An Acolyte's Tale, it's not all space marines and psychers. - Wargaming Forum and Wargamer Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-09-17, 08:40 AM Thread Starter
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Default An Acolyte's Tale, it's not all space marines and psychers.

Driving winds and rain again, with a touch of sleet for variety. Didn't he just get the good roll of the dice, Brynden grumbled to himself. Rapping on the oak and steel double doors set into the curtain wall he tried to take what shelter he could in the recessed granite archway as a gusting wind drove stinging sleet into his back. A narrow shutter slid open and he quickly pulled down the neck of his oilskin, showing the bronze and iron chain he wore as a bonded servant of one of the nobility. The wicket door swung open after a series of solid thunks and he slid inside to the shelter of the gatehouse passage, shaking off the worst of the rain.

Young Erik was on door duty again, the slim youth wrapped in a homespun wool cloak while the rest of the men-at-arms kept an eye on goings on outside the gate through the arrow slit windows in the guardroom, close to the hearth and kettle.

''Evenin' Mr Geltz. Thought you might not be coming back tonight,'' he commented, marking the time onto Dieter's pass with a small stamp and hammer. ''Err...Ms Beth from the kitchens been by,'' the youth shifted uncomfortably as he passed the leather sheet back, ''and eh, she says to tell you, 'if he's going to be out galavantin' till all hours he shouldn't be comin' round lookin' for anythin' when he gets back.' A slight smirk broke out as he looked over his shoulder, ''then Karl asked if he could come round instead and she clouted him round the ear.''

''Ha, sounds like her. I'll stick my head round the door and see if she doesn't bite it off. Might get some sympathy for having to go out in weather like that, heh?''

Erik nodded slowly but his face didn't hold much hope. Yeah, probably not.

- - - - - - - - - -

The sprawling fortified manor at the heart of Neuburg was the ancestral seat of the Governor, their extended family and branches of every other noble line with with thoughts of playing the great game of politics. The outer wall served to keep the estate separate from the common masses and undesirables of the city.

One set of apartments, offices and staterooms had been granted to Lady Kirsa Stromm, dowager aunt to an Elector from one or another city-state along the northern fjordlands. She and her entourage had moved in and gently insinuated themselves into the social fabric of the place. He exchanged nods with a pair of Stromm guards at the hall door liveried in blue and green, and again at the entrance to his mistress's rooms. One of the squires that came to meet him at the door handed Dieter a towel in return for a pile of half sodden clothes, the other caught a leather folio for the Lady's secretary. Mixed tittering and tutting from the handmaidens accompanied his genuflect to her ladyship before he turned into the servant's rooms at the back, shivering slightly as he passed through the auspex shroud's static membrane.

''You took your time.'' The twin of Lady Stromm sat behind a dataslate strewn desk, glancing up as he entered. ''And put some proper clothes on, that chain makes you look like a brothelboy.''

''Apologies Ma'am, on both counts. And I'll happily lose the chain at the earliest convenience, keep waking up thinking I'm about to be strangled.'' Pulling open a folding screen next to a large trunk, he continued his report while dressing. ''It's surprisingly hard at times to find a dishonest man when you need one. But perseverance paid off, everything's arranged at this end now. We can bring down whatever we want through the spaceport and it'll be forgotten as soon as seen. They're expecting regular payments but that's only a problem if you plan on extending the investigation.''

''Good, the Grace of Gold is due to reach orbit in another week. By then we'll should have a finished picture of the situation here and know what we need smuggled down. The Troupe tell me they're certain they have the full scope of the places plots and schemes mapped out, usual highborn antics for the most part. If we didn't know what to look for I'd have said our informant was getting paranoid.''

Brynden Raine stepped back into sight wearing fatigues and boots, mech.inf/u-camo Munitorum standard issue, devoid of regiment or rank details. Stopping at the table he picked up one of the slates, turning it over in scarred hands, ''I'll check over the Administratum reports for today before turning in Ma'am, make sure nothing new has come up on that front. Emperor willing we can snuff this out before it has a chance to sink more hooks in.''

''The Emperor protects, Brynden.''

''He does indeed Ma'am.''

Last edited by HarlequinR; 09-09-17 at 02:09 PM.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-09-17, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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Any feedback or constructive criticism is welcome.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-09-17, 12:32 PM
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An engaging little snippet of 40K life.

That first sentence really give a picture of the narrator's personality.

A large number of your sentences are quite long, with multiple events happening in them; this slows the pace and makes the sentences less easy to understand without thought. This is especially noticeable right at the start before the story has had a chance to draw the reader in. So, I suggest breaking things up a little so you have more short sentences with a single piece of action. For example:

Driving winds and rain again, with a touch of sleet for variety. Didn't he just get the good roll of the dice? The curtain wall loomed over him, blocking the sky but not the weather. Seeking what shelter he could in the granite archway, Brynden rapped on the oak and steel double doors. When a narrow shutter slid open, he pulled down the neck of his oilskin to show the bronze and iron chain marking him a bonded servant of one of the nobility. After a series of solid thunks, the wicket door swung open. He quickly slid into the shelter of the gatehouse passage, shaking off the rain.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-09-17, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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The panels lining the Painted Halls had been installed during an extended period of renovation in the manor, gifts from a pair of more wealthy and competitive Electors looking to curry favour against the other. The rather striking imagery and skilled workmanship easily elevated them to the status of national treasures, which was unfortunate in the current situation. Brynden had led Inquisitorial storm troopers in a running battle to take and hold one thoroughfare from guardsmen more loyal to the conspirators than the Imperium. Captain Alderson had done the same with the other half of his platoon in taking the perpendicular twin, where they met at the central bunker's blast doors.

He hissed as the field medic sprayed chill-gel where he'd caught part of a full-auto lasgun flurry dragging the stormtrooper's 2IC into cover. Thank the God-Emperor for armoured bodygloves, that and his flakweave fatigues had taken the worst of it leaving him with only first and second degree burns along his left leg and side. Alderson and his lead team were next to him in the triage station that had been set up. All of them were having flechettes removed after being caught in the ricochet from badly lined up claymore mine. So much for the best laid plans.

The melta charges on the door wouldn't be blown till the Inquisitor's blank was thawed out of stasis and shipped down. No one was risking the last of the conspirators down there letting the psykers loose out of spite without a way to shut them down. She herself was overseeing the questioning of those already in custody and. The medicae finished covering over the burns and handed him a stim inhaler to push aside the pain and keep his mind focused before one of the walking wounded helped him back into armour.

- - - - - - - - - -

The first levels had been simple to deal with, emergency controls cut the hydraulics slamming the cell doors shut on those still inside. The few with enough coherent thought to leave received a double tap and headshot. Third level onward had seen resistance steeply increasing, the blank's influence working over a steadily shrinking area as the power of those incarcerated increased. They lost five good soldiers securing a foothold in the last chamber and putting down the nearest of the three psyker it contained. The last one had been a mercy kill and the screams were going to haunt everyone that made it out alive.

Another piece of ironwork torturously twisted itself as the warding buckled under the strain of countering the warpcraft unleashed within it. Brynden continued to mouth the Litany Against the Unclean as he replaced a spent autogun clip and reloaded the underslung grenade launcher. Keeping in cover with the survivors of his squad behind a collapsed section of wall he gave handsign instructions to the troopers that were now in charge of moving the shellshocked null around before counting down three, two, one.

They all but threw the blank out of cover, charging him forward as the tip of the spear towards the fire and lightning wreathed mutant. Focused hotshot lasfire and manstopper shells tore into the psyker's shield of unnatural light, forcing it on the defensive. At five paces its warp-addled mind registered the presence of the blank. At three its attention had narrowed into horror filled tunnel vision. It went into spasm as the null was tackled into it, and finally went still as Brynden's chainblade took of its head.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-13-17, 11:20 AM
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A welcome surprise on the fiction board, welcome Harlequin R. Dave gives good advice, as usual, and you'll get the hang of it with more practice (shorter sentences was something I had to learn too). As for the story itself, so far I am liking the world that this is set upon. The nobility in your story so far sound the part and I find myself interested to see this area of the story further fleshed out. I'm certain it will be, in time. Never expected Brynden to be an inquisitor, but who ever expects the Inquisition?

Your action scenes are descriptive and I could follow along without too many pauses. I also like the inclusion of a blank, which I don't see mentioned too often (I'm guilty of not mentioning them in my own stuff). It was short and sweet, and to the point (So, you'd be my opposite at the moment).

A phrase or initial or two, I could not figure out (2IC)?

Over all, I really like your first entry here on Heresy. Hope to see more!

“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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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-13-17, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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Brynden signed in relief as he rested his forehead against the smooth stone of his cell's floor. The chill helped relieve the headache from healing micro-fractures and the fragrant incense helped centre his mind as he began his private devotions before a small shrine built into the wall. An icon of Celwyn the Anointer looked down on him as he prayed, one hand upon the sinful who burned at her touch the other upon the faithful who were renewed.

His injuries were healing well under the sister hospitallers' care, they'd let him start light calisthenics in the second week. Tending to his spiritual wellbeing had been approached with an even more thorough and intense manner, but this was to be expected. On the day he arrived he'd washed in the small waterfall fed by the Abby's holy spring and had explained to him the regime of prayer, trials and vigils he would undertake.

The routine was good, a solid foundation to work from. The asceticism and devotions stripped life back to the core principles he'd tried to live by, and the faith that had seen him through life in Stannium's urban sumps, tours of duty in the PDF and Guard, and final service to the Inquisition. Resolve and conviction hardened like scar tissue over a wound, what he'd seen he would never forget and nor should he. A soul untested was like a body untrained, weak when finally called to strive and flinching at the hardships set before it. Perhaps in another life he would have followed a religious calling. But then again wasn't all service an act of faith?

In the third week a case was presented to him at the end of morning service. Sister Superior Answer informed him that his war gear had been repaired and consecrated, he would now be adding combat drills to his exercises. The bodyglove was close-fitting and familiar, the damaged sections replaced and honour markings re-stencilled grey on black. The helm was new but a perfect match, the vox grill and air vent on each side a stylised I. They hadn't touched his boots beyond cleaning them, a gesture any veteran guardsmen would appreciate. Before going to the range he field stripped, examined and rebuilt his weapons, checking what had been replaced and how balance, weight and feel might have changed. The hellpistol was mostly rebuilt, but that generally had minimal impact on lasweapons. He was quite relieved neither his autogun or autopistol had needed anything beyond re-casing.

The forth week was the last. He was running through drills as well as he ever had in the past and had a peace of mind that would have surprised him when he arrived. The sisters declared him healed in body and sanctified of soul. He took the traditional Mendicant's Path on foot back to Neuburg, making observances at each of the roadside shines that marked the twenty five miles from the abbey to the manor.

Last edited by HarlequinR; 09-13-17 at 07:39 PM.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-13-17, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Myen'Tal View Post
A phrase or initial or two, I could not figure out (2IC)?

Over all, I really like your first entry here on Heresy. Hope to see more!
Glad you're enjoying it. Brynden isn't the Inquisitor btw, but I might not have shown that properly, and it was shorthand for second in command.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-13-17, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by HarlequinR View Post
Glad you're enjoying it. Brynden isn't the Inquisitor btw, but I might not have shown that properly, and it was shorthand for second in command.
Oh, I guess I assumed that because Brynden seemed to be in command of the blank, but you never did say he was an inquisitor, now that I read it again.

I'm liking the vibe of Brynden's personality and spiritual reflections, I am currently focusing on doing something similar with something I'm working on, except the main character's training spans about three chapters . That aside, I like the detail you can weave into a handful of sentences, but nothing seems too rushed. A good pace to take us through Brynden's healing process, and then drift into the Hospitaller routines and procedures. It is done while also offering an insight into the puritan personalities and how serious the sisters hospitaller and the main character himself take their sense of purity and faith.

Only critique is that Brynden may want to be careful with what he remembers. If memory serves me correct, the Inquisition has a tendency to execute guardsmen who remember too much (a blurb about veterans of wars against the Dark Gods comes to mind). But perhaps Inquisitorial Agents are more trustworthy.

EDIT: Just a note, but that blurb I mentioned may have been retconned since I've last seen it. It was quite some years ago, so maybe nothing to be concerned about.

“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; 09-14-17 at 12:21 AM.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-14-17, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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Only critique is that Brynden may want to be careful with what he remembers. If memory serves me correct, the Inquisition has a tendency to execute guardsmen who remember too much (a blurb about veterans of wars against the Dark Gods comes to mind). But perhaps Inquisitorial Agents are more trustworthy.

EDIT: Just a note, but that blurb I mentioned may have been retconned since I've last seen it. It was quite some years ago, so maybe nothing to be concerned about.
I remember that blurb. I think a lot of Inquisitorial agents get extra screening to weed out the week willed, and the Inquisitor on site makes the call about thier own agents in the field. The chapter was inspired in part by a scene where an Inquisitor goes to a spiritual retreat after reading a book written by chaos sorcerers.

I thought it was important to show how hard it can be, being exposed to some of what they face. He's come out of 5 levils of intense close confines combat with half sane channelers of the warp, been baddly injured and lost a significant part of the troops he fought beside, indeed led in there.

My background is that the Inquisitor is getting on a bit, past thier physical prime. Brynden is her proxy when words aren't enough, though he isn't just muscle. She isn't aging with grace, but accepts the necessity.

I'll try and give your work a check out over the weekend
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-14-17, 11:45 PM
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I remember that blurb. I think a lot of Inquisitorial agents get extra screening to weed out the week willed, and the Inquisitor on site makes the call about thier own agents in the field. The chapter was inspired in part by a scene where an Inquisitor goes to a spiritual retreat after reading a book written by chaos sorcerers.

I thought it was important to show how hard it can be, being exposed to some of what they face. He's come out of 5 levils of intense close confines combat with half sane channelers of the warp, been baddly injured and lost a significant part of the troops he fought beside, indeed led in there.

My background is that the Inquisitor is getting on a bit, past thier physical prime. Brynden is her proxy when words aren't enough, though he isn't just muscle. She isn't aging with grace, but accepts the necessity.

I'll try and give your work a check out over the weekend
Gotcha', sounds good . Also, the training chapters that I mentioned aren't posted on the forum, just some W.I.P. scenes and some older stuff. I should really go back and give some of it another pass over.

“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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