Vesalius donned his helm, and set about programming his new squad-mates' life-runes into his diagnostic system, establishing baseline parameters for each of his prospective charges. He started to follow the rest out towards the hangar, when a set of bulkhead shears were thrust at him by the ever-succinct Decimus, +Apothecary, bulkhead shears. You have carrying capacity.+

Vesalius stared down at the monstrous, chisel-nosed jaws, capable of tearing open Astartes power armor and deck plating alike like a can of guard rations.

+But I'm a chirurgeon...+

+Good. You can operate on the station too.+

+Very well,+ Vesalius growled and secured the new equipment harness onto his armor before discarding the chainsword on a nearby workbench, and following Decimus out of the Armorium. He scowled at the back of the devastator's helm, briefly fantasizing about using the shears on his gruff squad-mate before returning to his life-sign data streams.

Edited by Necronaut, 12 May 2021 - 08:23 PM.

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#40
Lysimachus

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The shuttle flight is remarkably quiet, for all of you are lost in thought, considering Ghoran's final words before you embarked.

***

Kai has just returned from his meeting with Varn, Achard alongside him. After the Captain has been introduced and has left to speak with his own subordinates, Ghoran clears his throat, for the first time seeming somewhat... brooding?

"Well lads, there's just one more thing the boss wanted me to talk to you about. It's not an order, just something to think on. So it's no business of his, mine or anyone else's what the six of you choose to do with it.

It's something he told me about not long after I first met him. An old, old thing, a thing of the Legionnes Astartes themselves. A few Chapters still carry on the tradition. They called it an Oath of Moment. As historians among you might know, before they went into battle warriors would make vows in front of their brethren. All sorts of vows. Could be to finish the mission no matter what, or to watch each other's backs, or just to fight with honour… whatever that means.

Now, I know what you're thinking; what do vicious old pirates like Varn and Ghoran care about oaths or vows? Well, truth is, if you're an Iron God, you haven't got many people you can trust out there. But no-one can survive on his own forever." His eyes pass over Kai. "The greatest warriors, the finest killers - if they fight alone, eventually they fall. But if you can build something bigger, something you can rely on, it might just keep you alive long enough to win. You all know the truth as well as I, that the greatest strength of the Astartes is unity, brotherhood."

He looks around at the six of you, standing in a loose semi-circle at the edge of the hangar.

"And of course, now you're thinking; why would I trust the words of men I barely know? Men I have nothing in common with, not blood nor belief? And you'd have a point, a damn good one, p'rhaps. But sometimes the words can be a place to start. Sometimes just saying the words out loud and having them heard, has power, shapes what will be. It can give you focus, bind you together, make you stronger…" He shrugs suddenly. "That's it. Like I said, what you boys do with that, whether something or nothing, is between you. You've got at least the next few days travelling shipboard. Mull it over, each of you."

His final counsel given, Ghoran hammers his right fist once against his breastplate in a warrior's salute and offers you the Iron Gods war cry in a low, fierce tone before turning to walk away.

"Blood and glory!"

***

Your contemplation of Ghoran's words is interrupted as the shuttle banks and suddenly your new ship becomes visible through several armaglas portholes. The Dagger Thrust is well named. A relatively small vessel, but deadly looking. For those of you familiar with the voidcraft of the Imperial Navy, it is identifiable as some variant of the ubiquitous Sword-class Frigate. The omnipresence of this pattern around the galaxy is understandable, for the Sword is fast, manoeuvrable, and well armed and sturdy for an Escort. The kilometre-long hull of Achard's vessel bears the same grey as you wear, though the sharply tapering prow is daubed deep crimson. Like a blade pulled from a body.

As the pilot brings the shuttle smoothly into a landing position in one of the Dagger's hangar bays, Achard looks around with hard eyes and gives a carefully respectful nod. He has said little on the journey out from the Crag, but he looks rather relieved that soon he will once again be the ruler of his own little kingdom. Utterly overshadowed before by Varn's titanic presence, you can now begin to sense the air of competence, intelligence and authority that he carries.

"My lords. My deck officer has assigned each of you quarters. An adjutant will be waiting to give directions. Also, the secondary cargo hold will be given over as a training arena, should you require it."

He steps forward, even as the shuttle's ramp begins to descend.

"I will make preparations to set sail, heading South-south-west. If you will join me on the Bridge when you have stowed your equipment, you can furnish me with further instructions once we are under way?"

***

As you might have guessed, the first bit of this post relates to the Mission Oath-taking rules (pg228,9) Now, initially that didn't feel to me like something the Iron Gods would do, and we'd just skip it, but after thinking about it I came up with the above.

Perhaps it's just not something your character feels able to do, a step too far to trust these strangers. But maybe it is, and maybe you can? Whatever form an Oath might take, and which of the rules options you went with would be for you to work out. Obviously, it only works if everyone is in! Either way, I thought it might make for some good narrative and interplay as the squad considers it!

The second half gets us started on the practicalities of the mission itself! How do you feel about the ship and its Captain? What instructions or questions do you have for him? How will you uncover the rival pirate base?

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#41
Black Cohort

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A Sword Class frigate, hardly surprising given how common a hull it was.  There were untold variants across the galaxy, Decimus wondered which specific variant this was.

 

He looked around the hanger, examining the craft carried within the ship.  Wondering which options made sense for their final infiltration.

 

He was concerned about the lack of intel available, he guessed that was to be expected without a proper 10th company.

 

"Training area sounds like an excellent idea, to bad we don't have the ammo for live fire drills."


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#42
Beren

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Svelk is deep in thought throughout the flight. Brotherhood. Yes, much of what Ghoran said was true. Even among the smallest of groups, brotherhood could be a precious thing. A necessary thing. The question was whether or not he would find it here? Once again he sweeps across those that he has been bund to.

 

Decimus he likes. To the point, efficient. Open about his capabilities when pertinent. Even if his choice of weapon may be ammunition intensive. Kai is too quick to assume dominance, only the manner with which he bears himself and the tales of war told by his armour lend any weight to his words. Vesalius... arrogant. Overly comradely in his manner. He's not sure he trusts a medicae as eager to ply their craft as the Apothecary is, especially when the abyss demands its due. The Astartes that had taken the flamer was an interesting one. The make of bolt weapons he bore was familiar, if not identical, to the handful they had possessed when he was with his kin. He spoke of boarding actions and powers that could reach across space with some confidence. A fellow void-born then, and one of the Chill-Bloods at that. Out of all of Svelk's new companions, it was this one that seemed the most akin to the familiar. The assault marine restrained the urge to ask questions only lightly. Then there was the cowled one, who had spoken so cryptically with Ghoran about the blade. More bolter weapons. A wry way of words, but somehow seeming... unconcerned.

 

An oath? An oath was never something Svelk would consider necessary between brothers. They were not brothers though, and perhaps it would be somewhere to start. An oath to prove themselves, to each other, to the Irod Gods, to Tarek Varn.

 

---

 

My Lords.

 

The honorific provokes a grin beneath his helmet, even if no-one else can see it. It's been a long time since he heard those words. They were amusing then too. Lords of the shattered circle. Lords of a broken realm. Lords of a chain of asteroids and hulks in a land on the distant edge what was ostensibly an empire. Still, Svelk takes heed of the mortal's words. He is a man who knows his ship, and that is not to be underestimated. The training area... To fight alongside someone was to know how they fought, to move in sync and cover one another's flaws. He looked forwards to testing the others. 

 

At least Decimus seems cognisant of the need to preserve ammunition. 


Edited by Beren, 13 May 2021 - 09:56 PM.

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#43
Mazer Rackham

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Orphiel allowed the other to watch their approach to the Dagger Thrust.  A quick look at the vessel revealed it was a venerable Sword-class, bedecked in the brazen colours of the Iron Gods.

 

He stepped back, leaving the porthole free for someone else should they wish to watch the vessel growing in the window, settling on the flight bench, his tools and precious books in a canvas bag by his feet.  For a warrior weighing so many kilos, he travelled light.  He smirked at the conceit.

 

Orphiel cycled his Catalepsean Node, resting his brain; ritually cleansing it of the ceaseless ruminations about his comrades.  He could be wrong about them all, but it didn't matter.  Actions spoke louder than words, and they were keen to be about their business.  He idly wondered if any of the Iron Gods sought intercession from the Emperor, after all, they were renegades, not Chaos worshippers.  It was proving to be an excellent learning experience - now all he had to do was survive it.

 

He went through the mechanical routines of disembarking and following the others in their loose group, until they stood present with Captain Achard.  It took moments to understand the man - a typical master of his deck, kept by his oaths and competence.  Varn wouldn't suffer foolish officers so rife in the Imperial Navy.

 

These men had to earn their keep, and the attrition of their ranks was no doubt quite severe.

 

When the Captain exchanged pleasantries and necessity, Decimus gave his succinct appraisal.  Orphiel agreed with it - for not only did a heavy bolter eat ammunition, Argo was an equal glutton for shells.  The chisel snout of his Mk IV helm swivelled to regard the group, pushing the cowl around with it.

 

Orphiel offered a small, deferential nod to the Captain. +Perhaps if the Shipmaster can spare them, we could train with lasguns to prevent waste,+ his left hand rested on the butt of his storm bolter, where it remained braced over his sternum, the magazine wells empty.

 

He glanced at the others to gauge how the suggestion landed.


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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

 

 


#44
Necronaut

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Vesalius was silent for the duration of the flight, ruminating on his new compatriots and Ghoran's words.

If silence is what they want then they shall have it.

An oath of moment? Such an ancient superstition. He was aware that many chapters still kept the tradition alive, but it was not one he personally practiced. "Just saying the words out loud and having them heard, has power," Ghoran had said. Maybe so, but it was an ephemeral power at best. if asked of him, he decided he would follow suit.

Better to play along and say the words. I will not make a second mis-step with them.

He checked his bolter, and examined the bulkhead shears. A crude, brutal implement built only to destroy. As he rotated them in their harness, he imagined the terrible damage they would do to internal organs and tissue. Not their intended purpose, granted, but one they could be made to perform quite easily. The blood loss and trauma would be horrific, he decided. Bones and muscle would offer about as much resistance and wheat before a scythe.

The shuttle thumped down in the hangar bay of Dagger Thrust announcing their arrival and breaking him From his blood-soaked reverie. Vesalius followed the rest of the squad down the ramp, the last to disembark.

Bringing up the rear, carrying the shears.

He was lost in thought again, wondering what it would be like to use the shears on an enemy in power armor, to peel their protection open and expose the tender flesh beneath. He sighed, and returned to his diagnostic feeds. All vital signs normal. They had somehow made it to the bridge without him noticing, so lost in thought had he been.

I must be more careful around my cohort. I will have ample opportunity to ply my trade.

The others were discussing live-fire exercises. Not a bad way to learn how the others operated. The devastator, Decimus, had been regretful that they had little bolt ammunition to spare. The robed one, had suggested las-guns for training.

Assuming we can avoid damaging too many by accident, not a terrible thought. Ah, he is waiting for a response. He seeks validation. Then he shall have it.

He offered a nod of approval, +A fine idea.+

Edited by Necronaut, 14 May 2021 - 11:55 AM.

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#45
Ancient_Sobek

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The idea of running training scenarios made sense and would give Kai a better idea of what he had to work with. He assumed Varn had chosen men that were competent in a fight, but being a renegade you didn’t always have the luxury of being picky about the recruits you could get. Seeing them in action would tell of their skills better than any dossier.

 

The exercises also had the benefit of building cohesion in the team. In a live-fire zone, knowing what your squad mates would do and how to work together effectively was the difference between living and dying.

 

The robed one had asked about procuring some lasguns to train with. A clever idea to accommodate their ammo shortage. Kai was satisfied that he had at least one squad mate that could think.

 

+ A good suggestion, Lasguns, with a bit of modification would be a suitable alternative. Plus their meager stopping power will let us run force on force drills as well+


Edited by Ancient_Sobek, 20 May 2021 - 02:46 AM.

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#46
Lysimachus

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Quick aside, I'm not quite sure where we are all located at the mo... So, just so its all clear in my head, I'll clarify (GM-stylee :P) that Captain Achard left you immediately at disembarkation, in the hands of an adjutant officer who has taken you to your assigned area of the ship. So if ok, I'll have him field Orphiel's question about lasguns, then he'll direct you to the Bridge to meet with Achard again?

The adjutant, a younger officer who seems utterly overawed by the presence of Space Marines on the ship, leads you to the area assigned for your use. The secondary cargo hold is a large, vaulted chamber not far from the shuttle hangar, more than a hundred metres across, ideal for running drills and combat simulations. A dozen crewmen are bringing in crates and boxes from the shuttle that contain your water, other consumables and munitions, and stacking them in one corner. Along the length of the far wall there are smaller chambers, each several metres square, apparently secure storage of some sort. Six of these have been emptied, their previous contents stacked in another corner of the hold, and a hard pallet placed in each. Not luxurious by any means. The adjutant looks slightly shamefaced to be offering you storerooms rather than staterooms, but the logic of the placement, together as a squad and connected directly to your training and staging area, is obvious. And the Astartes are not known for their need of many comforts.

Goggle-eyed, the officer nods eagerly at Orphiel's request for las weaponry. "Yes, Master," he replies immediately. "I will have our armoury deliver them to you at once. Please, if there is anything more you require, we will do everything we can to provide? My lords, if the… facilities... meet your approval, the Captain requests your presence on the Bridge?"


***
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#47
A.T.

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Weapons drills, a chance for the killers to demonstrate their aptitude at the task and form some kind of pecking order. As a psyker he stood apart with powers more subtle and unchallenged.

 

As they disembarked he approached Kai, "Squad Leader", the idea of calling him 'brother' felt unnatural, "as you have no doubt percieved I am of the librarium. My gifts allow me to draw together the vastness of space, likely why Varn selected me for this task, but... I can also focus these gifts on another to grant them singular power. I offer them for you consideration"

 

In truth he had little time to refine such skills in his past life. To the mortals he worked aside the power granted was miraculous, to an Astartes likely less impressive. Still he must work with what he had until he could refine his technique.


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#48
Mazer Rackham

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Just a quick note Necro - Orphiel has not yet revealed his name.  I know this is giving the other players fits, but I'll solve that problem now.

 

"A fine idea."

 

Braggadocio first, then fast to ingratiate after brooding silence.  Mercurial.  He would have to be careful there, and yet Orphiel smiled, because he was about to employ the exact same tactic with the Deck Officer.

 

+I am no-one's master,+ he gently patted the officer's shoulder, taking full advantage of the man's awestruck demeanour.  +I am Orphiel.+

 

The Seeker, the Truthfinder, the Red-handed.

 

No-one needed to know that - yet.


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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

 

 


#49
Black Cohort

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"We were talking live fire not flashlight drills.  Still it might be better than nothing."


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#50
Mazer Rackham

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Orphiel grinned at the curt response, offering a gentle nod in mock sagacity.  Decimus seemed to share the opinion of many Astartes, that the weapons of the Imperial Guard lacked potency.  Perhaps the Devastator Marine didn't have the experience of charging at a line of traitors armed with the humble lasgun, how the slashes of scarlet, energy-doped photons, became a wall of sizzling red pulses when closing in.

 

Or how the focusing lenses glowed brightly like a many-eyed beast, when arrayed in serried ranks, desperate fusillades striking ceramite plating like balled fists, melting and sloughing off the plasteel laminate in runnels of slurry.

 

And above all, why the Emperor had seen fit to hand them out to humanity like sugar-treats at Sanguinala.

 

+One lasgun is indeed a trifle,+ Orphiel agreed gently, +but a score of them, is not.+


Edited by Mazer Rackham, 15 May 2021 - 02:55 PM.

  • Lysimachus 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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