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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-15-08, 01:24 AM Thread Starter
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Howdy folks!

Those who occasionally hit the RP forums may recognize some of this as part of a thread there. Unfortunately, it died and I was left with this great idea needing an outlet. So here I shall post the ongoing story that started in that RP thread! It might not flesh out properly story-wise as I haven't had a chance to really go over it with a fine-toothed comb and change it over to a more traditional story archetype. However, it's mildly passable. Be forewarned... On word it comes up to nineteen pages so you might be reading for a while. On the bright side, I plan on breaking it up into sections and only posting a section every day or so to cut down on the reading lol.

Good luck and good gaming,

Nate

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++++++

Prologue-

None would have thought it possible but it had happened. Under the leadership of the Warmaster Horus, legions of astartes had spit on their oaths and turned against the Emperor. Upon the walls of the Imperial Palace, Chaplain Agmemnus of the Imperial Fists stares in horror at what he sees.

It is the beginning of the end. It is war that none would have dared thought possible. Terra finds itself besieged by those once sworn to protect it...

It is the beginning of the grimmest of times...the darkest of times. What the future holds, none know save that it will be filled with war...

I

Agmemnus looked to the heavens through the shimmering void fields as storm birds and other unidentifiable landing craft made their way through the atmosphere. His heart ached at the sight for he knew deep down what it meant. His brothers were his brothers no more. They had turned from the Emperor and trod the path of heresy...the path of the traitor. Such words would have been scoffed at in better times. None would dare think that the mighty astartes cast in their primarch and their Emperor's image would have sunk to such levels of treachery.

The thunder of the many defense cannons filled the air with their rumbling roar. Standing near the gate of the first wall of the Imperial Palace, Agmemnus could feel the massive energies being unleashed by the powerful weapons of war even through his terminator armor. The ground shook with each fiery report of their massive maws. He watched many of the flying craft obliterated by the cannonade, turning those hit into flaming comets burning their way to the ground. Even he could see it was not enough.

Hovering in orbit over the planet of Terra, the cradle of mankind, were multitudes of warships crewed by the most powerful weapons of war created by the Emperor... That his own sons had turned against the Emperor filled Agmemnus with a vile and twisting hatred. The thought turned his stomach as more and more of the landing craft made it to the ground. Staring on helplessly, he wished that he could see the end of this through will alone… If he had such power, Agmemnus knew that he would use it.

Waving his war hammer at the skies, he snarled "Die!" As if hearing his command, the sky lit with fire as the massive defense guns fired again, vaporizing a small clutch of inbound ships.

Turning, he looked to those warriors who held the walls with him. Clad in their golden yellow armor, their banners unfurled whipping in the gale storm brought up by the thundering guns, the gathered Imperial Fists looked like ancient gods of war. Each knew what would happen if the walls should fall. Each knew the price that would be paid should they fail. They stood shoulder to shoulder, unmoving, a thin yellow line stretching down the length of the great wall. He knew deep down in his soul they would hold to the last…that each would die before letting these traitors step one foot into the Imperial Palace. The thought filled his heart with pride. Unconsciously he stroked the scar running down the side of his face. To those that knew the old chaplain it was a sign. He was preparing to speak and when he spoke mountains moved and the heavens fell from the skies...but more importantly hearts were swayed, souls were steeled, and minds were prepared.

Reaching to his belt, he removed his battered and scarred helmet. Turning it, he looked into the grim rictus-death mask searching for what he must say. How did one such as he ask his brothers to do the unthinkable…to raise arms against those they counted as equal…as brother. In the brief moments it took to lock the helm down, Agmemnus found his answer. He who would turn against his brother was brother no more. He was the vilest of vile. He who would do such a thing had no honor and in having no honor was damned to reap the consequences of his actions.

Taking up his shield, he marched down the line, heading towards the great armored gate that protected the palace. As he passed, those astartes holding the wall turned and knelt. When he reached his destination, he faced the gathered warriors. Raising his voice, he began...

"BROTHERS! Today we stand at the crossroads! A great and terrible path lies before us..."

Over the sound of his sermon, the great guns roared again.....

II

Chaplain Agmemnus studied the coming horde with a practiced eye. While he had been elevated to the rank of chaplain he was still first and foremost an Imperial Fist. His training in siege-craft had been an important part of his life before he had been honored with the task of seeing to the morale of the legion. He watched the ebb and flow of the traitorous Army and astartes as they made their way towards the walls and the Imperial Palace. Not everything was going their way, he could see. Several Imperial army regiments stood between the traitors and their final destination and they seemed to be giving the rebels hell. He wished he could be there. Part of him rumbled at being posted to the walls. He knew the importance of holding the ramparts but his heart yearned to be in the thick of the fighting, swinging his ancient hammer, the Iron Fist, and bringing justice to those who had turned their hearts from the Emperor's will.

His eyes followed the line of Horus' followers as they made ready mortars and cannons to lay siege to the Emperor's greatest monument in the distance. Word had already reached Agmemnus of the fall of the star port to the east. While it could be said Horus was mad to turn against his father and his fellow primarchs, few could argue with the precision at which he waged war. Horus was known as a shrewd tactician and this fight would see his terrible genius stretched to its limits. Agmemnus himself would make sure of that if he had anything to say about it but the loss of the star port was a major setback. There would be no reinforcements from that quarter and in the coming days its loss would be felt.

Deep in thought, Agmemnus had failed to notice the runner that had been sent for him. A polite cough roused him from his reverie. Turning, he found himself face to face with another Imperial Fist; his helmet slung under one arm and his head bowed in deference to the old chaplain. "Yes?" Agmemnus asked.

"Master Chaplain, Captain Malloc requests the honor of your presence at the headquarters on parapet seventeen."

Nodding, Agmemnus shouldered his shield and locked his hammer into place. "Lead on Sergeant", he replied. He knew it had to be important for the captain to send an astartes to call on him rather than one of the many Imperial army runners who passed orders up and down the walls. Undoubtedly the request had required someone whose trust was above reproach which made Agmemnus wary.

As the two made their way down the length of wall, Agmemnus found himself deep in thought once again. While he believed those who remained in the Imperial Palace were loyal, one could never be too sure in these dark times. The depth of the betrayal was known to have reached even the techno-magi of mars with many of the ancient titan legions battling amongst themselves on the barren, rust-stained fields of Mars herself. The Imperial Navy and Army were not immune to treachery either. Reports had flooded into Terra upon the revelation of Horus as traitor. Long had he held sway as Warmaster in the Emperor's absence during the long, great crusade to unify mankind under the banner of his father and many had foolishly followed him in his descent into heresy.

It still mystified the old chaplain that in this age of reason and enlightenment that those who had witnessed the awe-inspiring will and might of the Emperor would turn against him and bring down all the triumphs he had given mankind. There had even been whispers of heathen god-worship and daemomancy. Such things had no place in the Imperium of Man the Emperor had forged with his blood, his sweat and his tears.

He found himself looking to the massed regiments of Imperial Army arrayed before the walls in serried ranks. He knew that even their numbers could not hold back the oncoming tide of heretics that made their way towards the palace. Heretic...the word was strange to him. He knew of it. Years spent in training had opened his eyes and his mind to many new things including the ancient works of man from their darker, benighted times, when man had foolishly believed in gods and such things. Words like heretic and daemon still felt wrong when he voiced them...sometimes when he even thought them. It was odd that such trivial things as words could be so consternating. Agmemnus knew the reason of course. In the wake of the Emperor's grand crusade, such irrational notions had been quashed and replaced with the cold reasoning of science and fact.

He soon found himself standing in the bustling command post of the palace's defenders, captains Malloc and Tarsion nodding as he entered. It was a scene of controlled anarchy. He likened it to an ant hill or a bee hive. Imperial commanders, the gathered captains of the Imperial Fists and those of the White Scars and Blood Angels all passing orders back and forth over holomaps and charts as they discussed how to prepare to repel the invaders. From an adjoining room came a booming welcome. "Hail Agmemnus! It is good to see you my son!" Agmemnus turned to face the direction the voice had come from and immediately removed his helm and knelt. "My lord Dorn."

"Bah…stand. There is no need for bowing and scraping with times such as they are." Feeling sheepish, Agmemnus rose and made his way towards his beckoning master.

"Now that we are all here, I will begin. The Imperial Army stands at the base of the wall ready to repel the traitors." Agmemnus could hear the controlled rage as Dorn spoke the last word. The word was thick with contempt and vitriol. As the briefing went on, Agmemnus soon found his primarch had plans for him and upon hearing them; a smile crossed his scarred face.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++++++++++

The sound of las and bolter fire filled the plains with their raucous squeals and booming reports before the Imperial Palace as Agmemnus made his way through the Imperial lines to the front. Accompanying him were the warriors under the command of Captain Malloc, two hundred of the finest warriors to bear the proud clenched fist of the Imperial Fists. The air was thick with the stench of blood and cordite as men and astartes bled and died under the watchful gaze of the Emperor's fortress.

His shield held at his side in his left hand, he stopped and aimed the combi-bolter he had been granted with his right hand and fired. The weapon roared as the bolter round found its mark, ripping a rebel army trooper in two as the explosive shell detonated inside him. After a short march Agmemnus found himself at the forefront of the Imperial lines. Captain Malloc began issuing orders to his men and with the practiced precision that only astartes could accomplish they fanned out taking up a firing line. Dorn himself had seen the same thing Agmemnus and the rest of the Fists had seen. There would be no holding the enemy back. Reports had stated that titans from the Legio Mortis has landed and were making their way to the front. The Imperial Army for all its might could not stop those ancient mechanical war gods. Dorn had put forth a plan of a strategic retreat, the combined forces fighting their way back to the walls making the traitors pay in blood for every inch they took.

Agmemnus took his place in the center of the line along with captain Malloc. Activating the improved external vox mounted in his suit's helm his thundering voice roared over the din of battle.

"Brothers! Aye brothers! Be you astartes or army conscript you who stand here are my brother! Look before you at the gathering hordes! See how they call and scream and blaspheme! They call upon the Warmaster in the place of their Emperor! Such foolishness cannot be allowed to continue! We will give them no succor! We will give them no mercy! We will take from them everything and leave them to lie dying on the soil of this world they have come to conquer! STAND! HOLD! Remember that you do this not for glory! Nay, nor for honor! You do this not for personal gain! You do this to protect the cradle of mankind and the Light of reason the Emperor has brought to these benighted times! Aye brothers, STAND! HOLD! FOR DORN! FOR THE EMPEROR!"

From the line came an answer. At first those hundreds who had been in earshot of the chaplain's fiery oratory took up his cry. Then thousands, then tens of thousands. Each man raised his voice until every warrior’s voice roared the same cry. Those upon the walls began as well as the cry reached them.

As the heretic's force reached the lines the found themselves greeted with the words roared over and over. Over the sounds of bolter fire and lasfire, through the fog of cordite and fyceline and promethium, through the roars of massive defense cannons and siege-craft the chant could be heard over and over.

"FOR THE EMPEROR!"

And man and astarte, loyal and traitor, died as the forces smashed into each other under the watchful gaze of the Emperor...

"If you can't stun them with your tactical brilliance, baffle them with your superior grasp of BS."

"I refuse to engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed man."

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAllFather View Post
Well, seeing as how you capitalize your characters, use proper grammar and punctuation, I'd say you qualify.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-16-08, 05:13 AM Thread Starter
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III

Agmemnus' job was only beginning. He had steeled their hearts and bolstered their courage but it would take more…so much more to defeat the foe that they found themselves facing. Captain Malloc's steady voice could be heard through the sounds of the raging fire fight as he led the Imperial Fists into battle. The sound of weapons firing in unison each marked by his order to fire beat a stataco tempo. They were Fists and their training in the rites of battle gave them an advantage over many. Imperial Fists were not given to brazenly firing away at the enemy…oh no. Each warrior knew that volley fire could break even the most intractable enemy and they were using it to a gruesome effect. The bodies of hundreds of rebel soldiers exploded as bolt and missile and lasbeam burst them like ripe melons. It was a glorious sight.

The earthen bulwarks that had been placed to give the defenders cover were working well for now. Agmemnus knew soon it would not be the case. As if to make a point, the screeching sound of incoming artillery rounds could be heard. The first shells fell well short of the Imperial line, wreaking havoc amongst the heretics' own forces. The second volley came closer as those manning the fell horde's artillery corrected their aim and began walking their explosive charges closer and closer in an attempt to break the solid line of loyalists. He'd wished there had been more time to prepare a better defense. "My armor for some rockcrete", he found himself thinking.

Out of the corner of his eye through the raining mud and smoke he could see the Emperor's personal guard, the mighty custodes marching into battle against the now hated World Eaters. Motioning to the devastators behind him, Agmemnus ordered them to cover the advancing warriors. Captain Malloc nodded in ascent, deferring to the older chaplain's wisdom. The great weapons thundered, sending high explosive rounds into the charging World Eater line. Bodies corkscrewed into the air as they detonated amongst the traitors. It would be all they could do to aid their custode brethren as the main heretic line had reached their position.

With a great surge, the heretics pushed their way to the top of the bulwark…only to find themselves greeted with massed bolter fire. Raising himself from the improvised firing step, Agmemnus stormed into the traitors, those warriors who had been granted the honor of guarding him following close at his heels. The remaining Fists held their ground supporting the chaplain's headlong charge with practiced ease, sending round after round into the swirling melee that had formed around Agmemnus and his bodyguard.

His hammer smashed left and right, pulping those fools who found themselves too close to the raging chaplain. He raised his voice in contempt, the improved external vox turning his shouts of retribution and vengeance into mighty roars. Agmemnus called upon those who stood before him to stop this madness before it was too late. To the surprise of many of the heretics some did turn their weapons on their fellow traitors, the fog that had infected their minds burned away by the chaplain's oratory.

The respite was short-lived as a warrior in armor the shade of blackest night strode amongst their ranks, reinstating order amongst the traitors. "SILENCE FOOL!" the ebon armored beast roared. "The time of the Warmaster is at hand!"

Charging, the Sons of Horus chaplain crashed into Agmemnus, raining blows from his powered mace over and over. Anger filled Agmemnus at the sight of a fellow chaplain supporting the cause of the rebellious warmaster as he attempted to regain his footing against the repeated blows. Snarling, Agmemnus brought his shield around in a shimmering arc and slammed it into the brow of the death-masked traitor. The ceramite shattered under the force of the enhanced strength behind the blow. Bringing his hammer down, Agmemnus smashed the weapon's glowing head into the squirming traitor, the resulting release of energies tearing him nearly in two. The battle ebbed as the rebels fell back before this mighty warrior who had killed one of their traitorous champions. Agmemnus knew he could break their spirit now. What he could not do with hammer and bolter he could do with but a casual gesture.

Agmemnus turned, waving for one of his guards. He passed his hammer and shield over. In full view of the traitorous horde, he reached down and grasped the broken body of the Sons of Horus chaplain. With a great heave he raised the trophy above his head and roared.

"See now the power of the EMPEROR! Quail in fear traitors! For even the mightiest of your champions will fall before the Emperor's might!"

As he finished his call, Agmemnus tossed the body into the milling heretics. It was all that was needed to send them rushing back into their lines. The Imperial Fists lined the defense point, firing their bolters into the backs of the retreating traitors, reaping more confusion and death amongst them.

Taking up his shield and hammer, Agmemnus took up the chant once more, punctuating each cry with a clanging report of his hammer's haft against the shield, the blows ringing with the clarion tone of a bell.

"If you can't stun them with your tactical brilliance, baffle them with your superior grasp of BS."

"I refuse to engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed man."

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAllFather View Post
Well, seeing as how you capitalize your characters, use proper grammar and punctuation, I'd say you qualify.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-16-08, 01:20 PM
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Beautiful job as always Nate, I really enjoy and admire your writing style.
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-16-08, 04:05 PM
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This is beautiful Nate... I can perfectly picture the battle in my mind... WOW!!!!... MORE....
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-16-08, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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IV

Static filled Agmemnus' vox bead. Between the pops and squeals he could make out little. Something about a Salamander techmarine and daemons. Daemon... The word made him start. Such things had been spoken of in whispers but Agmemnus had yet to see one. His eyes caught a terrible sight as he took in the battle. He stared in disbelief at the ugly purple bruise that had formed from nowhere. He had never seen anything like it before. A rift of dark, coruscating energy had ripped its way into the material plane. More startling were the things coming from it. Malformed and misshapen things they were. Agmemnus knew in an instant that these must be daemons.

Calling for his bodyguard and two more squads of Fists, Agmemnus marched with haste towards the beleaguered Salamander. For the first time he cursed the bulky nature of his armor. Pushing the armor's fibro-bundled muscles to their limit he found his pace quickening as he pounded off towards the hapless techmarine. Would he reach the Salamander in time? He hoped so. "It would be a pity for such a brave warrior to meet his end", Agmemnus thought. He was glad for one thing. The sight of a hulking black-armored behemoth with three squads of astartes in tow was enough to make anyone in his path clear out of the way.

Locking his great hammer to his side, Agmemnus unholstered his combi-bolter and took aim. The range counter on his HUD counted down the distance between his men and the daemons pouring from the open rift. There was a soft chime alerting him that he was in range. It was all he needed. Depressing the trigger, both barrel spat round after explosive round into the churning melee of daemons that surrounded the Salamander. As the distance closed, he slammed the smoking combi-bolter back into his holster and unslung his hammer. With a mighty roar, he smashed into the daemons' flank, the momentum from his charge sending some reeling to the ground. Agmemnus' glowing hammer flicked left and right as he set into the daemons. He was rewarded with the stench of sulphur with each banished daemon as their bodies were destroyed by his powerful blows.

"BROTHER!" he shouted, "You are not alone!"

Bulling his way through the daemon horde, he found himself standing side by side with the Salamander. He could see that even with his reinforcements, the ever-growing tide of daemons would eventually wear them down. Something had to be done to close this terrible thing but he did not know how to do it.

"Headquarters! We are faced with some form of vile witchery. It is a portal of sorts, a gateway from which the malefic pour through! Can we close it? Wait! I see something coming....By the Emperor!"

Two great blood-covered hands came from out of the portal, grasping each side of it. A bestial snarl could be heard as a massive, horned head pushed its way through the glowing gateway. Powerful wings and a muscular, bronze-plated chest followed as the terrible creature from the warp stepped out onto the ground for the first time in millennia. The golden aquila on his armor began to glow fiercely as the beast made its way from the gate.

Wasting no time the ancient bloodthirster stretched its wings and took flight. It ignored daemon and astartes alike as it left them behind to search for more fitting prey. "Agmemnus to all units. Something has emerged from the portal...it…it is huge. Be wary!"

The vox channel was filled with chatter as more and more rifts ripped their way into existence. Agmemnus prayed that someone could find a way to close the damnedable things soon or all would be in peril…

V

Agmemnus was weary. The unending tides of daemons were taking their toll on even his super human constitution and as the time went on more and more of his brothers fell. He marveled at the prowess of the Salamander techmarine. He, like all of his brethren, was dauntless. It was said that a Salamander was slow to act but when he did it was done with great resolution and strength. From what Agmemnus had seen so far he could only agree. The stoic astarte burned his way through wave after wave of hellish daemon until his flamers were empty and then he set into them with power fists. With each passing moment, though, they found themselves forced farther and farther back from the purplish gaping sore that continued to pour forth more and more daemons.

Above him, Agmemnus could hear the forces of the Imperial Navy battling it out for dominion of the skies. Sparing a brief glance, he saw them corkscrewing through the air, weaving a terrible dance of fire and death. Just as he felt his strength finally giving in explosions lit the ground around him. By some miracle of chance the navy bombers flying support dropped their deadly payload on the hell-spawned portal, obliterating it. The respite was welcomed as Agmemnus and his fellow astartes tore into the remaining daemons with all the strength they could muster.

A voice cut through the vox chatter. "BACK TO THE WALL! BACK TO THE WALL! DEFEND THE EMPEROR WITH ALL YOU CAN!" The retreat had been ordered. It was worrying that it had been called so early but Agmemnus understood. Even as his weary forces made their way back to the Imperial lines he could see that it had not gone well for them. More and more, the heretics poured from the skies and the daemonic portals had only exacerbated the situation as those that still remained continued to vomit forth more warp-spawn. Once there had been a time in his younger days that such a call would have been greeted with ire and spite. Years of war had forged the hot-headed youth that had been Agmemnus into a warrior that realized battle was not for glory but for duty and sometimes that duty required retreat.

Agmemnus hooked the ancient hammer to his belt and slapped the shoulder pauldron of the Salamander in a friendly fashion. "Brother! That was most magnificent! What is your name Salamander? I am Agmemnus of the Fists. Would you care to accompany us brother? We would be most honored to have such a great warrior with us."

Before the Salamander could answer, another portal ripped its way into existence high in the air. From it came another of the winged terrors they had seen before. A shudder passed down his spine as the great beast roared. He could see that in its coming it had destroyed those bombers that had saved him and those with him. He watched as a fighter, smoke pouring from its cockpit and engines heading for the ground. His heart ached at the sight of such brave warriors dying in such a manner. He vowed that such courageous acts would not go unknown.

In the distance he could see his fellow Imperial Fists making their way back to the gates with the precision only they could achieve. He watched as they covered the retreat of the army forces, holding back the traitors so they could make good their escape. Agmemnus realized they would need to move quickly to keep from being cut off. His fears were soon allayed as the legion of Sanguinius entered the fray. Agmemnus raised his fist into the air and roared a greeting to those who had moved to relieve them. Through the smoky haze, Agmemnus could make out a Blood Angel captain making his way towards their position.

"Hail brother!" came the call from the Blood Angel. "Emperor be praised!"

"Hail indeed brother!" replied Agmemnus with a relieved laugh, "It is good to see you!"

The Blood Angel stepped forward and extended his hand. Agmemnus took it in a warrior's grasp, taking his forearm and shaking it heartily. "I am Agmemnus of the Fists. By thunder I thought that we were surely doomed." The Blood Angel laughed. "Not quite yet brother! I am Captain Calisartes and my men and I have come to render what aid we can. What is the situation?"

With a sweeping gesture encompassing the field, Agmemnus nodded to him. "As you can see brother, all is not well. They have called upon malefic creatures of the warp. Their forces have increased incrementally with the addition of these daemons. It took the power of a bomb to close the one we found ourselves faced against."

Captain Malloc's stern voice came over the vox, stopping Agmemnus from continuing, "Lord Chaplain, we make for the gates as ordered. We wish that you lead us."

"Aye brother. I am coming and I bring with me a friend. Prepare the brothers for I shall be there soon!"

Agmemnus faced Calisartes. "Luck to you brother! The Emperor's will be done."

"Aye, for the Emperor! Fare you well Agmemnus of the Fists", replied the Blood Angel.

Turning to those who had survived the battle with the daemons, he motioned them forward. "Onward brothers. We must make all haste to rejoin our comrades!"

"If you can't stun them with your tactical brilliance, baffle them with your superior grasp of BS."

"I refuse to engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed man."

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAllFather View Post
Well, seeing as how you capitalize your characters, use proper grammar and punctuation, I'd say you qualify.
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Moar dude, moar o__o!
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VI

As they prepared to move on, Agmemnus and his party found themselves interrupted as one of the pilots providing cover for the loyalists slowly descended from the sky on his grav-chute. Reaching down, Agmemnus gingerly lifted the pilot from the ground by the cords attached to his grav-chute. "What have we here brothers?" he noted as he helped the pilot to his feet. "One of our brave pilots it seems. Come little brother! We must make for the gate before they close it on us!" Agmemnus roared with laughter as he and the remainder of his small force began to make their way towards the gates. "It seems that I find reinforcements falling from the sky now!"

Where it had come from, he did not know. With the world trying to end around him, the sight of the Blood Angels had improved his choler. The battle still raged, the Imperial Palace was still beset by the minions of the Warmaster Horus, and daemons were still clawing their way into the material plain by the minute but he could not help himself. Maybe it was because he and his warriors were no longer alone in the fight. Maybe he was suffering from battle fatigue… He dismissed the latter with a snort. He was an astartes and more to the point, an Imperial Fist. Such things did not affect him. Agmemnus merely nodded and went on. Terrible days lay ahead. Soon there would be a proper siege and he knew that there would be little joy to find when those times came.

The sound of rattling armor and weapons made the old chaplain turn. The custodes seemed to be heading in their direction and Agmemnus called for the gathered warriors to wait for them. Waving his hammer, he greeted the golden-clad warriors. "Hail Brothers! Would you care to join us as we make for the gates?"

"Come lads! Let us be done with this place. We must find our place on the walls lest these traitors find it unguarded! We can't have that, now can we!"

Agmemnus knew that if they chose to the custodes would join them. Without waiting to see if they did, he and wards made for the gate. He paused long enough to watch as the Blood Angels primarch, Sanguinius took to the skies on mighty white pinions. The sight made his heart swell. Pointing, he said, "Truly if there were ever such things as angels, he would be one!"

Continuing on, Agmemnus found his way to the Imperial Fists who had bolstered the Imperial line. Of the two hundred, barely half remained. The battle had taken its toll on them. None had escaped unscathed. Apothecary Damos moved through the survivors, checking each in turn. Agmemnus noted the apothecary carried a full complement of gene seed in his pouches. That the seed would be returned to the legion was a poor substitution for those warriors they had come from but it was still a small victory for the Imperial Fists. Those warriors that had fallen would be remembered and their seed would be passed on to a new generation once the time came. If the time came, Agmemnus thought.

He could feel melancholic thoughts leeching their way back into his mind. "No", he muttered. He would not succumb to such dark thoughts. They would win. There could be no other outcome. Even if the heavens tumbled and the rock on which Terra had been founded was sundered they would win.

And like a summer storm that wells up and then dissipates, Agmemnus found his clouded mind clearing as the thoughts were driven away by the welcoming sight of his fellow Fists. It was good to be back amongst his brothers. Though they were battered and beaten they were unbroken. That was the way of the Imperial Fist. Stubborn and tenacious, and to Agmemnus, the true children of the Emperor. As he thought the words, Agmemnus rebuffed himself for the arrogance and pride that filled them. Such things were acceptable for another astartes but not a chaplain. No, pride and arrogance led down the path of damnation. The evidence of such folly could be seen all around him as he took in the battlefield.

His reverie was broken when Captain Malloc greeted him. "Welcome back Lord Chaplain. I see that you did indeed bring friends. An eclectic group to be sure."

"Aye brother Malloc!" Agmemnus called, "Would that these brave souls were Imperial Fists! We would truly be blessed with such mighty warriors!"

Turning, Agmemnus called out, "BROTHERS! We have done the impossible! We have faced the horrors that would have broken others! Though we have relinquished the field of battle to our honored Blood Angel brethren, there is no shame in our retreat! Brothers, I call upon you once again! Give honor to those who have fallen! Give it to those who have relieved us! Raise your voices in praise of he who pulled humanity from the darkness! FOR THE EMPEROR!"

With that, Agmemnus marched through the gates and into the Imperial Palace...

VII

Agmemnus accompanied Fierizard and Captain Malloc into the Imperial Palace. Captain Malloc had accepted the Salamander's words and had led them to the staging area where their Lord Dorn was said to be. As they made their way through the milling throng of Imperial Army soldiers and astartes, Agmemnus found himself mulling over Fierizard's words. The Salamander's plea seemed genuine and Agmemnus had had no doubts when he vouched for the warrior. Any one who would sacrifice himself to protect his brothers could not be touched by the madness that had seemingly infected those who followed the Warmaster.

Agmemnus' mind wandered as they continued on. Snippets of conversations wormed their way into his subconscious and he found himself stopping. "We can't win…there are too many", came one Imperial soldier to another. "What were those things?" "Where did they come from?" These words and more were echoed by others as they voiced their worries and discontent. They had been battered and beaten, their spirits sapped by fatigue and fear and their morale was waning. They had faced things that they had never dreamed possible and were the worse for it.

In the age of enlightenment the Emperor had brought to the struggling vestiges of humanity scattered across the cosmos, things like gods and daemons were seen as foolish superstitions best quashed so that mankind could move forward in it's mastery of the galaxy. There was no place for religion and its rainments. Once man had clung to ancient spirit worship and cult-like devotion to various deities but had suffered only strife and discord in doing so. Beliefs clashed with beliefs as man made war against those who did not follow the same religious path he did. It was the height of ignorance and the Emperor had seen this. He had known that in order to unite humanity in one great cause he had to break the oppressive shackles of religion and show mankind the true path of wisdom and science. Only through mastering these could man find harmony and peace. Then the Warmaster had turned against his father and called upon devilish creatures to aid him in his battle for rulership over mankind. Daemons and gods had become as real as men and they were found to be terrible beasts of incomprehensible evil.

Agmemnus could not fault the Imperial soldiers as he too had been taken aback by the events that fate had set into motion. He, himself, had found such things to be beyond belief and yet he had seen them with his own eyes. Looking to the Imperial survivors, he knew they were but men. They had fought with fire in their bellies and the Emperor's name on their lips but in the end they lacked force of will that drove an astartes on even when the odds were against them but he still could not bring himself to look down upon them. "Fear is a great enemy and has to be faced head on with the sword of Duty and the armor of Honor", the chaplain Ezekhi had once told Agmemnus. "It must be defeated...crushed. It must be rooted out and purged. If it is not, it will take root in men's hearts and bear poison fruit."

"Lord Chaplain. Is something wrong?" Malloc asked, noticing the chaplain had stopped. Agmemnus waved them on. "No brother. Continue to Lord Dorn. I believe that I am needed here." Malloc gave a short bow and continued on with Fierizard to find the Imperial Fist's primarch.

Removing his helm, Agmemnus took a deep breath of fresh air. Here inside the walls the stench of battle held less sway and the air was purer. He turned to the gathered warriors. "Who here will fight with me on the walls when the time comes?!" he roared. The shout startled many as those able scrambled to attention. "Well? Answer me! Where is the steel I witnessed not but moments ago on the fields before the walls? Where is the courage? You have stood against terrors most men would be hard pressed to even believe and you live! WELL?! Each of you has fought with honor for our Emperor! Will you sit here bemoaning your fate, cringing and crying for mercy? Or will you stand with me upon the walls?!"

On and on the ancient chaplain cried, his voice rising as the crowd of soldiers grew larger and larger. He did not fault them…no. He did not blame them. But, he would be damned if he let the seeds of fear find fertile soil in the hearts of brave men such as these.

"If you can't stun them with your tactical brilliance, baffle them with your superior grasp of BS."

"I refuse to engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed man."

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAllFather View Post
Well, seeing as how you capitalize your characters, use proper grammar and punctuation, I'd say you qualify.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-18-08, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the kind words folks! Here's the next part .

Good luck and good gaming,

Nate

VIII

Agmemnus found his dreams troubled. Instead of heading back to the wall, he decided that rest was needed. He was exhausted from his battle and he knew that he would do no good if he were to falter in his duties because of weakness. An astartes was a tireless foe but even he realized he needed to sleep in order to maintain his health and there were others who could keep the troops' morale up while he rested.

He had made his way to the billet set aside for the Imperial Fist contingent and once there found his cell. Upon entering, he was greeted by his personal servant who saw to his needs. Bowing, the young man stepped aside so Agmemnus could enter. The room was sparsely furnished. Save for a desk, a stool, a book shelf that bowed under the weight of the many tomes, his armor rack and his cot there was little to be seen. The walls were a dull gray rockcrete with a single slit of a window that allowed the sun's light in to chase away the gloom. The floor was tiled in the pattern of the Imperial Aquila; its wings outspread to encompass the whole of the room. Making his way to the armor rack on the wall, Agmemnus set his hammer and shield into their recesses. Once that was done, he took a seat on the stool and looked to his serf. "Trius, please help me remove my armor."

Agmemnus placed his helm on the sturdy desk and with the help of Trius, began the process of taking off his armor. While the terminator armor offered it's wearer near-invulnerability, Agmemnus found it stifling. He wondered idly why he had accepted the heavy suit in favor of his Mk V powered armor. He chuckled to himself, the sound making Trius raise his head in question. "Nothing lad", Agmemnus said, "Just an old man pondering the folly of accepting certain 'gifts'."

Once the armor had been removed, each piece was laid out before him on the floor with care. From the desk, Trius removed a rag, unguents, and oils. He handed each in turn to Agmemnus who began the tasking of cleaning. The blows he had received from the traitor chaplain would need seeing to soon. The armor was still solid but he would take no chances. Fate had a way of making the inane into the complicated. "Trius, please see that these are taken to the forge while I rest." The young servant nodded, leaving with the damaged pieces of armor in tow.

As the serf left, Agmemnus moved to his cot and began the process of clearing his mind in preparation of sleep. He allowed his body's metabolism to slow, his twin hearts winding down until there were several seconds between each beat. He entered a deep, restorative sleep.

It was rare for an astartes to dream, or at least it was in the case of Agmemnus. When he did, he found them to be fleeting memories of his past, long before he had been granted the honor of fighting for the Emperor's crusading legions. This time, however, he found himself standing on the walls surrounding the Imperial Palace. He could see traitors as they stretched far into the distance. Massive titans in service to the Warmaster strode across the plain before the walls, their mighty weapons belching smoke and plasma as they tried to break their way through the Imperium's defenses. Each bore marks of corruption, from fierce bestial heads that roared the praises of dark gods to boils and pustules which wept pus and infected blood. The sight was terrifying. Agmemnus found the sun blotted out as a great shadow crossed before it. Looking up, he believed he saw the great primarch Sanguinius once again, flying over the battle, exhorting his legion to take the fight to the heretics. Realization hit him like a hammer blow as the thing came closer. What had been the noble primarch was now some terrible parody. On multi-colored wings, the beast descended, its serpentine neck ending in a bird-like face with glowing eyes and a wickedly sharp beak. As it landed the daemon let forth a booming screech, shattering the walls around Agmemnus with coruscating bolts of lightning and flame. He found himself falling, pieces of the wall surrounding him as he plummeted towards the ground. He smashed into the ground, the beast landing on his chest. Agmemnus looked into its eyes and found only madness. It leaned its avian head in close to the chaplain and from its mouth a whisper came. "My master has sent me to tell you this. The wall will fall and the Warmaster will be triumphant. When it comes down you will die, on your knees, begging for my Lord's mercy!"

Agmemnus bolted upright, his body covered with a thick sheen of sweat. Wiping it from his face, he rose from his cot and made his way to the desk. He plunged his hands into the bowl of cold water that sat there and washed his face. Looking into the rippling vessel the beast's words slipped into his mind once again. "When it comes down you will die, on your knees, begging for my Lord's mercy!"

Rage filled the old chaplain. He lashed out, sending the pewter bowl crashing into the wall with a ringing clatter. Turning, he reached for the golden aquila that adorned this armor. It was said the sigil was a ward against warpcraft. Deep inside, he found himself hoping such was the case. He returned it to its resting place and picked up his hammer. He turned the weapon over and over, taking in the craftsmanship that had been worked into relic. "Never..." he found himself whispering. Agmemnus raised his head, looking to the ceiling. "NEVER! DO YOU HEAR ME? NEVER!" he roared as he lifted the hammer higher....

"If you can't stun them with your tactical brilliance, baffle them with your superior grasp of BS."

"I refuse to engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed man."

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAllFather View Post
Well, seeing as how you capitalize your characters, use proper grammar and punctuation, I'd say you qualify.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-19-08, 01:11 AM
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"NEVER! DO YOU HEAR ME? NEVER!" - absolutely love it.

It's rare to see stories centered around a Chaplin and I'm glad you've embraced him as a character. Though for some weird reason, I read his name as Agymemnus (like Agymemnon) and it makes it easier for me to scan - apologies for not getting his name correct in my imaginings.

Aside from myself, you are my favourite writer on these forums.

Keep up the very solid work my friend.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-19-08, 01:42 AM Thread Starter
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Eh...I did the same thing when I first wrote this. Many times I had to go back and respell his name as I would type it as that instead of the bastardized version I'm using. A bit of background over why I wrote it from the point of view of a chaplain is in order I guess. As I said in the first post, this is actually story bits from a roleplaying thread. When I read the premise, the only thing that came to mind was 'Imperial Fist chaplain'. The heretics were lining up with their characters and I felt that given the dark nature of what was happening there should be someone to counter their heretical machinations.

On top of that, I thought that writing a chaplain would be more difficult. The function of chaplains is pretty much the same as it was in the Heresy minus the fact that they were orginally there to keep morale up. As time has passed and most astartes chapters have degenerated into something akin to spirit worship(as in imbuing their weapons and armor with spirits of battle), chaplains now also cover the 'spiritual' side of being a space marine. That kind of superstition mumbo-jumbo wasn't around during the Heresy as the 'light of reason and science' was spread to quash such things as religion.

There-in lies the challenge. To write a chaplain that falls into line with the background of the time period has been enjoyable. I'll have to start writing more parts soon as I'm quickly running out of the previously written story LOL. Because of this, after part 10, there may be periods of several days that I don't update it as I'm working out how it will go. I've got my beginning and my end (which I won't ruin LOL). Now I'm working to connect them. I don't know how many more parts there will be before the end. It all depends on what comes to mind heh heh heh.

Again, thanks for the kind words bud!

Good luck and good gaming,

Nate

"If you can't stun them with your tactical brilliance, baffle them with your superior grasp of BS."

"I refuse to engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed man."

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAllFather View Post
Well, seeing as how you capitalize your characters, use proper grammar and punctuation, I'd say you qualify.
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