hey everyone, just some background fluff on a chapter im thinking of playing.
Tell me what you think, sorry about the length.
“Oh come on.” pleaded the groveling child in front of its mother.
“No, you may not go harass the herds of the Askawn’s” she firmly stated in answer to the child’s pleas.
“But mum! All the other boys are going, even Jacin! And he’s 2 years younger than me!” He begged, desperately. They were about to leave.
“NO! You are not going Marcellus!” yelled his mother getting to the end of her long leash. “Go inside right now and get washed up for dinner”
“Humph” sighed Marcellus as he entered the low roofed hut that he lived in with his two older brothers, father and mother.
“Ahh my darlings, how have you been today?”
“Terrible! It’s the worst day of my life!” screamed Marcellus from inside.
“Wasn’t that yesterday?” queried his father, Darius.
“Well today was worse!”
“I didn’t let him go on another raid the boys are planning.” explained Girthum, his mother
“Oh Girthum, i wish you did not have to, but his power has not yet surfaced.”
“I know, I know, and Azroth ensures us that he is gifted?”
“Yes, yes, he is sure of it, stakes his life on it, and that they will soon emerge”
“Which is something else I do not wish to happen.”
“Mhmm, but it will, sadly”
Nestor and Kranz were sneaking through the long grass, hiding from prying eyes that searched for a threat to their herds. Nestor who was leading the pair towards the paddocks stopped, signaling Kranz to do so as well. “What is it?” came the hushed whisper from Kranz as Nestor surveyed the fields ahead.
“They have extra men guarding, we are expected” replied Nestor as he returned to a prone position.
“We should re-group with the others and talk battle plans” Kranz suggested, he was always the one with the plan.
“What and share the glory with them? Never” snorted Nestor.
“Ever the hot-head aren’t you” sniggered Kranz “You’d rush in there and get us all killed.
“No I was going to have us sneak around to the other side and wait for the idiots to show themselves, then attack from behind. That way we scare the herds in the direction of our village and the guards won’t be able to fight for fear of killing their stock.”
“Oh, good plan, what i was thinking.”
“See I’m not all frontal assault, this time we assault from behind.”
“Ok, lets go.” Kranz eagerly wanted to get this over with so they could share their glory back at the village.
They were finally in position. It had taken the two boys a lot longer than they had expected to work their way around the herd, for it was a lot larger than they had originally anticipated.
“What was the signal for them to attack again?” Nestor asked
“We give the call”
“Well do it”
Nestors ears nearly exploded with the sound of the call from Kranz
“You do that to well, it sounded exactly like the crow”
“Thank you, now lets watch the attack.”
The other boys had heeded the call and were sprinting full speed towards the guards. They were clad in dark green clothes with grass and other plants of the plains tied to them to camouflage their hunched bodies that still moved along fast enough to make them hard targets for the surprised guards. They were armed with all manner of objects, ranging from actual knives and other sharp instruments to solid looking sticks and branches and other blunt objects, a few were carrying stones. One of the boys was wielding a home made bow, with a quiver full of arrows on his back.
The guards weren’t that much better off and looked to be only a few years older than the attackers. They had hit the jackpot, the adults were out on a raid. They hadn’t been expected, they were just using more younger boys to equal fewer older men.
Just as the two sides were about to meet in a head on rush coming from the attackers and the defenders trying to form a defensive line in front of their precious animals Nestor and Kranz leapt up out of their cover and charged the herd of grazing Kyza. Kranz leveled the rusty and jam prone auto pistol he had acquired at the back of the nearest guard, all of which were still unsuspecting of the two better armed boys attacking from the rear. He pulled the trigger just as his target started moving, hitting him in the arm instead of the back.
Nestor was already in better cover again amongst the Kyza urging them in the direction of the fourteen remain guards, who were looking bewildered and a little scared, with the wounded one screaming in pain. As the slow witted animals began to move Nestor left the rest to the stamped and drew his short sword, proceeding to charge the closest Askwan. Now the guards were in disarray cut off from each other with the biggest group of three holding the leaders. Each was surrounded by a group of wide eyed foaming at the mouth group of now very dangerous looking boys.
Kranz approached the three oldest guards who were calling out encouragement to the others. The attackers were closing in on all of them looking for the chance to wound and kill. Nestor joined Kranz with a gleeful smile. “Would you like the honors?” asked Kranz as he approached.
“Nay, you can have these three and i will deal with the others. Then we can disappear with our prize.”
“Jacin!” called Kranz “Come here please”
“Y..yes boss” stammered Jacin.
“Now now, don’t be scared, I need your steady arm to get these three.”
“Ok boss” Jacin’s face splitting into a grin as he received his orders.
Kranz and Jacin aimed carefully at the two boys flanking the leader, and released a shot at their targets. Kranz taking his in the head and Jacin piecing the chest. Both were instantly killed. “Now for the boss, boss.”
The boy looked terrified, his teeth chattering and legs shacking. It was a wonder he could stand. Yet he still did nothing to prevent his death like his two comrades. They had fallen silent when Kranz had first approached. Now the rusty auto pistol was raised once more. The shot took the sod on the left of his chest, many of the witnessing boys said it hit the heart. But the bullet left such a gapping chasm it could never be proven.
Nestor neared the last of the guards that was proving to be much difficulty to his fellow raiders, he had inflicted many cuts and gashes to the encircles. “Another blood stain for you my dear friend” he thought as he walked to the last defender. He readied himself, got a firmer grip on the hilt, took a deep breath, and charged at his enemy. What everyone says as strange about Nestor, is that he fights in complete silence, never grunts or pants, never screams curses or battle cries. It is very scary to anyone facing him, to know such an iron will.
The guard saw the charging maniac too late turning back from lashing out at a en-circler and took the blade in the chest with the full force of the charge behind it, the rising knife seconds to late to block or parry, Nestor spun and pulling the sword out of the guards chest chopped off his head at the end of the spin, in much the same way he had dispatched the other guards. All who watched him fight said he gave killing a sort of grace and beauty.
Chapter 1: In Your Dreams.
The figure, that any sane observer would state was awake, groaned. It was a long tortured sound that lasted for what would of seemed an eternity, if there had been anyone in range of the horrible sound. The figure was thrashing in ways that should have been physically impossible. It then let out a shrill moan, this was even worse than the groan. It came out of the lips more like a needle to pierce the ears of any natural being that heard. Unfortunately the listeners that had been migrating to the focus of the tormented soul were not natural.
The boy, who had now totally thrown off any covers that had originally been over him across the room, lay still suddenly. A low hiss that was inaudible to those that were not blessed, or cursed, with exceptional hearing. Those that were found only pain in the sound, to their brains and to the crazed, unconscious youth.
He was surrounded, he knew not by what or how, just that he was. The indistinct figures looked more like smoke and mist than the solid shapes that he reasoned they must be. Smoke never looked like that, or was ever those shades. He wished they had been smoke, or that he could of believed they were. The shapes of the monsters listening to the unholy sounds that he was making, no matter how hard he tried to stay silent. He wanted to prove to his brothers, and his friends, that he was strong. He could stand and fight, he was not afraid.
He used all of his focus to bring his body under his control, he readied himself, crouching slightly and bringing up fists in front of his face. He steadied his breathing, making it hiss with every breath in and every breath out. As he focused more and more on control the monstrosities around him came into clear-cut vision, or evaporated back into the blackness.
Even with the smaller less scary looking beasts seeming defeated by only his sheer willpower gone, there was still a army of autocracies menacing him from all sides. Some of them looming over him at fifteen feet of sheer power, but he held fast in his stance. His whole 6 feet.
The bed shook with the force of the quivering muscles. The hiss had changed tone; it was now a low-pitched growl. It filled the room with its reverberating, offensive manner.
The closest monster, towering over the boy at 17 feet, howled. The reply of the horde was indescribable; all that could be said about it was its destructiveness. It echoed in the endless blackness, rising to a tremendous climax. Somewhere, something shattered. A few of the remaining smallest beasts disintegrated, heads imploded and bones snapped.
The hair of the surrounded boy shone in the eerie glow that seemed to come from everywhere. It looked like fire. It looked like blood. The pale face that it framed looked dead, and the mask on the features looked like death. It smiled.
“Is that all?!” it screamed. “Is that the best you can do?!” he started laughing. “You must do better than that if I am to be scared!”
“Insolent fool!” roared the beast in front of the youth. “You dare insult us, we are the daemons of dreams! And you will bow to us!”
“Bow, to you?” he laughed, “I would bow to no-one, let alone you!”
“Well, well, Marcellus the Defiant.” Sniggered the daemon. “Have you ever been in a fight? No! You are pitiful!”
“Well obviously even if I had been in a fight it wouldn’t matter.” Laughed Marcellus. “Here in the realm of dreams anything is possible, isn’t it…?”
“I am Drakken, Master of the nether plane.” The deformed thing growled, deifying reason.
“Oh spare the ego building would ya?” Marcellus snapped as he started to reform his body in his minds eye.
“How dare you! I will rip you apart, limb from limb.” Drakken was now enraged, what should have been the whites, now an indistinct colour, of his eyes glowed in the empty blackness.
“You will try, and fail!” Marcellus roared as he began transforming himself. He grew in height and stature, taught muscle stretching and growing along with the rest of him. His hands became claws, and his forearms erupted with two blades of bone reaching out to one metre in length.
“You think you can win? Pitiful human!” laughed Drakken as he reared up, preparing to charge.
“I do not think I can win, I know I can!” transformation complete, he looked into the eyes of his enemy, and lashed out.
Marcellus dived to the left, rolling and spinning up, swinging his newly fashioned blades. A gap was left in the wake of the attack, the daemons fading instantly.
“What do you think of that!” he screamed as he carved his way through the ranks of surrounding daemons, seemingly effortlessly, no matter how hard they fought back. While Drakken stood there laughing, watching the transformed boy reap a bloody harvest from his minions. “Having fun there, boy? Do you like tiering yourself out?” the giant beast was flexing its muscles.
“Yes I am, are you?” the boy grinning. “Oh and with the dream realm… I don’t get tired!” The grin now splitting his face from ear to ear.
Marcellus stood there, bone blades glistening in violent delights as they extended themselves even further. The two towering killing machines glared at each other as the slowly circled, past and over the slight stains in the air where the blood hung in the air of this forsaken place.
There was a loud crack. The bed started to sag; the supports were breaking. Another, and a leg disintegrated throwing the sleeper onto the floor, where he neither awoke or made a sound.
The tension could be cut by a knife and, well, it was being cut by the now 2 metre long blades of bone protruding from Marcellus’s forearms and the foot long claws of Drakken, which seemed to be still growing, and his whip like tail. Behind each of the lethally sharp edges trailed gashes in the reality of the Dream, blue/purple moats of colour indistinct against the black foreground and background.
As if on cue both circlers stopped, every single muscle, not matter how small or insignificant, tensed to snapping point. In the following slackness it was quiet, still, and calm. Every strange light particle then proceeded to explode, creating a black chasm around the two combatants. If any had remained to witness the clash of these monstrous creatures of destruction, they would of seen only a gap of 100 metres vanish in milliseconds only to be regained at opposite ends of the arena that was forming itself out of bricks of nothing.
The only change was the two gashes on Drakken’s abdomen and the four scratches on Marcellus’s upper arm. Marcellus looked down onto his blades of bone, with one eye watching Drakken, and started making some adjustments. He added three serrated points on the inside tip, also curving the blades in slightly. As a last improvement he added a barb on the outside, giving it a slight fishhook shape.
With all wounds healed, by shear force of will, they approached again. This was a slow and purposeful advance, analysing the foe. Slowly, concealed from Drakken’s view, Marcellus was growing wings. He gathered his full might, going into a low crouch, and waited. They remained locked in an unmoving staring contest, watching, and waiting for the other to make his move. After what could have been hours, Drakken exploded forwards. At this Marcellus raised his massive new wings and soared over the projectile that was the daemon.
One pair of bone blades impacted with such a force even the most indestructible metals would of shattered. These cleaved the left arm from the twisting daemon. Drakken, trying to escape the fate he saw descending upon him, thrust his claws up. His right hand ripped the left leg of Marcellus to shreds. But that was not the end.
The room was splattered with blood. Massive scratch marks had been gorged out of the floor. The room was a pool of sweat.
Marcellus stabbed down with his left arm. The blades pierced the lower back of Drakken, pinning him to the ground. There was a sudden whip crack as the tail of spines and blades struck its target in the chest. A great howl arose from both the combatants as the tail was cast aside and the barbed blades were wrenched from the writhing beast, taking most of the surrounding tissue with it.
“Ok you have proved your worth.” Drakken stammered as he coughed out litres of blood.
“You don’t get away that easily!” screamed Marcellus gurgled, as he tried to push himself off the ground, which was proving to be difficult with only on leg and hardly any chest muscles remaining intact.
The daemon prince of dreams let out a gleeful grin and started to fade. As he left the blackness his last words whispered around and around the emptiness, “I have done your will, my Lord.”
Chapter 2: The Sleeper Awakes.
He was cold, wet, smelled like he had just tried to catch a herd of stampeding Kyza, blood splatters were all over the place, and his room was destroyed. It wasn’t only that the bad was more like fire wood, the covers where plastered to the roof by sweat and blood, the floor looked like it had valleys. There was something profoundly different about the room, or the way he viewed it.
It was cold; the sort of cold that cuts to the bone through everything you can pile on to keep it at bay. Yet the figure wore nothing, and was in a nearly iced over pool. Somehow this young man felt nothing of the killing temperatures. His blazing red hair stood out in the dim light of the wee hours of the morning. As he pulled himself out of the water he noticed a strange weakness in his arms and left leg, probably from what happened to his room he surmised.
The dream, if that was what it had been, was fading. He had nearly no recollection of what it had been about, and it was slipping away faster the harder he tried to remember. He was left with something, but he could not figure out what that last dreg was.
“This is so not fair.” Grumbled the shadow of a 6 foot tall normal looking human.
“Nope, this isn’t.” Agreed a shadow that represented the other perfectly.
“We bloody lead the raid and captured all these damn beasts!” Hissed the original shadow. Startling the nearby sleeping grazers.
“Well someone has to guard them.” Pointed out the second. “Not that I like it.”
“The bastards should be more grateful.” Growled the first shadow.
“Oh calm down a bit please Nestor, neither of us want to be here. So shut up and make both our lives easier.”
“Fine, but tomorrow I’m taking this up with the lazy morons.” Nestor muttered as he stalked off to patrol around the left flank of the herd.
The second shadow moved off to the right, keeping a sharp eye out for any revenge raiders. Well just raiders in general. As he prowled down the perimeter of the sleeping animals, trying to be invisible as to spot enemies before they knew he was defending, he heard a splash. The type of splash that comes from a stone being knocked off into some water.
As the guard, twin brother of the other guard, Kranz, completely became one with the long grass of the plains and headed towards the sound. As he crawled forwards he drew his combat knife in his left hand and his trusty rusty auto pistol in his right. He peered out of his hiding spot in the bushes around the clearing created by a near frozen pool.
A pale figure stood with his back to Kranz. The sheen it gave off was unnatural. It was a stark contrast against the deep and dark green that loomed all around them. But the most outstanding detail was the blazing flame of hair. “Huh, that’s brighter than usual.” He muttered under his breath. Creeping forward he observed the lone figure. “This is unlike him, his mother never lets him out, but wait it’s night” Kranz was now confused, completely and utterly confused.
“Marc, oi Marc.” hissed Kranz “What are you doing? Why are you out here?”
“What, how, who?” Marcellus jumped as Kranz approached him.
“What’s up? What happened? Why are you out here?”
“Bad dream, came out here to refresh myself”
“Now? It’s like the middle of the night.”
“It’s three in the morning.”
“Wait, why are you out here?” a questioning look coming across Marc’s face.
“Guard duty, me and Nestor were made to watch over the prizes from our raid. Their way of punishing us I guess.”
“Well shouldn’t you get back to it? A raid could be taking place now.”
“Oh come on, it’s three in the morning, any raid would be long gone or not for about two hours.”
“Well boring, anyway can I have your knife? I’ll come guard with you, you know to pass the time.”
Chapter 3: Who are We?
“Marcellus, time to get up!” called Girthum “Come on, get your fat ass out of bed.”
“My butt is out of bed mum.” Marc said as he walked in the door, clad in only a cloak. He walked to the door of his room and started to go in. “I might go back to bed though”
“Bad dream, been up half the night. Probably didn’t sleep at all the other half.”
“What sort of dream?”
“I have no idea. No recollection of it.”
“No, come back here, talk to me about it.” Girthum chased Marc into his room. She stopped. “What happened In here?!”
“Like I said, bad dream.”
“Nicolai, please come quickly.” Girthum called from the door of a semi-isolated hut.
“What is it? You look worried.” Nicolai questioned as he came to the door.
“Yes, Marcellus had a bad dream. Well that is all he is saying. His room is destroyed and he is acting freaky.”
“Marcellus, Nicolai is here to see you.” Girthum called as she arrived home from Nicolai’s.
“Ok mum, I’ll be out in a sec”
“No need for you to come out, I’ll be coming in anyway.” Nicolai said, slightly load, excitedly. “I would like to see what happened to your room.”
“Oh Ok, and please if you understand it tell me what’s going on.”
“Mhm, yes. Your psyker power has emerged.”
“What? Psyker power? Isn’t that what you have?” Marc looked a little confused.
“Yes, yes it is.”
“I’m not like you though, I can’t shoot bolts of energy from my hands.”
“You will be able to with time and training, very intense training. Now tell me everything about this dream you had.”
“I can’t remember any of it. Apart from the fact that I woke up on the floor with the room like this, and that it had felt really realistic.”
“So you did this in your sleep?” Nicolai waked his had around the room.
“Yes. The air was practically water, I nearly drowned.” Nicolai was frowning.
“How strange.” He muttered. “This is unusual, in most awakenings the destruction comes after the precipitant of the gift wakes up, normally from lack of control.” Nicolai stated out load, to Marc and his mother.
“So there is something wrong with him! Is that what you are saying Nicolai?” Girthum had tears forming in her eyes.
“No no, there is nothing wrong with him, he is just different to the rest of us.” Nicolai explained. “More powerful most likely though.” He muttered to himself.
“So this is why I was shielded from the normal way of life? You did it out of selfishness to keep me by your side?” Marc accused his mother angrily.
“No, that is not why we did it, we did it to keep you safe from the other tribes. They would of tried to capture you, to keep as their pet, or kill you if they failed in doing so.” Girthum now had tears flowing freely down her face.
“I would have been fine!”
“Both of you calm down!” Nicolai called over the argument between mother and son. “I ordered your parents to do this, they wanted you to have a normal upbringing. I had to make sure you were safe for the fate of this village!” He was getting emotional.
“Why am I so important?”
“Because you will follow my footsteps in being the psyker of this village.” Nicolai hated ignorant fools above all, except an arrogant psyker. “You will come with me and begin you training in the arts of manipulating the warp.”
“Why now? Why today? Don’t I get to tell my friends at least? Talk to them about it?”
“No, you are vulnerable, training must start immediately.” Nicolai snapped
As the pair walked away from the house towards a secluded field just outside the village Nicolai started his instruction.
“What’s the haste Nic?”
“No time for questions, follow me and listen to every word I say. They might save your life, actually, they will save your life, many times over.”
“Hey Kranz, crazy day yesterday huh.” Nestor said as he came out of his room to see his twin sitting at the table.
“Yeah Nestor, about last night, do you think there is something up with Marc?”
“Now that you mention it, yeah I do. What do you want to do about it?”
“We should go see his mum, tell her about it.”
“Ok, I guess we should.”
“Come on Nest, don’t be scared of her or anyone in this village. You can let others in, not just me and Marc.” Kranz said for the millionth time in his life. Having a brother with chronic trust issues was hard work.
“Hello Girthum, how are you?” Kranz said as he approached the mother of his friend.
“Ah Kranz, Nestor, Marc is with Nicolai.” She said looking up from her work on some tattered clothes.
“Oh so you noticed the strangeness?” Asked Kranz.
“Yes, you noticed? How? Oh yes he was with you last night wasn’t he?”
“Yes he was. Do you know what was wrong?”
“He became a psyker.”
“A psyker? Like Nicolai?”
“No he came to it differently.”
“Now Marc, tell me who we are.” Nicolai sat cross-legged opposite the fire to Marcellus.
“We are the people of the Plains, the tribe of Sur’kiran, of the village Tur’vulf.” Replied Marc instantly.
“That is correct. But is wrong. Now tell me who we are, not as a community, but who each person is by themselves. Each individual.”
“Ok I don’t get it.” Marc replied with a puzzled look.
“Look into you soul, now try to find a centre. A source of everything in you.”
Marcellus sat staring into the fire. He had remained stationary for hours, noon had came and gone, it was getting on towards night time. He blinked. “Nicolai, I can find a source, but I do not understand it.”
“Yes that is the immaterial, the source of a psyker’s power. Learn to tap into that and you will be one of the most powerful people on the plain.”
“How can I do that? Use this power?”
“Firstly let your mind go blank, keep a focus on the immaterial. Now raise your hand, and focus the immaterial into a lance from your hand.” A searing lance of light leaped from his hand. It was a spear of flame, burning the air and everything in its path.
Nicolai sat in a stunned silence for a full minute. “That was very impressive Marcellus. It takes most that possess that level of power years to even approach that level of usage, but by that time they have found the more fun and creative ways of using their powers.”
“So you are saying I’m awesome?” Marcellus was swaying with exhaustion.
“Yes that is what I am saying.” Nicolai replied with a smile.
Chapter 4: Destiny.
“You sure your up to this?” Exodus asked, Marcellus’s oldest brother.
“Yes I’m up to it, come on stop bugging me about it.” Marcellus replied, a little tense.
“Yeah man, it’s going to happen. Finally.” Nestor interjected on his friends behalf.
“They’re right, he’ll go better if he hasn’t got frayed nerves from you rubbing them.” Marcellus’s other brother Dexler stated.
They were hidden in a thick stand of trees near a neighbouring village. It had been a hour since the dust cloud on the horizon had been spotted, and the raid party was almost up to the trees. It was easily identified as a raid party due to the speed at which it moved, and that there were no major wars between tribes currently taking place. But tension was getting high, and the cycle was coming back to a war.
A few days earlier Marcellus had be informed by Nicolai that he needed to get onto a battlefield. In the time between then and now he had trained extensively and gathered the people he would like to have with him in his first fight. He had first asked his two brothers, Exodus and Dexler, then on his way home from being fetched by them had asked his brothers in all but blood in veins and battle, Nestor and Kranz. He had also asked Jacin due to him being a good shot with his bow and him being a good kid.
These were the six that sat in the shadows of the trees peering out towards the approaching column. A few other figures sat behind them, the lucky few youths that had been able to talk their way into coming. There was a total of twelve boys on the raid. Four of them had bows, lead by an ecstatic Jacin, the rest apart from Kranz Exodus and Dexler, who had auto-pistols, carried knives or short swords.
“So Marc, what are you using as a weapon in this fray?” Questioned Kranz. In reply Marc raised his fists.
“You’re going to punch em to death brother?” Sniggered Exodus.
“He means he’ll use his powers, idiot.” Dexler corrected him as he punched him on the shoulder.
“You’re both half right, I’m going to use these.” The greaves and gauntlets that he was wearing were surrounded by a dull red glow. They started to warp out of shape, then flowed like liquid into long dual blades originating from his forearms. They locked they gauntlets onto the blades adding their metal to the lengths of the blades which tapered in at the end with three serrated barbs on the inside and one larger one on the outside, they were about 1 metre long.
“Those are some beasts.” Exodus almost whispered in aue.
“Quiet, there are 30 men standing about 20 metres away.” Grinned Nestor.
“OK, Jacin take your bows to the rear of them and wait for my signal. Kranz Exodus and Dexler go to the right, you’ll hit them from the front. Everyone else on me.” Marcellus sprung into action, spurting his orders. “On my signal the bows and auto pistols will fire taking out as many of them as you can, after the first volley I will send a psykic blast taking out the first to retaliate. Then we will charge their flank cutting them into two groups.”
A chorus of yes boss and got its came from the boy gathered in the darkness. Marc let his mind go blank, which was now easier and required less, focusing on his source of power and how he wanted to manipulate it. He raised his left hand.
He felt his arm drop when he saw the middle of the column go past. The roar of the auto pistols came from his right and the light swish of arrows from the left. He saw only a few of the enemy charging the positions, and most of them were cut down from the safely hidden attackers. He released his blast cutting a swathe through the second wave of charging raiders.
He let out a gigantic roar and charged into the fry. Nestor was beside him with the same face splitting gleeful and freaky grin. The first people had gathered themselves from the assault by Marcellus and were running towards the strikers with a fury. An enemy rose up in front of him, he brought his right arm across in a backhand swing hitting him on the upper arm. Blood spurted metres into the air as the twin blades continued to cut the man in to three pieces. Another rose up behind him; Marc thrust his left fist at the chest of his opponent puncturing his lungs. As he fell Marc wrenched his arm back tearing a hole in the man’s chest.
Nestor had diverted to the left, he was heading to defend the archers. Most who had tried to reach the auto pistol wielding killers had been put to ground, or had turned to fight the boys on their flank. Marcellus decided to end it fast, he raised his right hand focusing the warp into spears of fire that lanced at the remaining few standing in defiance against the now overwhelming odds.
The dusty road had transformed into a bog, the bloody mud stuck to the boots of Marcellus and his strike force. It had been more like a massacre than a battle, taking all of ten minutes. Key leaders of the opposition had been downed in the first volleys leaving the men reeling. Being faced by such a powerful psyker had topped it off.
Marcellus piked up the body of a man with a gaping gash across his abdomen, it looked as if it had been a sergeant. He unbuckled the man’s combat belt letting the body fall back into the sludge. With a quick burst of energy he wiped away the grime and strapped it around his waist. In its holster sat a auto pistol in relatively good condition.
“Boss, on the road, another dust cloud!” cried out one of the archers.
“This must have been an advance guard, thought as much they were lightly armed and badly lead. Get any weapons that are worth it, definitely the auto guns. All the ammo you can find as well, at the double. We don’t have long!” Marcellus once again took the reigns of the group. Nestor and Kranz approached him as he continued to search the sergeant for his ammo pack.
“So, Marc what’s the plan?” Kranz queried.
“Are we getting the hell outa here or facing these guys?” Nestor looked to happy when he suggested the second option.
“Well whatever it is we do it’s not going to be here.” Replied Marc, deep in thought. “Yes they won’t be anticipating a full on assault from the front, if there are few enough of them, which I doubt. So we will set up another trap.”
“Where?” inquired Exodus as he came over to them carrying a newly acquired auto gun.
“We’d go up the road, lay in wait in the bushes. Now that everyone has a gun or pistol we can lay down a cross fire that will eat through them.”
They had set up between the oncoming troops and the first killing ground, half on each side of the road. Their orders were again clear, wait until the rear of the column was up to them and open fire down the ranks towards the front, Marcellus would deal with any surviving in the tail of the column while the ranks of the platoon were hit with a gale of bullets. The solid wall of advancing bullets should bring down enough of the enemy in the time to even the odds before any response could be organised. All they while Marcellus would send waves of fire and ice to burn and freeze.
The first of the column were regular men lightly armed and armoured. They were mostly all this type of troop. Near the rear there were some harder looking fighters, about 20 odd men of war supporting 100 gap fillers. Then right at the rear were the leaders, a group of five well armed men. One looked slightly frail, another was a giant of a man, standing a head above the rest of them. These two flanked the commander.
The rest of the hidden attackers had levelled their weapons so that there was no chance of hitting the others on the opposite side of the road. Marcellus followed suit, sending a burst of bullets into the backs of the soldiers. This was followed by a continuos barrage of lead that slowly ate through the ranks of men. Marcellus now focused on the commander and his routine launched a psykic blast at the chest of each of them. In sudden movement the frail looking man raised his hand stopping the blasts from hitting him and his liege.
Marcellus frowned, how had this man stopped his attacks? He prepared his blades as he walked towards the pair. The enemy psyker lifted a hand to launch his own attack. Marcellus was ready for him though, he lifted his left hand releasing energy in a dome around him. The full force of the attack struck the shield and refected towards the sky. Marcellus was now running towards them, still holding his auto pistol in his right hand he suddenly noticed. He emptied the remaining shots at the commander in a hope to distract him from organising his forces. Holstering the now useless weapon he launched a full force attack targeted purely at the psyker, who managed to deflect the blast grounding it among his allies. He retaliated almost instantly launching three weaker blasts in quick succession. Marcellus was easily able to absorb their energy into his shield augmenting his own blast that threw the psyker to the ground.
Maintaining his shield he turned his attention to the commander who had now managed to organise some of the surprised troops into a weak resistance. He noticed he had taken a shot in the left arm and could only wield his sword. The commander was facing him in a ready stance with sword held in front of him. Seemingly out of nowhere Nestor charged in his normal battle silence, but the commander was ready for him. His first attack was parried and so was his second. With a growl the commander counter-attacked with a great flurry of blows Nestor was hard pressed to fend off.
With the commander occupied by Nestor and 3 other boys heading to back him up after throwing a looted grenade into the rear of the still turning column, Marcellus returned his attention back to the psyker. He had managed to climb back to his feet but looked worn and exhausted. Renewing his charge at the old man he launched a multitude of weak blasts at him, these served only to blind him that they achieved. These let Marcellus close the distance between them, surprising the enemy psyker with a mighty slash with his left arm. Unsurprisingly the staff that came up to meet it with some force blocked this with unproportional strength. Marcellus hadn’t noticed that he was carrying a staff. He brought his right hand forward in a smashing punch, which never found its mark due to the fist that connected with his gut.
Now standing a few metres apart again the two psykers faced each other. Taking the opportunity the frail old man launched a lance of energy at Marcellus, that was blocked by crossed blades held in front of his body augmented with warp power protecting them. Marcellus retaliated with a mighty blast that was defected by the staff. Becoming desperate, as he noticed that the commander had retreated from his battle with Nestor and was organising the remaining troops effectively into pushing back his small strike force, He channelled all the power he could summon. He channelled for at least a minute, every ounce going into his blades. With a evil grin splitting his face he released the warp storm he had created, it raged around the enemy psyker beating down his shield and finally overwhelming all his senses. Marcellus pushed more and more power into the storm entering every pore of his opponent. He willed one thought with the storm, the death of this enemy that was now presenting a threat to his friends.
The enemy threw up his hand releasing a burst of energy at his comrades; they looked on with shocked surprise as they disintegrated into nothing together. Marcellus was just as shocked; he had taken control of this other psyker and used him to kill his own men. It had even amplified his power! Now with his warp blades crackling with raw power he entered the fray against the troopers, launching blasts in all directions into the enemy. Slashing all around him sending blood flying in all directions. With the sight of this his friends took hope and pride, gathered their strength and re-attacked the enemy. The enemy lost hope as the saw the raging beast that was Marcellus, the silent killer that was Nestor, and they never saw the grin of Kranz as he put round after round into their heads.
Marcellus and Nestor hacked and slashed towards the commander who threw all his men between him and approaching death. The enemy numbers were dwindling, less and less men now stood in front of the commander, more from fleeing than being cut down by the fury of the ambushers. Marcellus dispatched a brave soldier that was charging him with an upward swing of his right set of blades, the man fell into three parts sending more blood into the blood soaked melee.
Marcellus’s advance was never ceased. He struck right and left tearing heads of shoulders and taking legs out from under others. He stabbed his twin blades straight through bringing large chunks of torso with his barbs as he brought them back out. He saw a figure levelling his gun at them; he raised his reloaded auto pistol and put three rounds in his chest turning it into a pulp. He had gone back to using his gun after he had become worn out from using the warp. That was how they had lost the four that they had, they had grown tired which lead to not being able to move react or think as fast and a lack of concentration. They had met a honourable enough end. The endless tide of men had taken their toll, even with taking down a good 30-40 men in the surprise attack they had come back strong with their commander still up and fighting. Marcellus having to fight the psyker had slowed down the assault as well.
Eventually all who were left made a line facing the strike force, which there were, now only eight of. These men were steadfast with their commander, presenting a unified wall. They lifted their weapons, ten of them carrying auto pistols or auto guns. The remaining ambushers dived for any cover they could find, which was scarce, mainly getting behind piles of bodies. Two made it to a ditch, but Marcellus and one other who was still charging at the line were in the open. Most poured round after round into the charging youth, some targeted the diving Marcellus who managed to morph one set of blades into a shield covering his upper body.
After all magazines had been emptied the men switched to close combat weapons and charged at the boys in cover. If they had any ammo left they shot into the twenty odd chargers bring down only a few because of their momentum. Leaping up Marcellus caught one of the chargers across the abdomen, the man jerked to a halt with the blades only half way through from them still being blunt from reforming. Marcellus ripped them out tearing apart the man’s gut. With sharp blades now fully formed he hunted down the commander. He found him hiding behind a pile of bodies taking pot shots at Marcellus’s friends not caring if he hit his own men, which was all he hit.
“Come out and fight like a man you coward!” screamed Marcellus. “Or do I have to come in there and pull you out?” there was no reply from behind the pile of carcasses. The commander had ducked back into shelter when he saw Marcellus advancing towards his position. “Don’t be such a baby! You disgrace your tribe with how you fight!” Marcellus still stalked towards the pile of bodies. “You’re useless! How did you even become…”
The commander leapt up from behind his sheltering pile of human body pieces swing his pistol up. Marcellus roared and dived forward just as the first round was fired, it past harmlessly underneath him. Rolling and pushing off from the ground as the second shot flew past his head. All four of his blades hit the coward in the chest he started coughing blood. Marcellus looked at him with disgust. He kicked the forward sending the now limp body flying off his blades leaving his shoulders and upper chest hanging off the ends. He pulled his arms apart now dislodging the hunks of gore.
“Well done, very well done my boy.” Azroth beamed as the small band of tired youths returned from three days out of the village.
“No not well done, five of us haven’t returned.” Marcellus looked utterly spent, just like the rest of them.
“By the looks of things they went in an honourable battle.”
“I wasn’t powerful enough to defeat their psyker.”
“They had a psyker? How big was the band you attacked?” questioned Azroth.
“We attacked one vanguard of thirty men, then attacked the main force of 100 lightly armed men with twenty heavies, with a psyker. I think it comes to 155 men dead to our hands.” Kranz put in a helping word, dropping the pack of looted ammo and guns. The rest of them dropped theirs. “This is all the ammo left and we even got some of their more advanced weapons of the heavies.”
“Great work boys! It’s almost as if it is your destiny to be great powerful warriors!” Azroth was beaming. “There’s no doubt we will need you.”
Chapter 5: New beginnings.
It had been a year since Azroth had travelled to the tribal meeting, to discuss the inevitable war. Tensions between tribes had escalated even higher than when the leaders of the villages had met. The Casnet tribe had broken from a semi-tradition of sharing the raiding around. They had continuously attacked a neighbouring tribe destroying many villages and looting or making them use nearly all of their resources. The Fatsen tribe had pleaded with surrounding tribes to aid them, with mixed response. All the tribes were now neatly lined up against each other, with Fatsen trapped in a sea of aggressive tribes who stood to gain large amounts of land easy to protect.
The Sur’kiran were geographically in a bad position to supply aid to the Fatsen and the helpers of the Fatsen. Most tribes in this war had turned to them to protect more and more of their herds, due to large fields inside an outside ring of battle ready villages. The territory of the Sur’kiran was protected by ring after ring of villages arranged in a semi-circle backed against a mountain range. At the centre of the rings slightly in the mountains stood a huge fortress, a place of safety in times of danger for the young and old. They were a powerful tribe but did not flaunt it like the Casnets.
In the year that had followed his surfacing as a psyker and taking part in his first battle Marcellus had grown in power and control. He had surpassed Nicolai by leagues, who was astonished at the progress that had been exhibited. He had looted large stores of ammo and weapons, weakened the ranks of the enemies they would eventually face, and most importantly he had either won over an opponent psyker to be his pupil or comrade, or wiped them of the face of the world.
The village of Tur’vulf had become a well-fortified guard against raids. With the oncoming war they wanted to be in a position above that of the enemy, and their allies. Crude barricades were constructed between the villages, with deep pits hidden behind them. Both were filled with lethal spikes. Outposts were constructed as receptors of news and information, also acting as a staging point for the few war bands that were going to participate in the war.
Marcellus was in meditation, something he was want to do of late. It let him survey the state of the warp. It was in this state that he first noticed the new arrivals; they were men of superior architecture in more ways than one. The had brains that looked as if they had been designed for thinking in a war zone, with neuron pathways that let half the mind sleep and keep the other awake. From his study he learnt that they also had a physical stature that let the tower head and shoulders over a normal puny human, even the largest most terrifying man would quake facing these beasts. They had strange organs, and two of many that you should only have one of.
Focusing his mind he honed in on the group of 20 super-humans. He found them in the mountains behind Scarth, the capital of the Sur’kiran. They were descending towards her from high in the mountains. Emitting from one of the leaders of the group came the signature of a psyker.
Leaping up from his seated position Marcellus ran to a stand where he kept his battle gear. On it hung a toughened leather tunic inlaid with metal plates. Hanging from its shoulders was a cloak that could engulf even one of these super-humans. Hastily he donned the gear, grabbing his bracers and gauntlets from the table next to the stand. Running back outside he leapt… up. The cloak he had recently swung around his shoulders writhed and twisted into the shape of a pair of gigantic wings, ribs of metal flowed out from broaches and clips. Straining his newly formed wings he raced into the sky and away from his friends without a word.
Covering the distance in an hour it would of taken a man on foot weeks or a mounted one days to traverse. He strained the fabric of his cloak to its limit, tirelessly flying towards the signature that grew stronger as he approached it. He feared he would be to late, letting this unknown threat reach the prided heart of his tribe. He did not wonder about how they had got there only that they had.
He made it with one kilometre to spare, vertically. If it had been flat it would barely be 100 metres. He dropped heavily out of the air behind the group landing was proving difficult. He noticed it was more of a rank than a group. He also noticed that they stood at around 7 and a half to 8 feet tall, they wore hugely bulky that must have been heavy enough to crush a man.
“Halt!” he cried as he folded his cloak back to being a cloak, but not fast enough for it to escape notice of the two bareheaded men. One was the psyker.
“And who dares tells the Storm Spartans to halt?” growled the bareheaded the second bareheaded leader. The helmeted men spun levelling weapons in his direction.
“I am Marcellus, and who are you to be on our land?”
“Your land? This is the land of the Imperium! How dare you speak heresy!” screamed the sergeant. The psyker took his arm and whispered something to him. “As you wish librarian.” The sergeant replied.
“I see you are a very powerful psyker.”
“Yes, I am the most powerful to yet be known on these plains. Want to see?” smirked Marcellus.
“Yes, but first tell me how you appeared behind us.” Questioned the librarian.
“What is that all?” scoffed Marcellus. Again forming his cloak into a pair of wings, spreading them wide.
“How are you doing that?!” shrieked the sergeant.
“Why I just channel a bit of the warp into the and reshape them in the image I want them. I can do the same with these.” Marcellus lifted his arms in front of him forming the blades he new so well.
“Now if you are so powerful, show us your full potential.” Smirked the librarian. The ground started to shake and tremble, Marcellus’s blades started to glow with the energies of the warp.
“Here you go!” he roared sending four blasts at a flight of birds vacating their nests, vaporizing all 100 of them.
“Impressive, very impressive. Now have a go at me.” Commanded the librarian.
“You sure you can take it?” jested Marcellus. Again pouring energy into his blades.
Suddenly the librarian launched an attack of his own, sending a bolt of energy at Marcellus’s chest, he blinked. His same blast was arcing back towards him, ten times more powerful. He threw all his might into making a shield, which he only just managed to construct. The spear of light struck, negating his defences and sending him flying. He was launched off the cliff out onto thin air, and hung there.
“Now that introductions are over, give me some reasons to bring you librarian back to ground?” All traces of the grin that Marcellus had been wearing were gone.
“The bolter shells that will rip your body apart!” Screamed the sergeant.
“I want the reasons you’re here.” Sighed Marcellus.
“We came to claim this planet in the name of the Emperor of Mankind.” Interjected the librarian before the sergeant could reply.
“Who is this mighty Emperor of yours?”
“He is the Lord of mankind, he is our great father.”
“I’d like to meet him, a man who can have a galactic Imperium would be a good chat.” Marcellus stated, the sergeant growled. “But that’s not much of a reason to let librarian here down.”
“My name is Thorborn. And is that an auto pistol you got there?” Noticing the holstered weapon.
“What? Yes it is, you know it?” Marcellus was surprised.
“Where did you get it?”
“These things are everywhere. Come onto the plains through the forests with the traders, there’s a big industrial city or something.”
“You have never heard of the Imperium?”
“Nope? Should I have?”
“By all accounts yes… Auto weapons are the invention of man, all Imperial presence must have been whipped out.”
“Maybe, but I can’t help you there buddy, here you go back you firm earth.” Marcellus said as he lowered Thorborn to the ground again. “What else does this Imperium of yours offer?”
“How old are you son?” questioned Thorborn with a smile on his face.
“I’m just over sixteen I think, it gets hard to keep track as each orbit is twenty years.” Explained Marcellus.
“Well for you and all your friends, you can rise to the ranks of Adeptus Astartes, to the ranks of Space Marines, to be like me.”
The trials were simple, go out to the other tribes and villages, tell them to join the Sur’kiran, now claiming to be part of the Imperium, or die in defiance. When told of the greatness that was theirs to earn, nearly all boys aged ten-sixteen added their momentum to the wave of trailing youths. Any that did not join were brutally cut down. Adults and the children to young to ascend were left to rebuild the plains. Survival meant ascension.
As for adding weathering, didn't you know that marines never get dirty, they are too cool.