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revan4559 05-26-15 12:05 PM

Tales of the Eight Legion: Thramas Crusade
 
Everyone:
It has been six months since the Massacare at Isstvan V and the beginning of what will eventually become known as the Horus Heresy, having decimated the Raven Guard, Salamanders and Iron Hands at Isstvan, the Night Lords Legion under the command of their Primarch: Konrad Curze, the Night Haunter. Has been tasked with occupying the Dark Angels Legion and their Primarch Lion El'Johnson in the southern parts of Imperium inside of the Thramas region.

For the last six months the Night Lords have been staging hit-and-run attacks on the Dark Angels, with no full scale battles between the legions coming to the for except for on a world known as Tsagusala where in the foundations of a partially constructed fortress did the Night Haunter and The Lion come to blows with both legions committing fully to rescue their Primarch's before pulling back to lick their wounds.

While most of the legion deployed to the surface to protect their gene-father, Fourth Company remained in orbit aboard the battle barge: 'The Maiden of Sorrow' commanded by their captain: Xandrek Kealisar, named by the Primarch himself for unknown reasons: The Lord of Lies. It was at Tsagusala that Xandrek once again proved to Fourth Company, The Legion, the Dark Angels and to the new comer from the 4th Legion: The Iron Warriors named Pelegon. That while being a murder and true son of Nostramo that Xandrek was a truly formidable Void-Commander working in concert with the Naval Admiral and other ships captains to cripple and delay the Dark Angels fleet as the Night Lords legion returned from orbit.

So it is that so far throughout the Thramas Crusade (as it has now become known) that the Night Lords have been fighting on-and-off with the Dark Angels, with irregular attacks to keep the First Legion off balance and wondering where the Sons of a Sunless world would strike at them next.

- - - - - - - - - -

Aboard the 'Maiden of Sorrow' Xandrek Kealisar sits at his desk within his Spartan quarters, his newly forged suit of armour resting upon its armour rack next to his weapons writing with a white feathered quill upon parchment as he listens to a human female that stands barely to his chest with pale skin, black hair and black eyes of a Daughter of Nostramo recounts to him a tale of something she has heard from 'Shadow-Mark' a place within the ship where the human crew live, work and trade among themselves forever in servitude to a legion that destroyed their home world and cares little for their well being save a few who either serve the legion directly as personal serf or become sport for their masters to hunt and kill.

The information that the female recounts to the Lord of Lies causes him pause as the scratching of the quill ceases as the woman finishes her report and the room is filled with silence save for the back ground thrum of the ship itself. Turning from the desk, leaving the quill next to a half full ink post and leaving what ever was being written half finished the Captain stands and moves to his armour as the female waits patiently. Once the captain is fully armoured and once again in Midnight Clad and his sword sheathed at his hip he turns to the woman and issues a command through his vox speakers that comes out in a draconic-growl. "Go to the Corpse-Master. Have him meet me in Shadow-Mark."

Veptus (Deus Mortis): You stand in the apocatherion of the 'Maiden of Sorrow' fully armoured with a surgical plastic apron on over it as you observe Apocathery Xheng go about the next stages of implantation of the last recruits and human teenagers ever to come from the shattered world that once was Nostramo. Like you Xheng works affectively and efficiency considering he is still adjusting to his left arm which was replaced with a bionic after Tsagusala when the 'Maiden' was boarding by Dark Angels during the fleet battle as the legion extracted the Primarch. In which Xheng along with his fellow members of the Apocatherion guarded their charges who are the Legion and especially Fourth Companies future, with Xheng having lost his arm to a Dark Angel plasma gun. During the battle you and First Claw had been stationed aboard and near the Bridge where you remember standing infront of the command throne as Xandrek calmly issued and relayed orders to over half of the fleet, and you remember the look on Pelegon's face when he saw that not all Nostramon born Astartes were mass-murderers with little else they were proficient in.

You are pulled from your thoughts when you hear someone behind you clear their throat to get your attention, and when you turn you see a black haired pale skinned woman with the black eyes of Nostramo who would be considered beautiful in a statue like way. You instantly know who this is with her delicate yet knife like facial structure and utter fearlessness, which is odd for humans, in the presence of the Night Lords as this woman, who you know is also one of the oldest living humans on the ship thanks to her minor augments and juvant. The woman standing before you is none other than Elena Kealisar the grand-niece of Xandrek and if it means she is here then the Captain wants something. As soon as she has your attention Elena simply states. "Lord Xandrek wishes to see you in Shadow-Mark and asks you bring your weapons, My Lord"

Serhiy (Boxagonapus): Although you are apart of First Claw you have spent much of your time, save when the war calls and you join your battle brothers, training with your original battle brothers of Tenth Claw who are now back to full strength after Xandrek simply replaced the dead and wounded members with members from the Night Lords 47th company, who along with the 82nd company also share the 'Maiden of Sorrow' with their captains answering directly to Xandrek, in essence making Fourth Company over three hundred marines strong though often Xandrek leaves the running of the two other companies to his two subordinate captains. Since Isstvan you have noticed that Sergeant Phalx of Tenth Claw has been mainly absent from training and sparring and each time he has joined you and the other destroyers have noticed more and more of him has been replaced with bionics and his armour has been modified with even more life-support equipment. As the oldest Destroyer in the legion, having come from Terra itself it is very likely that soon Xandrek will either remove Phalx completely from active duty or soon Tenth Claw's sergeant might simply be killed and replaced by one of the others.

You and Tenth Claw are within one of the training halls of the 'Maiden' with several other claws present aswell in a rare dual training operation as Xandrek has ordered all Claw's be prepared to combat the Dark Angels which after the first couple of engagement shows that in a straight up fight Night Lord legionaries do not match up well against other legionaries, as it is always said about the Eighth Legion (especially Nostramon born): "Murders First, Last and Always." Thanks to the aid of the Mechanicum this training hall has been converted into the halls of a space ship or the halls of the space ship making it the perfect training ground for the Thramas Crusade. You are on the side of the 'Attackers' using Dark Angels doctrine in terms of boarding and storming a ship using interlocking zones of covering fire, moving up bit by bit and scanning each hall way and intersection before moving on. You know that somewhere in the training hall as part of the Night Lords defence force is the Iron Warrior Pelegon who has been spending alot of time Sergeant Kirik and Ninth Claw meaning that you are expecting an ambush at some point, and that on the side of the attackers with you elsewhere is: Tyberus, Kesh and Helek while Corvis and Zsavo are on the 'Defenders' side.


Tyberus (Krymson86): You are currently along side Sergeant Volkyr and Third Claw who are Fourth Companies best squad when it comes to corridor fighting, ship assault and defending the 'Maiden' when it is under attack, they are also Fourth Companies only 'Breacher' squad meaning that all twenty of them are each armed with a boarding shield almost the size of a legionary though nowhere near as powerful in defence as the shield that Xandrek uses, which makes you wonder is the Captain also used to see alot of boarding actions and thats why he uses it or if he simply enjoys a 'fallen knight' persona with his Sword and Shield favoured fighting style. As you are with Second Claw you have been given a boarding shield aswell and currently stand in the third rank of the squad with ten of your 'battle brothers' in two ranks of five infront of you with their shields interlocked and keeping their heads down as at the far end of the corridor, firing training rounds at you and your current squad are 'The Young Blood' Corvis and Fourth Claw under the command of Sergeant Voss who is bellowing orders at Corvis and Fourth Claw to as he so eloquently puts it: "Keep those Sons of Leprous Whores pinned down."

Battle Brother Kaelic goes down to your left as a practice round slams into his helmet and thanks to the recording equipment stationed in the training hall that is being observed by Tech-Marine Malek allows him to simulate death by remotely shutting off the power of any marines suit and locking it down. Playing back the shot in your mind as rounds ping off of your shoulder and shoulder pad you realize that the shot that took down Kaelic was from Corvis and it seems that the 'Young Blood' may of been getting tips and pointers from the Corpse-Master. The thought of Veptus being in this might make you smile as the Chief Apocathery of Fourth is the best shot in all three companies aboard the 'Maiden' and he would of dropped every single one of you by the time you got down the corridor, especially if he was with Kirik and Ninth Claw. When Kaelic hits the floor one of Second Claws battle brothers moves up from the rank behind you to take his place before you hear Volkyr's voice echo over the vox. "Keep your heads down and shields up lads. Remember we are using First Legion doctrine under the Captain's orders. In another ten feet we charge as one, a solid wall of adamantium and ceramite to smash Fourth Claw."

Corvis (Nightlord96): You sight down the barrel of your bolter and pull the trigger sending a practice round into the helmet of one of the members of Third Claw dropping him to the ground as Tech-Marine Malek shuts off his power armour remotely and locks his limbs to stop him from moving to simulate death. You smile to yourself that the Corpse-Masters pointers on the finer points of picking your targets carefully and firing only when you are ready pays off as between yourself and all of Fourth Claw you keep Third Claw which includes Tyberus slogging through the tunnel towards you and your temporary squad as you continue on with the training exercise under the orders of the Captain though you know that Xandrek and even Veptus are not taking part mainly because when the ship gets boarded Xandrek is always on the bridge and Veptus is either with him or at the Apocatherion.

You know that also somewhere else in the training hall which has been altered to make it look like the halls of the ship you are currently on or any other in the fleet or another legions that your fellow brothers of First Claw are currently engaged in similar situations with Pelegon and Zsavo joining in the defence with elsewhere on the ship. When you think of the Iron Warrior Pelegon you wonder at how the Fourth Legionary has changed since his secondment to the Night Lords Legion and that he has been spending a lot of time with Kirik and Ninth Claw who are most likely ambushing some poor Claw elsewhere on the deck. Zsavo you know is currently with Sergeant Xho and Fifth Claw, Fourth Companies main assault squad which like the 'Night Raptors' have a habit of clinging to the ceiling of the ship when they are on the hunt when they are preparing their ambush, and you know that Sergeant Xho and Sergeant Voss have been in communication the entire time that you've been firing at Third Claw with you being able to tell what is about to happen to Tyberus, Volkyr and Third Claw.

Kesh (Andygorn) and Helek (Nacho Libre): The two of you along with Sergeant Nilhus and Eighth Claw are having a hard time trying to get to your allocated objective as a hail storm of bolter fire is coming in your direction from Second Claw. While cumbersome in open battle or for fast assaults Terminators armour is not well suited. But for when it comes to holding objectives and passages within fortress's and in the insides of a ship it is almost impossible to get past. A full half of Eighth Claw including Sergeant Nilhus are down which if the rounds being fired were true bolter rounds and not practice rounds they would all be piles of ceramite wrapped meat with chunks blasted free. To both of your annoyance instead of coming up with a plan on how best to take down Second Claw and moving onto your objective for this training exercise the remaining members of Eighth Claw are infact arguing and swearing at each other to determine who is in charge. It would be better of if each of you simply split up the squad and took command of a five-man squad each and attacked from two fronts which you decide to do with Kesh and his marines remaining behind to keep the Terminators pinned down.

Kesh (Andygorn): You and your five man squad remain behind to keep Second Claw focused on you, which if you were using Night Lord battle tactics all of you would of gone and drawn the Terminators after you however since you are being forced to use Dark Angel boarding tactics it means that you have to hunker down behind the make shift cover of crates, pipes and in true Night Lord fashion, the bodies of your own battle brothers which you ordered your squad to do seeing as if your intending on coming out of this on the winning side you need to make use of all the cover you can and you can hear the downed members of Eighth Claw through their armour grumbling and talking to each other over an open channel to those Astartes who have been 'killed' complaining about being used as cover. All you can do is hope that Helek and his squad manage to circle around without encountering too much resistance, ready for a two pronged attack. Though given that after several minutes you hear the vehemence cursing of Rasiel as he goes does you realize that the other combat squad of Eighth Claw have run into Ninth Claw, including Pelegon leaving you and your marines staring down the ever firing barrels of Second Claw.

Helek (Nacho Libre): After splitting off from the rest of Eighth Claw you lead your five man squad of marines through the other passages of training hall that has been made up to look like the hallways of a ship, back tracking the way you came to make sure that the rest of Eighth Claw isn't going to be ambushed by some of the 'Defenders' of the ship and you find there aren't any. You begin to circle around being careful to clear each hall way towards the other side of Second Claw to begin a two pronged attack and divine their attention and arcs of fire that will allow you to take the objective that you were designated at the start of the training session. You can hear the rest of Eighth Claw walking over the vox, and while other legions would punish their marines for casual banter and insults the Eighth Legion has a sort of grim comradely that only appears in battles. As you and your squad enter the final junction that will allow you to circle behind Second Claw and begin your pincer attack Battle Brother Rasiel goes down with two practice rounds slamming into the spot just above his eye lens. Given that you didn't hear the gun shots means only one thing. You've run into an ambush set by Ninth Claw: Sergeant Kirik's recon squad and you see a small flash of silver to signify that the Iron Warrior Pelegon is amongst them though like all good Snipers they are already moving from their firing position.

Pelegon (Nol): You lay in wait behind a large cooling pipe with your rifle resting on it for extra balance allowing you a moment to once again take in your surroundings with the rest of Ninth Claw scattered about the hall way. You are able to see Alric and Tealion clinging to the ceiling above the door way at the far end of the hall by one hand and by their clawed boots with their other hand holding a bolt pistol (Tealion) and a combat knife (Alric) waiting for the foolish marines of Eighth Claw's combat squad to arrive. Having heard from Sergeant Nyx that Eighth Claw had split up most likely seeking to outflank them and begin a two pronged attack. The rest of Ninth Claw like yourself is hidden within the shadows of what cover they can find with their rifles aimed and ready at the far end of the passage way awaiting to ambush the ambushers, something the Night Lords enjoy. Every since the battle above Tsagusala where you saw first hand that Xandrek wasn't just another petty tyrant of the Eighth Legion but a masterful Void-Commander, relaying and giving orders to almost a full half of the Night Lords fleet as it did battle with the Dark Angels as the rest of the legion 'rescued' their Gene-Father from the surface and a fight with the Lion of the First.

Since that day Xandrek has ordered all three companies aboard his ship to almost continual training of boarding ships and defending them, each time using a different set of Legions preferred tactics and today's training session see's the attackers using Dark Angel doctrine against that of the Eighth Legion, which so far is resulting in a stalemate. As you still have time to reflect you think back on all you have learnt from the Night Lord's over the last six months that while you have now almost mastered Nostramon, which after a pointer from the Captain that: "It is better to ignore trying to find any common ground between Gothic and Nostramon, and act as if Gothic does not exist at all" your 'Battle Brothers' within the company still remark on how horrible your accent is. You also know that while other Legions have a standard hierarchy that the Night Lords companies seem to each follow one of seven specific captains who are considered the legions greatest and that they are known as: The Kyroptera a sort of informal gathering of captains but the closest thing to 'Chapter Masters' the Eighth Legion has and that Xandrek directly takes his orders from only the First Captain and the Primarch. You snap out of your thoughts to see the door at the end of the corridor open and six marines of Eighth Claw step through, including Helek of First Claw in their lead and as they step fully into the corridor it is you that places the two practice rounds just above Rasiel's eyes.

Zsavo (Farseer Ulthris): You hang in darkness on the 'ceiling' of the training deck that has been modified to resemble that of a ships interior looking down at the large expanse of bare steel below you, surrounded by the other twenty members of Fifth Claw including Sergeant Xho awaiting Fourth Claw to spring their trap on Third Claw which involves them leading Third Claw straight under you and your current squad. You find it interesting that no-other legion has a habit of hanging from ceilings while waiting in ambush and that in a way the Eight Legion are more like bats in the same way that the Space Wolves are like the creatures they take their name from. Through crimson tinted lens you stare at the ground below listening to the sounds of bolter fire coming from several hallways away in complete silence and sigh to yourself that while these almost continual training sessions of 'Boarding' and 'Being Boarded' stave off the boredom of waiting for the next true engagement. Their near continual cycle has become quite tedious in your opinion as it is the same thing over and over again. Always fighting other Astartes who unlike mortals 'Know No Fear' and that means that the Eight Legion has a disadvantage, your a legion of murders.

You hear Sergeant Xho's voice come on over the vox and all others remain silent as he speaks and you see his darkness shrouded silhouette motion to something below. "Well well well, it seems Seventh Claw (Heavy support Squad) has decided to make their presence known brothers. This will bode ill for Fourth Claw as they will run head long into Seventh Claw's weaponry, however if we attack now then we shall give away our position. My my what a quandary however we need to draw in Third Claw and deal with them aswell, in the close confines of the ship their boarding shields give them a great advantage and I doubt Fourth Claw will be able to overcome them. Vaunted Zsavo of First Claw. Take nine other members of my squad and descent upon the Seventh, dispatch them and hide their bodies from sight, strike fast and aim for the throat. Do not allow them to sent warning to the brothers of Third."

Farseer Ulthris 05-26-15 07:18 PM

For Zsavo Verak, these training sessions of 'boarding' and 'boarded' at first had provided a source of entertainment for the former Night Raptor; all of those times he had relished the hunt...soon enough such a thing had lost its charm. Hunting his fellow Night Lords didn't hold the same thrill for him, not to mention that such sessions never culminated in what his twin hearts truly desired; to spill the blood of those who opposed the VIII Legion, to see the fear in their eyes as darkness claimed them. Barely acknowledging the sound of bolter fire, what kept him from raging was the fact that he understood all too well that these were necessary to keep the Claws entertained and prepare them for the slaughter that was due to come. In the meantime, given that he hung upside-down, he could relish in another thing; the fact that his Legion's tactics were similar to those of a bat, an ancient Terran creature that dwelled in the dark and hung from the caves they dwelled within. When the night finally fell, they would fall upon their prey like the predators they were. The Night Lords adorned themselves in the sigils representative of such creatures; in a sense, they were bonded to them just like the Sons of Russ were bound to the creatures of their homeworld. Still, these events had grown tedious and there was no delight in putting other beings to the Art of Fear that could never know the concept in the first place. Still, it would make an interesting to try and pour it into the hearts of other Astartes.

Soon enough, a voice had broken through the thoughts of the Night Raptor; it was Sergeant Xho's voice on the vox.

"Well well well, it seems Seventh Claw (Heavy support Squad) has decided to make their presence known brothers. This will bode ill for Fourth Claw as they will run head long into Seventh Claw's weaponry, however if we attack now then we shall give away our position. My my what a quandary however we need to draw in Third Claw and deal with them aswell, in the close confines of the ship their boarding shields give them a great advantage and I doubt Fourth Claw will be able to overcome them. Vaunted Zsavo of First Claw. Take nine other members of my squad and descent upon the Seventh, dispatch them and hide their bodies from sight, strike fast and aim for the throat. Do not allow them to sent warning to the brothers of Third."

Well versed in the etiquette of stealth, Zsavo simply tapped his helmet twice through the vox channel to confirm that he understood. Turning to his fellow Night Lords, the former Sergeant conveyed the orders towards them through Astartes battle sign. With a simple gesture, nine marines followed him as silently as their magnetised boots clung to the ceiling, crouching low so as to keep as much of their visages out of sight as possible. Silently drawing Blood dice from its scabbard, but not activating it power field, the former Night Raptor led his men forward, his augmented vision slowly catching sight of the Seventh Claw. When they were within sight, it became clear they were moving. Raising a hand, Zsavo stopped the men under his command. Anticipating the hunt to come, they waited for the Claw to draw near...better for the 'enemy' to walk to their own doom.

Deus Mortis 06-06-15 11:59 PM

Veptus’s face was neutral as he half watched Xheng work on his latest charge. Veptus was going to do it, but Xheng requested that he perform the augmentation on the initiate to test his bionic hand’s dexterity. So Veptus had surrendered the charge to his subordinate and observed, taping away as his data slate which told him of the other happenings within the Apothecarion. The recruits were progressing rapidly to fulfil Xandrek’s desire to replenish those lost in the fights against the Ist Legion, but Veptus was sure that they did not progress so quickly that they were irreparably damaged. Being slightly under-strength was better than under-strengthed and recruitless.

Today was one of the days Pelegon had decided not to come by and dabble. Pelegon had integrated surprisingly well into their legion after Isstvan. Clearly the fires of betrayal had made him malleable. He had spent a great deal of time down here, learning from him and his junior apothecaries. Veptus had occasionally spent some time alone with Pelegon’s handiwork, going over the work he had done. Veptus had seen gradual improvements and it amused him to see the foes they took suffer at a different hand. Despite his skill, he was interested to watch other’s interpretation of the torturers arts. Pelegon had a brutal style Veptus would have expected from one of Angron’s World Eaters, but for a member of a legion used to reducing buildings to rubble he showed a surprising ability to keep his victims alive. Not for as long as some of the seasoned members of the Apothecarion but long enough.

For the most part of this crusade, Veptus had scarcely seen the outside of the Maiden, but it had hardly been dull. Several times Dark Angels had surged into the ships arteries like and infection, only to discover that the VIIIth Legion ships had the most vicious antibodies. Pelegon seemed most surprised when Xandrek conducted the fleet like a symphony. The thought of his vague slack jawed expression still made Veptus grin savagely.

Veptus had claimed several lives in the months since Isstvan, but he scarcely cared. They didn’t have names to him and they were inconsequential. They had fought, bleed, suffered and died by his hand and he could barely recall why or what he had gained from it. He wasn’t apathetic, or at least he didn’t think he was apathetic. In the moment he took intense visceral joy from ending lives and inflicting pain, same as always.

It was in the darkness alone that they came to him. The piercing black orbs that had bored into him on the blood stain sands. Konrad’s eyes haunted him still. He felt them watching, always watching. Evaluating him. Judging him. He would move past it. The fear inflicted was in his name. Veptus only did what he saw his father doing, and if the Night Haunter was watching Veptus hoped he would be pleased. Still, the deep well of dread and the knowledge of the price of failing Curze’s exacting standard of truth and justice haunted him. Veptus wondered how the likes of Sevatar and Xandrek bore the weight of such a pitiless judgment.

There was a purposeful cough from behind him. He turned to regard a woman who appeared to only just be beyond the physical prime of womanhood, although he knew Elena was far older than that. Although the combination of beauty and experience made her a well heeded voice, by men for the former and by Astartes for the latter. Being known as an omen of Xandrek’s will helped. "Lord Xandrek wishes to see you in Shadow-Mark and asks you bring your weapons, My Lord". Veptus nodded in acknowledgement and Elena strode away.

What purpose did Xandrek have in the Shadow-Mark? Veptus put down his data-slate and detached his medical whites. He was already armoured, and his weapons resided on a rack in the centre of the Apothecarion. They had all learnt to keep their weapons close to hand, even during medical procedures. He holstered his Power Sword and Serpenta and let clamped his Sniper Rifle across his back. Xheng had heard the dialogue and understood he was now in charge. With haste, Veptus made for the Shadow-Mark, intrigued as to why he had been summoned there…

Krymson86 06-09-15 02:56 AM

"Keep your heads down and shields up lads. Remember we are using First Legion doctrine under the Captain's orders. In another ten feet we charge as one, a solid wall of adamantium and ceramite to smash Fourth Claw." Almost immediately after Brother Kaelic fell to the ground, his armor shutting down as he was struck squarely with a training bolt. The thud of the crumpling Astartes sounded the same as if the Legionaire to his left had truly been struck down. Tyberus' reaction was exactly the same as if it had been actual combat, nonchalant, not so much as a glance to the fallen warrior. He nearly laughed under his helmet at the constant drilling. There had yet to be any truly decisive engagements and he wondered how much of that was because so much of their time was spent drilling for combat as opposed to actively engaging in it. They could harry supply ships, wreak havoc on the supporting Imperial Guard Fleet that surely had to roam the near reaches of space in this sector that sought to aid the First Legion. There was little time to truly think on how much of a waste these exercises had truly become.

Their shields are overlapping, marching in unison down the simulated corridors. The doctrine of First Legion was somewhat sound, but predictable and easy to defend against. Tyberus did not particularly care for the tactics they had to embody, he did not enjoy the confined and unadaptable style with which he was forced to fight. Were it his choice he would have split this squad into two squads of five. Smaller fire teams would result in faster movement through confined spaces as well as provide opportunity for flanking enemy positions located throughout an actual ship.

He knew it had been Corvis that had been stationed in the hallway ahead. In real combat, it would have been the station of the Astartes with the least combat experience to take the easiest assignment. Here, they were merely marching straight ahead in a bottlenecked corridor with no choice but to advance forward. Still, when they finally did reach the line, he decided he would batter the youngster around in melee and give him a taste of how ship to ship combat would really go. Third Claw would break through soon it seemed, though he could not see up ahead, his view blocked by a wall of ceramite plated Astartes in front of him, the hardened and grizzled breachers of Third Claw would likely overtake any dug in position quickly once they reached them. He rather liked most of the Brothers in the Third Claw, they were more akin to himself it seemed, by the very nature of their specific skillset, they seemed to prefer the more direct route of getting to their target and smashing it into pieces.

Tyberus grip tightened around his power maul, his storm bolter was mag locked at his hip, his massive boarding shield locked to his left forearm so he could hold his weapon with both hands while still having his shield in position. Practice rounds continued to ping off the amassed wall of boarding shields as they waded forward as one wave that would eventually crash into the enemy line. I'm going to rip your throats out and smash your eyes through the backs of your skulls you little measly bastards Tyberus mused to himself. It was a drill, but thus far, the Captain had encouraged a certain amount of 'authenticity' to the proceedings. In the two previous exercises Tyberus had needed to be physically pulled off of a Battle Brother from a reserve company having sought to teach him a lesson about fighting properly when Tyberus felt the position had been lost far too easily by the Brother on the opposing side of the drill.

Boxagonapus 06-13-15 04:30 PM

The time spent with Tenth Claw had been nothing short of agonizing. The Destroyer's body had rapidly deteriorated from the time on Istvaan V and while no one would admit it outright Serhiy himself laid the cause at the feet of Veptus as the coincidence of the concoction Veptus had designed for the Destroyer prior to Istvaan had seemingly preceded the spiral of his body. The Destroyer was now essentially in a mentor role both sharing with the others his experiences from the battlefield and to stand vigil over the holding area for the dreadnought sarcophagi. He'd taken to reminiscing with Sergeant Phalx who, while much older than himself, seemed to be similar in his current state of physical wellbeing. There was an unspoken connection between the two; they knew that their time with the legion was at its twilight and soon enough one of them or perhaps both would embrace the numbness of death at either the hands of a foe or perhaps even from one in midnight clad.

It was frustrating and being a part of these training exercises only served to exasperate the knowledge of the Destroyer's failing body as it was increasingly difficult to participate at full capacity and the creeping notion began to infiltrate his mind that being a part of First Claw was more an insult than anything else but while Xandrek would tolerate him he would serve. It was a good possibility that he'd simply forgotten the weaker man caught up in his own inner circle within the First Claw. It mattered little and as long as Serhiy's body allowed him to murder and maim he would endure and find a way.

His thoughts snapped back to the present as he recalled the tactics that they were to employ. These particular bats were part of a different sort of wing now and fought using the very tactics that the Ist legion employed. If felt sluggish and frustrating but it had clearly been effective as the Night Lords had been continuously pushed across space. The Thramas Crusade had been proving to be quite difficult with the tried and true tactics of fear and panic employed by the VIIIth legion proving ineffective against their brother astartes. They had an edge initially having known the murder of astartes but it was being shown that the others were fast learners and now the Night Lords didn't have the same edge. He thought briefly about who he was up against in these halls and brushed the thought from his mind. He'd have to be more patient in these halls now.

Their boots thumped with a grim repetitiveness as armored behemoths played their tactical game of leap frog. The destroyers had a bit of an advantage in some aspects but were mostly at a disadvantage more accustomed to mass destruction and chaos against a grander populace and less so against individual Astartes and the use of quick hit and run tactics using their jump packs to arrive, deploy their gruesome weapons, and then to just as quickly flee. It would only be a manner of time before one or more of their brother's in midnight clad descended upon them.

andygorn 06-14-15 12:34 PM

Kesh
 
With hand signals, they all dispersed into nearby cover at an intersection, hauling the debris and any (still-complaining) fallen bodies into place to make more substantial defences. Two layers of ceramite sandwiching a superhuman meat-body made a much more effective sandbag than a few mere crates and pipes.

With no way to pass the Tactical Dreadnought armour except through them, it would have been like walking into a hail of bullets.
The confined area meant that the enemy would probably only number one or two against his whole unit, so there could be a chance.
From experience with his own boarding shield, Kesh knew that this mobile cover would not last very long...if they crossed the distance, entering melee against even a sole Terminator would be worse than trying to weather the gunfire. Twin bolters were bad enough, but their wielders were possibly even more skilled in close combat.

Outflanking was an clearly better option: Second Claw would be less-able to turn and defend themselves against lighter power armour, perhaps they could even bypass these elite veterans and get to the softer targets behind? In his usual role, it was an option he would choose, but he had to remind himself that he was supposed to be 1st Legion, not 8th.

Yet Kesh realised it could also easily be a trap: the huge armour being used as an obvious roadblock deliberately designed to split the attackers up (by making them outflank) and thus focussing their thoughts upon circling around, rather than watching for any ambush which lay in wait for them.

Another possiblity was to sit and wait it out, holding the Terminators there.
Nearby ladders meant they would be able to climb up into the roof trusses for more cover and use the Terminators' own bulk against them, because their weapons would not be able to train upwards very far, so they might be forced to either stay where they were and lessen their firepower, or abandon their position in order to back away and shoot more effectively.
This staid option chafed against his training, but (to him) seemed to be in keeping with First Legion.
However, staying meant that they could be enveloped and also possibly run down if the Terminators charged.

One final solution presented itself: to withdraw and help Helek's unit.
If they could both eliminate Helek's foes, then they would all have more chances against whatever else was to come. This last eventuality offered the most chance for survival and would be more effective in the long-run.

Seeing the bloodlust in his comrades' eyes, he regarded them all sternly in turn:
"You have vengeance in your eyes and murder-grins behind your masks...I know, because these desires mirror my own.
"Laren and Tarnet, you see to drive your pistols and chainswords into the midriff of the enemy, to feel their hot blood pouring out. Yet you would both fall before you got halfway...there would be none of the glory for you today."

"Geshek, Valek and Niheld, your bolters have claimed more targets than most in the ranges and upon the field, yet their armour has few weak spots to aim at. It is no disrespect to your skills, but you may expend most of our ammunition trying to bring just one of them down, leaving us with too few bullets remaining for the rest."

"The foe has made a bastion out of their very bodies and armour; charging them will result in naught but our lives spent worthlessly. They seek to split us up by making us outflank: so they want us to go one-on-one, advancing into their lair where they know the territory and they hold the advantage.

"Even our skills would be hard-pressed in such a test...but it proves that they do not trust themselves to defeat us...they place their faith in defences, but haven't we spent these last decades in service to our Primarch by showing the enemy the folly of such measures?" Kesh tapped his deactivated hammer against the floor, seeing their heads nod in agreement.

"The shields will be held and we shall withdraw. You heard the sounds of attack on Helek's unit: we go to reinforce them and make our combined greater numbers count."

Throwing frags to cover their escape, even through locked shields, their cover still reverberated from the impacts of bolter rounds fired wildly in their direction, quickly progressing back to where Helek's was engaged.

Kicking the faceplate of a fallen brother who was still complaining too loudly, he added:
"Quit whining: You don't even sound like one of the First Legion, let alone of the 8th..."

revan4559 06-20-15 07:50 PM

Veptus (Deus Mortis): Shadow-Mark. The halls and holds of the 'Maiden' that were where the human populace dwelt and did their walk, all Nostramon born and used to the cold indifference of their Legionary Masters. Walking through the outskirts of Shadow-Mark reminds you of the city where you and Xandrek spent your child-hood with the holds being filled with ramshackle 'buildings', some that you see are much like hab quarters and outside of them stalls where the Legion Serf's traded amongst themselves. As you walk through Shadow-Mark the human serfs leave room around you like a Shark moving through a shoal of fish, with those closest bowing their heads and muttering: "Lord" "Corpse-Master" and every so often you hear "Lord Veptus" to which you see should you look the older members of the serf populace whose names you actually know. In the centre of Shadow-Mark you find a ring of humans staring at a Legionary as he speaks with an elderly man who is known simply as 'The Elder'.

The legionary talking to the 'Elder' you recognize instantly as Xandrek even though his armour has changed his slightly ragged black cloak and dark iron bat like helmet wings mark him and you might smile at how much Xandrek takes after the First Captain. Xandrek's armour looks much like the older armour that you removed at Isstvan and this incarnation has a dull iron-grey trim instead of the traditional bronze of the Legion. As you get closer the ring of humans moves to allow you to get by and you see that the Captain is fully armoured with his shield upon his left arm, his sword sheathed at his waist and his new bolter mag-locked to his thigh, and as you approach he turns to you. "Greetings Veptus, the 'Elder' has been informing me that there is a matter for members of the legion to deal with. It seems there is a mutant in the darker depths of the ship that has been killing and eating the crew. Are you prepared for a hunt Old Friend?" Something isn't quiet right and you realize that, why would Xandrek come personally for something any member of the Company could deal with.

Serhiy (Boxagonapus): You and the rest of Tenth claw continue to stomp your way through the training halls looking for your foes though you can hear the dull sounds of fighting going on through the halls it is hard to pin point where exactly they are coming from due to your body, along with the rest of the destroyers is becoming over taxed by the nature of the weapons you have employed for so long with even your Astartes physiology struggling to coat with the radiation and chemical damage. As you continue to make your way through the ships hall ways you manage to find yourself joining the fire fight that is currently half of Eighth Claw and Kesh attempting to keep Second Claw pinned down though given that they are using their fallen battle brothers are cover it is not going well for them.

You and the rest of Tenth Claw quickly join in aiding your battle brothers with your bolt weaponry adding to the hailstorm of shots slamming into the terminator armour of Second Claw however given that Second Claw always fights in their terminator armour your shots are having little affect other than provoking very loud curses in Nostramon from Sergeant Nyx and his battle brothers to which they then begin shouting taunts and curses in your direction before Brother Azoth and Brother Ithalin un-sling their combat weapons from their sheaths and come charging towards You, Kesh, Tenth Claw and the five remaining members of Eighth Claw in a lumbering charge which your bolter rounds have little to not affect in slowing them down. You know that once Azoth gets close enough that his two-handed maul will reek havoc in such close quarters leaving little to no room to down and Brother Ithalin's twin chain-axes are almost as deadly.


Tyberus (Krymson86): As the front ranks of the squad raise their shields a little higher and press their shoulders against their boarding shields in preparation for a charge, Fourth Claw's hail of bolter rounds ceases as they pull away from the end of the hallway and disappear through the door with a few shots coming back to slam into your boarding shields before the bulk head slams shut behind them. You hear the other members of Third Claw cursing as they continue to move up quickly reaching the bulkhead at the end of the corridor before one of their members walks forward and activates the panel to open it, with the bulkhead once again disappearing into the ceiling. Beyond you see that the hallway is in complete darkness with not even the emergency lights on and you are just about able to make out the fragments of shattered glass on the floor where the lights had purposefully been disabled. As a member of the Eighth Legion you know that somewhere inside of the darkness Fourth Claw would be waiting for an ambush however as you are following First Legion doctrine it would be simple enough to throw in a couple of flares or activate your helmet mounted spot lights.

Should you do either the room beyond is illuminated in a red glow (if you use a flare) that casts a crimson glow upon the steel walls, pipes and ammo crates where you can see that this would be used as a storage room, though if you use your helmet mounted lights then you are able to pick out certain points as each of you scan your vision left and right, before checking the ceiling and seeing that as far as you can tell the room is empty, what you will need to decide is who is going to enter the room first as it is far too quiet and knowing your battle brothers they would of left some kind of a 'gift'.

Kesh (Andygorn): Before you and the rest of Eighth Claw are able to leave all of Tenth Claw barrels into the hallway and begin to open up on Second Claw and ignoring your orders the rest of your squad joins them as the newly added Destroyer marines to the fight may tip the fight in the balance of the attackers so you have no choice but to join in as the five members of Eighth Claw and all of the members of Tenth Claw, with Serhiy who you see duck behind a pipe a bolter round narrowly misses his head, continue firing into the terminators though like before the rounds simply ricochet harmlessly into the ceiling and the walls which elects Second Claw to begin hurling curses and insults in your direction naming each of you who are fighting and shouting dubious insults about your ability to fight, several unsavoury things about your mothers and generally trying to rile you up.

You then see Brother Azoth and Brother Ithalin un-sling their combat weapons from their sheaths and come charging towards You, Tenth Claw and the five remaining members of Eighth Claw in a lumbering charge which your bolter rounds have little to not affect in slowing them down. You know that once Azoth gets close enough that his two-handed maul will reek havoc in such close quarters leaving little to no room to down and Brother Ithalin's twin chain-axes are almost as deadly, it would be wise to pull back now before the two lumbering giants of Second Claw get within weapon range and reduce you and the others to 'corpses' and even though your supposed to be using Dark Angel doctrine your instincts as a Night Lord are screaming at you to simple leave your brothers to deal with Second Claw and go and join the other half of Eighth Claw.

Zsavo (Farseer Ulthris): Seventh claw move beneath you panning left and right with their heavy bolters keeping an eye on the shadows around them save for the ceiling above them where you and nine of your battle brothers hung, weapons bared and waiting. All of your ranged weaponry such as bolt pistols and bolter guns were sheathed as the noise they created in confined space would alert their allies to what was going on, so all of your fellow battle brothers have their melee weapons drawn with Brother Sylath squeezing his hands into fists and the four blades of his lightning claws on each hand silently snapping out of their sheaths before he nods to you awaiting your command as Seventh Claw got within ten paces of the bulk head which would lead them to the fight between Third and Fourth Claw, all you need do is give the command and your battle brothers will follow you into the ambush.

Dropping from the ceiling you are followed by the rest of your squad who for once make no noise as they descend through the air as it is only at the last moment that Seventh Claw look up to see you and try to raise their heavy bolters before the hallway is filled with the deafening dull 'clang' of ceramite on ceramite as you and your battle brothers slam into Seventh Claw knocking them all sprawling thanks to the momentum of your fall with blades instantly going for throats and Malek who is monitoring all of the goings on shutting off the entire of Seventh Claws armour to simulate their deaths as chain-blades and combat knives are returned to their sheaths as you now need to decide where it is that your going to hide the bodies of Seventh Claw away from the sight of the rest of the company so they will not be alerted to the ambush that is about to take place.


The Following still need to post:

Corvis (Nightlord96):

Helek (Nacho Libre):

Pelegon (Nol):

Deus Mortis 07-05-15 08:10 PM

Veptus strode with purpose through the halls of the Maiden. Even the legionaries who passed him in the corridor made sure not to impede his journey. To do so was to stack the odds unnecessarily against you when you next needed it. If Veptus was in a hurry somewhere it would invite serious injury or death, and the former was worse since they would end up in the Apothecarion. A morsel for Veptus to pick over at a later date. As it was, although Xandrek had called for him, Veptus took a leisurely pace.

In a short time he reached the Shadow Mark and began to walk slowly through the streets. Around him, life went on, albeit more hushed. The Nostramon born dwellers of this twilight realm knew that their Night Lord masters rarely noticed them. They were deities to these mere mortals, but humans had learnt long ago that it was best to not draw the attentions of wrathful gods. At least Veptus thought such simple caution had been mastered long ago, but the shapes and actions of the Word Bearers and Emperor’s Children had forced him to reconsider such certainties.

Although the streets were crowded, much like moonlit Nostramo had been, Veptus moved through them unimpeded. Those who came close offered reverent mutterings of “Lord” or “Corpse-Master”. One or two whispered “Lord Veptus” with a level of certainty the rest lacked. They had seen him for who and what he was and little he could do would surprise them, although they were no less wary for it. That was the most noticeable difference between the Shadow Mark and Nostramo. Veptus never had a figure he swerved to avoid, only one he imagined and now served. Perhaps if the Night Lords had lived amongst the Nostramons, they could have avoided burning it all to cinders.

Veptus turned a corner and found the centre of town. A circle of curious locals gathered to watch a Legionary talk with a man who had been known as “The Elder” for as long as Veptus had known. For an instant one could have mistaken that the Prince of Crows was in the depths of the Maiden. Xandrek did cut a similar figure with his ragged black robe and bat-winged helm. The differences were subtle but plain to those with eyes to see. The most obvious difference was that Xandrek had long hung up his Nostramon Chainglaive in favour of his emblematic sword and shield combination. A combination Veptus saw he was carrying with him now.

Veptus went to approach when he felt the tiniest tension behind him, followed by muffled gasps and the patter of feet. He spun on his heel, his cape whipping out of the hands of a small child not old enough yet to know better a woman pulled the child back and a quavering young man. “My Lord Veptus, I beg pardon for my child and wife. I would bear their suffering, whatever it may be.” Beneath his midnight blue helm, Veptus’ face was terrifyingly inscrutable.
“May I?” Veptus demanded, his gigantic hand stretched out for the child. As much as they might desire to, they could not refuse him. Although the child was already at least several months old, it still fit neatly within Veptus’s hand. “Train a child in the way he should go; and, even when old, he will not swerve from it.” Veptus’s taloned hand stroked and pierced the child’s skin, eliciting cries and blood but barely harmful. At that, he disinterestedly passed the child back, the parent’s nodding thankfully and ignoring their babe’s cries.

Veptus whipped the blood off on his robe and made his way over to Xandrek. His hands rested preparedly on his weapon’s hilts and his captain turned to face him
“Greetings Veptus, the 'Elder' has been informing me that there is a matter for members of the legion to deal with…” But we are not merely any members of the Legion. What do you have here that requires the captain of this vessel and his chief apothecary to deal with? “…It seems there is a mutant in the darker depths of the ship that has been killing and eating the crew. Are you prepared for a hunt Old Friend?” Such devolution was not entirely unheard of within the legion but it still didn’t explain why two of the highest ranking members of the Companies had to be here.

“Most honoured Captain…” even amongst mortals, appearances had to be maintained. However, Veptus wished to show his displeasure and had long since adopted the strategy of lavishing honorifics upon Xandrek to do this. Xandrek hated it, and in his hatred he understood that Veptus was displeased at his evasiveness. “…pray tell are we honouring an old friend’s request or is our quarry and old friend in need of mercy?” There must be more to this summons than Xandrek was telling and Veptus left his query open enough that he could avoid it if needs be, but truth be told he expected an answer…

Farseer Ulthris 07-09-15 07:39 PM

Zsavo gazed down upon the members of Seventh Claw, completely oblivious to their 'enemies' above them. It made the former Night Raptor Sergeant sigh inwardly; they were fellow Night Lords, they ought to know well the tactics the Sons of Curze that their brothers employ. More opportunity to teach a lesson, he thought; their enemies would show no quarter, the other members of the VIII Legion would do the 'same'. Glancing around at the men under his command, Zsavo could see that they had their ranged weapons sheathed; the better not to make any noise to help their ambush come to fruition. Grasping his thin-bladed sword, the Nostraman turned his attention towards Brother Sylath; from his gauntlets crept forth the lightning claws that he had used to cleave his enemies in twain many times before. The others followed suit, drawing their own weapons in anticipation of the melee to come as they drew closer towards the ambush point; not too far off from where the Seventh Claw would reinforce their allies. When they finally reached their desired destination, the former Night Raptor raised his free hand slightly, maintaining a subtle gesture. With a flex of his fingers, his detachment then proceeded to deactivate the magnets on their boots; gravity in that moment become their weapon of terror as they descended upon their prey with flayed skin cloaks flapping with their fall.

Blood dice held high, Zsavo watched as the members of Seventh Claw reacted too late to the ambush he had sprung. His own particular target was one of the warriors wielding a heavy bolter; prompting his leg forward, he crashed into this individual, ploughing him to ground as the clash of blades began. Looping his blade around, the Night Lord brought it down into a 'decapitating' strike which simply scratched the tuning of his kinsman's neck. His body went limp as his power armour shut down. Hearing the clatter of another boot behind him, Zsavo swung Blood dice around to strike another Seventh Claw Night Lord in the side. Before he could fall, the once-Night Raptor caught his recent kill, the better to make less noise. This held no rush for him; the gush of blood, the last gaze of a dying victim, these 'kills' held none of those for him. Still, the former Sergeant supposed it would be useful to keep their skills honed, he could take some satisfaction in that. As he looked up, he could see that his men had landed their mark without any being landed on them; looking at the 'corpses' of the slain, Zsavo knew what he what he had to do next to maintain their cover; gesturing towards a nearby vent, he gave his orders as he whispered into their vox beads.

"Hide the bodies in the shafts, be swift and silent, and more kills shall be ours."


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