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post #101 of 173 (permalink) Old 07-05-14, 04:55 PM
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Pelegon nodded, understanding the somewhat obvious implication in Tyberus' words. Rashel would not be a problem, but the Word Bearer...abandoning his previous train of thought, Pelegon turned on his heel and left the Reliquary, returning along the same macabre corridor to the Reclusiam, drawing his thunder hammer as he did so. Another plan of action had formed in the Olympian's mind, though it was somewhat risky.

As he reached the Reclusiam, the Iron Warrior's vox-unit crackled in his ear and Azrael's clear accent came through; "you wanted to prove yourself to us Olympian? Fight alongside me and you will have proven yourself more than enough in my eyes”

Pelegon's eyes narrowed as he approached the trio of chaplains in the Reclusiam, who had now noticed the grim armoured warrior approaching them with his weapon in his hands. Would it do to trot to the champion's side like some dog called to heel? Lacking dignity in some way, perhaps, but he would be making himself useful, and it had been far too long since he had been bloodied. Olympia had been no true battle, more mercy killing. At least six weeks, then, since he had tasted the iron tang of his own blood in his mouth or marched into battle knowing well that he might not survive. The prospect of a fight injected the Iron Warrior with fresh vitality, and so when he addressed the Word Bearer, ignoring Rashel and Jaekal entirely, his voice was like crashing thunder.

"Word Bearer!" Pelegon roared, stopping two metres away from the magenta-armoured warrior "your understudy" here he inclined his head to Rashel, who had his weapons drawn, unsure whether the Olympian would throw himself at them or not. The Word Bearer, however, looked to be remarkably, irritatingly composed. "Your understudy Rashel grievously insulted my competence as a warrior, and I would see myself avenged"

The Olympian held out his thunder hammer in one hand, and dropped it at the trio's feet, where it smashed into the deck with a thudding boom, denting the ceramite slightly.

"It is a tradition on my planet that when a student insults another, one does not blame them for they are viewed to be too stupid to know better" Pelegon smiled under his helmet as he saw Rashel tense up at this small barb. Easy to anger, it seemed "instead, we resolve our differences with he who educated him, for he is the one at fault - and I am certain it was not his captain who invoked him with such reckless vigour. You will face me in combat, Word Bearer, and you will bring my hammer with you. I surrender my weapon to your care until such a time when I can pry it from your cold, dead fingers"

The Word Bearer did not look taken aback, unfortunately. Pondering a moment, he gazed back at Pelegon, his expression unreadable under the ceramite of his skull helm. When he spoke, his voice was smooth and low, unfazed by the towering iron giant before him.

"What if I refuse?"

Pelegon had expected this. Squaring up to the Word Bearer, the Iron Warrior closed the gap until they were practically touching and leaned down, pressing his armoured forehead into the top of the Word Bearer's skull.

"Then all your followers will know that your flesh fails to support your oratory, that your grand pontification on The Word of Lorgar is little more than blather, that you and your primarch are charlatans of the highest degree who exist only to suckle on the teat of Horus Lupercal"

Pelegon felt the Word Bearer start to push his head back at this insult to his primarch, and momentarily wondered whether he would strike him then and there. But the Apostle, it seemed, had excellent self-control, and nodded.

"Then it seems I cannot refuse, Olympian. Know that after I have killed you I will take great delight in offering your soul to the Powers That Be - pain beyond any that you have endured, eternal and unstoppable in its entirety, will be your reward for seeking me out"

Pelegon turned away and made for the exit. Without turning his head or slowing, he told the Apostle "I do not know which pantheon you follow, Apostle, but I know that it is as empty as the promises your kith and kin make to those too blind or stupid to know better. Make your peace with your gods, for you will be seeing them before too long"

As he made his way to where his armour informed him Azrael was, his feet eating up the deckplate with long, powerful strides, Pelegon wondered about what the Word Bearer had said. What were The Powers That Be? Though he knew of no major pantheon other than the Eldar star gods, and precious little of them at that, the name had sent a shiver down his spine, one that he had suppressed. That sense of foreboding had returned when the Apostle had used the phrase, though the Iron Warrior did not know why.

It hadn't been a total lie, what he'd told the Apostle; of course the traditional rite that he had invoked was one not carried over into the Legion and had been more or less entirely forgotten when he was a boy, but still technically valid. That it had been enough to get the Word Bearer into the ring was all he needed - or at least the viper had said he would, whether he would live up to his promise he did not know. Putting it to the back of his mind for the time being, Pelegon prepared himself for an altogether more pressing matter.

Rounding a corner, the Olympian found himself looking at Azrael, surrounded by three Night Lords, catching the tail end of their conversation. He did not care for how their champion postured, overconfident like some feathered popinjay, but acknowledged that the man would make a powerful ally within First Claw. There was one Night Lord in particular who was squaring up to the champion, presumably the aforementioned Sar'Thel, accompanied by two others. Sar'Thel was Azrael's, and Pelegon would not directly interfere with their duel. He could, however, even the odds somewhat by ensuring that his friends did not interfere.

Feeling the familiar mixture of chemicals and hormones in his blood, the Iron Warrior did not slow down his pace as he drew his entrenching tool, feeling its comfortingly familiar weight in his hands. This tool had broken the soil of countless worlds and the skull of countless foes, and the spade was in his hands as much a weapon of war as a digging implement. Looking over the two remaining Night Lords, who had turned to face the newcomer, Pelegon singled out the more dangerous-looking one. His helmet had red bat wings attached to the top, a snarling maw over the visor and a jump-pack strapped to his shoulders - a lightning claw was attached to his left hand, and in his right he wielded an ornate chainsword. His mark IV armour was adorned in flayed skin, bones and other even less tasteful ornaments. Horror incarnate, but it mattered not to the Iron Warrior.

Drawing closer, Pelegon bit back a final urge to draw his meltagun and blast the wretch away, leaving him free to deal with the third, and bunched his leg muscles, his grip tightening on the spade. Without warning, Pelegon launched himself forward in a tackling dive with terrifying speed that a warrior of his size should have been incapable of. Fast as he was, though, the Night Lord was quicker, engaging his jet thrusters and diving upward, and the Iron Warrior's fingers brushed the other warrior's armoured feet as he missed entirely and crashed into the floor, sliding with the painful screech of metal grinding on metal. Before the slide was complete, however, the Olympian had righted himself and was facing his foe once more. What was happening in the rest of the room, why the third hadn't dived on him, the Iron Warrior did not know, for his focus was on his foe alone. He could feel the anger building up within him, some terribly familiar sensation that he was on the verge of letting loose inside his body.

The Night Lord chuckled, experimentally revving up his chainsword and dancing around, jabbing at the Iron Warrior, who deflected the blows with his pauldrons and vambraces, the weapon's whirring teeth failing to get a purchase on the ceramite and skittering off harmlessly. The Night Lord had superior reach and armament, and Pelegon realised that he could not swing for his spade lacked the reach that the Night Lord's sword afforded him. The coward was staying as far back as possible, knowing that to end up in the Iron Warrior's crushing grip would be death.

"You fight like a bull, Olympian" the Night Lord laughed, enjoying prodding his prey. Though the sword had not yet penetrated Pelegon's artificer plate, it was only a matter of time until it did. The other warrior's voice was a dry hiss, a voice not used to being raised above a threatening whisper. "But you are a fool if you think that you could ever beat one of the 17th Company's chosen Night Raptors"

The Olympian continued to parry, contemplating what to do. The Night Lord was aberrantly fast, and though Pelegon knew himself to be pretenaturally quick, he could not hope to match the VIIIth legionnaire's agility - his armour looked modified to give him a greater range of motion. The only way to beat him would be to force the coward to use his other weapon, his lightning claws, as they had shorter reach, albeit being much more dangerous to Pelegon than the sword. But he could not disarm him conventionally, for the Night Lord's sword hand was out of his grasp - thus there was only one course of action left.

With nary a moment's pause the Night Raptor took another swing, and the Iron Warrior reached up and grabbed the shaft in an armoured gauntlet. Pain flared up in his left hand as the whirring, roaring blades cut through the armour on his fingers, but his willpower was stronger than his withdrawal reflex. He knew that if he let go, that blade would go straight to his neck. Gritting his teeth, feeling the muscles in his forearm and neck rise up and tense with the tremendous force he was exercising, the Iron Warrior's arm began to vibrate with the thrumming of the motor of the weapon he clutched, the Night Raptor shocked by what he was doing. However, he wasn't too shocked to attempt another attack, this time with his lightning claw, the weapon moving up in a vicious disemboweling sweep, exactly as Pelegon had predicted. The Iron Warrior dropped his entrenching tool and grabbed the Night Raptor's wrist, holding the arm in place with his superior strength, but the lightning claw's thick casing made it impossible for him to crush the appendage in his hands.

Pelegon's dark, oily blood was now dripping thickly down the shaft of the weapon, but its teeth were smashing into his hand with enough force to shear off one by one, and after a few seconds of unimaginable agony the weapon was fully de-toothed. Releasing the now useless weapon, Pelegon moved forward and smashed the faceplate of his helmet into the Night Raptor's head, causing the other warrior to stagger and drop the chainsword, the mass and momentum afforded by the Iron Warrior's powerful neck muscles enough to dent the Raptor's armour.

Allowing himself a brief glance at his now heavily damaged hand, Pelegon grabbed the Night Raptor's chest with it, and still holding onto the lighting claw, wrenched the arm down and out with as much force as he could. The Night Raptor screamed as his arm was painfully dislocated, and the shimmering energy field on the vicious pinions vanished as he lost muscular control in the arm, unable to use it. However, despite the pain, the Raptor retained enough sense to know that this was now a fight he could not win, and engaged his thrusters once more, meaning to flee. The force staggered Pelegon, and he barely had enough time to grab the Night Raptor's leg in his right hand.

The two were locked in equilibrium, and Pelegon could feel the muscles in his arm, shoulder and whole body tense, the servos in his armour screaming as he held on in a death grip, feeling his feet sliding along the steel floor. Pelegon reflexively engaged his mag-boots, stopping their movement as he fought against the jet's thrust, feeling an entirely new level of fury building up inside him.

"No..." he hissed, his voice a mechanical rumble as he contemplated this entirely new level of cowardice. Adversity had reared its ugly head and now the Night Raptor was fleeing, too intent on saving his own hide to bother dealing with his comrades. To abandon them to die, to value their lives as utterly worthless compared to your own, to leave your own company champion.

"No, no, no, you will not flee" Pelegon growled as he grabbed with his damaged hand, the torment of using his injured limb serving only to fuel the Iron Warrior, and through titanic effort began to haul the Night Raptor back to the ground, inch by inch climbing up his body. He could feel the heat from the exhaust, the white glow of the thrusters burning into his retinas, feel the Raptor kicking against him as he realised that he was not in free flight.

Vision red. Breathing heavy. Enemy in my hands, must disable him. Make him suffer, make him scream, taste his blood, crush his throat with my fingers - nothing will remain, even less will escape me.

Every muscle in Pelegon's body was little more than a source of discomfort, the servos in his armour on the point of giving out, the heat of his power unit going into overdrive to compensate for this high energy usage burning into his back, but the Iron Warrior held on with grim determination. Intractable and unstoppable, he released his left hand and, curling it into a fist, smashed it straight into the jump-pack's thrusters.

It set his nerves on fire, the temperature readings in that part of his armour spiking until they were near unreadable. He could feel his armour starting to liquefy and slough off his hand as he felt around for what he desired with fingers that were growing increasingly numb and sluggish with every passing moment. Eventually he wrapped his hand around his target; the nuclear core of the power pack, the core that also powered the Night Raptor's armour. With inexorable tenacity the Iron Warrior summoned the strength to grab it, feeling an entirely different heat; not the heat of clean fuel burn, but the sickly warmth of nuclear fire, akin to the red soreness of an infected wound. Establishing his grasp, the Iron Warrior roared and tore it free of its holdings.

The effect could not have been more dramatic. The Raptor's jet thruster's died without so much as a sputter, the glow of his armour's eye-pieces died, and he hit the deck with the force and grace of a falling statue. Pelegon looked at his heavily maimed appendage, certain that he would now need a cybernetic replacement from the wrist up, and the pulsing radioactive core in it; he was exerting no force on the grip - rather the meat of his hand had been cooked into that pose, the joints of the armour fused, but happily repairable.

Shaking it loose, he turned to face the Night Raptor. What had driven him into that self-destructive move when he could have drawn his melta with his free hand and fired? The ways of the VIIIth were already leaching into him, some strange concept of honour at the forefront of his mind, though the legionary at his feet certainly did not deserve it for trying to flee. Some small part of the Iron Warrior was still savvy enough to know what to do next.

With his armour powered down, the Night Raptor had no chance of fleeing, barely able to move in it. The Iron Warrior grabbed him with his good hand and flipped him over onto his back with worryingly little effort. An intoxicating mixture of battle-chemicals, some synthetic and some natural, still sang through his bloodstream and Pelegon wondered where it would drive him. There was no room for reflection now, only hatred.

Bending down, the Iron Warrior popped the Raptor's helmet off; there was no hiss of air, for the suit had depressurised as soon as it had lost its power source. The Night Lord looked stunned and uncomfortable, his black eyes staring at the Iron Warrior in terror. Now that which he had inflicted upon so many others would be inflicted upon him in turn, and though he was clearly afraid of what was going to happen, it did not seem that he was going to waste their time with pleas of mercy. In the Iron Warrior's brutal steel face he knew he would find none. He was an ugly bugger, covered in ritual scars and tattoos, with a pinched face and, once, a killer's gaze.

The Raptor opened his mouth to say something, but before he could utter a syllable the Iron Warrior steepled the fingers of his remaining hand and smashed it down into his throat. With a choking gurgle, the Raptor could do nothing as Pelegon grabbed a hold of his oesophagus and trachea, ripping a section of them up and out in a single jerk. The crunch of the cartilage in his grip was exquisite, the tearing of meat even better. The Raptor began to gurgle as his gorge filled with blood, the pumping accelerated as his heartbeat increased in his panic. The Olympian said nothing, merely tore the wound open with his fingers so as to increase the flow of blood. As the Raptor began to twitch, dying but not yet done, Pelegon loosed his helmet clasps with his one hand and felt the clatter as his helmet clattered to the deck with a heavy thud. Grabbing the doomed Raptor by his ceramite gorget, he picked the marine up, armour and all, and held him above his head. The stream of blood from the Raptor's throat had become a veritable river, and Pelegon maintained eye contact, his eyes maintaining a burning gaze, rich with hate, with the other marine as he lifted him above his head so that the stream of blood poured over his face.

The Olympian felt it coming down in cascades, hot and soupy as it washed over his skin, spraying the dried crust of Pelegon's own blood away, and opened his mouth so as to better enjoy it. The Iron Within had become the Iron Without, the iron oxide responsible for the sanguinary crimson adding a bitter tang to its flavour. The taste was everything, and aside from metal he could feel the Raptor's anger, frustration, and most of all, fear. The horror and despair were almost orgiastic, and the feeling was indescribable to one to whom these feelings had been denied. The Olympian knew it was his omophagea that enabled him to taste his foe's last sensations so clearly, but at the same time felt some deeper, more intimate connection...and then it was gone. The Raptor had gone still in his grip, the flow of blood no more than drips as his hearts had juddered to a standstill, choked of fuel. Pelegon's arm was burning with the effort of holding the marine up, but it was nothing compared to the earlier strain of pulling against the jump pack's thrusters.

Dropping the dead marine, who fell into a limbless heap with a thunderous clatter, Pelegon looked about, somewhat confused. The last thing he remembered was killing the Raptor, then a haze of which he knew nothing (other than it had been very pleasant)...now he stood over a mauled corpse, absolutely covered from head to toe in blood. Shrugging, the Iron Warrior bent down to grab his helmet, his fury abated and his senses at last fully returning, to see what had been going on for the duration of his fight. The helmet locked in place with a wet squelch as it sealed his head in with a lot of the dead Raptor's blood, looking incongruously clean compared to the rest of him - still its dark iron grey compared to the rich dark maroon that stained almost the entirety of the rest of his body.
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post #102 of 173 (permalink) Old 07-05-14, 06:32 PM
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Default Tales of the Eighth Legion. (Action Thread.)

The journey from the “Maiden of Sorrow” up to the “Nightfall” was smooth, just as Var would have expected from Malak; who was a brilliant pilot. Var remained silent as the Stormbird easily moved across the busy space towards the Night Lords flagship. Var was well aware of his captains’ gaze never leaving him, but chose to ignore him, knowing that many of his brothers would take the slightest opportunity to attack the techmarine. They were all fools, frightened of anything they couldn’t control, that they couldn’t understand.

Var remained motionless as the “Revenant” touched down in one of the “Nightfall” landing bays and his restraint harness sprang open. As the ships doors lowered, Var watched the other members of the First Claw rose to their feet and followed Xandrek as he moved out into the “Nightfall” itself. Var hesitated a moment, simply observing, his crimson optical sensors whirring quietly as the techmarine watched the other members of the First Claw, his so called battle-brothers, looked around them. As Xandrek continues to walk, and the rest of the Night Lords set off after him, Var finally rose to his feet, his servo-harness moving around him as he moved across the deck of the “Revenant” towards the open door. Var paused for only a moment, turning towards the seat of Malak and offering a slight nod, and bringing his fist to his chest in the typical greeting between those that worship the Machine God, before stepping out into the flagship of a Legion that had not, and likely never would, accepted him as one of their own.

Var saw the retreating backs of his First Claw, and made sure he kept track of them and tailed them from a distance. Despite the shifting sea of midnight blue, Var’s sight was drawn to the far end of the cavernous embarkation deck, where there stood twelve figures. Even though Var held no love for the Legion that he was a part of, even he recognized the figures. Ten of them wore terminator armour, and that alone caused Var to hesitate. Pushing the very boundaries of the technology that the Imperium possessed, Var had long desired to get his hands on a suit of Tactical Dreadnought armour, yet his desire had never been satisfied. Now, the presence of not just one, but ten suits of the legendary armour, was almost more than the techmarine could handle. Pushing through this almost human emotion, Var turned towards the other two figures.

The eleventh figure was one that Var had heard many tales of, even in his dark forge at the heart of “The Maidens Sorrow”. First Caption Jago Sevetarions. Even Var held some emotion for this man, this legend, this Prince of Crows, an emotion that was the closest to fear that Var ever felt. He was a highly dangerous man, and even Var, the cynical and hated Var, knew to watch his step around him.

The twelfth figure Var recognized instantly. Var had once caught a brief glimpse of him, many years ago, and his image was still one that burnt in Var’s memory. While Var held none of the awe or pride for Konrad Curze that his fellow Night Lords did, just like any predators natural primal instinct, Var recognized that the Night Haunter was a much more dangerous man than himself, and that respect was needed for survival.

Clad in full armour, and armed with two monstrously sized power caws known only as “Mercy” and “Forgiveness”, the Night Lords Primarch looked every bit the top predator, and Var couldn’t stop his tail from twitching slightly.

Var finally caught up the rest of his First Claw and stood a few metres away from them, still within earshot but far enough away to not be noticed as the Night Haunter looked out across the assembled silent Night Lords before turning and walking away, Sevetar addressing the gathered Space Marines before following his Primarch.

“All Captains will follow myself and the Primarch for a meeting about how we will deploy and deal with our brothers down on the surface, the rest of you may move about the flagship to go to the training and sparring halls, the Apocatherion, the armoury or you may remain here. You are all to gather back here on the embarkation deck in three hours for briefing from your Captains.”

As the twelve figures left the landing bays, Xandrek turned towards his First Claw.

“It will be good to speak with the Primarch again, Azrael until I return ensure that you and the other ‘children’ do not embarrass Fourth Company in anyway or form is that understood? Var for once I’m asking you Brother to Brother to not antagonize any of our brothers from the other companies.”

Xandrek turned to face Var, and the techmarine could swear he heard a sense of tiredness in his voice before it became the sharp tone Var knew so well.

“Or you will find that I will be returning to the ‘Maiden’ with a new Master of the Forge, with all of your bionics being used as spares for servitors.”

With his speech done, Xandrek turned and in one flourish of his black cloak he is gone, walking with the other captains after their Primarch. Var watched him walk away for a moment before his eyes were drawn to a figure who’s dark grey, almost black armour, stood out in stark contrast to the sea of midnight blue all around him. An Iron Warrior, what was an Iron Warrior doing aboard the “Nightfall”? Var didn’t have to wait long to find out as the Iron Warrior approached the First Claw, pushing aside the Night Lords that stood in his path, before stopping a few metres away and addressing them. Var smiled as he saw the Iron Warrior glance towards him.

"Greetings. My name is Pelegon, of the 2nd Company of the 77th Grand Battalion of the Iron Warriors, and I have been assigned to your unit"

As the Iron Warrior spoke in High Gothic, Var noticed a handful of the First Claw, and the other Night Lords milling around them, wincing. But for Var, it mattered little what language the Space Marines spoke, Var could speak a handful of languages, and any he couldn’t was roughly translated by his augmented suit. The techmarine could go days deep within his forge without hearing another living being speak, only the grinding of gears and the roar of hungry flames. And yet, this choice to speak High Gothic amongst a Legion that speaks another language altogether obviously irked some of Var’s battle-brothers more than it did him. The short figure of Tyberus squared up to the much taller Iron Warrior first, and almost growled a response.

"You are assigned to our squadron as we embark on the greatest war any of us have ever known to free ourselves from the shackles of this False Imperium, yet you would still speak in their chosen, antiquated tongue? The tongue of the False Emperor.”

Tyberus himself was speaking in Low Gothic, and he paused to step closer to the Iron Warrior, the chains that adorned his armour clinking as he did so. Var could sense other Night Lords noticing the dispute and moving closer, sensing the hostility in the air, drinking it in, as Tyberus continued.

“My name is Tyberus of First Claw. If you fight with us with the reputation of your Legion against those still loyal to the Imperium, then you are welcome among us.”

Stepping even closer to the Iron Warrior, Tyberus thrust his hand towards Pelegon. With one smooth motion the Iron Warrior took the Night Lords smaller hand in his own and shook it. Sensing the tension gone, the Night Lords surrounding the pair lost interest and went on their own way.

Releasing Tyberus’ hand and standing to attention, the Iron Warrior addressed the Night Lord standing before him, speaking in Low Gothic.

"I incorrectly assumed that so slight a miscalculation would not cause offence. I thank you for your warm welcome, Tyberus, and look forward to fighting alongside you and your brothers. I must inform you that regrettably I am not versed in your own language, though I would be more than willing to learn it should a suitable tutor present himself"

Even as Pelegon spoke, the First Claw’s Apocethary, the same man that had called for Var’s blood just hours before, turned to Azrael, another Space Marine that did not see Var in the best light and spoke to him in Nostraman, a language that the Iron Warrior did not know, and could not understand, although Veptus’ tone and glare at Pelegon made the message clear.

“Oh yeah, because I was just saying, wasn’t I Azrael, how much I wished we had a bloody Olympian to drag around with us”

Turning to face the Iron Warrior properly, although only the last word was spoken in Low Gothic, Veptus continued.

“Do you know what we did to the children of Nostramo, Olympian? We employ them as our runners, our front line troops. They are the ones in the most danger. Those who are weak perish. Only the strong survive long enough to make anything of themselves. Which will you be I wonder?”

Switching from his native tongue to the one that the Imperium had adopted as its own, Veptus

“Better learn fast, Olympian.”

And with that, Veptus was gone, slapping the Legion emblem of the Iron Warriors as he walked past Pelegon, reminding the Iron Warrior that he was different, that he was not welcome.

Tyberus, who was obviously not finished with the Olympian, called after the retreating figure of Veptus in Nostraman.

"We can only use him as cannon fodder if he makes it to the battle Brother Veptus. For the time being we're stuck with him so we might as well make sure he doesn't get his bones picked clean by the other squadrons before we drop planetside."

As the First Claw Veteran turned back to the Iron Warrior he spoke in Low Gothic for a final time before walking to stand beside the Chaplain.

"As we are stuck with you Iron Warrior, and you with us, I suggest you stick with First Claw. And Veptus is right, you'd better learn fast and stay out of our way."

Another member of the First Claw voiced their annoyance at this outsider as the figure of Agrippa broke off from the group and walked past the Iron Warrior towards the far door leading to the armoury, scoffing as he went.

"Why would an Iron Warrior be assigned to us, does someone think us incompetent? Who is with me to the Armory?"

Var was tired of this bickering, of these threats, of these creatures that treasured flesh. Var had been too long from the eternal fires of the forges, and so the techmarine turned to follow Agrippa, the sea of Night Lords moving aside quickly to let the fearsome figure of Var through, his tail never staying still, always twitching forward and then retreating.

As he walked away, Var heard the voice of Pelegon once more, still speaking in Low Gothic, followed by the sound of his footsteps as he headed across the deck of the landing bay.

"I will return once I have better acquainted myself with your customs"

Var was still following Agrippa, although staying a few metres behind him, when the low voice of Azrael himself came over the vox, presumably a broadcast to the whole First Claw.

“Have you forgotten who I am Brothers? I am a Terran, an outsider to you just as Pelegon is now. In the search for foolish gratification, do not forget that I am just as foreign to you as the Iron Warriors are. You mock him for not being one of you. Neither am I. The next man to look down on him for not being Nostraman will face me in the cages and we will see whether being Nostraman makes you superior to others.”

Var smirked at that, or as close to a smirk as he could with the metal claiming most of his face. The high and mighty champion talked of welcoming those that were foreign to them with open arms, and yet he thirsted to test himself against Var for little more reason than that the techmarine spoke plainly and was different to the other members of the First Claw. And yet, the bickering between the members of the First Claw continued as Vandread spoke over the vox. The fact that the Veteran spoke in Low Gothic suggested that the Iron Warrior had been patched into the vox channel, and a quick check confirmed Var’s suspicions.

"Brother's, do you know what your pitiful attempts to scare our new squad mate into submission remind me of? You all sound like those worthless excuses for mortals that were our Aristocratic society on Nostramo. The same people who treated us like dirt, the same people that our Gene-sire slaughtered because he was disgusted by them, the same people who tortured me day in and day out until Father saved me. So now ask yourselves 'brothers' should we not be better than what we despise."

Torture? This Veteran dared speak of how he had suffered upon Nostramo? Had he felt his flesh cut open, his nerves burnt away, his very body replaced by cold metal? Var felt a stab of pain before he managed to push his emotion down again as Veptus spoke in Nostraman across the vox.

“Azrael, he is not a novice. You learnt, you adapted, you allowed our Father to mould you into a weapon of fear, as we all have been. Pelegon has no interest or capacity to learn our Father’s way. What I said is true, those who do not learn and adapt, die. It’s as true here as it was on Nostramo. It is just the way of things, nothing to do with superiority. My contention is that he will not and cannot learn and I am not going to carry him, any more than you will. I had hoped that was clear earlier, but I hope now you see my issue is not with his origin, but his malleability.”

The calm and measured tone of the Corpsemaster fell away as he addressed Vandread, to be replaced by a venomous and spiteful edge that Var had heard directed towards himself more than once.

“As for you, Vandread, you have obviously learnt nothing of our Father’s ways, despite how you seem to think he hand-picked you, as if you are remarkable. Our Father taught us the nature of fear. We are his instruments of terror, something you would do well to remember. If you wish to carry someone who has no desire to be moulded by our Father, then do as you see fit, but do not seek to lecture me on how I should treat those who are not unified by our purpose or how I should instruct others in the nature of fear, else I will show you that you suffered nothing in your previous life, you mewling fool!”

Var allowed himself to feel a slight rush of joy, or as close to joy as his twisted black heart could feel. Cracks were appearing all through the First Claw; even here aboard the flagship of their Primarch, the Night Lords bickered amongst themselves. Var had fought with tooth and claw to get where he was now, and he was primed to play these bitter rivalries against each other for his own ends. Not to be done, the voice of Tyberus crackled into life over the vox.

"Brother Azrael, I have never doubted your abilities, nor cared where you or any of our other battle brothers have come from. You are my Brother Night Lord. Any Battle Brother of the Night Lords, regardless of origin is one I will gladly call my Brother. But the Olympian is not of our Legion, they did not even want to join our cause, our war for freedom. I will not tend to him, nor look back should he fall behind in combat. If he proves that he can adapt to the way of the Night Lords, then he is welcome as our Battle Brother, if not, I suppose the coming war will take care of him."

Var paused for a moment at that. Before, Var had written of the Veteran as just another pawn to be moved by Xandreks hand, but something in his speech, of welcoming any brother, no matter what his origin, called out to the Techmarine. And yet now, perhaps there was a potential ally in the Night Lord? Var would have to talk to the Space Marine later. But now, Var was jerked back to life as three Night Lords shouldered past him and began to tail Agrippa. Var’s tail had already thrust forward before Var could call it back, but he managed to hold it before it pierced the shoulder of one of the Night Lords. Keeping his mouth shut, Var recognized the insignia of the trio as that of the Seventeenth Company’s First Claw. Even Var knew of the bitter rivalry between the Seventeenth Company and the Fourth Company, and for them to isolate and perhaps even kill Agrippa would come as no surprise. Moving swiftly, Var called up a basic map of his level of the “Nightfall” and plotted a basic route that would allow him to cut off the pursuing Night Lords. Turning away from the corridor that Agrippa was taking in favour of a narrow side passage, Var glanced back in time to see Azrael set off almost at a run after Agrippa, obviously also sensing the danger but not seeing Var.

Var stepped into the side corridor and came out into the passage he had planned. Turning to look around, Car was almost surprised to see the trio of Night Lords he had planned to cut off coming towards him. Stepping back into the shadows of the corridor he had emerged from, Var watched as the three Space Marines met with another figure, one clutching an intimidating axe, a man that Var managed to identify as Sar’Thel, the champion of the Seventeenth Company who, as Var understood, had a colourful history with Azrael.

Var almost opened a vox link to his First Claws Champion in order to warn him, but Azrael spoke first, his voice crackling over the vox channel to all of the First Claw.

“Looks like the Seventeenth Company have offered a lovely trap for me brothers. I am going to step into the hornets’ nest; I would appreciate it if you could be prepared. Sar’Thel still has a score to settle with me after I took his eye during our last duel and I have no doubt that he is involved in this.”

Var kept his mouth shut, and just moments later he saw Azrael come around the corner and come face to face with the four Night Lords waiting for him. Var was just within earshot of the five Space Marines as the Seventeenth Company Champion addressed Azrael.

“Hello Azrael, it’s been a while and as much as a touching re-union would be enjoyable I think skinning you would prove far more interesting.”

Just as Var knew he would, Azrael immediately dropped into a combat stance, one hand falling to grasp the hilt of his sword before he responded.

“Sar’Thel, it has indeed been some time. Don’t tell me you’re still mad about that eye you lost. It’s in the past brother, nothing to still be angry about.”

Var could just make out Azrael’s smirk through the half-light of the passage, and he instantly knew what the Champion was doing. Azrael was trying to buy himself time, time for, he hoped, other members of the Fourth Company’s First Claw to come to his aid and help even the odds.

For a moment, Var considered his options. He could stand by, and watch as his First Claw’s Champion was potentially cut down and killed by his rival. Or he could move to stand by the side of a man who did not try to hide his burning hatred for the techmarine. In the end, it was Azrael’s absurd sense of honour that won over Var. Owing someone your life was a very powerful favour, and Azrael was a very powerful man. And so, moving slowly and silently as the five continued to face off, Var approached the turned backs of the three Seventeenth Company Night Lords as they watched the two Champions square off against each other. Var’s tail was darting forwards in anticipation for the coming conflict and in one silent movement, Var’s Power Axe materialised in his hand.

Var watched as Sar’Thel took an almighty swing as Azrael, only for the Fourth Company Champion to glide backwards out of the axe’s swing and pulling his own weapon from its scabbard in one fluent, practiced motion. By now, Var was only a handful of paces behind the five Night Lords, but they were all too absorbed in the conflict between the two Champions to notice the dark figure standing behind them. Azrael swung at Sar’Thel, only for the bigger Champion to easily block the blow with the haft of his axe. Unphased, Azrael twisted and pulled his sword free from Sar’Thel’s grasp.

The three other members of the Seventeenth Company took a step forwards as their Champion staggered slightly, but Sar’Thel held a hand up to keep them at bay. Azrael, still trying to keep his opponent distracted, to keep him from landing the killing blow before any of his allies could come to his aid.

“You want to take me alone Sar’Thel? Do you not remember what happened last time you tried that?”

Again Sar’Thel took an almighty swing at the more slender Champion, only for Azrael to step inside his swing and slam a fist into his helmet. A second punch followed, knocking Sar’Thel back a step, and then a third that sent the other Champion staggering. Var couldn’t help but be impressed by the speed of Azrael, even as Sar’Thel tore off his helmet, rage clear on his face.

“A coward’s trick Azrael. A true warrior would not descend to using his fists in an honour battle.”

Even Var’s twisted sense of honour could hardly call this an “honour battle”. Var had observed some of his fellow Night Lord’s honour duels, and they were far from this crude ambush to try and settle some old grudge. And if a cowards trick could injure your opponent and keep you alive, then no-one will be left alive to call you a coward. Azrael did not waste this opportunity to stall Sar’Thel again.

“An honour battle Sar? This is not an honour battle. This is a dishonourable assault on the Champion of Fourth Company because you wish revenge for the loss of your eye. You see, that battle was an honour battle. You dare call me a coward? You who refused to face me without three of your friends to help you if it looks like you’re losing. Yes, I can see the way the man to your right has a twitchy trigger finger and one of your other fellows has been trying to creep behind me since we started this. Fight me like a man Sar’Thel or kill me. It is your choice.”

There was a moment of silence, only for it to be broken by the snarl of Sar’Thel.

“I choose to kill you.”

Var could have sworn he saw Azrael’s eyes meet his own, but whether he did see Var or he did not, he smirked at the towering Champion standing before him.

“Then you should have done it sooner Sar’Thel."

The sound of heavy footfalls caught the attention of all the Night Lords, including Var, and they all turned to see something that had liekly never been seen before aboard the "Nightfall". An Iron Warrior, clad in the distinctive dark armor of his Legion, charged headlong down the ships corridor. Var watched as, with one motion, the Iron Warrior drew a....spade? Var recognized the weapon as an Entrenching Tool, but before he could wonder about the Iron Warrior's choice of weapon, said Iron Warrior launched himself into a diving tackle against one of the Night Lords. Var could only watch as the agile Night Lord fired the engines of his Jump Pack and soared out of the Iron Warrior's reach, leaving him to land heavily on the passage floor and slide several meters.

The path of the Iron Warrior meant that the remaining two Night Lords turned and found themselves looking at the techmarine who stood only a few paces away from them. There was a moment of hesitation as the two Night Lords decided if the new arrival was a threat, but their desicion was soon made clear as one of the Night Lords made a grab for the Power Sword resting at his hip.

Jumping into action, Vars tail lashed forwards and, stabbing through the chink in armour that Var knew would be there, after all he had disassembled and reassembled this type of armour more times than he could count, and punched through the Night Lords hand, splintering bone with ease before it burst through the other side of his hand. Turning towards the other Space Marine, Var only had time to slightly flinch as the Night Lord fired a bolt at the techmarines chest. The round slammed into Var's pauldron, throwing him off balance and sending him staggering back.

Before Var could right himself, the first Night Lord was upon him again, gripping his sword in his left hand while his right was still pumping blood. Although not using his favored sword hand, the Night Lord had obviously been trained to use both and he was blindingly fast. Var barely managed to raise his axe high enough to block the first blow, and the second was only turned away by Var dropping his shoulder to deflect the sword, leaving a deep ridge running across his armour.

Cursing the Night Lord's blatant disrespect for the armour that Var was wearing, the techmarine finally righted himself and attempted to fight back against the two opponents he faced. Var took an almighty swing at the bolter wielding Space Marine with his Power Axe, but the Night Lord was too quick and deftly stepped out of the swing. Using his servo-arms as an extension of himself, Var fired off a handful of Bolter shells of his own towards the Space Marine before turning towards the second Night Lord in time to see the Power Sword swinging at his head. With an almigthy effort, Var threw himself forward, colliding with the swinging Space Marine and throwing him off balance enough to throw his attack off target and send both of them sprawling to the ground.

Var's servo-harness helped him quickly get to his feet, and Var knew he had mere seconds before the Night Lord also found his feet again. Attempting to press the slight advantage he had, Var drove his knee into the felled Night Lords helmet, his leg carrying enough force to shatter the helmets eye piece. Bringing his axe around for the killing blow, Var was knocked off his feet as a bolter shell exploded on his chest.

Rising to his feet, Var saw the smoking barrel of the second Space Marine, bolter shell holes in his shoulder, chest and leg, but still standing, before the first Night Lord was upon him once more. Unleashing a punishing string of blows, it took all of Var's concentration, and all the equipment at his disposal, to stop the Night Lord removing his head from his shoulders. Parrying with all of his servo-arms and his Power Axe, Var was slowly driven back by the sheer ferocity of the assault, and knew he couldn't keep it up for much longer. In a final gambit, Var let the Power Sword through his defense, turning as the blade fell so that it buried itself in the techmarines shoulder. For a moment, Var's eyes flashed and went out, and the techmarine staggered. But then the crimson light returned and Var righted himself. As the Night Lord desperately tried to wrench his weapon free of Var's neck, caught as it was in the bunch of thick cables and wires that made up most of the techmarines throat, Var's Plasma Cutter sprang into life, the roaring flame lighting up the corridor. Before the Night Lord could pull away, one of Var's other Servo-arms grabbed hold of the Space Marines remaining hand, crushing it as well as splintering the Power Swords hilt and leaving the weapon as cold metal, robbed of it's crackling energy. Slowly, savoring every moment of the Night Lord's panic and fear, Var moved the Plasma Cutter's flame ever closer to the Space Marines helmet. Even when it was still a few inches away, the intense heat of the Plasms Cutter, capable of slicing open battle tanks, was causing the metal to heat up and Var knew that the Night Lords flesh was already burning beneath the helmet. Continuing it's slow progress, the Plasma Cutter began to slice it's way through the Space Marine's helmet. Var offered one last prayer to the Machine God, asking for forgiveness for destroying this sacred armour. The flame cut through the helmet like it was paper, and the raw screams of a man in absolute agony echoed across the passage as the Plasma Cutter met human flesh. Continuing to push the Plasma Cutter onwards, there was one last scream before the Night Lord fell deathly silent, his wild flailing ceased, and his lifeless body slumped to the ground in a crumpled heap.

There was a moment of hesitation before a bolt shot through the air and made contact with Var's chest once more, although again the techmarines armour saved him. As the remaining Space Marine let loose a hail of rounds toward Var, the techmarine lifted the corpse of the dead Night Lord up, using his as a human shield until the distinctive click of an empty Bolter sounded down the corridor.

Pulling the Bolt Pistol from where it was attached on the Night Lord's hip, seeing as he wouldn't need it anymore, and leveling it and his own Boltgun towards the remaining Night Lord, Var fired up his Plasma Cutter once more and squared off against the Night Lord as he hurridly reloaded his Bolter, fumbling with the process in his haste. When Var spoke, his voice was dark and low, every bit the voice of the murderous psychopath he was.

“He’s right. You should have killed him earlier. Now it’s just going to get messy.”

The Silent Lions Chapter

Winter Falls


Give a man a match and he will be warm for a day.
Set a man on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life.

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Default Tales of the Eighth Legion. (Action Thread.)

Veptus watched Pelegon go and heard nothing from him after that point. No one reported him dead and the clawing tendrils of Sevestus’ thoughts did not return to tell him that Pelegon had gone back to the Librarium. Veptus assumed that the Iron Warrior was making himself busy elsewhere and so Veptus’s attention turned elsewhere. His helmet was chattering to itself on the side where Veptus had left it. He picked it up and turned it over carefully in his hands. As it slid over his head, Veptus heard all he needed to hear about the situation.

Azrael had been lured into some sort of a trap by the 17th Company, no doubt under orders from their Captain Zha Shal to antagonise the First Claw. Zha Shal had never forgiven Xandrek and Veptus for the night of horror the two of them had visited upon his family on Nostramo. It was a petty feud, one most other Legions would not let stand now that they were post-human. But the VIIIth Legion was one planted in a soil of bad blood and petty grudges that always seemed to somehow the death penalty with them.

Veptus was confident in Azrael’s ability to kill the upstart that Zha Shal named his champion, Sar’Thel. Were this an honour duel, Veptus would ignore the stream of information regarding Azrael and allow him the chance to put another notch in his sword hilt. But this was a trap and almost certainly not going to be a fair fight, even by Night Lord standards. They would not have challenged the finest swordsman in the 4th Company if it was. Azrael would almost certainly need assistance in battle and, depending on how well or poorly the battle itself went, medical attention.

Veptus hissed into the vox as he picked up his weapons, deliberately not cleaning his hands from his previous work. “Try not to get yourself killed before I get there Azrael.” With that Veptus went to leave the Apothecarion, “Malice” in hand. Orrin gave him a quizzical look as he went to leave.
“Bored already Veptus?” Orrin said whilst his hands still worked with unconscious ease.
“No…” Veptus said, his voice suddenly more serious than he had intended “…4th Company business. I will hopefully return shortly, although perhaps with fresh gene-seen for you.” That was all the explanation Orrin needed. The Primus Medicae nodded farewell and looked back down to his work.

Veptus was struck as he jogged down the corridor to Azrael’s position how new the concept of killing brother Astartes would seem to their cousin legions. But the Night Lords had been staining their corridors with the blood of their kin almost since its inception. Your life aboard a Night Lord ship was no more assured than it was in a warzone. Where most other legions came back to their capital ships to rest and be reassured of their safety, the shadows of the VIIIth legion vessels held murderers ready to stick a knife in your back in a moment. It was true what they said then; No rest for the wicked.

Veptus turned the corner and was surprised. Azrael and Zar’Thel were blurs of motion, each of them launching feints and killing strokes and conterstrikes with a precision Veptus couldn’t have matched. Indeed he had faced Azrael once or twice in the cages and had never lasted more than a minute or two against him. Whatever swordsmanship the Terran’s bred into their sons was a fine kind indeed, augmented by the guttural fighting style Azrael had picked up during his time in the legion. But that was exactly what Veptus would have expected.

It was the two other figures that shocked Veptus. The first was the Olympian, sacrificing portions of his hand to get close to his opponent. The other was Var, one of the most unlikely members of the First Claw that Veptus would have expected to come to Azrael’s aid. His plasma cutter was drilling into the helmet of one of the members of the 17th. The Apothecary in Veptus willed him not to destroy the gene-seed buried within the Astarte’s flesh, but he doubted Var shared his concern.

A third and final member of the 17th Company sprayed a full mag of bolter shells into Var, although the Techmarine’s armour held its own against the onslaught. The Night Lord finished reloading at the same moment Veptus raised his scope to his eyes. With a marksman’s eye, he drew a line to the soft wrist joint on the Astarte’s left hand and fired. The sniper shell punched through the fibre bundles, the muscle and shattered the radius and the ulna bones at the wrist before coming out the other side and getting stuck in the bicep of the right arm. It was not a fatal shot, but Veptus had not been aiming for fatal. He had, however, stopped the Astarte from firing and that was enough to take his next shot.

Veptus walked slowly forwards as he fired, with every shot drawing closer to his prey. A second shot to the left shoulder ensured that the marine would not be able to fire the bolter with any accuracy and not without a considerable amount of pain. Admirably though, the Night Lord turned to face his attacker but it did him no good. A third shot blew out his right knee and a four shattered the left knee as the Astarte fell. He fell on ruined knees and collapsed forwards as Veptus stalked closer.

The Night Lord tried to rise on ruined limbs, but Veptus was already beside him. Veptus knelt quickly, driving his knee into the Night Lord’s spine and killing any chance he had to rise. He could draw “Mercy” and end the pitiful creature’s life but he would not do that. Azrael would derive no pleasure from the tortures he could inflict on this Astarte, the sombre bastard, but it would likely bring great pleasure in watching this Night Lord die in a most excruciating was for ambushing his favoured champion.

Veptus’ hands reached down and unlocked the helmet from the head of this unfortunate. Veptus recognised the marine before him as Yanto Vesh of the 17th company. Yanto snarled in defiance, even as his ruined arms scrabbled for a weapon or a way to rise and throw Veptus off. There was none. Underneath his helmet, Veptus was smiling his psychopath’s grin again. “It seems you are in need of an Apothecary Yanto Vesh of the 17th company.” With that a needle dropped out of Veptus’ narthecium. Veptus drove it into the common carotid artery and a heavy sedative was coursing round Yanto’s blood stream in moments. His scrabbling ceased soon after.

Veptus turned to regard his two companions. First his eyes met Pelegon’s helmet’s flinty gaze. For a moment Veptus let the silence pass between them before uttering “Calculated risk.” In a tone that made it a question and a judgement simultaneously. Next he turned to regard Var. “I’m surprised to find you rushing to Azrael’s aid. Or was it the toss of a coin that dictated your actions?” Veptus knew there would be other reasons for Var acting as he did, but he did wish to enquire what they might be. “If either of you need my assistance, I assure you I will be far kinder to you than I will be to our brother here.” Veptus added as a sort of macabre joke. His attention turned back to Azrael and his duel. He wondered if Zar’Thel would withdraw now that the odds were not in his favour or if he would try to at least claim Azrael’s life before the others around him and en-route cut him down. All the while, Veptus let his medical scanner scan it's full reach. It wouldn't provide much of a warning if he was snuck up on, but the bleeping of an enemies double heart would give him enough time to draw Mercy at least...

My contribution to the Renegades saga. Check it out

My growing IIIrd legion stuff:

17th Millenial (Homebrew Fluff) - "Children of the Emperor, death to his foes!" (Project Log)

Also my 30k tacticas, for those of you interested:

Crusade Army List tactica - Individual Legion tactica

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And for two fucking grand, I could buy enough rum and hookers to 'artistically' recreate the better part of Pirates of the Caribbean.

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“Looks like the Seventeenth Company have offered a lovely trap for me brothers. I am going to step into the hornets’ nest; I would appreciate it if you could be prepared. Sar’Thel still has a score to settle with me after I took his eye during our last duel and I have no doubt that he is involved in this," the words from Company Champion Azrael came over the vox, sent to all of First Claw, even to the Olympian. Azrael must have really gotten himself into it if he had sought assistance from his Brethren. It seems The Captain's prized pet has gotten himself into a bit of a mess... Tyberus thought to himself, the tone of his thought was not hostile, merely observational.

He turned up his head away from the relics he had been admiring to tell to Pelegon that they were going to be needed at Azrael's location presently. When he did so he saw that the Iron Warrior was already making his way back upstairs to the main sanctum of the Reclusium.

As he got to the top of the stairs he caught the end of Pelegon's challenge to the Word Bearer who had stood atop the highest tier of the Reclusium, overseeing and manipulating like a puppeteer who sought to remain as unseen as possible. Though now the Magenta armored Chaplain was on the main level of the reclusium, of his own will or at the demand of Pelegon he did not know, he simply silently observed. "Word Bearer!" Pelegon roared, stopping two metres away from the magenta-armoured warrior "your understudy" here he inclined his head to Rashel, who had his weapons drawn, unsure whether the Olympian would throw himself at them or not. The Word Bearer, however, looked to be remarkably, irritatingly composed. "Your understudy Rashel grievously insulted my competence as a warrior, and I would see myself avenged"

The Olympian held out his thunder hammer in one hand, and dropped it at the trio's feet, where it smashed into the deck with a thudding boom, denting the ceramite slightly. As the Hammer dropped to the ground at their feet Tyberus huffed in disbelief and disapproval. Never leave yourself unarmed on a Night Lords ship...You'll learn the hard way or die Olympian Tyberus shook his head, all present would be able to see that he disapproved, of the tactics or the challenge itself could only be guessed by others though.

"It is a tradition on my planet that when a student insults another, one does not blame them for they are viewed to be too stupid to know better" Pelegon smiled under his helmet as he saw Rashel tense up at this small barb. Easy to anger, it seemed "instead, we resolve our differences with he who educated him, for he is the one at fault - and I am certain it was not his captain who invoked him with such reckless vigour. You will face me in combat, Word Bearer, and you will bring my hammer with you. I surrender my weapon to your care until such a time when I can pry it from your cold, dead fingers"

The Iron Warrior then left with due haste to assist Azrael, whereas Tyberus walked with great purpose, heavy footfalls echoed throughout the Reclusium as he walked past the Apostle and Rashel, Chaplain of the 8th, he looked not a warrior in a rush, but rather a hulking beast stalking after a fresh hunt. "Brother Tyberus," The poisonous hiss that was Rashel's voice filled the chamber, echoing with a serpentine emphasis on the s at the end of his name. "I warned you to keep your given pet on a short leash," the words were spat out by Rashel now, clear anger, and unmitigated hatred ringing clearly in his tone, "your dog has insulted me but my thirst for his blood cannot be quenched by my own hands as my Master has that right after accepting your cursed dog's challenge. You failed to reign in your dog and now YOU will suffer for his transgressions!" The vehement rage that echoed and flowed through Rashel's words was somehow a relief to Tyberus as he was finally able to come clean about a little secret he had about the Chaplain of the 8th. "Good," his low voice rumbled across the vox, causing it to crackle and pop as he spoke and let out a hearty chuckle, "Your challenge is of course accepted. I have wanted to kill you for a very long time Chaplain of the 8th." With that Tyberus walked out and stalked off after Pelegon to aid his Brothers.

When he finally reached the back alley that Azrael had allowed himself to be ambushed in he couldn't help but tilt his head quizzically at the assemblage that had responded to the Champion's call to arms. He quickly observed from a darkened corner, having taken a side passage to the location.He noticed first Pelegon, his hand reddened with blood and gore from having clearly taken hold of a chain blade of some fashion and judging by the body of one of the 17th Company's warriors laying at his feet taken quick revenge with his bare hands.

Var, the techmarine with whom he had not spoken since they had last assembled on the bridge before boarding the 'Revenant'. The techmarine likewise looked battered, bloodied, but had taken a hostage? The body of a Night Lord of the 17th caused Tyberus to ponder for a moment the sense of taking a hostage as no Night Lord would care about potentially killing their own battle brother, before noticing that the Astartes' arms and legs hung like those of a ragdoll. Tyberus quietly nodded his approval of the human shield.

True to form Veptus was making insults and jokes at the expense of the dead and dying Night Lords of the 17th Company. It appeared as if the 'apothecary' had opened fire and killed at least one of the 17th.

From the shadows adjacent Tyberus heard the whirring of a chainblade fire up, a figure with skulls spanning across his shoulders in a chain made his way towards the weaponless Pelegon, a calculated attack from the shadows. Often times this was an effective tactic, allow for a lull and then launch ones self into the fray on an unaware foe, a tactic Tyberus approved of and had used many times before. The attack would not be effective this time though.

Out of the darkened corridor Tyberus, breaking from his slow and calculated movements of mere moments before, like a great ambush predator he had waited for motion and now launched himself in to tear his prey apart. The power maul suddenly unsheathed and crackled to life, taken in both hands he swung at the unknown 17th Company Night Lord. The Astartes' was made aware of the oncoming attack by his helmet's sensors as well as his own heightened recognition capabilities, but it was too late to completely parry, deflect or avoid the blow. In the best effort he could have given the warrior brought up his left arm in place of any sort of shield to protect his body. A sacrifice which Tyberus took with glee and little effort, following through with his swing, impacting the flexed arm and sundering it. The crunch and snap of ceramite, bone and the eruption of blood and gore that ensued gave cause for Tyberus' low rumbling laughter to echo out, both over the vox and within the alleyway itself.

The warrior's left arm gone completely from just above the elbow down, all that remained of his armor was the left pauldron, a cacophony of muddled flesh, fractured bone and hanging ligament tissue dangling underneath uselessly. He made a move to capitalize on Tyberus' massive swing though, the ravenous teeth of his chain sword hungry to taste the First Claw veteran's flesh in vengeance. They would be sated momentarily as the first slash he took with the chain sword caught Tyberus across the vulnerable joinery between the pauldron and his left shoulder, though it bit barely deep enough to be considered a flesh wound by the hulking member of First Claw. A series of well timed, but ultimately ineffective slashes followed, culminating in an ill advised thrust at his neck. The protective gorget he had personally affixed with adamantium studs proved its worth once again as the chain blade's teeth could not grab hold of the vulnerable section that connected the helmet to the chest plate. Rather the chain sword deflected off to his left. Though Astartes did not technically use their 'private' extremities Tyberus had found that a well placed strike to that section could still double over almost any, even the staunchest of veteran's. With savage glee Tyberus brought the power maul up in massive, powerful arc, the crackling power maul connecting viciously with the groin of the warrior of the 17th. The shriek of agony that escaped the warrior's mouth could have been mistaken for a Nostramon woman as there was a wet crack as ceramite and the flesh girded beneath it gave way and turned into a pulp. The warrior indeed double over, his right hand having given up his sword in favor of trying to hold what was left of him as he toppled to his knees.

Tyberus finished the follow through of the maul, bringing up to its apex before inverting the weapon and driving it straight down. The now exposed nap of the warrior's neck met with power maul, Tyberus driving the weapon so hard that the warrior's head was easily pulped, but the force carried the weapon into the flooring leaving a small crater. As he brought his weapon back to the ready he looked to the duel between Zar'Thel and Azrael, quickly cutting back and forth between the duel and the shadows, unsure if the Champion of the 17th had anymore of his mongrels en route or lurking around them.
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“Very well Raskreia but if you cannot find an opening you get Xandrek out of here. It is my duty to die in his stead, if I die and then he dies only minutes later I guarantee I will come out of the Warp to drag your screaming kicking body back down with me.” Azreal had responded with the last of his words said in a jest though with a hint of truth in it. Taking the banner he charged off towards the warboss his intentions clear of taking it on Raskreia drew his pistol once again.

Loosing a bolt Raskreia blows a charging orks chest out through his back before delivering a reverse handed strike that relieves another ork of his right arm before putting the muzzle of his pistol against its head pulling the trigger killing it. Turning on the spot Raskreia searches for Xandrek and the others are seeing Jaekal splitting heads and chests with his Crozius or blasting those out of ranger or directly in front of him with his plasma pistol. Seeing Veptus acting as guard over a kneeling Xandrek who looks to be talking to the wounded Vettal before hearing the crackling vox report of the Captain, “Raskreia, keep good care of this as I will be wanting it back.” throwing his tower shield over before sheathing his sword and hauling Vettal onto his shoulders and setting off up the hill once again.

Holstering his pistol Raskreia takes the tower shield on his left arm adjusting the straps before striding forwards with Xandrek and Veptus cleaving off any ork limbs that stray to close. Taking an arm from one before planting a boot into its chest knocking it back over its frothing brothers Raskreia is charged by a large brute who lowers his let shoulder in an attempt to bowl him over. Lifting the shield to meet the charge Raskreia braces planting his feet and is knocked back a couple of steps before he puts his own strength into the pushing match stopping the charge. Looking at it's brutish face he sees it laughing and smirking in eagerness at his strength as it brings a two-handed axe with a crackling green energy field over in a wide arc crashing into his right shoulder. Lips pulling back into the snarling smile of his Legion Raskreia thinks to himself, Well now! This might have been far more interesting if we were not pressed for time. I'd dearly hope that there are more like this later though as we cannot be bogged down here slugging it out in a distant brawl.

Blinking his eyes rapidly from the momentary disorientation of coming back from his memories, his right shoulder no longer the bruised lump it was, hearing the ceramite boots of Xandrek crossing the embarkation deck stopping as the rest of First Claw form a loose half circle around their Captain who nods to Azreal, Veptus and Raskreia before saying, “While you ladies have been seemingly day dreaming from what Sergeant Xhing tells me, we have translated from the warp into the Isstvan system with the rest of the fleet despite earlier warnings from our Librarians telling us that we would be early. I have recently just finished a conversation with the First-Captain and all captains and their Command squads are to report to the flagship for briefing. And before any of you ask a certain pointless question: Yes, we are heading over to the Nightfall where I shall meet with our Father and the other captains while the rest of you try to behave yourselves is that understood?” with Captain Xandrek’s helmet rests upon Var as he says the last before he motions to the interior of the ‘Revenant’.

Moving to a harness Raskreia turns inwards once again as he recalls each and every time he has stepped foot upon the flagship. Each time a memorable occasion for himself though not likely for anyone else in the thunderhawk. With Malak piloting the short trip was uneventful as he set down in the hangar. the ramp lowering Raskreia walks out behind his Captain into the quiet stillness that is only broken by the steps of Fourth Company's First Claw. Seeing twelve figures before the hangar doors Raskreia focuses upon them. Noting ten of the Atrementar in the hulking terminator plate armour, rare in the Eighth, displaying the trophy racks and personal heraldry of he Veterans inside, the eleventh First Captain Jago Sevetarion Master of the Atrementar and The Prince of Crows staring at every one hunting for weakness or a breach in etiquette that would allow him the opportunity to release some tension.

The twelfth figure the imposing Master of the Eighth and the sole reason the entire embarkation deck was silent save for the bootfalls caused by those moving around. His eyes boring into each of them searching for whatever you had hoped to hide letting it languish before stepping on it's throat and ending it's existence. Raskreia felt it in his bones as those black orbs of his, very like black holes draining the light around them, fell upon him. That icy feeling hat seemed as if he was upon an operating table and Veptus had inserted electrodes into all of his bones and turned them on at the highest setting. And as that thought entered his mind it was gone as were those eyes.

Seeing his gene-father leave and the First Captain calling the other Captains into a meeting Raskreia turns towards Xandrek as he advised being civil especially the choleric Var. Hearing high gothic aboard the 'Nightfall' Raskreia saw an Iron Warrior headed towards them. Snarling inside his helmet as Tyberus strutted forwards greeting the Iron skin named Pelegon. Simply shaking his head at the antics of the veteran Raskreia simply walks by him blink clicking the vox channel closed so he didn't have to hear anymore from Pelegon or his 'brothers' judging that his silence was more damning than any words at the moment. Striding past and joining the other standard-bearers Raskreia talks openly after removing his helmet. Discussing what has happened with the other companies while they had split up after the destruction of Nostramo and who had moved up or had died.

Continuing the discussion Raskreia received an unexpected vox from Azreal, putting his helm back on Raskreia caught the last words, “te it if you could be prepared. Sar’Thel still has a score to settle with me after I took his eye during our last duel and I have no doubt that he is involved in this.” The predators grin breaking out once again across his lips Raskreia excused himself from the others before loping into a jog to bring him up to his friends whereabouts. Taking side access after side access to Azreal's location Raskreia was surpised to find Var amongst those who had come to the Champions aide along with the Iron Warrior Pelegon and Tyberus though not surprised to find Veptus as he would always appear to torture someone or something if he got bored. Though seeing the bloody destruction Pelegon had wrought on a fellow Night Lord Raskreia heard Veptus say calculated risk before knocking the 17th company veteran to the ground and keeping him there.

"Calculated risk? I doubt that very much Veptus. If you had seen what the Iron Warrior had done you would think he was from Angron's rabid dogs instead of the unemotional Perturabo's lot. Calculated risk is not something done from one of them and an attribute I would have thought Perturabo's children well aware off." Raskreia said leaning on the standard watching Azreal weave his deadly dance against Sar'Thel, ears more attentive to the sound of approaching footfalls than the response from one of those gathered.

"Loyalty is its own reward."
Lion El'Jonson.
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Everyone: The sounds of the short ambush become more and more quite as your own breathing regulates with the only sounds being that of the foot falls of Azrael and Sar'Thel as they move around the decking, and the only other sound being the contact of blade on blade as the two champions continue their duel without bothering to look at the rest of you. Though there is something odd about the two members of 17th's First Claw that makes the rest of you look at them, they are not longer looking at the duel but at the shadowy open entrances of the other corridors and you then realize why as Veptus looks down at Yatto and sees him smiling with his gaze fixed past the apocathery on the ceiling before Yatto Vesh speaks two words that the rest of you clearly did not want to hear: "Hello Brothers."

Azrael: You see that those who have come to your aid are not two who you would of expected, while Veptus and Raskreia do arrive they aren't not the first as that honour belongs to the Iron Warrior Pelegon who quickly sets about killing his opponent and you have a sinking feeling in your gut as you realize that as soon as 17th's captain hears of this he will be baying for Fourth Companies blood, mainly that of Pelegon's or even Xandrek's. The second marine to come to your aid comes in the unlikely shape of Var, perhaps the most hated of all of First Claw as while Night Lords have no love or true friendship for each other they are all atleast Brothers who would fight and die beside each other, something which Var has never understood. It is then after Var dispatches a second marine of 17th that you realize that you must either kill all of their First Claw or order your own First Claw to back down as the High Command of the Legion would surely notice the complete disappearance of a First Claw aboard the Night Haunters ship. This is all going through your mind even as you dodge back and weave away from the axe swings of Sar'Thel as each time you block with your blades you are sent stumbling to one side or backwards from the sheer power he is putting into his blows, and you can't help but watch as the remaining six members of 17th's First Claw now ambush all the members of your own, you need to deal with Sar'Thel quickly either by forcing him to submit (which is unlikely) or make him see reason that this will just turn into a blood bath for both squads.

Veptus: When you see Yatto look past you and up at the ceiling you make the mistake of following his gaze and you know your mistake has been made as soon as he speaks the two words: "Hello Brothers" as you see the forms of two raptors that had been clinging to he ceiling like two gigantic bats release their holds and drop straight to down upon Pelegon and Tyberus but before you can shout a warning you are send sprawling backwards with your head snapping to the right as a bolter round from the corridor directly ahead of you crashes into the side of your helmet but thankfully the angle was too acute to do any real damage, and it is from your laying position that you see the other four remaining members of 17th's first claw come charging from the different corridors (six in total from the ones on the ceiling.) Hauling yourself to your feet you quickly and try to retrieve your weapons before your counter part: Apocathery Primus Lucan Tiberus (Terran) slams straight into you tackling you to the floor where neither of you can bring your other weapons to bare and so are forced to rely on your fists, knees, elbows, heads and other limbs to batter each other into submission or gain enough breathing room to retrieve your sword or pistol. Remember that you have your Narthecarium but so does he. Any questions then pm me or message me on skype.

Var: The marine infront of you laughs in your mechanical face as you pick up on what the marine that Veptus has pinned says. "And you should of shot me when you had the chance rust-bucket." the marine says while laughing as he slots the new magazine home and opens up on full auto at you while your armour holds against his bolter rounds you are now being hammered by bolt rounds from corridor to your right as you pick up six more marines appearing to join the ambush. The second marine that his now shooting at you is placing his bolter rounds far more carefully than the one infront as a bolter round punched through the linkage of your 'tail' and you feel it go limp as the neural receptors in it linking itself to you are blown out, followed by two other of your servo-harness arms being shot off with precise shots and you know that only one marine in all of 17th's company has this kind of unerring aim, their own Master of the Forge: Helven Sicarius. (You are the only one allowed to kill in this update and that is the marine infront of you so deal with him first.) You then turn to look down the corridor to your right as the bulky even taller and broader form of Sicarius appears from the shadows with his ornately crafted bolter-plasma gun aimed squarely at the joint between your torso and your helmet.

Tyberus: Your distrust of 17th's champion proves well founded as Yatto greets his fellow brothers of 17th as they ambush the rest of you, with two marines dropping down from the ceiling with one landing on Pelegon and then you look up to see the shadowed form of a second raptor just before he slams feet first onto your shoulders knocking you to the ground where you are forced to dodge as a two-headed chain-axe slams into the ground where your head would of been as the tungsten teeth chew into the steel decking before a second blow follows each time wither aiming for your chest, neck or head as this member of First Claw (17th) tries to either carve into your chest or remove your head. After a few moments of dodging the blows by rolling left and right you manage to haul yourself to your feet using your maul to knock the axe aside however it then whips back around narrowly missing the front of your helmet at eye level leaving a slightly blurred image of revving tungsten teeth in your mind before you finally have time to begin your own counter offensive against the Raptor infront of you.

Pelegon: As you retrieve your helmet you notice that you have been joined by other warriors of Fourth Companies First Claw who have either killed or disabled their opponents with the only two still fighting being the champions and you can see that both are masters of their art with Azrael using his slightly form to dodge out of the way of the massive axe and Sar'Thel using the weight of his axe to force Azrael back when ever he blocks along with using both the heads on it seemingly having no trouble stopping it mid-swing to bring it hurling back around at the champion. So caught up in the fight are you that you almost miss the marine under the apocathery say: "Hello Brothers" and you look up hearing the whine on a jump pack as it slows the descent of another raptor who crashes straight into you with his clawed gauntlets scratching sparks across your torso and helmet as he seeks gain purchase on you, and you see that over his back he has de-active chainglaive which makes sense given the tight confines of the corridor which would making using such a long pole-arm impractical and put the wielding at a disadvantage.

Raskreia: You hear Yatto of 17th speak two words that instantly make you look around at your surroundings feeling foolish about having fallen into the trap apparently designed to ensnare all of First Claw rather than just Azrael, as you watch Veptus look up before seeing the Apocathery Primus sprawl to the ground after taking a bolter round to the side of the helm but before you react what ever it was that Veptus was looking at on the ceiling slams into you and you see that is one of the members from 17th's First Claw who was clinging to the ceiling with the second dropping down onto Tyberus while the other four members charge down from side corridors to engage the rest of your squad. As you twitch about lashing out with your elbows, hands and head even as you try to draw your weapons you see that you are in-fact being attacked by none other than Saven-Yul, 17th's Standard Bearer who has obviously left the standard of the 17th elsewhere. You have only seen the standard bearer of the seventeenth three times before and you know that what Saven lacks in height he has piled on in thickness of muscle which he is putting to good use now as he clamps his meaty left fist around the front of your helmet and begins slamming your head down onto the deck plates and you scrabbling with your hands to find some purchase to stop him with your right hand latching onto the hilt of Saven's gladius sheathed across the back of his vambrace.

Varial: You heard the call from Azrael requesting back up as it seems that 17th's First Claw have used another of your brothers to lure him into a trap, using the squad vox network to locate him you then begin making your way towards the company champion however when you arrive the ambush meant only for Azrael has turned into a full scale skirmish with two members of 17th's First Claw laying dead and the rest of them engaged in their own fights with the rest of 4th's First Claw. You are able to decide which of your brothers you wish to help fight (check their updates above) though you suspect that Azrael would not thank you for intefering with an 'honour duel' though the Iron Warrior looks pretty beat up and might require aid in fighting the raptor that has slammed into him.

OOC: In this post you may wound, suppress or disarm your opponents however you may not kill them.

Already, you exalt me for my triumphs, When I ask only that you remember me for my treacheries

Victory is nothing more than survival.
It carries no weight of honour or worth beyond what we ascribe to it.
If you wish to grow wise, learn why brothers betray brothers. - Khyron, First Grand Master of the Eighth Brotherhood.

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post #107 of 173 (permalink) Old 07-30-14, 06:34 PM
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The raptor had been out of the range of Pelegon's siege auspex, and so he had nary a moment to react when he heard the familiar whine of jump pack thrusters. The impact on the Iron Warrior's chest caused him to stagger, and Pelegon found himself undone by his gorget. Though the neck piece was large and raised, affording his head and neck excellent protection, it was also a point on which the Raptor could find purchase. His taloned boots hooked onto it, and with a grinding screech of metal on metal, the Iron Warrior found himself tipping over; despite all his strength, he lacked the mass to withstand such momentum.

Smashing into the ground face-first with enough force to cause his armour's display to blur momentarily, Pelegon evaluated where he was, and came to the conclusion that he was decidedly at a disadvantage. Hearing the telltale whine of servos above him, he rolled sideways just as a power-armoured foot smashed down where his head had been, heavily denting the decking. Now on his back, Pelegon saw the Raptor had his chainglaive drawn, the engine revving, bringing it down in an executioner's swing; the Olympian had time to cross his arms up above him, and the weapon skittered off his vambraces with a series of sparks, the teeth failing to grip. He had to get on his feet, or the fight would soon be over.

Keeping his left arm above him, Pelegon reached out with his right and grabbed his spade, which had folded in again after he'd dropped it. With a flick of his wrist, the stout blade extended, and he smashed it sideways into the Raptor's knee. The Night Lord staggered momentarily, hissing, and Pelegon brought up both his legs and drove them into the blue armoured warrior's chest. The force was enough to knock the Raptor back several metres, but he recovered mid-flight, spinning around on his jet thrusters and coming at Pelegon again. By this time, however, the Olympian was on his feet, and managed to side step out of the Raptor's path. He swung his spade at the Raptor's retreating back, managing a glancing blow that had absolutely no effect as it pinged off his bulky jump pack.

The Raptor stopped as he reached a wall about ten metres distant, grabbing onto one of the girders that protruded from it, looking at Pelegon; even under the helmet, he could feel the Night Lord narrowing his eyes as he gauged what to do next. That was absolutely fine for Pelegon, whose well-practiced mind and arm pre-empted the incoming attack pattern, and exactly where he'd have to shoot. He didn't want to hit centre-mass, that had a good chance of destroying the chainglaive, and without his thunder hammer Pelegon direly wanted the weapon - how he'd use it with only one hand was another matter entirely.

With a screech, the Raptor launched himself from the wall and had halved the distance between him and his target in less time than it would take a mortal to blink. Pelegon had calculated the Night Lord's trajectory perfectly, and in a single smooth motion dropped his shovel, drew his meltagun, armed it, aimed and fired. The Raptor saw what he was doing and tried to jink, but Pelegon had adjusted his aim for that and in a blast of invisible, superheated air a sizable portion of the left side of his body disappeared.

With only two thirds of a jump pack sustaining him, and asymetrically so, the Raptor could not maintain his flight path and veered violently to the left, ploughing into the decking with a crash. His left arm and leg were gone, and the armour on that side of his body somewhat runny-looking where it had been briefly liquefied. There were no scorch-marks; a meltagun did not directly burn its target, more applied a clean heat at levels that few materials could withstand. Of course, the upshot of this was that the heat had cauterized the gaping wounds the weapon had left, and though the pain would have likely killed a normal man through shock, astartes were made of sterner stuff.

This Raptor was made of much sterner stuff than his predecessor, and with no hesitation, not even a grunt or cry of pain, he dropped the chainglaive and drew his bolt pistol, drawing a bead on the Iron Warrior. Unfortunately for him, in the time it took him to do this Pelegon had already closed the distance between them, and trod on the Night Lord's hand, pinning it to the cool metal of the floor. The Olympian shook his head from side to side as he pressed his meltagun to the supine Night Lord's armoured chest, the weapon coolly clicking in his hand to inform him that it was ready to fire again. Though he itched to squeeze the trigger, Pelegon had recovered from his brief frenzy; this was again a level-headed IVth legionnaire, fully in control of his faculties and thinking out every step.

He had already slain a member of the legion that was playing host to him; that first could perhaps be written off as some miscarried contrivance on the deceased's part, and to that end Pelegon had his injury in his favour...though the manner in which he had slain him would be somewhat harder to explain. To kill a second, however, would almost certainly spell death for him, and Pelegon had no intention of ending his military career at the hands of a vengeful Nostraman. The Raptor beneath him was already crippled (though not beyond the aid of a few bionic replacements), and Pelegon was now in complete control of the situation - he would only fire if absolutely necessary.

Carefully monitoring the progress of the fights going on around him on his siege auspex, the Iron Warrior kept his eyes fixed on the Night Lord, pressing the tip of the melta into the Nostraman's chest if he so much as twitched errantly. He had wished the christening of the weapon to be something a little more satisfying, though why he thought this Pelegon did not know.

"Pelegon, First Grand Battalion of the Iron Warriors" the Olympian introduced himself, his throaty growl emphasized by his armour's vox distortion. Despite the rigours of the fight and his gore-coated countenance, Pelegon's voice came out in its usual even tone, as though they were making small talk and not on the verge of killing each other.

"Jasen, Seventeenth Company of the Night Lords" the Night Lord managed, and there was a hiss of air from his helmet as its eye-pieces ceased to glow. Understanding his indication, Pelegon leaned forward, still pressing his gun into Jasen's chest, and knocked the headpiece off with the ruined meat of his left hand. The MkIV fell off, revealing features that Pelegon could recognize as typical for a Night Lord; high, gaunt cheekbones, pale skin, black hair and eyes. However, Jasen's face was unusually delicate for an astartes, with rich full lips, a button nose and thin brows that almost looked painted on.

"It appears I underestimated you, Olympian" Jasen spoke gracefully in High Gothic in an accent that even Pelegon, unfamiliar as he was with Nostraman culture, recognized as high-born. "I assure you that it will not happen again, though at the very least I can boast a handsome set of battle-scars"

"You are new? You fight like one well-seasoned, Night Lord"

Jasen laughed, throwing his head back and displaying a set of perfect white teeth. "Oh no, consider me an old hand, but I have been mockingly called "the untouched", as for reasons unknown to me, I have never been targeted by any opponent. I knew that this unusual providence had to end some day, and for that I have you to thank. But" he shrugged "a century was not bad going"

Pelegon paused, perturbed by the Night Lord's easy manner. Jasen was taking the loss of two limbs rather well, but this one seemed unusual - approachable, even. A shame that he had not been assigned to this one's squad, though it was entirely possible that he was friendly merely because he was staring down the wrong end of a very nasty gun. Saying nothing, Pelegon watched his auspex's readout to monitor the progress of the skirmish.
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post #108 of 173 (permalink) Old 07-31-14, 06:13 AM
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"Hello Brothers," the words sprang from Yatto's mouth like the venom spat from a cobra, with the words, something more deadly than poison arrived-Reinforcements, the rest of 17ths First Claw. The whine and whoosh of jump packs filled the corridor as to Tyberus' left Pelegon was suddenly taken down by a pouncing Night Lord Raptor. He took a step as if to intervene before a sudden weight struck him, knocking him to the ground and he saw the bird of prey atop him, the whirring of a chain axe audible above the fray. The Raptor's clawed gauntlets raked and scratched at his ceramite plating as the Raptor sought purchase. When he found it, grabbing hold of Tyberus' gorget with his left hand he brought his dual headed chain axe down in a vertical arc with his right.

Tyberus could do nothing more than grab hold of the Raptor's left hand at the wrist with his right hand to try and prevent the Raptor from bettering his position as he moved his head as far over as he could. The axe missed, biting deep into the plasteel decking, sparks shooting this way and that on impact. "The teeth, they are so hungry Brother!" The Raptor cackled as he brought the weapon down again, a maniacal laugh echoing from his vox as he did so, there was nothing technical about his attacks, they were simply driven by the lust for carnage, fueled in no small part by the fact that the hatred between the 4th and the 17th ran deep. "Oh hell with this, just die!" The Raptor brought the axe down, the blade facing horizontally this time, giving Tyberus no way to dodge with head movement alone.

The whirring tungsten teeth were suddenly kept at bay, held off, despite the great force that was being applied by the Raptor. Tyberus' left hand had sprung out and caught Raptor's axe wielding hand by the wrist. The two struggled mightily before the Raptor hissed his warning, "The teeth have you 'friend,' just accept your death." The Raptor pressed down with his weight over his axe arm, looking to drive the weapon down, the very edge of the chain axe began to nick away at the gorget, the blade's themselves creating a blurred, whirring perception of the world for a moment in his left eye's field of view. Tyberus grinned underneath his helmet, a predatory grin of satisfaction at the job he was about to do. His right arm suddenly let go of the Raptor's left wrist, reaching the side of the Raptor's helmet, digging his fingers deep into the neck joint tearing at the cabling and seal between the breast plate and helmet. His fingers dug deep, grasping around the underside of the helmet and with a sudden jerk and twist he tore the helmet from the Raptor's head to reveal a shocked and dismayed visage. The surprise on the gaunt and pale features of the Raptor gave Tyberus even more reason to smile.

Are you afraid little bat? He thought to himself. Tossing aside the helmet he brought his right arm as far back as he could before throwing a rabbit punch. Were the warrior to have had his helmet on it would have amounted to nothing more than a scuff in the rich paint scheme that had been tirelessly rendered. But against bare flesh, the power armored gauntlet, even with so little force behind it from such a disadvantageous position created force enough to crack Astartes' facial bones. The crunch of the Raptor's orbital bone was a clear sign that Tyberus had struck well, and the second such blow gave way to a loud crack along with a wet pop as the Raptor's eye burst from the impact like a grape under too much pressure.

Taking his moment as the Raptor's grasp on him weakened, Tyberus pushed up with his right hand grabbing the inner lip of the Raptor's chest plate, his left hand pushing the Raptor's chain axe hand up, away from his face before throwing his whole body in a sideways motion, flipping the Raptor up and over. The maneuver created quite a scramble between the two, but Tyberus still held the axe hand of the Raptor, and as such he controlled the weapon he needed to avoid. Getting to his feet he kicked out at the Raptor's chest, pushing his left hand out, forcing the chain axe away, on impact the Raptor was knocked back about a meter or so, and while he retained his weapon it gave Tyberus time to draw his power maul, a slightly more cumbersome weapon, but one that dealt grievous damage. The maul crackled to life and Tyberus brought the weapon to bare in a horizontal slash, the Raptor tried to defend with his axe using two hands to brace the weapon.

Tyberus couldn't help but laugh, his rumbling echoing from his vox, as he pushed back into the Raptor, the two weapons locking together as both warriors pressed with all their might. Suddenly Tyberus let go of all pressure on his right side, stepping out with his right leg, causing the Raptor to stumble forward, expertly he wheeled the pommel of the maul around, striking his foe on the right side of his jaw, a crunch and subsequent blood flowing from the Raptor's mouth and nose indicated that his strike had been well placed. He grabbed the haft of the axe with his left hand, holding his maul in his right, using the haft of the maul as a pry bar until finally the Raptor's grip failed. "The teeth are hungry 'Brother'," Tyberus mimicked before he brought the chain axe down on the joinery between the vambrace and gauntlet of the Raptor's right hand. A stern thrust from the power maul in his right hand was enough to send the Raptor careening backwards, a chunk of ceramite taken out of the chest of his breast plate near the torso, though had not been too terribly injured in the process, minor interior bleeding, perhaps broken ribs and a collapsed lung. "A clean enough cut that the apothecaries might be able to mend your hand if you are to get to them in time 'Brother Raptor'," Tyberus taunted before gingerly tapping his power maul into the severed hand that lay before him on the ground. "It seems you'll be due a fitting for a cybernetic replacement after all. If we let you lot live that is."

The Raptor sat on the floor, sitting straight up, his one remaining eye observing the fray around him, his eye flitting left and right as he took in the sight of Pelegon blast through one of his brother's with a melta gun. The duel between Zar'Thel and Azrael looking ever more in the favor of the 4ths Champion. Taking in the sight of his ruined axe hand, and the realization that he was only seeing his ruined hand through one eye painted the look of a warrior at his limit, the breathing, the palor of his skin, the clenching of his jaw muscles around fragmented bones, the Raptor was realizing that his life was forfeit now and his fate lay in the hands of Tyberus of 4th Company. "Curse you 4th!!", spitting blood as he wailed, the 'act of defiance' only causing Tyberus' booming laughter to encompass the chamber.
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post #109 of 173 (permalink) Old 08-02-14, 12:41 PM
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Yanto fought the anaesthetic coursing through his blood stream. “Shhhhh…” Veptus said cradling the Night Lord’s head, a mocking paternal tone in his voice. As Yanto fought to stay awake, he saw something that made him smile. A horrible realisation dawned on Veptus as he followed the weary Night Lord’s gaze up to the ceiling. They were not alone. “Hello Brothers” Yanto almost sighed before surrendering to the oblivious of dreamless sedative sleep. The words and the sight the accompanied made Veptus’ blood run cold. He tried to shout a warning, but the Raptors perched in the rafters had already smashed into two of his squad mates.

Veptus dropped Yanto’s limp body and went to stand and aid their fight, primarily with a swift knife in the back. As he moved a bolt round ricocheted off of his helmet, sending him sprawling backwards. The angle of impact was too acute to penetrate but it had cost him precious seconds in a situation he was already on the back-foot in. Veptus snarled and went for his weapons, but before his hands reached them the full weight of another Astartes slammed into him. Veptus blocked a swing to the gut and an attempted choke hold before he realised his opponent was none other than Apocathery Primus Lucan Tiberus.

The two were wrestling on the floor, neither able to reach for their weapons. All they had was their fists and knees and heads to aid them. That and their almost encyclopaedic knowledge of the Astartes anatomy. “Isn’t it unbecoming of a Terran…” Veptus snarled, stopping his taunt to focus on blocking his opponent’s Narthecium from making contact with his chest. The Carnifex would wreck considerable damaged if it could get close enough. “…to wrestle in the mud like a street urchin?” Veptus reached for the pressure point in his opponent’s wrist, only to be elbowed away.

Lucan barked a hollow mirthless grunt. “Sometimes one must stoop to exterminate the vermin.” Came the response in High Gothic, no less regal for the strained voice of the man who spoke it. Veptus’ lip curled into a snarl under his helmet. He didn’t respond with anything other than a knee to the Apothecary’s gut. Lucan saw it coming and bent his body to mitigate most of the impact, but it still hit home. Veptus delivered a vicious uppercut to the Terran’s jaw, cracking his head back. Veptus’s snarl turned into his psychopath’s grin for an instant, before Lucan used the force of his head coming forward to send a headbutt into Veptus’ helm.

His tactical information blinked out of existence for a moment under the impact and Veptus felt blood start to run from his nose. An instant later another blow hit the side of his helmet, and then another. Anticipating a third, Veptus reached for the oncoming fist and found it. His fingers found the pressure point on the sides of the wrist, bursting several blood vessels under the pressure with which he pinched. The fist sprung open like and twitched, the limb no longer obeying he whims of the brain which controlled.

Veptus went to capitalise on his strike when Lucan’s Narthecium swung round at his head. Veptus’ forearm struck his opponent’s elbow joint, stopping the medical gauntlet a few inches from his head. Lucan had more brawn than Veptus did and he could feel that the gauntlet was inching closer to his head. Lucan activated the Carnifex and it punched into Veptus’ helm, denting the metal but not piercing. The Narthecium withdrew the piston and fired it again, this time it bit deeper into Veptus’ helm. The third time Veptus felt it pierce the skin on his temple.

Veptus knew he was running out of time and he needed a way to win that didn’t involve brute strength. Veptus turned his own Narthecium towards Lucan, tapping on the palm-pad. Lucan laughed, knowing that Veptus could not get his Carnifex close enough without letting Lucan’s get closer than it already was. Veptus didn’t need to though. The Narthecium was equipped with a wide array of lights in all spectrums. Veptus fired them all at maximum intensity into Lucan’s eye-pieces. The surge of light overloaded his helmet sensors, blinding him.
In the moment he had, he released the Apothecary’s other wrist and pulled his opponent’s Narthecium across Lucan’s chest. Two blows from Veptus’ fist smashed the medical equipment to pieces. Lucan’s free-hand struggled to throw Veptus off. Veptus wanted to gloat, but to do so would be to invite a moment when Lucan could recover. Instead he delivered one, two, three blows to Lucan’s head, caving in the helm causing blood to leak from the cracks Veptus had caused. Finally, with Lucan’s hand still scrabbling at him, he administered the same batch of sedatives he had used on Yanto. Lucan’s strikes and scrabbles grew weak until he finally went still.

Veptus considered killing the man who had attacked him, but decided against it. Once this ambush was over, there would almost certainly be a reckoning and if he killed his counterpart from the 17th, even his favour with Xandrek might not protect him. But he would have some measure of vengeance. Working quickly as the rest of the 4th companies First Claw finished their opponents, Veptus removed the gene-seed in his opponent's neck. He was about to start on the one in his chest when a powerful foot connected with his helmet. Veptus went skidding along the floor, before rolling into a crouch and drawing "Mercy". He was determined not to get into another close quarter brawl unarmed. The man who stooped down to pick up Var's power axe was none other than the 17th Company's own Master of the Forge; Sicarius. *You have got to be kidding me.* Veptus thought to himself. By this point he was utterly unimpressed by the amount of other people's battles he had to finish.

Sicarius came at him, swinging the stolen axe with a furious abandon. Veptus quickly noted that his servo-harness was a dead weight, the arms unmoving and slouched drunkenly on the Techmarine's shoulders. At least he didn't have that additional problem to deal with, and Veptus supposed he had Var to thank for that. Never the less, the heavy weight of the power axe bearing down on him would be enough to end him. Fortunately, although Veptus was not the most notable close combat fighter of the 4th Company, neither was Sicarius. The first swing was a downwards one which Veptus side stepped, followed by a sideways swipe which Veptus blocked with his power axe, although the impact forced him back. Several more swings later and a few grazes to both parties and it was apparent that this was not going anywhere fast. Veptus was needed a way to end this fight, and soon at that. He was getting tired of being swarmed in the cramped confines of this corridor and it would not be long before their battle attracted the attention of others on this ship.

Veptus could not afford to kill Sicarius outright, that much he had already established. Otherwise he would have made a break from the combat, drawn "Fear" and consumed Sicarius's head in organic fire. He needed some other weapon, and "Malice" was not one built for close quarters fighting. Veptus rolled under another swing and found himself next to Var's unconscious body, Sicarius's bolter held in the Techmarines's grasp. Sicarius came at him again, Veptus blocked the strike and landed one, two, three punches in Sicarius's side. Whilst Veptus's axe was considerably smaller than Sicarius's stolen one, it allowed him to weave it over Sicarius's guard and strike his face with the flat of the axe. It wasn't a killing cut, but the force of the impact and the searing heat from the axe's power-field was enough to send the Master of the Forge stumbling, spitting blood, teeth and gum.

Veptus didn't need any more time than those moments to reach down and grab the masterfully wrought bolter. He didn't even bother to rise, there wasn't time. Sicarius was already recovering from his strike and Veptus wanted to end this. He unloaded the entire magazine into Sicarius's legs. Multiple bolter shells carved portions out of the Techmarine's armour and legs after that. The repeated explosions stunted Sicarius's advance, and Veptus knew that with that much damage to his legs and pelvis, it was all Sicarius would be able to do to stand, let alone run. But that wasn't enough to take the Astarte out of the fight. Veptus dropped the bolter the moment the magazine was empty and rose swinging his axe in a wide arc under Sicarius's faltering guard and carving a thick gauge into the Techmarine's chest.

The force of the strike started Sicarius in a pirouette motion, spinning. As he did so, Veptus swept his already failing legs out from underneath him. Sicarius came crashing down face first, the pain of a ruined pelvis and the weight of a dead servo-harness pinning him reasonably successfully to the floor. For good measure, Veptus brought "Mercy" down in heavy swings on the Techmarine's back, shattering precious, intricate circuits until his axe-head bit into the flesh and bone of Sicarius's spin. Veptus doubted Var even had a spine he could have severed, but Sicarius did and he cried out as his legs went numb and dead. "Enjoy being a cripple." Veptus spat, his voice awash with contempt as much as it was from blood. He stood with on foot on Sicarius's prone form, searching for someone else who might seek to end him, and quietly hoping that there were no more opponents and that the 17th Company that their ambush had come to naught...

My contribution to the Renegades saga. Check it out

My growing IIIrd legion stuff:

17th Millenial (Homebrew Fluff) - "Children of the Emperor, death to his foes!" (Project Log)

Also my 30k tacticas, for those of you interested:

Crusade Army List tactica - Individual Legion tactica

Originally Posted by Angel of Blood View Post
And for two fucking grand, I could buy enough rum and hookers to 'artistically' recreate the better part of Pirates of the Caribbean.

Last edited by Deus Mortis; 08-11-14 at 12:26 AM.
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The Night Lord in front of Var hesitated for a second, thrown off by the Techmarine facing off against him. In the split second of decision, the loud crack of a rifle firing cut through the sounds of battle all around Var, and the Night Lord's left wrist burst outwards in a splash of dark crimson, even as he was reaching for a new magazine. Var's gaze flicked across to the source of the shot and saw the figure of the Apocathery Veptus slowly walking forwards, his inevitable weapon of choice, "Malice", raised to his eye.

A second crack, identical to the first, sounded, this time the shot punched through the Night Lords left shoulder, perfectly passing through the joint in the armour. Even as the Night Lord, still defiant, turned to face Veptus, a third shot fired and the Space Marine's right knee was blown out, sending the Night Lord crumbling to the ground. A fourth shot hit the left knee in a similar way, leaving the Night Lord lying face down on the floor, struggling to rise on useless legs and wounded arms. Veptus appeared at his side, kneeling quickly and driving his knee into the downed Night Lord's spine.

Var watched as Veptus unlocked the Night Lord's helmet and pulled it off, smiling even as the defiant Space Marine snarled at him. Despite the clash of weapons as the two champions continued to duel nearby, Var managed to pick out Veptus' words as he leant in close.

“It seems you are in need of an Apothecary Yanto Vesh of the 17th company.”

Without warning, the Apocathery ruthlessly drove a needle into the Night Lord's throat, smiling all the time. As the Night Lord's struggling slowed, the drug coursing through his blood stream, Veptus rose and addressed Var, and the Iron Warrior that had also come to their Champions aid; turning towards Pelegon, and speaking only two words

"Calculated risk"

Obviously sure that the Iron Warrior would understand, Veptus turned his attention to Var and spoke one more.

“I’m surprised to find you rushing to Azrael’s aid. Or was it the toss of a coin that dictated your actions?”

Var's metallic, twisted face showed no emotion, merely looking back at Veptus, even as the Apothecary spoke again.

"If either of you need my assistance, I assure you I will be far kinder to you than I will be to our brother here.”

As the Night Lord at Veptus' feet groaned and tried to rise, Veptus dropped to his knee's once more and cradled the Night Lord's head, shushing him in a mocking tone. And yet, even as "Yanto" fought off unconsciousness,, he spat out two words that cut straight through the other noises in the corridor, and that instantly put Var on edge.

"Hello Brothers"

Before Var could react, shadows dropped from the ceiling above the other members of the Fourth Claw. Var watched as Pelegon and the newly arrived Tyberus were both knocked to the ground by the other members of the Seventeenth Claw, and Veptus himself thrown across the corridor by a well paced Bolter round.

Var's own vision snapped upwards in case another Night Lord waited to strike above him, but saw nothing. However this slight moment of relief was shattered as a Bolter just to the right of Var burst into life. With an explosion of sparks and a screeching of tortured metal, Var felt his "tail" suddenly lose contact and fall limp, disabled by a very well placed shot. A second shot blows out another servo-arm, then a third knocks out another. Finally turning to face the firer, three more shot slam into Var's armour as he finally makes out the shooter. The hulking figure of Helven Sicarius, the Seventeenth's own Master of the Forge, and only marine in the Seventeenth to be capable of such precise shots, emerges from the shadows, with the beautifully made bolter-plasma gun, already responsible for taking out three of Var's servo-arms, levelled square at the vulnerable joint between Var's torso and helmet.

Var didn't hesitate, dropping to the floor even as the explosion of noise as Sicarius shot his Plasma gun at the spot where Var had been just a split second before. Turning the fall into a roll, and quickly rising back to his feet, charging towards the other Techmarine. The roar in his head from the disabled servo-arms blocked out any pain as Sicarius fired at Var again and again, bolter shells slamming into his armour. But Var had spent countless years perfecting his armour, forging it into his own body, re-enforcing the same points he often exploited on others, and none of the bolter rounds even slowed Var as he barrelled towards Helven. Pulling back his Power Axe, Var put all his strength behind his swing as he struck at Sicarius' head. Unsurprisingly, the Techmarine's own servo-arms burst into life, catching the weapon in mid-air with ease. But Var's own momentum carried him straight into the chest of Sicarius, knocking both Night Lords to the floor.

As the two Techmarine's grappled on the floor, the bigger Sicarius was quickly gaining the upper hand, as Var still struggled to fight without his missing Servo-arms and, most importantly, his tail. Managing to push Helven away, Var struggled to his feet only to find his opposing Night Lord had already done so, delivering a crunching blow that sent Var flying across the room to slam into the corridor wall and slide to the ground in a heap. Fighting through the pain from his broken body, Var managed to struggle back upright even as the sound of Helven's heavy steps drew closer. Another almighty blow from Sicarius' Power Claw drove Var down onto his knees, and Helven's own knee, driven into Var's face, sent the 4th Company's Master of the Forge slumping backwards. Realising that Var could never beat Sicarius, he knew he had to fight dirty.

Using one of his remaining Servo-arms, Var levelled the Bolt Pistol and fired four rounds into the bigger Techmarine's crotch. With a roar of pain, Sicarius staggered backwards a step, giving Var the opportunity he needed to climb to his feet. Swinging his power Axe once more, Helven barely managed to catch it with his hand before it cut into his throat, but Var had expected this. Releasing the Power Axe's shaft, Var darted past Sicarius, before turning back and; dodging the reaching Servo-arms, grabbed a handful of the wires running from Helven's armour to his Servo-Harness, even as the larger Techmarine's twin Power Claws finally punched through Var's armour, one punching deep into his shoulder, and the other puncturing his abdomen. With a raw emotional cry, Var pulled with all his remaining strength. For a moment, there was nothing, but then, in an eruption of sparks that crackled all down Var's arm, the wires were torn from their place.

Sicarius's Servo Harness went completely limp as their connection to their host was severed. Before the secondary connection could be made, Var pulled the broken shards of the Power Sword that had almost killed him from his own neck, and drove them hard into Helven's Servo-Harness, causing even more sparks to fly, and the scream of tortured metal to once more fill the air.

Even as Sicarius turned, Var pushed his precious advantage, tearing the master-crafted Bolter-Plasma Gun that was so prized by Sicarius from it's now limp Servo-Arm, before tearing off Helven's helmet and slamming the weapon into the Techmarine's temple. The loud crunch of bone shattering was the only warning as the bigger Night Lord fell forwards with a thud. Wrenching the Power Claws from where they were still dug into his body, Var waved the weapon in front of the downed Techmarine and managed a laugh.

"Mind if I keep this?"

The laughter soon died on the Techmarine's lips however, as his broken and beaten body finally gave up and he fell to the floor beside his fellow Master of the Forge.

The Silent Lions Chapter

Winter Falls


Give a man a match and he will be warm for a day.
Set a man on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life.
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