System: Fenris System
Class: Feral World/Adeptus Astartes Homeworld
Location: Hall of the Great Wolf
The cold was a cold only Fenris could produce. Cold that could only be withstood by the greatest of champions. Here atop the highest and greatest of citadels within the Imperium, the very air itself was a privilege only for the greatest of gene-bred military might, super oxygenated blood compensating for its lack at this altitude. Six Wolf Lords of the Space Wolf chapter milled about as they awaited the arrival of the chapter master of the VI Chapter Astartes, the Great Wolf Logan Grimnar.
“What do you know of the cause of this allthing,” Spoke Wolf Lord Kruger to his fellows, “I was preparing my Blood Claws for assault upon the greenskins on Xabnt when I received the Great Wolf’s signal.”
“Then I assume the Great Wolf will make his intentions known when he is prepared to, as is his right.” Admonished Wolf Lord Bram Ironhelm through his helmet-vox, the emotionless tone reverberating dully around the chamber.
“Aye, calm yourself Lord Kruger, the Great Wolf would not issue a recall beacon of such import lightly.” Said Lord Kjarl Hellmark.
“I know of the signific-“ Lord Kruger began to spit back when the skjald of the High King entered the chamber.
“Wolf Lords, I present to you the Great Wolf.” Kuurgan Blackthroat spoke, barely saying them before Logan Grimnar entered the chamber and made for his throne. As always Grimnar cut an awe inspiring figure, clad in his great wolf-pelt and massive, rune-clad Terminator armor. He strode purposefully to his throne, trailed closely by his massive wolf, the beast black of fur, with a heart twice as black some said. The dreaded axe Morkai’s runes glowed ever balefully, causing the hackles to rise on everyone attendant. He was accompanied by a coterie of Rune Priests, all conferring amongst themselves, unheeding of their company.
The aggressive space-faring nature of their chapter ensured that few of the leaders of each Great Company were present at the Fang at one time for very long. Even the Alpha-Sextet level recall beacon sent by Lord Grimnar was only enough to return six of the eleven other Wolf Lords to hear the message held by Grimnar. They were able to glean nothing of what caused Grimnar to recall them all back to Fenris, but the level of recall as well as the commencement of the allthing before the complete return of the Wolf Lords meant that the tidings were dire indeed.
The Great Wolf reached the dais upon which his throne sat and met each of the attendant Wolf Lords eyes. His own eyes, which had visaged battlefields uncounted, focused with grim intent, rare for even his own countenance. As he bid his Lords to sit, Wolf Lord Kruger stood to the fore and addressed his Lord directly.
“High King what is the meaning of this allthing? My company was preparing to engage the murder-make upon the-“
For the second time Kruger’s vitriol was cut off in mid speech as the massive blackmane at Grimnar’s side emitted a low murderous growl. As Kruger tore his glance away from the wolf, he looked up to meet the icy gaze of Grimnar, to which the Great Wolf spoke,
“To your seat Kruger. The tidings I bring of are greater import than whatever murder-make you may have been planning.”
Properly chastened, Kruger returned to his throne while all eyes returned to Grimnar. When he was sure all attention was securely locked on him, he uttered a single word, four syllables that would have everlasting effect on the chapter, and even Logan Grimnar himself.
The Wolf Lords in attendance were all familiar to various degrees with the world. The Hive World located in the Segmentum Solar was one of the most populous in the Imperium. The endless stream of workers ceaselessly churned out materiel for the never ending wars across the galaxy.
“The runes have spoken, the Archenemy once again invades.”
The words struck the Space Marines in attendance like a physical blow. For a chaos incursion that warranted an Alpha-Sextet level recall, would have had to be of an epic scale. Grimnar continued,
“We have received a plea for aid from the Armageddon system. The small isolated uprisings taking place all over the face of the planet have escalated. The majority of the Armageddon Planetary Defense Forces have renounced their oaths to the Allfather and thrown in with Chaos. Deep space auguries as well as the Rune Priests have detected a time/space dilation in system that can only be a Space Hulk of monstrous size. It is time once again brothers to perform the tasks set to us by the Allfather and mighty Russ. With bolter and chainsword we will crush the Archenemy and send him back to the warp with his tail between his legs.”
A bonechilling howl, which spoke of blood to be spilled, erupted from the throats of all the Space Wolves in attendance, which Grimnar waited to subside before he spoke again.
“The defense of Armageddon will go thusly: mine own company will lead the assault on Armageddon, augmented with the retinues of Lords Kruger, Ironhelm, Flamebeard, and Blackdrakon.”
The unmentioned Wolf Lord in attendance, Donor Stormborn bristled at his omittance from the battle roll. The grey eyes which were his namesake flashed with itinerant rage as he began to rise from his throne to gainsay the Great Wolf before his speech was superceeded by Grimnar.
“Stormborn do not fear, for your task is most vital to our success.”
The bearpelt clad Wolf Lord returned to his seat, his mien immediately changed from one of immense anger to curiosity. Donar Stormborn was every inch the vision of the Fenrisian warrior born. His long mane, so blond as to be almost white cascaded down around his pauldrons in thick braids. His beardless face was relatively scarless, though his eyes held a constant guarantee of murder, soon to hand. His breastplate was centerpieced with the gold two-headed Imperial Aquila, but accented with scrolling lupine images from head to toe. He sat with his massive frostblade across his lap. The greatsword’s like was only manufactured here on Fenris, and radiated the bone shattering cold of its native planet. Grimnar met the Stormborn’s gaze and continued.
“The neighboring world of St. Jowens Dock is an Imperial Navy refit and rearming platform. The enemy has already infiltrated many of the ship crew at anchor and are attempting to subvert the naval assets to their own uses. We cannot allow such a threat to remain at our flank if we are to focus the murder-make on Armageddon. You will eliminate these enemy assets while keeping the ships undamaged.”
“Aye Great Wolf, I understand and my Company stands ready to exact the will of the Allfather and great Russ.” Spoke Donar, mindful of the great honor done to him by allowing him to have the first bite at the enemy.
“Then let us all take of the blood oath.” spoke Grimnar as he stepped forward to the massive fire pit the in the center of the chamber. A Wolf Guard of Kruger’s retinue came forward and gave unto Grimnar his saxe, the traditional Fenrisian weapon and tool. He held his hand over the flames and slowly carried the blade across the palm of his hand. Before the Larraman’s Cells in his blood could clot and reseal the wound, his blood trickled into the fire and briefly flared as the drops hit it. The act was repeated as the saxe was traded around the flames between all of the Wolf Lords. When it was returned to Grimnar he spoke again,
“We stride once again into the maw of the War-wolf, where all are tried against its ever burning flame. Let none of us be found wanting, in the name of the Allfather and for the glory of Russ.”
The collective howl issued my the Wolf Lords shook the bones of the Fang itself, flame and hot steel raring at the chain to once again run rampant in defense of the Imperium.
To Be Continued