The Conclave

The Ordos Majoris - Roleplay => In Character => Topic started by: Draco Silverhand on April 25, 2010, 07:50:15 PM

Title: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on April 25, 2010, 07:50:15 PM
It was cold. Eighty degrees below zero centigrade. Power armor was just barely functioning, and Sergeant Draconis Falzone kept a brisk pace to ensure the fibre bundles in his armor didn't freeze and break. The suit's heating coils were running at maximum, keeping the internal temperature of the suit at just above freezing. Falzone's own body did the rest of the work, keeping his internal temperatures well within operating ranges.

Following the road, he marched up, up an ever steeper slope towards the bastion above. This continent was bathed in ice, but the steel cleets attached to his boots helped him keep a steady foothold on the climb. As he neared, Draconis spotted a sentry.

"Halt! Brother sergeant of the Imperial Fists. State your name and reason for approaching!" The guard called to him. Kasrkin in snow suits able to withstand this cold? Impossible.

"Draconis Argentus Falzone, sent here to collect supplies from the Imperial Armory for my quest!" He bellowed over the wind. The guardsmen waved to signal he should continue up, and lowered their guns.

"Can never be too careful." The storm trooper said. "Command told us not to let anyone through unless they identified themselves as you." As Draconis approached the guardsman, he noticed the air temperature change drastically. Negative twenty up here.

"It's warm up here..." He said, and the guardsmen nodded, lifting his rifle and firing a shot into the air. A cascade of golden white light rippled from a few yards overhead, and extended out sideways.

"Void shield keeps the heat in, Brother Sergeant, keeps us hot while the continent freezes." The storm trooper beckoned Draconis to follow him as he walked towards the nearest bulkhead door. "In here, you can outfit yourself. I thought you were here to secure arms for a whole squad though..." Draconis nodded.

"I secured authorization to requisition the garrisson at this bastion. She is sending a new platoon to hold the fortifications in your stead." The kasrkin tilted his head sideways.

"So... You're my commander now?" Draconis nodded. "Then, sir, let me bring you inside to introduce you to the men!" He quickly punched his Ident code into the lock-pad, as the doors slid open, he and Draconis stepped inside. After a moment, the doors hissed shut, followed by a gust of hot air. New temperature, 30 degrees centigrade. Draconis took off his helmet and locked eyes with the Imperial Storm Trooper.

"Do you and your men have combat experience?" The storm trooper nodded, indicating his left shoulder. What appeared to be a purity seal was actually a campaign list, amongst the fighting, Draconis recognized several anti-insurgency campaigns and a few xeno-battles listed. "Fighting traitors?" He added, and the storm trooper fingered the regiment name on his shoulder. "Cadia... Good. Name and rank."

"Jorn Valdi, Sergeant of the 417th."

"Sergeant Valdi, take me to your men." Draconis commanded, and they began their descent into the fortress.



"Master... it is almost time..." The rotworm of a slave hunched over beneath the behemoth marine. "They are near, and awaiting your next move... my lord." The Black Templar giant before him regarded him with disgust, before deciding not to kick him this time.

"Open a channel, and ready the host." He commanded simply. The vox caster cracled for a moment as the logisters searched for a frequency to connect the two ships in the void. "Gathon. What news?" He commanded, more than asked.

"My lord Falzone... The world is ripe for invasion. Lush with slaves! Their planetary defence forces are weak... Their hives are overpopulated. We could rape their world with impunity!" The maddened assault marine reported. Gathon had turned to battle lust with more intent on lust than battle, and Slaanesh had bestowed upon him such mutations that encouraged his attentions to debauching the populations he sacked. "Shall we begin the assault, my lord?"

"Not until I have consulted with the oracle." Tigurio snarled. "So, contain yourself a while longer, Gathon, or savage one of your slaves until we are ready for war." The assault marine bowed to the vox/pict caster, and the image shorted out. Tigurio turned from the bridge of his strike cruiser to stride down the halls to a holding bay. Minutes passed and he arrived in the bay, still holding the intent in his mind. Approaching the daemonhost chained to the center of the chamber, he snarled as he drew a combat blade, carved an evil looking sigil into his own palm and spat acid into the blood dripping onto the floor. His third eye glowed brilliantly for a moment as he began to draw on the floor with the tip of his blade, using the phlegm and blood as ink. Connected to the daemonhost, Tigurio channeled the warp into the image he created until it became a living picture. The world beneath his ship now made visible within through the warp.

"Are you in there?" He quietly asked, searching the planet's surface for something... A glowing red dot on the horizon, he reached for the world, and it spun, bringing the red dot to the center. Looking up at the daemonhost, he studied the faces staring back down at him. "Are you using me, or are we using each other?" He mused. "This is the place it is hidden?" He demanded of the host.

"What you seek, you will find, down in the bowels of Hades Mine." Was all he got in response, but it seemed to satisfy his curiosity.

"Then, when I find it, I shall set you free. In exchange, you will give me my revenge!" He spat as he shouted at the daemonhost.

"We will fulfill our end of the bargain."
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on April 25, 2010, 10:37:32 PM
The Rogue Black Templar crashed through the tarvern wall crushing several patrons before rolling to a stop, pushing himself to his feet he coughed up a glob of blood spitting it to the floor before drawing his sword linking it to the chains on his arms he looked at the hole in the wall waiting as the patrons backed away from him fearful of his presence, in the corner of his eyes he saw other traitor marines gripping weapons tightly in preperation of what was to come he thought he could use and tilted his head to regard them better.

Scions of Pleaseure he bellowed a rousing cry.

"For Slanneshi, death to the followers of Khorne!"

They cheered standing as the shadow of his attacker formed in the dust slowly he stepped through the hole coming upright he was taller than the Templar by a head his bald head tattooed with wings, he turned looking at the scions of pleasure who readied their weapons.

"Some assistance would be appriciated seems our prey has found friends."

Three more marines strode in behind him, one clad in bone white armour with a blue helm in his hands he held a roaring chain axe he stepped to the right of his master the next was in unpainted armour the metal still the same dull marbeled steel of the day of it's manufacture a likewise unbedorned bolter took aim at the room, behind them still came a proud figure almost as tall as the first his hair long and a platinum blond that shone starkly against his blackened armour decorated with finely crafted and inlaid gold work, in his hand was a sleek elegent sword that crackled with power and purpose, flanking from the taverns enterance came three more figures two in black one edged with silver the other with white the last wore a deep green they each had bolters primed and ready, the three Scions of Pleasure lowered themselves back into theire chairs not wishing to take on this force.

"You see, you will find no friends when I am near."

The Templar faltered lowering his weapon.

"What is it you want?"

"Tigurio Falzone."

"You think I would betray the Marshal?"

"If you value your life, tell me where he is and I swear I will not kill you."

The Templar's head swung.

"Hades Mine, he intends to sack it I am here to gain the Blackhearts favour for the Marshals return."

He nodded and turned from the fallen marine looking at the blue helmed one to his right.

"Kill him."

"You swore!"

"I swore I wouldn't kill you, Brak however is not bound by my oaths."

"Indeed not."

The Tempar brought his sword up but it was too late a screaming chain axe had already taken his head from his shoulders it bounced off the far wall and hit the ground before the body tumbled, turning their leader stalked form the tavern.

"And the rest."

The marines armed with bolters opened fire without hessitation the one armed in green emptied his weapon first and drew a flamer hung from his shoulder he washed the building with burning promethium before they all withdrew stalking away from the tavern as it collapsed in on itself, a blue armoured marine moved to his side.

"That was unwise, drawing attention to yourself here is not safe."

"You think I give a damm what the Blackheart thinks."

"Did you get a destination at least."

"Hades Mine."

The group vanished into the teaming sprawl of the slum city and would soon  be gone back aboard their ship and away, before anyone of import could do anything about it at least.

The hunt was on.

Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on April 26, 2010, 09:21:41 AM
Tigurio made planetfall within the hour. An orbital bombardment preceded the assault, succeeded by deathwind missile drop pods, and finally Thunderhawk bombing runs. If the Imperial Guard planetary defence forces found themselves overwhelmed in the initial bombardments, they found themselves overwhelmed and washed away by the cultist assault unleashed as drop pod after drop pod unleashed squads of traitor guardsmen led by traitor Black Templars.

Tigurio Falzone strode amidst the chaos, directing his attentions and movement towards the ancient and abandoned mine. Deep within, something stirred, a presence that had slumbered for a thousand years. A presence now sensing the nearness of the fallen space marine commander, and his intent to find it.

Yes.... Come, Tigurio... Come death of Akthalos, Betrayer amongst friends... Come to me... Come to me and RELEASE ME!!! The earth trembled, and the few surviving defenders fled in terror to the sound of laughter from below and from the Space Marines.

An hour later and Tigurio's techmarines had repaired the motors for the elevator shaft into the mine with their now twisted mechanical litanies of taint. The mine shaft seemed to shake with quiet laughter as Tigurio and his command squad made the descent into the mine. The warp was strong here. A weak spot in the physical realm from a rift opened millenia ago... This was a pit of death long before the Imperium had made it a mine.

Though none who now rode the elevator shaft, nor any alive to tell of it, knew; the mine had been dug into an ancient fane. A cave dwelling of an old priesthood long since past. An old priesthood that dined on the flesh of men, and children and made other uses of women. This old priesthood had enslaved the population for thousands of years before the Emperor's light had come to the world, and the priests themselves had practiced dark magics in the name of a dark god. That dark magic had been what led to the initial failure to pacify Akthanos, as daemons ran rampant against the Imperial Armies. It was only when Rogal Dorn's own legion brought the full weight of their guns to bear that the world was silenced. In the wake of the Horus Heresy, a cult sprung up here, using the cave for their debased rituals... Through the millenia after the Horus Heresy, the cult was purged, their records erased, and the fane purified... But the evil lingered on. After a time, the old legends became myths, exaggerated beyond belief, and eventually put to rest by the Ecclesiarchy.

Some time ago, the planet had been worth much more, as its mines had held great wealth. But after Hades Mine was opened, and delved into the ancient cavern dedicated to an ancient evil, the world's production began to ebb. When the horrors within Hades mine were unleashed upon the world, the Inquisition purified the world from orbit, then sent ground forces to cleanse all possible pockets of taint. The world was repopulated, but the mines of the world were shut down. With mining forbidden by ancient Imperial Dicatus, and with no public recollection of why, the world simply ceased to be important to the Imperium. The daemons were foolishly thought to have been vanquished, and the world safe... So long as the mines were kept sealed.

Yet now, Tigurio Falzone and his traitor marines were descending down, deep into the darkness of the mine. Past the darkness, the mine's walls began to glow. Tigurio felt the damness of Chaos, the stench of decay. He felt the putrescence as he felt this leg of his journey coming to a close.

Stepping off the elevator lift, Tigurio strode down a long winding mine tunnel, as if posessed of a certainty and knowledge of his destiny. He stepped onto a mag-rail mine cart, and intoned a vague rite of activation as he pushed the rune of awakening. The cart slid down the rail, Tigurio had left his men behind, with orders to kill anything that ventured out if it was not him. As the mag-rail picked up speed, Tigurio had to hold a restraint bar as the cart swept through turns, peaks and dips as if he were riding in a Land Speeder. Finally, the cart slowed to a crawl and Tigurio leapt off before it came to a complete halt.

The cavern he was in glowed with a light purple haze barely perceptible to the human eye. Indeed, if a human were to stand anywhere in the cave before Tigurio arrived, he would only see black, if he did not see anything from the warp, that is. And once Tigurio had entered, he would only see two, red, glowing, evil eyes passing over the whole room as they took it all in. Tigurio powered down his helmet, and took it off. The purple remained, and he sniffed the air. One second it was flowers. Some form of lilac, perhaps. The next he was smelling rotted fish, iron rich blood, a banquet hall, human entrails, human fluids and pheremones, blood again, then musk and incense. Each scent was fresh as the last, and each was new, different... Except the recurring scent of blood.

"Unuurthk'thechakkirnzvdbkhrduvviishkivbbdlikhathnduur..." He whispered to the air. His third eye opening and glaring directly in front of him at the altar. The altar was in tact. It had all the trappings of Chaos, and indeed every possible sigil or glyph to represent a god of Chaos was inscribed somewhere on the altar. An altar cloth lay on the floor. Stained in blood, Tigurio lifted it and sniffed the cloth. Fresh blood? He placed the cloth over the altar and both vanished, the cavern became huge, and Tigurio became aware that the cavern was now as it is in the real world... That what he'd just seen was more... memory.

"Vksan'thdknar" He called out, and a laugh answered, faint as if a gust of wind. "Show yourself to me, that I may free you!" He called out. "Vksan'thdknar! I shall release you from this prison!" He replaced his helmet, allowing his autosensors to project an image of the cave's full size into his view.

Welcome, Tigurio Falzone, destroyer of man, Death of Akthalos. Welcome to my home... Why, dear little plaything, why do you think I would ever want out?

"This is a prison for you! A damned trap to you, is it not!?" He snarled.

I admit. It does frustrate me so that no man takes the time to visit... Not since that pestilence you call the Imperium rose up... Nurgle's rot... HA! The Imperium is the rot... Nurgle would provide a cure no doubt, but I am not of Nurgle... Dear plaything.

"I am no toy. Do not trifle with me, daemon, or I..."

Send me back to the Warp, traitor marine? Beat the life from me? You have no power over me. The name you use is a means to communicate, not my true name, which I shall never give. The daemon's voice grew more clear in Tigurio's mind as he began to see the outline of the secret keeper. I am a keeper of secrets, dear manthing. I am a steward of knowledge... And I do not share lightly, but I will share with you this. I can no better think a way to keep my secrets than to seclude myself from my brethren and your former allies. This world was of no import to the Imperium. Tithe grade Adeptus Non... But now that you have attacked, you will bring the Inquisition here. No doubt to find the artifact which keeps me hidden... The artifact which I have bound myself to in order to stay in this world. Then they shall destroy it, purify it of all taint, and in so doing, send me and my secrets back to the Warp.

So tell me... Why shouldn't I kill you now for this?
Tigurio found himself staring up into the glowering countenance of a 5 meter tall daemonic woman. She held a weapon in each of her two upper arms, while her two lower arms seemed to bear runes of power on each palm.

"Because, I can move your artifact. Give you a new safe haven... Far from this world." He did not think much about what he was saying, but knew he would be obliterated if he did not act quickly.

You have offered this freely, and will keep your word as your honor? If you fail, do you pledge me your soul as token favor to satiate my rage, and the soul of every man under your command? Her voice a sibilant hiss inside his mind, Tigurio found himself strangely mesmerized by the vile and beautiful thing before him, her tail swishing over his head.

"I pledge the souls of my men to satisfy you if I fail to safeguard you into hiding." Tigurio began, but began to smile. "But I will not pledge my own life over such a matter. I only offer you the chance to take my soul if you help me avenge the men I have lost to the folley of the Imperium. Help me to bring ruination upon the worlds of man, and I shall not seek safe harbor from any God of Chaos, should I fail to safeguard you back into hiding.

You pledge such things so freely, as if your own immortal soul were so burdensome that you would happily discard it... Very well... I accept. With that, the great daemoness slashed Tigurio's right hand, licked his blood from her blade, and thrust a hideous shard of rusted metal into his bloody hand. The blood contact with the blade formed a brilliant light, blinding Tigurio for a moment, before dimming. In his hand, the shard of iron had become a beautifully crafted dual-handed power sword, with litanies that appeared Imperial, but as he read each rune and sigil, Tigurio became acutely aware that each was a blasphemy against the Imperium, some of which was a threat against him as well.

Sheathing the apparent relic blade, Tigurio fixed the hilt to his belt and mounted the mag-rail cart. As he emerged from the depths, a plume of dust and debris followed in his wake, the caves, having been supported as much by eldritch energies as by now-rusted plasteel supports, now falling apart behind him. The Black Templars awaiting him regarded him with distrust as he approached, but lowered their arms as they verified it was indeed their Marshal.

Within the hour, the full force of his assault had removed itself, with the exception of the traitor guardsmen, who were no longer needed. Left behind to secure the world for the Gods of Chaos, they began to spread out their forces to hunt down the remaining Imperial resistance. They did not have long however, as once all the Black Templars were safely in orbit, Tigurio ordered the immediate bombardment of the planet's surface with magma bombs and cyclotronic warheads. The bombardment took hours, and the screams of death echoed up from the surface through the Warp. Tigurio felt a certain measure of pleasure emanating from the sword on his hilt, and smiled as he watched the world burn.



Draconis Argentus Falzone mustered his men. The Storm Troopers under his command boarded the Thunderhawk Gunships that had landed just outside the void shield barriers. The men had run at full speed to get inside, in order to avoid frostbite, and none were lost in boarding the gunships.

Once aboard the Imperial Navy Sword-class frigate in orbit, Sergeant Falzone ordered the small fleet of Imperial ships to make for the nearest Warp Jump. An astrotelepathica signal had been recieved reporting a renegade Black Templar raiding force in the vicinity of Akthalos system. He was bound and determined to investigate and find the whereabouts of his wayward uncle.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on April 29, 2010, 08:51:22 PM
Swords clashed as he circled moving through the training cycle he leant into the attack a blade passing over his head by centimetres another blade came at his chest as the fighting cage reacted to his position, his blade flashed out smashing the mechanical arm and he span punching a second arm snapping it with ease, a third arm scored a deep wound across his chest and he spun full circle hacking the weapon apart the wound was already healing as he called halt to the cycle.

He stepped from the cage sliding the weapon back into the rack and drawing a linen towel to him dabbing his chest of blood before pulling on a white robe fringed in dark green, he paused turning to regard the figure standing at the hatchway.

"Something you require Brak."

He strode into the training hall, his own robe trimmed in blue he strode to the training cage looking at the damage.

"I always get restless during warp transit, I loath the feeling of sliding through the immaterium."

He flicked one of the broke arms before moving to the weapons rack his fingers slid over the weapons held upon it.

"It's times like these where one like me finds the inactivity unbearable the lack of combat maddening, I often think it was this stillness which led to us being like we were, forced to be still when given the opportunity to be unleashed we launched ourselves into battle without restraint."

He turned rapidly pulling an axe from the rack it sang through the air forcing him to leap back the blade split the fabric of the robe, he stepped back his hand coming up to the fabric, Brak stepped round holding the axe he and a single edged sword.

"Care to help elevate some stress."

He caught the blade as it was tossed at him spinning it in his hand he eased his lip rotating the weapon before nodding. Brak smiled launching himself at him axe singing through the air. Their blades clashed sparks coming from the blades.

"You know Captain, I've never seen you truly fight, oh I've seen you kill but you always hold back, why is that?"

The exchanged blows the pair of them moving through the hall using their surroundings as they hacked and slashed at one another Brak a manic grin on his face while Nero moved with cold calculate skill, he turned each attack away with ease which only served to fuel Brak further his grin turning to a silent snarl as he moved and struck and moved again always keeping the swords tip away from his skin.

Nero pushed him his blade gradually becoming faster and faster the tip getting closer and closer to Brak's flesh he dipped the tip of his sword presenting an opening which Brak went for and in a blinding movement sent the head of Brak's axe spinning into the wall, Brak stepped back from the sword tip.

"See even against me you hold back."

"Because I don't need to use my full skill to beat you, it's a matter of keeping my strategy secret let my enemies think they are my superiors before illuminating them."

The phrase made Brak hiss and spit.

"You know how I hate that phrase, he used it."

"Who?"

"Who do you think, we are all here because of him."

Brak was right, he sighed tossing the weapon aside.

"Forgive me, sometimes I forget. How long till we're out of the warp?"

"No idea you'll have to speak with Tass."

He nodded striding from the hall
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on April 30, 2010, 05:10:37 AM
The spacetime continuum near Akthalos began to shift in the darkness. A few seconds into the future became the past before becoming present, light began to crackle through the rift as raw emotional power slipped from its native world into the world of the physical realm. The energy trickle became a flood as a gaping hole in the warp-realspace barrier rent open, and a sword-class frigate, along with several dozen smaller support craft swept back into the realm of reality. Insanity closed its gate behind them, and there was darkness once more.

"My lord." A servitor's voice droned over the vox network. "We have arrived in system. Gloriam Imperator." The voice was metallic and crackled with static buildup. Sergeant Falzone found himself stirred from meditation by the translation back into realspace, and the announcement to his quarters only confirmed what he had already figured.

"All hands to their stations. Full battle drill." Draconis ordered. He wasn't taking any chances. If his blasphemous uncle left behind any force to oppose the Inquisition, Draconis would not hesitate to unleash Hel. At his order, claxons rang throughout the hallways, and the support craft flitting around the Sword frigate spread out to form a defensive perimeter.

"Sir. All scans indicate no enemy fleets nearby, however there is a problem." One of the chapter serfs paged Draconis on his personal vox.

"I'll be right up." He strode on up the hallway, preparing his mind for the worst. When he arrived on the bridge, Draconis was met with a holo-pict on the primary viewer, showing the primary planet of Akthalos. Sgt. Falzone knew this world. It was a temperate world, not rich in life, but not poor either. Its primary feature was that it didn't matter. Literally. There were ancient mines on the world, which the Imperium had sealed... But the planet had no forges of its own, was not in a strategic location, and was for all intents and purposes barely able to supply a tithe of Imperial Guardsmen each year. Even so, this world was not as it should be. It was wreathed in smoke.

"Bring me online with the system Governor." He ordered.

"Negative. There is no vox activity in the system at all, sir." A serf spoke up.

"Well, try anyways!" He snapped, his glare causing several other serfs to back up. "Just because they're not talking doesn't mean they're not listening. So do it."

"Aye, aye sir!" The serf worked quickly to ping every signal in the system before reporting once more. "No response, sir."

"Bring us into close orbit." Draconis' anger was rising up at the calamity he knew had occurred on the surface, but he stilled his rage and focused on the matter at hand. "Scan for life forms, scanner arrays, power sources, anything to indicate where there might have been Imperial outposts."

"Sir?" The vox communicae serf queried. "Where they might have been?"

"Yes. My heretic grand uncle Tigurio Falzone, formerly a Marshal of the Black Templars chapter... I suspect he has been through this system. If so, he would have razed to the ground any force opposing him. He barely held back such wrath when he was still fighting in service to the Emperor..." Draconis glared at the screen. "Anything on the surface? Or were you just listening to me ramble..." His glare shifted to the vox technician.

"Sir. Surface structures appear to indicate an Imperial mining settlement here..." An orange crosshair lit up on the holoscreen. "But, there's no signs of life, nor any power sources operating on the surface. The air is also choked with dust, making any attempt to land by Thunderhawk treacherous without a landing zone already squared away." The serf rattled off the report quickly to avoid any rebuke for delays. "Also, sir, we identified it as a mining settlement due to the large quantity of Hab-blocks and a massive hole in the ground just outside the settlement, which could be a very deep mine."

"Very well." Draconis turned from the bridge. "Talridge. You have the conn." Captain Talridge snapped a salute at the departing Sergeant space marine. "Keep me informed if anything changes."

"Aye, aye sir."

"Men." Draconis spoke in battle cant across his personal vox. "Prep for recon on the surface of Athkalos." Various affirmatives reported back. "Meet me in the drop-pod launch bay immediately."

Within the hour, Draconis and his men were rapidly descending to the surface of Akthalos, their drop pod screaming through the atmosphere. Retrothrusters kicked in, and the descent ended with the pod slamming into the center of the mining town. The pod opened with a loud clang, and the marines stepped out, bolters sweeping the blasted, burnt out landscape for any sign of trouble.



"My lord!" A lowly wretch called out from the lower deck of the bridge. "We have arrived at Bolgoth as you commanded, my master!" The sickly looking thing cackled, its whip scarred face hideous with a grin... "What are your orders?"

"Any sign we have been detected?" The Black Marshal inquired.

"None. My master..."

"Then teleport me to the coordinates as planned...



Bolgoth's surface. The world's air stank with blood and feces. Entrails decorated the bastions of once proud Imperial Administratum buildings. Even these buildings were barely recognizeable as man-made, as their forms have long been eternally marred by the presence of the Warp.

It was into the ruins of a small settlement on this world which Tigurio teleported. The telltale spike of energy barely noticeable to any but the most expert technician, which on this world, there were none. The world was feral. Gone mad with the Warp, and the few humans who inhabited it regularly slaughtered each other for their dark god, Khorne, who ruled this world with a brass plated iron grip. However, it was not the battles Tigurio was concerned with. It was an artefact. An unholy relic of Khorne, known only as Thirst Quencher. Tigurio had been shown enough by his unholy oracle that he suspected the artefact was a skull goblet made from stone, bone and rusted iron. Beyond that, he had no idea just what manner of goblet he was looking for, but knew he'd recognize it on sight.

The settlement was quiet. An eerie calm he had not expected to encounter on a world ruled by Khorne. Tigurio strode down the street into the central hub of the town. There, in the middle of the town, was a fountain of blood, its trickle and splash serving as the only sound in the entire settlement. He swept his bolt pistol in a wide arc, expecting a foe nearby. Some manner of guardian over this seemingly demonic blood-spring. But there was none, and the Black Marshal dipped a finger into the pooling blood of the fountain. Sniffing it, he smelled traces of human, alien and animal blood all mixed together. A taste and he was sent reeling. A rush of sensation and thought, images and emotions flooded his mind until at last, the body of Marshal Tigurio Falzone lay on the ground.



A verdant world. Lush, green, teeming with life and resources. Humans working together to build an Imperium of Light and Reason...

Centuries pass... The Emperor is dead! All hail the Emperor! Long live the Emperor! The world devolves slowly over a millenium, technology fades over thousands of years, a ruined husk where once a vast and mighty empire lay. The world is not missed as it is plunged into a thousand years of chaos of its own. Warp storms wrack the skies, and Tigurio looks up, now somewhat cognizant of his presence in the vision. Wings black out the sky. Screeches of fury and hate deafen Imperial defenders as they fight tooth and nail to hold the line against inevitable doom.

The world lies dead. The wars are over. A barren rock, the Imperium came to Bolgoth to reunite, but instead delivered a death sentence. The surface of the world is ash. A millennium passes...

The world is covered in new life. Seeds brought from nearby worlds found root in fertile ash. Water is dug up from below the planet's surface, and life begins anew. A new warp storm... Tigurio feels the earth shake, tanks roll by, blasting into the coming night with the fury of men who know they shall never see the light of day again. A greater daemon of Khorne flies down from the skies, plummeting into the tank spearhead like a meteor. He lashes out with a mighty blow from his axe and fells the tanks. Their crews incinerated by the detonation of ammunition stores.

Tigurio watches the history of the world unfurl, then sees a daemon weilding a chalice of bone, brass, stone and rubied glass. The monstrosity lifts the chalice in the air, pouring gallons of blood into its mouth. As the daemon smashes aside an Imperial officer, gallons of boiling blood splash from the goblet onto guardsmen, and each doused in blood shrieks in agony as his skin blisters and burns. The daemon drinks again, kicking a tank onto its side.

Tigurio follows the daemon. He watches it cut a swathe through the guardsmen lines. Right down the streets of the settlement until it is met with the fury of Space Marines. A space marine captain, a mighty warrior from a long forgotten now dead chapter, rises up to challenge the daemon of Khorne. A duel, and the daemon is smote. His chalice falls into the fountain in the square, and the essence of the Daemon escapes into the goblet. The space marine Captain doesn't live long enough to ensure the destruction of the goblet, however, as a horde of cultists swarm the square, led by World Eaters and bloodletter daemons. In the ensuing battle, none recover the goblet, too busy killing each other to search for it.

Thousands of years go by. The goblet's master waits impatiently, bound within the goblet, waiting for a host...

None come until now...



Tigurio wakes, his vision cloudy, but remembers the whole dream he just endured. The daemon was unable to enter into him from such a short connection, but in that time, he knew he had found the resting place of the goblet... Disturbing that goblet, however, would bring unwanted attention to himself and his ship. He could escape the planet, but not undetected. Sending any sort of signal from the surface, and being teleported away would no doubt invite the attentions of the World Eaters, or some other Khornate cult. Regardless, Tigurio stared into the murky bloody waters of the fountain. The goblet had fed the foundain blood, and no doubt, the Daemon would try to wrestle wills with Tigurio if he tried to claim the chalice.

Tigurio reached into the waters and gripped the chalice with all his might, pulling the goblet from the water. In the seconds he had done so, his arm already registered the searing heat of a thousand hells, and the might of Khorne surging through his body. The smell of blood pleased him more than usual, and he felt an insane urge to drink from the goblet he knew would sear his body. Fighting the urge, he grunted and used his other hand to push the goblet away from his face.

"Daemon. Embodiment of thirst for blood, burning thirster of rage. Hear me..." He strained to speak, while fighting off his right arm, now apparently posessed of a will of its own to consume the goblet's contents. "I did not come here to destroy you, so honor me... do not destroy nor consume me... for now..." He hoped by presenting the possibility he might let the daemon take him at a later time would help with the current argument.

Why, treacherous Black Marshal? Why should I trust you? You serve the Changer of Ways... A trickster and fiend!

"Because I want what you want..." Tigurio grunted. "Imperial blood." And with that, the daemon's will subsided for a moment.

Imperial blood? And are the Black Templars not tyrants of the corpse god?

"Those who have not broken their oaths of... purity, perhaps... But I have foregone the weakling Imperium. They disgust me. I will rid the galaxy of the rot of mortal man if I may, with your help." He growled his answer.

Big plans for such a puny being... You would stand no chance in resisting me, if you had not intrigued me with the promise to get out of this world and being the slaughter anew...

"Then I have your support?" Tigurio asked.

On my honor, I will slay the minions of the Imperium.

"Get us off this rock." Tigurio spoke into his private vox caster. In a second he and the goblet were gone... But as he had predicted, the forces on the planet had become alerted to his presence. This world was protected by warp anomalies that would prevent an orbital assault from destroying the inhabitants, and as Tigurio's ship moved further from the planet, they detected an orbital fleet of ships, likely dedicated to Chaos. Tigurio quickly ordered departure to his next objective before waiting to see if the fleet would mobilise.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Kallidor on May 02, 2010, 02:46:28 AM
Lomak squinted through the porthole again and scribbled some more notes on a pad of paper. It wasn't exactly a sophisticated method but he tried not to use datapads, there spirits matched their size, they were small and easily overwhelmed by more sophisticated logic-engines. The hive fleet was two million kilometres away, moving like a spear of muddy water.

For several years now he had capained an Inquisitorial nullship, the Sentinel, following the Hive Fleet Vritra. It had not yet entered space controlled by the Imperium of Man and so Lomak and his tiny crew were the only humans to have studied Vritra as it consumed the few worlds controlled by the Loncot, a race of harmless aliens who had put up a feable defence of the first world attacked by the Tyranids but, utterly defeated, had retreated in the face of the onslaught. Another of their worlds was only a few days away from being consumed and their ships were streaming away. A few opportunistic fleet organisms were attacking the transport craft, barely visible through the long range viewers, but the Hive Fleet proper was ignoring them, focused on the doomed planet.

   "It is time Inquisitor." Teq Farran was the Mechanicus priest responsible for administering to the nullship. She appeared to be in her twenties although Lomak believed she was much older then him, well, older in purely biological terms. He didn't answer her, he seldom felt the need to speak. Instead he closed the aperture around the porthole and his command rig moved noiselessly across the ceiling of the vessel, take him up away from the deck and into the Captain's position. The null ship was heavily guarded against all forms of psychic surveillance, to such an extent that the Sentinel's Navigator had to be heavily sedated most of the time as the ship was cut off from the Astronomicon when in full stealth mode, a very distressing situation for a Navigator. As a psyker himself he sympathised, cut off from the warp he felt numb, as an ordinary man might if he lost all sensation in his skin.

Every few months however he was required to contact his superiors in the Ordo Xenos and make a report on the Hive Fleets progress and behaviour. They would need to travel away from the Hive Fleet to ensure that their presence was not detected. The Sentinel would then drop all its stealthing fields and would once more allow the occupants to communicate.

   "We are approaching safe distance... now."

   "Full stop."

   "Full stop aye."

   "Disengage null field and cancel stealth mode."

   "Disengaging now."

Yo all intents and purposes the Sentinel aws placed outside of space and time when stealthed, not even warp entities could detect its presence. As soon as the null ship's systems were no longer operating the full presence of the warp seemed to flood into the tiny vessel. Lomak hissed in pain and clutched the side of his head with both hands, his eyes tight shut, trying to block out the pain in his head. This wasn't normal, something had gone wrong. The ship's Astropath, Ornice Tell staggered towards him and collapased to her knees. He touched a rune on the arm of his command cradle and it slid down the wall on its arm without a whisper. It came to rest just beside Ornice and Lomak grabbed her arm. Blood was trickling from her eyes and ears and she slumped onto his lap.

   "I have received a message Inquisitor. A saw a world burning, clutched in four twisted paws. It was for you Inquisitor, a message for you, of something returning. It came through as priority message, Dark Magenta level." Ornice sagged, panting at the exertion. Four twisted paws? He did not quite understand the meaning of the message but he had an inkling.

   "Do you know who sent it?" She shook her head, almost too tired to even do that. "This world, do you know where it was?"

   "Akthalos, the world was called Akthalos."

   "Rouse the Navigator, we have a more urgent mission to attend to now, the Tyranids can wait."
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Koval on May 02, 2010, 09:14:11 AM
"Hello, Tigurio."

The voice seemed to be coming from the chalice in his hands, but at the same time Tigurio could hear, almost feel the faintest of breaths behind him. In an instant he was turning round, his hand straying to his sword, his confused gaze flickering between me and the chalice.

I do enjoy that little jest. Gets them every time.

"Who are you and what are you doing on my ship?" Tigurio growled, but if I'm honest he wasn't the least bit intimidating despite me barely coming up to his shoulder.

"I have my ways," I grinned, producing the very trinket I assumed would confound him.

"You're an Inquisitor?" Tigurio asked, his tone softer yet somehow contriving to be more menacing.

"Yes, and no. It's a long story and I don't imagine I have the time to tell you the specifics. It may simply be easier if I show you."

Any attempt in language to describe how I did what I did next would make me sound like one of those human seers that always overcomplicates matters to the point of obfuscating stupidity, so I'll spare you that and simply tell you that I spontaneously mutated in front of him. It wasn't all that severe (and, as it turned out, easily remedied), though I imagine Tigurio rather didn't know what to make of my entire facial structure reshaping itself. Bones became more prominent, skin stretched more tightly, teeth grew longer and sharper. My eyes managed to sink back into their sockets and glow fiercely, and my tongue became longer and less stubby, snaking out to taste the air before I swiftly withdrew it.

"A daemon!" Tigurio hissed, sniffing the air as he drew his sword. I couldn't help but do the same, scenting the spilled blood of slaughtered innocents as I produced a weapon to match his own. It's rather gratifying to note that before I inherited his body, Inquisitor Dakarai Khama was rather fond of chainswords; I prefer the axe, myself, but if I'm honest the sword was just a lot easier to reach.

"As much as I would like to spar with you, Tigurio, that would probably end badly for one or other of us," I reminded him, "but if you insist then I suppose I shouldn't deny you your request."

"Wait."

Tigurio lowered his blade and I reluctantly did likewise.

"You're a subservient specimen," he observed.

"Huh, specimen!" I huffed petulantly. "Like I'm some sort of biology project! And you have no idea why, do you?"

"I can guess," Tigurio ventured. "The chalice. The smell of blood, that's not the chalice, that's you."

"You're getting there, think a bit harder."

"You can't be the daemon in the chalice. You're a daemonhost, that wouldn't be possible. Your speech is different."

"Keep going."

"You were sent here," Tigurio concluded.

"Sent is perhaps a little inaccurate, but you're essentially right," I nodded, my face reverting to normal at last. "Call me Agares."

"But why the Inquisitor's body?"

"Because I can't maintain myself without it?" I reminded him. "Didn't that cross your mind? You said it yourself, I'm subservient. I'm ... In the Templars' structure you have Sword Brethren. Compare me with a Sword Brother among Initiates. Not yet a Marshal or even a Castellan. Yet I'm independent from the Endless Legion. Putting it simply, I was the most strategically appropriate entity to observe you."

"Observe me?"

"That chalice you're holding. Let's just say I'm here to make sure you use it."

I directed my gaze at the chalice and beckoned it over with a gesture. The kindred spirit inside it noticed, and raised Tigurio's arm so that it was at eye level with me.

"And I'm also here to make sure you don't eat him. New orders from the Skull Throne, Tigurio Falzone is to be kept alive."

It...will...be...done...

"Now then, Tigurio," I began, turning back to face him. "There's only one reason why you might have gone to retrieve my compatriot. To wage war. It's rather a good thing you found it before I found you, because this makes all three of our jobs much easier. So, tell me: What are your motives?"
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on May 03, 2010, 12:26:36 AM
Warp space parted and reality became material again Nero stood at the command terminal of the strike ship as it's translation back into real space was completed, lacking in the comforts of a ship of line this ship was built for war and war alone, not command thrones or comfortable seating adorned the bridge instead the crew stood.

"Sensors detecting Imperial fleet in orbit of the world, our translation has not been noticed yet."

"Mask our presence and move behind the moon, I will not engage unless I have too."

Tass turned from the console he was hovering over the human operator ignoring the giant in brushed steel armour behind him.

"The sensors indicate a Sword class and escorts, we are the superior vessel."

"Even so a show of force might end us now."

He pulled up telemetry readouts and frowned.

"The world has been bombarded, Astartes with two thunderhawks, I want Orin with us, tell Brak he might get his wish."

He strode from the bridge knowing his orders would be followed to the letter, he had armour to done.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on May 03, 2010, 09:21:09 AM
"My motives? Strike at the heart of the Imperium, tear it out while it still beats and crush it, making the body watch as I squeeze the lifeblood from it, perhaps even drink of it as I do."

"You plan to dethrone the Emperor, parade his rotting corpse around the Imperium, sacking cities and planets across the galaxy all the while feeding off the Emperor's soul as you do this?" The Daemon Inquisitor asked, seeming amused.

"If only it were so simple." Tigurio said after a moment of dramatic pause. "That is what I believe Abbaddon would like to do, if it were so easy. However, it is not. My motive is simple. The Imperium is weak. I must purge weakness. Does that not please the God of battle, bloodshed and honor?"

"Honor... A loyal space marine only so recently turned to Chaos, and he speaks of honor... You're a psyker. Your own former allies not only will call you traitor, but witch, heretic and defiler. You break your vows and you expect me to believe that you still feel a sense of honor... Hah."

"Does my reasoning for my actions not strike as honorable? I was sworn to uphold the purity of the Imperium. I was sworn to keep the Imperium strong! The Imperium is weak, decadent, impure! I turned to chaos at the hight of a battle against a man bent on overthrowing the Imperium and creating a new era of Imperium... The Silver Imperium! He was just one of many millions of madmen who think they could play God better than a corpse! For feth and fodder, my motive is to purify that weakness! Is that dishonorable?"

"No... I suppose not." Agares said after a moment of thought, never breaking eye contact with Tigurio.

"And you serve the god of blood. Khornasch! Purifying weakness in the Imperium would serve him twofold would it not? Battles now, and a stronger enemy to slaughter later?" Tigurio paused. "You asked me my motives, then you mocked my honor. All you really need to know, at the end of the day, is that there will be blood. Much blood and death, and many skulls for the Skull Throne." Agares let a slight smile show. "But do not mock me again, or you will drift through the endless void of space in a null pod." He threatened, though the look on Agares' face, and the sensation sweeping up his arm from the chalice both made him regret the outburst.

"So..." Tigurio started after a moment. "Do I have your legions vast?"



Draconis called an all clear, and his men fanned out, five of them took defensive positions in the ruins surrounding the drop pod. The other four joined him as he headed towards the marker on his helmet's autosensor screen. The ash-laden skies above bode evil in his mind, and he set his face grim with the thought of vengeance upon his uncle for this atrocity.

"Movement up ahead." One of his brothers called out.

"Hold fire." Draconis ordered, though he and his brothers all leveled their bolters at the location where shadow moved within the smoky street. "Halt and Identify!" He shouted, his vox-caster amplifying his voice. The shadow froze in place, and a second later, they heard a voice.

"Tansr of the Jarlot Fiftieth. Lance Corporal! I don't know if there are other survivors, but you must come help!" the man seemed to be waving. The space marines advanced, following Draconis' lead, and running quickly to close the distance.

"Tansr. I am Draconis Falzone... What happened?"

"Sir, chaos cultists attacked... Led by Black Templars." Draconis interrupted.

"So, it's true then. Tigurio was here..."

"I suppose sir. I did not hear who, just that marines from the chapter were here... When I'd first heard they'd been spotted, I thought it was a blessing from the Emperor that they showed up just when the cultists attacked. But, then I heard on the vox that they were leading the attack..."

"Get to the point. What happened?" Tigurio repeated.

"I was on patrol when the assault started. Hours from the settlement. While en-route to assist the counter offensive, my Leman Russ was blasted to Vord and all my with it." Draconis noticed the guardsman's armor bore battle scars, but his rebreather mask, gloves and various other gear did not. "Some form of orbital bombardment. Never seen bombs so powerful. I'd thought the settlement leveled, but I guess it's not all crater, as you can see..." He looked around. Draconis knelt and placed a hand on the man's shoulder.

"Do you know anything about what they were after, why they attacked... why they razed a planet with such a small population?"

"I might, sir. But I cannot walk much further. My rebreather's low, and there were none left in the bunker..."

"Where is this bunker?"

"It's on the hill... We use it to store arms and equipment. It's where I got the stimm kits and med gear to fix meself up. I'm hurt too, sir. Just, don't take my mask until I'm dead. You'll see, I was burnt in the bombing. Didn't hide in that bunker. I'm no coward." He let a bit of pride slip out with that.

"Can you walk?" Draconis asked. Tansr shook his head.

"The pain killer's wearing off now. Guess I was just meant to give you that scrap of help before going to Him."

"We have a small supply of medical and rebreather kit, if you wish to keep fighting for the Emperor." Draconis offered. He hated letting such men of honor cease their service to the Emperor.

"Doesn't matter. I told you. I'm burned up. I barely felt it when I crawled from my Russ, but" He gasped for air, Draconis tried to attach his personal rebreather, the guardsmen held out a hand as if to say "stop". "I made it to the bunker, saw myself and almost died then. Don't waste a bolt shell on me though. As the pain killers wear off, I'll just go into shock and die in my sleep..." He said with a hint of cynicism.

"You have served the Emperor well, brother Tansr." With that, Draconis snapped the man's neck with his hands, gently laying the corpse to the ground.

"What was the point? He told us where the supplies were, not what the Black Marshal was after..." The marine next to Draconis asked.

"The point was that he did tell us where the supply bunker was, but that he also didn't fail to do his appointed duties. If the Imperium had more guardsmen like him, the Imperium would be strong indeed. We go to this bunker, and survey the landscape."

The Imperial Fists traversed the rocky slope, through ruin and rubble. They reached an area aparently untouched by the bombardment.

"Void shield." Draconis remarked. "I am not entirely surprised. Perhaps the only reason there was a garrison at all on this world is due to the ancient technologies built here." Stepping through the entrance, Draconis found a port to access the logic engines of the facility. He tapped some runes, plugged in his armor's sensor array, and uploaded onto his personal mainframe a map of the local geography.

"Let us observe the land from the top of this hill." He decided. As they climbed the hill, the brothers turned about from time to time to allow Draconis to compare the 3-D topographical in his HUD to the actual lay of the land. Finally, near the crest of the hill, he saw it. They all saw it. A gaping hole in the ground just outside the settlement. A mine, whose surface had collapsed, causing a deep black shaft to appear. The HUD verified the location as a mine, and Draconis shared this information with the squad.

"There is no reason to bombard this settlement so severely unless there was something hid at the base of that mine." He stated.

"Indeed, but we will still not know what it was." A brother marine spoke up.

"I think the fact we know it was there is more paramount to the end result of our jouney. Something my uncle took. Something I must take back, or more likely... destroy." The squad relocated downhill as Draconis pondered his thoughts, finding a clearing, he voxed the sword class frigate. Announcing he was ready for Thunderhawk retrieval.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on May 04, 2010, 12:18:05 AM
His Thunderhawk had cut in low using the blindside of the Moon they had dropped into the planets atmosphere they burned on the tight angle of approach cutting a pair of twinned streaks through the sky before levelling out and gunning across the landscape.

Within the lead Thunderhawk Nero sat locked into his harness looking across the deck at the small figure oposite Orin was wraith thin his body little more that skeleton with flesh his white robes marked him as belonging to the Legio but compared to the normal members he was frail yet of all the Legio Nero held him in the closest confidence, his face was strained as the gunship banked.

"What do you see?"

"Ties of blood, one who seeks to undo the other who seeks to bring an end."

He nodded as the rest of his men looked upon them.

"Can you see what happened here?"

"An ancient evil, locked away and hidden from the universe, not released from it's prison but the prison moved I think I can follow it should I be given chance to consult the cards."

"Good, the rest of you make ready for touchdown I want a sweep lets see if this bastard left anything behind."

The thunderhawks screamed over the landscape from the cockpit the pilot a marine named Pavos voxed back to him.

"I have contacts, ten of them they look like Fists. Orders to engage?"

"Negative just land and be ready to depart immediately on our return."

The thunderhawk banked again then fell the landing thrusters kicking in as the gunship touched down. He was on his feet instantly moving to the embankment ramp and out into the world, as he strode down the ramp he sniffed the air before sliding his helm over his head and locking it into place 
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Koval on May 04, 2010, 12:39:56 PM
"It's not quite that simple," I reminded him. "Like I said, I'm only a soldier. I carry only limited favour with Khorne's generals, and I can't personally guarantee you anything beyond my own sword-arm. Rest assured, though, your aims are inextricably connected with our own, and I suppose I am permitted to tell you one thing about the Endless Legion."

"You've mentioned them already," noted Tigurio, "but you're the first servant of Khorne to tell me of an Endless Legion."

"What are the legions of Khorne, if not endless?" I grinned. "Any attempt to translate the proper name of Khorne's grand army into human languages would just create pointless melodrama, and simply naming them in the Dark Tongue would probably make your eyes melt. The Eldar have an adequate expression but the human form cannot reproduce Lam-Eldannar, so a euphemism must suffice."

"So you cannot support me?"

"I didn't say that, I simply said I can personally guarantee you very little. But one of the generals is keeping a very close eye on you, naturally through me, and is watching you on Khorne's behalf. Should he approve of your actions, then he will have fewer reservations about assigning the Legion of Nine Walls to assist you. The bloodier your campaign, the more troops you will have. I understand this will grow exponentially with every show of support he makes, by simple virtue of having more swords with which to shed blood."

I gestured with my chainsword, and subtly shifted my coat to reveal more weapons. "For now, though, you need to impress him with your ambition alone. Barring your own contributions, you have little more than myself and that at your disposal."

You will treat me with respect, serf.

"You're the one that got sealed in a cup, not me," I reminded the chalice. "Rest assured, you're perfectly at liberty to cross blades with me if I should fail to impress you by the time you're out of there."

See to it that your skill at arms can at least stand up to your meagre wit.

"Indeed. Now then, Tigurio, I suppose that's enough banter. Shall we get to work?"
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on May 04, 2010, 02:32:53 PM
They spread out weapons held ready Brak walked at his side his axe rumbling on idle as they strode through the dust, Orin followed behind the marines pulling a rebreather onto his face. He looked across at the marines in his war party, Brak had cleaned his armour recently the old blood marks had been removed so the armour was bone white his helm a brilliant blue, beside Brak walked Tass his armour of dull brushed metal he stooped dragging his hand through the ground lifting it he examined the flecks before discarding it.

"Magma bombs, Falzone sought to cover his tracks well."

"He didn't do a well enough job, the mine entrance is over there."

Growled Sol as he stepped past them his armour darkened to an oily black with gold trimming, he pointed at a ruined mine shaft, Sol's eyes were the best of them all sharp and detailed his long element sword hung at his hip while he held a finely worked and detailed bolter, swinging the weapon he gestured round at the world.

"Such a waste of life."

Brak scoffed waving his axe after Sol.

"A waste of ammunition, this world was little threat they could have butchered the populace by hand."

"Typical of a World Eater focus only on the slaughter."

"Watch your tongue Emperor's Child lest I cut it out."

The two glared at one another before a blue armour marine steppe between them.

"The pair of you are not helping matters, Nero say something."

"The legions always had their animosities, who am I to deny their natures Paval?"

Paval sighed as they marched towards the mine shaft, he looked at the group and the different armour colours from a half dozen legions he looked down at his own armour from the Alpha Legion and he thought back to the circumstances which had brought him into Nero's service. Realising he'd fallen behind he pushed the thoughts from his memories and moved to keep up, Nero turned looking at him.

"Problems Paval?"

"Nothing Captain, just memories coming back to me."

"We all have them Paval, just don't let them distract you from our goal, the Fists as close by and we can ill afford to engage in a battle with them on the ground."
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on May 05, 2010, 09:19:20 AM
Draconis moved swiftly towards the exposed mine shaft, his men moving through the ruins deftly, while also keeping their alertness to their surroundings.

"Fellow marines." He said as he pressed a button on his bracer's vox controls, "Identify yourselves. This is Draconis Argentus Falzone, of the Imperial Fists. I have authorization to engage any force not in compliance with my investigation. This authority comes from the Imperial Fist chapter master, and any hostilities will be met with retaliation from the sons of Dorn."

"Feeling a little brazen, aren't you?" Came a reply over the vox. "I am Nero, whether you know of me or not is irrelevant. I am not here to engage you in combat. I am accompanied by Inquisitorial forces, and you will respect their authority. Meet me by the entrance to the mine."

"Very well. Falzone out." Draconis and his men continued to stride across the ruins at pace, and approached Nero's forces with bolters at the ready, but not aimed directly at the other marines.

"You can order your men to stand down. I have mine." Nero stated flatly. With a wave of his hand, Draconis' squad lowered their weapons. "So..." Nero began, "You're the blood tied, seeking to undo the one seeking to bring an end..." His words seemed to trail for a moment.

"I have been dispatched to kill my great uncle, Tigurio Falzone. Yes. But why would another chapter be involved? Especially one with no apparent ties to the Imperial Fists, or indeed any sons of Dorn?" Draconis asked.

"I am here because I must be." Nero said simply. "As are you. So, tell me, what do you know so far?"

"Knowledge is power, guard it well." Draconis said flatly. "I would ask you the same, but I feel you would give just as veiled an answer. Seeing as your company appears to be comprised of men in pre-Heresy traitor legion colors. Blue and White, of the World Eaters. Brushed iron of the death guard. Black and Gold of the Emperor's Children? It seems you have with you immortal loyalists from Excommunicate Traitorus chapters." His last words came out with a hint of venom. His hand resting solidly on his sword hilt.

"While I am sure the Inquisition has reason to be involved," he continued after a second, "I still have to wonder why an Inquisitor would attach himself to your... chapter." Draconis turned his gaze to the Inquisitor in question, the cold glare of his helmet catching the man off guard for a second, before he remembered it was just the snarl all space marine helmets were crafted to wear. "While on the subject. What is your name?"

"Orin Lomak." The man answered, no fear or hesitation. Meant he was built of sterner stuff than the average Imperial.

"I need to find out if Tigurio left any clues in the caverns below." Draconis spoke after a moment, his wording careful, he did not want to discredit his previous distrust of this cavalcade. "I am no psyker, however. If there is any trace of psy energy, do you have a means of recording or interpreting it?"



"Indeed." Tigurio strode from the launch bay, where his thunderhawk had landed aboard his strike cruiser. "Follow me." He said over his shoulder.

Tigurio led the way down the winding halls of his ship, into another bay. An internal holding chamber, lined with all manner of sigils, runes and glyphs. Many of them glowing with power. The air was musky and thick, like breathing a viscous liquid, instead of a gas. The stench was of cinnamon and rotting bread, and stepping past the threshold, Tigurio felt heavy, as if he was weighed down by weighted chains from the inside. Even Agares found the room slightly unpleasant, though for different reasons. Agares found the room to smell of lilacs and ocean breeze, while he felt weightless... as if his insides were being flung about uncontrollably through the air.

"What is this?" Agares asked, his physical form about to vomit. "A holding tank?" His voice incredulous. Tigurio turned to him and grinned.

"My motivation is only a part of the plan. My method is on the whole, the greater part of this." Tigurio chuckled quietly. "Here. See the first of my allies from the Warp..." He held up a hand towards a stasis field. Despite being active, the occupant was hardly still. The face was constantly changing, the limbs moving... All six arms and both legs. "Daemonhost... Of a sort. But what manner, I will not bother explaining to you now. All I can say is it is not truly a host of daemons, but instead of the remnants of the souls that become daemons. The minds of men long dead, whose thoughts and personalities remain unique, despite having been amalgamated into daemon forms. I... dissect the whole to glean from the part what I need... I cannot do this with a greater daemon, but many warp beasts... not yet affiliated with a specific chaos god... many of these can be summoned, split and moulded to a will..."

"Interesting." Was all Agares said, still fighting queasiness.

"Now you, Thirst Quencher, I have a gift... Of sorts. Nothing much right now, but it should hold you over until later." Tigurio set the skull goblet atop a pedestal made of bronze and black obsidian, he walked to the door, brought in a train of slaves on a chain. A radiant wave of hunger swept the room as the goblet sensed Tigurio's intent. The first of eight slaves, he slit the throat of the man, blood spattering the goblet and spraying into the cup. The blood that landed on the outside quickly disappeared, as if it had been absorbed by a sponge. The next slave's blood boiled before Tigurio could get her to the chalice. She exploded, and Tigurio felt a sense of amusement emanating from the sword on his hilt. "You'll have your fun soon enough, Vksan'thdknar..." He growled, and at the mention of the name, the goblet began to boil.

You dare bring that frail thing before me!? the room trembled for a second. I'll have no part in the plot that involves Slaanesh! Tigurio paused for a moment.

"Then I suppose I should send these slaves to a Slaaneshi daemonworld. Along with the other thousands of slaves aboard my ship." He said it like he meant it.

Do not deny me, Tigurio. You must prove your ambitions to Agares' commanders, but I am a General in Khorne's Endless Legion. You will not trifle with me.

"Then, do not trifle with me." He said simply, before swinging the daemonsword, containing the essence of Vksan'thdknar, and decapitating the remaining six slaves in one swing. Collecting their heads, he dropped each one into the massive chalice's opening. Each skull boiled and rendered, even the bones melted. Translating over to the Warp, where they would join the endless skulls for the skull throne of Khorne.

"All hands. Brace for Impact." A claxon began to wail.

"What the devil?" Agares looked around startled, and a bit agitated.

"Asteroid belt..." Tigurio explained calmly. "Only way to gain access to my next objective is through realspace. I need to collect samples zombie plague. The only world still infected is surrounded by an asteroid belt. Though I'd expected more time between translating into the warp and back out just now...

"All hands to battle stations."

"Not what I had in mind. Oh well, let's go Agares. Let the whine gobblet think to himself whether he will abide in my tactics while we handle the real problem." As they left the room, a growling was heard, emanating from the chalice.

"Master... the Imperial fleet... they are attacking each other... We just barely missed a stray torpedo salvo that is on its way out system. We have cover in the asteroids. Shall I hold here?" Tigurio's vox crackled with the transmission.

"Negative. Proceed on objective." The ship exited the asteroid belt. The Imperial Fleets scattered as they identified the Black Templars strike cruiser, and realized just what might be happening. "Fire a warning shot at both fleets." He ordered. "Then bring us close enough to make orbital assault. Ready my full company!"

Tigurio had accquired much through piracy in the few years since his treason in the Silver Heresies. He had killed many loyalist marines in order to accquire the parts his techmarines demanded to fabricate repairs to the terminator suits and dreadnoughts in his command. The marines who'd previously piloted the Dreadnoughts had since perished, but the iron hulls remained in tact, and Tigurio had since committed two relatively insane space marines to the task of re-animating the twin dreadnoughts.

"Lord. Incoming transmission." One of his marines voxed. "The governor of the planet."

"Ignore it. We have nothing to gain by talking with them. Focus on securing the search zone, and bomb everything around it to ruin. If the fleets attack as one, they'll stop once I threaten exterminatus.

"Very well, Lord Marshall." The marine replied.

"Now, Agares, care to help me find the source of the zombie plague on planet Danid?"
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on May 05, 2010, 04:10:29 PM
Nero smiled Orin was playing his part well, though where he'd plucked the name Lomak form was anyone's guess, in fact Nero had never heard Orin's surname before he'd simply be Orin, psyker, trusted advisor etc.

He looked at the young pup, typical of the Fists send a child to do a man's task he almost laughed as he stepped forward un-phased by the pups hand on his sword.

"True enough lad, we are the last of the loyalists from the traitor legions, we make no secret of that singular fact, I have at my disposal, Death Guard, World Eater, Emperors Children, Luna Wolves and Alpha Legion, I have others who answer my call, but I am here for one reason, your uncle's fate has drawn my attention he seeks to rise in the favour of the gods become their champion, should he achieve this he'll rival Abaddon in power."

He spat the last name with a vemon of hate and sorrow.

"But you are a pup in a man's game, Leave this business to us boy we've had enough years to practice our trade."

He turned his back on Draconis issue orders as he strode through the gathered marines, while they were equal in number Nero had no fear of the pup he strode to Brak and leant in.

"Summon your hounds."

Brak nodded and spoke his voice transmitting through the squads vox link.

"Hounds to me."

He revved his chain axe in a show of hostility stepping forward.

"I have more marines that you sergeant, we have more experience and  trust me when I say we are tougher and more resilient. You are a pup, a child in our eyes yet Brak will have no regrets should you force our hand, we do not seek conflict with the Imperium but our linage makes us enemies so the choice is yours, stand down or die."

He stepped past Sol who drew his singled edged sword slowly for show, Tass and Paval likewise readied their weapons as did the rest of the guard.

"I for one am taking Orin here into this mine, he feels he'll be able to tell us where your uncle is."

The roaring sound of jump echoed over the stillness of the world and Brak's hounds fell from the sky a dozen World Eater assault marines weapons ready and thirsty formed semi circle round the fists.

"You choice Draconis." 
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on May 06, 2010, 12:03:59 PM
"Pup or not," Draconis took his hand off his sword, as he took a step towards Nero, "I will not be left behind. Tigurio Falzone is my great uncle. I am honor bound to retrieve him for trial in a court of the sons of Dorn. In stasis or a body bag, it matters not to me." He paused to let it sink in for a second before continuing.

"You wear the colors of pre-heresy traitor legions. The colors they wore when they were loyal servants to the Emperor, before whatever madness took them. If I cannot deduce anything else about you, I can at least guess that you would have killed me by now if you were traitors. I can also guess that you wear those colors as a badge of honor as much as shame, in a manner of speaking. Your legion is traitor, yet you are not. Proud of what you are, but atoning for the sins of your brothers. Yes, I am a pup, but I know honor when I see it. I merely ask that you share your findings and let me observe your investigation." Draconis stopped. He didn't know where the speech came from. He was not in the chapter's Reclusiam, nor much the diplomatic type. Nevertheless, he hoped his words would at least sway these ancient marines to let him tag along.



Danid. Planet surface. Tigurio stood on the third story balcony of an Arbiter precinct tower. The city had been ravaged by civil war. Streets choked with barricades, smoking pyres and toppled steeples. He grinned, surveying the carnage wrought on the world by its own peoples. The zombie plague here had festered and spread at a rapid rate, leading to mass hysteria, suicidal cults and outcries of the apocalypse. But as always, it was not the end of all life, just the end of millions of Imperial citizens who deserved little better than death.

"So we consume ourselves in our panic, tear ourselves from the inside. Such weakness disgusts me." Tigurio said to the open air. His entourage had spread through the city. A thousand cultists and half a hundred space marines. They encountered Imperial forces, some that ran, others that opened fire. All were gunned down, or torn to pieces by the Black Knights. Tigurio had found it only fitting, if he was to be the Black Marshal, he would have to give a name fitting to his chapter of barely a hundred marines. "The Black Knights" was as fitting a name as any, and even had a nice ring to it.

"Squad Hexric." He activated his vox comms. "Report."

"Lord, the Imperials avoid this block. While most of the guardsmen will flee in other areas of the city, when we encounter patches of these pathetic soldiers here, they stand and fight, but I've looked them in the eye. They're not resolute, fearless or even stubborn... They're terrified. Something scares them more than death by our hands."

"Understood. Hold position, I am en route." Tigurio stepped from the balcony. This had been too easy. Far too easy, considering his objective... Surely, if the Imperium would not, some other force, the Eldar per se, would have intervened by now. But as he made his way to the Land Raider in the streets, nothing, not even a sneak attack from the guardsman who had been hiding in the stairwell with a meltabomb strapped to his chest, could stop Tigurio, it seemed. As if the galaxy wanted this to happen.

He boarded the behemoth tank, his personal retinue of terminator-armored marines waiting patiently inside. The driver followed the signal from Brother Hexric's squad, and after moments of rolling over corpses, rubble and barricades, the front hatch clanged open, and Tigurio stepped out. Hexric approached, his squad of cultists hanging back, some in awe, some respect, and one or two out of fear.

"Lord Marshal. The Imperial dogs seem to be falling back to this area, but no closer to that building than where we stand." Hexric stated. "Daren and Imaud both confirmed. They can't seem to get a guardsmen squad to come within fifty meters of that spire. I believe it to be some manner of chant broadcaster, which would call them to daily supplications. My auspex reads an anomaly... Warp energies, possibly."

"Thank you, Hexric. Order your men to stand by, and be prepared to move out when I give the signal." He strode past the marine and his cult squad, heading straight for the spire. As he approached, his third eye opened, and bathed the inside of his helm in a soft purple.

Ilblyadlk... Ublrkill... Hassabiilithak khiitnrafkdta! A sibilant hiss echoed in the back of his mind. Go away, harbinger and destroyer of worlds! Go away! The voice now spoke in Low Gothic. I am not ready for this world to die... Tigurio opened the door to the spire. He was met with a rank and fetid odor that even his helmet could not cover.

"I am here, because I must be. And you are here, because it is your purpose. I come to give you new purpose. To renew your reason to infect and corrupt! I am here to bring your gifts to many worlds!" Tigurio spoke into the dank dark. As he said this, he heard shuffling from the stairwell. A priest - hunched and sickly looking, bloated with decay, coagulated blood dripping from his mouth - stepped from the stairs, and shuffled towards Tigurio. The man hefted a great chainsword which he dragged for several steps. Tigurio watched with curiosity. The priest zombie finally lifted the heavy sword and charged, half-screaming as it sought to bring the sword down on Tigurio's head. A bolter shell into the zombie's face saw the priest's body slump to the ground, the sword planting itself halfway down his back. Tigurio looked down on it, and grinned, gripping the blade by the handle. "Thanks."

As he said this, acolyte zombies came from nearby rooms, shuffling and moaning, each weilding some manner of knife, claw or other manual blade. Tigurio clicked the sword's rune of activation and swept the blade through the first acolyte's neck, before bringing it down onto the second. A third lunged for Tigurio's throat, blade outstretched, while the acolyte zombie put its center of balance too far forward. Tigurio swung the sword up, cutting off the zombie's arm before bringing it back down again, planting the zombie face first into the ground, with the sword in its spine. Even so, the zombie reached for Tigurio's leg with its other arm and Tigurio stomped its head just as a fourth and fifth zombie were upon him. He punched one in the face, and grabbed the other by its head, crushing skull and lifting dead weight before spinning around and hurling both bodies at the oncoming school of acolytes and hopefuls who had huddled in the chapel during the first hours of the zombie plague. The nearest were knocked back, but he could see more zombies, most unarmed, shambling towards him, as he aclimated to the gloom.

Tigurio looked to the stairs. His third eye seemed focused on them, but he looked back at the zombie masses, and felt the need to unwind overwhelm the urgency to complete this mission. Tigurio pulled two grenades, pulverizing the nearest zombie faces with his elbows as he pulled the pins on both, lobbed them into the fray and then drew the daemonsword on his belt, activating its power rune, and slicing through the first two rows of acolytes and civilians before the grenades blew up. He roared with satisfaction as he tore into the shambling masses. The need to annihilate and vent his frustrations more urgent than the need to accquire the source of the plague.

Five minutes passed, and just as many hundred zombies lay dead. With the masses tended to, the Black Marshal decided to deal with the source. He climbed the steps of the spire, around and around they went, up and up. Finally a landing, a door, and as he stepped through it, the top of the tower, from where he could survey the entire city, and given the right winds, poison it... That's it. He thought. The zombie plague originated here.

Well done, Tigurio Falzone, Marshal of the Black Knights... You're not as dumb as you look, but you cannot simply take Nurgle's gifts. They must be given. So tell me, Black Marshal. Why should I give the gifts of Nurgle to you?

"Because I will use His gifts well." Tigurio answered simply. "And because if you do not, I will burn this world."

And if I give you the key?

"I will unlock the door." Tigurio said, though in retrospect, he didn't know why. He didn't even recall thinking the words... They just came out.

Very well. I bestow my gift to you. The disembodied voice seemed to localize, and as Tigurio's third eye followed it, so did his real eyes, finding a dagger laying on the floor. Tigurio walked over and picked it up.

"So, what shall I call you?"

Nachtsterben

"Very well, Nacthsterben." He hitched the dagger's sheath to his belt, opposite the sword, and descended to his men. "Let's go." He said.

As they departed, he ordered his ship's gunners to annihilate the Imperial fleet ships in a manner that would cause their bodies to crash back into Danid within a day. Lance batteries and magma bombs struck shield and engine, causing several ships to list back towards the planet. With a departing kiss of death, Tigurio ordered a salvo of magma bombs to wipe out the city they had just visited.

You promied not to kill the planet...

"I did not. I merely threatened to destroy it if you didn't assist me."

I will not forget this.

"Don't overdramaticize your losses. What little daemonic presence was on the world will still exist in a thousand years, and the world itself is simply going to suffer. A lot. The skies will darken, the world will quake with the impact of the ships, but your prescious world will live on. In darkness."

Very well. Human. But make no mistake. I will make you suffer if you fail.

"I will not fail." Was all Tigurio said, as he looked out the viewport. I cannot fail. He thought grimly to himself, closing his mind to outside forces so he could introspect. I cannot fail, because I serve the Emperor.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on May 07, 2010, 08:33:37 AM
Nero frowned as Draconis stepped forward until Orin stepped forward touching his armoured arm, turning he bowed to listen to the whispered words of his psyker.

"The Fist could be of use to you, this meeting is not simply by chance."

He straightened looking at Draconis

"Hounds."

The assault marines tensed ready to pounce their chain weapons roaring to life, Draconis paused reaching for his sword despite knowing he'd not be quick enough.

"Stand down, return to the thunderhawks."

He looked at Draconis as the assault marines withdrew Brak snarled turning his back on the fists the prospect of blood shed had gotten his blood up and now he paced in denied frustration.

"You and one other."

He unslung his weapons passing them to Sol as he turned from the Imperial Fist Orin fell in beside him as they strode towards the mine entrance.

"You can keep your weapons."

He stepped over the threshold and instantly the environment changed inside the mine was warm the air dry and acidic Orin recoiled from the sensation but straightened as his master strode into the darkness, a moment passed before Orin lit a lume lamp striding into the darkness behind Nero who paced on without need of a lamp.

Outside Tass turned on the rest of Nero's party speaking in clipped battle cant.

"Semi circle defence, weapons free and ready."

He looked to Draconis.

"Well? you don't want to keep the Captain waiting."

Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on May 08, 2010, 02:16:05 AM
"Olan, with me, the rest, disburse amongst the followers of Nero, assist in defense against any enemy that approaches." He stepped into the mine's cavernous entrance. Striding alongside Nero, he saw up ahead the mine shaft elevator rails, but no car was attached.

"Do you have a long enough steel rope?" He asked after they stood by the shaft a moment.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on May 13, 2010, 01:13:54 PM
"Brak recall you hounds and attend me."

He spoke through the squads internal vox link leaving Draconis looking at him, slowly he removed his helm revealing his pale skin and hard features he wore a permanent mask of contained anger the famous fury of his legion held at bay, hooking the helm to his belt he moved to the edge of the shaft and spat watching as the glob of phlegm tumbled away, he seemed to be counting until the faint sound of a splash echoed back.

"Fifteen hundred feet, there about."

Brak appeared at behind them he cast the Imperial Fists a venomous glare as he strode past them.

"I need some jump packs."

Brak stood looking at him despite the helm it was clear he was not happy with the order but after a moment he nodded and looked towards the mine entrance.

"Kross, Malin, Skarr get in here now."

His voice was a growl like an animal fury, three marines ran into the mine weapons ready they slowed as they reached the group looking around, Brak was on them in an instant.

"Put up your weapons you dammed fools, and take you jump packs off."

The obeyed instantly dropping their packs to the ground, Nero took up one and tossed it to Draconis then to Olan before pulling the last one on himself.

Checking the flight systems he walked to Orin he picked the psyker up and walked to the edge.

"Controlled decent we still need to get out."

He stepped from  the lip and fell into darkness falling and counting quietly to himself he fired the jump pack at the last minute slowing his decent enough that he didn't kill himself when he landed, he dropped to one knee from the power of the landing Orin falling from his grip rolled across the ground as his Master righted himself and moved out of the way so Draconis and Olan could land behind him.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on May 21, 2010, 06:37:35 AM
"Smells like erdberries and fungus down here." Draconis spoke into the darkness. "Erdberries, fungus and bad amasec." He sniffed a new scent, shining his pauldron-mounted spotlight ahead of them, "Tunnel ahead is collapsed. Can your oracle illuminate our situation, Nero?"



Tigurio sat on his throne in the command dome of his ship. He had sat there, since dropping into the warp, and felt the days turning into weeks now. His third eye flared brilliantly, his mind seemingly lost in thought. It had been some hours since he even breathed when he snapped from his reverie.

"Navigator." He barely mouthed the word, barely breathed, but his third eye blazed brighter as he spoke, and so, was heard by the Navigator, the ship's twisted astropathic choir, and all gifted by Tzeentch onboard since their fall.

Yes, my god? The psionic reply came in a sibilant hiss through Tigurio's mind. What is it that you would have of me? Tigurio smiled as it registered. His followers believed in him now. His indoctrinations, his rituals and sacrifices and mastery of these daemonic items was paying off.

It is almost time. Three days forth and second star to the left. Bring us out of the Warp as close to the planet as you can, surprise is of no use to us this time. He could almost feel the Navigator's response, before he heard it.

As you wish, so it shall be, Lord. Tigurio sat in silence, not breathing, not blinking, not stirring. His gaze unnerved those on the bridge, and all who were required to be there worked hurriedly, as if to get out of his presence before his powers consumed them. Even as Tigurio sat there, he radiated with a power not many space marines could boast to have witnessed, and even fewer had felt. Pure. Un-adulterated. Undiminished. Heavenly. Hellish. POWER.

Feels good, doesn't it? Vksan'thdkna - the Slaaneshi daemon Tigurio had come to call Syladril - spoke in his mind. Like you're already there... She hissed.

Remember our bargain, though. Young Tigurio. If you are successful, this will benefit us all. Nachtsterben chuckled in the ether. But, if you fail, Nurgle will have many gifts for you... gifts you will never be able to return...

DRINK ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DRINK ME!!!!!!!!!!!! Wailed the gobleted daemon of Khorne. Tigurio had learned since recovering the possessed artefact that though it had many names, the common Gothic name to use was Blackpraise, the Bloody Hangover. A name which discouraged any thought of consumption. Tigurio Falzone, I swear upon my honor, I will have a head to boil when this ship translates from the warp, or I will boil YOURS! The skull goblet continued to rant for some time in the back of Tigurio's mind.

SILENCE! All of you! Tigurio finally let his mind speak again. I am not opening my mind to the warp to hear your incessant prattle and inane promises. I know what is at stake, now stow it while I focus on my next objective, or I will find replacements for each of you!

DRINK ME! DRINK MEEE!!!

Except you, Blackpraise. I think I will keep you around simply to amuse myself. Tigurio had made sure to glut the daemon before the most recent warp jump, and it had resulted in a surprising similarity to drunkenness in this daemon's demeanor. Perhaps this could be utilized in the future, but for now it was bordering annoyance.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on May 28, 2010, 12:36:17 PM
Orin smiled as he stepped forward.

"Well you are Astartes, I am not."

He pulled off his white robes folding them and placing them on a rock, under the robes he wore a simple dark brown body glove a long blade hanging down his leg a small stub pistol beside it, a collection of pouches and devices hung from a bandolier over his shoulder he removed these as well placing them on top of the robes before pulling a leather bound book from a pocket in the body glove. He held the book with reverence as he turned it over in his hands before placing it down on the pile whispering quietly as he left it.

"Watch over me."

The book was black the leather well worn and scuffed, an embossed aquilla of gilded gold had once been on the leather cover but it had long since been rubbed off, as had the books title now lost to the books age, the pages had been replaced several times as the ages had claimed the parchment, he left one last lingering look at the book before he started to climb the tumbled rocks.

"There is a gap at the top of the tunnel, it's thin but I think I can crawl down it."

"Do it."

Nero's voice was stern yet no unkind, as Orin climbed into the gap he spoke again.

"Don't take any unnecessary risks Orin."

"Please, just because I serve Astartes doesn't mean I share their courage."

He disappeared.

Crawling the gap grew tighter as he weaved his way through the gap the dust and grime was in his face blocking his nose and causing his eyes to stream as he crawled along the small space, as a youth he'd been fond of cave diving and the potholing and this threw his memories back to that time before war had come and Nero had found him, he stopped his wytch-sight guiding him through the darkness.

He tumbled out from the other side feeling like he'd been crawling for days he rolled to a painful stop clearing his face he looked around his sight casting the space in a strange purple light, he laid his eyes on the empty altar and sighed before pushing himself to his feet.

++

Nero took a seat on a rock out crop and looked at the two Imperial Fists.

"So tell me about yourself Draconis."

Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Kallidor on May 28, 2010, 11:31:23 PM
The Sentinel translated back into Real Space with no fanfare. There was no flash of unearthly light, no gaping tear leading strait into hell, the prow of the tiny vessel emerged as if from behind a veil, a shy actor nosing his way onto the stage. This far out system the distant star was a tiny dot of light, no celestial bodies were visible at such extreme range, only the ancient technologies of the Sentinel were able to detect such things and Lomak payed silent thanks to the Machine Spirit for the keenness of its vision.

Since the Akthalos system presented unknown dangers the Sentinel was on a silent running order. Stealth mode was engaged and the crew used MIU connectors so that the Sentinel could commune with them and share its information. The Sentinel used a manifold similar to that employed on a Titan and the connection gave the crew a slight shared consciousness, it was not enough to exchange words but Lomak could sense that the Tech Priestess, Teq Farran, wanted his attention. She held up a pulse disc which began to flash various colours of light. It had required extensive bionic modification for Lomak to be able to understand what the flashing signals meant and even then it took a great deal of learning for Lomak to finally become fluent in the unusual silent language of the nullship. Each flash and pulse of light were akin to words, each colour provided intonation and qualification.

Farran was telling him that the Sentinel had detected ships in orbit around the planet Akthalos. She connected him to the systems slaved to her use and Lomak could see what the Sentinel saw, several large vessels, Imperial in origin. Lomak made his decision and ordered the Sentinel to approach the small fleet. They would his in the exhaust wash of one of the ships and then make contact, if anything went awry they could escape and deliver a crippling blow at the same time.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on May 29, 2010, 06:44:32 AM
"I am Draconis Argentus Falzone, Sergeant of the Imperial Fists." Draconis said with a slight air of pomp.

"No..." Nero said calmly, "I did not ask for name rank and serial number. I asked you to tell me about yourself." Draconis frowned for a second.

"Ah." He said, his expression changing from deep thought to a more conversational face. "My homeworld, pre-marine youth and so forth. I presume you mean." Nero nodded. "I suppose I did not expect such a question." He said, pensive as he chewed his thoughts for a second. "I come from a hive world, part swamp, part industrial complex. One portion of the world is actually more akin to a death world, but I did not get to venture there until the trials. My youth was spent in the hive gangs of Hive Prospero on our world. I belonged to Falzone House' own elite youth corps. Not so much a gang of miscreants as a youth army, trained to fight with discipline and uniformity." Draconis paused.

"I don't suppose you remember much of your pre-marine years? Or would you rather divulge more recent events that have made you the marine you are today?" Draconis tilted his head ever so slightly, as to incline the question just so.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on May 29, 2010, 11:11:08 PM
Nero smiled it contained some warmth as he travelled back to better days in his long past.

"I was born on Cthonia, the world was an industrial waste land the atmosphere harsh and unforgiving like you I was a member of a gang, though ours were more violent and vicious than when Horus came he brought the strength needed to change the world, the gang I was in quickly gave ourselves to his cause."

He remembered the days of old and the times long past.

"He was a great man, many would shun his name as a curse but they did not know him, he led us from victory to victory his chosen warriors, his Luna Wolves his mastery of battle was second only to the Emperor's his skills at arms only matched by Sanguinius, Russ or Dorn, but there was something that made him greater than them all. He had a charm about him a way of talking that none of the others possessed. It was at Ullanor that it all changed, when the Emperor made him Warmaster. the weight of duty and responsibility weighed heavy on him and his failures stung all the worse. The Interex is where it truly changed where the feel of the Legion shifted the war against the Interex hurt Horus deeply he had wished to form an alliance but they thought the Imperium had been corrupted by Chaos now I see that they may have been right."

He sighed as the confession sunk in.

"After the war matters on Davin drew the warmasters attention the governor Temba has turned rebel enthralled to chaos, so we would learn, it was Davin where the warmaster almost died, where the true turning and fall of Horus started and the splitting of the Legion."

He stopped talking as the memories came to him the dark days leading to the heresy, he locked eyes with Draconis.

"So pup you know of my past, would you hear of the why I am who I am today?"

Draconis nodded.

"Please continue."

He nodded as he shifted his weight on the stones looking at the tumbled rocks.

"It at Isstvan III, I was deployed in the opening wave of the battle alongside my Captain one of Horus' Mournival we cleansed and claimed the world in his name, in the name of Horus all the while he plotted to remove us from his plan, the saddest part of it is that most of us would have followed him into the very heart of hell and damnation had he but asked. We survived the hate and betrayal thrown against us, survived the Virus Bombs the ground assault and the final days of the bombardment before Horus was done with us, all of us have a similar story, all of us are united in the destiny that fate dealt us, all save Paval and his Legionaries his story is totally different but any others under my command share my tale, we are all from Isstvan survivors of the Warmaster's first betrayal."

He laughed the sound strange on his lips.

"You ask my why I am here, to redeem myself of course, to hunt down all those who have fallen from the righteous path and send them to the Emperor." 
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on May 30, 2010, 04:50:03 AM
Tigurio stood on the hull of his strike cruiser. Next to him, in the void of space, sat a hulking bombard cannon. His ship's dorsal spine was lined with several massive guns like this one, capable of leveling cities with their ammunition, and accurate enough to center each shot within a half of a kilometer of their target from high orbit. He stood and did not float away from his ship due in part to the artificial gravity generated by the craft, but also in part due to his magnetic terminator armor boots. He watched as a nearby planet grew in size. He'd teleported to the top of his strike cruiser to get a good look. This world was pristine, untouched by war. Or so he'd been led to believe.

As the world came into view, and his autosenses zoomed in, he could see a hive spire burning. The entire spire on fire. As if, hit with a massive incendiary, or worse. This would complicate things. Tigurio had counted on being able to infiltrate scouts or cultists into a peaceful society. An entire hive city on fire would mean civil war, or invasion. Either way, it would mean a heightened state of alert. Crucial to his plan was subterfuge and now, the plan had been reduced to ash.

In his airtight terminator suit, Tigurio let out a sigh, and voxed the techmarines in the enginarium.

"Brothers, is the teleportation device active yet?" He hated risking a teleportation into unsecured territory, but the only way to ensure this be a quick and decisive action, was to teleport his terminator squad into the heart of his search area, and lead them to find the last relic.

"Affirmative, Marshall Falzone, however, the astropathic choir has detected chatter indicating Chaos magics at work on the surface. It might suit my lord better to drop pods and thunderhawks instead."

"When I want an artificer's opinion, I will tell him. Stick to facts. What manner of magics.

"Targeting confusion and vox scrambling. Teleporting could cause most marines to become lost in the transmission to the surface. Drop pods might scatter, but most if not all will land in tact."

"Very well. You make your point clear enough. Pass down the order for Thunderhawks Delta and Gamma to mount up, and for my honor guard to ride in two drop pods."

Within an hour the strike cruiser was close to orbital drop range when torpedoes began to sail from the surface into space.

"Lord Marshal. We are under attack. Shall we delay the launch to evade the torpedo salvo?" A serf voxed on a secure channel.

"Negative. Launch thunderhawks Alpha, Omega and Theta to intercept. Continue with launch procedures and target the torpedo's launch bay on the surface. Take out the silo, and we'll see how hostile they are."
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Koval on May 30, 2010, 07:59:27 PM
"That won't be their only silo."

The sound came not from Tigurio's combead but from right next to him, and Tigurio turned in surprise to see me standing there, undaunted by the lack of atmosphere or gravity. Pointing to the combead in my own ear, I prompted Tigurio to open a secure address to me.

"How are you doing that?" Tigurio queried, his tone somewhere between shocked, curious and appalled.

"Bending sound around a vacuum isn't all that difficult," I grinned. "And it's not exactly like I need to breathe."

Apparently, though, Tigurio wasn't in the mood. Humans have such a tendency to turn serious when faced with the prospect of bloodshed, which isn't a bad thing in itself until they start draining all the fun out of it.

"What do you want, Agares?" the Templar grumbled, almost petulantly, clenching his giant armoured fist as he turned to face me properly. I was too busy admiring the bombardment cannon to really pay his movements much attention.

"Isn't it obvious? I'm in the employ of the Master of Skulls. You've been inconsiderate enough to go off and fight without bringing me along. I'm bored, Tigurio, and--"

"I don't have the time to indulge your petty cravings," Tigurio sighed, hoping to dismiss me, but I wasn't especially undaunted by his bluntness and started pacing in front of him.

"You know, I did make you an offer," I reminded him. "I told you that I was a middle-man between a General of the Endless Legion and yourself. I told you that if you impressed the General, the Legion would lend you its support. And since you've not taken me along on your skirmishes, you've not given the General an awful lot of opportunity to be impressed."

Tigurio paused; I think I'd made him think twice about excluding me from this endeavour, but being presently unable to see or smell him past the armour (not to mention detect his heart rate, but with Space Marines that's a bit hit and miss anyway) reduced me to guess work.

"Let's make a more short-term deal for the time being," I proposed, stopping in front of him. "You give me an opportunity to fight. In return, keeping in mind that I have the ear of one of Khorne's Generals, I will put in a favourable word and secure you a means to, shall we say, raise your game slightly."

"What sort of means?"

"Oh, come on, Tigurio, don't be dense."

"Mind your tongue, Agares, or I might have you launched into the atmosphere as high-velocity ordnance. If nothing else, seeing how far you get would entertain me."

"So the Templar does have a sense of humour after all."

"I have battled your kind before, Bloodletter, and was less than impressed by their combat prowess. Convince me that you will be any different."

"Gladly, but first you'll have to get me to the surface, won't you?" I smirked. "You walked right into that one."

"Regardless, you are coming with me so that I can keep an eye on you as much as you can... observe how a warrior fights," Tigurio announced plainly, somewhat agitated. "Meet me in the ship's keel. We will take a drop pod together."

"Undignified, but acceptable if it gets us both down in one piece," I conceded. "Try not to get in my way and I'll try not to get in yours."
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on June 03, 2010, 06:10:32 AM
Tigurio grunted as he activated a rune on his arm, and teleported directly into the drop pod bay. He waited a moment before Agares appeared in a puff of brimstone and a flash of red.

"I suppose you were right to mention the extra defensive silos, but, if you forgot, I left the Imperium due to its weaknesses. I seek to purge that weakness. My crew, therefore, would not need additional orders to understand that point. They will annihilate the first silo complex, and then seek out the next, and the next, as they launch, or are discovered by auspex scans. I need not give the order to seek and destroy, because once one silo is taken care of, the bombard cannons will seek a new target on their own, and my gunners are disciplined. Not waggle-tongued sycophants of insanity, but hardened veterans of countless campaigns. With the exception of the Servitors, of course. They know better than to simply unleash hell upon the entire world before ensuring all defense lasers, silos and batteries are silenced. Then, and only then, will they begin to rack up their city-kill marks."

Tigurio sheathed a power sword onto his belt, activated his power fist for a moment, deactivated it and ran a gamut of other last-second checks before nodding to the techpriest at the pod's side. The hatches on the drop pod sealed shut, and Tigurio knelt, his right knee cradling into a divot in the floor, his power fist locking into a grip on the floor, and his left foot magnetically sealing. His right hand remained free, and he reached towards the holo-dome projector in the center of the drop pod, extending his index finger, he pressed the activation rune, and a hollow clunk sounded as the ship's claw arm that had been holding the pod above the empty void between ship and planet. For a second the pod seemed to float, gently drifting downward. But, as it gained velocity, Agares found himself fighting to secure himself while floating through the air. He managed to harness himself into a nearby 5-point harness, and grabbed tight to the hand-bars by either side of his alcove. Tigurio simply knelt, enjoying the rush of inverse gravity as it grew and grew.

Then, the booster kicked in. The pod fired its thrusters and began its true descent into the planet's atmosphere, the outside becoming white-hot, the inside remained somewhat cool, but Agares felt a sweat break out. Which, because of his dead nature, was itself a bit unusual.

The pod shot its retrothrusters at just the last moment, slowing the descent and Tigurio hunched a bit with the excess of inertial force, while Agares grimaced slightly, remembering what made such an assault undignified. His spine compacting as he tried to keep himself upright. Finally, after what seemed forever, the pod smashed into rock, and the hatches blew. The deathwind missile launcher mounted above Tigurio whirred as it geared up to fire, while Tigurio stood, turned from the pod, and stepped outside into the warzone surrounding him.

"DEATH TO THE FALSE EMPEROR!" He heard a shout, but it was not from the marines who accompanied him, but from a Tzeentch cultist who was leveling a grenade launcher at Tigurio. The Marshal held up his gauntleted hand and fired a volley of storm bolter shots into the man's chest. The cultist fell backwards, shredded, but just as he did so, Tigurio turned from the Tzeentch cult squad now cowering, and strode towards an Imperial Guard line.

"Marines, bind the traitors and the loyalists in combat, while I conduct my search!" He intoned in battle cant over the vox. "Do not discriminate. They are all weak!" With that, he set to work, charging into a squad of freightened imperial guardsmen.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on June 03, 2010, 11:34:50 PM
His head snapped to the fallen rubble as a skinny hand thrust through it standing he moved to the rocks tossing them aside to help Orin out, the psyker crawled from the rubble cake in filth, dust and blood he staggered a little as Nero helped him to his feet.

"I have what I need, though Silas will be needed to divine it's meaning."

Nero nodded and looked to Draconis.

"Silas is my navigator, I swear upon the throne to send you the co-ordinates he gives me."

Draconis looked unconvinced his face set in a stubborn frown.

"I will accompany you and transmit the co-ordinates myself."

Nero chuckled as he passed Orin his belongings.

"You are so like him you know."

"Who?"

"Dorn, I met him once spoke with him, you don't look like him but you have all the mannerisms of him you carry yourself as if you were his shadow."

"I'm ready, we must hurry if Silas is to make use of what I have."

Nero nodded moving to the shaft once again taking Orin he fired the jump pack leaping up the shaft, he leap took his a few hundred feet before he locked onto the wall his powerful fist making a hold for him as he twisted and leapt again to the opposite side further up the shaft, he repeated the process noting the warning signals that the packs power supply was draining, he made the last leap hand clamping onto the edge of the shaft, two pair of white gauntlets clamped round his wrist and pulled him back onto solid ground, Brak standing with his chain axe ready looked at Nero and Orin as they confirmed their footing.

"Did we get what we need?"

"We did, take Orin back to the ship, let no-one stand in your way."

Brak nodded looking at Orin who nodded back.

"Hounds stay with the captain, come on."

He turned sharply and jogged off Orin following struggling to keep up.

"Help the other two."

Nero stepped past them as they moved to help Draconis from the shaft, then as they pulled Olan up behind him.

"I have sent Orin on to return to my ship, your squad are permitted to accompany us back to it but only until we gain the co-ordinates then we go our separate ways Draconis Falzone."

He lifted his helm back onto his head locking it in place speaking as he did.

"Back to the hawks."

He strode from the mine taking his weapons from Tass and fixing them to his armour as he strode towards the waiting thunderhawks. The two hounds left with Draconis and Olan laughed as they collected up the rest of the gear left behind.

"You're lucky ones, that's for sure. The captain's must be in a good mood today."

++

An hour later and Nero stood in the observation bubble Draconis and a few of his command staff lingering behind him as he stared out into the stars, Sol and Tass talked quietly off to one side as Paval set up the astromap projector. Orin was preparing himself sitting at one end of the projection unit while Silas stood at the other manipulator wand waiting in his hand, Orin had a swaddled bundle before him as he prepared a mix of tonics. Draconis watched from an alcove his mood dark, Nero suspected as much the ship while being a war vessel was from a time of old where secular beliefs were outlawed where the Emperor walked as a man, the walls were bare and undecorated in contrast the crew of the ship those not marines looked like priests and zealots, they wore white robes and each of them were decorated with devotionals to the Imperial Creed, to the worship of the Emperor as a god at odds with the feel of the ship, added to that Nero guessed the presence of Traitor legions did not sit easy with the Imperial Fist to be greeted to the ship by a squad of Luna Wolves and Death Guard could not have helped.

"I am ready."

Nero tuned and nodded.

"Everyone remain silent."

Orin closed his eyes draining the tonic he started a quiet chant drawing back the cloth revealing an eight pointed star of chaos Sol hissed at the sight but quickly silenced his distaste as Orin's mind linked with Silas' who moved the wand across the map moving through systems and constellations the wand brought up worlds and systems moving through the worlds of the imperium is a rapid sequence.

"I can't get a clear enough signal."

Nero barked an order knowing the meaning of Silas's words.

"Helms on ocular lenses closed."

He pulled his helm onto his head watching as the others did so noting as each of the eye slits in his brothers helms went black, he looked at Draconis watching as his lenses went black as well finally he shut his own lenses down and spoke.

"Continue."

He was hit by a wave of sensation raw warp power flooded through the bubble for a few seconds before Silas spoke again.

"I have it."

His lenses returning to life he watched as Silas pulled his hood back over his head and pulled his helm from his head. Silas stood wand directed at a world circled in red he fixed his robes and turned from the group as they looked upon the the world.

"We have our co-ordinates, Silas transmit them to Draconis' ships."

"By your command."

"There is something amiss in the void."

Nero turned to Orin who was ashen.

"Explain yourself Orin."

"A Darkness in the void moved up behind us, a void ship."

Nero turned speaking into his vox unit as much as to those in the room.

"Battle stations roll out the gun batteries and cycle the void shields to full power on our Stern, Brak prepare boarding crews, Sol, Paval counter measure teams, Tass to the bridge. Draconis, Orin with me."

He stalked from the observation bubble heading for the bridge Tass in his wake move to gunnery command as he strode up to the command plinth, the command deck lacked and seating instead the crew and officers stood at plinths and terminals dotted around the sparse command deck.

"Perform a sensor sweep, we're looking for a void ship so the stealth capabilities will be great look for heat trails and vapour trains."

The crew came alive as the sweeps took place an officer turned to him speaking.

"Nothing."

"Open a vox link open transmission."

"You have it commander."

"This is the cruiser Redemption Sought, we know you are there reveal yourselves or I'll have my psykers pinpoint your location."

He left the threat open as he shut the vox link.

"Bring us round present our broadsides." 
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on June 05, 2010, 08:24:27 PM
"Brother," Draconis spoke after no reply was forthcoming from the void ship, "Break contact with the void ship, make him give chase. Bring your ship around to the other side of this moon, where my own frigate can provide support fire. I will signal them to hold fire on this vessel, as they know not of your presence yet." Draconis still wore his helmet, though now the blazing reddish orange tint of glass shone through with the backlighting of the helmet's HUD casting an eerie glow. Nero looked over his shoulder at Draconis, pausing to think for a split second, before turning back to the command deck.

"Bring the ship about the moon! Full speed until we're in range to contact Draconis' strike cruiser, and open a channel before they open fire on us!"

"Aye sir!" one of the helmsmen affirmed as the ship broke orbit behind the moon. "Establishing vox link in five.... four... three... two... Channel's open sir!"

"Garroth!" Draconis called out.

"Aye sir?" Garroth's voice returned.

"Hold fire. Redemption Sought is rounding the moon in seconds, and will be in your sights. We will be followed by a void ship. Possibly cloaked. Be prepared to provide fire support if we are fired upon."

"Aye sir!" Garroth's clipped High Gothic accent gave away his Vostroyan upbringing. Vostroyans were a proud people, and Draconis knew Garroth would fight valiantly, if it came to a battle.

"There. The tactical advantage is now increased. If the void ship is half the size of yours, it might still outgun you, now it must divide its attentions. And her commander, Inquisitor or otherwise, must now reveal himself." Draconis said, confident in the codex which had taught him such a tactic.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Kallidor on June 06, 2010, 01:08:03 AM
Lights flashed across the bridge and Lomak connected himself to a terminal, a coded transmission was coming through.

   ++It is well that you did not tarry Inquisitor Lomak++ Lomak frowned, Ornice had not been able to discern who had sent the instructions to travel to this world but obviously they knew him and more importantly they had detected his presence in the system. Nothing should have been able to detect a stealthed nullship. ++Your specific presence is required due to the nature of the threat and once you have revealed yourself it will become apparent++

Lomak signalled the Astropath Ornice, asking her if the source of the transmission could be traced. She shook her head immediately, using her own pulse disk to tell him that it had not been a psychic communication. The Priestess Farran was already responding to Lomak's next question before he could ask it; the message had been broadcast in-system and that was only discernable due to the use of a short range carrier wave but the strength of the machine spirit called upon to voice the transmission meant it could have been anywhere within a distance of nearly two trillion leagues.

Before Lomak could ask for any more information the ship they were concealed behind hailed them, the Sentinel transferring the message to its own pulse disk.

++This is the cruiser Redemption Sought, we know you are there reveal yourselves or I'll have my psykers pinpoint your location++ The preciseness to which a voice could be presented by pulse disk was such that Lomak had the distinct impression that they had been hailed by one of the Emperor's Angels of Death. As the implications sank in Lomak shook his head when the Navigator, Dieter Noss, asked for permission to command the Sentinel to take evasive manoeuvres. Lomak did not want to present them to the weapons of the Redemption Sought, instead letting the ship's exhaust wash push them away. The Sentinel drifted like a feather below the belly of the ship, sixty degrees down bubble forcing Lomak to look at the emerging broadside almost upside down.

Farran informed Lomak of transmissions between the Redemption Sought and one of the other Imperial vessels and the Redemption Sought began to move away at full speed. It was a tactic designed to force Lomak to approach head on but one which underestimated the Sentinel. Not all nullships were identical but the Sentinel was fairly typical of the few Lomak had had the privelege to see and as far as he knew that could have been all of them. The crew compliment was four and the ship itself was a mere one hundred and fifty metres long, little bigger than the attack craft some of those Imperial vessels were no doubt carrying but infinitely more advanced. The Sentinel's reactor was of a type unknown to Lomak and in all the years he had commanded the ship it had never once needed refueling, Farran refused to comment by edict of the Fabricator-General himself. The design was utterly bizarre, a feature Lomak was told allowed the Sentinel to remain undectable to Machine Spirits and psychic sight. Someone however knew how to detect the ship, or at least a feature which gave its position away. The person who had access to such knowledge was a powerful and dangerous individual indeed and they were hidden in this system beyond even the Sentinel's sight and that in itself was even more worrying. Lomak made his decision. The Sentinel powered up its engines and easily outpaced the Redemption Sought which was lumbering away in comparison.

++I will speak to you now Captain++ Onboard the Redemption Sought Nero's frown at the sudden vox turned to angry disbelief as a jagged black vessel appeared from nowhere, floating like an obsidian wasp directly outside his bridge, weapons armed and aimed right at him and his crew. ++This is Inquisitor Lomak, Captain of the Sentinel, identify yourself and explain your presence in this system at once++ Lomak was a mild mannered man, despite his position and to take such a tone with one of the Astartes in such a situation as this was verging on the suicidal but he hoped that centuries of ingrained respect for authority would force the Captain of the Redemption Sought to comply with his order and not do anything rash.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on June 06, 2010, 09:01:31 AM
Nero looked upon the ship his trained eyes saw the weaknesses of the ships design but also it's strengths his frown turning in a smile as his eyes slid to Orin.

"Lomak?"

"You know my gifts, he may be of use to the cause."

Nero thought for a long while before speaking again.

"Stand down weapons they are too close for us to get firing solutions, open a vox link with the Sentinel, and inform Brak of the situation."

With a nod from one of his officers Nero addressed the null ship.

"I am Captain Nero, I stand beside Sergeant Draconis Falzone of the Imperial Fists, We seek the traitor Tigurio  Falzone, now Inquisitor what is your purpose here?"

A rune illuminated on his command plinth and he depressed it sending the command to Brak and his assault teams. The knowledge that Brak would be committing to order and assault on the null ship made him smile, a teleport assault would be the only sensible way but Brak would no doubt have another plan of assault, his eyes shifted as a half dozen white shapes appeared on the hull he almost laughed as he saw the assault specialists prepared to make their assault.

"Risky as always Brak."

Draconis looked to him as he gestured to the marines forming up on the hull.

"We wait for his answer before taking action."

Draconis stood and watched
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Kallidor on June 06, 2010, 11:21:40 PM
   "Inquisitor, they have teleported an assault unit onto the Sentinel's hull." Farran looked over to him, her features blank.

   "I know; the Sentinel chafes at their presence. Charge the Warp Engines."

   "Inquisitor, that would-" Lomak cut the Priestess off, his expression grim. "Just do it, we cannot afford to let the Sentinel fall into their hands." Farran didn't say anything but complied with his order. Translating to warp this far in system and this close to another vessel would destroy them all, and likely damn their souls to eternal torment but the nullship was too precious to allow anyone, even other Imperial agents, to take it as a prize.

   "Open a vox channel." Farran nodded and Lomak heard a pip as the channel opened, he could hear the bridge crew of the Redemption Sought shifting quietly and could see them moving through the massively thick plascrystal windows and it was some small comfort to Lomak that the advaned viewing systems of the Sentinel meant that he was out of sight of Captain Nero and his men.

   ++I am here on Inquisitorial business Captain++ They were hunting the fallen marine, Falzone, the mysterious message was making more sense now. ++It would seem however that our purpose is shared. You seek the renegade, Tigurio Falzone, I once fought by his side during the Silvorian Heresy and now I am here to see that his honourable record of service is not further sullied by his fall from grace++

  "Dieter, If the assault team attempts to gain entry do not wait for my order, translate us to Warp immediately."

  "Aye Inquisitor." The Navigator replied heavily but obeyed, preparing the Sentinel. Their fates were now in Nero's hands.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on June 07, 2010, 12:04:28 AM
"Disengage your warp drive Inquisitor."

Nero paused as his finger hovered over the red rune it would give Brak the assault order he withdrew his hand from the plinth and sighed.

"Our cause is the same it seems, I will prepare a bay for your ship so we can talk face to face."

He shut the vox link down striding from the plinth, heading for the view port

"Recall Brak and his hounds, open the primary bays for Lomaks ship."

He looked out over the ship as Brak and his marines vanished in a blue haze. He looked to the crystalline view port of the smaller craft the null ship was like a black shell, if it wasn't for the fact that his mind was a honed military weapon he would not have known where to look, he gave the impression of knowing who he was looking at.

"Draconis, have you ships stand down, we will talk."

Draconis nodded curtly moving to vox controls he sent his commands.

"How long until our own warp drives are ready?"

"They are cycled captain, all we await is Silas and his navigation."

He turned from the view and strode across the deck.

"Alert me when all is ready Tass you have the bridge, Draconis if you'd follow me we have an Imperial servant to greet it seems fitting at least one Imperial servant be there to return the gesture."



Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Kallidor on June 08, 2010, 04:04:57 AM
   "Stay with the Sentinel, enter stealth mode as soon as I reach the deck, seal the hatch and engage the active counter-measures. Monitor my vital signs and if they should fluctuate for any reason leave immediately, use any means necessary, translate to warp and head directly to Anoth Toll, inform them before you arrive but consider the resolution of the matter as Inquisitorial business and await your re-assignment."

Lomak turned to face his tiny crew, they were all of them, and he included himself, mere tools of the Inquisition and hence the God-Emperor, their fates were unimportant compared to the great works which they undertook on behalf of the Imperium. Even so he had lived with these three people for many years, he knew them better than he had known anyone in his life and he felt that if something should happen to him aboard the Redemption Sought, he would miss them.

   "Unless I return to the Sentinel uncoerced then consider any attempt to communicate with the Sentinel and certainly any attempt to gain entry as an act of aggression and carry out my previous orders."

Lomak gave a curt nod and the massively thick hatch irised open. A series of shimmering energy fields appeared, a set of translucent steps which crackled gently as Lomak descended. As he reached the deck he could see Captain Nero and his crew approaching, behind him the Sentinel vanished, even the weight of its presence lifted as if it had simply ceased to exist altogether.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on June 08, 2010, 08:44:27 AM
"Inquisitor Lomak."

He stopped a few feet short of the Inquisitor allowing the much smaller man to walk towards them.

"This is Sergeant Falzone of the Fists."

He allowed Draconis to make a formal bow before continuing.

"There is no need for your ship to remain cloaked, your small crew are welcome aboard, I do not make it a habit to attack guests."

He gestured for the pair of the Imperials to follow and strode from the bay, he led them to a spartan war room behind the bridge, there were no chairs or elaborate decorations the room was filled with a simply holo-projector and tactical array.

"As I said we seek the Traitor Falzone, Draconis has been dispatched by his Chapter to hunt down the cursed blood of his linage."

"Any yourself."

"I am here because I am here."

"But who commands you? You are a captain not a force commander or master."

Nero smiled at the question.

"The Emperor is my Master, no other."

"That is not helpful, I do not recognise your heraldry what chapter are you from?"

"I am a Luna Wolf, if that shocks you I would not be surprised, your ilk are a bane on the Imperium but a useful tool none the less despite their over zealous nature in expunging men like me."

"Men like you?"

"Loyalists tainted by the actions of their cursed brothers."

He nodded as Sol strode in, he bore a tray of wines and water placing them on the projector he looked Lomak over before moving to lean against one of the walls.

"Refreshment should you wish it, the water has a little metallic after taste it is from our filtration systems."

He poured himself a goblet of the water and sipped from it.

"You do not need fear poisons if I'd wished you dead I'd have cut your head from your body the moment I' lai eyes upon you."

He strode from the table looking through the portcullis.

"Do you have any more questions?"   
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on June 08, 2010, 03:20:44 PM
"One." Draconis interjected. "You served alongside my great uncle before he died." He locked eyes with Lomak. "What happened to Tigurio Falzone?"

"Died?" Nero asked over his shoulder while gazing out a star port.

"A man who turns on the Emperor is already dead." Draconis said, a note of sadness hinted before his voice returned to his usual clipped soldiery. "So, my great uncle is dead, and we are late in providing him a funeral."
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Kallidor on June 09, 2010, 12:37:11 AM
Lomak ignored the water. He found it incredulous that a Luna Wolf could have survived all these millennia. He himself had been born over six thousand years previously but the passage of time had passed in a matter of weeks, a routine warp voyage which had taken less than a month but in the real world had lasted sixty centuries. Unless this Nero was a relatively new addition to the damned lineage of the Arch Traitor? The most simple explanation was that he was lying. The bravado about the ease with which he could have killed Lomak hinted at some inferiority complex for if Lomak was so easily dispatched, if he presented no possible threat why talk of murder so brazenly? If an Astartes felt the need to mention such things who knew what other disorders he might have, lying was the least of them, especially for one who claimed such tainted lineage.

   "The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and trod by prideful fools." Captain Nero looked back over his shoulder at the obvious barb. "Tigurio Falzone was seduced by the promise of Chaos. His fall was regretable."
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on June 09, 2010, 01:16:46 AM
"Regrettable, that is an interesting term, one could say as much for the Warmaster, his fall was regrettable, his betrayal of his sons was regrettable, his wounding of the Emperor on board the Vengeful Spirit was regrettable. It still does not change what he did does it."

He sipped the water as he turned to look upon Lomak

"There is age in your eyes Inquisitor, yet there is also a lack of something."

He seemed to think for a long while before continuing, placing the goblet down he strode across the room.

"You think of me a prideful fool, following the path to hell and damnation with a righteousness but you also think me tainted, no Inquisitor I am free of  the taint of Chaos the Warmaster saw that at Istvaan."

He strode across the room to Sol

"The Phoenician saw as much in Sol here, sent him to Die under the command of Solomon Demeter, he fought in Precentor's Palace in those last days of the Warmasters first betrayal ."

He turned back to Lomak

"So if you wish to hurl insults at us Inquisitor remember that we unlike Draconis are from a much cruder time when all we knew was war and death, and all we have known since is death and revenge."
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Kallidor on June 09, 2010, 01:53:56 AM
   "There are none so blind as those who will not see and that is the true strength of Chaos; those who tred its path are seldom aware of it, fewer still are those who are aware and can admit it. Even so you are in no position to judge your own purity and citing the Arch Betrayer as a reference can only be detrimental to that end.

"Your threats are ill considered also; my life is the Emperor's and only He may end it, not you nor anyone or anything else."

Lomak looked away from the supposed Luna Wolf Captain. He was not impressed with his knowledge of names and events from the time of the Great Heresy; such information was available to those who knew where to look and it seemed only to confirm the Captain's perfidious nature rather than dispel it and he implicated his cohort, Sol, in the deception.

   "Brother Falzone, tell me, what did you discover on the planet's surface? Tigurio was not a weak man that stumbled into the embrace of Chaos, like many during the dark says when he and I fought together, he was pushed, even if at the end he went willingly. What do you interpret from his actions on Akthalos?"
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on June 09, 2010, 03:04:01 PM
"Insanity." Draconis had sat down at the meeting table, his hands folded before his face in a contemplative pose. "Insanity or an intense hatred for man." He locked eyes with Lomak. "I met my uncle when I was a neophyte... He was a great and fierce warrior who shared the passion of his battle brothers, but one thing stood him apart." He paused to let Nero and Orin tune in. "Calm."

"Calm?" Nero interjected. "I thought Black Templars were supposed to be psychotic. Near to the hatred Khorne Berserkers exhibit."

"Would you say your World Eaters devote their bloodshed to Khorne?" Draconis now locked eyes with Nero, who remained silent for a moment. "I would not assume their purity or impurity, but to suggest that the Black Templar way of mastering close combat, bringing it to the enemy, and accepting any challenge, no matter the odds..." He shook his head. "To suggest that way of warfare is Khornate by nature is an insult to those who remain loyal."

"No." Draconis continued, turning his gaze back to the Inquisitor. "My late uncle seems gripped by a madness beyond the hatred of Khorne. As I said before, when his soul was pure, Tigurio Falzone was a calm Black Templar. Reserved in action and opinion until right action was required. He was quick to act against rebellion and invasion, but by contrast to the knights under his command, my great uncle would investigate, even consult with the ship's navigator for guidance, as much as with the chapter chaplains. In the Imperial Fists, this would be seen for the wisdom it was, but to the Black Templars, such a thing... consorting with a psyker... is seen as damnable. That is why he was sent alone to investigate Zoran Silver. Yes, he was given command of his company, but he was sent without support from the chapter, and commanded to operate alone until there was cause... The chaplain who was sent with him... I do not know his name, but that man was responsible for determining when the time was right for Tigurio to have battle support."

"Tigurio had accquired a sword some time before his banishment, however. A sword of renown, whose name I cannot recall, but whose properties I can only assume are Daemonic. This sword was not known to be posessed by the Black Templars, as I am only aware of the sword because the Inquisition briefed me prior to my assignment to this quest." He let this knowledge sink in. "I was given this." Draconis held up an Inquisitorial seal "To aid in recruiting an Imperial Guard detatchment and an Imperial Navy ship. If need be, I have authority to requisition a fleet, but I am reticent to do so until I know the need is absolute. Hence why I only have a sword class frigate at my disposal."

"However, the point here is that Tigurio once was highly reserved, he only struck where violence was needed to end a conflict. His destruction of the entire area surrounding the mines on the surface, using magma bombs, as far as I could deduce from the ruins, suggests a newfound hatred or a festering insanity in his mind. Perhaps he meant to cover his tracks and obliterate the mine, but he could have done better with melta bombs and a single lance strike at the mine's entrance." Draconis got up.

"I also suspect he accquired some form of daemonic artefact from the mine." Draconis looked to Nero, who nodded.

"Orin, my psyker and adviser has informed me as much." Nero confirmed, nodding.

"Does he not already have a posessed sword?" Lomak asked.

"He does. I would expect. But whether he still carries it, or if that daemon now plays a role in this new scheme I cannot say." Draconis looked out the viewing glass in the room, contemplative of the stars. "Perhaps he is collecting."

"To what end?" Lomak asked.

"Perhaps we will have a better idea at the coordinates of the next world." Nero said. "We cannot tarry long here, so perhaps it would be better to discuss this matter more fully after we have investigated the next world. Orin and Silas have given us coordinates, so Lomak, you're welcome to come along for the ride. Perhaps then, you will be able to assess the sanity of our crew. Perhaps you will find we are not as pathological as you suspect."
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Kallidor on June 09, 2010, 05:56:54 PM
   "It is my holy duty to suspect everyone I meet Captain, complacency in that regard is the first sin and invites disaster. In any case it would be a waste of time and resources to tackle this, problem, individually so I will remain aboard."

   "Perhaps your crew would like to join you then Inquisitor, I'm sure they'd like to get out of that tiny ship of yours."

Lomak's expression was the same as it ever was, a frozen mask that betrayed no hint of his thoughts or mood. For an Inquisitor it was a blessing, never had Lomak needed to control himself, it was something that came naturally with no effort at all. Perhaps in another life it would have been an anti-social trait that would have been ultiamtely self-destructive but in Inquisitor, it was a true boon.

   "My crew's requirements are not your concern Captain nor are they relevant. I was not there when Tigurio's treachery was revealed, Inquisitor Atavus had that dubious honour. The Black Templars who remained loyal to him were allowed to continue in the fight against Lostenburgh, there was certainly some other agenda that Tigurio was pursuing." Draconis considered Lomak's words, even for an Astartes it was hard to listen to when it concerned a fellow Brother and a relative. "As you say Captain Nero, perhaps we will learn more at the next planet."
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on June 09, 2010, 09:19:04 PM
"Atavus, that is a name long familiar with me."

He looked out over his ship.

"Though the Atavus I knew was captain of the Eternity Gate of the Imperial Palace."

He turned from the view as an alert fleshing in the collar of his armour.

"We are ready for warp translation, Draconis do you wish to return to your ship or would you prefer to remain here?"

He turned his attention to Sol.

"Prepare a compartment for the Inquisitor and his people should he require it, more some of the Legio into one of the mess halls."

Sol nodded curtly before pushing from the wall he strode across to the Inquisitor.

"I'll have somewhere set aside for you within the hour."

Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Kallidor on June 09, 2010, 11:23:56 PM
   "I thank you for your hospitality but there is really no need to go to any trouble on my account. Unless there is anything further to discuss I will return to my vessel?"
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on June 10, 2010, 06:37:51 AM
"If I may, the remainder of my squad shall monitor operations aboard the... forgive me if I mispronounce her name... the Eichnoduur. The sword class ship." Draconis paused. "I will remain aboard this ship. If it truly is a pre-Heresy relic, then I should like to study the architecture. If I am permitted to do so." He turned a wary eye to Nero.

"Perhaps." Was all Nero said at first, and Draconis suspected that Nero, either out of pathos or ten thousand years of experience, was reticent to trust any who had not faught alongside him on Istvaan V...

"And perhaps, although I know it is not my place to bandy words with an Inquisitor, I might offer some insight." Draconis posed the thought and waited for a reply, when he found Orin Lomak's unwavering gaze locked with his own, he decided to continue. "Space Marines barely, if at all age. Of the primarchs, none survive due to heroic death, or they survive on as vile daemons in service to Chaos. However, there have been reports throughout the last millenia of loyalist marines thought lost to the warp who for some reason or another whethered thousands of years in the blink of an eye..."

"So perhaps before you assume that these men are impostors or ignorant heretics, you might keep in mind that Nero has a recorded history of conflict within the Imperium, but I cannot say for sure it is with the Imperium. I have very little knowledge of the records at this moment, but I encountered the name of one Nero - a Captain branded Excommunicate Traitorus by the Inquisition - in my tactica lessons when I was inducted into the Imperial Fists as a Devastator marine, again in my lessons in Assault tactics and even when I was a brother marine under another sergeant, I was taught tacticum pertaining to a renegade known only as Nero." Draconis paused.

"This Nero was not a renegade or Excommunicate Traitorus Marine for assailing the Imperium, nor for joining the Despoiler's forces, though at least one legend speaks of such a thing. He was branded traitor and renegade because he operates autonomosly from the Imperium..." Draconis looked sidelong at Nero whose eyebrows raised for a second, surprised such a young pup could have heard such of him. "He pays no tithe, nor does he answer to the Ministorum's demands for gene seed, nor does he answer pettitions from other marine chapters." Draconis realized he was prattling and stopped. After a moment of awkward silence he spoke again. "I suppose my point is, from his record alone, if this Marine Captain is indeed the Nero I have heard of, he very well may have served alongside the Emperor, and as far as I'm concerned, if he has made it this long without promising his soul to foul sorcery and Chaos, then, perhaps we can give him the benefit of the doubt that he is still pure in the eyes of the Emperor."
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Kallidor on June 10, 2010, 06:11:56 PM
   "I assume nothing Brother Falzone, a merely execute my duty based on the facts. Let us examine your story. You have, as you yourself put it, little knowledge of the records relying instead on hearsay about a supposed renegade Astartes named Nero." Lomak felt Captain Nero bristle as he was so easily called renegade but, keeping his gaze upon Draconis he continued. "To be diplomatic and sensitive to your story Brother Falzone, let us call this Nero an errant Astartes.

"He is, to the extent of your knowledge, working outside the Imperium. All Astartes, as you know, swear severe and binding oaths of loyalty to the Imperium so this Nero by simply, and truly 'simply' is not a word that explains the full ramifications of the action, of choosing to operate independantly of the Imperium. Such an Astartes is, be very definition an oathbreaker.

"An Astartes can no more choose to work outside the bounds of the Imperium, can no more dispence with his oaths to the Imperium, than can an Imperial Commander or any of the Imperium's citizens. Such an individual would be by definition, a traitor and by betraying the Imperium such an individual would have abandoned the God-Emperor and as such would be an apostate. Such an individual would be rightly declared Excommunicate Traitorus.

"You brush over it quite quickly but even you, rushing to the defence of this man, cannot ignore the legend, as all of your evidence is, legend, myth, story, that this character who is called Nero is also said to have joined the forces of the Despoiler. In giving credence to these other legends of Nero are we, am I, seriously supposed to ignore this truly damning legend? On what basis do we ignore this legend but believe the others?

"And there in, Brother Falzone, lies the truth of this matter; that the legendary Nero, survivor of Istvaan, progeny of the Arch Betrayer has forsaken the Imperium, forsaken the God-Emperor, forsworn his oaths of allegiance, loyalty and obedience and pursues some agenda all of his own.

"By your testimony Brother Falzone, this man," Lomak indicated Captain Nero, "Is condemned." Lomak let this sink in and clasped his hands behind his back, pacing a few steps, examining the ancient deck plates and considering the conclusion of his argument. With a deep breath Lomak fixed his gaze upon Draconis once more. "I do not judge men Brother Falzone, only the Emperor may do that. My purpose is to collect evidence and to act upon that evidence according to the dictates laid down by the Emperor Himself. It is not my place to put weight upon legends or stories or myths, to choose to believe one thing but not another, to base my actions upon my personal opinions or preferences. My duty is to assess the man, and by his words and deeds I will know the truth of his soul and via that truth I know what sentence to pass, innocent, or guilty.

"I thank you for your input Brother Draconis, but in future you should leave the work of the Inquisition to the Inquisition. The consequencs of my actions are mine to bear, and I will answer for them when I finally stand before the Emperor, it is not for any of us to act according to our whims but to seek the truth whatever it might be."
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on June 11, 2010, 12:16:09 AM
Nero rested his hands on the central terminal his voice oozed venom.

"I have broken no oaths Lomak."

He leaned on the terminal the unit creaking with his weight.

"I made my Oaths during the great crusade to my Father the Emperor and my Lord Horus, in a time when the foolish secular belief of your Imperium were against our cause to bring the light of illumination and the truth of science to the universe. The Imperium in it's state now is not the Imperium I serve, I still serve the Imperium of old when the Emperor walked with us."

He pushed from the terminal

"Ah but you can never understand, what standing in his presence truly meant, you couldn't help but obey him, to love him, his very face while unremarkable was at the same time brilliant and majestic. I watched him fight the ork that nearly claimed his life, watched him bring worlds to compliance with but his very presence. I wish I could have stood beside him at the palace when Horus brought his fury to Terra."

He locked eyes with Lomak.

"You have the nerve to call me traitor Lomak, it is you who have betrayed the Emperor, you and the High Lords, you have perverted the Emperor's dream for the future and his Imperium you have twisted his designs for the universe to your own mortal perceptions for how could you not with your flawed mortal minds how could anyone hope to understand his designs he was so far removed from his primaches as we were from them."

He paced round the terminal coming up to Lomak

"God-Emperor, if he could hear your speak those words, oh what fury you would see a fury that could boil seas in moments, one could almost say it would have been divine fury but he was the first to quash such nonsense of him being a God."

Nero almost laughed.

"The God-Emperor is one of your creations the first of your numbers made the man into a God."

He turned

"If you would excuse me I have preperations to make, you have the freedom of the ship save for the engineering decks and the weapons batteries, walk my corridors and companionways see what the Imperium looked like ten thousand years ago
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Kallidor on June 11, 2010, 01:10:03 AM
Lomak watched Nero storm away. "Perhaps Captain, perhaps."

   "You still doubt him?" Draconis was incredulous, it was impossible for him to see how Lomak could not instantly believe that 'Captain Nero' was not exactly who he said he was, and was not exactly as pure as he so passionately argued.

   "I have noticed Brother Falzone that both you and your Captain Nero like to put words in my mouth, it is the want of men to do so when faced with the scrutiny of the Inquisition, even innocent men when afraid will tie themselves in knots, a most unfortunate thing really as it makes them seem ever more guilty. Then again, innocence prooves nothing is that not so?"

   "First you call him traitor and now you call him a coward, frightened of a tiny, arrogant little man like you?"

   "Brother Falzone, I have said nothing as to what manner of man Captain Nero is or is not, nor have I attributed any sentiments or actions to him. He and you both claim that he is the progeny of the Arch Betrayer, he has just now admitted that he has turned his back on the Imperium for some supposed other Imperium. Do his words not concern you Brother Falzone, he calls the God-Emperor a nonsense, he calls the Imperium a perversion. Does it not bother you at all to here an Astartes say such things?"

   "I believe that Captain Nero is a true and honourable warrior and that you should not doubt his fidelity."

   "Dissembling will not aid you Brother Falzone. You must know in your heart, hearts, that this man is a renegade, that his agenda is his own. Your Great Uncle turned from the light of the Emperor and reneged his oaths to the Imperium because he believed that he knew better, he believed like so many others that only he could see the right and true path and for his arrogance his soul was damned for eternity.

"This man, who claims to be something sense and logic dictates he could not be, is no different. Perhaps he is who he says he is, perhaps he is the man in the legends you have read, if that is the case then he is far more dangerous than you realise Brother Falzone, I only hope you will not allow your emotions to lead you away from the path of Righteousness.

"You have been given a Seal of the Inquisition, that is not merely a tool to allow you to do as you wish, it is a symbol of the bond that you partook as soon as you accepted it, a bond to sift truth from lies, fact from fiction, to weigh a man's very soul and determine what should be done with it.

"It is your duty now Brother Falzone to not accept anything you see at first glance, you must be wary, you must be vigilant. When Chaos is under scutiny you cannot trust anything, not even yourself. All of your training, all of your enhanced senses, your prowess, your endurance, every fibre of your being, they are as nothing.

"If you are so quick to accept the word of this man Nero, to accept that he is a son of the Great Betrayer and yet somehow, when the strength of the mightiest of the Primarchs was not enough to resist Chaos, that somehow this Nero was able to do what his Gene Father could not, what his Legion could not, if you are to accept his word so readily how then will you fare when confronted with your own kin?

"I hope that you do not truly believe that you can accept the word of a stanger but reject those of a Brother. For you this will be a struggle the likes of which you have never known and trust me when I say, you will not face Tigurio and go unscathed. Death will be the least of the fates you might encounter, at worst you could forfeit your immortal soul and whilst you may think it impossible now, remember that Tigurio was once a faithful warrior of the Black Templars. No-one is above corruption save the God-Emperor. No-one."

Lomak turned on his heel and walked briskly away, he had to return to his crew and apprise them of the situation and see if anymore mysterious messages had arrived.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on June 11, 2010, 02:09:12 AM
Nero retired to his own cell, once inside he removed his armour passing the pieces to the servitor that awaited them, he looked at himself in a polished surface the Legion symbol was tattooed to his right shoulder his name under it and the Legion number below that.

Old times.

his fingers ran over them for a lingering moment before he pulled on some white robes the rough spun wool scratching over his skin, he left his cell walking the companionways he passed marines under his command each one of them preparing for the coming conflict each one a veteran of Istvaan III each one tempered in ten thousand years of war.

He paused thinking on words that Draconis had spoke, he was known to some of the chapters passed down over all this time. It was humbling to know that such tales of his struggle were told. He pushed the thoughts from his mind as he passed a chamber filled with humans, they sat round a table discussing matters quietly, The upper decks were normally off limits to humans given over to the Astartes but the senior staff of the Legio were rewarded with quarters on the upper decks, they were talking about deployment methods and dispersal patterns planning every detail out before they were called in battle, each one of them had a long blade fashioned by their own hands they had at the birth of the legio been makeshift and crude now with the forges of the ship they were true swords, he hovered at the back before he was noticed and stepped in offering his own considerable advice they drank deep of his knowledge before he passed on heading up to the spine of the ship to the astropathic choir he looked over the astropaths and went to Myden the chief astropath.

"How are the warp tides?"

"Turbulent, our destination is in a state of war, she's confirmed it."

He nodded his bald head in the direction of a sealed iris before offering a sheet of foil, Nero took it reading over the details quickly, his frown deepened as he read the words.

"Are we sure of this?"

"The rest of the choir concur with our prediction."

He nodded as he left choir Myden's voice sang out.

"Tell the dammed fool his warp drives run the risk of interfering with our gellar field."

Nero nodded as he stepped from the choir, his next destination set he turned heading for the primary dock.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on June 11, 2010, 03:07:28 AM
Draconis hung his head in silence. He was an Astartes, by oath and blood, and here he was, arguing like a foolish child with men... a man, and a marine both far greater than he. Far more terrible than he. All this time, he'd felt it impossible for this Nero to lie about his lineage. The hours they'd spent in the mine gave Draconis Falzone an insight into an ancient and glorious time, now lost to madness.

Now, he was questioning this. All of it. He sat for long minutes, staring into the palms of his hands pondering his own foolishness. After a moment, he decided he should do as Nero offered. Perhaps he could analyse the architectural design and at least determine whether the ship herself had been in service for ten thousand years.

A thought presented itself to Draconis, however, as he left the meeting room... He had seen what the psyker Orin had used to identify his great uncle's location. An unholy star of Chaos. It had bothered him then, but now as Nero's and Lomak's words hung in his head, he found it even more unnerving. Perhaps this Nero was in fact who he'd said he was, which, as Inquisitor Lomak had pointed out, even more dangerous a situation than if he was simply a deluded fool or a liar. But he couldn't be that good of a liar. Draconis had earned top marks in interrogation assessments, higher than any in his company. He was better at sniffing out a lie than his own commanders. Yet, something had to give. If Nero was in deed ten thousand years old, and had been resorting to unholy icons from time to time, like that Chaos star, how long would it have taken him to fall prey to the predations of Chaos. He even said that Orin was a trusted advisor. A trusted advisor who kept a star of Chaos with him?

As Draconis wandered the halls, he began to notice things. The walls, while not barren, did not have the usual devotional graffiti other pre-heresy ships bore. He had taken it for granted that all ships had religious devotional liturgies and masses inscribed in the plasteel and rockrete, and now here, he found none. Occasional tapestries and statues lined the halls, and innumerable honorifics and seals of duty hung from columns and walls, but there were no purity seals, none as he recognized them. Each oath he saw affixed to a banner was strictly that, the seal was an oath to complete the mission, no prayers, no litanies, no catechisms. It disturbed him. Faith had united the Imperium when madness should have torn it apart. Was it not when the Horus Heresy began that the Cult Imperialis sprung up? Was it not the saints who fought in the Emperor's name, while the Emperor yet lived that kept the daemonic hordes at bay? Truly, this Nero had remained ignorant of such miraculous things, or he had chosen to ignore the Emperor's endorsement of the Ecclesiarchy, for his own personal end. And what was that? Nero's ends and means...

To avenge the betrayal of Horus? Well, Horus was dead! So, perhaps he sought to kill Abbaddon. But what if Tigurio posed a threat to Abbaddon... What if Nero secretly served Abbaddon? Now Draconis wished he had not been so quick to spring to Nero's defense. Now he regretted having seen Orin draw out an eight-pointed star. Having witnessed such heresy, he knew he could not un-see it. But to act on that? No. Not yet. If Nero was pure, then, he must have atoned in some manner each time he danced this dangerous dance. If Lomak was right, Draconis vowed to himself that he would see to it Nero met his end, but if Nero was simply following some ancient principle of atheist science that allowed him to see chaos as merely a tool, and was successful in not falling prey to the dark powers, Draconis felt he would have no choice but to leave it alone.

Draconis tried to clear his mind, but as the ship slipped into the warp, and he felt his stomach lurch, his mind seemed to grow more congested with thoughts...
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on June 11, 2010, 09:02:21 AM
He stood in the dock looking at the seemingly empty space, were it not through prior knowledge he would have had difficulty in detecting the ship, but it was there, a hum of power vibrated in his ears the throb of the warp drive powering up, the static of the cloaking field, the distant sound of gears and servos working, the creak of the hull and it cooled. The smells as well told him it was there, the smell of metal come from the void had a distinct scent, the fuel and oil the plasma of the engines.

He moved round the ship his trained mind pulling up the model of the ship until he came to it's prow looking up into the ship he spoke his voice hard.

"I know you can hear me, disable your warp drive now, unless you want to destabilize the gellar field in the ock and have to deal with an incursion of the daemonic."

He didn't wait for a reply instead turning he strode from the dock speaking with one of the dock crew.

"Monitor the ship, if the warp drives do not shut down in an hour seal the dock and inform Brak and Sol."

The dock hand nodded curtly.

He strode off seeking another it took him to Orin's cell entering he looked upon the psyker.

"You used a star."

"Nothing else to use, the star was the only thing I could remove from the altar."

"Wher is it now?"

"Locked away."

"You did not destroy it?"

"I still may have need of it, the altar was a prison for a bound daemon Falzone has it with him now and I can track it using the star."

"Only use it when you have too."

He left Orin and entered the corridor his eyes falling on Draconis.

"Do not let the Inquisitor poison your mind, it is their way, The Emperor sought to build an Imperium with out need of them."

He stepped past the young fist.

"If you have any questions I can be found in the training chambers Warp Transits have always made me uneasy."


Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on June 12, 2010, 04:01:11 AM
Draconis turned to Nero.

"Perhaps I should join you on your way then." Draconis replied. "I have a question already, although you may find it to be tainted by the Inquisitor." Nero kept pace, not glancing back. Draconis flanked Nero and turned his head slightly to direct his words. "Will you consider for a moment that not everything you see is tainted with Chaos, weakness or corruption?" Nero's face belied a hint of irritation.

"I know what you would say. If I only see corruption, weakness and the taint of Chaos, then surely, I must see one of those in my own reflection. I do not only see corruption in mankind. I do however see corruption in this deification of a man. Great though he was, he was still a man, who taught that science was the true light of Illumination."

"That is actually what I meant to ask you about." Draconis was calm now. The translation to warp had been harsh, invasive, but his mind was clear again, so he spoke. "You say the Emperor hunted down all religions. Even ones that worshipped him. But as you say, the Emperor was mortal when he did such things. The last thing the mortal Emperor did was to slay his favorite son after being mortally wounded by the Warmaster."

Draconis paused, Nero had stopped, turned to face Draconis and locked eyes. Knowing how old Nero claimed to be Draconis expected sudden action if he spoke ill, but pressed on.

"The Emperor is no longer mortal. He has been killed, yet he lives on. Can you justify saying he is still just a man? Yes, his physical form is just a shell, but without the Emperor's soul, there would be no Astronomican. Nothing in the Warp holding back the strength of Chaos. Indeed, with the ruinous powers being ruled over beings in the Warp known only as Chaos Gods, how could anything contend with all four, lest that force itself was a God?" He pressed a little harder. "The Imperial Fists do not, have not, nor will they adapt the dogma of the Cult Imperialis, we do not worship the Emperor as a God, as we do not see Chaos beings as godly. We do, however venerate him as the father of our primogenitors, and therefore our patriarch, to whom we owe allegiance and devotion." Nero's face held the age of his years in a stone countenance that spoke of rage and calm in the same instant. Draconis could not read him.

"The very name "God Emperor" is in the minds of the loyalist Astartes chapters, more of a measure of the difference between man and the Emperor. Mankind, from the lowly ratings who slave to load a nova cannon on a mighty battleship, to the High Lords of Terra, is separated from the Emperor by two classes of being both apart and above mankind. The Adeptus Astartes, of which you and I are both members, have long been considered the Emperor's Angels of Death. We are the descendants of the Emperor's Sons, and have been long elevated to a class above man. Mankind venerates us as we venerate the Emperor." Draconis paused, allowing this to sink in, hoping Nero was not unwilling to hear what he was saying.

"Above us, there is a class of being which is now extinct, the Primarchs. Though the Legions were created before the primarchs were restored to the Imperium each Primarch played an integral role in how that chapter fought, and how they still fight today. Angron's Legion became what it is because of Angron's disposition, as did the Imperial Fists because of Rogal Dorn. Once again, above the Primarchs was the Emperor of Mankind. Father to all Primarchs, betrayed by half." Draconis paused.

"The point, Captain, is that you have been operating outside the Imperium for ten thousand years. A full ten millenia of evading the Inquisition, fellow Astartes and the Imperial Guard. Your exile may have, at one point in the beginning, been involuntary, persecuted by those who sought to avenge the Emperor's death. Believing that you had to stay alive, if only to ensure the death of those who betrayed you." Nero twitched slightly.

"Persecution is for the weak. We were hunted, we survived." Was all he said.

"However, those times have long passed. Mankind worships the Emperor because it must. For an ordinary man to truly comprehend the scope of the Emperor's power, why and how it works, even for most Astartes, it would engender madness. The same could be said of Chaos. While you may see Chaos as simply sentient emotive power in the Warp, the average man cannot grasp at this concept. He is too bogged down by his small life to comprehend this. The Ecclesiarchy gives meaning to meaningless people, gives hope to those who have none, and in its own hideous and perverted manner, binds the Imperium together, now that the Emperor's charisma is lost to us. Can you truly blame the men who rule the Imperium for allowing religion, a thing that comes naturally to the primitive human mind, to take over, and relegating science to the Mechanicum?"

"The Mechanicum is no better. They worship the Omnissiah... the Emperor in machine spirit form." He growled, looking down the corridor as a Tech adept monitored gauges in a nearby terminal.

"Perhaps, but do you at least understand why mankind has fallen this way?" Draconis asked. "I am not saying it is ideal. I am saying it is necessary. If you would charismatically lead the Imperium into a new golden age of technology and enlightenment, please, I emplore you to do so, but you seem to be carrying a ten thousand year old rockrete plate on your back. Begrudging mankind for doing what would not have been done if Horus had not slain the Emperor." Nero's eyes flashed and Draconis stepped back. "The past cannot be changed. All I ask is that you look to the future. See that if you remain removed from the Imperium, you will eventually be hunted by one skilled enough to take your head, but if you would lay down your grudge against our backstep from enlightenment and fight alongside us, you will have an ally that, while beleaguered and mired from all sides, still has strength enough to stand side by side against the coming night."
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on June 14, 2010, 09:46:16 PM
Nero led Draconis to the training chamber, he gestured at the training weapons hanging on the rack as he slid his robes off exposing a set of simple fatigues under, he turned back to Draconis catching a sword thrown to him.

"Do you mind me wearing my armour."

"Not at all."

He loosened up his arms.

"You say the Emperor is dead, yet as I understand it Guilliman is interred in a sarcophagus from a mortal wound much like the Emperor's yet he heals, and he is less than the Emperor a Primarch and certainly not a God, no my young ally The Emperor wisest being ever to have walked the universe declared himself a man, immortal yes but he denounced himself as a god, and that is what I must cling to, to do other wise challenges everything I know, it would bring the world of the marines under my command crashing down, we fought for centuries to erase the horror of religion and the Horus greatest of us all was corrupted by religion, religion enthralled to the dark gods of the warp. You say religion is a necessity but look at what it did to the Emperor's Imperium it shattered it tore it in two put brother against brother and cause our Emperor to be entombed in the throne."

They traded a few blows as they circled Nero pushing Draconis in his parries making the younger marine work hard, Nero seemed to to running through a series of well practised attacks and defences and hardly seemed to be putting in any effort at all.

"If it were simply as easy as rejoining the Imperium I would have sided with Garro come the end of the war, but even he had fallen to the notion that the Emperor was a God, even the humans who serve alongside us are believers the books you see them carrying are the Lectio Devinicus penned by Keeler the first saint of the Imperial creed, written while she was a guest of the sisters of silence."

He sighed as he stepped past a thrust swatting the blade aside and landing a light hit on Draconis' shoulder guard. Draconis backed away dropping into a new stance before coming at him again their blades locked and Nero looked into Draconis' face

"Besides the Imperium has changed, there are too few men and women like you with minds open to the truth of the past, were I to take my marines back into the fold they would be labelled, World Eater, Death Guard, Emperors Children, Alpha Legion, Iron Warrior, Word Bearer, Night Lord, Thousand Sons and Luna Wolves. They are the traitor legions each one of them infamous, each one known by every civilian of the Imperium not blinded by the lies of religion."

He lowered his guard dipping the point of his sword and Draconis struck his blade stopping before it claimed Nero's throat, the old warriors eyes locked with Draconis.

"We are the traitor legions, we wont change our names, and so we will always be treated with suspicion, hate and fear."

He stepped back

"There is someone I think you should meet."

He returned the sword and pulled his robes back over his body before leading Draconis from the training chamber they passed squad barracks as Draconis passed he noticed that the marines conducted themselves with military ritual not religious, each barracks was dedicated to their father legion but not in a religious way. They went down into the motorcade and passed lines of tanks and bikes before entering a chamber lines with devotional walls, Draconis recognised it as being similar to the hall of remembrance within Phalanx. He looked at the names engraved on the tables noting that one name was to one table the list of their deeds stretching out below the name, each one bore Istvaan III or Istvann V as the first entry.

"Our hall of the dead, and those left behind."

He gestured down from the walkway they strode across a dozen dreadnoughts lined the chamber standing in honour guard for a venerable stood at the chambers head a throne like mounting surrounding it, Nero led him down to walk amongst the ancient of his force he touched one of the dreadnoughts it's hull armour an oily black like Sol's

"This we believe to be Rylanor, ancient of rites for the Emperor's Children he has been silent since Istvaan III but the marine within lives and Sol will not allow us to disturb such an ancient warrior."

He stroked the hull.

"Sleep friend."

He moved to the enthroned dreadnought.

"This is one of my chapter a Luna Wolf."

He placed a hand on the heart of the dreadnought.

"What do you want me to see? All of these ancient are sleeping."

"Look at the names."

Nero gestured down one side of the dreadnought, a long list of names were etched into the armour.

"When one of us falls we are interred in a dreadnought, when I fall it will be my destiny to become Loken."

He patted the armour.

"When that happens Sol, Tass or Brak will take command of this force." 
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on June 14, 2010, 11:48:20 PM
Tigurio shook the blood from his fist. The room was filled with the stench of entrails, scorched flesh, gunpowder and ozone. His faceplate had cracked, an autocannon had barely missed his head, the shot penetrating the helmet from the side and ripping through the occular lenses. The shot missed Tigurio, but the Black Marshal only gained a measure of terror in this. Now, his third eye glowed out from under his helmet, and his natural eyes blazed with blue hellfire.

He'd cut down every traitor and guardsmen in the room just seconds ago. Tzeentch cultists had overrun much of the city, but he had no interest in helping the cult. They were weak. Without his presence, the world would probably be entrenched in civil war for centuries, during which time, Imperial Guard re-enforcements would only serve to stem the tide of ever-increasing daemons. Only after the world looked to be compromised to the Warp would the Inquisition ultimately order Exterminatus, damning the world to death and exile. Once Exterminatus had been carried out, the world would be blockaded and forgotten, even the Imperial Navy forces sent to guard the sector would be ignorant of the evils on the surface. Tigurio cared little to calculate the ends of the war, and simply focused on the task at hand. Find the Medallion of Oxan.

Leaving the room, Tigurio strode down a long tunnel under the capitol building. Corpses already littered the hall, and he smirked at the blood-smeared icons and statuary lining the tunnel. Meant to transport vehicles between Chimera and Rhino chassis varieties, the tunnel now was a charnel house. Despite knowing the cultists were dedicants to Tzeentch, he suspected some also devoted their time and energy to Slaanesh, or perhaps Khorne, as the followers of Tzeentch seldom cared to make a bloody mess of things.

Gunfire up ahead. The chambers ahead housed ammunition supplies and weapons. This could get interesting.



"Loken..." Draconis placed a hand on the Dreadnought, observing the surface and noticing various markings indicating death counts, honors and victories. He noticed the seals on the armor each bore honorifics, but none bore platitudes to the Emperor that he was so used to. "An ancient legend passed down to me told of one Garviel Loken..." Draconis paused, Nero's eyebrows had risen. "I have not read the dataslates on file, but the legend goes that Garviel Loken was one of Horus' trusted advisors, but was killed with a third of Horus' own legion for not pledging himself to Chaos."

"You have an exceptional memory, and your chapter serves history well." Nero said. "I had thought the majority of the Imperium to have forgotten such things."

"I remember what I can, but I cannot help but wonder. With the weapons arrayed against you, with the numbers weighing against you and with the tactical expertise of Horus, Angron and Mortarion, arrayed against you, how could any of you have survived?" Draconis had been screened by the Librarium twenty times since his induction. They had yet to find a trace of latent psychic ability, but they insisted there was no other explanation for his penchant for lore.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on June 15, 2010, 08:13:01 AM
"We took shelter, when we attacks we found deep catacombs under our feet, when the virus bombs came we went to ground, descended into the earth it protected us, the betrayers expected no survivors yet we had more strength than a chapter, we drew them out for three months before Horus grew tired and bombarded us, we once against too shelter, one of the Emperor's children found a bunker of sorts and we regrouped to weather the storm."

He looked up at the face plate of the dreadnought.

"Loken led us, he reshaped us into a battle company that held off the fury of three legions arrayed against us, but when the Despoiler and Little Horus came he and Torgaddon faced off against them alone it was their honour that demanded they face their Mournival brothers."

Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on June 16, 2010, 08:05:40 AM
Tigurio strode into the armory. Gunfire and shouting echoed through the chamber. The Imperial Guardsmen defending the area were barricaded halfway through the armory. A full half of the arms and ammunition had been removed during the uprising, Tigurio figured at least some stolen by the Tzeentch cultists, as even now, squads of cultists were swarming the entrance, vaulting barricades and stealing what little ammunition they could grab before escaping or being shot.

Tigurio raised his plasma pistol towards the cultists, fired off a snap shot, and sent them running. "Space Marines! Devil's oath! RUN!" one cultist shouted before they all started to scramble out. Turning to the guardsmen, Tigurio took several steps at a slow, calm pace. They looked relieved until he broke stride into a run, raised his plasma gun and shot the commissar in the face. He roared, powering up his sword before decapitating two guardsmen in the charge, and elbowing a third in the heart, causing immediate cardiac arrest.

Tigurio ducked a bayonette stab from a sergeant, then kicked two guardsmen back several yards. One of the guardsmen survived the kick, and with his unbroken arm, pulled out a krak grenade from his vest.

"Ave Imperator, Traitor!" Was all he rasped before chucking the grenade with his last breath. Tigurio had shot the man in the chest, but saw where the grenade was headed, slashed another three guardsmen and a guardswoman in a single gut-level swing, and booked for a bulkhead door nearby. Tigurio was ten paces from the door when the grenade went off. Eight when the blast set off a crate of grenades. Six paces when the grenade's explosion started to cook off lasgun ammo crates. Two paces and a Basilisk ammo crate detonated.

Tigurio leapt for the door as the blast wave hit him. He slammed against the bulkhead frame, but the fireball of the blast sent him flying through the door. A structural failure in the passageway caused a collapse, the ground behind Tigurio closing off the tunnel from the Armory. The Black Marshal rolled onto his back, his legs scorched, his armor cracked, his head reeling, and smirked. Perhaps another time. He thought.

The blast flared up through the roof of the Armory, which sat directly under the Imperial Palace, sending a plume of fire and smoke up through the south wing of the palace, and in turn, caused most of that segment of the palace to collapse. The rumble from the collapse caused the tunnel to shake, and Tigurio got up, turned and ran, aware the tunnel would collapse any second. He reached the end of the hundred-yard-long tunnel just as the collapse began, down the length of it, and sealed the door behind him before the dirt started falling in on him.

Tigurio turned to find the room occupied by a single man.

"Hello. Agares. I see you found your way to the rendezvous." Tigurio grunted, re-socketing his left shoulder.

"Same, though I see you could have fared better." The daemon-posessed Inquisitor replied.

"I was lax in my timing. Let a guardsmen get a grenade off in an armory. Shall we move on?"

"Well, I can say this, my commanders like big explosions, but you might want to focus on more cutting and breaking and less blasting. Demolishing Imperium structures does however provide some amusement..."

Tigurio shrugged, the pain ebbing with his body's augmented painkillers dispersing through his system. Striding up the corridor, Tigurio made his way for a stairwell at the end, past the door Agares probably used to access the corridor, and up several flights before opening a door, his pistol primed and in hand. He led the way as Agares kept close behind, and charged headlong into a guardsmen squad just outside the stairwell. They'd huddled against a barricade to take pot shots out the windows, but hadn't barricaded against the stairwell. Tigurio capitalized on their failure and after firing a single shot with his pistol, activated his power sword and began tearing through each guardsmen. Agares took the second squad on the platform, and howled with rage as he let loose his demonic strength.

Across the platform, another barricade had been erected, and the guardsmen there responded to the carnage with terror. Some shooting at Tigurio, most missing, and the few shots that landed on his armor were ignored as he bounded towards them. Those smart enough had already run, and the courageous ones stupid enough to stay found their folly quickly. Tigurio hacked one's head off, cleaved one from head to belly, kicked another one in the chest, and proceeded to make each kill unique from the last. Finally the hallway appeared clear. The platform was simply a portion of the palace hall that had collapsed during an explosion, but portions had remained sturdy. Stepping into the hallway proper, Tigurio strode towards the end, knowing the center of the palace held what he sought.

"With me, Agares!" He broke into a run. The daemon-Inquisitor following closely behind. Breaking through the door at the end of the hall, Tigurio smashed into a squad of storm troopers shoulder first. They did not expect such an assault, and lost the initiative. They paid heavily for being distracted, but had reason. Across the grand hall of the palace, at the governor's podium, stood a sorceror... The governor deposed, lay dead on an altar to Tzeentch, and icons glowed in the air. The storm troopers had been trying to muster for an assault, and so, they lost five men in the charge, and only one managed to survive past ten seconds. The storm trooper in question was the sergeant, armed with a power sword and plasma pistol of his own. The man backed away from Tigurio, who strode slowly forward. Agares, who had held back for a moment now stepped through the door, shouting.

"In the name of the Emperor, STOP!" Tigurio stopped, the guardsman looked puzzled, terrified, but somewhat relieved at the presence of an Inquisitor, the Inquisitorial badge hanging loosely from a chain around Agares' neck. He looked at Tigurio, and the Black Marshal detected the slightest hint of a smile before striding towards the guardsmen, straight faced.

"Everything you've seen is a blasphemy, and you must swear secrecy to it. It did not happen, you were never here." He said. The guardsmen hastily nodded, both fear and hope lighting his eyes as he did so.

"Good. With that out of the way..." Agares said, before manifesting a blade for his right hand and plunging it into the guardsmen's neck, lifting the man off the ground before slicing sideways, severing the head from the body, and grabbing the head in the air. He drank some of the blood before hurling it aside. "since you were never here, you can't hope to have an impact on the outcome." He sneered at the corpse.

"Wait here." Tigurio said, striding towards the sorceror. Agares grumbled, but did so, more as a courtesy than obedience.

"STOP!" The sorceror held out his hands, and a colorful barrier shimmered before him. "You kill the Imperium's soldiers, yet my own minions claim the Space Marines are killing them in droves." He paused. "Whom do you serve?" The sorceror's inquiry was not fearful, he sounded as though he had no fear.

"You have something of mine." Tigurio said simply.

"Oh, really? Did I take this thing from you? Did it belong to your heretic chapter?" The sorceror spat.

"No. It is mine. It will be mine. The Medallion of Oxan." Tigurio charged up his plasma pistol and power sword.

"NO! It is MINE!" The sorceror held up the medallion. A simple, crude looking stone tablet with metallic shards embedded in it. The pendant hung from a woven rope, but Tigurio could tell little else from this distance with his space marine eyes. However, his third sight confirmed the item's value, the trace of the daemon bound to it.

"It is mine, and you shall give it to me as a gift for not feeding you to Agares." He indicated the Inquisitor behind him.

"Agares? What, a daemon in a man's body? A bloothirster? I AM OXAN!" The sorceror shrieked, his voice becoming multilayered, and his body changing hues to blues and golds. "I am the changer of Ways you seek to enslave, like the daemons you already have at your command. I will not be yours so easily. You have nothing I want, and you have taken from me that which I had! As he spoke, his neck stretched, his back sprouted wings, his legs and arms extended, and he towered over Tigurio before he finished growing. Oxan manifest threw a bolt of change at Tigurio's feet, morphing the stone floor into water, the plasteel below holding the puddle Tigurio now stood in. "I could make it magma, if you prefer." The daemon snarled. "Now, make me an offer, or die.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Koval on June 16, 2010, 10:19:37 AM
"Well, let's see here, I could offer you a quick death, or a slow one, or perhaps I could evict your soul from your body, leaving you neither alive or dead until such time as I see fit to eat again," I countered, rattling off a very quick list of things I could do to this idiot; the last threat was effectively impossible, to be fair, but belittling a Tzeentchian always guarantees a laugh. "Or, considering that you might actually want your lifeline in the material world, how about I wreck your little medallion instead?"

"Agares!" Tigurio shouted, his anger plain, not entirely realising what I was getting at.

"Oh, do be quiet," I sighed, before turning back to Oxan. "So, here's our offer. Return to your medallion and come with us, quietly, willingly, and we'll give you a means to destroy the weakness in the Imperium. Change it, perhaps, into an enemy worth fighting, more rewarding to ultimately destroy."

"And if I refuse, barbarian?"

"Then I might have to get serious," I threatened, cracking my knuckles more to relieve the tension in them than to intimidate this creature. Fully manifest as he was, I was under no illusions that he could probably destroy me outright given the opportunity, but given how recently he'd manifested himself it ultimately seemed far more likely that the less time I wasted, the more of a chance I'd have to subdue him. "Trial by combat. If I win, then you'll swear fealty to us, return to your medallion, and fight for us, rather than against us. In return, we will show you honour and leniency."

"And if I win?"

"Then we will of course leave you to it," I offered, ignoring Tigurio's furious glare. "We'll be gone and you can continue your campaign of anarchy and destruction."

Oxan seemed to ponder this for a moment, perhaps considering how my exact words might undo me (I gather Lords of Change are good at doing that), before nodding in agreement.

"I accept your challenge," he rumbled, almost hesitantly.

"Good. As challenger I believe I am allowed to set the rules of engagement?"

"Stop wasting time," Tigurio snapped at me. I dismissed him with a wave of my hand.

"I grow tired of this," Oxan sighed.

"Rule number one: anything goes," I stated, hoping to appeal to Oxan's overconfidence, "provided that no mortal life is endangered in any way. This is between us, and I'd like to keep it that way. Rule number two: endangering mortal life constitutes forfeiting our challenge."

"Be silent and fight me!" Oxan shouted, his frustration plain, and almost without warning he swept forwards, driving his avian fist into my stomach and sending me flying into the wall with enough force to shatter a normal man's spine. Naturally, I'm tougher than that, but at the same time, I winced in pain once, then twice as I peeled off the wall and landed face-first on the floor. In an instant Oxan was on top of me, picking me up in one hand and punching me with the other, hammering his fist into me once, twice, three times before I caught his hand with both of my own and pulled his oversized arm down, hard, throwing him off-balance for the seconds I needed to wriggle free and retreat to the middle of the room. I was unarmed, but that mattered little.

"A good move," Oxan sneered. "Resourceful. But you are weak."

"We'll see about that. Anything goes, correct?"

Before Oxan could answer I put my hand to my mouth and whistled, the sound echoing back through the Warp and all the way to the nexus that was the seat of the Blood God's power. Harsh, guttural roars answered back and from out of the crack in the wall behind Oxan, an eerie howl preceded first one fanged lupine maw, then another, as two of Khorne's own Flesh Hounds forced their way into reality, pouncing on Oxan and landing heavily on his back even before fully materialising. Oxan staggered and hit the floor, throwing one of the hounds across the room. It twisted in midair and landed on its feet, its muscles visibly tensing beneath the hybrid of fur and scales covering its skin. Hot, sulfurous breath vented from its maw, and the rune-etched iron collar about its neck glowed menacingly, casting light across the shaggy, twisted mane behind its head. It charged again and Oxan, still pinned down by the other Flesh Hound on its back, blasted it with a ball of sorcerous flame from its outstretched hand. As I'd known it would, however, the fireball impacted on the charging Flesh Hound but dissolved into nothingness, the collar on its neck protecting it from the Lord of Change's magic.

"Forgot what Khorne despises?" I smirked, striding forwards as Oxan impossibly swatted the Flesh Hound out of midair as it leapt, ignoring the other even as it chewed at his wings. It most likely didn't need them, all things considered, but ignoring a Flesh Hound is rarely intelligent and Oxan knew it, reaching up to grab the Flesh Hound on his back and snap its neck like a reed.

For all I was trying to goad him, Oxan was still a stronger being by far, not to mention faster and, frankly, more intelligent.

"You insult me by calling for reinforcements," Oxan snarled, pounding the other Flesh Hound flat with his fists as it came for him again. "You are a warrior of Khorne. Fight me, rather than hide behind minions!"

"Gladly, but first I'll need a weapon, won't I?" I retorted, backing off towards the makeshift altar and holding my right arm out over it, almost straight down, palm directly facing the Eye of Tzeentch on its surface.

"What do you think you are doing?" Oxan growled, a low rumble just on the edge of mortal hearing.

"Something I'm going to regret later, because frankly, I like this arm," I sniped, wincing as the tip of a blade forced its way out through my palm.

"What are you --" Oxan began, but by this time I'd extruded another eighteen inches of blade from my arm, not even half the weapon's length, and I couldn't suppress a gasp of pain as my hand practically exploded and the rest of the sword, hilt and all, shot out and embedded itself in the altar, driving itself through the eye at its centre. In an instant I felt a shift in whatever power was running through the room, and suddenly Oxan was rushing towards me, leaving me with little time to react. Using my good hand I grabbed my hellblade, ripped it out of the altar, and turned to spit Oxan on it, driving the Warp-forged weapon through his belly and effectively taking the fight out of him. For good measure I tipped him onto his back before pinning him in place with my foot, and hacked off his arms.

"I think it's fair to say I've beaten you," I grinned, grimacing as the pain from my ruined hand flared up again. I'd be able to repair it given time, but right now it -- and the rest of my right arm, actually -- constituted little more than mutilated flesh.

Oxan cawed weakly, trying to manifest another sorcerous attack, but with my blade now at his throat I'll warrant he found that a bit difficult.

"Tigurio? The medallion, if you don't mind."
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on June 17, 2010, 12:11:41 AM
Tigurio stretched out his hand towards the altar, his helmet cast aside from all the damage it had sustained. His palm and his forehead glowed brightly as the medallion levitated and then gravitated slowly towards Tigurio, he moved his arm, now pointing it at Agares and Oxan. He pulled the medallion back to him with his mind, and as he did so, Oxan began to dematerialize, his essence flowing like wisps of shadow and smoke towards the medallion. Tigurio clasped his fingers around the stone and metal icon as the essence of Oxan continued to flow, feeling the power of the daemon as the pendant grew heavy. The stone medallion began to change as the last of Oxan's essence filled it, glowing and then darkening to a point where for a second, it absorbed light and made a shadow in the air around Tigurio.

"Good." He said as the essence settled, morphing the medallion through various stone and metal types, gold, mercury sulfide, marble, iron, amber, and so forth. The daemon's former host squirmed for a moment, sword embedded in his stomach, then flopped back to the ground, dead. "Now, let's get going." He said to Agares. They left the chamber, and Tigurio voxed his marines. "All forces prepare for immediate extraction. Strike Cruiser target the palace. Once we're clear raze the city from the palace outward. Radial sweep. Leave nothing standing this time." He made his way down a stairway, past guardsmen who warily regarded him. "Retreat to your fallback positions." He commanded them. "Re-enforcements are on their way."

"But sir. This is our fallback position!" Tigurio turned and leveled his plasma pistol at the man.

"There was a daemon in the governor's hall. The storm troopers there failed to contain it, now it is loose. This palace is about to be razed for daemonic taint." He spoke as if he were still loyal. His third eye had disappeared, to the casual observer, and these men were weak minded. They believed he was on their side. "The Inquisition is here. Make for the outskirts of the city. Your nearest fallback position on the fringe of the city. There, you will be collected for re-assignment." The guardsmen snapped a salute.

"Sir!" He turned to his men. "Alright. Let's get going. Further we are from the blast, the better." The others didn't seem so convinced, but as the guardsmen in charge was most fooled by Tigurio's powers, they had no choice. As he strode off, the guardsmen made their way down a separate road. "Sir, which way are you headed?" He called out.

"To an extraction point. I am needed elsewhere." Was all he said. He was not interested in killing these men himself. He grew weary of butchering these mewlings, and simply wished to vacate the world so it could be destroyed. "Come, Inquisitor Agares." He said, a hint of irony in his voice. "Let's get you to the apothecary..." His smile would have seemed out of place to an Inquisitor. This city was a travesty, but Agares smiled back.

"And perhaps a nice, bloody steak." He grinned, his teeth had mutated, turning sharklike, in rows. A second later, he realized they'd done so, and focussed on suppressing them, causing them to return to normal. The thunderhawk took a minute to arrive, and landed quickly, the embarkation ramp dropping as it descended. Before it had touched down completely, Tigurio had stepped onboard, and several marines from various parts of the city had appeared, each approaching the thunderhawk quickly. One carried a wounded battle brother, whom Tigurio came back out of the ship to help aboard. Once all thirty were onboard, he ordered a quick ascent.



Orbiting the world, Tigurio looked down upon its surface. Five hive cities had been destroyed so far. One before his arrival, another by terrorists on the surface, and the other three by his own strike cruiser. He hadn't ordered use of a virus bomb, as he had a small supply and didn't wish to waste it, but there was another problem. The navigator had detected two translations from the Warp just outside the system in the time since he'd gone to the surface. The first translation had yeilded a small fleet of Imperial navy vessels, mostly attack craft, and one battle ship. The second translation was further out of the system, and yeilded only a sword class frigate and an unidentifiable pre-heresy ship. None of this surprised Tigurio. He'd expected Imperial Navy ships to come and quash this rebellion.

"Seems we're going to have company." Agares said, looking out the window as a sixth hive recieved death. "You enjoy doing this... striking from a distance?" He sounded disgusted.

"I enjoy seeing my work as a whole. I prefer to strike my opponent face to face, but I grow sick of slaughtering sheep. I need to see this world purged with fire... just as you needed to get some fresh air and challenge a being much more powerful than yourself." He turned to face Agares. His eyes agleam with fervor. "I will break down the Imperium, planet by planet, world by world, and I will rebuild it into something you can be proud to fight against!" Agares regarded Tigurio with a calm reserved for priests listening to confession and doctors listening to lunatics.

"As much as that is all well and good, you still do not appease Khorne by simply burning a world. Nachtsterben might enjoy watching a world get virus bombed, and Syladril might enjoy hearing a billion deathscreams echoing in the warp... But ultimately, we who are a part of Khorne enjoy only the carnage of battle. We do not like exterminatus. It serves a purpose, and I understand it, but do not be in the habit of exterminating, or Chaos will have no enemy with which to fight."

"You may get your fight. The Imperial Navy fleet is closing fast, and from various angles. We won't be able to approach a safe jump point without first fighting our way through." Tigurio said, once again turning to the world burning beneath his ship.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on June 17, 2010, 12:58:04 AM
Nero had returned to the bridge as the ship broke from the warp Draconis standing before him looking out over the systems, they were too far away to be able to see the ships of Tigurio but the damage he was delivering onto the world burned like wildfire on it's surface.

"Roll out all gun batteries, and get firing solutions, we do not give this bastard change to run."

He looked around the bridge as he crew went to work the lights of the bridge dimmed to near darkness as the ship went to full battle readiness, he looked to the giant view port as the blast shutters closed, reducing the view to only a few feet.

"Sync in with Draconis' ships and co-ordinate our deployment, we are the heavier battle ship so we'll lead the attack supported by Draconis' sword class."

He looked to the terminal before him.

"Bring up full tactical displays and alert our assault teams."

He looked over the information before him and plotted their assault course relaying it to navigation.

"Engineering, bring me to combat speed, lets show these fools how the old Imperium fights."

There was a murmour of agreement from the veterans on the bridge, Draconis looked round noting that most of them were either Death Guard or Luna Wolves, they each oversaw aspects of the bridge in particular to those regarding battle stations, he turned back to Nero.

"What do you want me to do?"

"Overseen the communication channels and assist my crew in coordinating with your ships." 

Lomak entered the bridge looking around as the ship fell into full battle readiness.

"I can deploy my ship."

"Not yet, your ship will be more use at closer quarters, we'll keep it in reserve for now."

Frowning Lomak moved up to stand behind Nero so he could watch proceedings.

"Divert power from none essential systems an bring the shields to full power, rotate the frequencies and prepare for full combat."

A smile crossed his lips as he looked across the bridge.

++

Retribution Sought powered on through the void coming to full combat speed the powerful pre-heresy ship heading towards the world.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on June 17, 2010, 04:36:46 AM
"Captain," Draconis began shortly after examining the comms station. "We have contacts off the starboard side. Imperial Navy, one battlecruiser, several frigates and assault ships. They are hailing us!"

"Onscreen." Nero said, simply.

"Identify yourself." A naval officer said simply, his image splayed across the viewscreen.

"I am Draconis Argentus Falzone, Imperial Fists." He began. "I have been dispatched on a special mission, and granted Inquisitorial authority for that purpose." He held up the badge he'd been given. "We also have an Inquisitor in our midst, should you question my authority in these matters."

"I am Inquisitor Lomak." Lomak stood forward, but cut to the chase. "We do not have time for formalities. Regardless of why you are in system, we are here to bring to justice a renegade Black Templar marshal, one Tigurio Falzone." The naval officer's face betrayed a look of surprise, before anger overtook it. "He is in system, bombarding the hive cities of the capital world."

"Send me your targeting information. I will assist in any way I can." The man, Draconis could now make out the markings on his uniform, was a captain, and at least one hundred years before the mast. The comms screen darkened, and Draconis punched various runes to send the tactical readout of the system.

"Sir." A marine monitoring the sensor arrays turned back to Nero. "I'm reading a space-time flux around Tigurio Falzone's strike cruiser. Energy readings off the chart."

"He's making a warp jump?" Nero asked.

"Negative. Gellar fields remain inactive aboard his ship. Some sort of weapon or shielding system may be in use, though I've never seen these readings before." Nero, Draconis and Lomak all scowled at the screen.

"What are you up to, uncle?" Draconis whispered, looking into the darkness.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on June 18, 2010, 01:43:33 PM
"Tass?"

"Launch assault craft and see what secrets they hold while we move into extreme range and prepare for bombardment."

Nero nodded and Tass relayed the orders moments later a wing of human piloted assault craft screamed from the launch  bays.

"Have Brak split his teams between thunderhawk, and torpedo assault teams, ready the Luna Wolves for a teleport attack."

All the while the ship had been closing with Falzone's strike cruiser, Nero's larger ship boasted long range lances from the heresy era the powerful weapons cycled to life as they came into extreme range.

"Get firing solutions and open fire, show them we mean business from the off set, there will be no parley."

The large dorsal weapons swung into firing trajectories and seconds later bright red streaks tore across the void.  

"Slow advance until we see what this anomaly is, prep broadsides if we can present one to her we'll rip her open."
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on June 18, 2010, 08:13:46 PM
The Navy captain's ship sat dormant in the void. Draconis watched the sensors detecting a magnetic field spike along the ventral ridge of the ship. Looking up at the monitor screen, he couldn't make out what the source of the power was until he saw a flash of light, starting at the back of the ship, and coruscating to the front in so much less than second that without his augmented eyes, he would have simply seen the ship glow. The instant it vanished, there was stillness in the vessel, as all the lights dimmed and even the aft thrusters flickered. The next moment, a bright star detonated in the void, just past the planet Tigurio was orbiting, but on the wrong side to do anything to the Black Marshal.

"Captain!" Draconis turned to Nero. "The anomaly is presenting some form of repulsion effect. That nova cannon should not have missed by so much as it did."

"Perhaps, Brother Falzone," Nero turned, his stern face a mask. "But, remember, Nova cannons are unpredictable at best. It is possible the one aboard our allie's ship is poorly calibrated. Do not assume one miss to signify repulsion technology."

"Sir." Draconis nodded and turned back to the console. He was not as familiar with actual naval combat operations, as he had mostly spent his training in boarding actions, not command hubs.

"Incoming!" One of the marines nearby called out. "Unidentified projectile approaching at assault speed."

"Brace for impact!" Nero called out, as he watched the viewscreen. At first there was nothing on the monitor, but the cogitator and logic engine quickly zoomed in on a distant object, trajectory of origin approximately Tigurio's strike cruiser. A purple, coruscating ball of energy, with tendrils and streams of hellfire trailing behind it swept across the void of space. The logic engine singled out an entity within. A boarding torpedo. But, no boarding torpedo had the technology to manifest warp energy as a shielding. Draconis watched, and called it just as Nero did. "Daemonic assault!"



Tigurio watched things unfold momentarily. Fortunate for him the Nova cannon missed by so much. His crew had not expected such a weapon, and he knew he would have to close the distance with the naval vessel that fired such a weapon before they could reload and re-arm.

"Full speed at that battleship!" He commanded. "Launch thunderhawks to intercept the incoming assault boats!" He sat back in his throne. The four acquired daemon artefacts now secured within the reliquary in his chambers, Tigurio had left it to his Black Apostle, Ganosh - formerly an Ultramarines Chaplain, the marine had been working against the Imperium for a thousand years before Tigurio recruited him - to carry out the ritual binding of the four. Combined with a technological piece he'd stolen from the Eldar, which Techmarine Tansis was reverse engineering into the ship's own hardware, Tigurio knew he had to escape this battle. Not to avoid damnation or death, simply because he had more work to do.

"Arm the shroud." He said softly. "Let them wonder where we went."

"Sir." Tansis spoke through the vox. "The Shroud of Sulsan is not yet operable. I need five minutes, even then, the technology will be unstable. A year with this monstrous wonderful artefact, and I could still find something new..." The hollow voice seemed to get quieter, more reverent.

"Arm the shroud, or it will be Koradon's duty, and you will make a new servitor for his purpose!" Tigurio growled into the vox.

"Shroud is connected to the ship's power supply, and I am cycling its activation rites. Thirty seconds until activation."
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on June 20, 2010, 10:08:45 PM
Nero growled as Flazone's ship vanished he consulted the pulpit at his side and hissed his orders

"They have Eldar technology, plot projected courses and fire all weapons, instruct assault boats to fire payloads and withdraw."

His eyes snapped up.

"Order them to draw those thunderhawks in close to the ship we'll pluck them from the void, ready our own thunderhawks."

He moved from the pulpit to stand beside Draconis as the boarding torpedo shattered the forward shields and dug into the hull of his ship.

"Status on the shields?"

"Down, they used a gellar field to disrupt the shield arrays."

"Recalibrate and get them back up."

He strode over to the pulpit again.

"Put me through to Sol."

A moments pause.

"Captain?"

"We have a hull breach, upper forward compartment delta seven, be warned of a daemonic presence."

"Understood."

Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on June 22, 2010, 12:02:32 AM
Sol moved through the ship at the head of twenty marines each of their armour a oily black like his own, the gold of the armour shone brightly, each carried finely worked bolter every one of them a work of art, swords hung from hips ready to be drawn at a moments notice. Sol strode proudly his head exposed unlike the marines under his command, he'd picked the trait up from Soloman all those years ago, though they shared the same name Sol had always been held as a sergeant never a captain now under Nero's command he'd risen to be one of his lieutenants a commander in his own right.

"Fan out at the next intersection and secure, Lucas go right, Isaac left."

The two sergeants obeyed without question leading the men under them left and right leaving him with ten marines.

"Specials to the fore we hold here and wait for what ever comes through, remember concentrate fire on the daemons first."

He'd fought enough daemons during their campaign an he feared little that this universe could throw against him yet even now he could feel a darkness building on the other side of the emergency bulk head, it sent a shiver down his spine. He loosened up his power sword and checked his side arm one last time, the sword had been with him all his life and had seen every foe mortal and daemon alike sent reeling he had no fear as the sounds of the breaching team beyon worked.

"Remember a perfect defences comes from the timely application of a perfect offence, we hold here before we push these bastards back."

"Maybe we can help with that aspect."

Sol turned looking back over his men and allowed himself a cold smile. Brak strode with five of his hounds each of them bore a storm shield in their off hands and heavy chain axes in their main hands, bolt pistols hung at their hips but Sol knew they were mainly for show, they came to a stop Brak nodding at the door.

"One team, they have confidence, in their superiority."

"Or they have something they think can tip the battle."

"Good thing we do too."

"Get down behind my men Brak, stay out of sight until we're ready to counter their attack."

"Strike from the shadows, you know Sol you're more like me than you'd admit."

Sol sneered as he turned back to the bulkhead."
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on June 22, 2010, 05:22:24 AM
Jessup Takon leveled his meltagun at the bulkhead door once more. A perverse amalgamation of flesh and metal stood beside him, roaring its displeasure, or perhaps pleasure at the situation. Its arms extended before it, a long metal tube protruding began to glow at the tip before discharging a burst of light into the blast door. The obliterator laughed as the tube widened, as if liquid, shortened, and became a missile launcher. Takon fired another blast of his meltagun, searing an arc of red-orange across the metal before a single krak missile flew forward into the door, punching a hole no larger than a bolter round, but as it did, a Black Knight ran forward to spray prometheum through the hole before another marine dragged him back to the breaching barricade. When Takon saw that the flamer-weilding maniac had also dropped a meltabomb, he ducked behind the barricade, and only the obliterator stood as the room filled with dazzling white, then orange, then red. As the fusion bomb's glow faded, all the marines opened fire through the smoke.

Bolter fire erupted from both sides of the blast door, and Takon lifted a hand, swinging it forward before an unearthly chorus of roars swept past him, seven bloodletters, and an Inquisitor ran forward through the smoke, followed closely by Brother Albador. Brother Albador had a cheerful disposition, he couldn't help it. He knew his death was iminent, and had laughed with his fellow brethren about how horrid it could be. He laughed, and he stank, and he rotted. Brother Albador bore the mark of Nurgle. He carried a heavy bolter with him into the hallway, and as the bloodletters leapt over the barricade on the other side, he planted his feet on the plasteel as he readied the heavy bolter. The floorboards rusting as he stood there. Albador opened fire into the melee, and laughed all the while bolterfire sprayed back into him.

From behind the defending lines, a new foe sprung. Takon snarled as he saw a squad with storm shields and chainaxes. The traitor smiled slightly as he realized the irony. These marines who fought for the Emperor wore the colors of traitors. He and his brethren, traitors to the Emperor, fought under the colors of a loyalist chapter. Such ironies made him grin. With that, Takon ordered his men forward. All of them.

The hallway was narrow, but the first Emperor's Children squad had fallen back several yards, while the World Eaters marines held, slaying most of the bloodletter daemons, and sending the renegade Inquisitor flying backwards into the breach.

From the breach, two squads of Black Knights charged, chainswords revving and bolt pistols firing. Takon's squad entered the fray first, filling the gap from the bloodletters, running over Brother Albador's corpse in the process.

The second squad opened fire as the corridor opened up, spraying bolterfire down the halls to either side. The squads that had been sent to secure the area returned fire, sending withering hails of bolterfire.

Takon died seconds later, his squad no match for ten millenia experienced veteran marines. His men slaughtered to a man, the dead Black Knights made a fitting barricade as they were heaped up, but what waited in the darkness beyond the breach found their deaths more fitting as sacrifice to its own immortal desires. A hideous laugh filled the air as a greater daemonette of Slaanesh manifested in the boarding torpedo. A laugh that reached into the minds and souls of those still living and made them realize what horrors she would inflict upon them. As she strode through the breach, she stood in the high-rising hallway at her full height. Five meters tall, the daemonette unfurled a flaming lash and a sword materialized in two of her hands. The other three held variants of knives or daggers, each with a cruel, yet unique edge.

"Come, mortals. Join your fallen brethren! I bring the end of Man!" As she said this, she cracked her psionic whip and one of the nearby squads fell back to a nearby location. Bolterfire seemed to miss or simply pass through her semi-corporeal form, and as she neared, a new scream echoed through the breach just before a swarm of cultists came surging through.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Koval on June 22, 2010, 08:58:39 AM
Totally separate from the rest of the carnage, I flattened myself against the wall at a T-junction as a squad of Space Marines blundered up the corridor beside me, thankfully turning right rather than left otherwise they'd have probably gunned me down quite easily. I couldn't quite make out their livery but judging by their colouration, I think they might've been Death Guard.

No matter. I didn't really care for their allegiance; I just wanted to be as far away from Space Marines as possible. Although fights involving the Astartes tend to be fast and bloody affairs by definition, I couldn't really afford to let myself be tied down, even though I'd effectively foregone a prime opportunity to shed the blood of heroes.

It chafed at me, but Khorne's martial disciplines also encompass complex strategy and sabotage, and naturally, being something of a rogue element made me a prime candidate for this mission; after all, the longer I dallied, the greater our chances of failure, and Khorne's not too fond of stupid decisions.

While the ground pounders slaughtered each other and distracted the defenders, and while Tigurio went about whatever he was getting up to, my job was to disable the ship's generarium.

Stealth, however, is rather difficult when you're carrying a giant, irregularly serrated zweihänder on your back, and when you only have one functional hand. The arm was healing well, and the patrols that had discovered me so far had made for a good meal, not to mention a source of replacement flesh, but for all the good it was at the moment, it might as well have stayed as a tangle of bloody rags. Human frailty is something I've still not entirely gotten used to.

I'd resorted to a chainsword over the hellblade for the time being, the simple, mechanical, physical reliability of the weapon easily making up for the sheer power of the Warp-sword, not to mention it makes a bloody mess everywhere, which is the important thing.

The Space Marines had missed me -- how, I'll never know -- but the next security patrol I encountered had no such ill fortune (though depending on how you look at it, the Space Marines were the lucky ones). These patrols travelled in threes, possibly as an extra security measure so that at least one of them could raise an alarm; all of them had shotguns, not powerful enough to blast a hole in a starship wall but certainly capable of reducing a man to chunks of meat.

I'd done it myself only two patrols ago with a gun I'd looted, but not having a second hand to rack the slide, and not really being in the best position to operate it by any other means, I'd discarded it almost instantly.

"Halt," ordered the patrol leader, and I had a flash of inspiration.

"Inquisition," I stated, dropping my chainsword and producing Dakarai Khama's rosette with the other. Belatedly, I wondered if I still looked like him, but if the patrol leader hadn't just outright assumed I wasn't who I said I was then I'd have been dodging buckshot by now, so I had to assume that I'd not spontaneously mutated again.

"Why aren't you on the bridge with Lord Falzone?" asked another crewman.

"Bones o' the saints!" exclaimed the third, and I suppressed the urge to wince. "What 'appened to your 'and?"

"Bolter shell," I lied. "Listen. There's no time for idle chatter. We've been boarded by the renegades. There's a powerful entity, a Warp creature, making its way to the aft of the ship. I believe he's going for the Warp drive or the generarium. He wants to cripple the ship."

"We'll be sitting targets if that happens," observed the second, fear creeping into his voice.

"Which is why I need to get there," I told them, stooping to pick up my chainsword. "So let me pass."

"Understood, Inquisitor," nodded the patrol leader, standing aside with his men behind him. Inwardly, I sneered. They'd lined themselves up perfectly. Too perfectly.

Chainsword practice.

I swept past them, and before they even knew what had happened I'd taken all three of their heads off with a single clean sweep; they didn't even have time to scream.

Not even stopping to watch the blood spray out from their necks (not to mention stain my Inquisition disguise), I rushed off towards the nearest large energy signature, pausing only to wait for another patrol to go past before running in the direction of what I thought was the generarium.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on June 22, 2010, 09:24:40 AM
Brak snapped his weapon up into a firm hold as he looked over his shoulder at Sol, their forces had not survived undamaged several of Sol's men were injured and three were dead he looked at his own one would never fight again his throat torn open blood pooling at his feet, another had lost an arm, he'd discarded his shield in favour of his axe an stood with the others.

"Someone should have told you bitch, we are not men here. We are Astartes!"

With a snap of his arm Sol's men refocussed their fire driving the rounds into the chest of the daemon Sol stepped forward his power sword crackling as he took place between Brak and the others. They charged sword and axes swinging in against the daemon Sol slid under the swinging sword raking his own blade across the flesh of the daemon before being swatted back he landed heavily rolling to his knees he watched as Brak and the other World Eaters hacked at the daemon.

Brak moved like quicksilver stepping aside from the daemons weapons his axe clove great lines across the flesh to no effect, one of his marines exploded in blood as the sword smashed through his chest another was split in two as the lash snapped out cutting through his armour as though it were parchment, yet another died three daggers punching through his armour his death throws tied up the weapons and Brak clove one clean off as he stepped up to help his brother. The daemon howled in glee the arm growing back almost instantly.

Sol stood his sword snapping out to swat aside a cultist his marines has changed their aim cutting the cultists down in a brutal field of controlled fire he made to rejoin the fight with Brak before a voice thundered in his mind.

"Stand aside Sol."

He obeyed instantly as a spear shot past him the blade burning fire as it struck the daemon squarely in the chest, it recoiled howling, Brak snarled the sound an equal for the daemonic howl casting his shield aside he took his axe in a two handed grip and swung it into the face of the daemon the teeth bite the daemon's flesh sending gore spraying across the corridor. Sol turned and watched as a crimson armoured marine strode down the corridor he stepped past Sol his face hidden behind his helm his eyes glowing purple behind the lenses.

"Raneb?"

"Clear the area you are no match for this."

"You heard the Thousand Son, kill the cultists, Brak fall back."

Brak snapped his head round seeing Raneb he turned again slashing the axe across the daemon again before stooping and collecting his shield before stepping back. Raneb stepped forward and with a flick of his wrist the spear flew back to his hand.

"Come meet your end daemon."

++

+Sol?+

He paused as the vox link activated.

"Captain?"

+There is someone abroad on my ship, reports of Legio security teams being found dead towards the aft, suspected target are..+

"The warp drives or the generarium."

Brak shouted out having listened in on the vox traffic.

"I can handle these humans, go."

He turned to his men.

"Isaac, Lucas take your men, head for the warp drives and secure them, the rest of you with me."

He headed off in the direction of the generarium, the fact that someone or something had slipped past them galled him, the fact that they were now killing the human crew of the ship stung, he pushed his body as he surged down the corridor risking a glance over his shoulder as Brak slaughtered the cultists using his shield as as weapon smashing the men down with ease.

++

Nero stepped back from the pulpit and turned in his robes he was still a head taller than the nearest marine and he strode across the bridge towards the exit.

"Tass you have the bridge, continue to fire on a dispersed pattern  until you get a confirmed hit, then launch boarding torpedo's lets see how Falzone likes being boarded."

He left the bridge heading for his quarters.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on June 22, 2010, 10:18:53 AM
"Lord." A rating pettitioned Tigurio's ear. "The ancient ship... It seems to have calculated our trajectory, master." The whelpling human cringed as Tigurio's helmeted visage turned a burning third eye towards him. "They are firing closer to us."

"Evasive maneuvers. Roll the ship if you have to. Get us below the planetary plane and bring us back up in the middle of the main fleet. Load bombard cannons with maximum payload, and fire only on my command!" Tigurio spoke through clenched teeth.

Remember... You must fulfill your end of the bargain, or we shall shred your soul and share the morsels it yeilds... You have become a powerful psyker, Falzone, but you are no match for us...

Yes, Oxan. I can see just how powerful you are, when a bloodletter of Khorne, bound in a mortal frame can best you in single combat. I shall keep in mind just how god-like you can be.

Mock me if you like. It will only make tormenting you before devouring my portion of you sweeter...

"Tansis, on my mark, re-route power from the shroud to the shield generators. Give me full broadside shielding, with fifty percent on prow and stern shields."

"Yes... Lord..." Tansis' reticence to respond struck Tigurio as belligerent, but he couldn't tell for sure, not with Mechanicum. This Tansis was of the Dark Mechanicum cult. He was as much daemon as machine, and only a sliver remained human. As far as Tigurio could make out, they had the capacity to hate, like daemons. As such, Tigurio kept an even closer eye on the techmarines and techpriests under his command.

"Perpare another boarding party." He finally spoke. "This time, give them our World Eaters." Tigurio smiled. He'd recieved broken vox messages from the initial boarding party. Pre-heresy traitor legion colors, specifically those of Fulgrim and Angron's legions. Possibly more. "Let us see how World Eaters deal with World Eaters."

"Lord!" Another lickspit spoke up. "We are out of the firing lane of the pre-heresy ship, but we are detecting an anomaly in our wake. Another energy field like our shroud... Feth. Target lock. Druuchi..."

"Dark Eldar?" Tigurio interrupted.

"Yes. Dark Eldar on fast approach from the planet's orbit. They must have webways in system. There was no warp translation."

"Spare me your commentary, whelp, but thank you. Full speed ahead into the Imperial fleet. Drop cloak on my mark." The ship lurched as it corrected from a galactic down-bubble angle to an up angle, swinging towards the naval vessel. Nero's ship continued to fire, spreading its shots into the void surrounding the Naval vessels, but carefully missing.

"Incoming!" A marine at an arms platform shouted.

"All hands, brace for impact!" Tigurio shouted across the vox net as the ship ploughed through the salvoes of scattered cannonfire. As the ship passed halfway through the barrage zone, a cannonshell struck square in the side of the strike cruiser, exploding in a thunderhawk hangar. "Damage report!"

"Hangar Four and Five on the starboard side are inoperable. Six is sealed off, and the surrounding chambers are being sealed as well. We cannot whether more hits like that!" A rating called out. Tigurio snapped a bolter round in the back of the woman's head.

"We will take as many hits as we must!" Tigurio snarled, then tapped the vox rune "Tansis. NOW." The ship's shields hummed to life, void shields projecting into the warp. At the same time, the cloaking field deactivated. No sooner than the naval fleet was alerted to their proximity, the Space Marines battle barge opened up with all dorsal bombard cannons towards the flagship. They were almost through the bombardment field, and would soon be too close for a loyalist to risk hitting Imperium ships.

As Tigurio maneuvered his ship, the Dark Eldar pirate ships, each no more than the size of a sword class frigate, lurked in the void. The two ships had a firing solution on Tigurio, but if they could avoid announcing themselves, they would.

As Tigurio began to come around the back of the fleet, and as the fleet broke to try and level broadsides on Tigurio's ship, he ordered a boarding torpedo launch, sending one last torpedo at Nero's ship.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on June 22, 2010, 01:38:00 PM
"Fire Boarding torpedoes!"

Tass shouted as they weathered the fire being pumped into them, he held onto the pulpit as the ship rocked from a series of salvoes but maintained his footing looking to the bridge crew.

"Damage teams to all levels, Legio assault teams prepare to repel borders, all Astartes to arms."

He watched as their own torpedoes screamed across the void slamming into Flazone's ship where Flazone had sent two they'd sent a dozen, it told Tass alot about the foe he was facing.

"We have more Astartes then they do."

 He smiled as he shouted out his orders.

"Bring us around and give them another broadside."

++

Nero slid his helm on having donned his armour he turned collecting his weapons he spoke into a close bead link within his helm.

"Are we set?"

"On your orders."

"Engage."

He turned as blue light coruscated across his armoured form a moment later he was standing in a darkened corridor, a human looked up into his armoured helm fear drawing across their face, he looked down at the degenerate wretch, the cultists dropped his weapon and turned to flee as more teleportation bubbles popped behind him, Nero leapt forward driving his fist into the wretches spine his fist punched clean through shattering his ribs as he collapsed Nero flicked the gore off his hand, he turned to regard the marines behind him, all Luna Wolves they held sword and pistol all save the marine at their head he possessed a pair of bolt pistols a further pair strapped to his hips.

"Grave."

"Captain."

"Where was the target."

"Port side, rear compartments."

"Engineering."

Grave nodded.

"How long do we have?"

"Ten minutes, or until Falzone looks like he's going to jump to warp."

"Forward then, kill everything in sight."

He strode off down the corridor

++

Brak slammed the last of the cultists head into the wall plating shattering the skull under his hand, he growled and panted like a beast as he circled looking down the corridor Raned and the daemon had vanished, their battle taking them back towards the boarding torpedo.

"Captain, are you responding?"

It was Skraal one of his sergeants he gathered his rage swallowing it deep within himself.

"What!"

"We have reports coming from the lower decks, Astartes have boarded us in a second location they say they're us."

Brak snarled, world eaters their fallen kin he turned the snarl into a vicious howl.

"Meet me there, we will butcher our weak kin without aid."

He set off in the direction of the lower decks.

++

In the wake of their launch and the absence of Captain Brak the command of the boarding party fell to Maarl he consulted his helm before waving those marines under his command forward each one bore storm shields and chain axes, several of them carried plasma pistols and they all bore krak and melta grenades. As the entered the first junction he spotted a group of cultists roaring his confidence he stormed ahead unleashing his fury in a bloody assault four were dead before the rest of his marines were on them and tearing them apart, in the bloody and brief combat.

"You know your destinations place the metla charges and get out, we can not afford to linger."

He dismissed the strike teams and led his own team down into the bowels of the ship
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on June 22, 2010, 10:36:02 PM
"Lord! We are boarded!" A cultist shouted to Tigurio. "The torpedoes have struck in the Enginarium, starboard launch bays and the forward assault bay! Reports indicate a full hundred space marines, Pre-heresy World Eaters colors!" Tigurio turned to the fanatic.

"Good!" He bellowed, as he pressed a rune on his arm. "Xanthetus! Spring the trap!"

Tigurio had deigned to send a small measure of men. A sacrifice of his own to unleash hell aboard the enemy ship, but also a piecemeal offering of those bloody bastards in red. Figuring he could doubly do away with them as well as put a dent in the enemy. The reason? To keep the majority of his army aboard his own ship.

"Hell hath fury, like no other." Tigurio snarled. "Cultists of Chaos, DIE FOR ME!" He shouted across the vox net.

Four marine sergeants had been sent with one of the four daemonic artefacts to a segment of the ship. The Nurgle knife, Nachtsterben had been sent into the Enginarium, and as that was Tigurio's greatest concern, he condemned the trespassers there to a plagueridden hell, as a hundred cultists each drank a goblet of poison, while the marine leading them in the chant slit his own throat with the dagger. A Deathguard marine, he probably would have survived the damage, but the symbolic act was far greater, as it opened wide the hellmaw, engulfing him with the essence imbued in the dagger. As he became posessed with the greater daemon of Nurgle, each cultist who had slumped over so recently began to rot, decay, bloat and grow bony protrusions from their flesh. Horns and spikes from heads and elbows, the rotted cultists rose once more, chanting insane blather and profanity against life.

Tigurio, listening to the voxcast dirge of the dead began to laugh, as thousands died aboard the ship, a world eater drank from the goblet of Khorne while his cultists gored themselves, and each other. The Thousand Sons sorceror wielding the Medallion of Oxan sliced his own tongue down the middle, before licking the stone pendant, its weird energies shooting out from him like lightning, mutating half his cultist company and setting the other half on fire. The last act of atrocity onboard the ship was that of the longsword Tigurio had given to a noise marine. The maniac swallowed the sword, throwing his head back and plunging the blade straight down. The cultists around him overdosed on pleasure drugs and pain inducing toxins, while sonic weapons discharged into the crowd until their bodies were overtaken by daemonettes that luridly enjoyed themselves momentarily.

Such improvised daemon summoning was surely not to last long, but each daemon army had a segment of ship to fight for. Nachtsterben in the Enginarium, Blackpraise guarded the Munitorium, Oxan was tasked with holding and retaking all hangars, and Syladril spread its forces to the command, housing training and Navigation areas.

Such arrayed, Tigurio unleashed the remaining Black Knights to perform security sweeps, while the daemons held their respective areas. Other chaos marines, some as old as the Age of Apostasy, had been stationed in their respective zone, corresponding with the daemons they aligned with.

"Come aboard my ship, like I hadn't expected it?" Tigurio snarled. "You shall only serve as fodder."



Draconis looked at the tactical readouts. "Sir..." He looked around, spotting Tass, "I think you should see this."

"What is it?" The aged marine strode over, faster than expected.

"Look there." He pointed on the screen, an energy field sat where there should be none. "It reads similar to Tigurio's cloaking technology, but the signature is more subtle, I would have disregarded it as interference from the star, perhaps a solar flare, but it's too steady, and it can't be a shadow of Tigurio's cloaking device. I was able to track that, after a fashion..." Tass interrupted before Draconis could continue.

"Then why didn't you help with a firing solution?"

"I couldn't." He raised a hand to placate Tass, as if to ask for one moment to explain. "I didn't know what I was seeing. Had it happened before, I would have known the exact location of Tigurio's ship. Look here." He said as he replayed on a separate screen the anomaly. "There, the energy dips below the galactic plane, slightly, as if diving to spike itself into the other naval cluster." He paused the screen. "But look now, there is a second anomaly, it spiked for a moment, as if appearing form nowhere. Not a warp translation, something else." He paused. "I've never seen anything like it, but judging from what Nero said was aboard my uncle's ship, I would say we have an Eldar ship of some sort observing this battle." Tass stood back for a second, then switched to Cthonic Battle Cant, voxed Nero, and bent back over.

"Good eye, Falzone, you'll make the fists proud." He stood and walked back to the command pulpit. "Xeno target detected, follow Sergeant Falzone's coordinate placements, and give me a single broadside cutting short of the alien target." Tass' orders were followed swiftly, the ship shifting slightly meant the broadsides targeting Tigurio would only have partial range, but the warning volley fired at the Eldar craft would hopefully deter them enough to allow him to redirect towards Falzone. "Only good xeno is a dead one."
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on June 23, 2010, 12:15:05 AM
Maarl led his astartes with deft brutal skill he moved through the ship knowing his bearings he was headed for a major power conduit, Nero and Brak had instructed them to ignore the obvious targets they were to lay waste across the ship, a dozen acts of sabotage to conduits and service lines, alone they would be nothing but combined they could cripple the ship, rob it's forward sections of life support and power, bleed pressure from the Hydraulic systems that powered the gun decks and launch bays, she'd still be able to fly and to jump to warp but there would be few that could survive long with her cold airless insides.

He stopped sniffing the air it had become thick with blood and filth, a sickly sweetness and a acidic tang he swallowed back his rising gore and growled.

"Witchcraft."

His hand snapped left and right and the ten marines behind him fanned out.

"Find the conduit, there should be an access down that way get it open and the charges planted."

Two of his marines broke from the group while the rest held their ground.

"Pistols."

The each drew their pistols as the first of the enemy came into sight world eaters their armour long stained red with gore, as a single body the men under Maarl fired their rounds dropping the first of them then like quicksilver then swapped to chain axes and combat was begun brutal and blood the two groups of world easters clashed roaring and snarling at one another the groups locked in vicious combat, Maarl back handed a tall marine the heavy axe haft crushing his helm before stepping in and stamping on his knee, the armour gave but the limb held his axe took the marines head from his shoulders while his shield took the full force of another attack spinning him round he brought the axe down into the attack opening his chest. His two marines came back and joined the fight their added fury tipping the battle, Maarl noted that they were both missing their charges.

"Kill these miscreants and withdraw our work is done."

He ducked under a wild swing and a second caught him in the face tearing his helm from his head, snarling at the attacker he smashed his shield into the offending marine sending him reeling, he released the shield as another came at him side stepping the axe he gripped the weapons haft and drew his own axe across the marines throat taking the two weapons he launched himself into battle once again.

"Reports from the others, they are meeting heavy resistance."

"Have they done their jobs?"

"Fifty percent of objectives met."

"Not enough."

Maarl hacked the last head from the traitor marine and looked around less than half of his men remained, he ordered their charges collected and looked at his men, they were caked in blood and gore almost to the same extent as the traitors.

"Loose the shields, they give us away."

His marines threw the shields aside and looked at him as they formed up around him.

"We strike deeper, try and pass our selves off as them, get as many of the charges set as possible."

They all nodded and followed as he strode off.

++

Nero stepped back the Black Knight falling at his feet he looked down the length of the dorsal spine from here he could strike at any point of the ship and he knew where he was destined, the reclusium the heart of any modern ship the temple at the centre of the ship, on his own ship it was the hall of memories, here it would be a twisted and perverted space.

They headed for the temple reclusium,

Nero could feel the unease of the ship what ever Falzone had done did not sit well the ship recoiled at the horror he'd visited upon it, the very hull creaked and complained with the powers contained within, he touched a name plate of the ship as they

"What horrors has he visited upon you?"
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on June 23, 2010, 07:09:48 AM
"The pink kind." A daemonette said from the shadows, stepping out, her lithe form slinking towards Nero. "And the purple... And various other forms of daemons. Such as ourselves..." She gracefully bowed, the trance of her presence momentarily ensnaring Nero and his marines. "But, such are we... We are not horrors, dear traitor. We are the reality that Man, Eldar, and indeed all life has created. We are not some enemy to be fought, but the beuatiful quintessence and culmination of creation!" Her voice raised in pitch to a shriek as she finished, like a slight climax as she took another step forward. "Do not fear or abhor us... join us..." Her words were cut short. In the moment her lips had uttered the word "us", Nero had drawn his sword, activated the runes on it, and sliced her head clear from her shoulders. Not watching it roll around, mouthing empty promises, Nero stepped forward as shrieks of rage and hate echoed, a dozen daemonettes stepping lithely from the shadows, their hands and arms morphing into whiplike tentacles, crablike pincers or simply growing razor sharp claws. The nearest shrieked at the top of her lungs as she leapt, flying through the air at Nero.

"DIE!"



Tigurio stood grimly on his command podium, a mask of hate glaring down on his minions. His helmet had been holstered on his belt for the time being, and with the helmet off, he smelled a rat.

"Something is amiss." He said. "All patrols report." He voxed.

"Kartarion reporting. Death guard patrols all accounted for."

"Torthnochta reporting. Thousand Sons patrols remain unharassed."

"Sanza reporting. Emperor's Children patrols have met hostile invaders. They broke cover under the power of our sonic blasters. In pursuit."

"Identify legion colors." Tigurio voxed.

"Sons of Horus."

"Black Legion patrol, report."

"Hanz here, we heard. En route to location now."

"Hold there. Let them drive the enemy to you."

"Kratos, report." Silence. "Kratos of the World Eaters. Report." Silence.

"Lord." A voice more human than expected answered after a moment. "Patrol Alpha Niner Zero Seven here. We've come across dead World Eaters."

"How many?" Tigurio asked.

"Fifteen, Lord." The traitor guardsmen answered.

"Alert! All patrols beware. Allied World Eaters dead. Kill any walking World Eater on sight."

"Aye Lord." A unanimous report came back.

"Erl Krung." Tigurio switched to a separate vox, and spoke so softly as if to keep someone standing next to him unaware of the conversation.

"Night Lords patrols all accounted for. We've run into various loyalists from the traitor legions. None from our legion, sadly, and none from the Iron Warriors. I suspect they are trying to disable the power systems to kill life support. They haven't made a direct assault on the Enginarium or Munitorium, which are most heavily guarded with daemons of Nurgle and Khorne." Krung spoke so softly that despite having his vox bead at full volume, Tigurio could barely make out the words.

"Report back to me as soon as your men are in place. Let these fools be haunted by their memories of boarding my ship.



Draconis hovered for a moment, before calling out to Tass.

"We've got a problem." Tass looked at him, slight chagrin passing over his features. He'd come to trust Draconis enough to know he could assess information accurately. "There's more than one Eldar pirate ship, and they're not the friendlier type either. Druuchi." Tass scowled.

"The one thing, Draconis Falzone, that you shall learn before I let you leave this bridge is that there is no such thing as friendly Eldar. There are only sneaky, cunning, untrustworthy Eldar, and their sinister but more plainly motivated cousins, the Dark Eldar. And stop using that underhive nickname for them. It's unbecoming of a space marine." Draconis bowed his head slightly.

"My apologies. I never meant to imply that either ancient and degraded race would be considered friendly, I simply meant to point out that the Eldar ships sitting cloaked by the world Tigurio just razed happen to be of the more overtly hostile and psychotic nature, and are more numerous than the original readings had indicated."

"How many?" Tass cut to the chase.

"Two. Just two, I'm sure of it this time." Tass nodded.

"Then plot me a firing solution, transfer it to the ordnance deck, and let's see them survive torpedoes while cloaked."
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Koval on June 23, 2010, 08:28:52 AM
Barging past another headless Naval crewman, I passed through an open doorway and into the biggest room I'd seen on the entire ship.

The generarium was enormous. I couldn't really begin to guess at the size with more crewmen shooting at me, but I'll warrant that two Emperor Titans could have stood on each other's backs and still not touched the ceiling; were it not for the huge generators and reactors all along the floor and walls, necessitating the network of gantries I stood on, you could easily have crammed a good couple of Guard regiments into a roo, of this size, armoured support and all, and still have been able to move around freely.

Up on the higher gantries I could see the defenders trying to take pot shots at me, but the problem with shotguns is that the shot itself spreads out a lot over a distance, so the worst I suffered was a rain of individual buckshot balls, robbed of much of their force and impact by the distance between the firer and myself. However, I really wasn't in the mood to close the distance and risk turning into mincemeat, so I found myself looking for another way round.

Working at various terminals were lower-ranking Tech-Priests, overseen by a more senior enginseer. My initial aim had admittedly been to hijack a terminal and, stripped for time, mash buttons at random until something failed, but with the defenders now forming something of a living barricade, that wasn't an option any more. I could have rushed the defenders at great risk to myself, or I could have cut it really fine and wasted time finding another entrance with fewer defenders.

None of that really occurred to me at the time, but under the circumstances I don't think it would've made a difference either way. Ultimately, my solution, though unorthodox, worked, and certainly gave the defenders pause for thought.

Locking my chainsword in the active position, I turned and threw it as hard as I could into the first generator I came to, before retreating back through the doorway at a run; judging by the noise behind me, and the sudden blackout along the corridor (not to mention a sharp loss of artificial gravity, though thankfully it hadn't failed entirely), I'm convinced that it worked, and moreover, that I'd taken out a few other generators as well as the one I'd been aiming for.

"Let's see what you can do now," I mused as I ran back towards the boarding torpedo.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on June 24, 2010, 12:02:51 AM
Time was running short, Maarl checked the countdown and frowned they were so deep in the ship there was no turning back now, he had three marines left now having come into contact with other patrols they'd battled their way deeper and deeper.

His body ached from a bolt wound to his chest yet he kept his feet and his fury powered him ever onwards he'd set three more charges along his way and he carried the detonators himself and now there was one destination he looked down the corridor at the Munitorium, inside h the dooreet the hate and fury boiling from behind the bulkhead, his marines were on either side of it setting krak grenades, as they withdrew he lowered himself into a crouch and waited.

++

Tass cursed as the lighting flickered looking around.

"Situation report?"

"Primary generators down, switching to secondary generators."

"What of my firing solutions?"

"Still locked on."

"Then fire."

++

Brak strode down the corridor his weapon held firmly and ready a world eater stood opposite him, the last of their number the rest having been butchered or in the process of being butchered by his astartes, he removed his helm hooking it to his hip.

"It's been a long time Largon."

"It has Brak, not since Istvaan."

"Time to settle the score then."

Brak launched himself down the corridor taking Largon from his feet the two of the rolled snarling and snapping at one another, coming on top Brak smashed his fist into Largon's throat cutting his breath short he tried to get his axe round to end Largon but the weapons locked, he let go of the weapon grabbing his helm he smashed it into Largon's face cracking the helm under it. He reached down and drew his dagger from his boot bringing it up in a rapid strike he drove it into Largon's eye slit, he roared as the blade bit in throwing Brak from him, rolling he came to his feet his bolt pistol in his hand.

"Die you bastard."

He blew Largon's head from his body.

"Tass is the ship secure?"

"Neagtive one target moving back towards the first torpedo, and the daemon is still engaged with Raneb."

"Understood, what of the boarding teams?"

"We've recovered half of the teams three more are tied up and we've lost contact with the rest."

He sighed so many lost.

"Understood keep me informed."

++

Nero stepped aside from the daemonette as it slashed it's claws at him, he slid past another attack and another moving back down the corridor the daemonette hissed in glee as it scored a line across his armour.

"You are no match for me Nero."

He stopped side stepping the final attack his hand smashing her in the face, she recoiled entering a crouch her talons aimed at him.

"You think I have survived ten millennia without being able to defend myself?"

She launched herself at him with a ecstatic howl on her lips which turned into a started cry as Nero swung his bolt pistol round firing it at point blank range into her face, her body snapped back vanishing into purple mist as she fell. He turned cutting another in two before he blew three holes in the next, his astartes were killing the daemonettes with fury, Grave stepped like a dancer his guns blazing and gunning down the enemy his movement was in contrast with the rest of the squad who cut and hacked with well practised and disciplined attacks each one expertly timed and executed with controlled rage.

It took only a few minutes to end the last of the daemonettes and Nero once again set off for the temple, Grave moved to his side.

"We only have six minutes left captain."

"More than enough time."

++

The Bulk head exploded in wards crushing a swath of possessed deck hands the four Astartes charged in hacking and cleaving without mercy slashing and killing as they pushed into the Munitorium, Maarl laid eyes upon the hulking form a daemon of Khorne and growled his challenge.

"Daemon, know I do not fear you."

He opened his weapons in a stance leaving himself open to the possessed all around him.

"NO!, THIS ONE IS MINE!"

The voice was like thunder his reverberated round the Munitorium. Maarl looked round at his Astartes they battled with the possessed cutting hacking fighting one died his head pulled from his body another stumbled and was set upon by the mob around him the last battled a dozen foes cutting them down like wheat, he turned to the daemon knowing this would be the place of his death, he smiled baring his teeth in a wild grin.

"Today is a good day, For the Emperor!"

He surged toward  axes held wide cutting into those around him as he charged Blackpraise, he threw one of his axes the heavy blade digging into the daemons chest, as he rushed in he pulled something from his belt depressing a red stud on the small device he launched himself into the air axe hacking down burring deep into Daemon, It pulled him free holding him like a rag doll before it's maw, Maarl spat into it's face.

"Die Daemon!"

It looked down at Maarl's chest it's expression changing as the lights on the melta charges blinked.

Maarl detonated vanishing in a ball of super heated plasma the heat cooking off the nearest munitions and engulfing the Munitorium in explosive fire.

++

Nero staggered as the ship rocked violently they were only a few dozen feet from the temple and he growled as several secondary explosions rumbled through the ship, Grave spoke as he reloaded his bolters.

"Looks like our brothers have done their task."

"Then we best hurry."

Nero strode forward his armoured book kicking open the temple doors.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on June 24, 2010, 08:35:22 AM
[OOC: Still no takers on the Navy captain, eh? Oh well.]

"All guns, prepare to fire!" The order rang out across the port side gun decks. "We give only enough time for the space marines to evacuate, and then we give what for!" Slave drivers stood vigilant over the ratings hauling behemoth guns, sweat, grease and gunpowder fouling the air. The guns, on rails, took several minutes to reload, and in the moments since the boarding torpedoes had hit, each crew had been given plenty of time to reload, rearm and calibrate the guns to precision. When the order came to fire, they would surely obliterate Tigurio's ship.

"All hands, brace for impact!" As the vox called out, bombard shells ripped through the hull. The naval captain had blundered in assuming a space marine assault would prevent a space marine assault. Even as the primary munitorium bay erupted in blue and orange plasma into the void, the strike cruiser remained ready to fire, and proved so by firing a second volley into the nearby naval ships, destroying all but the battleship herself. Scarred, the ship began to list to starboard.

"All hands open fire, before we drift too far!" The order held a note of desperation, before the vox could deactivate, a sharp report of gunfire echoed through the ship.

"This is Commissar Danin. I am in command of this vessel. Make for the nearest Imperial Navy dock for repairs." The order was brief. Obviously, the Commissar had his reasons. The captain had willfully not opened fire on an enemy vessel, had cost the fleet the majority of support vessels, and almost cost the flagship. Quit the battle now, and perhaps preserve one of the Emperor's mighty warships for another day. However, in all likelihood, the Commissar would be shot too, by an Inquisitor or some other bureaucracy motivated uptight who would argue the Commissar was a coward for leaving the battle. Regardless, the naval vessel began to list in the direction of a nearby planet with an Imperial Navy dock.



"Lord, the marines fire upon us." A voice in a dark command nodule spoke softly, sibilantly. "Shall we engage evasive maneuvers?"

"Take us above the galactic plane by the distance between us and our enemy. Power up the dark lances and plot me a firing solution." Another voice in the gloom. The eyes of the dark eldar lord glowering at the viewscreen were shrouded in unnatural dark. "And get that damn haemonculous to take this nightshade contraption out of here..." He added with a bit of disdain. "We're scary enough without people seeing us sitting in a pitch black cockpit."

"Yes, lord."
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on June 28, 2010, 08:08:07 PM
His eyes scanned the temple interior and his bile rose the place had been desecrated first by the Imperial Creed and then by Chaos, he saw the signs of the old Creed replaced with the foul glyphs of dark powers he stepped into the chamber the marines behind him fanning out, with a quick gesture of his sword four of the marines detached from the group moving into the temple where they started laying charges.

"Be quick time is short."

Grave's voice was a hiss as he strode across the room heading for the altar and what ever had been sacrificed over it, something moved to his right and he brought one of his pistols up, a Chaplain came from the darkness his Crozius Arcanum swung out striking Grave sending him spinning through the air and crashing into the darkness at the edge of the chamber. The Chaplain rushed towards Nero his weapon coming down to crush the Captain's head.

"I will not let you defile this place!"

Nero stepped to the side as the Crozius Arcanum swung down creasing the floor with it's force, it came up and instant later and connected his Nero's sword sparks flew as the pair locked weapons the Chaplain hissed through his helm at Nero.

"Are your marines just going to let me kill you?"

"They know not to get involved in my fights."

Their weapons broke and the Crozius swung in again his weapon stopping dead as Nero brought his blade up to parry, the Chaplains fist snaked out connecting with Nero's helm twisting him from the weapon as he turned his foot lashed out sending the chaplain reeling, as he stood he removed his helm hooking it too his belt, his grey alabaster skin matching his armour. They came at one another again their weapons crashing against one another as they rained blow after blow at one another Nero stopping and swatting the Chaplains blows with ease, he lashed out again with his foot lifting his opponent from his feet and rolling him across the floor. 

The Chaplain corrected himself and drew his bolt pistol firing a shot off, Nero swatted the shot aside with his power sword and stepped into combat their weapons clashed sparks flying before Nero stepped round under the Crozius his sword raking the side of the Chaplains armour, recoiling the Chaplain held his weapon in defence as Nero stepped in again swatting the weapon aside he kicked the Chaplain back against the wall of the chamber as he slumped forward he swatted the Crozius from his grip and stepped in to end it pausing as his eyes fell upon a item on the marines armour.

"An Ultramarine, so ever the great Guilliman's kin can fall."

He laughed as he brought his blade back to thrust it into the throat of the Fallen Chaplain staggering as the ship rocked again as a series of secondary explosions tore through the ship, as he Staggered the Chaplain rolled free of the Nero's grip blood pumping from the wound in his side he staggered bringing his pistol up, Nero recovered his own pistol aimed.

Nero paused as an aura of power built round him the chaplain fired his bolt pistol as Nero vanished in the wake of his teleportation aura. The Chaplain looked round cursing as the charges flashed he fled from the chamber as the detonation tore it apart.

Nero re-materialised on the staging deck and looked round.

"Where is Grave?"

One of the other marines looked at him.

"I'm still registering him on unit comms, he's still active."

"Can we teleport him?"

"Negative, there is too much interference round him we can't get a lock on him."

++

Grave landed heavily he'd forced his way through a grill dropping into the innards of the ship surrounded by wires, cables and piping he was in a space that was only just large enough for him to fit in, as the flames from the detonation above washed over him setting off warning of his armour, he weathered the heat his skin searing within the armour as the surface became super heated.

He lay there waiting for his armour to cool before he crawled off deeper into the bowels of the ship. q
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on July 05, 2010, 08:35:49 AM
Fury built within Tigurio. He listened to the tactical readouts of what was happening across his ship. His daemons were eluded or destroyed, his ship's main life support functions were in disarray and despite a gambit against the Imperial Navy ships, he was still outgunned by this unidentified Imperial craft. Turning from the bridge, he placed a hand on the shoulder of Orrus, his Chaos' Champion.

"Bring us about the other side of this moon, and drop us into the warp. We are needed elsewhere." He commanded, before leaving the bridge to consult with the daemonhost in his quarters.



"Lord... the Monkeigh ship, crippled and fleeing is powering up its warp drives. If we engage them, we will not be able to escape the translation..." A dark eldar ensign said to his lord.

"Very well. We give this quarry ground... for now... He bores me."



Draconis turned to the command pulpit.

"The strike cruiser's going to drop into the warp. Reccomend we move to a safe distance, sir."
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on July 05, 2010, 07:46:57 PM
"Agreed, pull us back and prepare to track the Warp Telemetry."

Tass turn his attention to effecting repairs across the ship, they'd taken a beating but were still operational and in a combat ready status he issued orders throughout the ship then returned his attention to the view port.

"What of the Eldar ship?"

"Pulling from combat range."

"Bring all our weapons to bear and ready for any signs of attack, make sure they know the outcome should they come within range of our batteries."

++

Raneb crashed against the bulkhead wall buckling the metal under him he came away from the wall ready spear level and in a offensive stance, he's lost his helm during his battle and blood pumped from a wound above his eye coating one side of his face in a red veneer, through clenched teeth he growled a litany of power and sent bolts of lightning down the companion way tearing plating from the walls and striking the hulking form of the daemon prince, the lightning boiled flesh daemonic blood splattering the walls hissing as it touched the metal surface.

The Daemon howled in pleasure as it came at him, his armour was shot the chest plate dented do badly that another blow would see him dead, as he crouched into a defensive stance he gathered his mental strength and thrust the weapon into the chest of the daemon stopping it dead as a new pain racked it's body, gathering itself it drew back one of it's claws ready land a killing blow.

"You will not best me daemon, I am a servant of the Emperor, and you are not welcome on this ship."

Releasing his built up psychic might he directed it down the length of the spear into the tip of the weapon the burst shot into the daemons chest tearing the daemon apart leaving nothing but a howling wail as it vanished, Raned dropped to his knees in exhaustion looking around at his surroundings, he was several levels below the boarding torpedo somewhere near the spine of the ship, he cursed the daemon for dragging out the battle and no doubt causing considerable damage to their surroundings.

"Tass, I have rid the daemon from this ship."

Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on July 08, 2010, 09:14:51 AM
With his forces in disarray, aboard his own ship, and with the Imperials licking their own wounds, Tigurio personally oversaw the few minutes of patching up and repairs before he gave the order to drop into the Warp.

What little of the life support was left was rerouted to the command decks, as most everything else was automated. The Warp spilled through the uninhabited areas of the ship, and some of the inhabited areas, while the command deck and various weapon or housing decks were spared. The maddening lash of the Warp ebbed and rushed for hours, as they made their jump. Tigurio was bound to escape these cretins, they knew nothing of his plans, and would not heed anyways, so he focussed on plotting the exit route through the Warp, communicating psychically with the navigator. Normally this would spell certain doom for an Imperial ship, but Tigurio was no longer in service to the Imperium, as the creatures of the Warp saw it, and they refrained from attacking the navigator in his lapse of concentration.

"All hands on deck." He ordered, and the ship's remaining compliment of Chaos Marines, Black Knights and daemonhosts began to assemble in a briefing hall, originally designed for the Lectio Divinatum, now it was dedicated to blasphemies and heresy. "We have been found out early." He said, pacing. "We must divide our forces, find the root of the problem, and eliminate it. Split the daemon icons amongst four parties of thirty marines. The goblet goes with the World Eaters with us, of course, and the sword goes to our Slaanesh cultists. The dagger shall go with the Deathguard and my trusted sorceror shall carry the medallion. When we drop out of the Warp, debark to locations in system I have already marked with assistance from our navigator. Wait there for instructions."

Each force would be sent to a separate world in the system Kemar. Id Kemar, Ef Kemar, Ot Kemar and Al Kemar, respectively.

As the strike cruiser stumbled from the warp, the drop pods and thunderhawks fired off their engines for each world, and then Tigurio steered the ship towards the system's sun. A dim, bluish dwarf with little life left. Kemar system had been set up in the central galaxy as a science colony in pre-Imperium times, and when the Imperium reclaimed the worlds, they left them largely untouhed, as the worlds embraced the Imperium's science, and then strangely had no trouble transitioning to the Lectio Divinatus' dictates.

Now, Tigurio would show these Kemarans that their God Emperor does not want them, and in the process, sacrifice each world, just before it aligned with the others, generating a massive shockwave that would open a new, smaller warp anomaly, similar to the Eye of Terror or the Maelstrom. The greatest difference though, would be that this anomaly would constantly serve as a portal for Maelstrom and Eye of Terror forces to assault the Imperium, as it would be closer to Holy Terra than either other anomaly.



Draconis sat at the console, puzzling.

"We nearly destroyed him, he somehow survived. How does he figure with a crippled ship, that he stands a chance of accomplishing anything further?" He asked Tass.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on July 08, 2010, 10:37:50 AM
Tass rested a hand on his Imperial Fists shoulder

"He has lost his wits young pup, he knows not when he is beaten like all that have fallen he can not see what lies before him, only the deluded goals of his false hope."

Tass looked up as Nero strode onto the bridge his armour caked in the blood of battle he looked across the deck.

"Are we fit for warp transit?"

"One hour captain we are recalibrating the gellar fields."

"Have us drop into warp as soon as we are ready."

++

Brak had retired to the world eaters barracks, he'd removed his armour for cleaning even though the crimson gore appealed to him he would not allow the white of his armour to be diminished by the blood of traitors, sitting in his cell he received the reports of his losses greif taking his heart at the loss of his men.

Once the whole report had been give he dismissed the serf and took his chain axe lifting it to his face he drew the teeth across the flesh of his face cutting deep lines in memory of the men lost.

Pulling on a robe he headed for the bridge.

++

Sol strode the companionways of the ship, ensuring that all trace of the incursion teams had been removed he'd ordered each body piled in one of the hangars and his final desination was there, he'd found Renad and for a while the pair of them had walked together like brothers before the Thousand Son had informed him that something was amiss and headed off on his own search.

The damage to the generators while not being critical would mean they'd not be able to master full power to the engins if they came into conflict with Flazone again they'd be doing it at half speed which would put them on a more even footing.

++

Pavel sat in his cell they had taken no part in the battle, they remained in reserve ready to strike yet even in this reserve they had not remained idle he had all ready dispatched a hunt team it was in pursuit of Flazone and his fallen ilk.

++

Grave extracted himself from the ships sinew moving through the airless sections of the ship he was left unmolested by the manifestations of the warp, for his presence in a dead section of the ship was of little note when the living sections thrived, his belt of plasma and melta charges was still intact but he was low on ammunition, an armoury would need to be found if he was to be of any use.

Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on July 15, 2010, 06:25:53 PM
Tigurio's plan was simple. The daemon or traitor in his midst that was providing his foes with their location would be found out. If there was no traitor to his cause, then Tigurio would be able to act with impunity. As it was, he needed the four daemons dispersed to properly affect the sacrifice of the system. He'd made this matter clear to his lieutennants and in specific, his chief sorceror and onetime Emperor's Champion. The sergeants of each Chaos legion present had far greater experience in battle than even Tigurio, but due to his cause, his rank, and his strength of will, they'd sworn fealty to him for the duration of his quest.

As each strike force readied itself, Tigurio looked on. The Thunderhawks glistened, as if prepared for a funeral rite, and the armor of all but the deathguard and the World Eaters (who preferred their tarnished or bloodied look), glistened in the low lighting of the hangar deck. The traitor guardsmen, the last of his cultists, had lined up in perfect regimental fashion, each platoon set for one of the assault parties. All were ready to die for Tigurio Falzone, confident in the knowledge they would be reborn to Chaos. Tigurio smiled as he thought this. He knew their souls would be recycled, but they did not realize as he did, that Chaos does not recycle you with your whole soul in tact. It torments and moulds each soul to its purpose. The precise reason he cared little for re-incarnation.

He sought to bring the Imperium low, that they might rise from the ashes anew, and as he stood, watching each strike force descend, he knew that when this new eye, terrible and bleak opened at the heart of the system, it would engulf the star, and every star system around it in darkness. The galaxy's once bright center would be swallowed by pitch, and from the darkness, daemons and legions of traitor marines would march on Holy Terra herself. The heart of the Imperium crushed would force mankind to turn and worship Chaos, and in doing so, gain the strength of eternity! Tigurio bent backwards in a loud, echoing, roaring laugh that stretched on for minutes as these thoughts passed through his mind. When he stopped, he looked around, all the marines had stopped embarkation to turn and stare. Those from the Traitor Legions didn't seem to notice as much, but all his own fallen Templars and every single guardsmen had turned their head in his direction, the marines tilting their heads sideways, while the guardsmen for the first time since pledging to Chaos showed fear in their eyes. Tigurio straightened himself and shook his shoulders loose.

"BACK TO IT! DOGS!" He shouted, cowing the guardsmen, and making his own Templars take a step back before they proceeded to board their thunderhawks. Tigurio boarded the ship bearing the pendant of Tzeentch, and looked one last time out the boarding hatch, as the guardsmen began to board the drop pods. He smiled. He finally felt as if things were going his way...



The Thunderhawks debarked the strike cruiser and a fourth of the drop pods fired off as they passed the first world, Id Kemar. The strike cruiser fired off a salvo of magma bombs at strategic locations across the planet's surface, and sent a specialized warhead towards the strike force's landing zone, the warhead shot through the atmosphere, firing retro-thrusters and deploying a chute once its velocity slowed enough. The large plasteel shell carried prescious cargo, and Tigurio wanted to ensure it would not activate before everything was in place.

Id Kemar was a cold planet, but had a hearty stock of timberlands that grew robust pines. The entire world was encased in a thin layer of frost, relatively thin, because there was little water to begin with, and when the terraforming process had completed, the world was only tenable to winterized vegetation and wildlife. Large Frost ursines and loxodonts wandered the wilderness, along with smaller rodents and game. The few humans here lived in a single hive at the planet's equator. The hive stretched some distance east and west, but did not span very far north.

The solar panels powering the hive's power systems were networked across the planet's surface, and there was always enough power for heat and air purification, though sometimes the inhabitants had to scrounge the frost wastes for fresh water, which now required drilling operations dozens of miles from the hive, or scavenger teams that would go to the other side of the planet. Id Kemar's population was guarded by a single platoon of Imperial Guard that inhabited the hive's upper spire, with the nobles, as a measure of protection against food riots and insurrection.

To this world, Tigurio had dedicated the World Eaters. A small offering to Khorne, perhaps, but the first blood in this last battle, which should please the Blood God. Tigurio had meant to go aboard this assault, but his daemonhost had advised him against it in the last minutes. He did not know what game the daemons played, but he accquiesced to their suggestion that he go instead with the Thousand Sons and the Medallion of Oxan.

The bombardments struck various power conduits, relay stations and the hive's external shield generators. The drop pods landed only seconds after inside the city walls, and the Thunderhawks secured the dropsite of Tigurio's final stage.



The scene was similar at Ef Kemar, a world closer to heat, but blasted by nuclear war long ago. The few hives that survived thrived off geothermal energy, and the orbital bombardments that ripped into the planet's surface ensured the volcano-power stations went offline before the world even was alerted to their presence. The entire system seemed to lack an early warning network, which was in part why Tigurio had chosen these worlds.

The Emperor's Children and guard cultists made landfall at various cities, but the guardsmen were set to wreak havoc while the Emperor's Children were assigned the actual destruction of the world. They secured their package and began the fight to the spire of the planet's capitol hive. The world had, in a way, recovered from the nuclear war, but all the plantlife and animals in the wildlands were mutated, some with a second head, some with a third eye, some, meant to have four legs, now had eight. The land was still radioactive though, so the human population was small, and neglected. The Imperial Guard mounted a hasty, but ill concieved defensive strategy that was overturned in a matter of hours, as noise marines, raptors and havocs laid waste to barricades and those within them.



The Deathguard descended on Ot Kemar next, though their world was the most formidable. The planet lay in perfect distance to the Kemar system's star, and had a temperate climate untarnished by nuclear war. As a result, the planet had been stripped of many of its natural resources long ago by the Imperium, the Adeptus Mechanicus had built vast subterranean networks and mines, but in the millenia since the world was first habitated, it had grown overcrowded and choked by disease. Perfect for Nurgle. The planet's Imperial Guard compliment was far greater, having an entire regiment, and a tank battallion, but the Deathguard's arrival was heralded by a plague of Nurgle which seemed to manifest within minutes across the whole world. The skies darkened and the dead began to rise, as the world's death knell began to ring in the warp.



Lastly. Al Kemar. Innermost world, Tigurio's final destination in this assault on the Imperium. It was here, he planned to open the portal to hell. Here, he planned to vacate mankind from these worlds in one swift and vile act, and here, he would summon all the hatred of Chaos to subjugate the Emperor himself.

The world was hot. Boiling hot. Three hives existed on its surface, and each was void shielded from the heat of the system's sun. Each housed billions, and Tigurio had chosen to bring the Thousand Sons marines to this world because they could not burn. Each marine was ashes, except their sorcerous leaders. They descended on fire, through fire, in fire. They ran from the assault ramps, their Thunderhawks landing just yards from the void shields. The shields stopped short five yards from the ground, giving the space marines and their land raider plenty of room to pass under. They secured the last of the plasteel packages, and brought it into the capitol hive's shielded air.

"Falzone to all forces. Status report." He sent up the vox to a relay in the strike cruiser.

"Khorne is pleased with your gift, Lord Falzone! The world has fallen to us, and we await your command!"

"It is pleasurable to see these fools scramble their defense. Slaanesh is amused by your efforts!"

"Death Guard here. The world falls in good order, and Nurgle smiles upon your endeavors!"

Each report made Tigurio's smile widen. Soon, these Thousand Sons marines would take down the Imperial defenses here, and then, it would only be a matter of waiting for the worlds to align.

"Strike Cruiser Damnation's Delight. Move to an out-system location and await my contact. Intercept any Imperial Navy attempt to move in-system and keep me apprised of your situation."

"Aye, brother." Came a reply from one of the few marines left aboard the ship.

It was not a matter of odds now, but a matter of time.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Koval on July 18, 2010, 10:44:48 AM
The arm had healed quickly. I was impressed. Human bodies are astonishingly resilient, more than one would think, so I was rather concerned that I'd mangled my arm beyond repair. Perhaps as a side-effect of being possessed, it had repaired itself at a rate I could sit and watch. I actually did, but obviously I had to add my own input so that it didn't repair as a nest of vipers, or the armour-plated pincer of a crab.

I think I got it as close to the original as I could manage, but the fingers ended up being slightly longer and the wrist was still stiff when I got the signal to mobilise.

I wasn't entirely impressed by what I saw when I finally reached the World Eaters contingent, but strike cruisers aren't exactly giant battleships, so I was probably wrong to expect a larger army. Nonetheless, a strike force of twenty-seven World Eaters, one Dreadnought, and a couple of Thunderhawks against an entire planet was just asking for trouble, even with the orbital bombardment and the drop pod assault.

I, of course, wasn't going to change my mind about those undignified bombs, so I'd opted to take a lift in Thunderhawk Eta with Brother Scatharax, evidently of a like mind to myself, and rather a lot more devoted to bloodshed than his fellows even if he wasn't consciously aware of it.

We'd taken a blood rite before we'd left. A prisoner -- I can't remember whether we'd taken him from our last planetary assault, or from when we'd boarded a Navy vessel -- had been brought in, and his throat cut (though this being the World Eaters, it was quite a lot messier than that). They'd collected his blood in the goblet, apparently called Blackpraise, and ignoring me completely, their Grand Slaughterer -- a Terminator-armoured giant called Kao Tai -- had drained the goblet of all its contents in a masterful display of drinking, upending it without spilling any blood over his armour. I'm convinced that the daemon within the cup had given Kao Tai a measure of power, strength to match the lords of the Endless Legion, because there was a subtle but very definite shift to how I saw him before and after drinking from Blackpraise.

"To arms!" Kao Tai had shouted, and with a level of discipline I'd not expected from Berserkers, the World Eaters split off into their squads; three clusters of eight Berserkers, the Skull Champion at each squad's head gripping a chain-voulge, headed by Kao Tai, his icon bearer Par Yun, and his second Lo Zan.

They'd filed off into their drop pods with no complaint, bar the odd spasm and gurgling laugh from a Berserker psyching up too early, and I'd been left with Brother Scatharax, the World Eaters' Dreadnought. I'm still rather surprised that Tigurio managed to rustle up a Dreadnought, but as long as Scatharax behaved himself while I was in a confined space with him, I wasn't about to complain.

We'd boarded Thunderhawk Eta, tasked with ferrying Scatharax and a stowaway to the surface (because like me, Scatharax hated drop pods, though I suspect he'd have probably ripped his way out of it in midair had the World Eaters forced him in), and left the servitors to load Thunderhawk Upsilon's launch bay with thermobaric explosives. Came the re-entry, I was under no doubts that Thunderhawk Upsilon's bay doors would open in the middle of a controlled nosedive and the bombs would all come rushing out. They'd probably been set to arm themselves, knowing Tigurio, and when they landed they'd most likely devastate a small chunk of hive that we'd have to avoid on our way up.

"YOU-ARE-OUR-COMMANDER," Scatharax stated, somehow contriving to scream every word in a creepy monotone.

I looked up at the Dreadnought, noticing for the first time that Scatharax actually had a vox-caster grille built into the top of his armour. Largely unembellished, the Dreadnought itself had been salvaged from some campaign centuries ago, stolen from some Loyalist swine, and any Imperial iconography had been stripped from its surface. The only things that the World Eaters had bothered to replace the Imperial icons with had been scars from repeated chainsword impacts, though I could quite clearly make out an icon of Khorne gouged into the ceramite. Scatharax was originally something called an Ironclad, a Dreadnought variant fitted with extra close assault weaponry, but the World Eaters had busted the seismic hammer on the left arm beyond repair. They'd left the oversized power claw on the right hand intact, thankfully, along with its underslung flamer, but Scatharax's left arm had been replaced with a huge plasma cannon ripped off the side of a Leman Russ. Considering how touched Chaos Marines tend to get when they're in a Dreadnought, I wasn't sure that giving Scatharax a plasma cannon was an especially wise decision, but whoever he fired it at would explode in a nice pleasing fireball, so it would entertain me if nothing else.

"What?" I managed, staring at the Dreadnought as he turned his upper section around to face me, straining against his chains to do so.

"YOU-ARE-OUR-COMMANDER," Scatharax repeated. "YOU-ARE-A-CHAMPION-OF-THE-BLOOD-GOD. I-AM-YOUR-SOLDIER."

"Use your brain," I sighed. "They say Khorne cares not from where the blood flows."

"THE-BLOOD-GOD-FAVOURS-YOU! I-AM-YOUR-SOLDIER!"

"Landing in fifteen, fourteen, thirteen..."

"Scatharax, you're a killing machine, not a fresh recruit," I grumbled, observing quite rightly that Scatharax's mind was too simple to progress too far beyond killing (yet in that respect, his devotion to Khorne was rather a lot purer than Kao Tai's, unsullied by pointless rituals and focusing only on shedding blood on the battlefield). "Just follow me."

"I-OBEY! BLOOD-FOR-THE-BLOOD-GOD! SKULLS-FOR-THE-SKULL-THRONE!"

"...seven, six, five..."

I raced over to Scatharax's chains and smashed the first one's wall mount with my hellblade. Rather stupidly, the World Eaters had welded Scatharax's bindings to the wall, perhaps assuming that his rage would help him break free. I wasn't so willing to resort to blind optimism, and moreover I didn't want to risk Scatharax possibly ripping part of the wall away when he exited the Thunderhawk. I needed that thing to get back into orbit, for a start.

The doors opened and no sooner had I broken the second wall mount than Scatharax did the rest himself, thankfully breaking the chains and not the Thunderhawk as he stomped out of the Thunderhawk's passenger bay.

"Where are you going?" I asked him. Outside, gunfire was pattering against his armour and the hull of the Thunderhawk, no more capable of damaging the gunship than slowing an angry Carnifex. Id Kemar had apparently mobilised the vanguard of its defense forces a lot quicker than we'd anticipated; the orbital bombardment must have been a wake-up call for them.

Scatharax ignored the gunfire and turned around to face me. If he had eyes he would probably have tried to stare at me, and if he had a mouth it would have been twisted into a manic grin.

"TO-WIN-THE-WAR!"
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on July 23, 2010, 12:11:00 AM
Nero stood on embankment deck his officers stood behind him Sol, Brak, Paval and Tass, he watched their respected warbands forming up into four task forces each one fifty strong the majority made up of twenty of their officers legion supported by elements from the others, Nero looked down on his own twenty Luna Wolves stood chatting and preparing with ten World Eaters kitted out with assault packs, combat shields and chain weapons, and a Dozen Emperors Children with bolters and closed combat weapons. Eight Death Guard stood waiting with heavy weapons, Nero looked over his shoulder at Paval.

"Your marines are missing?"

He stepped forward gesturing at the far end of the deck, hidden in the darkness of the deck lurked fifty marines their armour blackened and unlike the Emperors children's blackened armour possessed no reflection, they moved into view from some unseen signal and formed up, as always the Alpha Legionaries remained a separate unit as autonomous to Nero's command as he was to the higher powers.

"We stand ready to do your will Captain."

He nodded he was their commander but he knew their loyalty lied with Paval

"Deploy your marines as they are required, the rest of you know your duties, Tass?"

"My seconds know their duties, I know mind the ship will remain on the systems fringes."

Nero nodded as the deck opened and the Legio marched into five hundred men and women clad in robes and armour they looked untidy and irregular yet they moved with discipline and expertise, each one of them carried a pristine weapon along with a long blade at their hips, they each bore the scars of battle as they joined their respective commands, Nero couldn't help notice that some of the Legio members had coloured the fringes of their robes in the colours of the Legions of old who they felt closest reflected themselves.

He nodded and turned from the sight.

"Made ready for war."

He strode through the corridors leaving the amassing army heading for the Observation bubble. There waited Draconis and Lomak he entered the bubble dressed for war, a long power sword hung at his hip a bolt pistol mirroring it while a bolter hung about his shoulder his helm hung from his hip as he moved into the room.

"We'll be arriving shortly, Orin tells me that Falzone has attacked a number of worlds,"

With a gesture he brought up the system on the holo projector in the heart of the chamber.

He looked at the worlds then at the two others present.

"We've received word from your ship Draconis they will rendezvous with us in system and deploy to your location, I suggest you if Inquisitor Lomak can take you deploy with Lomak while me and mine strike at the Falzone's forces with Lomak's ship you'll be able to get close enough to your uncle and strike at the source of the corruption."
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on July 23, 2010, 06:21:00 AM
Draconis looked at the holographic image in the room's center. Stepping towards it, he lifted his hands towards the planets, then stretched his arms wide, a universal gesutre to zoom in on wherever his indexes had touched. He did this twice more, before circling Al Kemar with his right index. The world highlighted, and the planets all came back into view as the viewfinder recalibrated the hologram to show the entire system once more, Al Kemar glowing in a slow-pulsing white over its hot orange hues.

"This world." He turned towards Nero and Lomak. "It is hot. Too hot for human colonization, yet the Imperial record states the world pays an Adeptus Tithe of roughly 10,000 guardsmen every year. Clerical error?" He turned towards Lomak. The Inquisitor shrugged.

"I am not one to busy myself with the Administratum's many functions, Sergeant Falzone. But I see what you are saying. The world has the largest listed tithe in the system." Lomak glanced at Nero, who already understood.

"And that would mean it also has a significantly larger population than the other worlds of the system." Nero nodded as he quickly examined the data from the other planets. "Here." He pointed at the data next to the fourth planet. "The ice-world is home to an Imperial Guard training post, hidden caverns, various military bases. The world is reading as having lost most of its power supply, but there are a few hot spots of activity. Military bases, perhaps." He frowned as he brought up the listings of each world in turn in silence. "Each world, in fact, has a large military presence. These worlds are harsh environs for the Imperial Guard to train in... Tigurio stands no chance of winning with what little he has left. My boarding parties report that the traitor's forces were dwindled to less than two hundred marines, and maybe twice as many cultists, before they returned here."

"Which means, they cannot possibly be planning to conquer each world through sheer force or violence." Lomak spoke up. Bringing up the mining world's statistics, energy readings and mapping details. "They must have some ulterior motive."

"Sacrifice." Draconis spoke with a hateful spit of the word, his face compressed into a mask of rage. "He intends to sacrifice these worlds to the Ruinous Powers."

"He can't hope to." Nero shook his head, puzzled. "He doesn't have the might of force to accomplish complete slaughter."

"He doesn't need it." Falzone said. "He doesn't need military might. He was a Marshal. A crusade leader first and foremost before his fall. The Black Templars abhor ranged combat, preferring to strike the opponent in bloody melee. However, every Black Templar Marshal is tasked with the care and maintenance of a number of weapons to be used in the event that the odds truly are insurmountable. If the enemy is all that remains, and there is no world to be saved, save for a world in enemy hands, the Black Templar High Marshals long ago authorized the use of these weapons. The Imperial Fist chapter command told me the full compliment of Tigurio Falzone's arsenal. He had five such weapons."

"Five what? Cyclotronic warheads? Those might be enough to kill a continent, but not a world." Lomak said. "Unless..."

"Virus bombs." Nero spoke, his face a mask of rage now. "The bastard fell to the taint of Chaos, and he has five virus bombs!?" His cold glare passed over Draconis.

"It is not up to me how the Black Templars arm their Marshals, but I am sure they were warranted in doing so at the time. The Black Templars never saw a Marshal fall to Chaos. Especially not one who had served in fifty eight crusades as an Emperor's Champion at every consecutive battle." Draconis shook his head, unable to truly ammend such a grave injustice. "I am sure High Marshal Helbrecht has been reviewing chapter conduct and weapons distribution since this black stain on their honor came to the open."

"It is not known of such a thing happening before." Lomak said. "But like so many others, the Black Templars keep their secrets better than their honor in battle." Draconis shot him a dark look.

"You besmirch the honor of Dorn." He said flatly.

"I merely question the honor of secrecy." Lomak said in a level, almost teacher-like tone. "Your primarch once called for all his sons to stand up and fight without stealth or subterfuge. Keeping secrets, no matter how good your intentions, is still subterfuge." Draconis backed down for a second before returning his attentions to the planets.

"By the looks of these planets, Al Kemar is the last in line to join up in synchronous orbit with the others. It will be the last world to die." Draconis waved his hands to bring the world up into view, but the exact layout and power scans would not clarify, as the planet was too close to the yellow giant star, and there was electromagnetic interference blocking the view. "I suspect my great uncle's vile plot hinges on that world's destruction. I am almost certain that he will be there personally to oversee the world's destruction. There are two hives listed as having massive power generators on the surface. The rest of the hives are strictly underground, and protected by the two surface spires. I have no doubt that he will strike at the one whose power generator is stronger. We need to scan the planet from up close to identify which one is more powerful, make our descent quickly and put a stop to this madness before that bastard opens another rift in the Warp."

"Agreed." Lomak said in brief.

"I will alert my forces of the danger." Nero said as he strode out the room.



World Eaters advanced through halways choking with smoke. The Imperial Guardsmen had put up a ramshackle defense, and each world eater laughed with madness as he assaulted further into the subterranean hives. Several cultists accompanied each World Eater, each grinning with hateful glee as they took scalps and skulls, and were sprayed with the blood of their hated foes. A bloodthirsty cannibal Champion of Khorne flew over the bastion walls of an above ground hive, weidling a giant goblet of blood, and tearing throats with his long incisor fangs while snapping necks with his free hand. Guardsmen fled shouting "Vampyr! Vampyr!" As he advanced, seemingly immune to the weapons levied against him. The World Eater champion dove off the bastion wall into the hive streets, and began to rip apart civilians, hurling blood from the never-empty goblet of Blackpraise. Each civilian hit would crumple as their flesh began to boil. Some burst in explosions of flesh, blood and bone, killing those around them who remained untainted by the goblet, while others morphed into bloodthirsty daemons that began to stalk, then run off into the panicked crowd.



Noise Marines melted plasteel and armaplas with their noise weapons, liquefied faces and brains, and began singing perverse and inaudible hymns to the Prince of Pleasure. The Emperor's Children and accompanying cultists ravaged each city block, raising hymns of slaaneshi glee, while a champion led the spearhead of their assault. He had mutated, growing twice as large, spiraled horns from the side of his head, and an excessive mutation protruded just beneath his belt which seemed meant for something other than battle. The champion danced through crowds of panicked guardsmen, some put up a fight, some because the Commissar said so. All died. All screamed in pain. All screamed in pleasure. Some all at the same time.



The Deathguard advanced slowly through the mine complexes. They had run into heavy resistance, armor and infantry they had not been informed of, but this merely made them laugh and gurgle praises to Nurgle for the gifts they were about to bequeath. The Champion of Nurgle had at the outset of the battle, fallen to his knees and, knowing how virulent the plague Nachtsterben carried was, plunged the dagger through the hard ceramite belly armor of his suit. He'd cut his own gut in a long gash under the armor. His armor had rotted, as if melted by acid, and the flesh beneath was festering black and bilious. As he limped through the mining complex, he breathed zombie plague onto the dead, and even the ground itself to rotted as he passed. Even the skeletal remains of the dead miners from millenia ago began to arise, grow protrusions from their skulls and bodies, as muck from the ground advanced up their bony frames, and formed the basis for plague bearers. Each grinned with a dull, stupid face, and hefted an immaterial blade of rust and rot which was quickly solidifying.



Falzone watched in silence as the Thousand Sons marines advanced up the levels of the hive. He smiled as he cracked guardsmen open like nuts, sliced them in twain with his power sword, and blasted them back with his mind. He fired a plasma bolt into a squad of guardsmen, splashing two of them with the supercharged shot, and killing both in an instant. The Thousand Sons marines were carrying the procession of the virus bomb to the next level of the hive when his vox crackled.

"Lord Falzone." The voice was familiar. Jansen?

"Report." He said in corrupted Black Templar battle cant.

"Ivar reports the ship which almost destroyed our strike cruiser is now in system, long range sensors indicate assault parties are readying to launch as launch bays are opening, but there is no indicator that they have detected our ship. Another, smaller ship. Sword class frigate. Just came out of the warp alongside them. Orders?"

"Do not engage. Remain hidden. It is crucial that you deliver your pre-designated shots at the appointed times." He canted out, the Thousand Sons apparently unaware of what he was saying, or uncaring. After all, most were simply ash, but the sergeants were sorcerors, and he suspected they could divine the meaning of his communicae.

The Thousand Sons fought with efficiency, despite the automatons having no personality, and made for good soldiery. Perhaps, he thought, if I am successful, I will accquire a small force of Thousand Sons for my next campaign.

Tigurio looked to the skies, as he could not help but wonder who it was who was so persistent.



"Nero." Falzone caught up with the ancient captain. "I have one favor to ask of you." Nero turned, considering before asking his own questions.

"What favor? Don't let Falzone live? Take him prisoner? Make him suffer? Put him out of our misery?" Nero's voice hinted at derision and aggrivation.

"No. I simply ask you stay out of the final confrontation. Only step in if I die." Draconis looked straight into Nero's. "I want your oath of moment that you will not take my honor from me by dispatching my great uncle Tigurio Falzone, fallen Marshal of the Black Templars, unless I die in service to the Emperor. I want you to swear here and now to that." Draconis held out his hand, in it, there was a ceremonial dagger. A combat knife ornamentally decorated. "It is a relic from our chapter." He unsheathed it, revealing a dull red coating of blood. "I took an oath when my chapter sent me. An oath of moment to hunt down and kill Tigurio Falzone myself, and not let anyone else do my duty for me." He indicated with the knife where it was drawn down from one shoulderblade to the opposite hip, like an honor rope or sash. "I took that oath, and I may not wash the blood clean from this blade until I fulfill that oath, and return with the head of the traitor heretic." He stared up at Nero, who was a full four inches taller, before carefully wording what he said next, while drawing another ceremonial combat knife.

"I, Draconis Falzone, ask you Nero Vipus of the Luna Wolves. Swear to me, in the name of the Emperor, that you will not intervene, nor rob me of my honor. That you will not kill Tigurio Falzone unless I die, and you will not raise a hand against him in challenge until I have had my chance." He unsheathed the blade, flipped it in the air and caught the sharp end on the flat sides. "To this oath, do you swear?"
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on July 28, 2010, 11:27:38 PM
He took the blade looking over the weapon a smile crossed his face as he turned it round in his hand.

"I saw Dorn do this once when he took an Oath of Moment with the Warmaster, it is good that some traditions remain from our golden age."

He drew the blade down one side of his face.

"I swear Draconis Falzone, that neither my warrior nor I will strike against your uncle unless you fall to his hand."

He drew the blade down the other side of his face.

"And I swear that should you fall I will see the end of your uncle myself, and I will return you to your chapter."

He offered the blade back to Draconis, taking an item from his belt he offered it to the young sergeant.

"You should be finding Lomak and making your preparations with his ship you'll be able to get close while me and mine give Falzone food for thought."

He slapped Draconis on the shoulder and stepped past him striding onto the embankment deck as he entered he sent out a pulse command to his officers and they joined him in the centre of the deck.

"Updated mission status, Falzone had virus bombs."

There was a hiss from each of them for good reason they had all been there on Istvaan.

"Enough, Brak you get  Ef Kemar and the Emperors Children there, Sol you have the World Eaters on Id Kemar."

"I should have them."

Brak growled his fingers flexing in anticipation.

"You know I would normally allow you that pleasure but we can't risk the virus bombs being set off by mistake, you're too valuable to lose Brak."

They all chuckled as Nero turned to Tass.

"You get your lost brothers on Ot Kemar, but be careful they are the most likely to set their bomb off at the first sign of trouble."

"I have no fear of the virus bombs."

"Paval use your strike ships an make a stealth strike against their strike cruiser."

"What of you?"

"I have Al Kemar..."

He pause turning as a dreadnought strode into the deck, the place fell silent as the Legio dropped to knees and the Astartes bowed their heads in respect as it covered the ground.

"You woke 'The Mourning One'?"

Sol's voice was shocked and awed as the massive dreadnought came up towards them.

"He awoke himself, word reached him somehow that we were marching to war."

+Indeed brothers, to war against out hated kin!+

The voice boomed out from the might ancient.

"It is an honour to have you at my side again brother."

He looked back at the officers.

"No one is to make an attempt at Falzone himself, if you see him vox the location to Lomak or Draconis. I have made an oath on this and any the break it will answer to me."

There was a series of nods and they parted Nero headed for his stormhawk his honour guard of nine Luna Wolves forming behind him, the space left by Grave had yet to be filled and would remain empty until they could confirm his death.

"We ride to war brothers, we ride for revenge and to put an end to Chaos."

They boarded and took their seats as the assault boat prepared to launch.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Kallidor on July 29, 2010, 02:40:29 AM
Behind Lomak the Sentinel silently materialised on the deck, like a great shadowy predator about to leap on the old Inquisitor's back. Lomak had observed the ship-board fighting with detached interest, examining the crew for Chaos Taint. Despite how far-fetched their claims might be, these Astartes certainly carried themselves with an ancient nobility that the Astartes of current times seemed to lack. As a man out of time himself Lomak recognised kindred spirits, well, perhaps. Maybe they were merely superlative liars.

Spreading a dirty cloth over a greasy workbench Lomak had reverently placed a long steel case. His bionic fingers clacked over the surface as he entered the codes that unlocked the electrum clasps, psychically activated so that only he could gain access with destroying the contents. He pushed the lid open and the melta charges, discretely built into the upper lining dis-armed with a whine.

Inside was a weapon Lomak had not used, not even seen, for six thousand years. It was a unique rifle, master crafted by the artificer Nelock Shane a man Lomak had had the honour of calling friend so many ages ago. It was constructed along the same general principles as an Exitus sniper rifle but Lomak's was so much more elegant, so much more refined. The gun was massive by any standards but even so, as Lomak deftly put it together, it sat on the filthy work top with a poise and grace befitting the finest rapier.

Scenes, copied directly from the Eternity Gate, were etched along the barrel in a beautiful tarnished bronze finish, every minute detail painstakingly crafted by hand. The muzzle brake was a stylised eagle head, the rail inscribed with litanies by Brother-Captain Denos of the Grey Knights, chosen by him from the Libra Daemonicus. The scope was an .M33 AR14 ‘Specto’ gunsight, another device that responded to the user via a psychic connection, needless to say it was a priceless relic that the Mechanicus would undoubtedly no-longer share with Imperial servants.

“Interfector Rex; King Slayer.” Lomak ran a hand down the barrel and over the bolt carrier. With a frown of recollection Lomak opened the chamber. Inside was a specially crafted round whose intended victim had been dead for sixty centuries. Lomak had been lost in the warp before he had been able to put to death one of the most vile supporters of Cardinal Bucharis. Never mind he thought, the bullet would find a target soon enough.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on July 29, 2010, 05:06:57 AM
Draconis stepped through the bulkhead. The shadows did little to hide his massive frame, but he'd waited patiently while the Inquisitor inspected what seemed to be a priceless relic. He could see there was heavy attention to detail in the gilt body of the gun, but could not make out what imagery had been placed upon it. The beauty of the weapon was not lost on the Imperial Fist, but he had not seen such an artifact outside the Hall of Remembrance aboard the Phalanx in a very long time. As he approached, he made out some remarkable etchings in the brass that made him stop.

"It has been some time," he began, "since I saw a relic such as that." His voice quiet, reverent as if speaking to a saint. "Nearly a century," He continued, "I had thought that between the various chapters and the Mechanicum, most weapons of this calibre had been secured away in stasis fields and vaults."

"For a good reason, it seems." Lomak replied, looking up from his rifle. "I have not touched this rifle in ages, and indeed, if it were to fall into the wrong hands, I would probably launch my own private war to re-acquire it."

"As would the Adeptus Mechanicum or any Astartes chapter, were it theirs, I'm sure." Draconis bent slightly to glance over the bronzework." Whoever did this must have seen the Eternity Gate in person. "He observed." It has been a long time since I was on Holy Terra. I was only a boy, but I still remember those gates."

"A memory none of us truly forget." Lomak nodded. They both stood in silence, pondering the images on the rifle and their own private thoughts for a moment.

"Might I travel aboard your ship?" Draconis finally spoke up. Orin looked up, for a second, with a puzzled look on his face for a moment before he resumed a passive face.

"Ah, yes. Your tactical squad is aboard the sword frigate in tow." He seemed slightly amused. "I forgot. Yes. You may board my ship. I will coordinate with your thunderhawk to re-unite you with your men. Once we are on the battlefield, though, I must depart your company. I work best alone."

"Very well." Sgt. Falzone said. "But, I have one favor to ask."

"Ask, but you may not like my answer." Was his reply.

"It fell to me to hunt down Tigurio Falzone. As I am heir to his lineage, and heir to his shame. The traditions of my chapter permit me to take leave, and even take any force under my command, should I need it, to rectify this perfidious heresy." He locked eyes with the Inquisitor, who stood several feet from him, so he barely needed to look up to meet his gaze. "I only ask that you leave the task of claiming his life to me." The Inquisitor locked eyes with the marine sergeant for moments before giving his reply.

"I serve the Emperor, and I seek His foes. I do not promise to spare the life of a heretic. If you can, take him down, but if you falter, even one step, I will do what I can. That is all I can promise." He finally spoke. Draconis closed his eyes, holding back his slight anger at Lomak not promising to leave Tigurio's death to him.

"Very well." The sergeant opened his eyes, calm once more. "I will do my finest, and you shall do yours. Emperor be with you always, Inquisitor Lomak." Draconis put his fist to his chest in salute, before walking to the embarkation ramp for Lomak's ship.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on July 30, 2010, 02:02:44 PM
Nero sat as they assault ship cycled to life he'd donned his helm for the assault but had every intention of discarding it once he'd made planet fall, for now it served as a means of communication.

"Paval are you prepared?"

"Indeed Captain, our shroud is ready to be deployed on your command."

"Open the launch hatches and ready the engines, Paval you may begin."

Across the system electrical systems faulted or shorted out on the bridge of Falzone's flagship the bridge went black for a second as power rerouted through alternative systems, vox networks vanished in screeching static only to return moments later distorted, in the distraction the assault ships of Nero's force fire from the sides of the ancient cruiser and hurtled towards the surface of their designated worlds now was not the time for caution and each ship pushed their engines and the protective re-entry plates as they plummeted to landfall.

++

The Sentinel however made a much more dignified and subtle departure it's own shroud raised before it had even left the larger ship, it turned gracefully in the void before it continued on it's heading, within the ship Draconis sat at the rear of what could be called the bridge the space barely big enough to contain him, in his hands was the gift Nero had given him, no bigger than a grenade it was wrapped in an ork hide, carefully he unfolded the hide to reveal a emblem of his chapter a clenched fist of Dorn, enamelled in gold and inlaid with terran obsidian the outline of the fist was inscribed with the teachings of Swordsmanship written by Dorn himself, the item was a relic Draconis could see this he turned the emblem over in his hands pausing at the inscription on the reverse.

Presented to Argentus Nero Vipus Champion of the Sword Ullanor Crusade 932.M31

He looked at the date then turned the emblem back over in his hands looking at the fine workmanship that had gone into the item.

++

Nero's ship banked hard as it levelled off

"Head for the Hive, the upper levels we'll cut Falzone's advance off."

He received an acknowledgement and turned to the marines under his command
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Koval on August 06, 2010, 02:19:37 PM
I wasn't aware Terminator armour could even do what Kao Tai was attempting, but evidently his communion with the daemon within Blackpraise transcended the limitations of his armour.

Scatharax had breached a hole in the wall quite easily, ignoring where the other World Eaters had forced their way through the hive's outer shell, and I'd followed him inside, watching the World Eaters go about their work as we penetrated through about a mile of heavily defended tunnel. Lasguns don't have it in them to penetrate Astartes power armour, though, and apart from a few lucky shots making the World Eaters falter slightly (and, of course, the odd heavy weapon to give the Berserkers trouble), the defenders had very little success in stopping the World Eaters. I think I passed a grand total of two dead Berserkers out of an original twenty-seven.

I wasn't keeping track of time, but after what felt like hours of having my job done for me by the World Eaters, I rounded a corner and rushed into a small plaza only to watch Kao Tai come crashing down next to me, Blackpraise in one hand, the head of an Imperial defender in the other. Briefly, I found myself wondering where he'd left his weapons, before dimly noticing the paired scabbards on his belt, each one housing what looked like a feudal-worlder arming sword, but which radiated Chaos energy and was probably a much better weapon than a powerblade.

It didn't occur to me that he didn't need them until he sloshed Blackpraise's contents over another knot of defenders and drenched them in more blood than could feasibly fit into the cup itself; evidently Blackpraise itself was replenishing its own supply, or had some hidden extra-dimensional reservoirs devised when it stopped being a mundane cup.

I stopped caring about ten seconds later when some idiot decided to take a pot shot at me. Unfortunately Scatharax got there first, and with a scream of "DEATH-TO-THE-FALSE-EMPEROR!" he disintegrated the errant gunner (and, as it turned out, about five others in his squad) with a blast from his plasma cannon. If there was anyone left over nearby, I'll warrant that they didn't last long, either fleeing for their lives or being cut down by other World Eaters. I wasn't paying attention.

All around me, the World Eaters were carving their way through the defenders, still suffering only the most minimal of casualties in the face of massed gunfire. Off to my right, the Grand Slaughterer's second, Lo Zan, hacked a hapless officer down the middle with his chain-voulge, the oversized battle-axe shredding flesh, bone, and armour alike with all the savagery of a warhound tearing into a paper package. Past Lo Zan, a diminished squad of Berserkers under Lord Gorvuich was rushing an abnormally large PDF unit, one of Gorvuich's Berserkers going down to plasma fire before he could close, but I didn't get to see the combat play out because Scatharax managed to blunder past me, his flamer drenching an autocannon emplacement in liquid fire, before turning to face me. Inwardly, I was grateful that he'd had the sense to deactivate the flamer before he could get me as well.

"ORBITAL-SCAN-REVEALS-PRESENCE-OF-IMPERIAL-LOYALISTS-IN-SYSTEM!" Scatharax screamed, and I found myself wondering exactly how he could know that, but a wayward glance in Par Yun's direction revealed that our standard bearer was also charged with relaying the Grand Slaughterer's orders and, among other things, further developments from orbit.

"So soon?" I queried, before the coin dropped. "They've been following us..."

"WHAT-ARE-YOUR-ORDERS?"

Obviously, we needed to actually do our job and gut the hive. If there were loyalists counter-attacking from behind us, though, then there was simply no sense in pushing forwards and letting them take us by surprise, but as we were, we couldn't fight on two fronts at once.

If Scatharax was coming to me, it suggested firstly that I was better at making decisions than Kao Tai would be in his frenzied state, and secondly that he'd only take orders from me, command structure be damned.

Looking for each squad's champion in the melee, I assessed our numbers. Gorvuich's squad stood five-strong, and Padan had also lost a Marine (apparently to a meltagun, as there wasn't a lot left of Brother Maruvion to constitute a casualty). Gao Yong, on the other hand, hadn't taken any casualties yet, but I didn't know whether that was likely to change any time soon.

"Clear the plaza, then hold it with Gao Yong and Padan," I told the Dreadnought, at first unsure if he'd even heard me over the noise of his plasma cannon charging. He didn't reply at first, opting to discharge the enormous weapon into a third-floor hab (and, apparently, taking out a sniper I'd not noticed), but when he turned back to face me, his answer was about as blunt as his modus operandi.

"I-OBEY!" Scatharax declared, leaving me the unenviable duty of relaying Padan and Gao Yong their new orders.

Gorvuich's squad, on the other hand, would probably be best off sowing further anarchy and devastation further in the hive, so it remained to see what Kao Tai would do. Obviously, he'd be best served defending the plaza from a loyalist counter-assault, but leaving Gorvuich to snatch up all the glory wouldn't be especially high on his agenda. I also doubted he'd want to split up from Lo Zan, even though the lieutenant would probably be able to command the World Eaters just as well as Kao Tai could.

Par Yun on the other hand carried the banner, and I could easily convince him to make up for the loss of Maruvion in Padan's unit. That didn't make the job of giving the World Eaters their new orders any easier, though, and to make matters worse I hadn't actually been able to kill anything yet. I suppose the World Eaters were hogging the glory and didn't think I was capable of putting up a fight (they were quite incorrect, of course, but you try telling a frothing berserker that).

The only thing nagging at me, though, was whether I'd have the chance to fight the loyalists themselves.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on August 06, 2010, 04:05:11 PM
The ship was quiet all hands having withdrawn to combat station or headed towards the planets below, he chose to move his armoured foot crumpling a service grate and sending it tumbling across the companionway beyond, stepping from the dark innards of strike cruiser Grave covered the passage with his bolt pistols before stepping off to his right, the ship followed the standard layout and he knew it's layout as if he'd been walking it for years, moving quickly he stormed down the companionway towards the command deck.

He met a group of armsmen on one corridor coming upon them like an avenging angle he charged into the heart of the group their few shots from their weapons doing nothing against his armour, he chose not to fire instead using his weapons as clubs smashing the men to their deaths, collecting himself he made to move off again but paused as his vox link went dead then came back to life.

With a thought he recalibrated the vox link and listened for the follow up, short sharp clicks that followed, they'd be lost in the static that followed from on of Paval's typical attacks. He transmitted a response.

+Grave active, respond.+

+Paval confirmed, ident, respond.+

+No time, mission+

+Boarding+

+Aft docking deck 1, rendezvous+

+Confirmed+

He changed direction heading for the primary docking deck moving to remain unseen as he entered the deck he scanned the area servitors worked under the gaze of a lone rating with a almost dismissive action he fired killing the rating as he strode to the bulkheads, opening the emergency releases he triggered them and withdrew to the observation bubble watching as the bulkheads blew out and the deck emptied as the oxygen flooded out, alarms sounded and he smashed his fist into the console silencing them in the bubble knowing full well that an alert would have be raised on the bridge he wondered if they'd notice an alert over the rest of the battle preparations.

He watched as the strike ships of Paval landed waiting as the marines under his command came out on full readiness weapons raised, they moved across the depressurised deck with ease followed by the legio rebreather helms over their heads their body gloves proof against short term exposure, entering the airlock Garve stepped back as they entered the bubble.

"Thought you were dead."

"You think these pups could kill me?"

"So what's their disposition?"

"Light but they maybe aware of your entry now, we need to act quickly."

"Agreed. Midian take the engines, Kestor the warp drive, Foss take your legio and strike at the weapon controls."

They all nodded as Paval turned to Grave.

"Lead the way commander."

Grave nodded and turned to leave the bubble.
 



Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on August 07, 2010, 04:54:29 AM
+Lord. Grath. 1109DK7.+

+Situation.+

+Delta compromised.+

+Theta?+

+Viable. Recommend Gamma backup.+

+Execute+

+Both?+

+Affirmative+

+Thy will be done+



"Change of plans." Tigurio said to a nearby sorceror. Ir Amon, if he remembered correctly.

"Change is always welcome with Tzeentch." The sorceror said, turning to the Black Marshal. "What is thy bidding?"

"Imperial forces have followed us to our current location. Begin the ritual as soon as the cathedral is secured." Tigurio's voice was laced with venomous hate, but his rage was kept in check by the knowledge that his mission was not yet forfeit. "I have something to keep them at bay, but we will have to make haste for our preparations to be effective."

Tigurio had not forgotten that the timing needed to be precise. This new threat jeapordized things, as the virus bombs could not be detonated until the worlds came into perfect alignment. Before that, sacrificing the world's populace would just mean a lot of death.



Draconis watched the system through the porthole, minutes passed into hours as the sub-space engines pushed through. Faster than a thunderhawk could fly, the Inquisitor's ship hurried the Imperial Fist sergeant and the Inquisitor towards their destination. The view was cluttered with data projections that highlighted the location of each world, and as Draconis watched them slowly drift towards the right, he saw one planet highlighted in the dead center of the screen.

In the hours that passed, Draconis used the time to meditate on his objective, but found himself constantly distracted. His great uncle had turned traitor, and must die, yet this Legio Nero... Headed by a Luna Wolf from before the Horus Heresy, if such a thing was to be believed... fought on the side of the Emperor. Traitors who had never really turned traitor. It disconcerted him to think about it, but as he fought through the logic, he found he understood these men. They were not traitors, merely branded as such, and fought on for their Emperor, and for the Primarch who died to them long before the Emperor slew him. This much he could understand, and as he looked upon the golden and obsidian medallion, he smiled. Argentus Nero Vipus. This warrior shared a name with Draconis. Argentus. Perhaps their chance meeting was not so chance after all.

Draconis Argentus Falzone wrapped the gilt icon in the leather he was given, and gently placed it in his own belt's pouch. Looking up, he found the watchful gaze of Orin Lomak locked on him.

"A gift from an old friend?" Lomak mused.

"A gift, from a kindred brother." Sgt. Falzone replied.

"You seem to have a penchant for accepting things at face value, Brother Falzone." Lomak pointed out.

"Perhaps it seems that way," Draconis looked up at the compartment ceiling, "but I never felt quick to accept a truth if it was not true..." He returned his gaze to the Inquisitor, with a slight smile on his face. "Something that perturbs the chapter Librarium and intrigues the Reclusiam staff." His eyes glossed waxy for a second. Lomak might have assumed some vacancy within Draconis' mind, perhaps some thread of mental defect ran through the family line, which caused a level of absent-mindedness that grew into insanity. He only could hope this was not the case.

"The Librarians of your chapter are disturbed that you have this ability?" Lomak asked, feigning curiosity, at least to seem polite.

"They dislike any situation wherein a person presents psyker-like qualities, but is not a psyker. They believe that my choices have been either guided by an external force, other than The Emperor, or are simply luck, and are bound for disaster. This, I think, is why they sent me on this mission."

"To prove you're a psyker." Lomak posed the statement openly.

"No. To prove that I am either a fool, or a puppet. Draw out the witch they feel has guided me, or give me a task where my quick actions will prove fatal to me, and few else of my chapter. My squad was sent with me to assist in my task, but should I fail, or prove a fool, the chapter has readied itself to write them off as a minor loss, compared to what my actions could cost a full strike force." The Inquisitor sat down on the bench next to Draconis, sensing a slight feeling of hurt emanating from the marine. "I have not yet been wrong, so if I am wrong now, I would rather die now, for my failure to ascertain the truth than return to my chapter and lead them into harms way with another abstract choice."

"What kind of choices have you made in the past that led to this situation?" Lomak asked after a moment of pause.

"Many. In one battle, I was in pursuit of an Ork battlewagon, full of looting warriors, when I felt it pertinent to stop the Rhino we were in, order my marines out into the open, and set up two weapons teams on either side of the Rhino. I ordered brother Makerus to fire a missile after the battlewagon. He loaded a krak missile and missed the tank, firing past it into the rockface. Seconds later, the canyon began to rumble, a spidervein crack had spread from the impact point and raced ahead of the wagon. In moments, the Orks were crushed, and the canyon cut off." He paused. "At first, we thought this might be problematic for extraction and re-enforcement, but as it turns out, closing off the canyon boxed in a large re-enforcement of Orks who were waiting to spring a trap on us. We bombarded their camp with vengeance and castellan missiles until the orbital strike cruiser was in position to fire its lance batteries. They stopped firing when the planet's crust cracked, leaving a red hot crater for the remaining Orks to burn in." A hint of relish as he retold the story became apparent.

"Was this not considered a victory?" Lomak interjected.

"It was, but we had no intel on the ork camp, we thought the battlewagon was simply escaping to sow the seeds of Orky chaos, to cause infestation once more. We simply sought to kill them to prevent having to come back years later." He recounted the situation as if it were his daily bread and butter.

"Then, how did you find out about the camp to bombard it?"

"After chastising me for sealing us into a canyon space that was difficult to maneuver Thunderhawks into, Captain Eschar ordered scout squads, to seek out high ground, land speeders and assault squads wearing jump packs were also sent out, to expedite our evacuation off the barren rock of a world. We were there to secure a lost relic, which, as it turns out was almost completely looted by the Orks before we arrived. A warhound titan had stood sentinel over the world's mines and the Skitarii and PDF had secured the world for millenia without trouble. The titan was half dis-assembled when we arrived, and we had to fight a long campaign to re-acquire the missing components, before the Mechanicum could re-awaken its machine spirit." He looked at the Inquisitor beside him.

"My action, to call off the pursuit, and order use of a krak missile in those circumstances, would have resulted in my exile, had events played out differently... This was not the only occasion where I broke with tactical doctrine, and was not the last either. Each time, it has been something where chosing what I chose would have left us at a disadvantage, but for whatever reason, doing so when I did it wound up saving us from greater losses... Can you explain that?" The Inquisitor kept a neutral expression.

"I think I might." He finally said. "Your subconscious mind is a very powerful logic engine..." He began. "Very few in this millenium seem to understand this about the human mind. Yours being an astartes mind, would have been implanted with various modifications, including a technology piece to allow you to rest your awareness, without resting your alertness. To do this, your brain must be worked doubly the amount a normal human brain must... Usually, a space marine has half his mind in a locked shut-down mode, while the other half remains alert. The two portions of brainmatter involved switch between one active and one resting, but seldom are both active at the same time except in extended battles, when the switch occurs. During normal resting periods, you can afford to shut both down during a meditative trance, but in a prolonged engagement, you must switch them without this meditation. It is part of what makes space marines so cunning when they are outnumbered. The switching of active brain portions leaves both active for a short duration, where creativity spurts, and the marine in question can modify his tactics according to his needs." He paused, Draconis nodded, indicating he understood so far.

"I think your brain must be operating on a different cycle than it's supposed to. Perhaps both halves of your brain working in tandem for longer than they are supposed to." Lomak finally said. "It's possible that your mind shares awareness in both halves for a total of eight hours for every twenty four hour cycle, as each may be only operating on eight hours of rest per cycle. It explains how you might have had a gut instinct to take those orks out at range, rather than pursue them down a long and winding corridor, where you might have eventually led your men to their deaths." He paused. "But I still don't see how you can trust Nero so quickly." He raised an eyebrow.

"Perhaps only time will tell." Draconis said as he returned his gaze to the viewscreen ahead.



As boarding parties entered Tigurio Falzone's crippled ship, they found resistance sparse, as they'd expected, but from bays not harmed by the Warp, nor by salvoes from enemy ships, four squadrons of thunderhawk gunship launched into the void of space. Each gunship squadron operated on silent running, with as little energy expenditure as possible. Each squad had a planetary destination, and as they came closer to their destination, the gunships spread from their squadmates, preparing to enter orbit at various positions, to avoid detection, as well as ensure that at least one would survive until it was time to fire upon the virus-bombed world beneath.

Back aboard the defiled strike cruiser, the last Black Knight punched in a series of command runes aboard the bridge. Around him, and across the ship, the remaining slaves, serfs and cultists dropped to their knees and began singing hymns and supplications to the glory of Chaos. Red lights flashed and claxons wailed. Over the ship-wide vox, a loud, deep voice welcomed the intruders, inviting them to stay for a few minutes... and assured them it would be their last, before breaking into a long, ear-splitting roar of laughter, the cultists joined in the laughter, and continued laughing. As the intruders encountered one coven of cultists, they launched themselves onto the marines, laughing maniacally as they swung blades and claws at their hated foes.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on August 16, 2010, 11:05:13 PM
Nero looked up as the assault boat roared away turning from the upper spires of the hive an out of sight. Looking round at his gathered force the marines had fanned out weapons ready the humans stood in formation special weapons and heavy weapons to the fore.

"Chaste, take your legio up to the higher levels if any of the traitors make it past us lay an ambush for them."

He waited until the legio had gone before speaking again.

"Auspex?"

"I read a force of marines six sectors distance."

"Disposition?"

"Twenty, maybe more there is some disturbance."

"Vox Lomak inform him that we will engage and delay their progress."

He turned to the Dreadnought as it came up beside him.

"To war again my old friend."

+AYE TO THE DEATH+

They moved out

+

Sol ordered his assault craft into a strafing run watching as rockets streaked from the ship blossoms of fire lighting up the area he knew the world eaters occupied, as the assault ship banked he ordered the assault troop to deploy watching as the world eaters under his command threw themselves from the ship their jump packs lighting up as they fell into war.

"Take us down to a safe drop level, Heavy units be ready to lay suppressing fire auspex suggests they have a dreadnought locate it and take it down. Tactical fan out into Phoenix Alpha assault pattern."

He collected up his weapons a finely detailed bolter and a long single edged scimitar which he hung about his body before collecting his final weapon a long hafted power lance, as the assault ship dropped he leapt from it igniting the lance as he free fell the blade burned bright orange and red as he landed his weight shattering the marble flags under him, stepping through the dust he parried a chain axe with the haft of his weapon slamming his elbow into the world eaters helm he twisted the blade and took the traitors head from his shoulders.

"Show no mercy!"

He swung his bolter round holding it one handed he fired into the traitor marines as the marines fell to the ground behind him.

Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Kallidor on September 08, 2010, 12:37:33 AM
“What are you doing?” Draconis had snapped his head around quickly looking at Lomak with a furrowed brow.

“Opening the hatch brother Falzone. We have landed.” The Sentinel was a ship of such fluid grace that there was no perceptible announcement that it had passes through the planet’s atmosphere and landed but even so the Astartes should have noticed.

Lomak did not press the issue as he lead the way onto the barren surface. There was little by way of vegetation or natural landmarks and overhead the sun beat down incessantly. The heat was dry and prickling and it had hit Lomak instantly as if he had opened an over door. On the surface and out of the shade of the Sentinel he began to perspire immediately.

Lomak had prepared himself by donning a Van Saar stillsuit. He pulled a mask of the lower half of his face, and pulled a thick mesh hood with integral filters down over his head. Engaging the suits systems he was instantly cooled as refrigerated moisture, began to pump around his body and the glare of the sun became a pleasant glow as the filters darkened.

Behind him Falzone’s own enhanced physiology went to work a waxy sweat coating his exposed skin and his melanchrome organ darkening his flesh appropriately. Behind the Astartes the Sentinel flickered like obsidian before fading into invisibility leaving the Space Marine and the Inquisitor seemingly abandoned in the forbidding ash wastes.

“You have a mountain to clime Brother, physically and spiritually.”

“I will not flinch from what has to be done Inquisitor but nothing in my career could possibly have prepared me fully to face this challenge.”

“It is said that when the Emperor faced the Warmaster he hesitated. With Sanguinius dead at his feet and with the malign energies of Chaos coursing through his corrupted frame Horus was still the Emperor’s son and He saw his as such. He hesitated before the ultimate evil and was nearly destroyed.

“If even the God-Emperor could not fully prepare Himself for such a test do you truly believe that you could do any better?”

“I suppose not Inquisitor.” Draconis replied after several long moments.

“It has long been my opinion that the superhuman loyalty and fidelity of the Astartes is both a strength and a weakness. The strength of kinship between Astartes is such that they will fight through hell itself side by side, enduring hardships that no normal man could bear in order to support their brethren. But when that loyalty is tested or broken then the shock is all the greater the fall all the more precipitous.

“An ordinary man with all the weakness and frailty of humanity can stand before his brother, even his own kin, his human fallibility softening the blow of betrayal. For an Astartes it is a battle the likes of which they have never faced.

“Rejoice Brother Falzone for today you know what it is to be human, you know how it feels to be a man. All of the trials you have faced so far have turned a boy into an Astartes, few of your kind face the trial you are about to, so imagine how this coming conflict will reforge you anew into an ever more accomplished warrior. Have faith in the Emperor and you will see the truth of my words.”
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on September 08, 2010, 09:52:00 AM
Nero paused as alerts went down the line his eyes scanned the wreckage of the hive before him nothing half turning while keeping an eye on the ground before him he spoke.

"What is it?"

"Movement captain, off to the left the auspex registered it then it vanished."

"To arms all of you, we make our stand here as one, Falzone needs the optimum vantage to put his bomb to maximum effect and we stand between him and his goal."

The Mourning One strode up beside him planting it's massive feet it bellowed it's vox amplifiers set to maximum.

+Death to the Traitors!+

Nero joined the cry adding his own voice

"Luna Wolves! Lost Sons! For the Emperor!"

They all joined in as they formed a defensive line bolters held ready for what ever Falzone could throw at them.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on September 09, 2010, 01:21:17 AM
Draconis locked his helmet in place as he strode from the Inquisitor's location. The ash wastes had an eerie yellow hue to them, which did well to mask his form outside the hive before him. As he marched towards the citadel, his armor uploaded auspex readings from the Thunderhawk ships that had already made passes overhead. He locked onto a singularity in the citadel's outer walls, and began running towards it. Minutes later, he arrived, and examined the oddity. A culvert, presumably an original portion of the wall, but it had been sealed off. His personal auspex showed the wall culvert was made of weaker stone than the wall, with no thought to re-enforcement. He removed a melta charge from his belt, priming the bomb and setting it at the base of the door. As he dove behind a nearby boulder, the blast went off, and a quiet crumbling followed. Draconis leapt to the culvert, but found only a small opening had been made, due to partial collapse of the stonework. Half-way through the thickness of the wall, the hole stopped abruptly. Draconis crawled in, and placed a second Meltabomb, fusing it for a long enough delay for him to crawl back out. A second after he came out of the hole and rolled aside, a blast of superheated gasses shot out of the opening.

With a hole clear through the culvert,  Draconis readied his plasma pistol and crawled through the breach. As he emerged on the other side, he looked around. Dead bodies littered the room, but to be sure, as he crawled out, Draconis kicked each in the head, if it didn't have sufficient burns from the meltablast to justify death.

Moving into a nearby corridor, Draconis found a small hallway leading into the hive proper. Passing through the doors, he heard the screams of citizenry being butchered, bolterfire echoing across the hive and, looking up to the center, he saw a slow-moving elevation platform with what appeared to be ten Astartes slowly ascending to the next level of hive above. His data-feed read-out of the hive mapped the quickest path to the elevator platform, and possible means of out-flanking the platform as it headed to the top level of the spire. With the miracle of his ancient suit's machine spirit, he knew what to do, and began at a sprinting pace towards his objective.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Kallidor on September 10, 2010, 01:15:51 AM
Lomak watched the Astartes sprint away but hung back to check on the corpses uncovered near the ingression using his psy powers to mask his presence so that he might examine the bodies without interference. As he stooped to look at the nearest body his vox crackled faintly. Static wash laced the channel and an eerie disembodied voice could be heard too faint to understand what it was saying. With a loud beep the channel cleared instantly and a voice boomed from the bead in Lomak's ear making him wince.

It was one of Nero's marines, infroming him of some attempt to delay their advance. Since they had already made their way into the hive it was likely the transmission was long overdue. Peering down his nose at the body at his feet their was no obvious cause of death and their was no rigour although the bodies were icy cold. The ways of Chaos were many and strange but there was a creeping sense of dread that forced Lomak's gaze upwards, toward the tiny receding form of Draconis. Checking his rifle Lomak stood and stalked after the marine.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on November 22, 2010, 06:16:21 AM
Bounding down a long corridor, Draconis sprinted past hab blocks, shoppes, administratum buildings, a medicae clinic, many had been damaged in the fighting, some from disrepair or neglect. Draconis knew how these backwater worlds could fall prey to the dereliction of attention from their governorships. This world, being such a hostile environment probably garnered only the merest attempts to maintain habitability. Draconis shrugged the thoughts of this from his mind. As much as neglecting the Imperium's faithful irritated him, he needed all his focus on the task which loomed above. Killing his own uncle.

As he rounded a street corner, Draconis snapped off two plasma bolts with his pistol, barely even registering the act, his battle training so ingrained into his reflexes that he simply killed the cultists without a first thought, let alone a second. The hive's lower levels were so ingrained by soot and yellow ash that as he ran, and was showered with explosion debris from nearby skirmishes, his armor became more and more soiled, until only he could know the chapter markings painted on his pauldrons. This alone seemed to explain why neither cultist nor defender was assailing him.

Draconis' in-helmet display showed him a path that led away from the actual fighting to a service route. The Mechanicum shed he found to be in disrepair. It had a stairway descending into the bowels of the hive's life support and enginarium, several tunnels linking up with other service stations, and a service elevator shaft which had a warning reading that the elevator was exceedingly fast, and only Astartes or Mechanicum had the fortitude to not pass out on ascention or descention between decks. Draconis entered the service elevator, punched the highest deck he could access, and planted his feet firmly as he stood at the center of the elevator. The G forces made him wince, but Draconis had enough presence of mind to prep his plasma pistol with a fresh cylinder, check the power level on his sword, and read where his path would lead on the HUD map in front of him.



Tigurio stood amidst his diabolical entourage. The daemonhost, several cultists to each god, and a handful of marines wearing various traitor markings. They were near the top of their ascent. The massive lift had been neccessary to bring the device safely to the elevation Tigurio needed. He simply observed by this point. His minions knew what to do. The Astartes had decades, sometimes centuries of experience in matters of battle, deployment and even extermination. Normally an astartes ship would drop a devastating volley of virus bombs in order to affect exterminatus. However, this occasion called for a more personal touch. If all went right, Tigurio anticipated his life would be forfeit, as would his followers. However, unlike the prognosis of failure, if Lord Falzone died, his body would perish, but Nurgle, Khorne, Tzeentch and Slaanesh would see to it his soul would live on. In servitude to the ruinous powers, but still with more power at his fingertips than ever before. The only question Tigurio had on his mind was, would he be dying for Chaos? Or was his death really for the Imperium... to eradicate this system, and bring in a new source for attacks on the Empire of Man, that they might bolster themselves against their hated foes from beyond...

Tigurio had little time to fathom this issue. He looked up at the sky through the hive dome. The energy shield flickered, and sand and ash beat against the clear armaplas plates. Someone was trying to sabotage the plan. Let in the outside heat and, perhaps, kill off all the invaders. A foolish attempt, when Tigurio was so close, but even so.

"Hurry up! If we are a moment too late, the power of our efforts will be wasted!" He extolled. "Move that virus bomb!"

"Halt!" Draconis shouted as he rounded a turn, his plasma pistol already leveled, his power sword crackling.

"Who are you, boy? Who are you to meddle in the affairs of Gods!?" Tigurio sneered.

"Who, indeed, uncle." Draconis  spoke grimly, as if addressing a corpse. "Who are you to meddle in the affairs of Gods?" Draconis leveled a shot at a marine standing near the bomb. "I am Draconis Argentus Falzone, sergeant of the Imperial Fists. You are a traitor to mankind, a heretic and an apostate knight errant." He pointed his sword as he said this. "I am here to arrest you, try you for treason and have you sentenced according to the measure of your evil!"
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on November 22, 2010, 08:17:36 AM
"And we are here to put a spot to your foul plan."

Nero's voice boomed from the darkness as he strode forward power sword blazing brightly, behind him came half a dozen Luna Wolves their armour strangely unmarred by the environment much like their commanders, with a gesture the six marines moved to stand behind Draconis their weapons levelled at the marines behind Tigurio.

Nero himself moved to stand beside Draconis looking at the young marine.

"As agreed."

He snapped his head up looking at Tigurio while he still spoke to Draconis.

"You and him have business, we'll deal with his whelps."

His hand moved his bolt pistol flashing into his hand and discharging before anyone could react the round tearing into the daemonhost's chest with a thunderour boom pitching it violently back into the lift.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on November 23, 2010, 06:50:54 AM
The daemonhost hissed, louder and louder it screeched, its eyes glowed lightly in a dark orange haze which seemed to whisp away like smoke. Its mouth was moving in endless chant as a pool of ichor and blood began to form on the lift around it. A sudden movement, and its body seemed to judder, shake and then contract before finally collapsing and releasing a horrid stench. Feces. Foetid, foul and horrendous, the odor wafted outward from the lift, causing one of Nero's marines to hesitate, almost costing his life, as a traitor fired a volley of bolter shells his way. The marine managed to swerve his body to evade the impact of the majority of shots, but Nero and Draconis both had taken notice of the growing mound of feces in the lift. The daemonhost had expired, it seemed but his excrement had not. It embodied a life of its own, and re-animated the daemonhost body, spreading itself over the mishapen form. As the fecund daemon rose, it began to laugh a long, greasy, throaty laugh. As a horn began to grow from its belly, the daemon clutched the horn and pulled, again and again, until the horn was more than two meters long, made of festering iron, and separate from its body. The bloated [EXCOMMUNICATE] demon raised a hand in challenge to Nero Vipus with a yellow-toothed grin.

Meanwhile, Draconis had rushed Tigurio. The younger marine had blasted the elder with a bolt of searing plasma, but Tigurio's rosarius had reduced the majority of damage to almost none. The two clashed blades with fury rarely seen, the hatred of true family betrayed combined with the wrath ingrained in Astartes for their traitor brethren seethed and roiled between the two, as blades crossed, plasma pistols fired past each other, and kicks, punches, elbows, headbutts, parries and slashes all exchanged. Tigurio gripped Draconis by the neck, and squeezed.

"If only you knew..." But Draconis interrupted by pushing back enough to kick almost straight up into Tigurio's jaw. As his kick landed, Draconis saw the true horror of what Tigurio had become. The elder marine's skin had changed. His cheek bones were puffed over, while the cheeks themselves were rotted away, revealing a mouth of sharp monstrous teeth. The Black Marshall's eyes were indeed black, glistening in the orange glow from above. His forehead revealed a third, black, lightless eye which seemed to actually devour the light which fell upon it. His nostrils were flared, like a lizard or a bat, and horns sprouted from his bald pate, like a crown of reddish white bone.

"If only you didn't..." Draconis said quietly, backing away, he kept his blade ready, but was trying to grasp what he saw, what should not be his Uncle...
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on November 23, 2010, 09:44:13 AM
Nero strode forward as his marines held their ground preventing the traitors advance he looked the daemon over and smiled.

"I've bested better than you daemon."

The gutteral chuckle sent a wave of efulent stench over him but he stood in the face of it as it raised it horn blade to strike.

"Unfortunatly for you I am not the one to be besting you this day."

As if on cue the wall expoloded inwards debris scattering across the floor pulling both loyalist and traitor from their feet as chucks of masonry sweep under their feet, the Daemon snarled as a lump of masonry struck it and Nero was forced to leap back he lifted his sword aiming for the hole and the daemons gaze followed the point of the weapon.

+I COME, FEAR ME SERVANTS OF THE WARP FOR I AM YOUR DEATH+

The Mourning One stepped through the hole his dreadnaught armour tearing more stone work away from the wall, it levelled it's assault cannon at the daemon.

+COME WARP SCUM FACE YOUR DOOM+

The daemon snarled a the venerable dreadnaught charged towards it power fist ignighting the air around it as they clashed the daemon striking against the Dreadnaughts armour which bore the brunt of the attacks The Mourning One's power fist driving the daemon back with powerful blows each one threatening to pulp the unearthly body.

Nero truned to regard Draconis as he backed away from his fallen uncle his voice echoed out a he shouted.

"See young pup what happens to those who loose their faith, those who give up their souls for powers that should not be theirs, there is no salvation for the fallen, no quarter to be give you must end this with his head!"

Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on November 28, 2010, 04:18:47 AM
The fallen marines had been caught off guard, but rallied swiftly to return a volley of bolterfire at Nero's marines. The older marines did not dwarf them in size, but by some strange virtue, they seemed to radiate a calm, controlled sense of violence, and a hard-earned wisdom of ages that seemed to make them appear the bigger for it. Each Fallen Templar present fighting against Nero's men seemed to falter in his steadiness, as if possessed of the knowledge they had stepped one footfall too far down the wrong path many miles ago.

Tigurio hurled himself at his nephew, intent on incapacitating this nuisance child, and returning to his work. He struck for the killing blow, knowing Draconis could block it, but would follow up with a slice at his sword hand, his knee, or his elbow. The Black Marshal snarled as Draconis scored a plasma blast along his leg armor, melting off the outer layer on his left greave. In reply Tigurio punched Draconis across the face. The sergeant staggered backwards, but gathered his wits quickly, holstered his plasma pistol, and with both hands gripping his sword, lunged forward, thrusting the tip of his blade at the elder Falzone's hearts. His sword sparked as it grazed against Tigurio's breastplate, but he evaded the majority of damage as he twisted sideways. Draconis twisted to recover and face his uncle, but the elder was able to land a power sword blow to Draconis' right leg.

The blow caused the Imperial Fist sergeant to fall, but the opening had been lost, and he fended off Tigurio's attacks until the Marshal of Chaos relented to gloat. The Imperial Fist sergeant growled as he tried to stand. Unable to, he drew his plasma pistol. He addressed it with a littany of accuracy as he disabled the safety. The split second he took to do this was still too long to avoid detection as, even though Tigurio had turned his back, his second sight kicked in and he spun on the spot, drew his own bolt pistol, and snapped off a shot into Draconis' left hand. The bolt round liquefied his hand, shattered the pistol grip and ruptured the containment field on the plasma pistol. The explosion burned the Fist sergeant's face, fractured his arm plates, and sent him sprawling sideways.

"You see?" Tigurio smirked. "Chaos is power... Power to detect your pathetic attempt to kill me. Power to take a system against the odds, and even the power to save the Imperium from its own destruction." There was a glimmer in his eyes. "You understand? I have bargained a portion of my soul, and the system you are trying to save in exchange for forces aligned to Chaos, which will serve under my leadership to strike at the cancers rotting the Imperium. I will help to make our Emperor's domain sovereign once more!" Tigurio smiled as he stepped towards Draconis. "Now, this is my one offer, join me." He held out his hand.

Draconis pushed himself up with his good leg, gripping his sword as tight as possible, and thrust his blade towards Tigurio's hearts. In spite of his speed, Draconis was no match for Tigurio's limited wytch-sight, and the Black Marshal dodged the strike, following it up with a crippling hamstring blow, sending Draconis sprawling in his face. The Fallen Templar raised his sword high, with the blade pointed down. As he gripped the blade tighter, he shook his head and closed his eyes.

"Pity... And I saw such potential in you..." He muttered as his last words to the nephew he just met.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on November 29, 2010, 05:32:19 AM
He drew the blade back for the killing blow but as he struck forward another sword smashed it aside as Nero stepped in standing over the fallen Imperial Fist, with a snarl Tigurio turned the vicious parry into a counter attack but Nero had his footing now and their blades met locking as the two marines stared into one another's eyes.

Tigurio's black pits looked into the cold icy glare or the older marine there was no anger there no blind hate only a calm fury controlled an directed but deeper yet there was cunning and wisdom, intelligence dare he think it belief in purpose, this was unlike anything Tigurio  had ever seen, marines were zealous to the Emperor their devotion shone in their eyes their righteous fury ebbed from their every being and their faith in the God Emperor shone brighting from them yet this man was different there was no hint of the religious zeal about him no righteous only the hard truth of him.

Their blades parted and as quick they were connected again locked in a different position this time it was Nero who's struck and he parted the blades and struck again and again riving Tigurio back several paces, he dodged a wild swing from Tigurio's fist and delivered on of his own crushing the fallen marshals nose with the blow which sent Tigurio reeling as his own blood pumped from his ruining face.

Nero did not press the advantage instead he turned to the fallen Draconis and dragged him to his feet his voice harsh as he steadied the young Imperial Fist.

"On your feet Son of Dorn! You are not bested yet, you are his Astartes you fight in his name for his glory! This wretch has sullied Dorn's name, sullied your name and that of the Emperor himself, are you about to let your minor injuries get the better of you and bring more shame upon your chapter and family?"

Draconis looked him hard in the face.

"You uncle is lost, do not think of his salvation think only of his death for that is the only place his salvation lies Ave Imperator."

Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on November 29, 2010, 06:28:07 AM
Draconis heard the truth of these words. His legs were already mending, the damage to his muscles would hamper him, but he still had one hand, his head and a service bolter. Sheathing his power sword, the Imperial Fist reached behind to unholster the gun from under his back power unit. Raising it quickly, and using his ruined arm as a brace for aiming, he lined up his left eye with the iron sights. Tigurio barely managed to recover from Nero Vipus' smashing fist when the bolter shells began exploding against his breastplate. Some of the shells flared up against a shimmering barrier, as the Black Marshal's iron halo kicked into gear. Even so, the fallen paladin staggered under the full-automatic hail of mass reactive slugs.

"In Imperium, mortus te!" Draconis snarled with the roar of bolter fire. The curse seemed to have an effect, as Tigurio staggered backwards as the last rounds from Draconis' magazine shorted out the iron halo, and one of the shots broke through Tigurio's abdominal armor, rupturing many internal organs as it exploded. He did not fall, however, and merely began to laugh as cultists flooded into the chamber, swarming towards Nero.

"I have not had the pleasure of meeting one so interesting as yourself, renegade." Tigurio said between laughs. "However, I do hope we meet again," he strode towards the virus bomb assembly, still guarded by a small number of marines yet to be slain by Nero's forces. "But, as only one of us has a ticket back from oblivion, I highly doubt I will ever see you... in your entirety... ever again." His broken face shifted shape into a hideously grinning devil mask. "Though, perhaps, I will take the time to recover all your lost shards of soul and reassemble you as my pet..." As Tigurio reached for the activation runes, he was cut short in his rant, as the area echoed loud with a single metallic explosion. A shot that stopped all combat momentarily, as everyone sought the origin of the sound.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Kallidor on December 06, 2010, 03:14:42 PM
Lomak doubled over and coughed up a wad of bloody spittle. His arms may have had the strength of ten men but his body was old and unused to such physical activity and climbing a hive was a feat few ordinary men could boast. As he settled himself down his vision swam with exhaustion and vertigo as he observed the distant conflict over a vast chasm. Laying down on an old gantry he used his pyschic powers to gather himself and then hide his frail body from any glances that might be directed his way.

He used a range finder to determine the distance to the swirling combat between Brother Falzone and his fallen  uncle. Nero's men were slowly culling the traitor's forces and pressing them back but the hideous grin on Tigurio's face belied the loss of his troops, no doubt savouring his final moment of victory. Lomak was too tired to allow himself a smile at the thought that that victory would never come. Tigurio's death would not be at the hand of ancient loyalist from a far blacker Chapter that Tigurio's, nor would it come by way of his nephew. There would be no poetic end for the mad man, only an anonymous execution at the hands of unseen enemy.

As the ebb of battle turned in the favour of the loyalists Lomak set up his rifle, aiming the majestic sweep of the barrel at the far distant roof of the dome. At ranges such as these a sniper rifle became more akin to an artillery piece and conventional shooting became redundant. Instead, the shot was boiled down to a set of numbers, an equation of death if one wished to use such verbose language.

One of Nero's men was down and his topknot ruffled in some faint breeze that swirled in the dome. Lomak used that to calculate the wind velocity between him and the target and with that it was down to a matter of skill to time the moment. Tigurio moved away from his nephew a sly grin splitting his features as he approached a console. As always there was too much talk. Lomak recalled the moment he finally caught up with the fallen Magos that had sided with the Silver Emperor, there had been no talk, he had just killed him.

The shot was quiet and Tigurio was still speaking long after the bullet had been fired. Lomak watched through a spotting scope until he saw the target terminated. At this range the bullet was not flying horizontally, just like an artillery shell it came strait down onto Tigurio's exposed head. His skull blew apart like an unpeeling fruit and the force of the projectile drove him down onto his knees and split his armour where it had already been rent by bolter fire, a gruel of blood spraying from the out in a semi circle. Had he been without his power armour Tigurio would be no more but the smoking ruin of his armour was fixed upright on it's knees, headless and totally still. The shoch of the unexpected and spectacular death froze every other warrior present and even though he had heard nothing of the distant conflict the silence was palpable.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on December 06, 2010, 10:55:10 PM
Nero turned his eyes scanning the area the shot had come from he though he caught the tale tale sight of the shooters origin but it was a passing visage and he lost it as soon as he'd seen it, his face was hard he surveyed the clearing.

"Dammed Inquisition."

There were a handful of Tigurio's marines left still fighting falling back in good order at the death of their lord, and the daemon still fought with 'The Mourning One' it's dreadnought armour marked by dozens of hits and fluid pumping from one of it's legs where a servo had been ruptured his aspect grim he gestured to a group of his marines.

"Secure the bomb, disarm it and make it safe, one stray shot and we're still dead."

Under covering fire they moved forward in pairs supporting one another they approached the fallen dark marshal, Nero turned looking at Abdul his head hanging his sorrow for all these years they had fought together and to see his life blood slowly flowing from the gaping wound in his chest was a dark occurrence and he would be missed sorely on board, he dwelt on the death wondering how many more would not be returning Sol and Brak had already lost so many and he knew that after this the mood on his ship would be bleak it was always the case when brothers fell, to have survived the heresy and those long years this had been a trying time for them all and the company would need time to recover.

"Falak see to our brother."

Falak lifted his head and gave a sharp nod moving from the combat he dropped down beside Abdul and Nero's attention turned to Draconis.

"It is done, not in the best way but his curse is over,"

He gestured at his ruined arm.

"You'll need that seeing to lad."

He attention was grabbed as 'The Mourning One' smashed the Daemon back effluent scattering across the ground corrupting the stone work where it landed he roared another powerful blow crushing the body but the daemon weathered the punishing blows, it struck back driving it's long blade into the abdomen the dreadnought roared it's powerfist closing round the daemon.

+YOU WILL NOT DEFEAT ME DAEMON I ENDURE YOUR CORRUPTION+

The dreadnought twisted it's assault cannon coming round it fired at point blank range into the daemon pulping it'd twisted and corrupted body into nothing more than thick slime upon it's powerfist. With the daemon dead the dreadnought faltered staggering on it's damaged leg, Kesta one of Nero's finest assault specialists moved closer to the ancient warrior.

+I ENDURE BROTHER DO NOT FEAR FOR ME THERE IS MORE FIGHT LEFT IN MY OLD BONES YET+

Kesta nodded once and turned back to the battle.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on December 07, 2010, 06:20:47 AM
Standing, Falzone staggered slowly towards his uncle's corpse. The shock had faded after a moment. He had suspected the Inquisitor would interfere. He was actually grateful. He felt shame for failing, but gratefulness that the Inquisitor had not given an oath to leave it to him for the kill. Otherwise, now, they might all be dead. With that in mind, Draconis kicked the body over and turned to where he suspected the shot came from. Was Orin Lomak still hiding there, somehow? If he were a sniper worth his salts, he probably had moved by now. Regardless, Draconis tilted his head and raised his bolter to his chest in salute. The kill went to Orin Lomak. Draconis would return to his chapter, and relay the occurrences of this day.

One second after saluting the Inquisitor, Draconis turned, leveled his bolter with a fresh magazine in it, and unloaded into the remaining forces of Tigurio's retinue. One Word Bearers marked marine stood out as more stout hearted than the rest, and Draconis took it upon himself to level the majority of his bolterfire at this individual. Soon, he fell, and the remaining marines were routed as they fled from the chamber into the upper hive area. Nero's men followed in hot pursuit, but Draconis collapsed. The cuts to his legs, the wounded arm, various other seemingly small ricochet and frag injuries were catching up to him, and his body was beginning to run through metabolic slowing processes. They would allow him to remain conscious, battle ready in his position, but unable to engage in pursuit or retreat without someone carrying him.

Looking to Nero he sighed.

"It seems I have failed." He paused a second. "The Inquisition was able to remedy my weakness with a long shot in the dark, but were it not for the assassin's bullet, my uncle would have killed us. Your honor bound you from taking his life. My youth and inexperience with... this." Draconis lifted what was left of his left arm. "I only hope I can do better for the Emperor, for Dorn and for the chapter in the future, if they will have me."
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on December 07, 2010, 12:38:55 PM
Nero knelt beside him resting his sword at the youths side.

"The powers of chaos are strong pup, if your uncle had not been corrupted and filled with their dark gifts the day would have been yours."

He looked at the hand and gestured to Falak

"See that our cousin returns to his chapter whole."

Falak nodded curtly and drew a tool from his belt as he knelt on the other side of the fallen marine.

"Rest no little cousin we'll see you right."

He forced the tool inbetween the soft parts of Draconis' armour and injected the powerful sedative into his blood stream he would stay awake for a few minutes as Nero stood pacing away from the Imperial Fist. Speaking in a quieter voice to Kesta

"Secure that for removal back to our ship."

Kesta nodded lifted his hand to his ear sending the machine code signal to summon their stormbird, four marines stood round the bomb their weapons held ready for any threats.

Nero boosted the signal of his vox and spoke again.

"Sol?"

"The bastards have taken flight, some dammed daemon of khorne is leading them but they are withdrawing and taking the bomb with them."

"Brak?"

"We've neurtalised the Slanneshi dogs the bomb is dismantled but safe."

"Tass?"

There was no reply

"Tass?"

"Forgive me captain these bastards are still putting up a strong fight around the bomb though they had yet to set if off."

"Paval?"

"Their ship is dead in the water captain, we have also recovered Commander Grave."

That lightened his mood and he  nodded as he watched two brother reverely collect Adbul from the ground a makeshift stretcher bearing his weight as two more lifted Draconis, Kesta came over to him.

"Stormbird enroute two minutes, I'll remain and sweep up the rest of his filth."

"No need."

He keyed his vox.

"Chaste, the wolves are yours."

"With please Captain Nero."

Kesta looked at him for a moment.

"I would still like to remain to make certain."

"Agreed then but do not tarry longer than you need."

The Stormbirds boom of entry echoed around them and he turned barking out commanded.

"Be ready I want to off this world with two minutes."

The marines round the bomb slung their weapons and lifted the bulk weight carrying it to join the other mairnes with the dead and injured, Nero clapped Kesta on the shoulder and turned to join them.

"You have command sergeant select your men and luck be with you."
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on December 20, 2010, 09:47:31 AM
Nero looked round at the stormbird made it's final approach standing beside Draconis he looked down at the young marine as he drifted into a drug induced haze, the bomb stood a short distance behind, his vox bead growled to life as Lomak's link broke through.

"Where are you taking the bomb?"

He paused for a second allowing the wash of the stormbirds engines to drive the dust over him.

"We'll remove the device to high orbit and jetison it into space before destroying it from a distance."

He looked over his shoulder knowing full well he'd positioned himself with few clear lines of fire, it would take an assassin of Clade Vindicare to make a killing shot but he was still aware that should Lomak wish it he could inflict an injury that would incapacitate him. As the stormbird touched down he turned his attention to it.

"Draconis is wounded my apothecary teams on the Salvation can treat him but he needs the attention now before he bleeds to death."

He waved his marines forward onto the assault ship boarding las with a lingering look to where Lomak had fired his shot from.

++

The flight into orbit was swift the Stormbird climbing hard to punch through the atmosphere of the world before banking and turning towards his waiting ship he climbed into the cockpit speaking to thwe pilot as the marine manipulated the flight controls.

"Dump a fuel cell and destory it, the debris and chemical discarg with look like we destoryed the bomb."

The pilot nodded obeying dropping a fuel cell he banked the assault ship and fired one of the ships las cannon banks obliterating the cell in a single hit before returning his course to the waiting star ship.

 











 
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on December 28, 2010, 06:06:49 AM
Draconis shook his head, the sedative working its way trough his endochrine system, fighting his poison filtration systems, and gently inducung a slow torpor that shut dow all but his most vital organs. As darkness consumed him, a faint light penetrated the gloom. A vision? No... Draconis had forsaken belief in such things, and as he looked into the darkness, he found he still did not believe. A dream, perhaps. But almost every sedative that was capable of rendering a Space Marine unconscious was capable of doing so because it forced the brain to shut down beyond dreadless sleep into comatose status... What then, was this? As the darkness was expunged by the light, the light grew brighter, more discernable, even taking on a distinct color. Gold.

This soft, yet bright golden light grew near, and the cold darkness Draconis had been feeling ebbed away. He found himself laying on a warm, white marble floor, with veins of gold streaking through the stone. The floor expanded away some distance, and rose up in colums of white-gold embossed marble, embellished with the images of the nine loyalist primarchs from the age of Heresy, amidst these columns were tapestries, colorful and vibrant, which seemed to move with an unearthly breeze, as Draconis could feel none. The hall became more clearly defined as he sat, propping himself up, and he noticed his hand was intact.

Standing up, Draconis could see the hall in its entirety. Directly behind him stood a massive, ornate, gold-laid door decorated with gems and prescious metals he had scarce seen, the room grew more splendorous as he gazed around, until he looked down the length of the hall. Some distance away, it seemed at least a quarter mile away, there was an ornate throne, too large to be designed for a normal human. The throne was surrounded by organ pipes, choir horns and all manner of censers. The throne gleamed as if radiating its own light.

Draconis cocked his head sideways. He had been to Holy Terra... He had been to the Imperial Palace... He had seen depictions of the Throne Room and the Golden Throne... While reminiscent of such things, this hall did not seem to fit with the architectural feel of the Imperial Palace he had visited, nor did it seem to match the pict captures of the Golden Throne. There should be more dust, more... oil, metal... more pipes and tubes and ichor. The room should be gloomy and dark, yet somehow... this incarnation of the Golden Throne felt right. As if, this was how it should be.

As he approached the Golden Throne, he realized, it was not a quater mile away, but that it was actually much larger than it had seemed from the entrance. More pillars rose up from the floor to a ceiling obscured by light, each inlaid with images of glories long forgotten, or not to be seen achieved.

He put the images from his mind as he walked towards the Golden Throne.

Near enough. A voice told him. He stopped in the middle of the hall and knelt. Stand. I am no God.

"Would you not have your subjects kneel before you?" Draconis asked, realizing the possibility of error in speaking only after the words had left his lips.

A good enough question. But, who am I to be your Lord? And to that, who are you, that you would be my subject?

"Are you not the Emperor of Mankind?" Draconis asked, still kneeling.

I was.

"Was?"

In my lifetime, I have been a soldier, a saint, a knight, a chemist, a politician, an astronaut, a gambler, a thug, and every possible occupation or vocation you can imagine. Emperor of Mankind was my last such role in a life long lived with the hope of saving mankind.

"Saving mankind?"

From itself... the Chaos within.

"Chaos is the enemy from beyond." Draconis spouted, as a programmed response. There was a pause before the reply came.

Is it? Draconis was taken aback by the question. It unhinged a door in his mind, which led to a string of questions.

"It is..." There was an awkward sense that this voice, presence he was experiencing perhaps, whatever it was... it was watching his thoughts. "The enemy within is the heretic. The enemy without is the alien. The enemy beyond is the daemon." He finally replied.

Oh... I see...

"Is it not?" He felt more unsure, but his voice seemed to hold its confidence and strength.

What would you say if I were to tell you that I have become akin to a fifth Chaos God?

"I would say you are no Emperor of mine, and no savior to mankind!" Draconis stepped back, reaching for a sword he realized too late he did not have.

Do not worry. I brought you here, I am not inside your mind, and if you wish to attack me, you need only envision your weapon, whatever it may be, and it will form where you wish it to form. Do not expect me to die though. I will have to hurt you, if you attack me. Draconis focused on his hand, and a frag grenade appeared, he focused again, and the grenade turned into smoke.

"I am in the warp, then, and you are the Astronomican. It is too peaceful here, in the few illusions of Chaos I have endured, evil seems to ebb through the peace and tranquility, and this place has no uneasy sensation to it. I cannot explain any other way how I know."

Explained well enough you have. So, you will understand me when I say, the four Chaos Gods are not gods. They are dead humans... well, not completely and not just humans. Chaos is the subconscious desire, agony, hatred and change which all life experiences in all walks. The races most prone to psychic power are also the most contributary to the existence of Chaos. Humans and the Eldar. The other races have their own gods, or are not psychic enough to fuel the forces of Chaos.

"Stop... Are you telling me that Khorne, god of bloodlust, hatred and war is just a remnant of mankind?"

When a person dies, their life experiences, their emotions, their memories break down into their base components... and like droplets of mercury in a saucer, given long enough, these emotions would coalesce, like with like, until a basic sentience forms. The daemons formed this way, then formed larger collectives, as the gravity of a specific emotion would draw more like unto like, until the emotions comprising the Chaos gods reached critical mass.

"So, then, the chaos gods are just husks of human emotion given new form... in large quantity..."

Yes. Slaanesh was of the Eldar, but the other three are man-made... as am I, after a fashion...

"I don't understand... You are a man-made God of Chaos, yet you still fight for the Imperium?"

Fight, no. I direct, guide, shape the Imperium, try to protect it from outside forces, and try to keep it pure from within. However, I am not able to do so without agents. I never was. During the great crusade, I often appointed tasks to lesser men than myself. Now, I am not a man, but a convalescence of mankind, the purest of hopes and dreams rest in my being, the most courageous and honored souls you may have met find their way to me at the crossing... You are near to that crossing. That is why you are here.

"Because I may soon die?"

No, because soon, you may live. You are young, inexperienced, but above all, you are strong of heart. Your uncle was strong of will, but had little heart for mine. He was corrupted by his own self loathing, insecurity and fear long before a daemon entered his heart.

"What would you have me do, then?"

Return to your chapter, return the lost relic Nero gave you. You need not lie about whose hand took Tigurio's life. Inquisitor Orin Lomak fired the killing blow. You may however, wish to exercise discretion in revealing the identity of the marines who fought alongside you. While meaning well, these marines are oft considered heretics and traitors simply for the colors they wear. They are exiles, and must remain so, for my purposes. When you awake, Nero's apothecary will hand you a vial containing Tigurio's hearts and corrupted progenoid gland. This will allow for genetic verification, after a quick communication with the Black Templars, should your captain wish it.

"So, you want me to go back to my chapter, lie about one crucial bit of evidence... how did I close the distance without space marine assistance?" There was no immediate answer. "Also, to what end does this serve mankind?"

I need you to remain an astartes. To be exiled for contact with anathematic marines - those at contrast with the will of the loyalist chapters accepted by Imperial doctrine - would be detrimental to the greater need for you to rise to the rank of Captain. I have need of you on Cythera Primatis, but you will only be able to bring victory for mankind if you learn the lessons of your chapter, rise to the rank of captain, and lead your chapter honorably. When you recieve the summons to answer their distress beacon, you will be ready, and you will remember that it is your destiny to serve your Emperor, and mankind.

"Then... it shall be done." Draconis' mind turned resolute on the matter. He would not lie overtly, but simply omit the names of the chapters that assisted him, naming them as an unidentifiable chapter he had never seen before... He would return the Icon of Dorn, and he would fight and study as best he could to earn the favor of his chapter. If it was the will of the Emperor, then it would be done.
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on December 29, 2010, 09:37:56 PM
Nero stood over Draconis while Orin laid his hand on his head, his eyes drifted from Draconis face to the bionic that had been fitted during the hours after they had left the worlds surface, the bionic completed Draconis' ruined lower arm and was fashioned from black steel with gold inlay patterning.

His attention turned to the apothecary as he moved passed him checking on the patient.

"A little over the top isn't it?"

"It's been a long time since I fitted a bionic arm, can you blame me?"

Nero made to continue but Orin's snarl of annoyance dragged his attention back to the psyker as his hand withdrew from Draconis' forehead.

"Is it done? Have you implanted the thoughts in to his mind?"

"No, something prevented me from implanting the thoughts."

"Will we remain a secret?"

"I don't know, there was something else entering his mind, a more powerful force than mine."

Nero frowned, he would have to watch the young marine.

Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on January 03, 2011, 06:47:43 PM
Draconis awoke. Opening his eyes, he saw white. His enhanced eyes adjusted quickly, and the white faded to fluoro-lamps and glow-globes suspended a dozen feet above him. The lighting illuminated a light grey and white medicae chamber, which, as he sat up and looked around, he realized was designed for dozens of recovery beds at once. A proper infirmary then. He propped himself with both hands, then realized that his left hand was gone. Swinging his legs off the bed, he sat there looking at the intricately carved and decorated bionic hand put there, no doubt, by one of the Apothecarion staff on board. It was beautiful. However, it left questions as to the nature of these marines. Draconis did not doubt they were ancient, kept youthful by the strange nature of the Warp, but that was it. He had yet to accept them as who they said they were, and his recent vision only served to strengthen his doubts. Why would they have planted such a vision? He didn't know that they had, but he suspected it with all his wit. If these men had planted a false vision, it would only serve to strengthen his resolve to hunt them down and destroy them himself. Of greater skill or not, they had no right to blaspheme the memory of good marines.

As he sat in the medicae chamber, pondering these things, and his gauntlet, an Apothecary entered, carrying a tray of nutrient suppliments and some food with it.

"Good. You're up. How is your hand?"

"It..." Draconis flexed the fingers again. "feels like my hand." He was at a loss for words. "I thought this technology had been lost. All my brethren speak of bionic appendages that tingle, or feel out of place with their body. I have not heard of an arm or leg which did not feel alien to the wearer." The apothecary smiled.

"Yes. This is because you have yet to meet anyone whose apothecary still remembers the pre-heresy techniques for attaching limbs and eyes." He smiled at Draconis, an almost predatory smile. "And to pass these techniques down from generation to generation, oft your brethren's predecessors forgot to pass on an ingot of truth, or a sliver of knowledge. That loss causes degradation in the implant process."

Draconis absorbed this. His expertise was not in medical affairs, and he was at a loss for words. The tension mounted until another marine entered. Nero. He wore formal robes, instead of armor, and had a solemn look to his face.

"Your ship awaits you, brother. I must depart before your ship translates into the Warp, as I have other duties to attend." He held out a pass key. "Your armor has been repaired and is locked in stasis. This is the only key to access it. Once you've recovered your battle plate, head to the flight decks. A thunderhawk has been prepped for flight to the frigate with your squad on it. They no doubt wish to hear all about your adventure, and hear why they were left behind. You have one hour before my ship translates to the Warp, so please do not tarry." Nero said this all in a calm manner, but did not leave a hint of ease about it. There was almost a sense of urgency, as he said this, and Draconis took no time to hop off the hospital bed and take the card.

"I think, if I had more time, I would have liked to ask many questions, but I also suspect you are gently nudging me to the door so that I can not." Draconis said in a polite tone of voice.

"It is entirely within the realm of possibility that I'm kicking you off my ship to avoid suspicion, but would that itself not engender suspicion? I think you know I do not always follow standard divination techniques and I have no correspondent chapter to send me orders of where to go. I must go where the winds take me, that I may fight Chaos and keep evil at bay. If I am pointed towards a system or conflict, then it is there I must go. As I met you by this way of warring. My next engagement will engulf the entire company of my marines for some time, and I do not wish to bog your return to your chapter by dragging you along with me."

"Very well." Draconis nodded. "I shall depart, and I wish only that your wars bring service to the Emperor. If you die, may you die well." As he said this, he brought his fists to his chest, opened his hands and made the sign of the Aquilla.

"I wish you the same, Draconis, now go in service to the Emperor and return to your chapter..."
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Necris on January 18, 2011, 02:22:01 PM
Nero knelt in his personal chamber a robe pulled about his shoulder he was silent his breathing slow as he cycled through the meditation cycles, a pair of soft foot falls came to him and his voice spoke out soft yet still challenging.

"What can I do for you Sybille?"

The woman paused in her approach as the marine turned standing at his full height, she was tiny compared to him like a child she had to crane her neck to look up into his face, she wore a dress of thin multicoloured silks which in their self were more than see through but layered as they were they created an almost shimmering effect. her face lay behind a single layer of blue silk hiding the details of her face.

"You must leave."

"Excuse me?"

"Leave the ship, leave the force."

"You have seen this in a vision 'oracle'?"

She nodded moving to his cot and sitting upon it, he watched her feet swinging from the edge.

"I had a vision while you were engaged in battle, You alone stood against a tide of black and gold, you alone won the day."

He frowned.

"You mean the fallen?"

She nodded and then continued.

"An old enemy returned one slain by your hand."

"Which is why I must go?"

Again she nodded

"Tass or Sol will make good commanders in your stead."

He frowned deeper.

"Your telling me my business now?"

"Only advising that is why I am here isn't it, he gifted me to you to guide you did he not?"

He hissed and started pacing.

"The enemy has designs on the world Cythera Primatis, though he gathers his strength now, you maybe able to prevent the strike against the world."

"How?"

"He resides in the Eye gathering warbands to his cause, he seeks aid from the Tyrant and from the Despoiler."

"So he swells his ranks with traitors."

"And champions, one with certain skills could get very close to his inner circle."

"You suggest I join his force, he'd know me the moment he set eyes upon me."

"Not if you bore the colours of another legion."

"You suggest too much witch."

"I only suggest what is needed, should you bear the colours of a legion divided in their loyalties, a legion that is as much a mystery as the warp itself you could pass unseen."

"The Alpha legion, why not send Paval then?"

"He does not have the skills you possess Nero."

He sighed.

"When do I need to Depart?"

"Now, before we drop into the warp."

"I need time to prepare, to leave so suddenly..."

"I have made arrangements, your armour is repairs and bears it's new colours, the weapons you need are ready, Sol and Tass make their way here now upon your summons."

He turned on her growling.

"You dare manipulate me Sybille!"

"I am not manipulating you Nero, you know I work on another level, I see the future all the time even now I see the threads of the future ebbing before me."

"What do you see?"

"I see Tass in command with Sol at his shoulder together they will lead the force to great victories, they will strike at the Juliana Worlds and return them to them to the Imperium."

He nodded as a heavy hand fall fell upon his chamber door.

"Enter."

Tass and Sol strode into the chamber giving Sybille a sideways glance, Tass broke the silence.

"You sent for us Nero?"

"I did, I am to leave on my own quest for a while, something I thought I'm finished centuries ago seems to have been left undone."

"Then let us deploy our full might against it."

"No, this needs a more subtle approach then open force."

"What about the Legion?"

"That is why you are here, you two have long been my unofficial seconds Captains in your own rights now it is time to rise to the challenge of command Tass you are the most experienced so I raise you to commander but I expect you to make use of Sol's skills and abilities, together you will lead the legion and the legio against the enemies of the Emperor, the Juliana Worlds have fallen to the traitors I trust you to return them to the Imperium."

They looked upon him as he touched each of their shoulders.

"We will not fail you."

"I never had any doubts you would Sol, no go your new commands await, I depart before you enter the warp."

The two commanders nodded once an departed.

He turned to Sybille who sat in silence.

"So it is done."

"Yes, and now it is time for you to prepare your self."

He nodded leaving his chamber he strode through the ship to the armoury his armour was waiting for him in it's new colours of deep blue and silver it looked alien to him despite its many centuries as his the new colour did not sit well with him, his weapons lay to one side, a phobos pattern bolter and bolt pistol and a pair of combat blades, a chainblade bayonet and a long powersword, a collection of grenades and ammunition sat to one side in ammo boxes waiting for servitors to bear them to his waiting stormbird.

He slowly started to don his armour pulling on each piece with well practised ease once his armour was on save his helm he collected up the weapons arraying them about his body he slid his sword onto his hip and turned bolt pistol flashing into his hand, it lowered slowly as Paval walked into the armoury.

"You look the part."

"Not now Paval."

"Who do you think Sybille consulted about your armour, and to code you stormbird with our code breakers and counter measures."

He laughed as he picked up his helm, he strode towards Paval.

"So you two plotted this?"

"Not really, she asked me to set up what was needed."

"What do you want then?"

"I came to wise you good look, I would have offered to join you but Sybille insisted that you must go alone."

"you must be envious, this is your perfect playground isn't it."

He smiled as the pair of them walked from the armoury towards the landing deck they strode in silence as they entered the deck a lone stormbird sat waiting in the deep blue of the Alpha Legion.

"You know Paval I've never thanked you for Istvaan."

"And you'll never have too."

The two exchanged warriors grips and Nero climbed up the assault ramp.

"Nero, remember the Emperor Protects!"

He paused turning on Paval.

"The Emperor is not a God, Paval."

He strode into the Strombird and stopped a dozen Legion sat waiting their equipment arrayed around them.

"Out!"

One of their number stood bowing his head low.

"Sybille gave us your orders my lord."

He nodded striding past them to the cockpit a pair of Alpha Legionaries sat at the controls their fingers powering up the assault ship as he entered.

"Commander Nero, Captain Paval has instructed us to act as your pilots."

He nodded.

"Get us underway then."

Paval watched as the Stormbird departed he watched the ship go speaking as it left.

"You'll learn Nero, the Emperor's enlightenment awaits."
Title: Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
Post by: Draco Silverhand on January 20, 2011, 10:35:25 AM
The voyage across the void was treacherously serene. The Thunderhawk had flown smoothly to the frigate craft carrying the Imperial Fists. They had been left out of most of the combat. An insult Draconis would have to answer to, no doubt. As the gunship docked with the frigate, the ramp opened up. As he had expected, the squad of marines was assembled, awaiting his return, though he could not tell if they were of ill temper, because their helmets masked their faces, and none moved even so much as a micron, so he could not detect sways of irritation. His own helmet still bore battle scars, and had yet to be re-painted, but was intact enough to function and hide his own features from the menials, serfs and Imperial Navy forces onboard. He stood waiting for a moment, at attention. They did not snap to attention. He clicked his heels, a second passed.

A second, and they snapped to attention and snapped their right fists to their chests in a warrior's salute. Had they voxed each other on a separate channel? Had they decided to test him? His ire rose at the thought, but was calmed by the knowledge that they had reason to be cold in welcoming him back. He had left them to sit in space, useless. As he snapped his own fist salute, Draconis remembered the icon he had recovered. Cycling his vox, he picked up on their chatter.

"He has returned. Now what?" One voice spoke. Not a marine moved, as if they thought he'd yet to check their vox communications.

"We follow him back to the chapter. His honor quest is complete." Another spoke.

"Why were we even needed?" A third spoke out.

"So I would have a ship to take me back, brothers." Draconis finally spoke, there was a moment of tension, as the marines heads all turned to regard him. How long had he been listening to them? Some wondered.

"At ease." They slid back into parade rest postures. "I could not have expected these naval ratings to hold the ship in system with such a fierce opponent, even with such a grand vessel as I was just aboard. With your leadership, these mortals held the course, and I have a means of returning this to our chapter." Draconis held up the icon Nero had given him. It shimmered in the deck lighting, and a palpable silence fell across the hangar, as even the humans nearby fell into reverent quiet upon seeing a holy relic. "An honor Rogal Dorn himself gave during the Great Crusade. I must return it to our Chapter at once, lest it be lost once more." A general assent rose up amongst the marines, as they realized the importance of such a relic.

"Brothers, I return, my mission fulfilled, as mine is, so is yours. Our duty complete, we may return to our chapter to report this honor restored!" With that a sound, between a grunt and a shout came from the marines, as they gave audible vox while punching straight up with their fists. The ratings flinched at the sound, but realized something good must have happened, and quickly themselves cheered. The Imperial fists dispersed shortly after, allowing the cheers to spread the ship. Draconis himself made way to the ship's bridge, where he formally requested the captain bring the ship in rendezvous with the nearest Imperial Fist battle fleet. Within the hour, the astropathic choir had located the nearest fleet, the navigator had plotted the quickest route, and the ship was translating into the Warp.



5 days later

"Hail." Draconis had to fight to contain his smile. Before him on the screen was the helmed captain of the Fifth. Wearing a death-mask of war that snarled with one bionic eye modified into the helm to match the one beneath.

"Hail, Brother." Came the captain's reply. As Draconis took a knee before the holo-pict screen, the captain inclined his own head and bade him "Rise".

"Brother Captain. I am Sergeant Draconis Falzone of the Imperial Fists Fourth company. I ask your permission to come aboard."

"Permission granted. Meet me in one hour for debriefing." The captain replied before the screen went dead. Draconis left the bridge without further ceremony, except to instruct the captain to return to his previous combat fleet, and if they were non-existent to report to segmentum command for re-assignment. With that, he disembarked, his squad joining him on the flight to the Regal Rogal, and then in the briefing chamber.




"So, you allied yourself with marines in traitor armor, albeit pre-heresy colours, stripped of the actual chapter badges, but still going by pre-heresy names and claiming to be the marines who Horus tried to exterminate from within his own ranks... You fought alongside these men to purge a star system of Chaos forces, and stave off some bizzarre daemon summoning ritual. You had the help of an Inquisitor in locating these forces, and you bring back the heart of a traitor Black Templar marshal... along with an Icon of Dorn given to you from the loyalist traitors?" Draconis nodded. "Was there anything else you wished to add?" The captain's voice was steel. His eyes were fire. His stance was stone. Draconis felt like water in the face of such force, but held firm against it.

"I recieved a vision after my combat with the Fallen Marshal. The Emperor spoke to me, bade me return to service, that my chapter and indeed the Emperor himself needed me to serve, and in time, earn the rank of captain, that I might save another system far in the future from now." With this bombshell of information, the captain almost looked like he was going to say something. His face twitched a micron before setting back into his hardened glare.

"Kelius." He said after several long minutes of staring. From the shadows of the chamber, a marine stepped forward. He was garbed in blue robes but wearing a gold, black and white badge marking him as an Imperial Fist, and a bronze horned ram skull on his belt, marking him off as something completely different.

"Yes?" The Librarian rumbled the query.

"Examine him for lies, treachery, deciet, sorcery and any manner of corruption you can find. Notify me within the hour if he is tainted. If not, check again, and then notify me of your findings. I will not hear of collaboration with traitors without good cause. I have not heard it, therefore, I must hear it from you." With that, he stormed out of the chamber, the other marines sat in silence in the background. Draconis' squad had been blessed with amnesty, as they had not actively aided these traitors, but were still being held apart until they were individually screened for corruption.

"It will be done." Kelius rumbled as he stretched his fingers over Draconis' forehead. The marine relaxed, he knew he was righteous, and would be exonorated. He had renewed faith in the Emperor, in the warp incarnation of the God of Mankind, and in his own place in the universe. As his mind was prodded, examined and leafed through, he felt himself opening to the intrusions of the Librarian.

Three hours later, and Kelius was still telling Captain Viran what he had learnt. The captain didn't seem happy, as Draconis observed, but his fury had died.

When the briefing finished between the two, Viran came to Draconis and bade him stand.

"You must speak with the Chapter Master. This is beyond my jurisdiction." Was all he said. "You are not under arrest, but if you attempt to leave this ship, or alter the course of our voyage without good cause, I will kill you myself." The captain stormed out, leaving Draconis and his marines to sort out what to do. An hour later, Draconis had eaten his first real meal since departing on his quest, and was working on cleaning, repairing and repainting his armor and weapons.