Tales of the Eighth Legion. (Action Thread.)
Within a spartanly furnished and almost entirely dark room, with little more than a metallic bed on which to sleep and a weapon stand on which a large ornately crafted sword hangs along side a dust covered bolter, sits an Astartes in complete silence and the only sounds that can be heard within the room are the low dull rumbling of the ship the room itself is seated in and the scratch of a quill upon parchment. After several long minutes the Astartes stop writing and places down his quill before he lets out a breath that escapes from between his lips in the form of a small sigh before he reaches down and picks up the book that he was writing in to read all that he has written.
“My name is Xandrek Kealisar. Once Captain of the Night Lords Fourth Company, Known as the Lord of Lies by my brothers and Father, Commander of the battle barge: The Maiden of Sorrow and son of a broken god. Now I am little more than a leader of a band of traitors, murderers and psychopaths that are happy to murder their way throughout the galaxy until they themselves are killed.
I write this so that those who will find this book will read and understand what it is that I am trying to do. All men should be remembered for the deeds they have done be they good or ill and while personality I do not care if I am remembered or not after my death I write this so that it is my closest brothers are the ones who are remembered from the times when they first turned from the Corpse-Emperors ‘Light’ to when they fell into the darkness of Death.
I guess then that I should start at the beginning but those are times that we would much rather forgot as the shame of our legion is for us to remember and us alone. So I shall start at the turning point of history when an empire fell into civil war, where brothers turned against brothers, where mortals ascended and gods fell. So my dear reader I shall start at a place you may well know as Isstvan.
Isstvan V...The site of the greatest massacre of Astartes through out the rebellion, orchestrated by a single man and when I say ‘Man’ I use the term quite wrongly. Horus Lupercal, the Warmaster, Primarch of the XVI Legion…The Arch-Traitor himself. He lured three of his brothers and their legions to their deaths upon this world where they had no idea upon landing to confront Horus that they would be betrayed by those who called themselves their brothers.
Upon Isstvan V the traitor legions of the Sons of Horus, Death Guard, World Eaters and Emperors Children battled their brothers of the Iron Hands, Salamanders and Raven Guard to a bloody stand still while four other legions tore their way through the warp to add their battle weary brothers. We, The Night Lords, along with the Iron Warriors, Word Bearers and Alpha Legion, were to arrive at the drop sites cleared by our brothers the Salamanders, Iron Hands and Raven Guard to reinforce and resupply them before crushing the four traitor legion for the glorious Imperium and the Emperor.
That of course is a lie.
Yes we made planet fall in the drop zones cleared by our ‘brothers’. Yes we took up defensive positions where the Salamanders and Raven Guard then began to fall back to. But we did not come to aid them, we came to aid Horus as our ‘beloved’ Fathers had secretly joined him in rebellion and now was the time to show our true colours
But before I get ahead of myself and tell you the bloody details of the Drop Site Massacre itself. Allow me to introduce our ‘heroes’ of this tale, my dear Brothers who even now make ready for yet another battle field in which to bloody their blades. So I shall begin the tale of our ‘Heroes’ several ours before making planet fall with the rest of the legion and who better to start with than my sword-brother, my right hand, my companies blade. Azrael.”
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“Azreal Metun, my Sword-Brother and personal Company Champion. Of all those I call my brothers he is only one of two who come from the Throne-World itself and isn’t considered a Son of a Sunless World and for this he, like Fundae and a few others within my company are hated for not being Nostraman in birth. But what Azreal lacks in ‘birth right’ he makes up for in loyalty and skill with a blade. Although I will never tell him I would never choose any other warrior from within the rank of my company to be my champion for I know when all others fail, he won’t.”
Azrael: You are currently stood in the near-dark hold that makes up the training hall of the Maiden of Sorrow overseeing the fights of your fellow battle brothers and the last batch of recruits that had come from Nostramo just before its destruction not that long ago but while you watch your other brother’s train, mainly the ‘Young Blood’ fighting against Sergeant Xho Zhen of Fifth Claw you can’t help but think how the destruction of Nostramo has affected Xandrek as you have barely spoken to him save for receiving your orders and he has rarely left the bridge or removed his armour. Clearly he has either been deeply affected or he is too focused on what is going to happen at Isstvan, sighing to yourself you look back to the ‘Young Blood’ as he puts Xho on his back at third blood with his deactivated lightning claw and wonder if you should give the young brother some advice or try your luck with going to find Xandrek.
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“Jaekal Sarn, Fourth Companies resident Chaplain and member of First Claw. Like me he was from Nostramo but unlike myself and most of my other brothers he is far more zealous and has more in common with those pathetic Word Bearers with his constant preaching and sermons. For now he is tolerated by the rest of us for he is a fierce fighter and can for the most part, be counted on to rally those elements of my company who would rather run to fight another day after the death of their sergeants rather than carrying out there duty.”
Jaekal: You are currently stood at the front around sixty of the newest members of Fourth Company preaching to them about how the False-Emperor will be replaced by the true leader of mankind, Horus. Fifty pairs of pure black eyes matching your own stare at you in mild awe as while these recruits have only had the first few implants that will make them into Astartes they are the future of the company and therefore the legion so it is wise to have them utterly and fanatically loyal to the Primarch and Warmaster and you smile inside of your helmet as you think of how you are in a way undermining Xandrek’s command over these future warriors. After finishing your sermon that lasts another hour you dismiss the recruits to return to their normal training and those who are ready for the next stage or implantation towards the Apocatherion where you have no doubt Veptus is busy carving up fellow battle brothers who are injured for the fun of it. Now you have some free time on your hands to do with that you wish which includes visiting any fellow members of First Claw so what do you do?
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“Veptus Szland, the Corpse-Master, Primus Medicae of Fourth Companies Apocatherion and First Claws own Apocathery. Perhaps the most feared Astartes onboard this ship other than myself and Azrael and it is he who always puts us back together after every battle and every war that we fight in under the orders of our Primarch. If it was up to me and I had the power I would change the meaning of the word Madman to include the name and picture of Veptus though while he isn’t as bad as that bastard Fabius Bile he loves nothing more than to carve up any Astartes that he can get his hands on. But without Veptus it is a definitely that myself and many other members of my company would of died many years ago.”
Veptus: You stand in the Apocatherion smiling to yourself as you work on adding the next several organs needed to turn some of the latest recruits into Astartes to replenish losses that will occur during the next battle on Isstvan V. You currently stand wearing only black fatigues with a blood stained white medical apron and sterile elbow length medical gloves and you can’t wait to see if Xandrek allows you to gather up some wounded Astartes from other legions to experiment on and see what the difference between each legion. While you continue to work on the young recruit infront of you, your attention shifts to Battle Brother Shen currently writhing around on the slab at the end of the Apocatherion as he is badly burnt and missing both his legs below the knee’s and his entire left arm and while other Apocatheries could be working on him he had his gauntlets painted red for failing Xandrek and the Captain has told you Shen has not earnt the right to die and therefore has earnt himself a walking tomb which makes you smile even more. (Finish up on adding the latest organ to the recruit infront of you and it’s your choice of which organ, and then feel free to go see your brothers or start on Shen.)
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“Corvis Sejanus.” Xandrek smiles to himself. “The Young Blood, the youngest member of First Claw he lacks the ability to bond with his brothers to gain atleast their loyalty and he would have been better off in the recon squads always ranging out alone without the aid of others just doing what was require of him and that ever else he desired. The Young Blood definitely has much to learn even though he is almost eight decades old he still has plenty of time in which he could improve his dismal social skills and increase his skill with a blade. I often wonder that if he had the correct mentor within the company he might be able to accomplish something great with his life but for now I see him simply as another tool to be used in war.”
Corvis: You stand in one of the many training pits in the training hold of the Maiden of Sorrow which as usual is in near darkness as your deactive lightning claw raises and falls to parry and lash out against the Sergeant Xho of Fifth Claw who is as usual wielding his two-handed chain-sword as the bout is to third blood and so far Sergeant Xho has wounded you once slicing part of your cheek away and you have wounded him twice by having punched the four blades of your gauntlet into his left shoulder and then having carved four red lines down the front of his chest. You smiling to yourself as you match strikes against the Sergeant of Fifth Claw as all those gathered around the pit shout encouragement to you and the Sergeant to not only carry on with the fight but to turn it into a Murder Duel where one of you would die however you know that Azreal would step in if such a thing were to happen and no-one within the training hall can beat him with a blade. Sergeant Xho then swears several times in Nostraman as you manage to side step his sword and hammer your lightning claw into his chest sending him crashing down onto his back with blood pouring from his chest as the gathered crowd erupts into cheers and roars of approval. Turning from Xho you see Azrael standing there watching you for the moment. (If Azrael approaches you then feel free to work out a conversation with him through PM’s, if not then you may do what you wish.)
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“Jallus…where do I start with the warp-tainted psyker? Our legion has no love of Psykers, something which we share with the World Eaters, Death Guard and even those feral Space Wolves though as much as we hate them their otherworldly powers do come in useful when you need them to conjure up terrifying images of hell-spawned beasts or make defenders spontaneously combust amidst their own forces. While none of First Claw could say they like Jallus, he has his uses so he is tolerated by Myself and the others though I can’t help by get minor head aches within his presence and not even Veptus can figure out why.”
Jallus: You are currently knelt in what serves as the Librarium aboard the Maiden of Sorrow as you meditate and prepare yourself for the coming slaughter of Isstvan V and while you meditate your fellow brother librarians do the same either next to you or are different points within the chapel like room. Taking a deep breath you then exhale before opening your midnight black eyes to look at those around you who are still deep within meditate and of all of Fourth Company you feel more kin-ship to these fellow battle brothers than you do the rest of First Claw and you know that it is because all others regard you as warp-tainted and avoided at all costs unless absolutely necessary. Pushing yourself from your sitting position you move to retrieve your weapons from your weapons locker to the right of the room as all librarians within Fourth Company may only live within the Librarium instead of having their own cells. After retrieving your war-gear you decide that you should go and find Xandrek and the rest of Fourth Claw having sensed the Maiden will actually arrive ahead of most of the Eighth Legions fleet.
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“Zhasal is a battle brother who never should of risen as far as he should of, He is far to independent and hardly ever listens to the orders that he is given so I have found that it is often best to point him in the general direction of where he needs to go then just leave him to it, while he runs off on his own I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets wounded or killed one day for not staying with his battle brothers but for now Zhasal has his uses in that he always gets the job done one way or the other.”
Zhasal: You are currently stalking through the darkness of the lower decks that has been turned into the labyrinth by legion tech-marines under the order of Xandrek to give his warriors something to do while travelling between systems and battles which involves hunting down what ever prey has been captured and released within. The blades of your lightning claws are sheathed for now as you hunt the fifteen man strong unit of imperial guardsman who were just unlucky enough to be near Xandrek, Azrael and Veptus during the last battle you served in under the guise of being a loyalist. Smiling to yourself you can’t help but think of capturing some Astartes during the up coming battle and releasing them within the Labyrinth to give yourself and your fellow battle brothers an actual challenge during your hunts which you do not get from mortals. Stopping before turning around a blind corner you hear the terrified and quiet voices of the guardsman echoing along the corridor as you home in on your prey.
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“Raskreia like Azrael and Veptus is perhaps one of the few members of First Claw that I would consider a true ‘brother’ of mine as since his elevator to First Claw he has been a loyal brother as any son of Nostramo could be called loyal and it is he who carries the company standard into battle which often marks him out as a high priority target for who ever it seems we are to be fighting. So when ever you see Raskreia in battle holding the standard high you will often find myself and Azrael near by aswell as that is where the fighting will be bloodiest. However though I find Raskreia talked too much and I have often though of having Veptus remove his tongue and vocal cords and not have them replaced something I know which will greatly please the Corpse-Master.”
Raskreia: Sitting within your assigned room you are once again painstaking and carefully etching and painting on yet even more lightning onto your armour, this time onto the edging of your right shoulder pad and as you look up from the piece of armour in your hands to the far wall where the rest of your armour and war-gear hangs you smile as you see the company standard leaning against the wall. A banner of black cloth depicting a Night Lord stood upon a pile of bones with lightning splitting the sky in the background. Turning back to the piece of armour in your hands you finish adding the lightning before donning your armour and gathering up your war-gear including the Company standard which you then use like a walking cane as you make your way to find Xandrek, who you know is obviously on the bridge of the Maiden like he usually is, and on the way you may find yourself walking alongside Company Champion Azrael. (IF Azrael is heading to the bridge aswell then feel free to work out a conversation with him via pm’s before posting.)
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“Var, or in full: Varius Montangro. Tech-Marine and least trusted member of First Claw, We often think that all failures of our wargear happen because of some perceived slight against Var but so far none of us have been able to find any evidence of him sabotaging our war-gear, quite the opposite is usually found however as he is perhaps the most gifted master artificer within Fourth Company having repaired bolters and armour which other tech-marines would of consigned to the scrap heap into full working order within a matter of hours or days. And it is for this gift that I elevated him to First Claw though as much of an asset that Var is to this company and squad I will continue to keep an eye on him as I trust him as much as I trust Veptus not to carve up a freshly discovered corpse.”
Var: Sat deep within the vaults of the Maiden of Sorrow that serve as the armory of Fourth Company and surrounded by servitors, brother tech-marines and the Tech Adepts of Mars you stare at the schematics of the plasma gun on the board infront of you before your eyes drift down to the mangled and half melted mess of the weapon infront of you as you decide whether or not it is actually worth trying to save a weapon that has half been destroyed due to overheating and a subsequent explosion that took Brother-Sergeant Theng’s right arm and eye from him and thinking of the Brother-Sergeant your head turns to the half built bionic arm and eye to your left which were commissioned by the ‘Corpse-Master’ Veptus. Shaking your head you decide to leave the bionic replacements for that idiot of a Sergeant until after the battle of Isstvan and return your focus to the plasma-gun infront of you as your four servo-arms raise up with the barest thought to help you try and repair the weapon but before you can even start you hear the familiar voice of Fundae behind you. “Var, I hope you have repaired by flamer by now.”
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“Fundae, my heavy weapons specialist and like Azrael one of the few terrans left within the Fourth Company and if it wasn’t for him then the Ork Warboss Gragsnask would of ended my life and service to my Primarch just over thirty years ago. Fundae is a pyromaniac without compare who I always seem to find charging into some of the thickest fighting and incinerating anything within range before finishing off those unlucky enough to still be alive with that brutal double headed chain-axe of his.”
Fundae: You are currently stalking through what passes as Fourth Companies armory to find the Tech-Marine of First Claw: Var, who has since the burning of Nostramo been repairing your beloved flamer after having most of it destroyed when the fuel canister ruptured when a stray found hit the fuel line during the last loyalist engagement and if it wasn’t for the ‘Corpse-Master’ and your own reinforced armour you would of likely lost your life or maybe a couple of limbs. Kicking one of the scurrying minor tech-adepts out of the way with your boot which elects a smile from you as he yelps as you break his left leg you see Var at the far end of the armory hunched over the half melted remains of a plasma-gun and after getting within a few feat of him you decided to find out if your beloved weapon has been repaired. “Var, I hope you have repaired my flamer by now.” (Feel free to work out a conversation with Var via pm’s before you post up.)