Hey all! If you read Only in Death and The Emperor Protects. then you will have SOME idea of my apparently random ramblings. Basically, these stories allow me to give you my ideas on what the 40k universe is all about: war, violence, twisted, convuluted storylines, and awesome characters. So, this is Erebus, my next idea.
Quick changes: Chapters
Muhahhahaha! Well, I decided to not hang this in front of you for two days, and I'm sure I would have forgotten some ideas, so here we go! Part 3 of (hopefully) 5 stories.
In nominae Deimos!
1:A Fresh Set of Arms
3:Leap of Faith
4:Why do you fight?
7:The Amber World
10:To Kill a Demon
13:The Storm Breaks
15:Tomb of Stone
19:???? (This one would have given away the end. No cheating!)
Altair opened his eyes. A stone ceiling soared to a peaked crest high above him, the pillars holding it up carved with breathtaking care into the shapes of creatures and demons, each holding the sky.
Altair followed Reyzak past a pusbag demon covered in weeping sores. Past a glimmering demon floating on air. Past an armored monster cradling a massive axe, and finally past a lithe feminine demon that winked seductively at Altair as he passed. Altair swallowed.
He did not recognize the figure staring at him from Reyzak's mirrored armor. A black-on-grey demonic visage with the same burning green eyes as his guide looked back at him. Two wings were folded at his back, and the only remnant of his armor was the Apothecarium necklace he always wore. It's chain was enlongated to compensate for his frame, but the same red symbol comforted him as he walked past ranks of demons, sparring, training, or spending a small amount of free time pursuing their interests. He bumped into Reyzak's back as the Tzeentchian stopped suddenly before a large stone structure built into a courtyard.
"Uraj." said Reyzak.
A massive blackened demon stood up from a smoking furnace, cradling a red-hot sword in both it's arms like a child. Altair noticed the demon was protected by a sheet of woven metal threads covering it's arms and chest.
"Yes, Reyzak. You are getting bad at sneaking about. I could hear you from three feet this time." rumbled Uraj. A wisp of smoke snorted from it's nostrils.
"Ah, we've developed a sense of humor now! What's next? Leaving your forge once in a while? Shock and Horror!" said Reyzak, a feral grin appearing on his face.
Uraj laughed. Altair smiled. The laughter reminded him of Fredric, loud and chuckling.
The demon turned it's back to them, and banged on the still red-hot blade with a massive hammer. "So, it is buisness that reunites us, yes?"
Reyzak leaned on the counter. "Of course, my firend. I've a Neophyte in need of some supplies."
"Ah! some new cannon fodder. Well, come're boy. Let's have a look at you."
At Reyzak's instruction Altair walked into the forge behind him and spread out his arms so they were parallel to his shoulders. Uraj pulled a long metal ruler from a cabinet and measured Altair's legs, chest, head, arms, and wings before snorting a second puff of smoke and grabbing Altair's jaw, twisting his head one way, then the next.
"Eh, a bit bigger than the ones I normally outfit, but he'll do. Reyzak, hand me that plate there."
Uraj placed a mirrored plate of armor on Altair's chest, then discarded it in favor of a slightly larger one. He matched it to a backplate and then strapped shoulderpads and vambraces to Altair's arms. Greaves went on his legs, and a set of overlapping strips covered the bones of his wings. A single curved piece of armor sat between his horns, allowing him to see through four slits cut into the metal. Uraj and Reyzak looked him over. The smith snorted.
"Ah, my friend. Nothing like a fresh set of arms to brighten my day."
Reyzak nudged him. "Then would you fetch some? He'll be little use with no weapons."
Uraj nodded. "Aye, but look at the claws on him. Those'd be fine. I'll get him some sheaths for them later."
The smith left. Reyzak adjusted a strap on the armor, and looked Altair in the eye.
"You're quite blessed I found you before they did, otherwise you'd already be dead. Sacrificed to the Basillica Torment to fuel the spells...the Great Summoning, they're calling it."
Altair nodded. "Azulanthis said something about that."
Reyzak swallowed. "Yes, that cretin wishes for the realms to be forever linked. My warriors and all the Valhallens can not allow this to pass."
"You aren't with him?"
"No, we are not. We are the Castra Demonicum, a small alliance of the demons who wish to be free of the constraints of the Gods. Renegades. Perhaps you felt a certain kinship, and that drew you here."
Altair nodded sadly as Uraj entered again with an armful of weapondry.
"What things are ya used to using?" asked the blackened smith.
"Swords, hammers, projectile weapons, fists." said Altair. Uraj grinned broadly at "fists"
"Good answer, boy! Perhaps we'll make a fighter of you yet!"
He gave Altair a long, jagged, black blade. It's finish was a matte coat, seeming to suck the light from the air.
"That's Ristvak'baen, my finest Darkblade. Don't you dare bend it, or I'll bend you."
He then handed Altair a smaller token, a chip of some sort of black stone. It was on a chain.
"That is a Warpstone. It will prevent you from being affected by foul magic. Useful when confronting enemy demons."
Uraj turned to the sword he had been wroking on (now a dull greyish color) and immersed it in the coals, working the bellows with one clawed hand.
"I grow weary of this mindless chatter. Reyzak, excellent to see you and your thrall. Grab a kitbag for him on your way out. Izzik's been tanning hides for them. I'm sure she has one or two."
Reyzak pulled a leather bag from a shelf while Altair divested himself of the armor, except for his chest, greaves, and vambraces. His sword fit snugly into a leather sheath on his back, also given to him by Reyzak. Finally the demon pulled a black claok similar to his from the shelf and gave it to Altair.
"This is the cloak of the Demonicum. Wear it at all times in Valhalla, except in the sparring rings."
Altair threw the cloak over his frame. He was pleased to see it had slits cut into it for wings.
Reyzak led him to a second stone building, this one had a seal over the entrance, a demon holding a white sword with the words "En Noiminae Mortis"
The demon gestured at the door. "This is the Death's order. My order. You can stay for the night, and tomorrow, we start your training."
Altair took the bag from Reyzak and opened the door. A short, yet hugely fat demon in a brown robe insisted on carrying his bag, and led him to a room on the second floor. A stout cot sat beneath the window, and a desk was placed against the wall. Altair smiled as he realized the pole extending from the window was a perch, in case a demon wanted to escape quickly or leave without fighting past the fat demon below.
He threw the leather bag onto the desk, took his armor and laid it out neatly next to it, and immediately fell asleep onto the bed, utterly exhausted.
Very nice. I've been a fan of your work since I joined, and this is only helping your case. ^^ Keep it up!
By the way, when is this set? Judging by the title, it can't be too far after the Heresy.
The title is a reference to a very importent thing...upcoming. It is not the Chaplain, but excellent guess! No, it's still set in M42.
Ah. Well I guess I'll find out when the time comes. I'm looking forward to it! ^^
Nice very nice i can teel this is going to be a good one:grin:
"Udesi! Udesi Burhiem!"
Reyzak shook Altair. He opened his eyes, instantly closing them again as light flooded his vision.
"Wha?" managed Altair, shielding his eyes.
"You're due at the training rings! Now!"
"No... what did you say?"
Reyzak threw him the bag with his armor and weapons. "I said "Wake, wake stonehead". I've been trying to get you up for half an hour."
Altair threw off the thick blanket and donned his cloak. Reyzak pushed him onto the pole outside his window.
"Wha? I can't fly!"
Reyzak gave him an evil grin. "No time like the present to learn."
And with that the Tzeentchian pushed him from the perch. Altair frantically beat at the air with his wings. On the second stroke he came back to level with the window. The third brought him to the roof. The fourth he flopped, and fell ten feet before the fifth pulled him over the courtyard, to Reyzak's applause. Uraj stuck his head out of the forge's window and clapped twice as Altair stumbled across the sky to the rings of demons sparring. He landed badly, and tripped at the hooves of a blood-red monster in black armor. It held a massive axe in both hands. It snorted, then simply continued on it's way.
A lithe demon wearing only a black tabard helped him to his feet.
"Just learning to fly? I saw the landing" she sang. Altair gulped.
"Yes...er. Yes. Just learning."
"Are you here to spar? Kodac is taking names for training."
Altair picked up his bag. "Yes. I'm here to spar. Reyzak told me to come here to start training."
"He's right over there," she said, pointing. "If you like, I'll get Reyzak and meet you here after. He told me you haven't learned what you're fighting for yet."
Altair slung the bag over his shoulder. "I'd like that."
She smiled. "I'll see you soon then."
Altair drew his eyes away from her retreating figure and toward the gore-red demon in the center of a throng of lesser demons. Kodac was huge, easily the size of a Dreadnought. The demon carried an archaic bolter in one hand, and a writhing purplish sword in the other.
"Alright, whelps! I'll be your training sergeant, equipment master, barracks chief, executioner, judge, jury, and if need be executioner."
A plague demon in the back raised it's voice. "You said executioner twice."
Kodac gestured with the sword. "I like that part of the job. Now pair up! Get into your armor, or if you're Slanneshi, lack thereof. Grab your weapons, if you don't have them, then pick up a sharp object from someone who does."
Altair was paired with a black-on-white demon with spines running down his back. A pair of curved fangs exited his mouth and ended close to his chin. Two red eyes looked him up and down, while curved talons tightened on a black axe.
Kodac shoved a few of the slower demons into partners. He picked up Altair and the other demon and tossed them into a muddy pit. Debris and discarded weapons lay everywhere.
"Alright! First challenge, defeat your opponent. No blood!"
The monochrome demon snickered. "No problem. Come to my blade, Undivided, and we'll see who will win."
"May the best."
"Oh, he will."
Kodac blew a brass horn, and the demon charged. Altair swung Ristvak'baen in an arc, clanging off the smoking axe and tripping the demon. His opponent rolled past his stroke and swung back into a fighting stance. The axe came around again and Altair blocked it with the darkblade's edge, the axe creating black sparks that hissed as the touched the ground. A second stroke flashed by Altair's head.
He lunged forward, intending to "behead" his enemy. Just as he did so, he felt suddenly glorious energy sweep through him. The sword exploded into multicolored flame, sweeping through the air. The demon brought up the axe just in time. Clad in the flames, Ristvak'baen crashed into the demon weapon, and broke it.
Shards of gleaming warpstone and smoking energies flashed past as the dreadaxe shattered, Altair's sword passing straight through it like a hot knife through butter. The flames died as the blade met his opponent's helm, clanking off his armored skull with a sickening clunk and knocking him out. Smoking shards fell all around them, remnants of the axe. Altair looked in awe and horror at the sword. Black runes etched themselves into the blade.
You are surprised.
Altair looked around, then whispered "Yes."
I am Ristvak'baen. Decendant of Be'lakor, the first Demon.
"You did this?"
Yes. I am this blade. I created the warp fire, but the power came from you. You can learn warpcraft as well, as long as you are a demon, you are psychic incarnate.
Kodac leaned over the edge of the pit. The runes died instantly.
"Where's the fighting?! Oh. I see. Excellent work, lad. Khorne would be proud! Now haul his carcass out of that pit. We gotta pile up all the losers."
An hour later, after all the losing demons had been either nursed back to health (or buried. Apparently Kodac was quite lenient when it came to "no blood"), Altair met the Slanneshi demon and Reyzak under the spiked gates of the sparring fields.
Reyzak gestured at Ristvak'baen. "I trust she served you well."
Altair gave him a confused look. "She?"
The demon smiled. "Yes. She. The daughter of Be'lakor, and his only decendant."
Altair touched the end of the sword, hanging out of it's sheath. "Yes. Without her, I would have had a much harder fight."
The Slanneshi beckoned him. "We've come to tell you of a story. The Prophecies, they're called."
The pair led Altair to a stone tablet, almost twenty feet high and obviously very, very old. Runes were etched into it with a chisel or some similar instrument.
The Last Prophet. The blackened wielder of the Decendant's fire, will lead the host of Valhalla to the Amber World, to confront his own failings. To replay the Great Split. The light and dark shall once again clash at Angel's Fall, the last resting place of the Golden One. The light, led by the prophet. The soldiers of Valhalla, of Rann and Evandar, and Dragons from the farthest reaches. The Void. The renegades fight for the Prophet as well, for he is their only commander. Men will fight as well, few in number, but without failing.
The darkness is The Prophet's own creation. His wrongs. This is unavoidable, so long as the Prophet is alive, he shall commit sin, which in turn raises the creature who will rail against the light. The Nemesis.
The Sentient will have a part to play as well. The creature, born of a thousand times a thousand pains, will be given the chance to redeem it's own sins, and will aid the Prophet when the time comes.
The last major arcana, the Leader. The Leader will lead a last crusade, a final, desperate gambit, as time runs out for Man. At his side will be five sons, the Five Lost who return to fight the Last War, the final and last war to end the Long War once and forever. To banish the Chaos Gods and bring peace everlasting.
Reyzak finished reading with a sigh. "Now you know why you are here. Why everything you have ever done, has led to this. This tablet is over six million years old. It's encased in stasis. Even touch it and it would crumble to dust. We had to preserve it, to keep it safe."
Altair lowered his gaze. "How do you know this is me? There could be so many others. More suited."
Reyzak laughed, surprising Altair. "Ristvak'baen is Be'lakor's daughter, yes. It is also a cursed blade. All who take it without being the one to wield it turn to ash, consumed by the Warp flame you saw in the pits. You did not. You are the One. The Last Prophet."
Altair looked Reyzak and the Slanneshi in the eye.
"So be it."
awesome stuff Dirge, next installment please!! haha
also have you read my latest installment of Fight for Titirus 7, no ones replied yet
@OXC: I thought I had. I'll go now if I haven't!
Well, lads. This is always the best part for me. Writing the next part!
LEAP OF FAITH
Altair again was woken by a voice, only this voice came from the stout demon that had met him on his first night.
"Master Altair! Master Altair! Reyzak wants you at the gates! There's been an attack!"
As if to underline his words, a burning stone cast itself across the courtyard outside and smashed into the ground, throwing flagstones into the air.
Altair leapt from the cot, thanking himself for his paranoia (he always slept in full armor). He grabbed Ristvak'baen, careful not to nudge the fat demon with it now that he knew what it could do. Altair jumped to the perch and flung himself into space, reaching the gates of Valhalla within three minutes. Reyzak and a dozen or so warriors were holding back a tide of thirty Khorne demons. Redskinned demons clad in black-on-bronze armor, swinging smoking axes. As Altair landed (again, roughly, but he was still learning) the demon in front of him was cut down by the biggest and loudest Khornate, yelling harsh threats and flailing around with a massive axe. Altair sprang forward, drawing his darkblade with a single sweeping movement. Once again warpfire exploded to life along the black edge of the sword, once again in cleaved the air at the demon's head and-
The smoking axe came up and clanked off Ristvak'baen. Altair's eyes widened in surprise.
Runes etched onto the blade
It's a demon wepon too! I can't break it as easily.
He parried a massvie swing and doubled up, rolling under the demon to slash at his back. The creature howled in rage and pain. Altair had a plan. As the demon swept around for a second stroke, he leapt inside the swing and stabbed Ristvak'baen through the slit in his opponent's helm.
Mulitcolored blood fountained from the mortal wound in the Khornate's face. He gave one final howl of pain and frustration, and exploded into strands of sticky gore. Altair gagged as the stentch hit him.
In the time it had taken him to kill the champion, Reyzak and his warriors had killed the last of the Berzerkers.
"Nice kill! Twelve hundred more like it and we might have a chance!"
Uraj made himself known as a black smear against Rey'zak's pale reddish hue. The smith held a massive Kai Gun in both hands, and Altair noticed quite a few unpleasent stains on the ground behind him.
Reyzak nodded. "Excellent. I trust you are confused?"
Altair nodded. "Who were those attackers? who sent them?"
Uraj rumbled. "Raiders. From Deimos' southern cities. They plague us every few weeks, some warlord gets together a band and comes a-knocking. Think they'dve learned by now.
Reyzak shook his head. "No, these are not raiders," he kicked one, turning it over to reveal a large brand in it's flesh, in the shape of an A.
"These are Berzerkers, from Charon, sent by Azulanthis to test our defense. We can expect more. Thuren, set a watch on the surround, and rouse the guard."
The lithe demon from the tablet slunk past the bodies, flicking blood off her sword.
Reyzak nodded in her direction. "That is Machira, my consort."
The demon laughed, her voice filling the empty gatehouse. "He wishes, but yes, I am Machira. Tell me, youngblood, why did you fight the Skulltaker instead of one of his lackeys?"
Altair shrugged. "He was closest."
"He could have killed you with one swing."
"But he didn't get the chance."
"So how did you know he wouldn't?"
Altair eyed Ristvak'baen's black edge. "I didn't. I took a leap of faith, and it worked. My skills and this blade against blood rage and hate-forged axes."
Machira looked at him with something resembling respect.
"And that is why you are the Prophet."
Still as awesome as ever!:victory:
You know what's a kick-ass song? Vode An, from Republic Commando.
WHY DO YOU FIGHT?
Machira sat down next to him in the dingy tavern that served as a meeting place, storage room, and, of course, a tavern.
The barkeeper (an odd mix of undivided demon and nurgle, though he didn't seem at all plagued) pushed a mug of something black and oily at the Slanneshi, she picked it up in one maniucured claw, and downed half.
"So," she said. "You're here to help."
Altair took a swig of his own drink, an interesting grey liquid flecked with green.
"No." he replied. "I'm here to train. Then I'm leaving."
"Because I can't stay here. I need to get back to real space, to my Marines. We have to stop Azulanthis. If I stay here, they'll all die when he attacks."
Machira nodded. "Yes, I'm afraid you're right. Every day you spend, Azulanthis grows stronger. In a week we march on Luna, to the Warp Gates."
"Yes, they're the only reliable way in and out of Deimos. The only other way is to be summoned by mortals, but then you're tied to the mortal realm. It's confusing."
"Yes," agreed Altair. "It is."
Machira smiled Reyzak made himself known and pushed Machira down a seat, sitting between them.
"Well, my friends, I think we deserve a drink." he said, beckoning the barkeep.
He passed Reyzak a clear mug of grotesque multicolored fluid. The Tzeetchian took one look at it and chugged the entire potion. He rattled the mug until the barkeeper refilled it.
He turned to the assembled warriors and demons. "Well, friends, we've fought for six hundred years, fighting from Valhalla itself to the very gates of Vroengard! In these years many have fallen. More have been wounded. But alas, we have finally located the Prophet, the warrior who will lead us to the Amber World, to the very end of the Long War. The time has come,"
He took a drink to fortify himself.
"The time has come to throw off the shackles of Valhalla! We are leaving tomorrow! Pack up, burn what you cannot take! We march for Luna, and after that, we make for the Amber World! To glory, to death, en nominae Daemonicum!"
"En nominae Daemonicum!" shouted the warriors, raising swords and mugs. The black-on-white demon from the sparring pits nodded respectfully at Altair from across the great hall, toasting him with a glass of the same ooze as Reyzak was happily chugging to the cheers of his warriors. Machira had a second mug, and was watching him, occasionally steadying the demon as he swayed on the stool.
Altair quickly lost track of time, later he realized he only remembered about half the night the celebrated the victory over the Berzerkers.
He remembered many, many drinks. He remembered Machira and Reyzak leaving and returning quite a few times during the night, sometimes carrying more food or drinks for the warriors. He remembered singing a song whose words he didn't know, swaying in line with another Tzeentchian. He remembered tasting some of the barkeeper's food, finding it surprisingly good in contrast to it's appearence.
He also remembered the blurry-eyed hangover the next morning.
Reyzak walked in early, the Tzeentchian relentlessly cheerful.
"Good morning, sunshine! Feeling a bit sick are we?"
Altair stared with red-rimmed eyes at the demon, hatred scrawled across his face.
"Why aren't you sick? You drank a grotesque amount more than me!"
Reyzak laughed. Machira walked behind him, still wearing the black tabard.
"I have a stomach ache." she said, winking at Altair.
That didn't make him feel any better. Reyzak finally got tired of waiting for him and with three words, the bed flipped into the air, sending Altair to the floor.
"I'm used to being a drunk. You need to get used to it." he said.
Altair stood up, and swayed. Reyzak steadied him.
Three hours later, after a very long, very cold, shower, Altair sat down opposite Reyzak in the tavern.
Reyzak looked him dead in the eye. "There is one thing I must ask you, if you are going to be any help at all."
Altair nodded. "What?"
"Why do you fight?"
Altair didn't even blink. "To end tyranny and oppression."
Reyzak seemed pleased with his answer. "So you fight to help people."
"Then tell me, won't your war with Azulanthis cause more harm then it would ever prevent? There are billions of people, living untouched by the demon's madness. How will you justify killing them, and destroying their lives?"
Altair was speechless. Azualnthis was evil.
"So you don't think he should be overthrown?"
Reyzak leaned back in the seat. "Answer my question."
As much as he tried, Altair could not think of a reason to justify this. Reyzak's face slowly grew into a smug smile, his four green eyes watching Altair wilt under the question.
After twenty minutes, Reyzak told Altair to leave.
Altair opened the door too hard, wrenching one of it's joints off the wall.
"Have I upset you?" said Reyzak.
"Yes." said Altair.
Reyzak nodded. "Well, then. I'll expect your answer later. I hope it is a convincing one."
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