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The Road Of Blood [casual Rp]

Discussion in 'Role Playing' started by Colapse, Jan 5, 2015.

  1. Fenix remember walking up aboard the Flesh Tearer's ship. She had been informed by members of her team what had transpired. Inquisitor Vulpin had been by most of the time she remembered. He had retrieved Dart, even going as far as to see that repairs were made. Fenix thanked him, taking Dart into her arms. Then she grew quiet, Vulpin took this as a sign to leave. Dart was reactivated and hummed alive.
    [Glad to see you up and well Mistress.]
    "Dart, were you awake during the batlle?"
    [Yes. My connection to your eye was disconnected, but I still recorded all within my field of vision. Would you like to see it?]
    "No... I was sloppy. I relied too much on you and let myself be taken down. Failing the mission."
    [Nothing was failed. The day was won.]
    "But not by me. I did nothing... I have to get better."
    [I'd be happy to assist you on further improvements to...]
    "No. Not like that. We've been through a lot. You always there to help, but not as the aim not as the trigger. You can't assist against demons. I'm not reconnecting the uplink, you're going back to mute and I'm getting back to work."
    [But I've had so much to say and still more! Please, let's talk about this?]
    "Shut up Dart."
    With that Fenix, ripped Dart's audio recorder out of his jaw. The voice that used to fill her with joy, now only reminded her of failure. Dartania was dead, she accepted that.

    Epilogue
    Fenix had demanded payment from the Flesh Tearers, once again receiving a round of amused laughter. Before reveling a sealed and signed contract. It was verified and sighted names and deeds worth reimbursement. While lost, it seemed Marmaroth had prepared for this outcome.
    With a new light ship and Thrones to her name, Fenix would venture with a familiar Rogue Trader. Taking bounties and continuing to increase her skill.
    The Bounty Hunter kept the Captain's cloak she had received, all weapons given, and a rosario sealed with thanks for rememberance. Taking the words of faith she had received with her wherever she walked. Wise words from a Friend and comrade. Maybe they're paths would cross again, on another battle field. Fighting on the Bloody Road, one last time.
    A servo skull floated behind her as always, only now it was truly silent.
    Draconion, Colapse, DaKaptin and 3 others like this.
  2. Kaptin Primorkagorka DaKaptin Well-Known Member

    Rocky and Edd, Epilogue part 2 (with Bucky!)
    The Flesh Tearer Apothecaries did what they could for Edd. Most of the physical damaged was repaired, or at the very least stemmed. The human mind was a complex and delicate mechanism. In the End, Edward would be able to live a functional life... However, his days as a solider were now over. His reaction time, motor function, and speech were slowed considerably. The berserker fire that had burn so bright in him had burnt out.
    When Rocky was told this, he was disheartened. All Edd had ever wanted was to fight for the Emperor and his faith had been rewarded with brain damaged.
    'I should have never let him go.' Rocky thought. 'If we had just stayed where they had left us, none of this would have happened... Who am I joking?' He thinks taking a swing from his trusty flask, only to find it empty. 'Of all the rotten luck... heh, who am I trying to fool? Edd wouldn't have been happy there and I couldn't bear to see him like that. Maybe it's time to find a new way.' Stowing the empty flask, Rocky made to find Edd.
    He would find Edd in Flesh Tearer's chapter serf Temple to the Emperor. At Edd's side was Bucky the Daer, now standing tall enough to reach Edd's waste. A full grown man might be able to ride him in a few more days, but that wasn't important. Taking a seat next to him, Rocky watched as Edd appeared to be reading from a space marine sized tomb.
    "What you got there Edd?" Rocky inquired.
    "Ello Rocky. Da Angle dat fixed me up gave dis ta me. Said etz bout da Crusade when da Emperah walked with regular folk loik ya an me. Me BONE's been buzzen lately, so I'm readin et meself... et's easier wiff et but dis es fine." Edd said slowly. Bucky had his head in Edd's lap and snorted soundly.
    "I'm sure it will get easier after a while."
    "Marmaroth's gone on without us hasn't he, Rocky?"
    "Yes Edd he has."
    "Got any ideas wot we should do? You always know wot ta do."
    "I've been giving it some thought... but first I'd like ta ask you what you want to do? Just name it and... we'll do it. I promise, anything at all."
    Edd went quiet, thinking about this. Finding it difficult to think of old ideas. Parts of his memories were still beyond reach, but there was one place Edd had aways dreamed of going that shined through the fog. A place that held significance of personal admiration to the ogryn. It was a happy dream, bringing a smile to his face and a twinkle of childlike wonder to his grey blue eye.
    "Can Bucky come too?"
    "Where ever it is, Bucky will be there. What did you decide?"
    Edd closed the tomb and told his dear friend. Which in turn brought a smile to Rocky's face and a happy "Naagh" from Bucky.

    - 5 years later -
    In Ultima Segmentum, near the Damocles Gulf, On the civilized world of Perlia's western continent, a newly constructed pub stood on the outserts of Havensdown. The sign on the pub's front read "O'Clobber's." with the picture of a large Club wielding rat as it's logo. The Rat was comidically small compared to the Club.
    Havensdown was a small metropolitan city, but with a large Imperial Schola Progenium. O'Clobber's wasn't the most popular of tavern's, but it had a good reputation. The menu was small, the drinks were fine, and it's atmosphere was second to none.
    At the bar, the ratling bartender had a drink for any occasion and was always quick with a joke or ready with an insult. Many a normal sized human would think to talk down to Mr. O'Rafferty, only to have their drinks thrown in their faces or a stubb's revolver hilt smacked against the back of their shins. Such men didn't usually return, but if they did they weren't turned away. After all, Rocky had enough alcohol to forgive and still never run out.
    A large horned quadruped entered and left the pub, giving new patrons a scare and old one sometimes a treat from the surrounding fields. Bucky was a sight to behold now. Horns as long as a man's arm and fangs the length of a standard issue knife. His brown fur had become a think mane of dark almost green fluff, soft to the touch and a real hit with the young who'd accompany their guardians.
    And finally, sitting in a custom sized armchair by the fireplace, an old War scarred Ogryn sat. A group of Progena sat around, listening to his old war stories and tales of heroism. Not everyone believed them, that a ratling and ogryn could do so much and live to tell the tale. Most just drank and laughed them off. Not in a mean spirited way, but in a way that ignorant people usually did with things they don't understand. That didn't matter much to Edd or Rocky. As with all groups, one would listen and believe. Two such individual were an old Commissar, and his foul smelling personal aid, who the progena had accompanied. They were regulars and Edward Club couldn't be happier for it. He even got his Autograph on his vid copy of "Death and Glory."

    THE END

    OOC: Wow that took longer to get done that I thought it would. I had so much fun writing with you all! Rocky and Edd were some of the best Characters I've developed and I loved writing for them. THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR SUCH A GREAT RP! Especially @Colapse . I hope we can RP again in the near future. wink wink... wink!
  3. Brother_Draconion Draconion Well-Known Member

    Epilogue: The Circle Continues> Part 1


    Date: One Month After the Conclusion of the Road of Blood


    Location: Nocturne, Eastern Skarrok, Central Tahken-han, Lower slopes of Mount Kiamat, Yamaryoku-josai, Inner Vestibule of the Lord's Chambers


    Time: 1830 Local Standard


    Sitting on my knees in contemplation, I stare at the sword displayed in honour on the family altar as I have for the past day and a half, willing it to give up its secrets, to dispense advice...to give some sign of the path I must take. As always, my efforts are in vain, and the weapon remains as inscrutable as ever, for all my talents at Warpcraft. Not for the first time, I am struck by how plain and unremarkable it looks - an Astartes-sized O-dachi, or 'large sword'. Larger than hand-and-a-half size, but not quite oversized enough to qualify as no-dachi, or polearm masquerading as a sword, most of its size is in the breadth and thickness of its blade rather than excessive length. It is also conspicuously absent ostentation. With its plain black fittings of obsidianized lavawood, sa'hrk-skin and cord tape, it could have been mistaken for a simple if exceedingly well-turned footman's blade - apart from its remarkable size.


    For those with eyes to see, the clues are plain enough. The blade is shot through with psy-reactive crystal that describe draconic motifs up and down the steel. They lie still and dark now, but I have seen them blaze to life before, swimming up and down the steel like drakes in a bath of lava, occasionally arcing forth from the blade and back down again like the sudden fury of a main-sequence star. The way the light glints off the blade tells even my mediocre smiter's eye that this is no ordinary alloy - that many reworkings and countless hours in the forge in the wake of untold great battles have made it what it is today. The way the air sings across the edge - sweet, discordant notes just on the edge of my enhanced Astartes hearing - speaks of the miracle of severed molecules, of atoms sundered into their subatomic components by unimaginably sophisticated materials engineering. And an itching in my teeth reminds me of the psy-enhanced power field generator that now lies dormant, hinting at plundered alien secrets forcibly wrenched into conformity with the Universal Laws and enslaved to serve Humanity.


    A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, much like the man who had borne it until recently.


    "Great-grandfather," I whisper almost inaudibly, never taking my eyes off Ryugamaru, "Show me the way. Give me a sign as to where I must go from here."


    It had been almost exactly a month ago that word of his ultimate fate reached us, along with his surviving comrade who was recently made again a free man after languishing in the dungeons of Prometheus for most of that time. The momentuous events of the Road of Blood have been detailed elsewhere, and I shall not mention them, save to say that my great-grandfather and battle-brother Draconion He'tar died a death befitting the highest traditions of the Chapter - in honour, heroism and self-sacrifice. Sadly, his mortal flesh and many of the relics he bore upon his person were annihilated in that final battle, leaving us bereft of his gene-seed, with only four objects to pass on those who remain. One of those now sits before me in the family vestibule, brought to us by no less august a personage than Lord Vel'cona himself, who appeared upon our doorstep early yesterday morning. As regional Judicator-in-Attendance as well as de facto Living Ancestor of House Yamaryoku, it of course fell to me to receive him.


    "Draconion is no longer with us, but his legacy must continue," he said, launching into business without preamble, as is his wont, "Lord Tu'shan sends his commendations to your house, and his hopes that you will live up to the high standards set by your late great-grandfather and battle-brother."


    I bowed and mumbled the appropriate words to the acerbic Lord of the Librarium, who went right on as though he had not heard me, though I knew better.


    "He also sends you this blade," added Vel'cona, stomping up to our vestibule to slap the sword on the empty stand without ceremony, before lighting three sticks of incense and clasping them between his hands in rough reverence for a minute's silence, then shoving them none too gently into the censer before the sword stand.


    I winced at Vel'cona, feeling conflicted as always at how he managed to seamlessly blend thoughtless irreverence with the most mindful courtesy. Was this one of the side effects of true enlightenment - to know the difference between what really mattered and what was dross to be cast aside?


    "It has been declared a relic of the Chapter, and is yours to wield," he continued, turning to face me, "If you accept this task from him."


    So there it was - the catch. The condition I had to fulfil in order to inherit my great-grandfather's legacy, the work of his hands and the blood shed to build his legend.


    "I am my Chapter's hands and eyes," I replied, answering with studied dutifulness as I had been taught from an early age, "I go where I am needed to do what must be done."


    Vel'cona snorted.


    "A fine answer, Yamaryoku Tatsumaru," he began, circling me like a predator regarding a haunch of fresh, bloody meat, "And a commitment that will certainly be tested. For, should you accept, you will be sent away from the Chapter. These ancient Legion-brothers of ours Draconion discovered, they number far too many for us to take in, and their home thus far has proven to be...strategically valuable. It must be defended on a permanent basis, and so the decision to found a new Chapter has been taken and approved by the High Lords. Given the...special circumstances surrounding their post, they will be best served by a sizeable corps of psychically-capable battle-brothers, which they lack entirely at this point in time. That is where you come in. You are to travel to Draconium to recruit and train the nucleus of Lord Commander Drakvaar's new Librarius corps."


    I blinked. Unless I was hearing amiss, this was simultaneously a massive promotion and a permanent exile.


    "M'lord, I..."


    Vel'cona held up a hand to forestall anything I might have to say.


    "Before you go on," he said, his voice uncharacteristically gentle, "I know how it sounds. Yes, it sounds like we are immediately bumping you up to Chief Librarian and sending you away from Nocturne to Here-Be-Dragons for good. Let me immediately disabuse of the first notion. Chief Librarian?! BAH! Live out your second and third centuries of war unending before you dare even think of such, whelp!"


    Continuing to pace in a circle about me, he continued.


    "As to the second, likewise incorrect. It is true that it is a long-term assignment - indefinite attachment to the new Chapter to help them to their feet in terms of their Librarium. You will report back to us on a five-yearly basis - recruitment, performance, candidate prognoses and so forth - and, once we judge the Dragon Guard are ready to stand on their own, you may return home if you wish."


    Coming to a halt in front of me, he looked me in the eye. Vel'cona was not a large man - by Astartes standards - by any means. If anything, he was slightly shorter than myself, but his presence filled the fortress.


    "I understand this is no easy thing I ask of you. All we Nocturneans are deeply rooted in the soil that gave us birth, and we treasure bonds of clan and kin. I give you a week to think on this. There is no dishonour should you choose to refuse, though I trust you will make the right decision."


    And here have I knelt ever since, meditating on the choices before me and which ones to take. Tahken-han is in a volatile state at the moment. The latest Tahken-no-kami passed leaving too many potential heirs, all with no clear right of succession greater than the others. With a succession struggle teetering dangerously close to outright civil war, it has fallen to House Yamaryoku, as primary retainer to the ruling lord's house, to keep the peace and rule as regent until the tangled mess of succession rights can be sorted out.


    Needless to say, this has caused all manner of unhappiness, mostly centering around accusations of House Yamaryoku making an unconscienable grab for power and the ruling lord's estate, and culminating in more than a few assassination attempts. Tamanosuke Genjuro, the current Lord Yamaryoku - and my great-grandson - is handling things as well as anyone has a right to expect, but he is only human, aging and tired to boot. As Living Ancestor, I have a responsibility to keep an eye on things and tread the fine line between letting mortals play their affairs out without smothering influence from posthuman immortals, while at the same time shepherding them away from the abyss of senseless self-destruction.


    And so I haunt the shadowed places in the corridors of power, watching, listening, whispering advice into deserving ears and prognosticating the more sophisticated and dastardly assassination attempts that my poor descendant would never have a chance of catching. I am quite certain by now that the cadet branch of House Tahken thoroughly hates me, and would do away with me, if they could overcome their posthuman dread. And if they could feasibly find a way. I am just about ready to do away with them, as I have almost assembled sufficient proof that they have a covert and thoroughly unsanctioned pet psyker in their employ. Just a couple more months' work and I'll have a chance at cutting out the rot before it settles deep into the bones of an old and noble dynasty...


    A crack of thunder like a bomb-blast jolts me out of my reverie. Lightning-strike, and very close. The autumn storms are setting in. Tahken's most iconic and dangerous time of year.


    "Ato de, Sosoufu-sama de sansho shite kudasai," I murmur, placing my hands down in front of myself and bowing my head respectfully to the floor towards Ryugamaru, bidding formal farewell to the spirit and memory of my great-grandfather before shuffling ritually backwards three paces on my knees, then rising to open the shoji leading onto the veranda.


    Standing on the elevated wooden platform, I gaze towards the lowering skies, already crackling with sheet and fork lightning. The first few drops of rain patter onto my bare face as I watch the brightly-coloured hitotako gliders float home to their roosts. Far away, my enhanced eyes watch on as the most adventurous of the aeronauts ride the very edge of the oncoming storm home, my ears listening to their wild whoops of joy as they strives to outdo one another for daring in their reckless stunting and showboating.


    We Skarokki are not as earthbound as other Nocturneans. Living on the rarified points of the planet's teeth, we are more in touch with the airy heights than any other born of our world of fire and darkness. More than any other Nocturnean, a Skarokki mountaineer is used to feeling and thinking in three dimensions, and regards the shifting gravity of our homeworld as more of a challenge than a threat. Most of us climb mountains for our daily living, and our men of daring sail the turbulent skies in flimsy gliders of wood, bone, hide, cloth or paper for sport and often for their daily bread. Small wonder, then, that we produce some of the finest pilots and voidsmen in the sector.


    Gazing into the teeth of Nocturne's unbridled fury, I come to a decision. Ruminating in a sheltered room before an ancestral sword will solve nothing. I will face my hard choices like a true Fireborn - head-on, in the face of life and death. Vulkan taught us that fire destroys nothing of true worth - merely burns away the dross to reveal the substance beneath, transforming and refining it to something greater than it was before. Most other Fireborn would take the Burning Walk across the Pyre Desert. Skarokki Salamanders have a similar tradition uniquely suited to their heritage. It generally takes a lot less time, simply because death has the potential to come so much faster.


    We call it, "Riding the Whirlwind."


    Nodding to a nearby attendant, I bid the lad approach.


    "Ready my glider."
  4. Brother_Draconion Draconion Well-Known Member

    Part 2

    Date:
    Three Days Later


    Location: Nocturne, Eastern Skarrok, Upper Tahken-han, Tatsuhonegake - the Dragonbone Cliffs


    Time: 0045 Local Standard


    Lightning lashes the skies, threatening to ruin my night vision by turning pitch-black to noonday for a brief second. No real trial to my Astartes vision by itself, but up here, seven thousand metres above sea level, with freezing rain slashing down on me from every angle, numbing even my posthuman flesh and turning my handholds slippery and treacherous, the slightest thing has a very real chance of killing me. Turning my face up, I grit my teeth in the face of nature's unleashed fury and forge my way up the vertical rock face, fingers driving into every crevice I can find, occasionally making some where there were none before.


    My aerial journey took me a good thousand kilometres north of the central demesne. I was headed for my favourite place for quiet and reflection, forging through the heart of the storm, revelling in pitting myself against the very worst nature had to offer. The Dragonbone Cliffs were my favourite natural feature on all of Nocturne - in my mind, the greatest of all her awesome and terrifying wonders. After all, how many things can truly compare to the spine and ribs of a dragon embedded in living rock five to seven thousand metres above sea level? Whenever my duties took me to the region, I would always make a point to visit the Dragonbone Cliffs, going by glider if I could. Said glider currently rests some three thousand metres below me, safely tucked into a small cave in the cliff face.


    Some sense beyond my five natural ones screams in my head, and I hug myself flat to the cliff face. Not a moment too soon, as a boulder the size of a Predator battle tank sails past close enough to scrape the skin of my back. I refrain from actively using Warpcraft during these forays - to do so would defeat the purpose of the ordeal - but they are so innately a part of me that some of the subtler manifestations are inevitable, as natural as eating and breathing. I have come to accept them as such, and make use of these interludes to grow more deeply in touch with my aetheric self. Biting down, I forge ever upwards and on.


    Dawn finds me sitting at the top of the cliff, my legs dangling over the edge as I throw my head back and take deep breaths, shaking feeling back into my cramping fingers as I do so. The glowering clouds break in time for the fierce light of Nocturne's sun to illuminate the ranges, dispelling the glooms and painting the stark grey rock in lambent oranges and yellows made rich by the moisture all around. Rising to my feet, I turn around to feast my eyes on the savage beauty of my home planet, gazing with wonder for the umpteenth time on the titanic remains of Ancalagon the Black, embedded in the high rock, laying just as he has been for the past several million years.


    A faint movement - nothing more than a brief rustle - catches my attention, my battle-honed senses warning me that I am not alone up here. Spinning round on the balls of my bare feet, I home in on the source of the noise and find myself staring into a pair of startlingly self-aware amber eyes. Perched upon a small spire of rock just a few metres above my head, it appears the stone itself has grown eyes with which to regard me with feline ambivalence. A patch of rock shifts colour with hypnotic fluidity, revealing a winged, reptilian shape about the size of a large dog that leaps down from its perch, soaring on outstretched webs of scaly hide to glide over my head and land behind me.


    "Hello, Little Ancalagon," I say, nodding my head head respectfully at my late great-grandfather's companion.


    I knew the creature by sight and reputation, though we had never met before. His discovery had sent shockwaves through xenopaleontology circles. A living void dragon threatened to overturn many cherished theories - I daresay dogmas - of natural history, and more than a few respected academics were threatening to play the heresy card and call in the Inqusition to exterminate the little creature on grounds of being inherently blasphemous. Needless to say, the Chapter had stepped firmly in at this point to quash such nonsense before it went further.


    Even so, I could understand some of the weight of their awe as I gazed upon the drakeling - now sporting its usual night-black colouration - as it sat primly on the flat rock to regard me with its inscrutable gaze. It was tiny now, but were it allowed to live long enough, it had the potential to grow large enough to measure a major mountain range with its unfleshed spine alone. My great-grandfather apparently enjoyed a close psychic communion with the cature, and was convinced that it was no less than direct offspring of the selfsame Ancalagon upon whose bones we now rested, an egg that had lain dormant through the eons to hatch but a few months ago, when fate finally deemed the time to be right. There was no way way to test this assertion - traces of viable genetic matter were long-gone from the fossils at Dragonbone Cliff - but I felt inclined to believe my great-grandfather on this count. Staring at Ancalagon the Little, I felt a curious dislocation, as though something immense were bearing down upon me from an unimaginably ancient past, with all the weight of history behind it.


    Abruptly realising how awkward I must have looked trading stares with a drakeling, I sat down upon a flat rock and turned my gaze outward, taking in the view of the Dragonbone ranges in silence for a while.


    "So what can I do for you, Little Ancalagon?" I asked at length, thinking it was no accident that had thrown us together.


    Perhaps this was what I had been looking for, the sign that would guide me towards the path that my future would take. But was its meaning? Abruptly, Little Ancalagon sprang to his feet and fixed me with a piercing amber stare before launching himself off the cliff to soar downward. To this day, I cannot say what exactly convinced me to do what came next, other than that it felt completely right at the time.


    As though entranced, I followed suit, hurling myself off the cliff. Gravity soon had a firm hold on my heavy posthuman physique, and the wind whistled in my ears as I plummeted earthward, accelerating towards terminal velocity. Astartes are said to know no fear, but we certainly do know imminent death when it comes for us. I felt no such thing, merely the gentlest of nudges on my psyche that confirmed for me something I had long suspected I was born knowing how to do. Turning my senses inward, I envisioned magnificent wings of light and fire sprouting from my back to catch the winds - both of the physical world and the aether - halting my plummet and translating that energy into glorious flight.


    Instantly, I felt a jerk as momentum reversed itself. Opening my eyes, I found myself soaring, a night-black shape soaring and barrel-rolling protectively alongside me. To either side of myself, I could just about make two vague shimmers in the moist air as psychic energy ionised the air and refracted light.


    I spent much of the remains of the day flying for the sheer joy of it, racing and chasing with Little Ancalagon. Though not so much as a shred of mindspeech passed between us, I knew we had conversed on a far deeper level and was certain beyond doubt that he had chosen me. I was also certain now as to why he had chosen me and what I had to do next.
  5. Brother_Draconion Draconion Well-Known Member

    Part 3

    Date:
    A week later


    Location: Nocturne, Prometheus, Salamanders Fortress-Monastery, Forge Primus


    Time: 1230 Local Standard


    "Lord Eraklion..."


    *CLANG*


    "ARGH! What?! What the zog is it?!"


    "...uh, Lord, there is a visitor asking for you."


    "Oh, for zogging out loud, can it wait? Can't you see I'm up to my shoulders in this Land Raider's arse here?!"


    "Um..."


    I felt sorry for the young serf as he turned to me, uncertain of what to say. Waving him away, I could feel relief radiating off him in waves as he bowed and scurried past me, eager to be anywhere else but here. Eraklion could have that effect on people.


    "Oh. It's you," came my cousin's voice from a grease-stained face emerging on a rollerboard from beneath a Land Raider on its maintenance cycle, "What do you want?"


    His tone rather put me in mind of something distasteful stuck to his boot, and Eraklion pretty much thought of everyone that way once he was engrossed in his work. He could actually be quite the life of the party other times...if one could put up with his irreverent humour and insufferably smug arrogance. The burdens of being born with a technical intellect as large as his, I had always supposed. Having grown up together with him, I had long since learned how best to deal with him. Flicking a hardbacked set of printouts at him, I managed to catch him completely offguard and in the face.


    "OW! Hey! What was that for?!"


    "Great-grandfather's journals. Lord Vel'cona has the originals in the Librarius, but thinks it is only right that we get copies of the sections pertaining to our vocations that he deemed safe for us to keep on our persons."


    "Meaning what?"


    "Meaning you get all his forgework notes, while I get his psychic studies...though, in fact, I simply took the liberty of printing out two identical copies for the both of us. A lot of his work delved into psychic technology, anyway, so it would be good for you to have a read...if you can wrap that dense head of yours around warp dynamics."


    "Bah. That's rich, coming from someone who manages to break his hammers when forging table cutlery."


    "In any case," I say, ignoring the mortal insult with aplomb (so I like to think), "I have come to bid farewell. I have been attached out indefinitely - no telling when I'll be back."


    Eraklion grunted as he wheeled himself back under the Land Raider.


    "Uh-huh. Well, get on with the bloody job, then, and try not to make a bloody hash of it, will you? Now zog off - I have work to do."


    This was probably as close to a proper farewell as I was going to get from my cousin, so I turned on my heel to leave. For as long as I could remember, we had fought over everything, mostly for the principle of it, but also in an unspoken contest to see who was our great-grandfather's true heir. I had inherited a double share of his psychic gift, his penchant for swordcraft and, many had said, his quiet dignity...or uptightness, as Eraklion called it. My cousin, on the other hand, had certainly taken all of his genius in the technical disciplines for himself, along with his keen wit and facility for cutting banter.


    "Oh, and Tatsumaru."


    I stopped in my tracks at the door of the forge.


    "What?"


    "Be careful out there. Make sure you come back alive."


    Now that was unexpected.


    "I will. Thank you, Eraklion."


    "Don't thank me. It's just that you still owe me five bottles of Firewine from our last tarot game."


    Now that was expected.


    Shaking my head and suppressing a grin, I found myself squeezing past Forgemaster Argos, saluting as the venerable officer made his spidery, mechanical way into the Primus Forge. As I left the premises, I could not help but listen in to the exchange that went on.


    "Brother Eraklion..."


    "ZOG OFF ALREADY!!! How many more of you gits are going to interrupt me today?!"


    "Brother Eraklion, if you do not get out from under that Land Raider this very second and snap to attention to await orders, I will have you on sanitary plumbing duty for the next three decades. Is that clear?"


    "Ayecrystalclearm'lordrealsorrym'lorddidn'tknowwasyou'm'lord."


    "Now shut your smart mouth and listen for a moment. The Chapter Master has marked you for a great honour. Your orders are to prepare to ship for the Jericho Sector, there to take Deathwatch black..."
  6. Brother_Draconion Draconion Well-Known Member

    Part 4

    Date:
    Forty Years Later


    Location: Segmentum Obscurus, The Cadian Gate, Belis Corona


    Time: 1445 Local Standard



    Standing upon the deck plates of flight hangar three of the strike cruiser Draconis Rex, I watch as ten full combat squads - a full demicompany - of Dragon Guard go through the motions of final pre-deployment preparation. With each team goes a junior Librarian - a newly-minted Lexicanum of the Dragon Guard Librarius, almost two-thirds of our entire roster. I walk the ranks in silence for the most part, stopping to help young Jafaar adjust his psychic hood. Not exactly Codex-compliant, but experience - both my own and the accumulated wisdom of generations of Astartes Librarians - has taught me to give the young every opportunity to improve their chances at surviving long enough to learn and grow.


    Astartes psykers are rare and precious, even in that remarkable system Draconium, which produces the psyker mutation at unprecedented rates. With the system's mineral wealth, psychic hoods are relatively easy to manufacture, particularly with the support of the industrial world of Draconium IV - rapidly developing into a full-fledged Forgeworld under the watchful eye of Lord Commander Drakvaar. And so it was that I pushed early on for the issue of psychic hoods to all full-fledged Librarius members, from the lowest to the highest.


    "Squads Sextus through Decima are ready for deployment, Primus."


    I turn at the soft voice of Idris, my right-hand man, freshly-minted as Codicier. His inscrutable eyes - glowing red like my own - bore into mine as he awaits my orders. The very best of the very first batch selected for training, he has grown to be a friend and brother in many ways, displaying wisdom well beyond his years, as well as unimpeachable courage and warcraft.


    The four decades in Draconium have been hard on me, forcing me to draw on reserves of strength and judgement I never knew existed. Official recognition was rare - I went there at the humble rank of Codicier, and only recently did Lord Vel'cona, upon perusing my latest progress report, curtly promote me to Epistolary. And yet, never have I known a more rewarding tour of duty - taking young men with the potential to be the downfall of all humanity and moulding them into its ultimate defenders.


    Here, now, at the onset of the 14th Black Crusade, our first test as a cohesive unit begins - the first trial of a new doctrine of warfare first proposed in the journals of Draconion He'tar.


    "You have run all the checks yourself, Idris?"


    "Aye, Primus. Jump packs are running to spec, suits are void-hardened, special weapons pass muster. All that remains is the signal to load up," he replies, nodding at the open ramps of the Caestus assault rams.


    The rank that Idris addresses me by is semi-official at best, and originated with him, or at least his cadre. Despite my duties making me a Chief Librarian by default, I am a 'mere' Epistolary by rank according to the decree of Vel'cona. While this has never once bothered me, it certainly seemed to bother my senior students, who promptly conferred upon me the semi-official rank of Epistolary Primus, or Primus, for short. Initially, I clamped down hard on this, seeing it as insubordination to Vel'cona's orders, until Drakvaar took me aside and explained it as a quirk of their native fire tribe culture, where the spontaneous conferring of grandiloquent titles upon elders is a mark of utmost respect. Deciding to let sleeping dogs lie, I decided to accept it without any active endorsement. Now, it simply feels natural within our tight-knit brotherhood.


    On cue, the deployment rune blinks to life within our helmet HUDs, and I signal to the squads to board their assigned craft. Squads Unus to Pentus will be under my overall charge, while Idris will take charge of Sextus through Decima. As the strike cruiser rocks with the impact of hard-fought void war, I reflect on our mission - a boarding action upon a contested star fort, acting in support of mixed Imperial forces already onboard, including elements of the Salamanders, encompassing several squads of Firedrakes, who had spearheaded the boarding action.


    As I climb last aboard my boarding ram - so as to be first out - a massive reptilian shape follows me aboard and curls up on the floor between benches as best he can. Little Ancalagon has gotten a lot less little over the past four decades. The size of a large dog when we first met, he is now closer to a bull grox in size, and thrice as ornery when provoked, with adamantine scales and claws that can leave rents in vehicle armour. He nuzzles my knee as he settles down and I scratch him behind the ears.


    As my assault ram dives nosefirst into the upper decks of the star fort, I note with satisfaction that all five of our delivery vehicles have successfully evaded enemy fire on final approach to the mission zone. Nothing worries a commander more than the potential of losing valuable troops in transit. A jarring impact is followed by the hiss and immense heat of the magna-melta burning its way through the outer hull. The thunder of the frag assault launchers is interspersed with cries and screams, confirming what my subtle senses have already informed me of - that the beachhead will be contested. Not that I am worried - that is exactly what we came expecting.


    "Psy-war squads - prepare to board under fire," I say over the vox as I disengage from my inertial suppression frame.


    As the ramp, descends, Little Ancalagon is first out, galloping out into the smoke beyond, screams and wild shooting announcing his presence on the field shortly after. Drawing Ryugamaru and hefting a storm shield in my other hand, I follow close on his heels, first out of all my men into the smoky, flaming chaos beyond. Perforated bodies turn to jelly beneath my armoured feet as I seek out the soulfires of the enemy, the smoke offering no concealment against my armour autosenses and innate witchsight. As I focus my will to burn a knot of panicked Chaos infantry from existence, warriors in quartered stone-grey and wine-red armour file out after me and consolidate our beachhead with a textbook all-round defensive position.


    "First Sergeant Feron, this is Epistolary Yamaryoku Tatsumaru of the Dragon Guard, here to reinforce you. Please update us with your sitrep. Recommend you prioritise daemonic or psyker threats so we can move to counter, over."


    As new mission information crackles through the battlenet, I set out at a fast march down a corridor, waving my squads into formation behind me.


    "This way, brothers. Our Legion-brothers report a major daemonic incursion three decks down, and we are best-placed to stop it. All squads, mind your quadrants and double-time it with me. In the Emperor's name - bring them death and dragonfire!"


    "BOIL THE OCEANS AND BURN THE SKIES!" respond my eager young acolytes as they follow in my footsteps, the Circle that took me away from my Chapter for forty long years taking me right back to it amidst the white heat of battle.
  7. Kaptin Primorkagorka DaKaptin Well-Known Member

    OOC: That was nice.
    Colapse and Draconion like this.
  8. Valonox Valonox Preacher

    OOC: I just finally read through this all an amazing story.
  9. Colapse Colapse Forum Beta Tester

    OOC thx bro, rly appreciate it :) Keep an eye out, there might be a new Chaos RP inc (real) soon tm :)
    Draconion, DaKaptin and Valonox like this.
  10. Valonox Valonox Preacher

    tag me
    Colapse likes this.

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