Author Topic: Icarael of Nostramo  (Read 1773 times)

Offline Denzein

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  • A Nihilist, Naturally.
Icarael of Nostramo
« on: April 24, 2012, 08:47:13 PM »
NOTE: This is pure character fluff, and is a character I have in the works. This is only part 1 of 2 or 3, it's quite long already so I thought I'd post it in instalments. If you want a spoiler at the end as to what the character is going to end up being (if you can't work it out - it shouldn't be hard), just ask. Hope you enjoy it, I'd love some c&c!

And so as time rippled once more things that might once have been forgotten were brought to light again, to the despair of all.


“Ganger to Hero to Horror to Captain to Lord to Prince. Ganger to Hero to Horror to Captain to Lord to Prince. Ganger to Hero to Horror to Captain to Lord to Prince. Ganger to Hero to Horror to Captain to Lord to Prince. Ganger to Hero to Horror to Captain to Lord to Prince. Ganger to Hero to Horror to Captain to Lord to Prince. Ganger to Hero to Horror to Captain to Lord to Prince. Ganger to Hero to Horror to Captain to Lord to Prince. Ganger to Hero to Horror to Captain to Lord to Prince!”

There is a mantra in my head. It rolls through my brain in a ceaseless dirge, eternally reminding me of my roots... Of what I should still be, by rights. It is both a curse and a blessing as so many forms of insanity are, I hate it because it is unending as if I were constantly screaming it to myself with no hope of ever stopping, yet I love it too because it allows me to dwell on the times before my descent. The chant is all that is left of my human soul, or so I like to think.

The truth may be that I sacrificed my soul in its entirety a very very long time ago. Out of fear for my own life I pledged myself to a relentless Devil of the night, and in so doing paved the way for the future that awaited me. I became his pawn without will or thought of my own, and because of that lack of... The spark of life... I fear I may have relinquished what small scraps of meaningfulness I may once have comprised of.

If that’s true then the fact that I even exist today is a contradiction, an impossibility spitting in the face of what should normally be allowed to happen. I suppose that’s possible though, the Dark Gods of Chaos never were ones for the limitations of what is possible.


“Slumming it with the rest, just another member of the vicious and bloodthirsty mob.”

I lived on the Night Planet with ten billion other unfortunates. There we squabbled amongst ourselves, murdering each other and torturing each other and corrupting each other with the deadly whispers of unfettered ambition. It was a pathetic life but it was all we had before He came, before he changed things and made them worse for us... Not that he particularly cared.

I actually witnessed His coming first hand as a baby (Or so Mother claimed), although I only realised it later when I heard the stories. A comet of white flame stabbing through the ink of eternal night, streaking over the horizon to some ultimate destination I never thought I’d see. At first I put the event from my mind, believing it to simply be a meteor or some Noble’s project that I had no business knowing anything about. Little did I realise that just a few short decades later I would be making a pilgrimage to His crater, to the most revered and holy site on the planet.

After He arrived everything changed. The streets were no longer safe all of a sudden, not even for those at the top of the Night Planet’s food chain. Some dark horror was waging a lone war against our very culture, against the evil and corruption that defined us as a people... We despised him in that dark time during which we could no more trust the shadows than the man with a blade at our throats. We railed against him for as long as we had breath in our bodies in spite of the fact that he was apparently unkillable. As time went on he began to subjugate more and more of the planet to his will, moving up the Night Planet’s society until he ruled from the very top with an iron fist.

I remember when my gang was brought under his rule, it was a terrifying experience. I watched my entire family get torn to shreds as he struck from nowhere, a legion of his followers laying into those he hadn’t already annihilated himself. We were one of the last and largest criminal gangs to go under, a bulwark among the underworld that housed some of the most infamous names the Night Planet had to offer. I remember it so vividly...

“Run! Run, Icarael! Get out before they come this way!” Father had always looked out for me. Even on the planet where nothing was sacred he cherished me, his only son, above all things. He was about to sell his life so that I might escape the massacre. Mother had been slaughtered in the lobby, as that was where He had begun his attack. She was a receptionist, not a fighter... She hadn’t even the time to run.

I had a wild look to my eye, the look that vermin has when caught in the headlights of a tank. We all did, we were being hunted. I fled as Father commanded, not out of obedience but because it was the only way I was likely to survive. Despite all of Father’s love I abandoned him at the first opportunity, striking out to seek survival on my own. I probably would have even if he had demanded for me to stand by his side... There is no value in comradeship when faced with certain death. I never did give him any last words to hold dear as he was eviscerated, I knew that to do so would make forgetting him all the harder.

I escaped the gang complex, barely. I remember watching the flames lick the inky heavens and the column of black smoke against black sky... I remember forgetting even to shed a tear. Such was the way.

I turned my back on what was now my past and slipped into the Night, alone and stronger for it. I knew I had to go to ground. The Horror was known for his ruthless efficiency - when he took out a gang he always made sure he mopped up every last dreg, he would be looking for me despite the fact that I was still merely ten. I ended up just another vagrant orphan, scavenging what I could to avoid the slow wasting death that eventually claimed everyone cut adrift by The Horror’s purges. I wouldn’t have lived for very long like that, with hindsight what ended up happening saved my life.

He found me. I and several other children like me had raided an army supply depot a day previously and had by chance ended up killing an old Quartermaster. We hadn’t meant to, but it put the crime on the auspex. That said he must have been looking for any dregs from his killings anyway, I doubt we’d have caused enough commotion to actually get noticed had he not actively been searching us out.

He came for us and we were not ready. I’m not sure if He’d known He was hunting children, but when He found out He didn’t falter. He knew in His mind He was doing what was right, and that we were the enemy of all He stood for despite our age. He killed, and we scattered. We had pistols, knives, but nothing that could harm Him. He was a giant, a monster from hell... We were children, screaming and wetting ourselves as we died.

I do not know what it was that made me turn after I could run no more, but I have theories to this day. For whatever reason I spun about to find The Horror almost upon me. I shouted out and fired my pistol, hitting Him twice, one in each shoulder. I cannot quite believe that I did that even now, I fired upon Him and lived to tell the tale. It is something that I have never shared with my brothers...

He stopped in his charge, a faraway look in his eyes that centuries later I would have in mine. It was as if he surfaced from deep water and regarded me in a new light, for he gave me a strange look. He appeared as if he recognised me from somewhere, but that was surely impossible.

A split second later he was on me, swatting the pistol from my grip and shattering every bone in my arm with one light slap. I seem to remember yelping before the balm of unconsciousness claimed me, I thought I was dying.

I was a fool when I was young.

I awoke from that final nightmare into a cold cell with no window, a thick metal door and a slot for meals. There I spent a year, confined to my own head. I used that time to wonder at The Horror, to speculate as to why it had spared me so. I was mystified, I had no idea it ever took people alive. It was a worthy riddle to occupy my childlike brain, and I came up with many solutions all of which were wrong. The truth was infinitely more fantastical.

Then a year later the door opened and my new life began. I was a ganger no more, the Night Planet had changed such that gangers no longer had a place there... The second phase of my mortal life began.

I was a Hero of Nostramo now. Night Haunter decreed it so.


“For the Emperor! For Night Haunter! We have come for you!”

The light was blinding when the door finally opened. It revealed a massive form, one of the very first. Behind was a hunched figure that had too many arms, all of which were made of metal. It hissed static at me and the massive one beckoned. Suspicious, I went where they bade me.

We walked to a laboratory. It was filled with gurgling vats that contained... Things. They were organic, but they did not appear human, not yet at least. There was a metal table in the centre of the room with restraints, surgical equipment all around. My suspicion grew.

“You I acquired some time ago. Your name is Icarael, and you are criminal scum. Know that you would be dead had I not dreamt of a child that would have the nerve to shoot me twice. I dreamt that the child in question would be among the very first of my sons, I dreamt that they would follow me into eternity, but never to death. Welcome to the place of your eventual birth.”

A shadow had spoken, and detached itself from a pipe that ran across the ceiling. It turned in the air and landed on its feet. I looked up at the gigantic armoured form of Night Haunter, scourge of Nostramo, vigilante ruler of the Night Planet. I swallowed, my arm aching sympathetically, remembering the harm done to it by this monster.

It smiled down at me, but I sensed there was no mirth to be found in the gesture. Night Haunter’s pitch black Nostraman eyes were devoid of all happiness, they betrayed a great despair. He addressed the massive one, who I noticed wore similar armour to Night Haunter. “Take him. Show him my Father’s light, see that he is worthy of the transformation.”

The massive one showed me many things. He showed me picts of the Planet’s surface from far out in space, of warship-cathedrals the size of cities... He showed me images and poems and songs from a far off planet called Terra, all of which sung of one man, one Emperor. As I absorbed the knowledge put before me with my child’s brain he ever made notes, meticulous in the examination of my mind. I learned that his name was Epistolary Kitus, and he served as a part of something called the Adeptus Astartes, crusaders of Mankind in the Emperor’s name. He informed me that he was one of the very last of the first, one of the few Space Marines the Emperor made himself to rediscover his lost sons.

I inquired as to the sons, intrigued and remembering what Night Haunter had told me earlier. The Marine gave me a strange half smile, the first and last he would ever give me. He told me that there were twenty, and that all were lost before they were born. He told me that they were scattered, and that The Emperor sought them to lead his armies across the stars. He told me that Night Haunter was not the true name of the horror that had plagued Nostramo for so long, the name its father had given it was Konrad Kurze.

The name fitted, I think. Guttural, brutal, yet not without subtlety. I thought it a beautiful name.

Once Kitus was finished he turned me over the hunched man-machine that did not bother to identify itself. It performed all manner of physical test upon me, stretching my malnourished underused body to its limit. It also noted down my every move, but it was altogether less human. It wore a red robe with a cob emblazoned on the back, I remember staring at it hatefully as it made me run for hours on a treadmill. It didn’t even seem interested enough to watch me as I sweated and toiled and fought against the fatigue, it was as if it wasn’t in touch with its humanity anymore, I don’t think it occurred to it that had I had encouragement I might have been able to push myself further.

I hated that thing, I wanted to kill it as surely as I had wanted to kill anyone that had ever wronged me. It was the Nostraman way.

After a week or so of submitting to the man-machine’s tender mercies I was taken away from its clutches by the Epistolary. It followed us though, and Kitus’ face was grim. He led me to the laboratory in which I had come face to face with Night Haunter and indicated the metal rack. I looked at him, he nodded, and I went to it.

In an instant my life ended and was at once replaced. I was born... Just as Night Haunter said I would be.

Fire! Fire, pain, suffering, hell. Electric bolts of agony and hurt and tortuous screaming and death! Oh, Death! Come for me!

Sleep, they told me. Sleep through the hell... The drugs in body forced me to obey, but my nerves resisted. I felt every second of what they did to me, and I’m certain they meant for me to. I felt them crack and open my ribs, reshape my spine, I felt the foreign objects they infected me with. I resisted their touch the only way I could... By beating my heart, no, my heart, no, my... Two hearts. Every pulse of blood spat in their faces, I would not die because of them! I wouldn’t allow it, I couldn’t, I...

...I tried to breathe with my three lungs. I inhaled only disgusting viscous liquid that for some reason did not make me wretch. I panicked, and breathed the sludge again. I opened my eyes.

Hell is a sea of green.

I had found my tomb. It was cylindrical and about three metres tall. I was suspended in this amniotic fluid that I breathed, ate and shat. Wires, I was connected to so many wires. I could feel myself growing, nutrients powering to my muscles and swelling them. My bones creaked with the stress of such rapid enlargement and to move sent bolts of fire along every nerve. Despite this I put a hand to the glass that held me in, and noticed that I was still in the same laboratory. I was one of the inhuman things now, silently suffering in my capsule. I wanted to cry, but for some reason my eyes would not obey. I gave in, and satisfied myself by watching the blood leak from my many healing scars. It was a wonder the fluid was not red, I remember thinking to myself.

I lost track of time in that tube. I slept often, it was the only way to dull the pain. Occasionally I tried to contact people I saw move around the lab, but they ignored me. The other subjects must be doing the same, I supposed.

The one point of reference I had was the time when a figure larger than all the others came to the laboratory. I knew who it must be, I wondered if he knew what was going on in this place. I came to the conclusion that he probably did, especially after he came to my tube and placed a hand on the glass. I tried to do the same, but I was in too much pain. I assume he saw me twitching.

Night Haunter. Father. Is this how The Emperor created you?
Purveyor of the finest quality lies, half-truths and betrayals.