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post #1 of 99 (permalink) Old 03-01-13, 04:12 AM Thread Starter
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Default The New Word (Complete)

What is up, heresy online!? Bringing you something I recently wrote down, hope you guys enjoy !


The New Word


Chapter One: Underground Metro

Lyra Savakis. The Superiors saw a young girl in her early twenties, chestnut colored hair styled in a fishtail braid. Four years’ worth of training had given her middling, athletic build a more robust edge over some of the other girls. Her skin was a natural light shade of beige, on the verge of becoming bronze in her prime years yet to come. Bright oceanic eyes gazed through a window on the metro-bus taking them through the hidden places of a vast Hive city. Her face was like most of the other girls raised alongside her in the scholas: sculpturesque, hard, and radiant. Nothing stood out about her, but the Canoness must’ve noticed something in her that no one else could.

An endless stretch of underground walls are blurred by the constant motion of metro-bus. It must’ve been speeding at a minimum of eighty miles per hour; she could even feel the pressure in her gut despite her power armor. A silver bullet in the dimly lit darkness. Engines scream to the top of their capacity. Thrusters and stabilizers constantly wobble to keep the anti-grav train in suspended motion. The nightscape of Helike came through the darkness on occasion. The capital of the Hive planet Tyrannus.

Her wary eyes fell upon anyone in her vicinity; usually, she’d be sitting in her seat with a look of mild contempt plain on her face. Having to travel with the common citizenry often provoked similar expressions. Those were the days she would proudly where her helm to hide it. There was no reason to in this instance, the train was nearly empty save two dozen battle nuns of the Adepta Sororitas. Many dressed in resplendent blue battle robes that one would usually don over their armor. Half of the women riding the train wore none. The initiates must’ve felt empowered by the bolters that glinted in the light. Lyra knew that she did.

A tiny smirk crossed her lips at the memories that surfaced. Oh holy of holies, grant her the strength that saw her through the massacres of Dynara and Itanos. Bless her with the strength and immortal essence of St. Celestine, and reunite all mankind under the one true Imperium of man.

The metro-bus began to skid into a gradual halt. It slid forward for a few more kilometers before coming full stop before a station atop a great vista overlooking Itanos. The Hive city awaited them like a tempting mistress, calling to them to explore every inch of its surface in a never ending adventure. She could see the estates of the nobility and the Imperial palaces reach out into a star littered night. Below her was the heart of villainy and corruption: the under city. The city of lights looked to be in the midst of a festival. Fireworks spiraled up into the stars like surface-to-atmosphere battery barrages.

A shame the deed of the day would be killing. To stamp out anything that moved if it resembled the hedonistic cultist, the abhorable demon, or the pitiful undead. Whichever one crossed them first.

Arva was sunk into an adjacent seat, blinking the sleep from her bleary-eyed stare. She extended Lyra a nod. “I’m ready to crack some heathen heads. How ‘bout you, Lyra?” Her exhaustion was completely acceptable. The hour was late and the last minute debriefings had stolen some of their energy. Like Lyra, she too was dressed in thick royal blue robes. The pair of them looked like clerics, not initiates belonging to the Order of the Emperor’s Grace.

“I am ready.” Lyra eventually spoke, staring down at her bolter intently, inspecting every piece of it like she always had since the beginning of her training.

Sister Meril’s matronly voice grated through her V.O.X. grill, taking on an aspect of war Lyra had never quite experienced before. “Whoever dies this day, I certainly hope you two are not among them. Give our foes the flames of retribution and the honed steel of your ammunition. All of you!”

Arva and Lyra both bowed their heads slightly and uttered in reverent tones. “Through fire and steel, we give the enemy our absolution.”

A proven Sister shouted from the front of the train. “On your feet! Sororitas! On your feet! The train has stopped! Ready your weapons! Be ready to kill anything! Welcome to Itanos!”

The air was crisp and cool; the essence of winter had touched the city, though no snow was falling outside the station. The noise of anti-grav cars and ground vehicles disturbed the night, but could not drown out the sounds of gunfire. When the train left, all of them would be trapped in the heart of Itanos. Where that was, Lyra did not have the faintest clue, but she was here to deliver the Emperor’s will. With any luck, she’d do so under his cloak of protection.

Canoness Kaska Rosi glided off the station train. Trailing her resplendent armor was a Golden Fleece cloak, laced through the open maws of stuffed Falxian Lion Heads. The metro lights made the sienna skin on her naked face gleam like polished stone. Dark jade eyes swept through the throng of her soldiers and trainees. Her lips uttered benedictions and prayers on the star struck recruits. The bodyguard and able bodied sisters formed a tight noose around them. “One dozen initiates and a hand full of battle sisters… Not odds I would like, but there’s no time like the present to start shaping this rabble up. Move them out!”

Meril laughed at the tenseness in her girls’ posture, trying to relieve the hesitation in their expressions. “Do not let fear cloud your judgment now; you were all only boasting a day ago! Perhaps we should pray as we march?”

“From the lightning and the Tempest”

“Our Emperor, deliver us”

“From plague, temptation and war”

“Our Emperor, deliver us”

“From the scourge of Kraken”

“Our Emperor, deliver us”

“Evil is relative…You can’t hang a sign on it. You can’t touch it or taste it or cut it with a sword. Evil depends on where you are standing, pointing your indicting finger.”
-Glen Cook, The Black Company


Tales of Heroism and Bravery, in the 41st Millennium and the Old World. Perhaps some Realm Gate Wars in the future .

Gods' Hall (Completed)
https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...d.php?t=161618

The New Word (Completed)
https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...d.php?t=121879

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The march had taken them from the lonely Metro-Station overlooking the hive city of Itanos. Canoness Kaska led her humble troop deep into the Itanos under city to lead the rest of her Order in the midst of a massive battle being waged there. The Imperial Guard of the 89th Itanos Volunteers along with elements of the 5th Conorag Bloodhounds, 7th Hammers of the Golden Throne Armored Regiment, Order of the Emperor’s Grace, and the Sundered Legion 3rd Company Space Marines to fend off an assault from the forces of chaos. The Thousand Sons had plagued the sector for centuries, bringing war to the peaceful planets within the Tarmathon Sector. An army of cultists have been mustered to wage war upon the surface while the Thousand Sons disappeared from the solar system two years prior.

“I am ethereal. A being of flesh as much as I am one of imagination. I sit upon the edge of your mind, listening intently to your thoughts and telling you how to proceed with your pitiful, pathetic life. I am your heart’s true desire, the reason it beats so impulsively, all to pump fresh blood into that exhausted, limited mind of yours. Imagine me and I shall come to you, speak to me and you shall hear my whispers, Empower me with souls and see your greatest desire fulfilled upon a whim. The name I have given myself for the sake of all mortals is Nyst, a greater demon and champion of Tzeetch. Why am I so much more powerful than my kin, because I was created and shaped by twisted eldar minds that worship my lord and patron? You may sup from this cup of knowledge mortal, go ahead, it is my gift to you, take it.

Lriean Tarithinon checked the rising levels in disgust coming over him. The Greater Demon perched atop a ruined throne looked through his mind and soul. She could feel him out in a heartbeat. The greater demon possessed the form of a mutated centaur, a mythological figure from the ancient days of the mon-keigh. Its lower body was covered in slimy, diamond hard reptilian scales, supported by four stallion like legs. Reptilian feet armed with thick claws and a glistening tail nearly the size of Lriean himself made the rest. Upon this lower body was the form of a slender woman, her naked skin a pale blue that was barely visible in the ill lit darkness. Such a forbidden sight remained hidden behind two columns of beautiful black hair coming down either side of her face. The soulless pits of her eyes leered at him and she smiled, revealing a shark’s mouth of teeth and slithering green tongue.

The infamous demon the legends called Nyst, reached out with her humanoid arms and beckoned him to come closer. Lriean did not feel much obliged to do so. Instead he dropped the silver cup in his hand, raised his las-gun at the greater demon. Staring down any demon always took a deep long look into oneself. After all, the Warp was forged by the dreams and desires of the sentient races. Nyst knew what he desired. She had what he desired playing through her fingers. Ar’ka’ram’s soul stone burned furiously in the demon’s grip. A legendary Exarch from the artificial planet of Ulthwe, sister craftworld of his home Teyl-Jhen. How many Farseers and Autarchs would pay handsomely for that, it could be worth far more than this warp thing knew.

He braced himself for the demon to try and strike him through sorcery. “Let’s not play this game with each other. I don’t like it. You must be tired of it after the millionth time. I would hope so anyway.”

Nyst snarled in her many voices voice, appearing unsatisfied with the reaction from the eldar outfitted in loose Imperial fatigues. “I do not believe you actually understand your peril, little Lriean. But alas, maybe I’ll oblige you.”

The greater demon stared at the jewel, full of longing for the soul within. Her alien pupils shrunk to the size of a small coin, gazed out into nothing. Lriean watched her commune with the warp and watch a dozen different futures in the span of a few breaths. He blinked and the moment ended. Nyst cracked the stone with a powerful bite. A demonic roar erupted from her throat the likes that Lriean had never heard before, bursting with satisfaction. Ar’ka’ram screamed out for the last time, evaporating into Nyst’s very being. She cast the stone before the eldar’s feet, nodding her approval as it shattered against cold steel. “I shall part for a time, little Tarithinon. Perhaps we shall meet again when you are more sensible? I haven’t given up on you yet, Lriean Tarithinon.” Nyst lazily rose to her feet. She hissed at the alien archeologist. A passing warning as she faded away into mist.

“Ashes and Dust, Lriean. I am ethereal, you are but the former.”

Lriean kneeled down to pick up the shattered fragments of the soul stone, letting it fall through his fingers before he sighed hopelessly. He soaked in the sight of the ruins around him. Dank, dark, and foreboding. None of that had deterred him from arriving in the city of Itanos and finding this subterranean ruin deep within the bowels of the hive city. The cultists that had originally been here had let the place fall to ruin; many of the light fixtures had been busted or flickering in and out of existence. And the plascrete walls had been caved in during the warfare that this place had saw probably years ago.

Why a throne appeared at the end of this chamber was beyond him. This was no longer an age of kings, but one of governors and palaces. He studied it a little while longer, imagining Nyst lounging there like a Queen of shadows. Heroes of the Honored Dead had attempted to dethrone the Demoness from her position of power more than once. No one had succeeded over the centuries, not even the fabled Tiger of Teyl-Jhen: Farseer Raihan Tarithinon. Maybe Aryriel, Raihan’s only child would have attempted to follow in his father’s footsteps. He was more of a warrior than a demon-hunter. And his exile during the war for Tarmathon IV did him no favors. Wouldn’t be a bad idea to visit him one day, he could use some well-honed muscle like him working with the crew.

“Qu’nalan.” Lriean lifted two fingers to tap into the comm-bead linked on his left ear, listening to the soft static for a moment before a voice registered him.

The tone was darker than his and more hushed. “Lriean. Did you acquire the stone?”

“I ran into a little trouble, well more than that, but I managed. The stone is useless now.”

A moment silence spelled out the disappointment. “I see. Well get back up here, it’s time to leave this place in search of something else. Qu’nalan out.”

Didn’t Qu’nalan know that there was a war waging out there right now? What new leads could he possibly have that they hadn't talked about? Well, he would know when he spoke to him in person. Time to leave here. Whatever this place was.

Lriean threw his las-gun over a shoulder and began to trek off into the distance.

“Lriean.”

“Huh? Who goes there?” The relic hunter called out, placing a cautious hand on his las-gun. He cast glances into the darkness, yet saw nothing.

Taryi’s voice carried over the darkness, echoing in the haunting quiet. It interrogated him softly. “I am only curious. Why don’t you possess the soul stone of Ar’ka’ram? If you needed aid, you should have called upon me. I would have gladly come with you.”

Lriean gently dismissed the notion with a wave of his hand. “No offence, Taryi, but I don’t think your acquired skills would have helped me much.”

The Howling Banshee emerged from the darkness in the direction he was heading. Her curly auburn hair bounced with every step, threatening to cover her bright jade eyes and the dark inked tattoos partially covering her face. She was clad in sleek armor that fit tightly around her slender frame and held a two handed executioner in her hands. Taryi Iuduo loomed one full head over the strangely dressed Lriean. Her gaze fell over him like a stern mentor rebuking a student who had just made a grave mistake.

“Then what happened?” She interrogated again, curiosity peaked at the actions of her fellow kin.

The archeologist kicked aside some bones. “Nyst is what happened, I never thought I’d bump into such a strange demon of legend, but here we are. Talking about it after the fact.”

Taryi’s eyes widened a fraction, uttering the name to herself as if contemplating what implications the name had. Then the look in her eyes suddenly steeled into a sterner expression. She looked Lriean up and down. Took in his current state of being. “You look no worse for wear. Why is that?”

“She simply left after taking what she wanted. I’m not sure what else I’ve could have done, given the circumstances.”

“Or course not.” The howling banshee stated, unimpressed. “Let us move, I’m sure you desire to leave here as soon as possible.”

The two began to retrace their footsteps back the way they came. They stepped through a ruined corridor with its walls gutted and littered with rotting carcasses and skeletons. On what portion of the walls that had held out for all these years had various types of graffiti and messages sprawled across their surface. An elevator shaft soon revealed itself that would take them out of the dreary pit they had descended into.

Lriean pressed the button according to the highest level. The elevator doors squealed shut. “You didn’t by chance find anything of use down here, did you?”

“No.” Taryi studied him with an incredulous look, examining his face to see if he was being serious.

“Just wondering.” Lriean said distracted. Other things were weighing down on his mind. “What was Qu’nalan doing before you came down here?”

“Waiting for you.”

Taryi’s shadow fell over Lriean like a giant even from across the elevator. She wasn’t only taller than him, her figure was far more robust in muscle mass than his own. Taryi was a proven and veteran warrior, Lriean was an accomplished archeologist. He kept his dark blonde hair cut short plain and short, finely kempt and nearly covering his large silver pupils. He was well aware that Taryi’s shrine greatly respected strength. There was no telling why she agreed to join the expedition or even bother listening to Lriean. She didn’t have an eye for the tedious side of unearthing artifacts and it definitely bored her. When the boredom becomes too much, she simply leaves the job for a week or two. That never failed to distress Lriean more than anything, considering the constant dangers his work put him in. He may have been the leader and brain the rest of the team connected to on paper. But in reality, he had no leash on either of his companions.

A bell ringed within the elevator and the doors came squeaking open. The open night sky proved a welcome change, even mostly covered by towering sky scrapers raising countless stories into the next level of the Hive. Taryi and Lriean entered a small plaza, completed with a small garden and Imperial chapel in the midst of it. There was a massive demon looming around the chapel, easily matched Lriean’s height, built of crimson sinew and muscle. A wicked tongue licked hungrily at the air and beady red eyes stared into their souls from afar. The bloodletter held a demonically forged blade in its right hand, nothing else in its left, but it looked poised and ready to strike.

“Qu’nalan!?” Lriean called out, but there was no answer.

Two more appeared out of the shadows, coming to stand near their comrade and leering as they began to slowly approach. Each of them looked menacing in their own right. The pair of Eldar instantly grabbed their weapons and stormed off into two different directions.

Lriean kicked his las-rifle from single shot to full auto and opened up a salvo of las-bolts that punched the one of the far left- the one nearest him- in the chest several times. The monster took the bullets in stride and laughed confidently at the upstart. It roared out the demonic challenge before three blood letters sprung into a charge of their own. Lriean opened fire again at the same target. The first blasts hit the beast’s legs and torso before working their way up to the thing’s face. The blood letter shielded himself with the massive bulk of its arm, raised its sword up to cleave Lriean who simply rolled out of the way as he fired.

The Eldar Relic hunter sprang to his feet, ducking beneath an arched swing meant to cleave his head off. He brought his bayonet up, but the blood letter’s arms were still covering its face. Instead he swung the knife on the edge of his las-gun into the things gut, managing to stab twice before the red demon brought its elbow down on his temple and sent him spinning away. The minion of Khorne pressed his advantage. The hell blade swung around its head, brought down in an overhead strike.

Lriean dived and rolled away from the attack, barely managing to not be scathed by it. He threw the las-gun at the demon to temporarily halt its momentum. In that space of time, he drew his shuriken pistol and unleashed a flurry of laser fire that would have shredded a lesser man in an instant. It merely injured the blood letter, causing it to recoil from Lriean and use its sword as a shield.

Taryi twirled around the first blood letter to reach her, stabbed in with one side of her executioner, impaling the thing in the gut. She remembered to twist before departing the blade from flesh, bringing the blade back around to parry the second blood letter in a shower of sparks. The two power weapons clashed for a few seconds. Each one struggled to gain an edge over the other. She flipped backwards before the blood letter could bring his blade back for another strike, cleaving the first she had engaged in two with an effortless strike.

With a howl of rage, the first member of the hellish pack departed. It gently melted into a fine mist and fell back into the realm of nightmares. The second seemed undeterred, instead pumped its blade into the air and roared triumphantly over the screams of its dying comrade. It called to the shadows in a diabolic tongue.

“Cursed thing, I’ll slay you and your entire ilk!”

More blood letters came roaring out of the darkness, blades burning brightly with hellfire and murderous intent in their eyes. They stormed forward across the plaza to lock arms with the pair of eldar and claim their souls for Khorne. They split into groups like the first three: two for Lriean, the other three for Taryi. They howled like wild animals in the night, already covered in the blood of many innocents.

“Lriean! Taryi! Look out below!” A voice shouted from the rooftops, Qu’nalan stood atop a housing block over-looking the plaza, clad in the armor of the Dark Reaper and cradling a tempest launcher in his arms.

Qu’nalan fired twin rockets into the rushing hoard of blood letters, aiming for the pair that were chasing after Lriean. The first rocket scathed the blood letter that Lriean had been blasting away since the fight began, the other one had landed perfectly between the other two lagging behind. The blast gouged out layers of asphalt and blew apart one of the blood letters in a gory display of blood. The second was flung across the plaza by the blast, twisting an arm and snapping it on impact with the asphalt where Taryi was currently fighting.

Disengaging from combat, the howling banshee gracefully darted from the other blood letters to the injured one, effortlessly leaping over it and inserting one end of her blade between the thing’s spine. She spun on her heel toward the other three, staring them down as they meant to surround her. A knowing smile crossed her lips and she charged into them. Lithe and agile like a lioness, Taryi easily climbed up, leapt over the hunched blood letter, and took off one of the slavering creature’s leg below the knee.

It naturally collapsed, trying to reach out for the Aspect warrior with the intent of savagely pulling one of her arms off. In a split second reaction, she answered with a quick thrust from her blade into the demon’s gaping mouth. The blade erupted out the other end in a spray of blood. It slowly began to fade back into mist, but still kept a firm grip on her arm.

Grunting in surprise, Taryi twisted and pulled against the demon’s superior strength. All the while she watched the other two charge her down. But an idea popped in her head at that moment she heard the rocket come down. She fell gracefully onto her back, rolled to one side with all her strength, pulling the fading demon on top like a human shield. The first rocket buried itself deep into one bloodletter’s gut. It promptly blossomed in an explosion of blood and mist, the shear force sent the second flying and bought her a little more time.

The red hide protecting her vanished. Once again her strength was her own to command. Taryi flipped to her feet and let her executioner fly from her fingers toward the last one trying to erect itself near the chapel wall. The blade impaled the demon through the stomach, carving itself into the cold metal of the chapel and pinning the blood letter against it.

“Lreian!”

Lriean kicked his kneeling blood letter in the teeth, bringing his bayonet from his re-acquired las- rifle right into the beast’s eye socket. Not even flinching from the grotesque pop, he slid the bayonet out of the gun and proceeded to fire the remainder of his ammunition into the blood letter stuck upon the chapel. The las-bolts hit accurately and in dense succession, repeatedly blasted away at the minion’s face until only exposed, bullet ridden brain matter remained.

“Are you two alright?” Qu’nalan asked, but did not stop for an answer. “I’m making my way off this roof top!”

Lriean shrugged at Taryi with a grim smile, wiping the sweat off his face. “What’s next? Haha, zombies!?”

The howling banshee smiled back, shrugging carelessly as well. “I wouldn’t joke about such things here. Who knows, perhaps it will be.”

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“We can move the imperial guard companies up through the Tesian Highway,” Canoness Kaska was surrounded by generals from all aspects of the Imperial forces participating in Operation Phoenix. A tactical display highlighted the many different zones, representing allied or non-friendly territory. Within each of those territories a series of troop formations and base-outpost locations dotted the immersive map.

She continued discussing the trivialities of war with her cabinet of advisors. “From the District one-thirty-one slums… there we can launch a spearhead through the traitor’s decimated center. The window will be small before the hell spawn plug it back up again. If the timing is faulty, we’ll have to redirect our heavy artillery onto them.”

Lyra observed the inner-workings of the command center in a look of silent fascination. Masses of adepts, Imperial guard, and agents of the Adeptus Mechanicus labored like slaves under the demanding conditions of maintaing a headquarters. Twice as many servitors were working at the cognitors, or moving and setting up equipment, and working on that blasted telecommunications array that had been down all night. The Bodyguards of the High Command lingered in every corner of the room. All of them eagle-eyed and glaring each other down like there would be a reckoning soon to happen.

Lyra remained uncertain on Kaska’s intentions, however. Why had so many initiates been brought into the presence of the most powerful men and women on the planet? Emperor be merciful, even the inhuman Adeptus Astartes had sent an envoy Captain to make sure everything was in order for the coming purge. Veteran Chapter members stood guard over the front entrance. They had bolters clad across their puffed out chest and had their helm slits locked onto their commander. The Emperor’s Grace newest recruits –which had swelled to nearly a hundred during the battle down in the hive- sat aside from the maintenance and evil-eyed guards at recess tables meant to seat the entire command center at full capacity.

Hedia occupied herself with smoking a cigarette with Keleos and Lexina. They kept their eyes on the Superiors and boasted of the kills they claimed when they appeared distracted. Lyra couldn’t see the point in bragging. Every kill scored by an unproven earlier in the night had been taken from a shambling horde of undead. She sniffed apprehensively. Even a twelve year old could dispatch a thing already dead and crippled by a previous death. Given that the child had the right weapon and been drilled in its use.

Lyra’s personal reward was the experience of standing beside five hundred of her own in the midst of battle. The rank and file of the Order thrashed every attempt by the zombie horde to swamp the makeshift battlements and trenches raised with corpses crushed beneath rubble. The Initiates had their chance to fight from the front under the Order’s Battle Standard. The Celestians kept their flanks shielded while the regular sisters threw up a wall of burning promethium with a hundred flamers. Canoness Kaska was forever at their back, screaming at her troops to fight, but not firing a shot. They all knew her gaze was watching them for the slightest fault. Just one weakness to be denied the dream of fighting the Emperor’s wars.

It was strange that Kaska never mentioned the pride that her girls’ possessed. Lyra knew they would rather die in the midst of a flesh-eating horde of rotten corpses than being reduced to the menial roles in the Schola for the rest of their lives. Especially after enduring the training. There was little motivation that could harden the resolve of a Battle Sister more. They were all living proof that a destiny could be something far more than their origins would have settled them with. On occasion, Lyra caught the Canoness’ sideward glance aimed directly at her. It was nigh imperceptible. No one else had even noticed.

Arva lifted her face from the dataslate she had been going through for the past hour. “We didn’t lose anyone. Did you notice?”

Lyra gently inclined her head. “Of course. Those vile undead weren’t a challenge against all of us fighting together.”

“Glorious,” Arva corrected. “Our victory over the forces of Chaos was glorious. They came in endless hordes in front of our guns. We scourged their unholy disease from our dominion on the battlefield… Ever wonder how much longer until we’re fully initiated?”

“After we strangle our first traitors?” Lyra suppressed a nagging giggle in her throat. “Deliver our absolution to the repentant. Exercise faith in our abilities, our sisters, and Him on Terra. We should be welcome after we’ve done all those things a few dozen times over. I would imagine things playing out that way, at least.”

Her comrade tucked her head into her hands. Her sigh was one of resignation. “If we love our Master-“

“Then we shall obey His commands.”

Across the command center, Celestian Enora seated herself in a great chair just behind the Canoness. Even in full battle plate, she crossed her legs and folded her arms with a half-finished cigar in her mouth. None other than Delphine’s shadow fell over her. Enora looked up, instantly realizing that the other guard was ready to strike her until she relinquished it. Enora flashed her perfect teeth in a smile. Fresh smoke came wafting out from her lips, she beckoned Delphine to join her.

This one had piqued Nyst’s interest. One look into Enora’s eyes uncovered the lock guarding her mind. She flexed invisible fingers with magic-imbued puppet strings attached. Resistance proved a thorn in her side at first, Enora struggled and kicked back with mental strikes. A typical firebrand. The Greater Demon tightened the web around the struggling human trying to cope with the pressure overtaking her mind. Enora immediately slackened the moment she succumbed. Her eyes gently fell shut and her snuffed vessel came under possessive influence.

“Come now, love. A puppet’s dance to entertain me for a while. The Master has spoken. Canoness Kaska must face her fate in this very place!”

“Enora?” Delphine’s voice cut through the suffocation of silence inside Enora’s mind. “You look spaced.”

She breathed in heavy, rugged gasps. They came in no small amount of anticipation. “Here.” Enora pressed the cigar stump into Delphine’s hands. The devil behind the veil made Enora wink like her casual self. “There’s something I need to do. Hold my seat, would you?” She climbed up to her feet and began stalking away from the others.

Enora’s little acquaintance stared at her retreating back, slack-jawed. “What, by the High Lords of Terra, do you have to do besides guarding the Canoness!? Hey, Enora!?” She talked far too loudly for her own good. Yet a distraction was something she could ill afford in this moment. “That’s not frakking funny, okay. It’s insubordination. Kaska will you whipped through the streets!”

“Gods, be quiet!” Enora craned her head back at Delphine, her face twisted and devilish enough to freeze her in shock and horror. Just the emotion Nyst was aiming for. Transfixed on Delphine, whatever remained of Enora ripped out her bolt pistol and lined a shot on Canoness Kaska through an omniscient seventh sense.

“Canoness!”

Kaska’s head popped like a hammer swing into the back of an overripe fruit. Splinters of bone and a stream of brain matter fell from the gaping wound in her skull. Fresh blood spurted from the ruined mess. The corpse wavered for a moment, then crumbled in a heap over the tactical map. The first screams hadn’t swept through the room before Nyst unloaded Enora’s clip into the nearest seniors of the Sororitas. Their bodyguards were on their feet in an instant, but not before ten more of the senior staff collapsed like lifeless dolls.
Delphine smashed into Nyst shoulder guard first, throwing her over the table atop Kaska’s stiff, leaking corpse. Enora’s companion was quick on her feet when she realized the danger. The Celestian lashed out in a strange sideways uppercut, the admantanium covering her knuckles fracturing Enora’s jaw like a piece of glass. Nyst’s superhuman strength slammed Delphine into the command room floor hard enough for an audible crack to be heard within that armored shell of hers. Blood from her own ruptured organs gushed from her mouth even as a possessed Enora locked her in a chocking grasp. She poised herself to tear the tendons in her neck in one twist.

A sure thrust of a power blade parted the flesh around Enora’s sternum. The electro-magnetic field sizzled the blood and hideously burned the flesh. Her demonic keen of agony was enough to bleed Delphine’s ears into deafness. The Second Blade, Anatolijus Petrakis, towered triumphant over the corrupted sack of flesh. Delphine could only read the Second Blade’s lips, muttering something to the creature inside Enora. Her blade flashed again. Enora’s head toppled away, rolling beside Delphine’s.

“Evil is relative…You can’t hang a sign on it. You can’t touch it or taste it or cut it with a sword. Evil depends on where you are standing, pointing your indicting finger.”
-Glen Cook, The Black Company


Tales of Heroism and Bravery, in the 41st Millennium and the Old World. Perhaps some Realm Gate Wars in the future .

Gods' Hall (Completed)
https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...d.php?t=161618

The New Word (Completed)
https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...d.php?t=121879

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Doors laden with bronze and steel buckled inwards from the combined efforts of Lriean and Qu’nalan. The chapel built for the Imperial faith fell short of impressive. Lriean strode through the pews and incense burners until he reached the little altar under stained glass portraits. No priests. Images of howling Blood Letters came to mind, already soaked in the blood of innocents. He shook away the thought, spun around to face his friends. “The hell was all of that back there, Qu’nalan? Not even a signal to say there’s danger lurking nearby?”

Qu’nalan possessed an appearance of an Eldar who had spent half his centuries perfecting the art of killing. Like Lriean himself, Qu’nalan stood a head missing under Taryi. His figure was compact, except his arms, having been honed with carrying his tempest launcher across countless battlefields. Lustrous leather black hair he kept trimmed into a short shag, a nice complement to his square jaw and stern brown gaze. The sheer dark of the Dark Reaper armor fit him like a glove. Made him into a warrior of silent contemplation whenever he don his equipment. One who knew death and respected it in all of its countless forms.

Qu’nalan threw the tempest launcher onto the altar and stood there, perplexed. He always tried to do this. Every time he entered a religious sanctuary unfamiliar to the Eldar race, he always desecrated the altar in whatever way he could, so long as the shrines were empty. A leering grin formed on the Dark Reaper’s thinned lips, his voice ghastly. “I was given little time to even maneuver before they emerged from the alleyways, like spectral ghosts. They must’ve seen me waiting for you outside the ruin, and figured they’d wait to come after you two after I fled. They would have torn me apart had it not been for your perfect timing.”

Taryi approached him from behind, laid a gentle grip on Qu’nalan’s shoulder. “Your sense of courage aside, you mentioned something interesting to share with us?”

“True.” He replied. “Our employer came to us earlier in the night. She’s waiting to speak with us.”

Taryi didn’t hide her grimace, shaking her head at the Dark Reaper. “How intuitive. What was the message? A warning, perhaps, about unknowingly delving into a demon infested pit of hell?” The tone wasn’t comical, far from it actually, but her laughter lit up the place.


The coin-sized piece set between Qu’nalan’s fingers glimmered with an intricate circle of runes in its center. He named but one and set it down on the altar. A holographic image formed in the air above the emitter, taking the shape of Spirit Seer Mae in her long elegant robes and heavy shock of auburn hair that fell to her calves in twirling locks. Mae’s mystic voice cycled through the technological commune purer than the sharp clarity of a crystal. “Fate must smile upon you again, Lriean. You’re the one to usually undergo the commune during the first signs of danger. You possess the stone?”

Lriean rubbed his left temple rather intensely. “No.” He answered apologetically. “I encountered some serious trouble at the foreseen location. A demon- quite massive in scope and something I’ve never really before… I’m certain it was Nyst.”

Mae suddenly turned away from the three Eldar, keen disappointment in her deep breathing. “I have misread the runes… I’m divining a streak of misfortune, myself, never mind you three children.”

Lriean’s female companion muttered an encouragement. “The dark pantheon has a way of twisting the strands, Seer. Fate is a fickle mistress, anyway, our past is proof enough of that.”

“Of course,” The Spirit Seer looked up with somber eyes, brimming with hope. “I know that kind of treachery more than most. You have been keeping my daughter in good health, Lriean. For that, you have my sincerest thanks.”

“An Amazon like her doesn’t need much help,” Lriean rolled his shoulders. “Qu’nalan and I are far more grateful for her aid. It’s proven invaluable in a handful of tight spots.”

Lirean could feel Taryi’s stare boring through his back, even when addressing Lriean’s employer. “Mother. Ar’ka’ram is no longer of this world. How much longer until we’re allowed to sail back home?”

Mae‘s chastisement came gently. “Not one soul of our kin should be forsaken to the fate of damnation. Your loss is the Craftworld’s loss, and all of us will mourn the passing of the venerable Exarch. However, my dear, the path you must take on this planet shall be long and arduous, I’m afraid. There is a place, lost to the ages of man and their rapid evolution, where ten thousand lost Eldar souls are buried.”

They all uttered the name written down the ages in legend. “The Ghost Crypts.”

“Yes.” The Spirit Seer affirmed. “The servants of the Changer will pose a constant threat to your progress, but I must implore you to continue seeking out this site of buried massacre. Be wary, Nyst’s omniscient gaze will forever be tracking your footsteps, noting your progress.”

Grim laughter reverberated off the enclosed space within the Chapel, pulling everyone’s attention into Qu’nalan’s direction. The Dark Reaper fell into rickety wooden pew, sighed heavily. “Just the three of us? Unless you plan to give us a small war host, we won’t cover a fraction of this place! Not even in a century’s timeframe.”

A moment of silence permeated and chocked the air inside the chapel walls.

Mae simply sounded worried by something, contemplating her next choice of words. “Destiny isn’t something to desire in every instance of life. Those chosen by the Gods to challenge Nyst have known nothing but the eternal depredations of Chaos. My old mentor simply reminded me that it was the way of things, the “infinite scheme of the universe”. His words may still be true, even after his passing. I believe that if you three were fated to combat this creature, it is because she chose you for her new game of conquest. The Gods always have a plan, and that includes the darker powers… I cannot expect the three of you to handle this task by yourselves. Hmm, perhaps, working in collaboration with the Inquisition can be a means to an end for both sides of the coin.”

Lriean barely flinched at the name; it had no more fear attached to it than any other demon out there. Even so, the eldar relic hunter loathed the idea of working with actual fanatics. “Hah! What? I’m sorry, Seer Mae, but that sounds like the farthest thing from pleasant or sane, for that matter.”

Mae finally caved. “The Council has received a personal invitation from the Ordo Malleus. An Inquisitor of some repute on Tyrannus is requesting Eldar expertise on scourging the infestations of Chaos that are not so visible to the naked eye. Lriean, I’ve appointed you for an emissary. I will contact the Ordo Malleus at once, prepare for your arrival and stay in the capital, and discuss the details with the necessary contacts.

“I shall arrange a contact for you to meet; she may prove to be a great boon on this subject. Go to the research facility of Gythium: the fortress monastery belonging to the Order of the Emperor’s Grace. It is based in Helike. She will meet you there.”

“Evil is relative…You can’t hang a sign on it. You can’t touch it or taste it or cut it with a sword. Evil depends on where you are standing, pointing your indicting finger.”
-Glen Cook, The Black Company


Tales of Heroism and Bravery, in the 41st Millennium and the Old World. Perhaps some Realm Gate Wars in the future .

Gods' Hall (Completed)
https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...d.php?t=161618

The New Word (Completed)
https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...d.php?t=121879

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Thanks , I'll try working on more sometime around the weekend, hopefully I'll more up by then.

“Evil is relative…You can’t hang a sign on it. You can’t touch it or taste it or cut it with a sword. Evil depends on where you are standing, pointing your indicting finger.”
-Glen Cook, The Black Company


Tales of Heroism and Bravery, in the 41st Millennium and the Old World. Perhaps some Realm Gate Wars in the future .

Gods' Hall (Completed)
https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...d.php?t=161618

The New Word (Completed)
https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...d.php?t=121879
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For an Imperium built upon lost technologies, the Fortress Monastery of Gythium brimmed with the cutting edge. The home of the Emperor’s Grace glittered from the highest peaks of Hive Helike’s government palace complex. Massive walls and battlements, gold pleated, bristled with countless artillery pieces and massive cannons primed to strike the largest battleships from Tyrannus’ atmosphere. The complex within was built on intricate networks of High Gothic bridges, flanked with fully bloomed flowerbeds, connecting one hundred and thirty seven isolated research spires and living quarters for the Adaptus Sororitas into one fortress. Waterfalls that could sweep away a smaller city came falling from the Hall of the Order, swelling every pond and pleasant stream inside the Courtyard of the Keep to near over-flowing.

From the highest Saint to the lowliest Schola girl, all those who stood for the Order of The Emperor’s Grace assembled in the Courtyard of the Keep. Soldier, fanatic, and servant stood organized together ten thousand strong, rank-and-file, enjoying the glistening rays of the sun from one of the coldest peaks on the planet. Envoys from the Sundered Legion and the Imperial Guard permitted to attend the mourning were also present, bringing with them an Honor company garbed in full ceremonial wardrobe.

The massive statue of the Emperor himself overlooked the gathered flock of his faithful. Soon-to-be Canoness Anatolijus Petrakis stood proudly beneath his ever-watchful gaze. Her armor was gold pleated and silver admantanium, draped over with royal blue and snowy robes of her Order. Flowing long hair aged to snow, came down in flat bangs on her gaunt and slightly sunken features. Uplifted in her hands, the Hammer of the Mithridite caught the sun’s glare against the polished onyx and silver pattern.

The speaker network carried her voice throughout all of Gythium. “I knew Canoness Kaska Rosi, only in her prime years as commander of our sacred order. To her death we salute.”

“Our honored Canoness, we serve, hail the holy throne of Terra.” Ten thousand voices echoed the short Psalm, ten thousand fists clashed against their chest plates.

“Her soul has been accepted among the saints that reside beside the holy Throne of Terra. We all must embark on that voyage one day. But sisters, let it not be in these grim, dark days, when war is being waged on a galactic scale, the very genocide of Mankind at hand.
“Canoness Kaska has passed down her role as commander of the Order of the Emperor’s Grace. I, Anatolijus Petrakis, shall swear to do everything in my power to deliver my Order, all of Tyrannus, and all of the Tarmathon Sector into an age of peace and prosperity. So that we shall once again look to the future with hopeful eyes and await the Emperor’s inevitable return.” She lowered her sword, sheathing it once again in its scabbard and greeted her comrades once more with a stern gaze.

Lriean watched the innumerable ships sailing just above reach of the sky. Regiment ferrying transports ascended and descended through the atmosphere, accompanied by a legion of lesser vessels. He laughed inwardly at being literally on top of the world, observing the wake from a battlement overlooking the courtyard. He couldn’t help being somewhat impressed, seeing the capital of an entire Hive belonging to the largest race in the galaxy had to impress very much. Qu’nalan and Taryi were leaning over the pulpits, listening to the Order’s new commander.

Sister Celestian Philemon Demarchis of the Order of the Sacred Rose hadn’t left Lriean’s side the moment they entered Gythium. Her thick layers of clothes were a mix of ebony and ivory, matching her braided hair, but not her youthful age. Philemon had her gaze beaming down into the assembly, a defiant smile on her lips and a fist curled against her chest. Lriean noticed her glances at him several times. She attempted to ease the tension with a welcoming smirk before turning her attention back onto Canoness Anatolijus. The only thing he knew about her, was that she had served the Inquisition all her life, apparently. No one had spoken a word after an hour’s trip up to the Hall of the Order, but Philemon appeared ready to broach the silence.

She spoke to him in a firm, welcoming tone, taking her hand off her chest to shake hands with the alien. “I welcome you, Lriean Tarithinon. Qu’nalan Morlankris and Taryi Bel’thorn, on behalf of the Inquisition and the Order of the Sacred Rose, I bid you welcome.” Philemon gave a low bow and turned back to Lriean. “Your employer mentions that you are from a highly respected house. Mae spoke similar of Taryi as well. I’m honored to receive all of you.”

He took her hand in a firm shake. “Oh I see, you must know all about me. Mae does love to talk about her prodigies.” They shared a polite laugh.

“Prodigy is it?” Philemon teased lightly. “I was told all Eldar are masters of their craft, impregnable even.”

The alien archeologist leaned in closer. “When you live a thousand years, it’s hard not too, eh?”

Philemon inclined her head in agreement. “True enough, Lriean. Though I must admit, I was expecting some fearsome alien assassin to greet me this morning. A pleasant surprise that you look nothing of the sort.”

“Don’t underestimate me, Ms. Demarchis.” Lriean winked in confidence. “There’s more warrior here than you think.”

Lriean gestured down at the assembly. “What’s all of this happening down there? It looks like you’re gearing up for a war.”
The sister of the Sacred Rose’s face of cheer suddenly sank into sadness, as if someone had just struck her. Her voice took on a more somber tone. “Sisters from the Emperor’s Grace are mourning the loss of their Canoness. A tragic tale, a weak and frail Celestian under the name of Enora apparently succumbed to demonic influence and murdered our commander before anyone could take notice. How suspicious…”

“My sympathies,” Lriean replied. “But tragedies aside, I believe you know why I’m here.”

Philemon arched one brow at the comment. She studied Lriean’s expression to see how serious he was being. “Of course I do, did you expect anything less from Ordo Malleus? I mean, I understand you aliens are often ignorant of our ways-“

Taryi grinned from ear to ear, glare dagger sharp and gleaming. “And often with good reason. Why try to understand blind faith in genocide and xenophobia? It is a pitiful outlook on the universe. Those who would wield such weapons against us –well, there’s no point in debating their inevitable fate, is there?”

Philemon stepped back; face fresh with the shock of a verbal lashing. A long period of silence fell upon the lone battlement while Philemon contemplated her next choice of words. Lriean sharply mouthed a rebuke, but Taryi brushed him aside like chafe. Philemon smiled in unhidden disgust. “I can smell the scent of charred and unclean flesh all around you, enough to churn my stomach.” She turned to Lriean, disdain weighing heavily on her frown. “I suppose every scholar and wise man requires a blood hound to guard them in the darkest times. Just keep her on a leash, and a very short one at that.”

The Eldar archeologist immediately set about easing the tension, but Philemon hastily interrupted. “Let’s not draw this out any longer than it needs to be. I will take you to Inquisitor Arruns Ulpius.”
*************
The tensions between the Banshee and the Sororitas lightened the further they pushed into Gythium’s mosaic halls, filled with splendor and reverence in equal measure. Philemon must have swallowed her pride and forgiven the transgression. By all the dead Gods of the Eldar, Lriean knew Taryi would never apologize over such a slight. Their human envoy formally invited them into the halls of the Ordo Malleus. “Please, do not be afraid to enter, or we’ll have to drag you before Arruns’ presence.” Lriean could taste the threat in her tasteless joke.

Placid streams poured through the recesses between sweeping mosaics mounted along entire stretches of hall paths. Each of them depicted the race of men enduring in their current era: infamous victories and notable conflicts involving the Ordo Malleus and the elusive characters that commanded the organization to every corner of the Imperium’s galaxy. Desolated battlefields, filled the never-ending hordes of lifeless Orks and Hives engulfed in the flames of battle, brought by the nefarious Eldar. Banners from a hundred different Astarte Chapters hung from the great ribbed vaults. Each piece of heraldry was some fraction of history and culture woven into the fabric that made up the Inquisition. The four of them emerged through a massive archway, held in place with columns cloaked in strange patterns of scripture, and completed with the Imperium’s iconic Aquilla unfurling its wings from atop the arch.

A mysterious figure cloaked in black fabric and a witch helm that shone like the moon, sat in an oval chair by a collection of glassine tables on the edge of a waterfall. The chest piece of wraith bone over his chest was a deep crimson, similar to the semi-crystalline stones on his wardrobe. On his waist, a witch blade, sheathed inside an elegant rune-sealed scabbard marked him for what he was.

The Warlock greeted them with a sign of peace. “I sensed something would be off today. I read the runes, but they spoke nothing of a most welcome encounter in this morbid museum. How do you fare, my kindred?”

Lriean bowed in respect. “More fortunate than we probably have a right to, but that won’t stop us from taking it all in stride.”

The Warlock’s laughter poured through the helm, mimicking the flow of rushing water rather than a laugh by the eldritch properties of his war gear. “I am pleased to hear it. Before you ask, we shall meet again soon and be properly acquainted. Remember my name, it is Kasilienesh.”

Philemon verbally instructed a pair of Grey Knights to lift their halberds from the Inquisitor’s quarters. The doors swung open with the hisses and clanks of invisible servos. One of the bio-engineered humans gestured for them to enter. The Mon-Keigh reclined in his leather chair looked like a muscle bound serf in spite of the ebony corselet and greaves, crimson cloak emblazoned with Ordo’s insignia, and an Inquisitor’s rosarius dangling from his neck. Dark green eyes looked up from a weather-beaten hatchet face, looking down a hooked nose that had healed from many broken angles. Stringy ashen blonde hair clung close around the sideburns and imperial styled pointed beard. A young warrior he likely was in his prime, but an elderly sage was all that remained before Lriean.

The Ordos Malleus Inquisitor gestured them to sit down in the four chairs conveniently placed in front of his desk. The Inquisitor snapped his fingers. An aide appeared from the shadows and bowed. “Remove there reports, hand them down to Jelenn. She’ll know what to do with them.” The old man still had some sternness in his backbone, Lriean could tell through the un-trembling hands and proud stare. Never had Lriean met an Inquisitor burdened by the shame of guilt. It looked like things would remain that way for a while longer. The Eldar archeologist felt himself being dissect by his calculating appraisal, which then turned to Taryi, then Qu’nalan. Even Philemon, who appeared removed from the entire situation.
The voice he regarded his guest with belied his robust bulk: deep, nasally, and resolute combined into one man’s throat. “I am a foreigner. That is what I am on this planet, Tyrannus. That is a fact, which makes myself in many aspects, about as alien as anyone of you three. That truth in turn, is compounded by my divine right to command in the Ordo Malleus, as an Inquisitor. I understand what you likely think about that, but before long, you’ll find out that I always try to speak the truth on many things. However, in spite of the obvious truths of the human society,” The Inquisitor broke into a lopsided smile. “I’ve lived here and know the Emperor’s servants who have pledged fealty to the continued existence and protection of this marvel of faith and Imperial ingenuity. And with that knowledge, I unfairly, deceitfully, and in secret passed judgment on the Tarmathon sector as a whole.

“Tell me, what would the Eldar make of that information?”

Lriean exchanged puzzled glances with his other companions; Philemon remained content listening from her chair. He turned back to the Inquisitor and answered with a quick shrug. “That would depend on your judgment, Inquisitor.”

The Mon-Keigh barked with hearty laughter, immediately remembered himself and reigned his emotions. “Would it satisfy you to see countless billions burning in agony, Tyrannus put to the torch by my own hands?” Every remnant of kindness vanished from the Inquisitor’s squirming stare.

Hesitation wedged the words in the Eldar’s throat. Lriean swallowed them and tried again. “Is that your judgment?”

“Arruns Olpius, Inquisitor of the Ordo Malleus.” Arruns answered, a broad smile breaking the awkward tension. “I am the High Command, the Company Captain, and the will of the Ecclesiarchy on Tyrannus. All of the Imperial forces planet side and beyond the gravity well answer to my orders. I am a hammer of demons, and a shield of those who would come to humanity’s aid. I can provide protection –hell in the warp, I can supply you every resource under my jurisdiction. So long, as you supply the means to an end, Lriean.” Arruns snapped his fingers again. His aide approached from Lriean’s right, extending Lriean a steel plated case.

Lriean politely pried the case open, inspected the contents, and accepted the offer. The Inquisitor and he exchanged a handful of smoky air bubbles from the lho rods. “Our contacts didn’t mention specifically what you were expecting from us, Mr. Olpius-“
“Arruns, please.”

Lriean felt his lips going tightly drawn in suspense. “I need the terms you agreed upon with the Council of Seers, Arruns.”

The Inquisitor nodded his understanding. “Yes, that is important, isn’t it? The terms are what I state them: I want the Ghost Crypts discovered and secured. So long as your Council allows that they undergo a complete purge when they are discovered, I’ll lend you whatever assets I can. I will also promise to keep you safe from the predations of demonic forces.”

Qu’nalan broke his silence. “You think the Ghost Crypts are the source of Tyrannus’ instability?”

Arruns inclined his head, a degree more bleak than his usual demeanor. “I know it. Ten thousand Eldar souls buried somewhere beneath our soil, a tourist attraction for demons beyond number. If the crypts do exist, it is probably stuck in limbo, lost between this reality and the immaterium itself. Such a place could create and spit out the vilest creatures, such as Nyst, for example. The demon you seek protection from.”

Pallid skin around Taryi’s cheeks suddenly flushed in a deep strawberry red, Lriean noticed some veins beginning to bulge when she spoke out. “Relating that thing with the burial ground of our ancestors is more than a stone’s throw past insulting and intolerable.”

The Inquisitor raised a hand to still the murmurings. “I said I liked to tell the truth whenever possible. I am also good at telling the intentions that lurks behind others. I am glad you don’t wish destruction on the upstanding citizenry of the Tarmathon sector, but you’ll get that and a perilous danger to your own world if the threat is not extinguished. You can go run to your council. They will certainly tell you the same thing I have. I am not asking you to put your trust in me, but your own commanders. They have invaluable experience on sensitive matters like these, and they have chosen you to see this through for them.” Arruns grimaced. “It’s in times like these that I’ve always favored the Imperial tradition of cremation.”

Lriean tore himself from his chair, followed by his companions. “I’ll have to confirm your terms with my employer. Why she didn’t bother mentioning this beforehand is beyond myself.”

Arruns pursing voice stopped him short of exiting the office. “We Imperials have a saying for things like this: “Do not try to understand the mind of the alien nor heretic, for to understand them is madness.” That is no insult to your origins, but you must understand that the nature of Chaos is literally unfathomable. If you try to answer, the questions that any soul is tempted to ask about matters involving the nether night, it will destroy you or worse, you will seek to join in its insanity. When you come back and start working for me, you’ll remember the saying before long.”

“Evil is relative…You can’t hang a sign on it. You can’t touch it or taste it or cut it with a sword. Evil depends on where you are standing, pointing your indicting finger.”
-Glen Cook, The Black Company


Tales of Heroism and Bravery, in the 41st Millennium and the Old World. Perhaps some Realm Gate Wars in the future .

Gods' Hall (Completed)
https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...d.php?t=161618

The New Word (Completed)
https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...d.php?t=121879

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Chapter Two: Alumni

Two years later…

“I am power.”

“With your power, I am your servant.”

“I am ethereal.”

“With your blessings, I am no longer mortal.”

“I am favored.”

With your attention, I shall bring thy armies forth.”

“I am blessed by the Gods.”

“With your endless sacrifice, we pay tribute.”

“I am immortal.”

“With your benevolent wisdom, we make our endless war.”

“I am demonic.”

“With your words, we honor the Gods.”

“Through your Gods, does the galaxy burn.”



One must slumber. A popular saying among her kindred in the Forlorn Tower, there was never a servant of the Gods that never faltered by exhaustion. All had their time. Even Nyst confessed to becoming weary of the long war. She had slept away under the ruins of old Tarmathon IV for four millennia then. The Greater Demon giggled deviously, recalling four thousand year old memories of her Master’s initial arrival. The young prophetess had stumbled upon the site of the final battle waged between the Eldar and the forces of Chaos. Alone, a young Eldar girl all by her lonesome chose to delve into the black depths of Xen Rogo’s subterranean fortress. Three centuries later, the scars that lingered within still writhed as flesh wounds punctured through flesh. Such was the mark of Xen’s patron, Nurgle, the God of Decay.

Nyst managed to sleep through that conflict unscathed, with nothing to wake through the millennia except a paltry sacrifice of cattle. When she arrived, the strands of the universe seemed to connect in rapid sequence, spinning an intricate web that promised something more than the usual slaughter of innocent worlds. One soul entered where there were none, surprisingly seeking enlightenment beyond the galactic plane. She descended down through the ancient graveyards, brimming with bones and the signs of blasphemy. She continued her descent through the forgotten libraries, spending four weeks researching the preserved texts. Disease infested everything in the catacombs below, but none touched her flesh. For two more days, she did not realize that the deceased had freely given up the gift she sought.

Not until she stumbled upon a lone chamber, buried in broken stone, dominated by a throne forged with pure sapphire and gold. Nyst slumbered on the throne since the passing of the last leader of the cult, feeding on the energies of the warp and fallen alike. The young girl climbed the mountain of shards and debris the throne overlooked, more determined than ever to meet her destiny or find it. With an air of caution, the prophetess took for herself a tattered flag of the lost cult and approached the throne. Nyst stirred at the warmth of her soul, emerging back into the land of the living with slow and purposeful blinks.

The isolated systems of the Tarmathon Sector would forever tremble at the union.

Nyst had been a juggernaut in those years, there was nothing she couldn’t conquer with her dominating presence and power. The course of the Tyrannic war, however, had greatly debilitated her ability and position inside the solar system. She must have been slipping, to displease her master so much that she handed her off to a footnote Sorceress. Now there was no champion worthy of leading the demonic horde back onto Tyrannus, unless Nyst anoint herself for the task. Such a thing would be conceited and greedy of her; there was no glory in the entire galaxy she had not already earned. She never considered herself a notable commander in either regard, but she would if that was her master’s wishes.

Nyst sat on her hind legs from the top of the porcelain stairs leading up to the throne. Arms folded, her soul-burning gaze observing the chosen and their meticulous ritual. The gathered cultists bowed down on their knees until their faces scraped against the floor. All knew the sworn oath to the Dark Gods by heart. Hearing the pledge recited again, it stirred a long trampled sense of pride in her. Pleased beyond words, Nyst only smirked at the masses gazing up at her. A thousand and a half ex-soldiers employed under the Kyveli house remained unmoved with expressions set in stone. They were ready.

The voice of the Ethereal poured from her lips, one hundred voices belonging to one being. “So long as the galaxy burns in our name, I shall bestow upon you my gifts. More importantly, favored mortals, the marks of favor of our chosen Deity. Do not be superstitious like these slaves beneath the yolk of your nemesis. You shall know my power is real through ascendancy, the single greatest moment in your brief existence when your life suddenly becomes infinite with new possibilities. This planet still writhes in the flames of chaos even in the noted absence of the Thousand Sons. They have abandoned you! Now the war has turned ill. Brave souls, I do not wish to consume your essence upon a whim, but for once in the entirety of the time I have known you do I wish to reward your twisted sense of true faith.”

The chosen lowered their heads; Nyst spoke to her leash-bearer without looking at her. “They are ready. Your own personal army, as you requested. A true commander does lead by example; they would follow you into places no one will ever return. If you did so, of course.”

Theodora Kyveli leaned forward in her blanched throne, trembling softly in anticipation. The young Sorceress wore some ornate priestly attire, all manner of beige and white cloth weaved in layers around her body. Flowing, tannish hair hung down in a series of braids. Lavish jewelry hung from her neck and fingers, none of them arousing any suspicion with ties to heresy. “Perhaps you should nominate yourself for ascendancy instead, after all, your current form seems to pale in comparison of greater demons. You have explained your rites of ascendancy to me. I will be forthcoming: while the demonic form maybe holier than our wretched flesh, it is through our birth right that humanity will rule this galaxy, not vagabond demons.”

Nyst chortled like an elegant woman, driven by a sickening sense of arrogance and cruelty. “I have considered the possibilities. I would not particularly admire my so-called sacrifice, a banishment into the warp beside the Changer himself. Then I would live every moment of my life in regret, not being able to consult the lost mortal souls of this plane. I would lose my touch.”

Theodora did not appear to be listening, inspecting her vassals as if she were already molding them. And those pitiful trash Theodora called Sorcerers had the gall to try to reign her in for similar conduct. “Once they’re… transformed, they will fight for me?”

The Greater Demon inclined her head sharply. “Like you were their own fresh and blood or even better, treasured lover.”

Theodora visibly paled at the image, reclining back into her throne. “So long as they remain loyal. I’ll give your compliments to your master.”

Nyst flopped her massive tail onto Theodora’s armrest, a note of impatience slipping through her slightly bared teeth. “Don’t thank me just yet. They’ll be far more effective than the regular rabble you were using for the Imperial’s target practice. However, when the time comes to test them, there still maybe some faults in their design. But again, it is what you asked for.”

Theodora raised a glass in the demon’s honor. “Then in due time, we’ll topple the Corpse-God’s yoke on this world and live free in everlasting glory!”

The assembly echoed as one. “Yes, in everlasting glory.”

“Evil is relative…You can’t hang a sign on it. You can’t touch it or taste it or cut it with a sword. Evil depends on where you are standing, pointing your indicting finger.”
-Glen Cook, The Black Company


Tales of Heroism and Bravery, in the 41st Millennium and the Old World. Perhaps some Realm Gate Wars in the future .

Gods' Hall (Completed)
https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...d.php?t=161618

The New Word (Completed)
https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...d.php?t=121879

Last edited by Myen'Tal; 03-02-14 at 04:58 AM.
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The Metro Operators voice blared through the bus. “All passengers, be advised: Three minutes until anchor at Phocis station.”

That time of the day again, when skies painted in shades of red, orange, and pink arrived with the waning sun. Lyra watched roiling cloudscapes roll across the backdrop from within the rapidly decelerating metro-train. Sat down on the top of the world, she felt like nobility despite every rule of her upbringing screaming against it. The Grand Central Station remained perched above the strongholds and facilities of Gythium. It was a vital mode of transportation, the only link with the rest of the monastery to the Hospitaller’s District.

Grand Central Station burgeoned with Imperial citizens, dressed in fanciful garbs with a pious edge to them. A few curious stares fixated on her, but she paid them no heed. The invitations received, Lyra remained in contentment. Governors, planetary commanders, and all the highborn aristocracy came to pray inside the grand cathedral of Saint Agnes. It’s golden spires rose somewhere from the miniature city of the Hospitaller District.

Lyra unlocked the clasps around her helm, stepping beyond the doors of the cramped metro-bus into the glaring touch of the sun. Back in the days of her candidacy, she could recall the fighting that had taken place in the subterranean transportation routes. The trains filled with scared citizens seeking refuge from a plague of un-death and a host of Sororitas soldiers guarding them with their lives. Winged demons came swooping through the narrow caverns, smashing through the windows into the defense of the sisters. The train smelled with the stinking rot of the demonic dead, but she and her comrades had managed to hold out against the onslaught.

“Sister Lyra! Here!” A young woman, cloaked in a scarlet linen dress half emblazoned with the Hospitaller’s mark, suddenly waved frantically from an empty sidewalk. She had golden blonde hair swept to the right side of her face, broad smile beaming at a puzzled Lyra. She came up to the battle sister’s shoulders when Lyra casually approached her, frail fingers taking her own gauntlets in a handshake.

“Lyra Savakis of the Emperor’s Grace.” The Sororitas bowed deep in her oceanic blue and white robes, relishing in the freedoms of being unarmored. A dusty tome peaked from under her shoulder, scratching against the pistol holster attached to her waist. “Blessed to receive you again, Idola.” She turned towards the lurking stranger beside the Hospitaller. “Who might this be?”

“Ah,” Idola replied, “This is my friend and co-worker, Desma.”

Lyra looked over the Hospitaller with a glint of curiousness, absorbing each bit about her different from the human anatomy. Jet-black hair flowed over her ebony skin in lengthy plumes that spilled onto weak artificial shoulders. Cutting-edge augments crafted into fully functional bionic arms reflected the sun’s cascading rays into the nooks and cracks of the road. Both of her eyes had also undergone replacement, exchanged with sterile silver interfaces. Her movements were deft and efficient, only one leg falling with a heavier clang before Lyra’s feet.

“Desma Tasso. Volunteer at the Hospitaller H.Q.” Desma answered in a mechanical trance, though her voice lacked much of the metallic edge. She extended her hand in greeting, steel-forged fingers wrapping round Lyra’s palm like a serpent’s trap. “The honor is well received, Lyra Savakis.”

Lyra suppressed the sympathy from appearing on her face. “Sister, once?”

“Before my wounds became too much to bear.” Desma’s silver eyes clicked from one side to the next, whirred and coiled to take in the station’s environment. She reverted to Lyra, expression weighed with boredom. “Fortunate for myself, I retired from the Order very early in my career. I think about the reason, and know it was probably why I survived the war until its end.”

The Sister of battle looked at her in surprise. Both of the Hospitaller agents shared odd glances with one another. She gripped one of her metallic biceps. “The long war never ends, Desma. And you look like you can still carry a weapon to me, but if rules deem you unfit to serve then I won’t be the one to the chastise you.”

Desma’s stoic expression held up unscathed. “I assure you I can hold a weapon, but my I.Q. requires me in the field of medicine and surgery. Away from the more unappreciated minds, I could say.”

Lyra bit her tongue a moment too late. She paused to let the moment sink in. “If being appreciated means mending pitiful corpses while we take the glory from our enemies, so be it.”

“If that makes you content,” Desma smirked. “Then I am willing to drop the conversation, before it becomes awkward.”

“Agreed,” Lyra said. “Idola, if you would lead the way.”

“Of course,” Idola chuckled nervously. “It is up these stairs just outside the station.”
******************

One hundred and thirty six voices within Saint Agnes rose up through the ancient cathedral. Each voice resonated across marble floors, littered with rose petals. Psalms of the Convent reached up heavily burnished walls of bronze bricks, to the highest pulpits on the back of the building where the entrance lay. Lyra bathed in the angelic sounds, singing the litanies known throughout the centuries. Idola and Desma sung their praises alongside her, the latter of the two surprisingly beautiful to the ears.

Beside her in the pews with Lho-stick smoldering in between her lips, Arva expelled a mouthful of smoke, and quickly choked on the inhale. The odor mixed with the lingering scent of incense and rose water in the air challenged her lungs to breathe in so much smoke. Her friend did not seem too preoccupied with the choir’s worship, her interest far more in line with keeping an eye on the strange figure sitting with them.

Lriean lightly shrugged at Arva’s unwavering watch. He threw his hands behind his head, sighed with the relief it brought. “This is so relaxing. Much different from home, but I love how you humans come together and share this belief that your Emperor shall one day return. It’s similar to our own religion, actually, one day our last living God will be born anew.”

Arva slammed the butt of her bolter down into a pew. That one had the bark of a vicious beast. “Likely best if you don’t bring up your heathen gods in our holy shrine, alien. You forget your place! No one here wishes to hear anything save His name inside this sanctuary. Understand?”

Despite her growling, a lopsided grin appeared ready to break her façade. The two of them shared knowing grins. Lriean feigned his apologetic face for the pair of Hospitallers, turning back around at their blank looks of puzzlement. “Suit yourself. These other two you have brought along look as if they have never seen an alien in the flesh. Try not to worry yourselves; it’s only unnerving me a little.”

Desma cut her voice short, looking pointedly at Arva. “What is it?” She gestured Lriean with her metallic fingers. “Emperor above, he’s nearly humanoid.”
“Is humanoid,” Avra corrected. “Eldar are probably the farthest things from human when comparing the physiology of our minds with theirs. Do not let their deceptive guises fool you; they are utterly fickle and random in their nature. Also corrupted by psychic taint, very isolated, vicious raiders, and what not. You get the gist, I assume.”

Lriean narrowed his eyes into sharp slits. “The Imperial Primer I see. You have to love ten millennia of xenophobia and tactics thrown into one massive book. I thought only the Imperial Guard was only issued those things?”

Lriean had apparently risen in respect in Arva’s eyes, who appeared surprised –pleasantly, for once. “I didn’t know you were familiar with it. Any good soldier will read at some point in his life. There are enough instructions in there to kill nearly every xenos species known to man, in over a dozen different ways each.”

“Are you still staring at me?” Lriean glanced over his shoulder to find Desma studying his pointed ears.

Desma may have looked abhorred at Lriean while she probed through his hair, in true Imperial fashion. However, underneath he knew she was trying not to look fascinated. “You’re an Eldar, correct? Excuse my manners, but I’ve never came into contact with one myself. I’ve heard your people our quite rare?”

The Eldar inclined his head in affirmation. “Rare as they come, for a galactic power. Most of our kind lives on the floating trade ships the size of planets, others in the backwater Maiden worlds, or in places I would rather not explain in detail.”

Idola winced at the alien archeologist’s clothing, a Commissarial suit, black trench coat, and hat. “You are aware that wearing those clothes doesn’t make you look like one of us, right?”

Lyra twitched the corners of her mouth in a distasteful smirk. “Thank the Emperor! Someone in his or her right mind for once. Did you ever find out who permitted that outfit, Arva?”

Arva shook her head. “Inquisitorial seal is stamped all over it.”

“Bah!” Lriean dismissed his critics, accepting an offered Lho stick. “As a leader of the Expedition of Halicarnassus, Inquisitor Arruns and I have agreed to access to certain military grade uniforms. I find humans are far more comfortable when aliens look the part of an Imperial Auxiliary. I mean, it just earns so much more respect than your run-of-the-mill mercenary does. Tell me I’m right.”

Arva intervened again in Lriean’s logic. “You’re an advisor, Tarithinon. A Commander will lead the dig, Emperor guide your soul if a real Commissar stumbles onto your disguise.”

For a simple archeologist, the Eldar had influence far beyond his guards. Wielding such power, as the arm of the Ecclesiarch demanded much from the honor of the Order. Even from a support role, soldiers ingrained in the Imperial dogma would have difficulty swallowing orders from a xenos. Yet his position and leverage proved irrefutable in the chain of command. To disobey an order from a Commanding Advisor was to answer before the Inquisitor himself.
He lifted up his cap and set it down on the pew. “Hmmm. I have acquired squad Averticus to be my bodyguard for the duration of this exploration. Having a group of iron-fisted maidens of the Adeptus Sororitas, I look forward to seeing the action we’ll be delving into together.”

Rings of clean vapors pushed through Arva’s nostrils, the hazel in her pupils were beginning to dilate. “Our orders are received. Obey your superiors and submit to their will, for they keep a vigil over our souls.”

“We shall do this with joy and not with complaining, for that will grant you no advantage over us.” The others intoned together.

Lriean bowed his head. “Pray your God on Terra will protect my soul as well.”

Lyra sniffed disbelievingly. “Don’t worry about our God, Lriean, our strength is more than enough to suffice for you.”

Idola elbowed Desma’s rib and both of them bowed low. “We expect to be called into service either on the war front or the expedition. Put in a good word for us and we’ll see about following your combat group.”

The ebony Hospitaller clapped her hands together and knelt down into the rose water. “Sister Lyra, Arva, and Commander Advisor Lriean: I bid you farewell. May the warp break in our stride…”

“May He be the light in the darkness.”

Lriean sent them off with a wave. “Isha guide your way.”

“Evil is relative…You can’t hang a sign on it. You can’t touch it or taste it or cut it with a sword. Evil depends on where you are standing, pointing your indicting finger.”
-Glen Cook, The Black Company


Tales of Heroism and Bravery, in the 41st Millennium and the Old World. Perhaps some Realm Gate Wars in the future .

Gods' Hall (Completed)
https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...d.php?t=161618

The New Word (Completed)
https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...d.php?t=121879

Last edited by Myen'Tal; 03-03-14 at 04:26 AM.
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The Next Day…

A sudden barrage of knocking on her door snapped Lyra from her sleep. Oceanic eyes fluttered open with reluctance; she sighed heavily and found herself lying in bed. She immediately turned to another one undisturbed. Arva was sitting over her desk, reading another data slate. She managed to pry her attention away long enough to glower at the commotion.

Glistening sunlight poured through a clear windowpane that took up the entire left wall. Beyond it, only a portion of Gythium was visible alongside Helike’s tallest spires. Her dorm was far from Spartan, not fashioned for the sole purpose of a strict military existence. Three shelves crammed with books lined walls of sandstone, within reach of a wooden desk crafted from fine mahogany. Golden Aquila hung all around the room, pinning banners and overlooking the other icons of Imperial heraldry set up about the place. Ornate weapons mounted on racks rested in between their beds, a sharp contrast to the provenza marble floors.

“Lyra !? Arva!? Are you in there!?”

Arva whispered to no one in particular, standing up from her desk and beginning to stalk across the barrack dormitory room with a disturbed look. “Who the hell is this?” She pressed a button on the keypad, quickly followed by the quiet hiss of machinery.

Sister Superior Karyiake snapped off a salute, a fist across the chest. “Morning, girls. May I enter?”

Arva’s insolent scowl struck from her lips in an instant, looking dumbfounded. “Sister Superior! Uhh, Karyiake isn’t it? Of course, Superior.” Arva stepped aside for the veteran member of the Sororitas, who stepped into the room and greeted the two of them with a gracious smile.

“Apologies for the intrusion. You’re probably wondering why I came here today, especially on such short notice.” Karyiake cleared her throat and cast an expecting stare at Lyra until she shook her sleep-addled eyes fully open.

Lyra kicked off her sheets, leaping to her feet in her nightgown. “Forgive my manners, Superior, I was not expecting guests.”

Karyiake took a moment to admire the view outside, watching the bulky structures of the fortress-complex radiate with a holy glimmer. She approached one of the desk chairs and took a seat. “As I was saying: I know Averticus has been diligent in their duties, protecting the Inquisitor’s guest, and achieving other honors during their time here. I have been talking to Meril about your long list of exploits. I could not help but notice the lack of interesting notes these past few months. Meril believes you have the talent, but your ability to kill is waning with the passing of each day. Perhaps you two are not fit for guard duty, less your ability goes to waste. I have considered, maybe the both of you need a reminder of what it means to serve in the Imperium’s armies. There are some heretics worth hunting and I would have your participation. So, what say you, sisters?”

Lyra faced the situation and asked first. “Is there a disturbance in the peace? How difficult are the odds? How many of us are going?”

Karyiake looked to Lyra with no small amount of expectation. “The mission will be dangerous. Rogue Psykers and other forms of the malevolent witch will have a strong presence there. The objective is deep within the Teshkeran wood, inside the District of Athenai. You know large estates and manors, and plenty of private troops. Enough to make a small army out of.

“I understand if you would disagree, but it’s nearly time to have you pair assigned to a full tactical squad.”

Lyra instantly perked up at her last sentence. “That time already, ma’am?”

Karyiake nodded her congratulations. “It has been two years since your training and initiation. Both of you have served with honor and have never questioned your purpose. I’m proud of that.”

Both of them bowed deeply in gratitude, intoning together. “The honor is ours. We accept this promotion, Superior.”

“Very well,” Superior Karyiake rose up from her seat. She approached the entrance and stopped short. “You are no longer part of Averticus. Your new superior officer is Sister Superior Anthanasia Soukis of Angelikii, a squad of thirteen, now fifteen. Prepare to be tested; the coming days like these are rarely easy. Do well enough and she may assign you roles that are more specialized. Find her in the training grounds from eight in the morning to noon. Now, if you will excuse me, I must take my leave.” Karyiake slipped from sight, leaving them to their own devices.

“Great.” Arva quipped, her tone bitter sweet. “Feet first into another hell pit we have burning down in the rich districts.”

“You don’t like these fights?” The Sororitas with the fish-tail braid leaned heavily on the wall. Her vision was still bleary. “Rooting up heresy keeps the citizens safe. Cleanse it quickly before the seeds take root or risk the order and stability of the world. You’d be surprised by what characters can emerge due to lack of vigilance, I’ve heard of worlds being reduced to meteors because of rebellions and treacherous betrayals. Whoever’s head they want, if he or she is important enough, could be the gateway for some unforeseen threat to attack us from nowhere.”

Arva picked up her data slate, rummaging through the contents again. “It is the pious soul that bewares the heretic…”

“One moment of laxity equals a lifetime of heresy.” Lyra concluded.

“I need a smoke.” Arva abruptly leapt out of her chair and made her way to the door. “I’ll be outside.”

“Evil is relative…You can’t hang a sign on it. You can’t touch it or taste it or cut it with a sword. Evil depends on where you are standing, pointing your indicting finger.”
-Glen Cook, The Black Company


Tales of Heroism and Bravery, in the 41st Millennium and the Old World. Perhaps some Realm Gate Wars in the future .

Gods' Hall (Completed)
https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...d.php?t=161618

The New Word (Completed)
https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...d.php?t=121879

Last edited by Myen'Tal; 03-03-14 at 11:17 PM.
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