Viasperon's Story - "Chapter 5?"
Hi all, just posting up "Chapter 5?" for everyone. I really hope you're enjoying this series and I'm always looking for people's thoughts and ideas (e.g. not enough punctuation, not enough detail, etc) as I'm trying to improve as a writer. I already have my dream job, but it would be nice to get published one day, so comments/criticisms/feedback always greatly appreciated as they can only help me.
As ever, there may be some things that are only hinted at and which remain vague and unexplained. This is almost entirely down to the fact that I don't know what's going to go onto the page until I write it; the stories are revealing as much of themselves to me at the same time as to yourselves.
Anyway, hope you like.
Surveying his Court, Archon Viasperon reflected that he had much to ponder:
Although the head of the Kabal of the Posisoned Chalice, his centuries of being overlooked in larger circles had stood him in good stead, as he had become one of the most adept amongst his race at observing humanoid nuances. Even from across a crowded room, he could read another’s emotions just from the tiniest curve of an artificially-thinned lip, or discern how deeply a raised eyebrow indicated that owner’s involvement in the latest scandal.
As ever, his faithful pet was at his side, pawing the pink-veined marble of the dais: fresh scorch-marks that had seared right through it’s thick fur and blackened it’s skin told about how it now knew the folly of trying to break the chains about it’s neck and feet.
Giving an ill-disguised yawn as he waited for the hubbub to die down, with his gaze moving from left to right along the various leaders and hangers-on, he noticed how the different elements of the Kabal...no, his Kabal...tended to keep distinct lines of separation between them:
The purple-haired Korinth Larella was what passed for a 'leader' amongst the group’s fractious Hellion Riders. Parted from his beloved customised sky-board by the requirements of Court, Korinth was now pacing like a caged animal. Though most of it was bravado, his paired energy-gauntlets had felled many a foe and he was an expert marksman with almost any splinter weapon. On his own, he posed little threat, yet he and his followers had excelled at chasing down fleeing prey and there were certain standards to uphold in Dark Eldar society about including all groups in the hunt (although thankfully few rules about how exorbitant the fees an Archon could charge for a unit's inclusion in such), so Viasperon kept them around...for the sake of tradition if nothing else.
Beside the Riders stood the Incubi....ostensibly no more –or less- loyal than the next Dark Eldar, his five bodyguards were as immobile as statues: perfect in their menace and projecting just the correct amount of excessive disdain for everyone else in the room. Perhaps they once possessed names, but the Archon cared not as long as they performed their job flawlessly. In their last two hundred years of service to him, only three had failed to meet his exacting standards; their Shrine of Ebon Severance had replaced the defective ones, but he had yet to find out why they had charged so little for the service. 'Ah well, best not to dwell on things too much' mused their paymaster.
Next was Laresha Radillion, Captain of Reavers. As ever, her stance was one of trying to remain controlled and poised; trying to play ‘the game’ and monitor the unspoken achievements of the others (just as he himself did). Viasperon had to agree that she was very good at it, too. Yet his surgically-enhaced eyes espied the slight twitches that ran along the right side of her well-built frame and which spoke of prolonged macro-steroid abuse.
It seemed that she had taken only a slight pause before sampling the delights of the latest Barghest-based consignment. With her loyalty thus ensured for the next twelve weeks, the Archon was determined to not waste a single second of it.
If not for the jagged triple-scar across his face, the next commander would have been handsome in the extreme: Helrac Sindarion had once been Viasperon’s protege as they climbed the greasy social ladder, but the former was happy to just bide his time taking charge of the Kabal’s huge population of fighting-beasts, whereas Viasperon had carved out his own destiny to get to the top of the powerscale.
As the majority of the Kabal’s power had (at least historically) been drawn from their ability to supply the arenas, Viasperon still indulged his former student. In fact the latest raid was launched just to capture a mating pair of a single species; no doubt the orange-furred creatures would prove instructive to the Kabal’s artisans and engineers once they had been rendered suitably compliant...?
Succubus Velouria was still proving to be the most vocal of his leaders: the conversation with her Bloodbrides should have been held privately, yet she conducted it in open view, as several others tried not to look like they were listening too closely.
“Velouria, so nice of you to attend my court. How are your b**ches..? Sorry, Wyches..?” Only a couple of the court attenders knew any human words to be able to decipher the vulgar mon-keigh word in his sentence, but the Lieutenant was one of them. His use of the alien word was calculated to not only jar with her pristine visage, but also as a triple-lesson to the rest in that there were things he was master of which they had no comprehension about, perhaps that the lesser races had some worth after alland thirdly a reminder for them not to discount anyone.
Refusing to rise to the bait, Velouria’s reply cut through the stilled air as others held their breath. Her face remained a picture of serenity as she replied: “My Lord, the Wych Cult of Hearts Broken is always ready to serve. Few have fallen since we last spoke and Maeroth proves ever-diligent in his attentons to my Brides.”
A low grumble of disapproval arose from Korinth’s sector; his Hellions had sufered the most in recent raids, yet they were still waiting for units to be repaired or replaced. Ignoring the Master Hellion for now, although unable to discount him as their skills were evenly matched, Velouria turned her attention to Viasperon’s latest pet: “I see that you still have that...thing...at your side; it’s stench clogs the very air that we breathe, infecting our delicate senses. Does it share your every moment as closely as it does during Court?”
Viasperon’s smile caught her unawares as his even-voiced response hid how her insult had hurt him (innunendo had always been his chief weakness):
“In my Court, loyalty is always rewarded, my Darkling Succubus. Many owe their positions here through discipline and foresight, including yourself. Others have been...removed...because of their lack of such qualities. I am sure that you intend to share the grace of this Court for quite some time.”
With their leader suitably rebuked, as one, the Bloodbrides clustered around Velouria, as though cutting her off from sight would offer any modicum of protection from his words. The Archon's smile widened as he saw the gladiatrixes' synergy; it would help in the coming days.
Urgently trying to trace any living relatives of Private Sam/Samuel "Jock" Wilson (Black Watch, No. 6 Commando, UK Army Service ID 2764432, died 10.06.44). Any info/suggestions gratefully received.
"Mockles! Pent on silpen tree, blockards three a-feening. Mockles! What silps came to thee, in thy pantry, dreaming?"
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