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Welcome to the year's eleventh

For those of you that are unfamiliar with HOES, here's how it works:

Each month, there will be a thread posted in the Original Works forum for that month's HOES competition. For those of you interested in entering, read the entry requirements, write a story that fits the chosen theme and post it as a reply to the competition thread by the deadline given. Each and every member of Heresy Online is more than welcome to compete, whether your entry is your first post or your thousandth. We welcome everyone to join the family of the Fan Fiction Forum.

Once the deadline has passed, a separate voting thread will be posted, where the readers and writers can post their votes for the top three stories. Points will be awarded (3 points for 1st, 2 for 2nd, and 1 for 3rd) for each vote cast, totalled at the closure of the voting window, and a winner will be announced. The winner will have his/her story added to the Winning HOES thread and be awarded the Lexicanum's Crest award for Fiction excellence!


The idea with the theme is that it should serve as the inspiration for your stories rather than a constraint. While creative thinking is most certainly encouraged, the theme should still be relevant to your finished story. The chosen theme can be applied within the WH40K, WHF, HH, and even your own completely original works (though keep in mind, this IS a Warhammer forum) but there will be no bias as to which setting is used for your story.

As far as the theme goes, please feel free with future competitions to contact me with your ideas/proposals, especially given that my creative juices may flow a bit differently than yours. All I ask is that you PM me your ideas rather than posting them into the official competition entry/voting threads to keep posts there relevant to the current competition.

Word Count

The official word count for this competition will be 1,000 words. There will be a 10% allowance in this limit, essentially giving you a 900-1,100 word range with which to tell your tale. This is non-negotiable. This is an Expeditious Story competition, not an Epic Story nor an Infinitesimal Story competition. If you are going to go over or under the 900-1,100 word limit, you need to rework your story. It is not fair to the other entrants if one does not abide by the rules. If you cannot, feel free to PM me with what you have and I'll give suggestions or ideas as to how to broaden or shorten your story.

Each entry must have a word count posted with it. Expect a reasonably cordial PM from me (and likely some responses in the competition thread) if you fail to adhere to this rule. The word count can be annotated either at the beginning or ending of your story, and does not need to include your title.

Without further ado...

The theme for this month's competition is:


Entries should be posted in this thread, along with any comments that the readers may want to give (and comments on stories are certainly encouraged in both the competition and voting threads!) 40K, 30K, WHF, and original universes are all permitted (please note, this excludes topics such as Halo, Star Wars, Forgotten Realms, or any other non-original and non-Warhammer settings). Keep in mind, comments are more than welcome! If you catch grammar or spelling errors, the writers are all more than free to edit their piece up until the close of the competition, and that final work will be the one considered for voting. Sharing your thoughts with the writers as they come up with their works is a great way to help us, as a FanFiction community, grow as a whole.

The deadline for entries is Midnight US Eastern Standard Time
(-5.00 hours for you UK folks) Saturday, December 28, 2013. Voting will be held from 29 December - 4 January 2014. Remember, getting your story submitted on 23rd will be just as considered by others as one submitted on 11th! Take as much time as you need to work on your piece! Any entries submitted past the deadline will not be considered in the competition, regardless of whether the voting thread is posted or not.

Additional Incentive
If simply being victorious over your comrades is not enough to possess you to write a story, there will be rep rewards granted to those that participate in the HOES Challenge.

Participation - 1 reputation points, everyone will receive this
3rd place - 2 reputation points
2nd place - 3 reputation points
1st place - 4 reputation points and Lexicanum's Crest

If you have any questions, feel free to ask in this thread.

Without further nonsense from me, let the writing begin!

Table of Contents


626 Posts
The Craven Beast - 1094 Words​

Captain Crassus could feel the harsh glare of all the shadows boring down from the steep hills of the valley. The small town of Pella materializing into view was the source of his uneasy worrying. He quickly decided the feeling was not an instinct, considering his crow-eyed troopers were on the fence about their instincts as well. No doubt the fear radiating from the march-weary guardsmen from the Consentia Fourth company was about as raw as the wounds in last month’s casualties. Crassus would have to trust his scouts on the decision to force-march during the dead of night. The actual chance of coming under attack proved to be very low, according to his most trusted men.

“Slave Raiders… you hear that? A town goes silent and they want us to go investigate- in the middle of the frakking night!” One of the grunt-privates had spoken up towards the fore of the marching column.

The smack of a hand across his helmet by one of the Sergeants, Cassius Beatiatus, interrupted his rant. “Shut your gob, Lysuscis, and the nefarious Eldar being involved is just some gossip. Rebels could have easily stormed in and taken Pella for themselves.”

Lieutenant Ceasar of the first platoon suddenly chimed in smirking in the Captain’s direction. He raised his voice over the gossiping rank and file. “Makes little difference given the situation. The Fourth company all by its lonesome out in the fearsome wilderness, most of our vehicles broken and shattered, and the march shooting our morale to an all time high. Whatever’s at Pella, I’ll give them a day or two to surrender tops.” Ceasar’s words earned a couple of snickers laden with dark intent.

“Consentians! Halt!!!” Crassus raised his fist at the very entrance leading into the town. His orders were echoed down the chain of command and soon the entire company was kneeling on the roadside. He could feel their eyes fixated on his back.

Ceasar made to stand beside his Captain, sharing a similar look between themselves. “What in the name of all the Primarchs?” The Lieutenant mouth was visibly gaping.

Crassus folded his arms patiently, a knowing smile crossing his lips. “I’d say an unharmed town of Pella. A welcome sight. Gather the men, we’ll rest easy tonight!”

The weary tension among the Consentia Fourth immediately dissipated in the wake of relieved rejoicing. Three men abreast at a time marched into the undisturbed city much to the surprise and exaltation of those still awake so late in the night. Their joyous cries soon woke the sleeping and a crowd began to form from the windows and balconies.

Lysuscis’ obnoxious voice shouted over the bellowed cheers of his comrades. “Why is everyone celebrating!? We could be sleeping out on the street tonight!”

Ceasar was about to turn on his heel and punch him hard in the gut -a fellow Consentian warning- when a boy no more than eleven years suddenly rushed up to the head of the marching column. Ceasar and Crassus both stared down the boy with questioning gazes, the impatient looks on their faces quickening the boy’s certain praise.

The boy looked distraught with renewed hope. “Did the Emperor send you!? Have you come to liberate us!?”

“Liberate you from what son!?” Crassus gestured with his arms all of Pella.

The boy’s voice erratically shifts into inhuman tones and volumes. His smile too warps into something terrifying. “... Liberate us from our shackles!!!” The monstrosity hiding in the form of a boy suddenly explodes into a nexus of energy. The core cackles madly while it continues to adapt into a humanoid shape. A horrible one at that.

“Consentia Fourth! To arms! Kill everything in site!” Crassus’ piercing cry is echoed by decade veteran soldiers. The deamoness before him suddenly attempts to decapitate him in a wild spectacle for her deamonic on-lookers, but her disgusting claws fall short.

The specters of the former citizens of Pella suddenly transform all at once, taking on the forms of lavender she-deamons and suddenly spring their carnival of slaughter on the fourth company. They beset on the slower, confused soldiers first, closing entire distances with bounding leaps and literally tearing them apart with their wretched claws in front of their comrades. The able-bodied still capable of putting up a fight are close enough to the sudden storm of death that they are painted in the blood of the fallen.

Crassus leaped backwards into Ceasar. His plasma pistol discharging a molten hole in between the eyes of the she-deamon that had attempted to take his head the moment it looked real enough. His Lieutenant spins him away on instinct, taking his chainsword and side-stepping a sudden flurry of claws. His skill shows through even as he lashes out in desperation, severing a trio of separate limbs from their owners. Ceasar quickly steps back into their reach and cuts through them all at once with a vertical swipe. The monomolecular edges of his blade easily part through vulnerable flesh, spraying arterial blood all over himself and Cassius who fights beside him. Such was their bravery.

Yellow trails of unloaded las-fire fly through the air and light up the dark streets of Pella. The battle cries of human warriors suddenly intermingle with the insanity of singing deamonic entities. Deamons pouring in from every angle fall where they stand under the weight of fire, absorbing a wasteful amount of firepower as they attempted to claw their way to fresh blood. The alien creatures came forth in a stampede colliding hard into a wall of resistance.

Someone shouts. “Crassus! By the Emperor, death from above!”

The Captain immediately tuck and rolled away from the retracting press of lavender bodies, making enough room for a very slim creature to fall upon his previous position. His long serrated blade clanked against the ground futilely, then the mandrake - a headhunter, command had warned- jolted off his knees and connected a savage kick across Crassus’ temple. Crassus couldn’t react to the Eldar’s lightning coup de grace. The creature’s triumphant cry mixed with the defiant screams of both Ceasar and Cassius.

The deamonic entities echoed his declaration of victory with mocking laughter. The Dark Eldar continued their cruel revelry even as their disguises -very realistic holograms- began to fade away altogether. Ceasar fell to his knees in horror at witnessing the horde of Wyches and Mandrakes butchering the wounded and trapping the survivors.

A Succubus grips him violently by his hair. “Bring this man a communication device. He has a quite a story to tell.”

2,848 Posts
A Nightmare Unseen

Sanguinus lay on the ground, his body still convulsing in its death throes. Dark blood pooled from beneath his body, staining his ivory wings crimson. His chest fell with his last breath, the broken blade of his sword buried through his armor and into his heart. His eyes closed, and the Angel was gone.

The pool of blood continued to spread, gathering at the feet of a god among those counted as gods among men. The great Betrayer, Horus, was standing there, towering in armor of slate grey and ebony. Done with Sanguinus’s weapon, Horus drew his own, a fel blade rumored to be gifted by the gods of all things terrible. Lightning crackled on the blades of the claw that graced his other hand.

As dark and ominous as Horus seemed, the figure above him was just as magnificent. Even now in the darkest of times he seemed to defy description, a perfect creature that burned with all the glorious radiance of the sun. Golden armor as exquisite as was ever crafted graced his form, making him seem both regal and imposing, elegant and lethal all at once. The two figures were perfect opposites, the void of night against the blaze of the stars. Only Horus would dare to try and eclipse the magnificence of the Emperor of Mankind.

There was only one thing more absurd than the idea of father and son in conflict like this, and that was it would be witnessed by a mere mortal. In the shadowy corners of the throne room was another presence. He had no name, merely a string of numbers, a designation that seemed pointless and pathetic compared to the colossi before it. The figure was tiny and frail, and in the back of its mind it knew that was normal for a member of the Choir, though it could not remember what the Choir was. No other thought existed except for what was happening before it.

Horus and the Emperor were speaking to each other now. The sniveling creature heard them, but there were no words. From the Betrayer came terrible sounds of fire and thunder and death, while his father’s voice was a chorus of angels and a symphony of peace. The thunder grew more terrible, while the symphony was calm and soothing, each growing more intense as their argument heated. Finally the discussion came to its climax, with the quiet finality of the Emperor’s melody more terrible in its sudden chill than all the noise that Horus spouted.

The time for words were over with the Emperor’s final dismissal. From his throne he drew his sword, a blade of golden light that defied true definition. Like two titans of ancient Terra, Horus and the Emperor did battle. They were forces of nature, elemental powers that seemed less like men and more pure primal entities. The creature watched from the shadows, terrified of being caught up in the maelstrom. Its robes caught in fiery wind, threatening to draw him in, and his fingers bled as he clung to the wall and watched, unable to look away.

The battle seemed to last for hours, days, lifetimes. The two warriors moved in a blur that could not be followed by the unaided eye, and yet the huddling, numbered being saw every detail in slow motion. Blades flashed against blades in a corona of light. Armor was torn and blood was spilled. Small cuts gave way to grave injury, and still both fought on. At last one of the figures fell to his knees. It happened so fast that the choirman needed heartbeats to realize it was the golden Adonis that had fallen.
The menial had no control of what happened next; he screamed. It was the cry of mortal terror, of loss beyond any soul could ever hope to endure. Behind the Emperor’s throne, the very sky shuddered out the window, and fire rained from the stars as the universe mourned. And when the mortal’s scream abated, he turned and fled.

He had no idea where he was going. He disappeared into the shadows and found himself running blindly down endless tunnels. At one point he found himself running through corridors that seemed like they belonged in a starship. Rounding a corner brought him to the dark avenues of the City of Silence. The golden halls of the Imperial Palace gave way to ancient stone roads. Through it all he kept running, with the echoes of his own scream following. Somewhere in the midst of his flight, the menial’s mind managed to process that this was wrong. Some terrible dream.

As soon as that thought triggered, he found himself at a dead end. The hallway ended in a dark room, some form of observation lounge. A massive window overlooked the curve of Holy Terra from orbit, and the entire mass of the palace could be seen from above. The city was burning, and fire fell from his perch in space, searing the world. The man ran up to the window, slamming fists against the glass. Behind him, nothing allowed escape as shadows closed in. He was trapped, watching the end of the galaxy. He banged on the class, clawed at it. Above Terra, a star exploded over the northern plane of stars. He watched the nova expand, until a blazing eye like fire could be seen. All at once the numbered wretch knew what he had seen. All he had to do was get the warning to Him, down there in the fiery blaze that was the palace. If he could just claw through the glass…

“Dead, you say?” The Mistress of the Astropathic Choir followed her assistant, already looking bored. Telepaths burnt out all the time, after all.

“Yes, Mistress. But this one was strange. Come, see.” The assistant all but pushed the Mistress into the small cell.

Inside the sleeping chamber was a small withered husk of a man, his body pressed up against the tiny slit of a viewport his chambers provided. His eyes were gone, burnt out of their sockets, and his fingers were mangled and broken, bloody and shredded from digging and clawing. Bloodstains around the window gave evidence to that. He had bitten his tongue and choked on it, it seemed, as if the rest were not enough.

“What could have caused it?”

The Mistress had no answer. In the distance, she saw a tiny flicker in the window, through the blood. A star had blossomed from the warp, and the flicker seemed to burn, like an eye in the darkness.

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