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Perfect Warriors

Discussion in 'Role Playing' started by Colapse, Jun 22, 2018.

  1. DeranVendar DeranVendar Subordinate

    Armory Deck
    "Were it up to me we would fold the witches back into line with the rest. Teach them to curb the worst of their powers and fight as the warriors we have been molded to be." Turn of topic commanded Extrovious' attention and drained any other thoughts from his mind. "After spending time attached to the Thousand Sons early into my life as a legionnaire, the best of the best as it would seem, I can only say their presence is a needless risk. Whatever good may be brought to the field, even after seeing some truly awesome feats of power, does not justify the place of these mutants of the mind within our forces."


    The Badge and the Banner
    "There is wisdom in what you say Brother Ancient. Perhaps I shall stay my concerns a few fights longer then. Though it is a curious spot to be left in; one warrior can change the course of a battle, but I am not simply one anymore. I must be the whole of our squad, and last I checked none of you exactly qualify as shock troops. Perhaps I might swipe a suit of tactical dreadnought armor and try to blend in among the other veterans, perhaps one might even make a willing trade of places." Extrovious smiled halfheartedly at the jest. "Perhaps it will come up, Captain Apox has requested my presence sometime in the near future.


  2. Colapse Colapse Forum Beta Tester

    <Sovereign's Command Deck, Leonis' Quarters> @matt23

    "They won't interfere with your duty, at least not directly. Of course, I hope you realize that putting all this fate into one legionary, no matter how close to the ideal set by our Father, is not something that can work in the long run. What I'm saying is, you should accept the fact that others will try to work their own influence on the newly-fledged brothers, but that is the way of the Emperor's Children."

    "We always strive to be better than everyone else, even among our own. Line brothers strive to be better than their Sergeants, Sergeants strive to be better than their Captains, Captains than their Centurions and so on. This is how it should be done, it keeps us on the edge and always pushing forward, so your new position won't necessary break this unwritten rule. However, you will be the responsible for that first and final touch. If squad Sergeants are the dam, you will be its controller. You will be the one all of these young warriors will strive to emulate, besides our Father and their superior officers. To be the exemplar of the Legion, its spirit made manifest in flesh and ceramite," Leonis concluded and there was a sad sigh that followed it, of a man knowing what he was asking from his warriors.

    "I know that this is a huge responsibility but if we are to proceed into the future as a unified Millennial, we need men like you setting the example for the new generations. Like I said, all of us will do our part, but I know that the heaviest load will still fall on your shoulders."

    "I hope that this answer satisfied you. Now, is there anything else you wish to add?"

    <Sovereign, Armory Deck> @DeranVendar

    "Spoken like a true Death Guard," it was Apox who answered Extrovious, his Captain smiling, obviously glad that he gave such reply.

    "Or just about any warrior of the Legiones that thinks with his own head and sees the truth for himself," Calas spoke next, his face remaining impassive as ever but the slight nod of his chin revealed what he thought about Extro's answer. "My Father, the Lord of Death, thinks the same and he has set the gears in motion. Soon, the plague that are the legionary psykers will be met with proper medicine."

    "In the meantime, I have something you might be interested in," Typhon took a small silver medallion from the pocket on his belt and handed it over to Extrovious. On one side of it there was nothing but on the other the legionary could see eight skulls organized to form some sort of a star. "There are those of us who think alike, but the way the Legions operate sometimes the voice of a Captain and a neophyte, while same, won't be spoken in union. Due to this, we organize ourselves slightly differently. Whenever such situation occurs where couple of Legions are in the same place at the same time, similarly-minded brothers meet up in a place where no rank exists, only brotherhood. This medallion right here is the sign of recognition and it's yours."

    "Legionaries from different background share the same thoughts like you do, so perhaps it would do you good to speak to some of those as well, see how despite our different blood and tradition, we still can act as one. That is how the idea of lowering the impact of the Librarium started in the first place, in a meeting such as this."

    "I also have it," Apox said and pulled his own medallion, showing it to Extrovious, this one slightly different, with six swords crossed in the center, "And so many others from our Millennial. Pretty much if you enjoyed this talk here with us, expect more of it down the line, if you're up for it. You are up for it, right?"
  3. DeranVendar DeranVendar Subordinate

    Armory Deck
    For the first time Extrovious found himself warming up to Apox, and Calas was making one hell of a first impression to boot. Excitement not borne by battle, but by brotherhood, came to the fore and showed in a grin as he examined the silver piece. Never mind the sinister implications of calling legion psykers a plague or whatever their medicine might be.

    "Entirely brothers, simply point me where we meet and what rules we follow." Pausing for a moment Extrovious squints at the eight skulls before looking back to the pair of captains. "Considering I have yet to hear of this brotherhood, I assume it a matter best kept hushed?"

  4. Jorimel Jorimel Well-Known Member

    Aleph made his way forward slowly in the darkness. He did not stumble, his Astartes senses reaching out to decode the slope of the floor, the sound of his footfalls, even the scent of the stonework as they proceeded underground. He felt himself tense, as if he might be facing danger. But this sense was overwhelmed by his growing anticipation. Curiosity burned as he walked; he had begun to reflexively count his heartbeats in order to tell the time for several minutes until he realised that his racing pulse put his timing off.

    "Before me, I see a warrior supreme," at last the Brother and his guide stood still and a melodic voice came out of the darkness. Aleph resisted the urge to turn towards it as if he might see the speaker.

    "Before me, I see a novice with the blade, still young on the path," this one spoke of the youth Aleph still felt, despite the years of campaigning. But he did not feel as if he were being put down. There was a quality to the words that felt - ceremonial. Perhaps even ritual, though that word did not seem to quite meet the ways of the Third he knew. Who were these men? Had they been the ones to oversee his meeting with Cautorious, watching like barely-sated predators in case he should make a move out of turn?

    "Before me, I see a brother in purple and gold, palatine-clad in mind and soon to be in flesh."At last. This one he knew, this was the man who had brought him here. A confirmation of the purpose he suspected, but didn't yet know for certain. The final speaker, though, was instantly recognisable to Alephoros and no mere Captain. This voice had haunted his dreams since the first time he'd heard it in an inspiring address, had made him wish for the ability to create music or to somehow sing in emulation of it as if by learning those tones, he might perfect his voice and with it hone his inner being.

    "Kneel, Alephoros Aster of the Third," Fulgrim demanded, something light and hot to the touch was placed on his shoulder, the flat edge revealing some sort of metal object, "Step out of the darkness clouding your vision and be ready, for the final judgement is nigh!"

    Automatically - for when commanded by such a voice, one moves to obey - Aleph dropped to his knees. But he moved gracefully, the faint whisper of his exhaled breath just loud enough to be noticed above his thumping heartbeats in his ears. He reached up with one hand and lifted the blindfold from his eyes, gazing up to where the unseen light would illuminate him.

  5. dx144 dx144 Well-Known Member

    The Conqueror was exactly as Pholax remembered it, the stench of bloodshed was still in the air, if one wanted to they could likely find their way to the Blood Pits by sense of smell alone.

    Making it to there was to see another welcome sight and to see it flooded with combatants from various legions would be grand for anyone to be crowned victor.

    "The blood pits in all her glory..." Pholax mentioned looking around the arena. "I imagine we could carve a bloody path out of here if you wanted." Pholax smirked tensing his arm to see if it was in a functional state.

    His eyes then landed upon the Primarchs and wondered if that'd be crescendo to this day, a clash between two of the greatest warriors in all of the Galaxy, the Lord of Red Sands against the Lion of Caliban. It was hard to say who'd win and the clash would be something both the World Eaters and Dark Angels would talk about for the decades if not centuries to come.

    Pholax walked over to his World Eater friend from his secondment to catch up on old times.
  6. Uriel1339 Uriel1339 Lord of Posts

    ~~ Path of Knowledge - Wyrms of Knowledge Lodge ( @Colapse & @Vulpas ) ~~
    Elymas sighed heavily, sinking into the comfortable chair, but not that it could conform the concern both his brother and he himself shared. "Aye... I heard similar rumors. It is very audible within our legion. Captains and Sergeants alike. But by the dawn of our victory, who knows what the Lord Commanders really believe." He rubbed his chin on the question of what Fulgrim was thinking.

    "I truly do not know... But based on Fulgrim's personality. He wishes for both, the best for his legion. And the approval of his own father, the Emperor of Mankind. And I fear if the Emperor agrees with Malcador, then so Fulgrim's opinion might be swayed like a hawks assault." Elymas shrugged slightly, since it was non-sense to discuss the unknown.

    "But what I know is that my own Sergeant warned me months back already of this exact situation. What are we going to do? It is a strong possibility and we must assume that it is a matter of time, not a matter of if. That psykers will be disallowed from the use of their powers. Whether it be for the better or worse of humanity - it will become a fact. And we cannot stand in progressions path out of egotism. We must assume rank and file where appropriate and continue our other duties. We still are historians, scientists and warriors. That will never change, only our methodology. After all, is a soldier that much different whether he holds a sword or a las-cannon?"

    Elymas forced a smile on his lips, but his eyes were filled with melancholy. Deep down, he had a feeling that both Arkamedos and he himself were aware of the hypocrisy that the primarchs had in this matter and that if the Emperor was to forbid the powers of the immaterium, so he would also had to give up powers of his own and that of his closest mortal adviser.

    ~~ Path of Ascension - Hephestus - Librarium; "Sovereign" ( @Colapse ) ~~
    Elymas heart sank on the news, hands becoming balls of fists, strong enough to drive the studs into his flesh and draw blood as if he wanted to bleed like his now dead brethren did before they gave their lives in the name of the legion. "I... Wanted to ask about the rumors... Of abolishing psykers out of the Imperium at large." He did not stutter but had to find every bit of strength in terms of mental fortitude to not cry or unleash his anger and frustration from the news of his dead brothers. Which made his inquiry only so much tougher. But it was something that had to be addressed earlier or later.

    All the memories he had of them, although he was never much close to them, he still had read their reports, their hypotheses and in one way or another competed with them for Hepehstus' acknowledgment. Now they were gone, just like that. The duty of every single record in the legion falling now unto the four remaining librarians across multiple milleniums. No wonder Hephestus had not shown his face at all, he was grasping for straws to bring his flock back from the verge like Fabius and Fulgrim had to when the Emperor's Children were struck down to two hundred.

    ~~ Path of Celebration - Auditorium ( @matt23 & @Colapse ) ~~
    As soon as Arnock had all those months back agreed to join a strict timetable has been put in place and pursued relentlessly. While Arnock put together a group of actors for the center piece, Elymas had orchestrated the six person band.

    The Vocalist is Remembrancer Carintha von Kirschhain, Terran born nobility who embraced her singing talents from the young age of three and ever since sung for governors, kings, queens and many lords in-between, reciting the tales of the Emperor's Children and how the Phoenician earned his name.

    On the bass, Volupus a very enthusiastic man in terms of music and capable man with almost any weapon one would give to him, yet he ended up preferring the trusted bolter and it's variations to deliver the killing blow.

    Supporting Elymas on the rhythm guitar is Alleo who figured that a fellow librarian would make good support - and because it was a good excuse to get the mind off more serious issues such as the potential ban of psykers and instead bask in the victory over the filthy Orks. And maybe it was to get closer to Arnock and thus Leonis and thus Fulgrim.

    The pace would be set by the drummer, Xamus Reed, chemos-born dual-wielding swordsman who fights with great enthusiasm and always had looked up to Rylanor as one of the Emperor's Children greatest warriors.

    The Ocarina to bring certain dramatics out of the play and link the sound to more ancient times was played by a very talented serf that Elymas had overheard playing on the observatory near the librarium, where Elymas was plenty of times reading. His name was Borealis.

    And of course Elymas on the lead guitar playing Phoenix's Resolve.

    Arnock had trouble picking someone for the role of Rylanor but eventually found a devastator that also fought alongside him and Denatus as Elymas had learned. His name was Elijah Job, brother of the rising flame and close pursuer of becoming a true perfect warrior, Isaiah Job. It was interesting to work with Emperor's Children of such magnitude and see the charismatic Arnock at work as he brought together such fine warriors and surprisingly talented actors.

    The antagonist and other enemies were picked from across various squads. But the most notable one was the one who would deliver the final blow to Rylanor within the play, which was no other than newly appointed Captain Beremitz of the 42nd Company within the Third Millenium, renown for having been the sole survivor of his company after having become isolated from other imperial forces.

    Recital after recital the group got one step closer to the perfect play, the trickiest part was working with the Adeptus Mechanicus talent by name of Belisarius Cawl. The time-stopping gravity effect that would wrap around all three, Elijah, Arnock and the banner was not just difficult but nerve-wrecking enough that out of a thousand times, Arnock managed to catch the mock-banner only a hundred times.

    But tonight was the night. Each legion that had fought on Ullanor would have a presence on the stage and perform in the order of their legion number, which meant that the Dark Angels would go first, followed by the Emperor's Children, and so on. The groups yet-to-play where in the backstage area, watching on huge pict-screens the performance of whomever had the stage first. But what troubled Elymas far more and made also his fellow actors more nervous than anything else is the fact that Fulgrim indeed had come. And he brought with him one of his brothers, Lorgar of the Word Bearers. There was no room for error tonight, no thoughts given to the competition but only their own performance. It was nerve-wrecking enough that when one of the antagonists in full costume as an Eldar came around the corner, Elymas almost smashed Phoenix's Resolve into him.

    "That was a grand performance and intro to what the rest of the evening will bring." The moderator stated as the applause started to die down. The Dark Angels trio, Three Lions Down had received great feedback with their performance 'Wish you were here' in honor of all fallen Imperials not only on Ullanor, but the entire tally of what the Great Crusade did cost. "Next up is the performance by the Emperor's Children about the tale of a true hero. They will tell us through song and act what the rebirth of the phoenix really means. So let us bring them on stage with a grand applause, here is Downs of a Phoenix."

    Elymas took a deep breath and took Arnock in a final embrace of a warrior followed by a nod to the rest of the cast, first the band walking onto the stage and taking their positions. Props had been put in place while the moderator had spoken, turning it into the mirror of a battlefield with broken armor pieces, hills and other obstacles.

    The ocarina rang first, piercing the silence after the initial applaud died down, Eldar summoned by the instrument their species favored coming rushing onto the battle from one side. Opposite of Borealis, Elymas would play the first chords in response to summon the Emperor's Children. Immediately the rest of the instruments joining the moment 'Rylanor' came into presence, the actual banner that Arnock wielded these days waving high atop his head, held in one of his hands.

    Eldar Exarch and Rylanor started to exchange blows as they danced around one another, while Arnock led the rest of his comrades against the other vile Xenos.

    "Leave the sleep and let the blades talk.
    In tongues from the time before man.
    Listen to a rust blade tell its tale.
    Let the enemy in, rush out, be the first to greet the spark."

    The remembrancer dressed in beautiful dress, adorned with golds and tiara as if she was Fulgrims handmaiden sang as the music picked up in pace, moving in time with the battle that was truly the heart of the performance. The Exarch cackling in mock at Rylanor who had difficult keeping up pace with the alien blademaster. It would remind one or the other of the tragedy of Minteril.

    "Come, taste the blood.
    Raise the blades.
    They will guide you to the fight.
    Writing legacies till the end of time."

    Rylanor overextended and almost got his arm severed but instead it was a feint and he landed a solid blow into the side of the Exarch, making him stumble. But as the hero of the third attempted to severe his head, one of the lower Eldar pushed his lord aside, receiving the blow that went straight through his chest and shot a spurt of blood across Rylanor who casually put a foot next to the wound and pushed him off while drawing his blade.

    "Riding hard every shooting star.
    Come to life, open mind, have a laugh at the orthodox.
    Come, drink deep let the dam of mind seep.
    Fight with great elan, dance a jig on the battlefield, come!"

    Emperor's Children and Eldar alike battled and died, but as the Exarch evaded every single blow from Rylanor who managed to scrape the slippery xeno, the audience would notice that the Eldar commander was luring the ancient one up the hill that was in the center-back of the stage. The Guitars would thunder when the Emperor's Children were starting their offense and die to be replaced by an ocarina played as swift as the bladeplay of the Eldar when they launched theirs.

    "Building a fortress close to the enemy.
    A house of stone from a brittle bricks.
    A home from the fellowship, poise and calm.
    Write a lyric for the battle song only you can understand."

    Arnock now realized that a trap was being prepared for Rylanor and rushed to his aid, slaying any Eldar that dared come near him with great grace. Jumping above low blows, dancing to the side of decapitating strikes. Indeed he had learned well from Alephorous to make it such a spectacle as the spotlights were now on him and the epic duel atop the hill. Just in that very moment as Arnock was about to reach Arnock, two Eldar jumped out of cover to block his approach as the Eldar Exarch sprung his trap and surprised the leader of imperial troops with a chain of assaults. Clearly at disadvantage, Rylanor eventually was impaled. The entire music died all at once, the musicians not even having to turn around for the scene to know what has happened.

    Arnock had slain his assailants and leap for the flag. But as everyone gasped and stared, time stood still. The confused and on-edge audience unable to take their eyes off, not daring to blink. For exact ten seconds time stood still and some even already started to clap thinking the performance was over. Only for time to continue, music erupt at full blast.

    "Come, taste the blood.
    Raise the blades.
    They will guide you to the fight.
    Writing legacies till the end of time."

    Arnock caught the banner before it hit the floor, a few inches left. The Exarch surprised but ready to meet his new challenger, the two engage in brutal combat to the very top of the hill, the combat on the ground dying down to a point where both Eldar and Emperor's Children retreated to their respective sides once more, watching their leaders.

    And as the final word was sung, Arnock drove the blade into the chest of the Exarch, driving him into the ground before rising the banner high and causing the Emperor's Children to erupt in cheer of victory, driving the Eldar back into their webway. The music continued to play, but the musicians turned towards the spotlight where Arnock knelt before the fallen Rylanor, then stared at the audience, right at Fulgrim as a matter of fact.

    "Children of the Emperor. Death to his foes!"
  7. Imperius matt23 Curator

    The Badge and the Banner
    Arnock laughed and shook his head, "I would disagree slightly, brother. You are still one warrior. The one warrior, should it stand, that we look to for direction in battle. For though the banner I carry can motivate and inspire courage, without direction, motivation and inspiration have no place to be channeled."

    Laughing at Extrovious' joke, Arnock spoke with a smile on his face, "Your combat prowess can not be covered up my a large suit of armor, brother. As for a veteran willing to trade places, I'd say that would be hard pressed to find. You seem to have, from the most part, far more patience for our eclectic squad members." Arnock then slowly brought his fist to his chest and with a nod spoke, "Regardless, I believe you have done an excellent job holding the title of sergeant and it has been an honor to achieve victory beside you, brother."


    <Sovereign's Command Deck, Leonis' Quarters>
    Arnock shook his head as he spoke specifying what he had meant, "Forgive the misunderstanding, Lord Commander. I simply meant I did not want their interference in the induction training. After the standard of the induction is met, I, of course, understand that each member of leadership must implement their own styles for combat effectiveness."

    After a moment, Arnock placed his hands behind his back and began a slow pace about the room, "Responsibility with a important purpose does not cause fear in me, Lord Commander. Weakness and imperfection seeping into our ranks, this is what causes one to toss and turn at night." Arnock abruptly stopped his pacing and quickly turned to look at Leonis, "However, you have presented me with a way in which to make such a fear vanish all together. So, I could not be more excited or honored to take on such a task."

    Thinking a moment at his Lord Commander's question, Arnock responded, "The answer is satisfactory, Lord Commander. I am to assume that there is someone I am to link up with in order to receive all nessecary information on incoming reinforcements?"


    ~~ Path of Celebration - Auditorium ~~

    The play had taken its tole on Arnock, both mentally and physically. This was visible more so after the words "Children of the Emperor. Death to his foes!" was shouted out in a bellowing voice to the audience and its VIP's. The thoughts running through his mind, in that moment, could have filled a life time's worth of books. 'Was this performance enough?... Would Rylanor have been pleased with such a portrayal?... With those in attendence leave this night and remember such a story?.... And what would be his gene father's response?' Arnock knew not what to expect at all, for he had never been a part of such a orchestrated art portrayal.

    After a moment, Arnock looked over to his brother Elymas and thumped the standard pole on the ground, letting out and loud thump. After which he, Arnock bowed his head slightly towards his brother and communicated in the manner they had a few times before, "Thank you, brother. Regardless of what everyone here things or says, it was an honor to participate in such a beautiful work of art. You truly have brought honor to our legion's fallen champion and every member of the Third."

    @Colapse @Uriel1339
  8. Jorimel Jorimel Well-Known Member

    Aleph took a moment before he replied. It was good to find a Brother as fond of the arts as he was within his own Squad. There were many such in the Legion, true, it was something the Phoenician encouraged, but he was pleased to know that he had closer company for such ventures. The experience of battle, as of life, was different for every Legionary, but a member of Fourth Squad would understand best what Fourth Squad had been through.

    "I came to darker things through my time with the Eighth," he said, simply, standing so that he could go and bring out some of his other work. But the smile he returned was genuine, if a little reserved. Aleph believed Arnock's words, but he seldom showed his darker work to anyone. "They are not the sum of my work, but they are - well, you may see for yourself." He returned with a portfolio bound in dark blue cloth, and set it down before Arnock so that he could look at it at his leisure while he brought out a large canvas.

    The pages within the portfolio were of differing sizes, some obviously drawn in the field from the slightly rougher quality of the paper. Although some were studies of groups - noteworthy among these was a group of Eighth Legion warriors at ease, lounging, talking, playing cards - most were individual sketches or portraits. One stood out as a repeat subject, a gaunt-looking man with the black eyes of a son of Nostramo and unusually sharp teeth.

    "Lucoryphus," Aleph explained, "my Sergeant when I was on secondment. I managed to persuade him to sit for me several times. Or ... well, in truth, a couple of those were when he lost a bet." He smiled a bit at that memory. Luc hadn't been shy about complaining, but he'd had witnesses to the bets and Aleph also suspected that he secretly enjoyed the thought of being immortalised as a study of what a typical Night Lord might look like. "The group you see there were the ones I trained with. They call themselves the Bleeding Eyes." It was not hard to work out why, not when Lucoryphus' eyes wept twin trails of bloody tears. "They taught me how to move quietly and kill in the dark." He paused, looking away for a moment.

    "As with all Sons of the Legions, we each have our purpose given to us by the Emperor and that of the Eighth is terror. We are the cleansing flame; they are the threat of what comes after, to the traitor, the recidivist. I cannot lie and say that we are alike, but I came to admire their steadfastness of purpose."

    "This work - this is the best I have managed so far. I tried many times to capture his essence, Armock, and it eluded me often. He - I met him in the field. I did not speak with him for long and yet I still see him sometimes in my sleep." Aware that without context, his ramblings made no sense, he offered the covered canvas to the standard-bearer. It was large, about four feet across and six high. Once revealed it was a fully finished work in paint, a narrow palette in shades of blue, black and grey highlighted by white and cold yellow with sparing red. Almost none, in fact. Rather than show Lord Curze awash with blood, Aleph had chosen to portray the Primarch's dark majesty in more subtle ways. The nameplate bore simple High Gothic: Ave Dominus Nox. the composition was such that the Lord of the Night stood wreathed in shadow and yet revealed, as if stepping out from the wings of a great stage. Lightning decorated his armour in jagged lines, but it also illuminated him as from a skylight, as if the moon hidden behind ragged clouds feared to show its face. The spare, yet powerful figure was tall, slender for a Primarch but possessed of an undeniable strength of purpose that Aleph had captured in the set of his jaw, the slight flex to the lightning claws at his sides, the poise of his carriage. It was as if he took the first step in a dance. Long black hair hung dishevelled across his broad shoulders, but it did not hide his dark eyes, which pierced the onlooker from a face that looked like a dark mirror of Fulgrim's own. He was the Phoenician if Fulgrim had never recovered from his early privation, a phoenix birthed by crows.

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  9. Imperius matt23 Curator

    "The some of any man's work should never be one thing. That would be a mistake to assume in any circumstance. For until multiple works are laid witness to, then and only then, can one see the patterns and touches of an individual's markings," Arnock said as he ran his fingers over the blue cloth that cover his brother's portfolio. Arnock then began examining the pages quite closely as Aleph continued to speak. "The sons of Conrad...," Arnock said curiously as he began to look at the drawing of this Lucoryphus. The expressions of the eighth legion were at times lifeless, but they hid a great deal of something that was hard to put a finger on. Their eyes were black and their skin pain which further contributed to their dark nature. "You know, I have heard a great many things of the Night Hunter's sons and I have to say that none of them have been good. Stories of terror and atrocities that seem to coincide that legion's arrival into any part of the galaxy. However, I will say that this, to me, is mere hearsay and not something I put to much stock into," Arnock said as he seemingly traced the outline of one of the drawing's faces with his finger.

    Arnock then looked at Aleph after hearing the phrase 'I cannot lie and say we are alike' and spoke in a curious voice as the picture of Conrad was revealed, "We are not alike you say? You know, brother, I have heard a great many of our kin use phrases like that a great many times in my years. However, I believe such statements hold less truth than most would believe. Fulgrim favors the sword and artwork, both are things of beauty that our gene father hold to a degree of perfection few of the other legions could understand or achieve. And yet there are those within our own ranks that hold neither of such things in high regard. What our legion identifies as our identity to me, at times, is wrong. We our perfectionist and artist, whom take refinement to the most extreme degree. And this is where I lose many of our ranks talking and they chalk me up to idealistic or insane for that matter." Arnock laughed slightly as he continued his speech while looking at the details of the painting, "Father of the Eight Legion for example. Look at how you have painted him in this piece of beautiful artwork. You did not paint what others would imagine, for your eyes have seen the truth. And that truth is that the Night Hunter is a perfectionist in his own manner. He excels in terror and suppression to a degree to where the mention of his name can suppress rebellion." Leaning closer to look at the details, Arnock then looked at Aleph and with a nod and smile, continued, "And it is my belief that I am not the only one to share such a train of thought. I had heard of our squads secondments long before I had joined, and there were a great many rumblings among our legion about it too. Many believed that our ways would become watered down and our standards would be lost to another culture, but this where I knew they were all wrong. Every legion has an area of perfection in which they excel. This means that when our members, whom are perfectionists and refiners, get a hold of something, we begin to excel in that same area. Our legion, and only our legion, has the potential to have squads that reflect perfection from other legions. That is the beauty I see in our legion, the vast amount of potential for refining others' works of art. However, since this view holds place in so few minds, it seems it will never grow to see it's true potential carried out." The standard bearer then sighed and laughed slightly, "But that is just me rambling, again. Your painting seems to have inspired and stirred up my passion. Forgive me."

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  10. Brother_Draconion Draconion Well-Known Member

    The Tide Turns

    Vitaly senses Urlakk Urg's broken carcass being cast off the tower, long before his pict feeds pick it up. A sudden shudder appears to run through the green tide assailing the beleaguered Imperial lines, a palpable sense of doubt replacing the gleeful bloodlust of just a moment ago. Doubt soon turns to dismay and fear, and the Astartes give the Orks no chance to break and run. A roar of, "Children of the Emperor, DEATH TO HIS FOES!" goes down the line, and the counter-charge scatters the horde in a rout that spreads across the length and breadth of the endless sea of green. Vitaly sighs in exasperation as, once again, most of the gun line sallies forth to claim their share of the glory. A binaric blurt to the Herald causes the doughty war machine to roll forward at the speed of a walk, Vitaly advancing alongside it to anchor the Imperial line. Seriously, where would they all be without him, at times?

    No Rest for the Wicked

    Weeks later, Vitaly operates a work cogitator from his hospital bed in the Sovereign's main medical deck. Taken in for emergency detoxification treatment followed by extensive flesh-grafting and reconstructive surgery in response to firsthand exposure to the Ork chemical weapons - to say nothing of the general battering of the battle - he has been confined to bed rest to allow the grafts to bed in properly. Neverthless, the logistical demands of the aftermath of Ullanor have meant an all-hands-on-deck situation for support formations such as the Forge, and so he finds himself chipping in to manage the running of said department remotely, operating machinery remotely and parsing spreadsheets from his bed. He is intellectually aware of some kind of great Triumph to be held on the surface - indeed, he is responsible for supervising a portion of the earthworking teams, as part of his myriad duties - but it all seems rather remote to him in his current situation. All the same, as he takes a brief break from work to peruse the Imperial news networks, he perceives a notable absence in the list of Primarchs named to attend the Triumph. Opening up a messaging application, he composes a missive to the missing party.

    + + + + + +TRANSMITTED: Ullanor
    + + + + + +DESTINATION: IVth Legio Fleet HQ, Sak'trada Deeps
    + + + + + +DATE: 4.343.000.M31
    + + + + + +TELEPATHIC DUCT: Callistarius, Mikellus
    ++ + + + +REF: Inq/90840958940324323432/LA
    + + + + + +AUTHOR: Sokolovsky, Vitaly, Astrotechnicus
    + + + + + +SUBJECT: News and Respectful Salutations
    + + + + + +THOUGHT: Iron knows neither weariness nor compromise. Be likewise.

    To my Lord Perturabo,

    Respectful salutations, and my sincerest wishes for your wellbeing. I write to you in the aftermath of perhaps the greatest campaign of the Crusade to date. No doubt, you will have already heard of it in broad strokes, so I will merely tell you of my own small role in it, and that of my squad, which you have asked about in passing in our previous conversations.

    Vitaly proceeds to write an account of the Ullanor Campaign as experienced by the 3rd Millennial - and 4th Squad, 26th Company, in particular - from the initial void campaign, to the brutal land battles through to the climactic end of the war.

    It is difficult to write with satisfactory detail, but I have chosen to focus on those things I believe my Lord would find most interesting. In particular, I wish to convey my sincerest gratitude for your long and exacting tutelage in the arts of war - your imparted insights into tactical thinking and technological mastery played key roles in swaying the tide in our favour, particularly in the final battle when we retook and restored a captured Land Raider unit. Your assignments on the theory and practice of robotics and improvisational programming proved particularly strategic in that regard, and gave us the preponderance of firepower we needed to hold the Last Bridge long enough to ensure Lord Horus and The Blessed Emperor Himself could complete their decapitation strike. I can never thank you enough, but I can assure you that I will always bear your lessons in my heart, and endeavour to make my works iron, as you exhorted me on our last day together.

    I note with great regret that my Lord Perturabo has not been chosen to attend the Triumph at Ullanor. No doubt this is due to your being occupied with other duties, though I feel that a place of honour in the parade is the least you and the Iron IVth deserve. You are truly the unsung heroes of the Crusade, taking on the unglamorous and critical duties others shirk far too readily, and fulfulling them with the iron of honour and discipline. Know that you and your Legion will always be first in my regard for you as soldiers and paragons of understated honour. May we meet again before too long.

    Till then, I remain

    Your respectful student

    Vitaly Sokolovsky, IIIrd Legio

    Sending the message with his personal signifiers to ensure they reach the eyes of the Lord of Iron himself, Vitaly turns back to his work. This time, he attends to R&D duties, perusing test reports of recovered Ork gravitational technology from various sites around the Ullanor theatre. Not for the first time, he notes the Top Secret classification on the documents, as well as the misleading file names and multiple layers of encryption, reminding him that this entire undertaking is being obscured not only from Imperial authority at large, but even from the rest of the Legion, remaining entirely the preserve of the 3rd Millennial. His brows furrow as he thinks about the furtive and conspiratorial nature of it all - it all seemed so wrong, and yet what choice did they have, when the Mechanicum would have swooped in to commandeer all their work to unfathomable ends, to say nothing of levelling severe sanction against them? The Legions - humanity itself - needed to master the secrets of this technology as quickly as possible to counter the enemies arrayed against mankind. There was no time for Mars' ridiculous dance of opaque ritual and tech-superstition.

    And Vitaly follows the train of his dark contemplations to their natural conclusion, it is as though a shadow veils the future spread out before him, casting it into the blood-tinged darkness of fratricidal war and ruin, as the Imperium, riven by secrets and conspiracies, collapses under its own weight into the violence of civil war, brother turning against brother, broken trust and guilty secrets erupting into bloody betrayal...

    With a shake of his head, Vitaly wills the disturbing vision away. That could never happen, and he would ensure it would never come to pass by working always towards the betterment of mankind. All mankind. Turning to his work, he begins to peruse the latest metrics from the laboratory testing of the captured Ork technology, his dark musings already forgotten.

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