Author Topic: The War of Shadows  (Read 32872 times)

Offline Necris

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The War of Shadows
« on: March 01, 2010, 10:16:24 AM »
++Open Transmission++
++Protocol Aegis 965++
++Inquisition Eyes Only++
++Encryption Enabled++
++Clearance Magenta Omega++
++Message Begins++

Brothers, Sisters,

A Conclave has been called, all those who wish to discuss the events in the sector are welcome, the Fortress Eternity on Carthage has been named as the site and preparations are being made for your arrivals. We are to discuss the recent fall of Lord Grolin and the successor to his role, the recent rise in cult activity and the incident that has occurred along the Nexus Belt Worlds and the increasing incursions of the Xenos foes across the sector, and the disturbing reports of activities carried out by members of our order. All these matters I am sure you will agree are of the up most import to those of our order.
The most stringent security checks will be carried out as it has been brought to my attention that certain circles of our order have been infiltrated, as such verification of each attendant will be confirmed before planet fall is permitted.

I await your arrival at Eternity.

Lord Inquisitor Hess.

++Message Ends++
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Offline Necris

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Re: The War of Shadows
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2010, 10:25:30 AM »
Eternity stretched out before him, the dark obsidian stone of the fortress’ thick walls and battlements stark against the pale grey and white of the mountains in which it resided. Far below his feet deep within the mountain lay the grav train station that brought the influx to the complex the train line ran a hundred feet underground along a thousand kilometre track to the base of the Imperial Palace he could just glimpse in the vast distance. There in the shadowy Halls of Inquiry the brothers and sisters of the Inquisition would come to journey here for the coming conclave. A great assembly was expected already dozens were present in the fortress claiming the choicest residential suites for themselves, those above ground with windows like the one he occupied presently.

More still waited in high orbit their flight patterns carefully monitored so that they did not entered the killing zone of the fortress’ mighty orbital cannons which were capable of shredding apart a capital ship if it strayed too close. The aerial defences were no less formidable and the mountains themselves contained traps and foxholes to make approach an all too costly endeavour. He smiled at the isolation of the place the cold solitude the Eternity ebbed from its very walls was in some way comforting to one of his profession.
He smiled at the task at hand he had been hand picked for this duty and it warmed him, to be at the great Hess’ side for this conclave was a honour he had not expected, but he had been chosen above all others to carry out the deeds that lay ahead.

In the city of Carthage Primus preparations were being made for the festival of light a day long celebration during the annual eclipse that shadowed the world, it was symbolic of the times before the great crusade when during the crusade daemons preyed upon the world seeking those without light to consume, the festival was the forefathers way of protecting themselves and had been continued through foolish superstitious tradition, he scowled at the memories for this was his home world the place where he had grown to adulthood, before his indenture to the Inquisition and his life beyond, he had not be a Primus born instead coming from one of the smaller colony cities that surrounded the world, he’d long since forgotten the name of the hovel he’d once called home but he’d never forgotten the world, a wiry people in days past they had been expert riders of the local wildlife but as the Imperium had infected the world the animals had been replaced with machines and slowly all but the more remote populations had given over to the use of machines. Their Guard regiments were renowned for their mechanised battalions and rapid mounted scout units, the tank pilots were amongst the best in the sector and supported by the indentured warriors of surrounding worlds to small to meet Imperial Tithes the Carthagian War-riders presented well rounded and formidable armies. He chest started to swell with pride as the thoughts of his people filled his mind but he viciously repressed them focussing on the task at hand.

With a wave of his hand passing over a rune terminal he summoned a fortress menial from beyond the suite the meek creature was a hunched human aged and augmented for longer life he found himself wondering just
how long this poor excuse of a human had served within these dark halls.

“Are the preparations for the conclave in place?”

“Yes Lord, everything is as you wished it within the great hall, The Conductor of the Choir has reported that the incident earlier this morning will not affect proceedings.”

“What sort of incident?”

The menial faltered that the Inquisitor did not know of the goings on within the Astropathic Choir was strange to say the least, he wondered if he should have mentioned it at all and regretted it for, and the regretted his hesitation as the Inquisitor turned to regard him with stony grey eyes.

“Forgive me lord, I was not aware you had not been informed, one of the Astropaths fell to the powers of the warp, and the overseers were forced to immolate him.”

 “Is there a replacement?”

“I believe so, I am not familiar with the Astropaths quarters only the missives from the Conductor informing us that proceedings would not be impinged.”

He nodded moving to a large desk of carved granite he scooped up a sealed document and handed it to the menial.

“For the Conductors eyes only, the missives for the remaining orbital synchronisations.”

The menial bowed low and turned to leave halting midstep as the Inquisitor spoke again.

“Has Lord Hess taken his seat?”

“He has Lord, he is presently bearing witness to those presenting themselves before the conclave.”

He dismissed the menial with a wave of his hand, The formal openings of the Conclave were underway, each inquisitor was required to present themselves before the Conclave’s chair and announce themselves and their Ordo should they have one, the proceedings were often watched by the most powerful members present who would be on the hunt for potential allies to gain the upper hand over rivals, younger more inexperienced Inquisitors would also watch looking for those to ally themselves too for the coming debate to ensure their voices were heard. The process was long and tiring and again reeked of tradition.

He turned his attention back to the window looking on the world below, before turning from the view and leaving the suite.
This here is my very favourite gun...I call her rita.

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Offline Necris

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Re: The War of Shadows
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2010, 01:23:45 PM »
Inquisitor Belhast departed from his personal Aquila lander flanked by five of his personal retinue, he supported himself on a heavy cane as his bionics hissed adapting to the gravity change, his injuries had long since retired him from active fieldwork but he had dedicated his life to training interrogators to carry out his work for him, the five figures that flanked him were five of his best, one step from becoming full Inquisitors with shining carers before them, He paused looking around the bionics of his neck clicking gently as his eye whirred into focus, he spat a grating rasp as he growled.

“Ingrates! These dammed heathens should be on their knees before the Emperor not preparing for a festival of debauchery.”

He stumbled as his cane caught on a flag stone, one of his acolytes stepped forward to support him.

“Careful my lord.”

He roared in fury pushing the young man away.

“Leave me be, how will can you ever be expected to act like an Inquisitor when you preen over me!”

The acolyte stepped back straightening as a hard voice hissed from behind the group.

“You should not be so harsh on the boy all he was doing was preventing you from falling on your oversized arse.”

Belhast and the rest stopped in their tracks and looked at the young behind them, sleek and tall his skin was the colour of marble his eyes the colour of a frozen lake, he wore formal robes over his clothing silver embroidery running around the edges. Belhast glared at man over veins of fury pulsing on his one organic temple.

“How dare you show me such disrespect Jeremiah.”

“How dare I? I am no longer your Interrogator lord, but should your embarrass yourself it reflects on all of us me included and I will not have you jeopardise our futures because of your dammed pride.”

“You think you can stand up to me? Have you forgotten my lessons so quickly”

“I have forgotten nothing you taught me, but those lessons were to make me hard and ruthless that I turn those lessons against you in spite is your own doing.”

 Jeremiah stepped passed Belhast continuing on his way towards the Imperial palace his back turned on him he stalked away long powerful stride carrying him over the courtyard.

“Come on, leave the Inquisitor to his solitude and pride.”

The others faltered then set off leaving Belhast alone to limp after them grumbling under his breath as he went, Jeremiah sighed at the confrontation Belhast had given him everything but now that his bionics were troubling him in his old age his bitterness was spilling out in vicious reprisals, he had seen all to often recently the old man issuing beatings without any regard of the strength his bionics gave him. With lass than a year under his belt as an Inquisitor full he was having to become a harder man that he desired simply to endure his proximity to his old mentor, he’d come along to this conclave in the hopes of finding the acolytes new masters and maybe bending the ear of a more senior Inquisitor to Belhast’s current condition. They waited respectfully as the old man arrived at the lift that would carry them down into the bowels of the Palace, a tightness gripped him as the heavy lift doors slid shut forcing him to rub his forehead, Belhast looked over his shoulder a cold smile on his lips.

“Struggling to maintain control again?”

He spoke of Jeremiah’s skills as a psyker, he had been known in his youthful days when his powers were blooming to lose focus which brought on powerful headaches, but this was different.

“No, the palace is protected with psi-dampening.”

“Ah the Inquisition here is clever no, they hide the true nature of their presence here, and build the shielding into the very walls of the Governors home, I wonder how close the two are linked.”

“The Lord Inquisitor of Eternity sits upon the council of leaders.”

“To better watch these heathens no doubt.”

“I suspect they are not heathens lord, otherwise we would be walking through a dead world and the need for the subterfuge would be unnecessary.”

“You even question now me Jeremiah, I should have held your promotion back until you had learned the proper respect of your betters.”

“You’re my equal now Argus.”

An uncomfortable silence fell on the lift as it rumbled down to the lower floors, when it arrived they all stepped out on to a wide balcony overlooking the grand entrance to the palace.

“The next grav train is not until later this evening, I’ve arranged for us to dine in one of the lesser halls while
we wait, there will be other Inquisitors present waiting the same train as we’ll be taking.”

He gestured for a serf and followed as they were led off to a side hall, arranged with long tables capable of seating a dozen diners there were close to thirty tables many of them occupied with a few diners waiting for or eating food of a fine quality, the smells of the room were rich and fine and even Jeremiah’s appetite rose, he gestured to an empty table noting the serving staff moving to prepare the table as they moved towards it, wines and water were laid on the table ready for them and he noticed that each of them had bionic ear replacements, the mechanical units were dull and close fitting to their heads stretching round the backs of their heads from one ear to the other, as he took his seat the servant bowed his head lights coming to life along the bionic.

“May I take your orders lords?”

He nodded and ordered the group a selection of meats and cheeses, when the servant stood upright again the lights dimmed and he strode off, ingenious he thought watching the hall, they were deaf until they needed to be, a means of keep secrets from being over heard, looking round the room he tried to see if any other familiar Inquisitors were present.
This here is my very favourite gun...I call her rita.

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Offline Swarbie

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Re: The War of Shadows
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2010, 07:21:33 AM »
Fabio stepped into the hall, its gleaming decoration almost painful. Stellfield was on his right, Gregorius behind him. He saw several other inquisitors, sitting at the tables and chatting amicably as they enjoyed their fine meals.

His eyes swept the room, searching for a place to sit. They settled on a table in a corner, which would allow those seated at it to see everything happening in the rest of the hall. Perfect.

As he took his seat, he was distracted by the still unusual sensation of emptiness inside him. Things had never been the same since Marcas had gone, and he still wondered what had happened to him.

No matter, he thought. I'll find out soon enough.

He pulled a lho-stick from his pocket and lit it. Breathing deeply to inhale as much of the narcotic as possible, he settled back in his chair.
And I saw her body burning,
With it, my world
To dust returning

Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: The War of Shadows
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2010, 08:01:56 PM »
The revolver clicked softly as Lyra swung its cylinder back into place. This might be an Inquisition fortress, but all that meant that was, by default, full of dangerous people - only a fool would walk in unprepared. Satisfied that the handgun was loaded and ready, she pushed it back into its holster.

"Are you ready Ma'am?"

The voice came from behind her. A less alert individual might have jumped in surprise, but Lyra had been expecting it - while its owner hadn't been moving noisily, she had nonetheless heard him enter the room.

She turned to face Kai, who remained physically imposing even though his suit of carapace had been replaced by tailored formal wear. The sergeant managed to look very much the part of a professional bodyguard, even separated from his normal arms and armour - although Lyra knew that the suit was still threaded throughout with flak fibres, and that the jacket concealed a harness carrying both a laspistol and a rather vicious looking knife. Perhaps it was his threatening bald scalp.

"As ready as I'll ever be. Is the lander prepared?"
"It's as near set as means it will be by the time we get down to the shuttle bay."

Lyra's response was one of her lopsided smiles, before securing the clasp on the holster on her hip. Stepping out in to the ship's corridor, the sergeant followed in her wake. It was an odd reversal of nature, a mass of muscle and bulk deferring to the physically lesser Inquisitor.
It took them a few minutes to make their way through the ship, all lifeless and dull corridors. While the ship was nominally Lyra's, she had never really grown fond of it, using it in the absence of a better option.

The hangar housed an Aquila Lander, set out in a dull ochre. They were always larger than Lyra had imagined, with the twenty-one and a half metre wingspan dominating the room. An array of servitors milled around, finishing fuelling and last minute pre-flight checks.

In amongst all the semi-humans, the two humans already there stood out quite clearly. The first was the pilot, clad in his flight suit, and directing around the servitors. The second was a young woman, leaning on a dull metallic stave.

She looked heavily out of place in the hangar, dressed in a manner far more suiting for the reception at the fortress far below. However the truth was that she always dressed in that sort of manner. Delighting in dressing femininely, she today wore a shoulder-less evening gown split down the side of one leg, although in some kind of nod to modesty, her shoulders were instead covered by a shrug which fastened tightly below the neck. Generally, she was showing quite a lot more of her upper chest than Lyra would have wanted to copy, but there was little denying that it looked the part.

Lyra had always suspected that dressing this way was part of the woman's act - tricking people into thinking she was far more frail and defenceless than was actually the case.
The only real nod to anything else was that she boosted her height with the heels on her long boots, although she would have been slightly taller than the Inquisitor even without them.

Turning around to face them as they approached, there was something odd about her movements - as if your eyes didn't quite want to follow them naturally, and you had to work to stay focused on her.

The Inquisitor spoke first.
 "Maya. Where were you hiding yourself then?"
"Nowhere at all Inquisitor. Even I couldn't hide from the internal auspex arrays on this crate.", the response came in a voice that had an undertone of colossal vocal power - it sounded almost as if it had been borrowed from an operatic singer.
"Yes. And on that note, none of your tricks in the fortress."

Maya's response was a hurt look.

   "Don't treat me like a fool. I know what you can be like."
   "Of course. Best behaviour.", Maya nodded.
   "Seriously. I'm trusting you."

Lyra looked over to the pilot, who nodded and held up three fingers.

   "Three minutes. Time to get ourselves on board."

A group of servitors shuffled out of their way as they headed for the door of the lowered transport compartment. Buckling themselves into the various seats, they waited the few minutes until the distinctive sound of the engines kicked into life signalled the start of the launch sequence.

The entry into the atmosphere was too noisy for any conversation, and quite frankly, Lyra wasn't sure that she really wanted to anyway. After the roar of the atmosphere rushing past had died, and the engines cut back on the power, the pilot casually announced their landing had been cleared, and that they would be landed in a brief few minutes.

Sure enough, they touched down softly shortly afterwards. Smiling slightly more weakly than usual, the Inquisitor unbuckled herself, and waited to disembark.

Stepping out under the nose of the lander, the sergeant had to briefly duck to avoid hitting his head on the nose mounted multi-laser.

There were already a collection of Inquisitorial Stormtroopers milling around the landing pad. One whose insignia marked him out as a corporal stepped forwards, and addressed Kai.

   "Security check, Inquisitor"

Rolling her eyes, Lyra pulled out her Inquisitorial seal, holding it up plainly.
   "I would be the Inquisitor, corporal. Sergeant Gillmore here is my personal bodyguard."
Redirecting his attention, although apparently unfazed, the corporal spoke again.
   "Apologies Ma'am. My mistake. Could you please identify yourself for the record?"

He gestured to a servo-skull hovering over his shoulder, which hovered forwards in front of Lyra. Speaking to the aloft machinery, the Inquisitor enunciated clearly, facing its pict-cam.
   "Inquisitor Lyra Joandra Rhodes, attending with Sergeant Kai Gillmore, acting as a bodyguard, and Maya Avens, personal assistant".

The skull hovered briefly as it passed an auspex over her seal twice. Checking the various codes, it took a moment before it beeped several times, then floated content back over towards the remainder of the squad.

   "That should be sufficient, Inquisitor. If you would like, Trooper Landry will escort you to the elevators."

One of the Stormtroopers separated themselves from the rest, gesturing at the Inquisitor to follow. As they set off, Maya shook as if the air had turned cold and looked slightly pale.

   "Are you alright?"
Maya nodded in response to the Inquisitor's question, but leant somewhat more heavily on her stave than normal as she walked.

They made it to the elevator, and the Stormtrooper broke off, returning in the direction they had just come from. As the doors closed and he disappeared from view, Maya spoke again, her voice devoid of any of the powerful undertone it had possessed in orbit, and was instead vaguely hoarse.

   "You hadn't told me the fortress would be psi-dampened."
   "Oh shaft! That hadn't occurred to me... Are you okay?", asked Lyra, with the note of both apology and honest concern.
   "I'll live."
   "Damnation... if I had known, I wouldn't have asked you to come."
   "Don't apologise - I'm here if you want me. The politics of the Inquisition might not be of the greatest interest to me, you wanted my aid, so I'll ignore my trivialities."

Lyra smiled.
   "I'll be honest. I'm not all that interested either."

The look she got from her two companions was one of surprise, so she continued.
   "But as you both know, the Order Perditus demands a particular degree of autonomy and freedom from scrutiny - we have little choice to ensure that the voice of the Order is represented in this election, because we couldn't survive the appointment of a Sector Lord who would afford us less independence."
   "And what about Lord Calleia?"
   "He's occupied with far greater matters for the moment. But he won't exact any changes in the sector doctrine without holding the official title. He'd make too many enemies, and that would hurt his chances of being fully elected - he evidently aspires to the role."
   "So what will he do if elected?"
   "That's part of why we're here, we don't know for sure."

The conversation was interrupted by the elevator coming to a halt. As the doors slowly opened, a serf came forwards.

    "You are humbly welcomed, Sir and Madams. I must inform you that the next entry into the fortress will not be until later this evening, but if you would care to follow me, there will be a meal held prior to the grav train's arrival."
   "Sounds good to me. Are you two alright to eat?"
   "I could do with it to keep my strength up."
   "It is neither my place, nor my desire to argue."
Lyra smirked and raised an eyebrow.
   "You know, 'Yes' would suffice.", she said before turning back to the serf, "Sure, take us to eat."

The dining room was impressively decked out. It looked like it would seat about three hundred, although it was either yet to fill or considerably larger than it needed to be, for it was mostly empty.
Lyra sneered distastefully at an Inquisitor who appeared to be filling the room with narcotic smoke, and passed her attention over a group of seven who seemed to have some odd dynamic about talking to each other.

Pulling out one of the chairs around a table, she paused to squint across the room.

   "God Emperor alive, is that Inquisitor Alipsci?"
   "Who?"
The Inquisitor pointed towards a rather bulbous gentleman sitting by one of the tables over the far side of the room.
   "Over there. I knew he'd put on weight since he came off field duty, but... damn!"

Sitting down, she waited for one of the serving staff to attend to their table. Ordering a selection of different foods and drinks she watched the gentleman walk away.

   "The idea is flawed.", Maya announced.
   "Excuse me?"
   "The earpieces. I assume they're there to render the servants deaf to all but orders. But deaf men can still read lips. I'd have sooner trusted servitors."
   "I'm sure the Inquisition will have thought it through."
   "I know human perception. I have to. You can't trick senses or emotions without knowing how they work."
   "What you're ignoring is..."

It was at this moment that one of the other diners suddenly yelped. Looking around, as far as Lyra could tell, he had tipped wine over himself... or someone else, she wasn't entirely sure.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2012, 02:09:19 AM by MarcoSkoll »
S.Sgt Silva Birgen: "Good evening, we're here from the Adeptus Defenestratus."
Captain L. Rollin: "Nonsense. Never heard of it."
Birgen: "Pick a window. I'll demonstrate".

GW's =I= articles

Offline Koval

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Re: The War of Shadows
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2010, 09:50:34 PM »
"My apologies," I stated, bowing low, insofar as I could manage while wearing armour. "You startled me, my dear. Are you hurt?"

In my surprise I'd sent one of the waitresses flying. The poor girl had only been offering to refill my wine, but I must admit I was so engrossed in conversation with one Gideon Antal that I didn't notice her; as a consequence, when she touched my arm to alert me to her presence, my eventual reaction was rather unfortunate. I lashed out on instinct, checking my motion only too late as I saw that I was not, in fact, being attacked.

I don't think she broke anything, although there was wine all over the place. It's a good thing the decanter wasn't remotely near full.

Wordlessly, she took my hand and got back up, before turning an interesting shade of pink out of both fright and embarrassment, excusing herself, and promptly making a dash for the servants' quarters, therein to change her sodden outfit (or so I assumed, and it wasn't exactly an unreasonable assumption to make).

"I'm dreadfully sorry that you had to see that, my friend," I sighed. "It's a useful reflex to have in a nest of heretics, but so useless during social gatherings."

"I'll drink to that, Ottakar," Gideon grinned. "And don't be so hard on yourself. She'll be fine. It's her job."

"Indeed. Emperor on Earth, I can't even cross the galaxy without being a clumsy oaf."

"Yes, I heard you'd retired. What made you do that?"

"The same thing that brings me here," I chuckled. "Ordo Xenos matters, you know, someone asked me about Orks not long ago, and how come they're so widespread."

"Oh, so you've gone back to your career as a writer?" Gideon asked, raising a dubious eyebrow. "Do you really want more attention from the Redemptionists?"

Naturally this raised a frustrating, but ultimately hilarious, memory from my younger days and we both burst out laughing almost immediately.

"How's dear old Eliesa?" Gideon asked me, once we'd both calmed down.

I should point out here that "Eliesa" is my mentor Eliesa Schwertwald, of the Ordo Xenos, and Gideon Antal's one-time bedfellow some time during the aftermath of the Damocles Crusade, back when Eliesa was little more than an Interrogator. It was a long time ago, to be fair, and neither Gideon nor Eliesa are exactly spring chickens any more, but he was so taken with her that he always asks after her whenever he sees me or any of her current or former contacts.

"She's well," I told him, "but did you hear? She's in a wheelchair now."

"Emperor on Earth, I never saw that one coming. How'd that happen?"

"Psychic attack. Bio-Lightning, I think it's called," I answered. "It should've killed her but you know what she's like. She's a very hard one to take down."

"Aye, that she is. I still remember the Crusade. Took down a Kroot shaper with a rusty dagger and a bad hangover."

"Her, or the Kroot?"

"Well, the Kroot certainly felt something in the morning," Gideon chuckled. "But seriously, a wheelchair? Must have been some psyker."

"It was Asgeir," I grumbled, remembering only too well how that idiot's lunacy had, quite literally, cost me an arm and a leg. "He went mad and started frying people. He got Lord Nock, you know."

"No...!"

"He's still chairing the sector Conclave, mind you, only with a lot more armour than before."

"Glad to hear old Nock's still alive and kicking arse in the name of the Emperor," Gideon noted. "And speaking of Conclaves, I do wonder why this one's been called."

"You tell me," I countered. "Who exactly is Lord Grolin?"
« Last Edit: December 07, 2012, 09:47:54 PM by Koval »

Offline Swarbie

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Re: The War of Shadows
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2010, 12:01:55 AM »
A faint smile passed across Fabio's lips as a new arrival to the hall, a female inquisitor, scowled at him briefly before stalking off with her attendants. So many of the other inquisitors he met were too concerned about their bodily health outside of the field, in his opinion. Of course, those that were not were often trying to work their way up through the politics of the Inquisition; they generally considered smoking bad for their image. Either way, they tended to avoid him.

A small disturbance at the table seating a group of inquisitors briefly caught Fabio's attention; it appeared that one of them had struck a waitress. Given the man's armour, it was probably an instinctive reaction to being caught off guard. Or she had made a mistake and the man had a short temper. He decided to discover more about this man.

He motioned to Gregorius and Stellfield that they should stay at the table. Still carrying his lho-stick, he made his way over to the already crowded table just in time to hear the armoured inquisitor ask who Lord Grolin was. Having been out of touch with Inquisitional politics for a while, he decided this was worth discovering.

"I too, wish to know about Lord Grolin. I have been . . . somewhat out of touch with politics for a while."
And I saw her body burning,
With it, my world
To dust returning

Offline Zephon

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Re: The War of Shadows
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2010, 02:01:01 AM »
“Of course it is safe. The fortress is probably the safest place in the sector.”

Inquisitor Bernard Wyebold closed his suitcase and turned to face his aide, fastening his cloak as he did so.

“Enjoy yourself, Oliver. Take a look at this festival. Think of it as a well-earned rest. And don’t let Artell brood.”

Picking up the case, Bernard left the room. Outside, two of his savants fell in behind him. As he left the hotel, he considered the likelihood of Oliver enjoying a rest. Low, but some of the others would, especially Artell, hopefully.

The trio continued through the city. Anyone noticing them would scarcely have given them a second glance: a round-faced businessman, accompanied by his scribe and servant, wearing dark green cloaks to ward against the night air. It may have crossed a watcher’s mind that it was a little late to be working, but then this close to the festival there was much to be done. If, despite that, an eye had lingered on them, and followed their progress towards the Palace, it would have seen the following: The presumed scribe, a tall, thin man with long limbs and a frozen face, leaning close to the leader in response to a murmured question. The scribe nodding, and gesturing along a certain street and the group setting off in that direction. The servant, young, short and weighed down with a satchel, struggling to keep up with the long strides of the scribe and the rapid steps of the leader.

“Security check, Inquisitor.”

Addressing the servo-skull and holding out his Seal, Bernard spoke, “I am Inquisitor Bernard Wyebold. These are two of my personal savants: Adepts Daath and Roberto Ibister.”

They continued past the troopers, handing their cloaks and bags to the servants and entering the dining room. Bernard suppressed the sneer that threatened to form on his face at the sight of the impressive array of food and drink, partially in response to the apparent extravagance, but also in the knowledge that much of the food would remain untouched and be wasted. Glancing around the assembled Inquisitors, he noticed with mild disapproval the number of weapons on display.

“Robert, no need to hang around me, go and eat.”

The young savant headed towards a table, while Bernard, overhearing the word ‘Grolin’, moved closer to hear the reply.

Offline Necris

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Re: The War of Shadows
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2010, 10:57:18 AM »
The headache was growing, which in turn was putting him off his meal, instead of enjoying the meats and sautéed vegetables before him he was picking at it pushing the food around the plate in aggravated annoyance, the foul smell of nicotine was not helping matters either, Belhast looked over at him a grumble issuing from his old lips.

"I thought I beaten that particular trait from you years ago."

"You know what they say old habits die hard." 

The two locked eyes Jeremiah daring him to push the issue, despite the fact none of them were armed Jeremiah was probably one of the most dangerous people in the room, the female Inquisitor who'd entered along with her psyker had peeked his interest for a few moments, mainly to see if the psyker was suffering as much as he was. He looked over at one of the Acolytes his voice softening. 

"Gar, don't drink so much you need you wits about you now more than ever."

The younger man blushed and nodded placing the goblet down it would have been his sixth one of the strong red he was drinking and his cheeks were showing the signs of early drunkenness.

"Silv, eat something before you waste away."

"Viss off Jere."

She was overly sensitive about her shape and size despite being whipcord thin with a highly toned body she was always unhappy with it, constantly complaining in private that she was over weight, and ugly. If only she would listen to him he would tell her she was beautiful with her narrow face and high cheekbones, sharp and alert eyes, her crimson hair was always tied back in a neat braid and the make up she wore only heightened the natural beauty held in the face, the fact that she was also one of the best martial artists he'd ever met only added the affection he held for her.

"Seriously when was the last time you ate?"

She frowned and stood and marched off looking for one of the servants to place an order with them, not only was she paranoid about her looks she was obsessive about her food, he sighed as Belhast laughed to himself and waved over a servant himself.

"At least I care about your acolytes well being."

"If they can not take care of themselves how are they meant to survive in the wider world when I rid myself of them?"

Jeremiah growled at him pushing his plate from him and standing.

"Would that I could be rid of you in an instant I would be."

He stalked from the table moving to the servant that was coming towards him.

"Your hardest Liqueur, a double."

The servant nodded and headed off.

++

The train  was deserted save for himself, everything was in place and he wished to see the city for a short while, alighting from the train he moved to the armed station staff and spoke with one of them.

"Hold the train for one hour."

"As you command lord."

He moved through the halls of the Palace climbing up he glanced in the hall given over to the waiting Inquisitors his eyes passing over the assembled mass, there was a strong attendance but there were notable names missing Kaled, Necris, Rex and dozens of others he would have longed to be here. It did not matter his master's plans were in motion and little would stop them.

He collected a fine white wine from one of the servants and headed out onto one of the large balconies looking out over the city the Eclipse was setting in the moon slowly being swallowed, the celebrations were starting to begin music drifting from the streets of the city as the lights started to come on illuminating the city in bright colours. He smiled letting his hood drop back exposing his shaved and tattooed head, lifting his glass to the city he toasted it.

"To the End."

This here is my very favourite gun...I call her rita.

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Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: The War of Shadows
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2010, 02:59:36 PM »
Turning back from the events that seemed to be forming half way across the room, it seemed Maya had decided to attend to other matters of interest - namely, having helped herself to a large chunk of bread from the basket on the table.

The Inquisitor couldn't really blame her for being more concerned with food - she did still look horribly pale from the shock of the psy-dampened environment.
She wasn't an exceptionally powerful psyker, rating only around Zeta for raw power potential, with her effectiveness lying more in the ability to leverage that very efficiently, but she was very closely attuned to it, and its loss had clearly had a real effect.

It was an odd experience to see someone who had routed entire squads of trained soldiers reduced to a level where they found simply trying to maintain conversation a significant effort.

Lyra did wonder about how many of the other attendees were psykers and how they were affected. Scanning around the room for either anyone she recognised, or people just looking unwell, something else caught her eye. Another servant was milling over with a silver tray, although it wasn't actually evident if there was anything on it.

   "Good evening ma'am. Can I enquire your name?"
   "Inquisitor Rhodes."
   "This communiqué arrived for you a short while ago."

The servant took a sealed envelope off the tray and passed it over. Thanking him, Lyra waited for him to wander off - perhaps to return to where he had come from, perhaps to deliver another message - before she opened it to look at its contents. While the other two were clearly intrigued, they knew better than to question what it was. If the Inquisitor wanted them involved, she'd ask.

It turned out to be the briefing that she had requested from her master, Inquisitor Byssus, on the subject of the election, although if the writing style was anything to go by, it had probably been written by Inquisitor Brennan - evidently Lembus had been too busy and left it to yet another of his former acolytes to do the task.

She skimmed the list of candidates. She was familiar with most through reputation, and had personally met a couple of them in her years, although she wouldn't have considered any of them friends.
There were a couple of names she didn't really know, but she resolved to leave reading that for later. Folding the letter back up again, she slipped it into an internal pocket of her jacket.
S.Sgt Silva Birgen: "Good evening, we're here from the Adeptus Defenestratus."
Captain L. Rollin: "Nonsense. Never heard of it."
Birgen: "Pick a window. I'll demonstrate".

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Offline Necris

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Re: The War of Shadows
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2010, 04:13:54 PM »

The constant ticking of the cosmic clock echoed in the background of the choir chamber he found that his mind dwelt on the heavy snaps of the movements working away behind the solid pearl face of the clock which mapped cosmic alignment of the bodies around the planet, the system and beyond always in a state of flux the clock would be working, it was meant as a guide for them to better transmit and collect data streams from the ether to help them focus on the world beyond worlds, to help they see the golden light of the astronomicon and receive the word of the Emperors servants from across the universe.

Yet all he could focus on was the ticking, it had never bothered him before, in his thirty years as an Astropath in the Choir of Eternity he had never even noticed the clocks heavy tick or the grind of it’s movements but today was different it was distracting causing him to loose his connections with the warp and to loose the messages he was charged with receiving those brothers and sisters of the choir around him seemed not to notice the sound  as if it was his personal torture for the day, it would not surprise him only last cycle some thirteen hours ago had Brother Jeddah burst into flames immolating himself almost instantly as his mind wandered too far from the protective light of the Emperor, the observers had swept in quickly enough pumping a blessed (or cursed in their eyes) psi-round into Jeddah’s head before his body had even stopped twitching as his nerves reacted to the searing heat. The choir hall still stank of his charred flesh and his terminal uplink had been scoured by cleansing flame which only added the pungent stench of promethium to the vast chamber, it was a wonder anyone could concentrate today, yet the others sat about him singing the choir of communion quietly to themselves, even that was getting to him the quiet hum of song as the hundred astropaths sang in harmony.

He sat back in his comfortable chair allowing his eyes to span the room many of the astropaths on Carthage retained their eyes and their sight loosing something else in the process for his own part he’s lost the sense of taste which made everything that passed his lips bland and unfulfilling his sense of touch was also dulled yet he could feel, though it was as if touching something through thick gloves he knew it was there but he could not tell you want it was without looking, he used his eyes to scan the room them finally falling upon High Conductor Vatis sat in the centre of choir his task to maintain the stability of the uplink and lead the others in song, the conductors eyes rolled in his direction and locked with his own.

~Dose something trouble you this day Brother Virgil?~

His voice echoed in his mind coming from all directions some of the others sitting around him stopped for a moment cursory eyes turning towards him, it was rare for the conductor to commune with another his task demanded all his focus and the distraction of idle banter was a risk, for should he be distracted and allow a presence through a more nightmarish incident than that which befell brother Jeddah might occur. His task was the protection of them all, he bowed his head in respect and replied not wishing to distract the conductor any longer than he needed.

~It is nothing conductor I am finding it difficult to focus on the task at hand.~

~Yes you have allowed a number of missives to be lost, do not dwell on Brother Jeddah his death was not in vain.~

~What do you mean?~

~His was but the first, the chip in the barrier that will open the flood gates and cleans this world in flames.~

“What!”

He shouted out surging to his feet sending his clattering across the floor behind him, one of the observers appeared to see what the commotion was, his hand drifting to the heavy pistol at his hip, he made his way cautiously towards his hand held firmly round the grip.

“Brother is there a problem?”

He turned on the Observer his face flushed with colour his eyes wide with horror, his hand snapped up a long finger pointing at the conductor sitting on his throne.

“Yes he let Brother Jeddah die, he just confessed as much to me.”

“He’s the conductor sir, he is charged with your protection.”

“He’s not doing it, he told me Jeddah was only the first, that we are all going to die.”

Those around him had stopped their work, those that could hear at least and we paying attention to him he shouted as loud as his weak voice would allow him to.

“Listen too me, the conductor is not protecting you he is letting the warp through the gaps Brother Jeddah was the first, he’s going to kill us all.”

He stopped as a pistol clicked his eyes locking on the barrel of the gun aimed at his chest.

“You have lost yourself brother.”

A deep chuckle echoed through the chamber drawing everyone’s attention they all turned to the centre to look upon the conductors form as it laughed turning his gaze upon them all.

“You are too late Brother Virgil this time has come.”

His head snapped round the cosmic clock had stopped ground to a halt halfway through a movement which told him the world’s moon was eclipsing the star this world belonged too.

“This world is rife with the corruption of man and is in need of cleansing by fire and divine fury.”

“What are you saying?”

“This world has come to an end.”

The gun barked from behind him Virgil dropped to his knees gasping as the psi-round entered the air he gasped and clawed for breath being stood so close to it burned like ice across his skin when the body tumbled behind him he turned seeing the crater in the observer’s skull where he’d shot himself

 “I cannot allow weak willed men like that to stop me, join me in one last choir to herald in the death of this world.”

His voice rose in song echoing through the chamber the others about him started to sing as well shouting out the words as loud as they could the pressure of the noise building the power of the cataclysmic event that was about to happen.

The cosmic clock moved a loud clunk as the movement moved closer to eclipse.

“When the moon blocks out the star Virgil this world will burn and all life shall be extinguished is a blinding
light.”

“What are you doing!”

“His divine will.”

“I will stop you!”

“You do not have the will to stop me Virgil, I do not understand why you have not bowed to my will but you alone cannot stop this.”

There was a force pressing at the edge of his mind urging him to join in the choir to add his psychic power to the attack the conductor was building to join in the extermination of the world he called his home, he dropped to his knees his hand slamming into something that was not the floor, he looked up the observers gun was under his hand he scooped it up, it felt like ice in his grip burning and sending shivers down his spine, he vomited the tasteless bile and bland food  cascading down his robes as he lifted the weapon and aimed it at the conductor, a sphere of white light was forming high above his head and his eyes stared up into it, Virgil pulled the trigger the gun barking in his hands the sound drowned  out by the cries of his fellow astropaths as they lost themselves to the song of death, the conductor jerked once collapsing back into his throne he roared as the psi-round consumed him burning his soul to it’s very core the sphere exploded sending Virgil sliding across the floor as the shockwave hit him the chamber went black the emergency lights illuminating the chamber after a few seconds, each of the astropaths slumped in their chairs heads lolling to one side of the other as if dead, Virgil pulled himself to his feet looking at his hands they were blistered from contact with the gun he took two staggered steps noticing the utter silence of the room he looked round as a rushing sound entered the room then each of the astropaths arched their mouths open as they let out a chilling wail their bodies bursting into brilliant white flames their arms outstretched in agony they screamed for almost a minute then the chamber exploded in a brilliant ball of white light,

++

Jeremiah drained the drink wincing at the taste of the liqueur he was about to order another one when a white light illuminated the Palace from outside, cutting through the stained glass windows is a kaleidoscopic display of colour, he turned to call Belhast over when a pain gripped his forehead with such force it caused him to lurk forward pressing his hands to his temples, the glass fell and shattered at his feet but he couldn’t hear it as he felt as though someone had forced a chain sword into his skull he looked up into the hall and saw that the other psykers present were likewise sharing in his pain which pulsed refreshing the agony and bringing forth an uncontrolled gout of blood stained bile, he sank to his knees as blood streamed from his eyes and ears dripping from his hands onto the polished marble floor, letting out a strained cry he knew what this was, this was psychic over load he’d experienced this once before in his younger days before the black ships had taken him, he’d lost control back then and the warp had almost flooded through him into the world but he’d managed somehow to regain control and force it back. That was why he was who he was now and not just another offering to the God Emperor.

He stood staggering his mind raging within his own head, how was this happening he hadn’t been using his powers, this should not have been possible, not unless there was another build up of psychic power close by, he forced himself into the centre of the hall and called out his voice strained with the agony he was feeling.

“Everybody! Get Down!”

He allowed himself to collapse as the world went white.
This here is my very favourite gun...I call her rita.

The Order of the Iron Rose - Necris' Inq28 Plog

Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: The War of Shadows
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2010, 01:16:53 AM »
Having shielded her eyes at the warning, Lyra recovered quickly. Practised at avoiding the effects of intense lights by frequent exposure to Maya's psychic flashes, she had managed to keep herself from being blinded.
Even so, the first thing that surprised her was that she could see. By some miracle, the lighting in the room hadn't failed, and kept the dark of the eclipse from taking the room.

However, utter pandemonium had taken the room instead.  Several voices were screaming in terror, glass littered the floor, and Inquisitors were producing weapons from all sorts of places, some of them probably better unmentioned. Kai had recovered his laspistol from its shoulder holster faster than she could blink.

Almost nothing could be heard over the clamour. Lyra looked over at her psyker, who appeared to have passed out - what she would have given for Maya's psychically magnified vocal power to get over the din. Not that it would have been much good if she'd been conscious, the psy-damping made sure of that.

Everyone seemed to have their own agenda. Inquisitors were ordering each other around, each with utterly contradictory commands. What was one to do in a room where dozens of Inquisitors had all individually decided it was their job to take charge?
She contemplated using a gunshot to get attention, but drawing attention in that way would have been suicide in a room occupied by alert and armed Inquisitors.

Not being half as crazy as that, she instead clambered over the table to get to Maya. Pressing her fingers to the psyker's jugular, she waited a second to feel a pulse.
Incredibly raised, but present - although that said nothing of whether her mind had survived. Judging by the general smell of vomit and bile that pervaded the room and the multiple unconscious people, many of whom the Inquisitor recognised as psykers, it was clear that whatever had caused the blast had been psychic in nature.

This was bad. Very bad.
S.Sgt Silva Birgen: "Good evening, we're here from the Adeptus Defenestratus."
Captain L. Rollin: "Nonsense. Never heard of it."
Birgen: "Pick a window. I'll demonstrate".

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Offline Kallidor

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Re: The War of Shadows
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2010, 01:39:15 AM »
Molovich was outside when the white light flared. He was just about to rebuke the guard for daring to ask him for identification when it was evidently clear who he was when the the explosion had happened. The guard was on the his knees, retching and rubbing his eyes furiously. Augmented, Molovich had suffered no ill effects at all, in fact he had had plenty of time to watch the unnatural phenomenon occur. It had been a psychic discharge of some kind, highly energetic, far beyong the ability of the average psyker which meant one of either two possibilities and neither was good.

His voice-pet was huddling behind him with its eyes screwed shut. His Interrogator had thrown herself to the ground and under his scrutiny lifted her head, blowing hair out of her eyes and spitting out blades of grass. She blinked as he canted a harsh burst of binaric. Of course, she was not adapted was she. The thick umbilical hose snaked out from behind him and smacked into the skull of the voice-pet with a crunch which made the creature yelp. The cringing child-like features of the voice-pet furrowed into a scowl as Molovich exerted his control. The voice-pet turned slowly and folded its arms.

"Query: What are you doing down there Arisha Dolan?"

The Interrogator flushed, "Sorry master." She looked directly at the featureless brass wedge that covered the area where Molovich's eyes might have been. She got to her feet and brushed herself down and then had to run to get back into pace with her mentor who pushed over the guard, still on his hands and knees, with his boot, rolling the guard out of the way.

Arisha hurried a little faster as Molovich canted another burst of binaric over his shoulder which did not need to be translated and clearly meant "Hurry up!"
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Offline Necris

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Re: The War of Shadows
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2010, 11:33:38 AM »
The Eclipse was coming the moon was slowly being eaten away dragging the world deeper and deeper into darkness, hundreds of thousands had gathered in the grand promenade to watch the annual event the event that heralded in the warm seasons as the worlds path orbit brought it closer to the star and it warm embrace.

They would experience days of darkness in those days the ceremonies and festivites would be held as it had been for hundreds of generations when the salutation of night ended the celebrations would begin and a festival and parade stood waiting to flood the promenade once the lights were returned.

Midnight came and the world plunged into true darkness the noise and chatter of the civilian population dying down a quiet hum as the High Lectern, the sole illumination took his position upon the high pillar in the centre of them all, eye turned upwards to him as he started his ritual in the archaic tongue of their forefathers, none of them understood it now the language was dead, it was speculated that not even the High Lectern himself knew the words he spoke, but it was tradition and tradition had to be kept.

He continued chanting away his voice amplified by vox casters spread across the city so all could hear his words as he entered the second verse of the ritual he stopped his head coming up from the ancient book he looked across the promenade causing the populace below to turn the attention with his.

Light bright and brilliant white was coming from beyond the city it shone out from the great mountain ranges far off beyond the city, the light was casting a warm glow across the city, the populace watched for long minutes as the light flashed in intensity then faded, confused at the strange the display The High Lectern composed himself and turned his eyes back to the book before him to continue his reading as the mountains exploded in a ball of light which shattered an instant later tearing the mountains away and sweeping across the plains, his eyes averted from the spectacle they were saved but his skin blistered and he tumbled in the pulpit almost falling from it as the world rumbled from the force of the detonation, hidden in the pulpit he could hear the panic and screams of those below as buildings tumbled and the ground split, he struggled pulling himself to his feet looking over the chaos the world had changed strange light flooded across the sky blues and greens and purples that made him sick and the city burned as fires spread the mountains bore a giant crater and even at this distance he could see great cracks running along the ground like rends in fabric. Earthquakes followed opening up the ground and swallowing the populace as they staggered around in blind panic, one crack opened along the ground coming for the pulpit and he knew that he would not have time to escape as it opened alongside the pillar he clung to the polished wooden rail as it fell the ancient book pressed to his chest as the pillar and pulpit smashed into the ground shattering his body along with those caught under it. Across the city the population died in droves broken by the tumbling buildings being swallowed by flames as fuel and gas lines exploded.

Even the Imperial Palace suffered under the unnatural onslaught, designed as it was to withstand sieges and war the walls held but the towers of the building buckled and collapsed into it, tears whole floors from the building, the intricate carvings on the walls fell and windows shattered covering all caught by them in deadly shards of multicoloured glass. Down in the palace’s bowels the building suffered it worst blow, cracked open by the earthquakes the Halls of Enquiry burned but were extinguished in one instant as an explosive fireball tore up the kilometre long grav line exploding outwards and tearing the basements of the Palace apart the shockwave rumbled the palace for a second time causing the remains of the building to sink on one of its corners cracking the mighty walls down two of it’s sides, as the aftermath settled over the world the din of chaos flooded the world, screams of pain and anguish and the roar of fires and chaos reigned as the eclipse reduced the world to total darkness save for the fires the threatened to swallow the city where the light had failed.

Glass exploded into the Dinning hall, chandeliers fell from the ceiling crashing into the tables the pandemonium from Jeremiah's out burst silenced as those still standing reacted to the sudden intrusion of their environment of a deadly storm of glass and masonry as one of the internal walls tumbled inwards, the second explosion came up filling the entrance hall with fire the shockwave throwing all to the ground as the powerful earthquake rocked the very roots of the world.
This here is my very favourite gun...I call her rita.

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Offline Swarbie

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Re: The War of Shadows
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2010, 12:03:38 PM »
Fabio was oblivious to all of this. He lay on the floor, screaming and clutching his head as first the storm of glass, and then the wave of fire passed over him. Miraculously he was unharmed, physically at least.

Pain lanced through his head. Images filled his mind. A man holding two blood-red straight razors. Marcas, laughing at some joke. Jorken, his master, stalking through the jungles of Catachan. Racquel, Jorken's wife, looking beautiful in a long gown. Hive Primus on Schindelgheist Major.

Talons. Talons in the darkness. Creatures, terrible creatures, clawing at his mind, body and soul. 

Horror filled him, as he relived his entire life in an instant.

He blacked out.
And I saw her body burning,
With it, my world
To dust returning