Ok so here is what I have done to Heph's work - hopefully he won't be too offended. It's not finished - only about half way through Hephs work and I have to add a large paragraph about the exact details about the corruption. I also still have to come up with the characteristics of the Dark Hands pre heresy and the actions of the chapter and Malal (which will be easily removed if the vote doesn't approve it). So here it is:
The History Of The Dark Talons - Part One
Written by Hephesto and Jacobite
(Original idea belongs to Heph so all credit to him)
The war had lasted for nearly three decades now and for thirty years the forces of the Imperium had been desperately attempting to push back the legions of the Archenemy from the Sabbat Worlds. Initially the countless Imperial forces under the command of Warmaster Slydo made good progress, conquering several worlds and even disposing of the renegade archon Nadzybar. But then the tide of war took a turn for the worse, a new leader rose among the many chaos magisters that led the various armies in the region.
The new Archon, Urlock Gaur, not only proved to be a capable strategist, he brought about a major turn around in the traitors that held the planets of the Khan group in their firm grip. His new lieutenants proved to be of far superior quality than those that had served under Nadzybar. The likes of Anakwanar Sek, Enok Innokenti and Shebol Red-Hand bringing the Imperial advance to a stand still, with every world, every settlement turning into long, brutal ground battle. To make matters worse many of these new magisters brought with them new highly disciplined and trained troops. Many of them equal or even superior to the Imperial Guard, among them Gaur’s personal army the Blood Pact and the sadistic Son's of Sek.
In the hopes of breaking the back of the Archenemy’s forces the Imperium poured more and more troops into the Khan system, attempting to not only defeat them on the battle field but also to cut the supply lines from deeper in the Sabbat Worlds Cluster. One of the many efforts under taken by the Dark Hands Chapter. Their object was to flank the Sabbat worlds and then make a small warp jump behind the enemy lines to take out several worlds which acted as staging posts for the Blood Pact and Tratoir Legions. When these Worlds were liberated they could be re-enforced and used as a staging post for the Imperuim's forces to not only push deeper into the Sabbat Worlds cluster but also to double back and attack the enemy from the rear. It was a ambitious strategy especially given that Warmaster Macroth had only been in command for a matter of months. The first planet to be assaulted was Kabal III, it would soon become the site of the Chapters shame, though it would take them 10 years and another planet, Halfite Major, before they became aware of it.
-OF FALLEN BRETHERN AND VENGEANCE-
Casualties had been enormous, nearly all the guardsmen at observation post X-82 Alpha lay dead in the bloody, muddy trenches surrounding the vast radar dishes and communication bunkers. If it had not been for the arrival of the Space Marines of the Dark Hands Chapter the attacking Blood Pact troops would have re-taken the station, sending even more information to their treacherous masters hiding on the planets on the edge of the system.
Striding through the mud brother Anadrius inspected the remaining troops. He could see the fear in the eyes of the survivors and he knew just as well that they would not be able to withstand another attack. Twenty Space Marines and a handful of wounded guardsmen were no match for another regiment of veteran Blood Pact troopers. All that rested them was to sell their lives as dearly as possible...and get as much information out of ‘the prisoner’ as they could.
As the door of the communications bunker closed behind him Anadrius removed his helmet and observed as Apothecary Diganus began to removed the sealed helmet of the prisoner. How this traitor had managed to survive several plasma shots to the chest still illuded Anadrius. Though he was wearing power armour he should be dead, a pile of smoldering ceramite. His armour was adorned with all manner spikes and sigils, its dark red and black (or whatever colour we end up with) contrasted by the gold decorations. Most disturbing were his vambraces, each of them ending in wickedly barbed and seemingly scared claws. The right one alined with tiny extremely sharp tubes, which the traitor had used with great skill during the battle, the gore of marine and guardsman alike still slowly leaking from the tubing.
His helmet resembled a grimassing face, much like the grotesque facial masks worn by the Blood Pact. As the Apothecary removed it the gathered marines watched with resentment in their mind, expecting the vilest of creatures to inhabit this defiled piece of ancient armour. But the face that was revealed shocked them more than any warped mutant ever could. With a grin on his face the traitor turned to Anadrius and in a voice dripping with contempt spoke:
‘What’s wrong Anadrius, don’t you recognize your fellow battle-brother? Or is your memory so short lived,...old friend?’
Though his face was heavily scared, Anadrius indeed recognised the man he had once called brother. A man who had served with him through uncountable battles, who he believed to have been dead for over a decade. Still shocked, he slowly turned to Apothecary Diganus and nodded him to continue. What followed were three hours of interrogation, or what any civilised man would call it, torture. The heretic withstood everything the Apothecary unleashed on him until he once more sneered at Anadrius,
‘So you want to know, do you? Do you really...brother? Fine, I’ll tell you. But not because of this feeble attempt at persuasion, but because we’ll all be dead before the end of the day....and because I still owe you. Remember Kabal III? remember how you and the others left us while you fled?
-THE PAST RETURNS TO HAUNT TO PRESENT-
Over 20 years had passed since that dark day in the history of the Dark Hands chapter, on Kabal III they had fought the most costly of battles. Though the Imperial Invasion Force had consisted of six full Space Marine companies, two regiments of Imperial Guard and a Armoured Company, the world they faced was the major transport route for Blood Pact into the Khan Sector, to make matters worse Intelligence had been wrong, the Space Marines had expected minimal resistance, instead they encountered over fifteen Brigades of highly trained and well armed Blood Pact. What should have been a straight forward invasion, liberation and reinforcement quickly turned into a massacre, the Imperial Forces out numbered nearly 20 to 1. The entire planet of Kabal III took up arms against the Imperial Forces.
The Third company and portions of the First and Eighth companies made landfall in the Arganus Secundus hive lead by First Captain Retrave, embarking in the middle of the hidden enemy forces concentrated there. The Fourth Company under the command of Librarian Tanthus landed in the trenches outside the hive and began to fight their way in while the Sixth and Seventh companies backing up the Guard regiments and Armoured Company as they focussed on other objects across the Planets surface. As soon as the Imperial Forces landed strange activity began in orbit, unpredicted warp activity began to make communication difficult. Within hours radio contact between the fleet and the would be liberators were severed, leaving many of the pockets of Space Marines in the hive stranded and most certainly doomed. Over the course of the next two weeks fighting continued across the planet, with the Imperial forces slowly, but surely being pushed back to a ravine which had been designated as the fall back location.
The only success story came from the Fourth Company who broke through to their brothers inside the Hive. After meeting up with the rest of the Dark Hands the forces continued into the Hive via a tunnel which they believed would lead them to the Plasma Rectors deep within the Hive Core, if they could shut them down then the assembly lines supplying the Chaos forces would grind to a halt. The rest of the Imperial forces were forced to start a tactical retreat however but this soon turned to an all-out route of the Guard Regiments once they realised the extent of heretic Blood Pact forces. It took the lives of half of the Marines of the Sixth Company to prevent a complete massacre. When the commanding officers realised just how numerous the enemy was, the commander in charge, Lieutenant General Qalan, ordered a retreat from the planet.
Unwilling to leave any Marines behind, alive or dead, the Dark Hands made desperate raids into Arganus Secundus hive hoping to find survivors of the First, Third, Fourth and Eighth company. All they found were scores of dead guardsmen and traitors. Of the tunnel that the Space Marines had gone through there was no sign. Trying to raise the lost companies on the radio yielded nothing. Swearing vengeance for the spilled blood of their brethren the Dark Hands reluctantly withdrew from the planet. Of the nearly 500 hundred marines that came to the planet, only 100 left alive. To make matters worse only one body was recovered from the blasted, smouldering ruins of Hive Arganus Secundus. When it became clear that they couldn’t wait any longer due to both the proximity of the Warp Activity (which was fast becoming a full scale Warp Storm) and the approaching enemy forces the last Thunder Hawks returned to a remnants of the fleet in orbit, leaving one last radio broadcast to their lost brethren. The last message was:
“ Brothers, if any of you are still living here this cry. We cannot stay, the magics of the enemy grow near and we must go. We have waited for as long as we can. We will avenge your fate brother! May the Emperor be with you. Die with honour. You are on our own”
End Of Part One
Any problems with what I've done Heph?
What do the rest of you think?
I'll probably continue work on it later tonight or tomorrow - first I have to make a order to BL