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They Cometh From Iron

Discussion in 'Role Playing' started by DeranVendar, Mar 11, 2017.

  1. @DeranVendar @matt23 @Vulpas

    The boom of a shotgun would sound out, as Path-Rider Crul would loose his first burst of fire against the invaders on his soil. Those people within the war convoy would watch as not only did the shot connect directly against the chest of the armoured giants, but aside from some minor damage to the plate, the being was unaffected. Turning gaze towards the mob that surrounded them, then down to the damage his armour had suffered, Diokletious would see how the locals had made their choice. Hearing the roar of their engines, the Chapter Master would speak through the vox, addressing his men.

    "Take them."

    As his thunderhawk transport flew onto the scene, it would be given proper clearance for an attack run, and for the first time, these locals would know the meaning of transhuman dread. Fire and wrath would rain down upon them from above, while below, the giants clad in their plate would charge forth, massive guns hammering bolt after bolt into their forms and vehicles, glowing weapons cutting through metal and sinew alike. The skirmish would not be a long one, but it's brutality would be felt across the islands in the months to come, the son of a major chieftain and his war convoy utterly destroyed by a simple party of invaders. As the honour guard, chief librarian, exemplar and chapter master loaded back upon their transport, leaving behind a pyre of mortal folly, those few beings who had witnessed this battle and survived would skulk away to spread the word.

    The sky men, those responsible for the cataclysm that had shattered their world, had returned.

    With their thunderhawk returning back into orbit, Diokletious himself would continue to enforce the ban on travel to this area. He would need to discuss their fate with their Chief Librarian, and the nature of what they'd seen below, what it meant for their future.

    _____

    "Chapter Master Diokletious, is recognized by the chamber."

    Diokletious stands once more, having heard the thoughts of comrades and friends alike, weighing their thoughts on the matters at hand. In his own mind, he is pleased with the developments towards their relations with the Salamanders, as he'd first touch upon it again.

    "So it seems my brothers, that while there are many here who would wish to recontact our old allies in the XVIIIth Legion, others have wisely requested caution above all. It is with this in mind that I am willing to offer a compromise in line with our Soul Smith's plans, that we shall go to them as Dawnbringers, Sons of Ultramar, and nothing more. However, I would still wish for our envoys to be of 1st Company, for our brother is the most versed in the ways of Nocturne, and will no doubt be our best step forward. Yet, in the name of caution, and indeed, of leaving no loose ends...."

    Diokletious now turns his gaze towards Herchel himself, as he continues to speak.

    "Brother, if you should wish to take this task, I must ask of you something great. Your name is one that may still be known to The Salamanders, and their warriors. I would be honoured, as it were, if you'd join me in a reforging, taking a new name, to once and for all separate you from the legion we were, and to forge a new identity with the chapter we now seek to be."

    It is a lot to ask of his brother, Diokletious knows, for he has seen similar in the times since he'd started his small ritual of renaming. However, if they were to go out and be in the public eye of their allies and comrades for the next generation or so, they'd need to cut the ties to the past to better embrace their future. He'd indeed wish for Herchel to be the one to foster ties between their two chapters, but he could not do so with the identity he bore now.​
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  2. Akerath Vlayden Well-Known Member

    "As far as they would know," The Contemptor spoke up once more, "we are little more than other Ultramarines; they would have little reason to trust us after what has... Happened. How would they go caring for what random Astartes of Macragge wish to say? A bit of respect may go a fair ways, but they would treat us as any other. Familiarity is a strong thing, moreso to such men as they."

    "I'd.. Recommend at least, speaking to the higher ups. To The Primarch even, and to explain our true situation as one of utmost secrecy."
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  3. DeranVendar DeranVendar Subordinate

    Chapter Council: Conclusions
    With less ceremony than they began, the council disperses and most everyone files out one by one. Diokletious and his ever attendant Master of the House are the only ones to remain behind. One council exits, and another enters: Squat delegates and a small horde of scribes and planetary advisors interested in forging deals and petitioning the Lord of Dawn for attention and services, all work that shall consume many hours and much of the master's patience. Alas, it must be done.

    Thus the first successful council of the Dawnbringers was brought to a close and several events set in action. For the time being their planet and her people would be left to govern themselves, develop, and grow with minimal interference. Of the spare marines currently sitting outside an official company, they would be developed into an under-strength Fourth Line Company, one that might begin bloodying itself in lesser conflicts under the command of Captain Gario. Akar volunteered him to lead the Fourth, for a moment some life returned to the man's eyes upon Diokletious' agreement; it all vanished when Chapter Master deemed him Captain of the Fifth, which was now their Scout Company. Finally Herchel and the First Company would begin arming themselves for a visit to Nocturne and, hopefully, a friendly campaign against the horrors of the void alongside the Salamanders.

    Sons of Guilliman
    Gnarled old hands clutched at wrapping with a practiced gentle-firmness that had braced the hands of desperate refugees and held firm battered bolters in need of care. Robes hung past feet, a hunch having left everything sagging a little lower in recent years. What a bother it made ascending the countless stairs. Still the elder Serf would never dare complain. Besides the view was absolutely astonishing, countless standards of war belonging to the Ultramarines, and now their numerous brother chapters, sitting beneath a glass dome. Through said dome one of the few clear skies left in Ultramar after the the vile and cowardly assault by the traitors shone bright light upon the heraldry of these banners.

    At last the man hobbled up to empty pedestal. Carefully delicate papers binding the standard were skinned away with bare hands. With a stretch and a heave Serf impales banner pole into its slot, sinking it down nearly a foot into the marble column until a pair of pressure clamps clinked soundly against the metal. Between supports set aside for the Silver Skulls and the Libators now stood a proud standard of the Dawnbringers: a sword with its tip speared into a fallen traitor before a golden dawn and morning sky over a world whose earth was colored flat black adorned the cloth. Numerous were the paths of destiny and just as numerous, yet few were the fates awaiting in the end. Emperor willing the fate of those who stood beneath that banner, and every other around it, would vanish into the night and give way to a never ending road of glories and victories uncountable.

    Dawnbringers - Generation One

    Primarch: Roboute Guilliman

    Chapter Organization:
    Chapter Command: Chapter Master Diokletious, Exemplar Nathiel, Knights of Dawn
    Librarium: Chief Librarian Alexander, One Epistolary, Two Codiciers, Two Lexicanum
    Reclusiam: Soul Smith Epimonos, Temperers Agenar, Aleksius, Terakles, Ten Initiates
    Armory and Forge: Iron Master Vilhelm, Five Techmarines,
    Apothecarium: Chief Apothecary Anaviosi, Four Apothecaries
    Ancients: Elpidius, Brumdar, Talus, Ilchero​

    Companies:
    1st: Kerberos Company (Captain Maximillian)
    "STOP PICKING AT IT. IT WON'T HEAL FASTER." - Elpidius on Maximillian, Herstius to most of First Company
    2nd: Iron Reapers (Captain Kremnar)
    "Death does not concern us, for what are we, if not death itself?" - Kremnar
    3rd: The Torch Bearers (Captain Menelaus)
    "The flame of righteous fury burns in our breasts. We shall light the way, warm the weak, and torch the deviant, the degenerate, and the xeno." - Menelaus
    4th: The Half-Steel (Captain Gario)
    "We are all sons of Guilliman now. Sort of. There are those Imperial Fists in First. The Death...Raven Guard in Second. By the Warp, think we can be Space Wolves then?" - Gario upon promotion to Captain
    5th: Scout Company (Akar...sigh)
    "I did not complain when they gave me a single squad. Now they have given me a company. That Nob should have killed me. This is all the xeno's fault." - Akar everyday for the rest of his life

    Fleet: Notable Elements
    Astra Drakon – Strike Cruiser -Squat efficiency, Temperamental Teleporters
    The Coming Dawn – Avenger Cruiser – Heavily Upgraded Armor, Redundant Systems, Upgraded Turrets (Internal/External), Virus Bomb Storage, Temperamental Teleporters
    Odiaus’ Pride – Strike Cruiser – Temperamental Teleporters, Ultra-Crew, Refurbished
    Two Stormbirds
    Three Fire Raptors​

    Vehicle Pool + Armory: Notable Elements
    Three Land Raiders
    Fellblade – Hammer of Eraklion
    Fifteen Jet Bikes
    Baneblade – Gangaresh
    Two Contemptor Shells
    One Leviathan Shell
    Sicarian Omega – Gladius ad Solis
    Thirty-Nine suits of Terminator Armor (Ten Indomitus, Twenty-Four Cataphracti, and Five Tauros)​

    Chapter Traits:
    +Guild Master Gingerbraid – Gingerbraid will lead a small clan of Squats in establishing themselves on the Chapter home world providing it with various upgrades, and the Chapter with some much needed technological clout and forging ability.

    +Finest Sons: The reputation of Guilliman and the Ultramarines benefits the Dawnbringers. This negates the negative effects on relations with other Imperial organizations due to their founding history.

    Quirks/Traditions:
    Company Musicians – Each company has a musician with a sonic weapon.

    Chaplains – Soul Smith leads the Temperers.

    Iron Reapers – Second Company Officers and veterans train in use of power scythes.

    Exemplars – Combined Chapter Ancient/Champion role. Wear standards on back.

    Special Gear/Equipment/Upgrades:
    +Zeussar Pattern Bolt Pistol – Creation of Iron Master Vilhelm at the opening of the Horus Heresy. Utilizes a targeting cogitator and expanded drum clip to fire a Kraken Bolt and then a regular one for increased AP and killing power against armored targets.

    +Temperamental Teleportation – Iron Master Vilhelm developed and modified multiple teleporter units in both ships and suits of Terminator armor during the Heresy. These units can activate faster, teleporter further, and transport larger loads at the cost of increased maintenance and repairs after active periods of use.

    Relations:
    Ultramarine Descendants – Warm – Guilliman as sponsor
    Salamanders – Warm – Campaign Cooperation

    Doctrines:
    Chapter Master Dyokletious:
    +Breaking Dawn – On the first turn of all battles initiated by the Dawnbringers the enemy has 1 less Tides of War action, and friendly forces have 1 extra.

    Captain Herchel:
    +Hoplikons (Upgraded Assault Terminators) – Hoplikons use their storm shields to grant a bonus Tides of War defense roll, and one more minor buff/event based on what unit they are assigned to guard.
    +The Undying First – Free re-roll of the first failed Tides of War Defense roll each turn.

    Captain Kremnar:
    + Bolter Drills – Kremnar’s rigorous training has boosted the bolter based accuracy of his entire company. This stands out in particular with his Tactical units whom add +2 to whatever action they take.
    + Shadow Strike – At the beginning of a battle Kremnar can assigned two units (one of them may be a non-super heavy vehicle) to act as limited use ‘events’ during the combat.

    Master of the Recruits Akar:
    +Show Them Nothing – Akar’s doctrine revolves around giving everyone the same eternal migraine he’s had since the Heresy began. This tends to translate into recruits who are particularly difficult to read and are not too vulnerable to their emotions. Tides of War effects are less severe.

    Prologue: The Fighting Forty-Fourth - End
  4. DeranVendar DeranVendar Subordinate

    Chapter One: The Dawn Resurgent
    Barely two centuries have passed since the founding fathers of the Dawnbringers arrived at Zeussar and declared it home and base of operations. Surface has been developed heavily in this time: Olympian cities have expanded, roads have been built through large parts of heavily farmed country side, few are the mountains whose very roots do not host even a minor population of Squats, and there in the highest of peaks and deepest of mountain cores resides the space marines themselves. Fortress monastery went by several different names to the people of Zeussar. In the Qurians crude mixture of Low Gothic and their own isolated tongue the name translated to 'Seat of the Thousand Suns'. To the Olympians and Zeussinites that knew full well whom owned the mountain range, it was called the Crown; appropriate for the mortals whom largely remained ignorant that there was any structure lurking inside the actual mountain itself, only ever aware of the armored plateaus and massive turrets visible on mountain's surface. Then there were the islanders that knew nothing of the locale or much beyond their own plots of broken continent surrounding the Maw of Charybdis. They had no names for the monastery, and regarded the Astartes as little more than child snatching fiends that were no doubt responsible for their misery and squalor.

    To the Dawnbringers, and their Clan Gingerbraid allies that aided in its construction, the fortress monastery came to be known as the Torch of Atlos. Within the searing depths Iron Master and his fellow artisans toiled day in and day out to produce new arms and armor for the chapter whenever war did not call them away. Within the greater Reclusium and Company Chapels the likes of Soul Smith Epimonos and his Temperers ministered to the spirits of their brethren. Apothecarion, quiet as it tended to be on the homeworld, was ever under the watchful care of Chief Apothecary Anaviosi. With so few Astartes present at any time the man kept busy running batteries of test on the planetary population and new recruits or experimenting in ways far more wholesome than a certain subordinate of his had in the past. Outside freezing winds whipped across stone laden platforms and pathways that dotted and wound up and down the mountainside. Here young boys who had proven themselves worthy of the title Initiate withered before the Captain and Sergeants of Fifth Company. Many miles away from all this though, new eyes set their sights on the fortress monastery: a new generation of aspirants stood at the threshold to a journey that one way or another would see them slain; the only question being whether it would be as mere humans, or as angels.

    Arrauth stood in a small jungle glade. A sink hole in the earth filled with water hidden beneath aquatic plant life on pool's surface sat beside him. Brief stop for water and breath had left him in one of the few patches of sunlight that managed to eek out between the normally all consuming canopy above. Perhaps it was a sign, for through the burning haze the shadow of the sky warriors' mountain loomed. It had only been two days since he set out, and already jungle seemed to test him more stringently than was normal. Perhaps others looked to sabotage him, or the omnipotent warlords of the mountain already sought to test him...

    A Rhino splashes through a stream, treads dipping in a few inches before bouncing back up onto other side of the pleasant water way. Several tusked elk bolt away from the waters and vanish into thick woodland. Transport comes to a grinding halt, Charon nearly lurching out of his seat and onto the floor like every stop before hand. Young psyker was the last of the other youths stolen from the Shattered Fangs to be released. Three others had taken the ride with him, and just as he was about to be now, the towering brute cramped into the back used his foot to shove them out a side door and onto the ground. Their instructions were simple enough: return to the peak where they had been initially stolen away too if they had any desire to survive. Charon thought on this as he lay there on his back in an entirely alien and not unpleasant patch of grass. Rhino trundles off, spraying him with gravel and bringing him back to reality. It was time to get moving.

    Elsewhere in two different villages, two different boys prepare to tackle the same challenge. Aridan leaves his village, already a hero of some fashion, and with what supplies they could bear to part with; in this case an old chopping axe, a hatchet, some rations, and a warm set of clothes to brave the chillier environs of his own mountain home and the frigid peaks that rise ever higher than those standing above him now. Barron, living in the low lands carpeted by a squat thicket of trees, sets off with a large axe, a workers body glove, and a fresh half-loaf of bread courtesy of mother.

    Perhaps the furthest away of any other aspirants are Alexander and Tiro. Both men are destined to travel from their home city of Hermes, all the way to the Crown where they shall undoubtedly become some of the finest Astartes there ever was. Their farewells are the thunderous applause of gathered families seeing off a small herd of less than a dozen children no older than ten. To them it is a grand ceremony, and few are those who do not at least know the names of this years aspirants. They are outfitted as such in uniforms and even armor, and each one carries his own weapon crafted to exacting standards that reflect the wealth poured into the presumable young heroes. Gates are thrown open and aspirants set off as one group, and for the moment gathered families see their sons off one final time. Not a one dares to think anything other than glory awaits them, the fact most will die simply trying to become scouts is unutterable and an unworthy thought.
  5. Redthirst Redthirst Eternal Battles Moderator

    A nice and very rare sight - patch of land that wasn't completely overgrown, perfect to stop and take a break. Despite living here all his life, it was fairly unusual for Arrauth to walk large distances - usually the hunters of his tribe would prowl on a set territory, a degree of familiarity helping immensely. To wander off was to come into an unfamiliar territory, even if at the first glance it wasn't any different from the rest of the jungle.

    It was a good time to think through everything that happened lately. It was generally known among the jungle folk that beyond the great forest lie large plains, however rarely would anyone talk about the mountains. And probably for a good reason, as there was almost no way to see those mountains from the jungle, even if one was to wander close to the edge. And those that reached those mountains would never return home. This is what the legends were talking about, people disappearing, taken away by unseen and terrifying figures never to return. But the reality appeared to be somewhat different - unlike in legends, captured hunters weren't sacrificed to the Quriq, and they certainly could return. Even Arrauth could return, all it would take is to turn back and navigate his way to his home village. But the promises that were given to him, promises of a whole world to explore, of power and higher purpose were too enticing to pass up. And perhaps it could be a great way to prove his mettle to those outside the jungle, and test himself in new ways. Everyone in Arrauth's village already considers him a master hunter, so why not prove it to someone else?

    But it was enough resting, there was a whole journey ahead, and the dangerous but familiar jungle could well end up as the easiest part. Moving through the thick vegetation, Arrauth nearly brushes his hand on a weeping roundleaf, one of the many poisonous plants that littered the jungle. A close call, and enough to snap him back to reality - he may have considered himself a master hunter, but the jungle was still as dangerous as ever and could easily cause his demise if he wasn't completely focused. The rest of the journey through the forest was relatively uneventful, mainly spent trying to fight off various thoughts and remain focused on surviving. Slowly but surely, the jungle began to change - a sign that the edge was close. Arrauth has been this close to the edge only twice before, but the signs were unmistakable, as it was now possible to see patches of clean ground here and there, and the canopy allowed far more sunlight than it usually would. Finally, pushing his way through the last trees, Arrauth arrived onto the very edge of the jungle. The uncomfortably open and well-lit plain lies ahead. It was still impossible to see very far, as the sky prevented one from doing so. Not that different from a canopy, although it did permit a lot more light in. Arrauth just had to hope that his sense of direction was working properly and that he's on a right track. Perhaps if he moves further he can get close enough to see his destination...
  6. KnightReborned WanderingJester Well-Known Member

    Aridan clutched onto the rock face side of the mountain, eyeing the next edge across the gap as he readied his body for the leap. He had done this many times at heights lethal enough to kill him should he slip, yet still never this high up. The woodsman villager had climbed mountains his own life, as the mothers from his village often said that their boys learn how to climb before they could walk properly. The thin air along with the physical demands of their home, as well as their profession shaped all of them into the fit, trained members who could contribute to the greater community, those that survived their birth and childhood at the very least. Boys must be strong enough to climb down from their village, cut down the trees from the surrounding forests, either by themselves or with another, then carried the logs back up the mountains for the craftsmen to turn them into usable lumber. During trade day they would have to help carry the lumber to the closest markets, all of them at the base of the mountain, then the supplies they traded for back to the village. Day after day, weeks after weeks, years after years.

    Aridan jumped, using all four limbs to push off of the side of the mountain as hard as he could and twisted his body in mid-air. Slamming onto the other side, both of his hands grabbed onto the ledge, yet only one held tightly to the mountain. The other ripped out a handful of rocks and petrified roots of some long dead plant that fell past his feet, and down into the abyss. He held tight, composed himself and dismissed the fact he couldn't hear the echo of the rocks hitting the bottom of the drop to snow, rather than height. The experience would likely have killed most lowlanders from the fright alone, but the villager's mind merely moved to his next maneuvers in order to survive. Look for another handhold; a sharp indent diagonally to the right, just within reach. Get the feet properly set; placed firmly against the side of the mountain as to alleviate the weight on the lone hand. Check gear; ropes to the various holders on his body tight and present. Trusting the same body that, working along with his brother, could carry logs that took a half dozen fully grown men to lift, Aridan completed the checklist in his mind before continuing his climb upwards.

    Aridan had left his village no more than a week ago, though he had made good distance since then. The villagers had offered him their only las lock, a treasured hunting weapon rarely used except when the occasional bear got too close to the village. He declined; like nearly every other male in the village, he had worked his whole life as a woodsman, so he had more confidence in his axe and hatchet. Besides, the young villager reasoned, he would likely hurt himself more than anything attacking him with it, having never fired the thing himself. Indeed, those that could and had used the thing in the village could be counted on one hand; they chopped trees down for a living, and at most herded goats for meat. There was nothing worthwhile to hunt for sustenance so high up in the range. So, with a laugh, Aridan parted with his brother, mother, and the rest of the village, his woodsman axe strapped to his back, a new hatchet at his side, some provisions, an all-purpose knife and an extra set of warm mountaineer clothes in addition to the one he had on.

    Grabbing the next ledge, Aridan felt the cold air licked at his hands, even through the heavily insulated glove. Smiling to himself, he pulled himself up to the top of the ledge, finding that he had reached the summit of the particular mount he had been ascending. Steam fogged up from his breath as he took in what oxygen present at that elevation, and the young woodsman looked out above the clouds. In front of him, he could see various peaks from the same mountain range but his attention focused on a single one. Many things that looked like long barrels poked out of it, and it looked drastically different from the other mountains. His destination awaited: the sky warriors' legendary fortress where they ruled the world. Aridan checked his gear and their harnesses on his outfit, took a sip of water from his water skin, before beginning his descent towards the Seat of the Thousand Suns.
  7. As the first moon of Zeussar, Heralia, came to it's peak in the night's sky, down beneath it's glow, blood would be spilled. A procession of young boys, united these past days with a purpose, would be finding their fellowship shattered upon the harsh lands of their homeworld. The screams of fearful children would meld in a sinsiter harmony with the shrieking cries of the predators that came down upon them. In the darkness of this brutal ambush, Tiro would be running, throwing himself at a large outcropping of rocks, where he'd try to take cover, and catch his breath. Quivering, his heart pumping, the boy would try to steady his breathing, his hands gripped tightly on the weapon in his hand. He'd have barely enough time to hear the incoming ear piercing shriek, before he turned, weapon raised, his own voice joining in the screams.

    _____

    It had not started like this, in fear, body shaking, praying to The God-Emperor for salvation and protection. No, until two weeks past, Tiro had lived his life assured of his place among the Angels. The day he'd risen on his tenth birthday, his day of passage, he'd been brimming with an excitement that had been building all his life. He'd been trained in the old ways, by his city's militia, for Hermes was prosperous when it came to military armament. He'd been drilled on various schooling, philosophy, mathematics, all that his young mind could absorb in his brief time among his family clan. By the time the moment had come, his heart beat with anticipation, restless in the face of the destiny that awaited him. His day had begun with a feast among his family, his siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles, the entirety of the clan, gathering to celebrate his ascension to the ranks of the most mighty of The God-Emperor's servants. His great-grandfather, an aged figure, said to have been a part of the colonization of the new world, would oversee the entire affair, grizzled eyes boring into Tiro, judging his every movement. After the celebratory breakfast, he'd be brought before the Patriarch himself, his ancient living ancestor looking down upon him, as he had every year when his family submitted another of their number towards the path of Angels. He'd stand, with all the confidence a boy scarcely finished with his first decade could, staring down the old man, as a silence pervade between them. In a rasping voice, the silence would be broken.

    "Scared boy?"

    "No!"

    Tiro puffed out his chest, crossing his arms, mimicking the strength of the grown men he'd seen many times before. That earned him a small smirk, for the old man would shake his head, his years and the wisdom that came from them knowing he soon would admit his lies. Instead, with a tired practice, he'd wave forward one of his family members, whether it was a great uncle, or a cousin, Tiro could not recall, not did he care. His eyes would instead be upon what was in his hands, bound upon a bronze platter and a silk sheet, a weapon, decorated with engraved art, of symbols he recognized and artful design. The Patriarch would snort, looking upon Tiro, as he waved him forward to claim the autogun, before he'd continue to speak.
    "That, boy, is the last weapon of The Old World, in our family's possession. Wrought from the forges of the planet we came from, it's like is something that most other families would kill to possess, for such things are already becoming rarer upon Zeussar."

    Tiro would grasp the weapon, feeling it's weight, and knowing, had he not already shown his height to come, he may not have been able to even use the firearm properly. Fingers would run along it's surface, inspecting it as he'd been trained to, checking mechanisms, it's service. As he saw the clear care that went into preserving this relic, the Patriarch would continue to speak, his voice bearing a hint of distaste at seeing this youth running off with the legacy of their old home.

    "Know boy, that I only present this to you, one of the many I've seen off to the trials, because you are the direct line of my seed, untainted by the blood of the other cities..."

    He'd look about the room, staring towards some of the others present, his annoyance and disgust plain to see. It was an old belief, held by the peoples of some cities, that the mixing of bloodlines only diluted the strength of the Old World, for they were not the only people to have been brought here. The Patriarch's distaste for the lesser cities that mingled with the families of old slaves, or even the detestable Zeussinites, would be a belief he'd impart into all of his family, though only some would heed it. Regardless, he'd continue, his annoyance still ringing in his words.

    "And, because I want to make sure before I die, that weapon goes back to those that deserve it. You just happen to be lucky enough to be my courier in this duty, so don't mess it up."

    Turning to hack into the air, the Patriarch would wave the boy away, as Tiro, clutching his gift, would be led away, still glaring daggers at the man who'd spoken so bluntly against him. Regardless of this displeasure, the celebrations would be continued immediately, and the insults of his great grandfather forgotten. The city of Hermes itself seemed to bring forth their chosen sons, and paraded them about, dropping honours about their shoulders. Tiro would be pleased to see these boys before him, knowing they would march into the halls of the Angels together, though part of him was impatient to get started, eager to be moving on. When finally, the time came, at midday, for them to be off, they'd leave the city in fanfare, music and cheers heeding their way, as the boys strode off, fully outfitted for their journey, hearts brimming with pride.

    _____

    The first few days had been pleasant enough, as the lads strode through the farmland of their city, the fieldfolk and their slaves cheering their passage when they came across them. Indeed, a pat on the head, and some food spared would become a common occurrence for each homestead they'd go by, and the boys would spend their first nights feasting like kings. However, as they moved further and further from their homes, the land would abruptly become more untamed, the city folk unwilling to travel any further. The paths became less worn and tread, and soon the cheery nature of their journey would turn to simple boredom, as each step became a chore, a repetition that occurred thousands of times.

    The first sign of trouble would come when one of the boys slipped upon a rock, and took a tumble, spraining his ankle in the process. Each boy of course knew how to treat such hurts, yet, their progress would be slowed, as they needed to keep a pace with their injured comrade. Within a day, talk began on abandoning the cripple, stating he'd be better off simply returning home, to recover and make a try at it next year. The complaining would be pushed aside, yet a sense of bitter annoyance would bloom within the group, simmering beneath the surface. The next problem would come when one boy, having been feasting each night, announced he was out of food, and expected the others to share, leading to more frustration. In a somewhat darker twist of fortune however, that problem solved itself, when one morning, the boy was discovered dead, his mouth foaming, hands clutching a handful of berries he'd picked from nearby bushes.

    By the second week, there was a growing resentment in the boys, as they all came to know that their glorious ascension would not be so flashing and brilliant at this stage. As they set down for camp on their 15th night, the growing tensions between the boys would begin to bubble, as Tiro watched an argument turn into a brawl, joining a crowd in cheering on the fight. It would be by this firelight fight, that they would not notice the oncoming danger.

    The people of Zeussar had participated in their respective rituals of ascension for centuries now, and after enough time, they would not be the only ones to know them. Zeussar was a wild planet, largely unclaimed, and it's other natives had adapted to the travelling of boys in the wilderness. From above, a shriek would signal the arrival of danger, as a shadow descended upon the boys, giving them just enough time to look up, before the creature was upon them. It stood nearly eight feet tall, a mass of black feathers, shriveled skin, and hateful eyes, small secondary arms lashing out with razor sharp talons, to cut down one of the boys in an instant. The entire crowd would react in the same manner of terror, scattering about, as the Stymphalian Raptor let loose another shriek. One of the boys, Tiro thought his name to be Nestor, would attempt to try and co-ordinate a resistance, calling for the boys to gather their weapons, yet, from above, talons would scoop him up, and bring him screaming into the dark skies, the hunting mate of the first Raptor claiming it's first kill of the night.

    This had been the panic that Tiro now fought to escape, as he turned to see the incoming mass of predatory killing intent, and raised his autogun. Indeed, it was his own inexperience that saved him, as with a boom, he'd fire the gun, the solid slug shooting forth, while the butt of the weapon, improperly braced, would kick back, knocking him in the head, and sending him falling back, narrowly avoiding the grasp of killer claws. His head now pounding, he'd roll onto his stomach, scampering to get to his feet, feeling a hand grab at him. Looking up, he'd face Ulys, another boy from their group, as both would begin fleeing off the path, away from the killing fields, towards the distant tree line away from them, their only hope for shelter from the death that lay above.

    They ran, as fast as they could, Tiro clutching his autogun, Ulys with his shock maul, both going as quickly as their legs would carry them. Behind, the cries of the initial feeding had attracted more of the Stymphalian Raptors, more shrieks sounding out in the night skies. The whoosing flaps of wings, sounding out behind them, would alert the boys that they were being pursued. Both boys would lunge forward, ducking beneath the killing pass of the avian beast, it's four eyes seething anger at it's miss, as it rushed by, turning about for another pass. Ulys getting to his feet, would raise his shock maul, looking at it's massive figure, as Tiro raised his own weapon. The boy would would turn to him, speaking to Tiro, a fire in his eyes.

    "It looks like a juvenile, we can fight it off!"

    Tiro looked back between the boy, and the beast, that rushed onwards towards them, before giving a nod of his head, pumping another shell into the barrel of his autogun. Ulys would turn about, pointing at the creature, as he began to lay forth his plan.

    "Ok, so I'll try to get it's attention, then you can make a run to try and fla-"

    A boom would interrupt the boy's words, as a single slug burst his left kneecap apart like with a wet pop, sending him falling to the ground. His mind, in shock, would not immediately feel the pain, as Ulys would blankly stare up, struggling to process what had happened. As the first screams sounded out from the dying boy, Tiro would scoop up the shock maul, dropped from limp fingers, and rip the boy's rucksack from him, before running off, leaving the other boy to his fate. He'd not pay anyheed when the raptor fell upon it's wounded prey, he would not look back when it began to devour him, no, Tiro would simply reach the treeline, and would not stop running until the first light of dawn.

    It seemed his trials had truly begun.​
  8. Talvisota RuinaImperii Active Member

    The stampede had been rushing by for hours.

    The young boy had been perched in a tree some ways away from the frantic migration, cheeks and hands stained with the juice that had burst forth from the fruit that hung around him. Barron brushed the refuse of his makeshift meal away, and stood slightly to peer through his seat's drooping branches at the setting sun. He was making good time. A week trekking through unfamiliar, yet easily navigated terrain had brought him further and further away from home, but Barron's knowledge of Zeussar's lush forestry had kept his nights warm and his belly full, even as familiar foot-paths gave way to unknown territory and untamed wilderness. Unlike some other aspirants, Barron had realized, that, at least for now, he was one of the rare ones with the luxury of relaxation. The remoteness of his village had made the winters harsh, perhaps, but it also granted Barron the blessing of solitude as he traveled. The lack of settlements around his home meant that meeting another aspirant was more than unlikely--not that Barron minded. Things were much easier without having to worry about two bodies when raptors swooped overhead, or when the jungle cats stalked by. Actually, the journey hadn't been very challenging at all for a veteran of the woods like himself. Where some city-slicker may struggle to find food, shelter, or even water, Barron had met his basic needs with relative ease. The same wild berries and nuts that had occupied his hands and mouth for hours on end as a child as an amusement now enabled him to push on on his quest. Mother could only spare so much bread.

    Barron's mouth began to water as his wandering thoughts returned to mother's cooking. The crackling of her bread's crust was suddenly drawn forth from his memory and rang, louder than even the pandemonium of the stampede behind him, in the boy's ears. He missed her, and the other children at the village too.

    There wasn't the time for goodbyes.

    His mother and father had been the only ones there at the village gates as he departed at the break of dawn, more so for ceremony than for practicality. His siblings hadn't been allowed to attend, each already gone their own way to tend to business about the farm--and if his father could have his way, he would be working too. Tomato plants, as it seems, waited for no one to grow, wilt, or die, and no hand must be spared from tending to them.

    Barron had seen the same treatment when Ikitos left, having delegated to the task of cutting grass as the family's heir, his eldest brother and best friend, set off to the Crown. There was a point to the coldness, he knew. The going was tough that year in the village--it always was. And no fame or glory would make up for the able body sacrificed to the seemingly pointless trials of the Dawnbringers. His brother's departure only meant harder times for the years ahead for the whole family. Barron knew that.

    But even then, it wasn't fair. He had been the only one his brother had entrusted his doubts and hopes to, the only one who knew of his brother's curiosity (obsession, even) of life beyond these village grounds and the vibrant greens and bright yellows of the fields and forest around them. They'd stayed up for hours before he left, whispering bunk to bunk and discussing what trials must lay ahead. Geography. Strategy. Speculation. They'd dreamt together of a life beyond the farm, and of glory in the stars above. He'd wanted to be the one to send his brother off to the hungry maw of the great beyond--he SHOULD'VE been the one there--but instead he was forced to watch the bright red of Ikitos' red scarf slowly bob into the forest and finally out of view from afar. It was a sight and memory Barron revisited many times as he knelt before his cot each night, praying to the God-Emperor for a good harvest, safety for his family, and for his brother to have finally found his place among the stars, where he belonged.

    Sitting there now, legs swinging lazily among the foliage as he waited for the thunder of hooves to subside, the young man wondered where his brother might be now. He must've passed the trials with flying colours, and be a commander on some great alien landscape. Barron wondered what Ikitaros might say when he saw his youngest brother among the next batch of recruits. Of his delight when he realizes Barron had followed in his footsteps and went in search of the great beyond. Would Ikitaros remember the way mother's cooking tasted? Or their shared bunk? Their father's sword had gone with Ikitaros (one less favour for Barron, though it didn't matter much. The thing wasn't much more than a battered hunk of steel), and Barron's mind scrolled across a thousand different uses Ikitaros might've employed it for by now. Perhaps he'd smelted it down, and crafted some fine steel band to remind him of home, or perhaps it'd been rechristened in the blood of xenoes and given new life as a weapon. Barron wondered if the weapon would still mean something to his brother, or if it'd simply be a scrap of an heirloom of a life left behind.

    No matter. Barron smiled as he slid his way to the soft forest floor, the stampede having finally faded to a dull echo miles ahead. He would ask Ikitaros in person soon enough.

    The faint blue of the sky had warmed to a faded orange as Barron waited for the herd to pass, and it had become further fringed with a dark purple as he reached the massive gash in the forest their stamping feet had left. The boy had only seen a stampede of this size once in his life, thankfully far away from his village. The scale of destruction was breathtaking. The same images of shattered wood and felled trees filled his mind as he rushed along the treeline beside the new formed "road," a 20 feet wide path cleared in the forest by the stubbornness of countless bodies barreling headfirst towards some unknown destination. He didn't have much time to capitalize on this blessing now, but it wasn't like the forest devoured clearings overnight.

    The fading light ground the boy's pace from leaps and bounds to a walk, a crawl, then a halt. He'd rested enough today, that was for sure, but the night was dark and full of terrors, and Barron would rather retreat to the safety of the treetops rather than face the predators that prowled the ground after dark. It's kept him alive and relatively unscathed for this long, at least, and he wasn't about to challenge lady luck quite yet. the moonlight shone down like a lamp, easily guiding Barron's vision to a tall tree at the edge of his path. It was tall enough to keep out of reach of any beasts on the ground, but not tall enough to be a nuisance to scale, with pleanty of leaves to boot. He could conceal himself well enough if he got up high, to a good fork, and pulled the leaves around his small frame...

    If it weren't for his decade of practice at picking his way through the dark, Barron might've tripped over the object half buried in the soft ground, but an almost subconscious sidestep brought him out of the path of a nasty fall. That was the thing about the woods, no mattered how slow you go, there was always something there waiting to snag at your ankles. Pausing in his tracks, the boy would squat to bend the root quietly out of his way with a hand. No point leaving it there to fall across in the morning.

    Whatever easygoing attitude the boy may have had vanished entirely when his hand met cold metal, and the cold grip of fear wrapped its fingers around Barron in an iron grip. The surface of the object had been so pitted and corroded that it had lost its luster, but the sensation in his palm was unmistakable. The boy froze for a second, mind racing at the implications of finding steel at such a place--had someone lost it? Were they coming back? His mothers had told him stories of the savages that haunted the woods, but Barron had never thought he would find a tribe here, not this far.

    A quick feel with trembling fingers would bring the boy some comfort--the object, whatever it may be, was thoroughly embedded in the ground. The forest had already formed itself to this invader, and it probably wouldn't've been long before the ground swallowed the object up if Barron hadn't come along. Slightly calmed by the reassurance of time, Barron would gulp quietly as curiosity crept back into his thoughts. Perhaps, he quietly reasoned to himself, it was just some deposit of ore exposed by the last wet season. It wasn't an unheard of phenomenon, especially considering it had rained longer and harder than usual this year, but the shape of the object still worried the boy. It felt too geometric, too refined to be a natural occurrence.

    After a moment's hesitation, Barron's hands went to work, almost of their own accord. The boy quietly dug into the earth around the object, eyes and ears peeled for any activity in the underbrush around him as the object grew exposed, bit by bit, until the ground around it had been hallowed out enough for the boy to wrench it out of the hole. It was a precarious few more moments as the object, still thoroughly covered in damp dirt, was tucked hastily into his waistband, and Barron rushed towards the tree as quickly but as quietly as he could. The boy clamored up hastily, as high up as he could, before daring to sit and closely examine his prize in the moonlight. Bit by bit, Barron peeled back the chunks of mud still clinging to the object. Besides the exposed handle, as it turned out, the thing had been wrapped up in some kind of cloth. The wrapping was half decayed by now, and hardly distinguishable in color and texture from the mud that caked it, and Barron would let the fabric fall though his fingers. The lump fell quietly, abandoned and disregarded, and Barron watched as it slumped into a sad pile on the forest floor below as the object, now clearly identifyable as a sword, was finally exposed. The exhileration of discovery overtook the strangling fear as the boy raised his find into the moonlight and turned to examine it, a childish glee raising his spirits--only for it to sink back into the pit of his stomach at the haunting familiarity of the weapon's shape and feel in his hands.

    Father's sword had always seemed bigger than this.
  9. Fox Vulpas Well-Known Member

    Charon was booted out of the rhino and landed on the ground his landing hard and his mind spinning as he awoke on the odd alien surface he landed on. Getting up he watched as the Rhino sped away, getting up with the simple cloth he was in dirty from a unknown time and from the most recent landing onto the jungles floor.

    As he collected himself he looked to the two others that were with him. both boys like him both silent and kicked out each were looking around and one was looking at him. They all were silent but they all knew what they wanted to do, Survive. Going off the only instruction that was given to them they only really had one choice to go to where they all had first awoken.

    "So whats the rest of your names?" Charon asked as he got up, all of them deathly silent only his voice breaking the silence, before another broke the silence "Samson," One islander broke with blond hair, causing the others to look at him," Jobeicus," a boy with brown hair and several bullet and scars dotting his face spoke another spoke, "Charon." Charon said to the others before the last silent one spoke, "Berculues" The last one said a boy with long organ hair said and looking muscle bound compared to most of them, A scream and sounds of predatory animals caught them off guard, as they began looking around.

    "We need to leave now, get something to arm ourselves!" Jobeicus said. Berculeues going over to a tree began bending down before breaking a branch of, quickly clearing and and tearing his close and grabbing some rocks he began making a make shift club, Joebicus himself began grabbing several rocks and placing them into his pockets or any place he could slip them, Charon himself began looking around for anything he could before finding a large stick that felt heavy enough that it could be a walking pole and a heavy staff if needed, While sampson Pulled out a large knife from one of his pockets "Seems i still got some stuff." Sampson said as he kept his knife in his hands The others gathered together then quickly and quickly began moving towards the mountain as a group, all of them keeping there eyes out as they moved never straying to far from each other.

    As time would go on hunger would soon catch up to the group a idea and trap was set with one of them.
    Charon being the witch automatically put him as the spot as bait. In the middle, of a clearing Jobeicus, and sampson hidden in the trees as Berculeus hid in a whole he dug ready to spring out when he heard commotion a read being his breathing utensil.

    Charon was in the middle a a part of his clothing ripped with his own blood in the middle he waited keeping a eye out as he heard a noise. A beast made itself known with a clear coming through the bushes. with several stomps several wolves made themselves into the clearing charon Gulped as he some them snarling and sniffing the air all there heads towards them before they made there charge. the hunting pack splitting up aroudn him as he his kept to his staff. The two wolves lunging at him went at his sides his stick going out he was swatted at the first one as the second collided with a fast moving object mid air its skull partially caving in as the rock made its home in one of its sockets.

    Next ones knew soemthing was amass and began bariking at the trees where jobeicus was, Jumping from a branch Samson let out a yell that spooked the wolves as he came jumping down his knife managing to find its way him in the side of the beast it growled and snapped at sampson as from the earth a slight rumbling came has Berculues broke forth his club swinging he just missed brock as he spotted his target a lone wolf, his club coming down the wolf was able to dodge as it let out a yelp and growl realizing they had just entered a trap, The wolves began moving to run as the crew began separating and attacking them as the howles made for a desperate mistake. Berculues throwing his club surprised the wolf as the heavy object collioded and lodged itself in the wolf putting itself into shock as berculues went to finish it. Jobes began throwing stones aiming to hit any wolf that made a break for it another shot was aimed manging to peirce a wolfs neck, causing it to skitter across the ground a shard in iits throat causing blood to fill up its lungs.

    Samson continued wrestling with the wolf in its grips, as Charon chase after the wolf as it began trying to high tail it, frustation and rage began to bubble up within him as he lifted his staff and suddenly a light erupt threw it and casted at the wolf a light and smell of ozone tearing as from the staff several bolts of lighting appeared and suddenly struck the wolf causing it to catch fire and be electrocuted its last moments of life. It caused Bercules and jobe to stop for a minute as almost all eyes were on Charon but sampson, seemingly either not caring or more caring about his kill and food.

    As the battle ended both jobe and Berculues would be away from Charon talking, As Sampon went to the task of skinning and collecting the wolves. Charon could hear whispers amoung them, Both from berculeues and Jobeicus, Words of betrayal words of sacrifice, and others of thoughts of Charons cursed blood, and among those charons heard another voice, one of a unknown voice, speaking of neither of these but of something not even charon trusted.

    As samposon finished his work of skinning the wolves he toshed a pelt to each of the members even Charon seemingly not caring about him being a witch. "Alright lets begin moving again, we still have a ways to go, and our kills will likely attract bigger predators. Charon your with me in the front." Samson said.
    Charon took the fresh pelt and put it upon his head and back to help cover him his staff somewhat burnt he kept in his hands and his own food with him as they began there travel, Berculues and jobes kept behind watching there backs, and keeping a eye on Charon.
    DeranVendar and WanderingJester like this.
  10. DeranVendar DeranVendar Subordinate

    Crowning Achievement
    Seven grueling weeks. Forty nine days of trekking through lands teeming with hostile life, unforgiving terrain, and little supply. Twenty days in the aspirants from Hermes had met with disaster, all save Tiro and Alexander vanishing into a living nightmares stomach along with the population of a small Zeussinite village in the course of a single howl filled night. Charon's group begins to fall apart from the very start, no sooner has the blood of fallen wolves cooled does one of their number run off on his own, perhaps seeking to return to the strange home lands that persisted only as foggy memories in even hazier dreams. Twenty one days in the young Psyker's own companion turns upon him. Night before had been filled with the distant screams of something dreadful and utterly inhuman. Samson no doubt thinking that Charon would only serve to attract whatever it was, attempts to cut his hamstrings. Witch comes out on top, if only just, and enters self-exile as the other group members leave him. Arrauth is the first one to the mountain. Journey across the plains had been comparatively pleasant to his sortie in the jungle, however within a day of beginning his climb the sense that the sheer temperature drop accompanying the ascent to the throne will be his biggest barrier to success becomes apparent. Driven back to warmer climates so he might find better garb to insulate himself, Arrauth only just loses out on first place. Such an honor goes to Aridan.

    Hand climbs over another foot of mountain side, Aridan hauling himself forward with an uncertainty as to whether his legs are still mobile or just frozen chunks of flesh at this point. They must be moving as his ascent continues, Emperor if it isn't disconcerting that he cannot feel it though. Whether it had been days or hours spent on the slope, he could not quite ascertain; only that he was nearly there, or at least that was the thought keeping him alive right now. Time stretch on into the same white infinity that surrounded him, lost in the flurry of snow. At the last cliff would give out before his heart, hands feeling out a stone step, something man made rather than formed by an uncaring mother nature. New found purpose gripped him and Aridan found his feet at last, standing and starting up the broad stairway whose steps were too wide and too long to be for a child's feet, not even an adults really.

    Fire greeted him, a crackling mass of whipping orange and red that glowed like a torch in the smothering blue darkness of nighttime mountain blizzard. Approaching he saw no tinder or stone to feed it, rather flame simply sprouted up between the path stones that made up whatever landing he had made it to. Origin mattered little, its heat was just as good as any natural fire and Aridan brought his frosty limbs close; and there he seemed to huddle for an eternity until Barron arrived. Youth staggering up to the flame with a sword trapped between fingers that had all but frozen together. So drained was the other Zeussinite that he did not even seem weary of Aridan, perhaps not even aware. Both of them came to their senses when two dark blocks fell between them. Cautiously and with weapons ready they investigated: lo and behold a pair of ration bricks had been deposited on the stones just beyond the fires light. Nourishment at last!

    Arrauth joined them next, Qurian staring at the strangers as if they were aliens, and they back at him like a beast; appropriate considering he had draped himself in the hide of a slain tusk elk fawn. Before weapons might be drawn a voice like rolling thunder struck them, towering over the boys was one of the sky warriors who had seemingly materialized from the blizzard. Order to sit down and recuperate came in Low Gothic first, then in the jungle-tongue so that Arrauth might understand. Obeying without question they all glimpsed the leviathan shadow of the space marine for only a moment longer before he vanished. Only when Tiro, Charon, and Alexander joined them would the mighty figure emerge and speak again.

    "Welcome to Squad Kenemon Initiates. Rise, we are going inside and getting out of this cold. Frigid as an Eldar witch's tit out here."

    Squad Kenemon
    "TIRO UP! TWO TARGETS, THREE SHOTS!"​
    The carapace plated foot hit the prone Olympian's chest like a sledgehammer, Emperor be praised it wasn't ceramite or else his ribcage would be wrapped around his spine right now. Of course impact was worse coming from the Sergeant known as Kenemon, bastard was more machine than man for whatever reason. He always made a point of using his cybernetic foot to kick them, not that there was much give in an Astartes flesh foot, either way it sucked. The worst part was Tiro was picked first, and that meant the burden of setting the example was on him. Exercise was simple enough: Start in push-up position, get kicked onto your feet, don't puke, shoulder your bolter and use the exact number of shots called to down the exact number of targets. Operative word being exact. No matter what those targets had to go down, but every shot too short or too many was a slam back into the ground and a reset until it could be done in a perfect chain. Considering today was their first time getting to fire their bolters, they might be here a while.

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