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· Super Moderator
8,545 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Welcome to the year's third

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 GMT, 31 March 2014
. Remember, getting your story submitted on 22nd 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


· Registered
623 Posts
Alright, what exactly does the theme for this competition mean? Are we talking about the stone? Or what?

· Super Moderator
8,545 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Alright, what exactly does the theme for this competition mean? Are we talking about the stone? Or what?
If you want to write about a giant rock that would be cool.

If you want to be more metaphorical then that is permitted too.

Glad someone else asked first. I was starting to think Dave was purposely trying to mess with us. :shok:
Maybe I am.:grin:

Or maybe I wanted to stimulate imaginations with something a little different.

· Registered
2,844 Posts
Challenge accepted!

Earth, Steel & Fire

It was another of those damnable tests, created by the three Wise Men that led his army. Eldran’tyr sat in the war saddle of his great steed, the sun dragon Vorastrix, slowly circling over the training grounds for his budding army. Over the last few weeks, the Loremasters had come up with dozens of drills, activities and tests for his soldiers. The Dragon Mage was willing – begrudgingly – to admit that many of their methods seemed to strengthen his forces, but the idea that these three outsiders were directing his army still grated on the heir of Caledor.

Currently, one of his regiments was spread out on the training field. The large block of elite guardsman moved in perfect, disciplined blocks, their scale armor glinting beneath blood red and black uniforms. Each one held a large shield on their arm and a long spear in their hands. At least, the ones that were in the front lines did. In traditional Elven battle tactics, the soldiers in the front ranks had their spears raised and shields up, defending the back ranks, which had drawn full-sized longbows. With blinding speed, each knocked, drew, aimed, and fired steel-tipped arrows at their target.

Unfortunately, the enemy before them cared little for steel.

The golem, a massive elemental construct made of living stone, stomped through the field. Its body was made of rocks and stone, varying in size from giant boulders for fists and torso, to tiny pebbles grinding in its joints. Slow and ungainly, it staggered and forward unrelenting and unstoppable. Arrows struck the bulk of the elemental, sparks flying as steel stroke stone, wooden shafts splintering and shattering. The rocks showed a few scratches and chips on the surface, but otherwise they were unmarred by the projectiles.

When the golem got too close, the spearmen stepped forward, driving their weapons forward. Made of magically-reinforced wood, the weapons fared better than arrows. The steel spearheads struck the elemental, keeping it from storming forward. Runes carved into each spearhead glowed softly, minor enchantments keeping the weapons from shattering, but not strong enough to do any more to stone than a normal spear might; which was nothing. It kept the creature at bay when it found it could not cross the wall of spears and shields, then stepped back, and looked for another path of attack.

It was a stalemate. The Elven soldiers had no weapons to harm the elemental, while the creature could not overcome the Elven discipline or defenses to defeat its foes. “This is foolish.” Eldran’tyr offered aloud, though only his great steed was near him to hear, swooping above the training field. “Of course our men would not be able to defeat such a creature. That’s why there are other elements to the army. The bolt throwers on our skycutters could pierce that thing, or a drake would pull it apart.” The prince’s voice was tinged with disgust and impatience. What was it about these Loremasters, making up their own rules, not paying attention to the tactics of their own men?

No. Not their men, his men. He would prove these three were fools, and take back his command. Seeing his soldiers holding their own against an arcane construct gave him pride, and made him feel certain that the Loremasters had misjudged his warriors. But at the same time, knowing that they couldn’t defeat the creature, lacked the tools to do so, discouraged him. What was the point of this exercise?

Perhaps the Loremasters think that your warriors carry pickaxes. Vorastrix’s words echoed in its rider’s mind. The barely constrained violence in the dragon’s thoughts was obvious to Eldran’tyr. He could agree. He would much rather take the great dragon hunting in the mountains, but the Loremasters had requested his presence to watch the exercise. The sooner this farce was over, the sooner they could get back to the nature of a true dragon.

The Loremasters themselves were nowhere to be found. After summoning the creature, the warrior magi had stepped back past the soldiers, told them to defeat it, and disappeared into the shadows as if they never existed. They were probably still somewhere close, watching, but Eldran’tyr could not see them from this height, and if Vorastrix could, the dragon was not pointing them out.

Again and again the cycle repeated itself. The golem would lumber forward, be pressed back by hardened spears, but the Elves could not cause any damage to the construct.

“I have had enough of this. I will show them my pickaxe.” Vorastrix growled beneath Eldran’tyr, feeling the rage in his rider. The growl turned into a roar of conquest as it fell into a dive. The massive dragon came at the training field at a sharp angle, and even as they descended the mage was summoning a sword made of living flame, intending to tear through the elemental himself, but the dragon beneath him had the same idea.

With a terrible crash of claws and stone, Vorastrix smashed into the stone elemental. Claws sharper than swords tore chunks out of the granite body and the dragon’s massive bulk crushed it to the ground. Even after all that, the animated golem stroke to rise, finally having an opponent to fight. Eldran’tyr lashed out with his sword, but the elemental was blocked by Vorastrix’s profile. Finally the sun dragon opened its mouth, unleashing a blast of liquid flame. The fire from the creature washed over the stone elemental’s form, and the rock began to melt, starting to run like mud. As everyone watched, the stone softened, and the magic animated the creature faded into the air like purple smoke.

Then it was done, the elemental dead, half melted, unmoving. Vorastrix reared back, roaring in triumph. Eldran’tyr felt a glimmer of disappointment at not having a chance to kill himself, but at least he and his steed had had a kill together. The mage jumped down from his mount, looking around at his fellows. The warriors had all raised their spears in salute to their lord.

Hidden in the shadows, the three Loremasters watched the triumph of the dragon mage. “Fool. It took him long enough to realize he was supposed to help defeat the elemental. He keeps thinking of himself as a lord, and not a weapon the soldiers can rely on.”

“He will learn. We will teach him. His head is like granite, but eventually it will sink in.”

· Registered
623 Posts
Maw of Granite


I once carried the name Hel’xata with great pride. The name belonged to a line of champions in patronage to Tzeentch, yet did not bend knee to him directly. I used to tower over the legion-host as a mighty tower made mobile. Two wicked Sabers, etched with the name of every soul that had previously wielded them into battle, were mine to cleave and rend. My armor was nothing but my scaled and human flesh, save the Sash of Dreams. That lovely sartorial gave my enemies glimpses into my own aspects, which were not me.

I crashed down with the mighty hooves of the Centaur. I danced through the greater champions of the four like a four-limbed genie. I drained away the ages from the mortal races with one cursed bracelet. My masters wished me to turn from warfare, to disgrace myself in order to humble my stoked sense of hubris. Therefore, they desired it, but I never knelt until the centuries had come and gone. Only the tattered banners of the heralds remained to sing the praises of their overlords. The Great Four beckoned me to forsake my allegiance and swear fealty for eternal rewards a demon simply could not shrink at.

I never gave much concern to invading the mortal planes in the universe. Until my Master, Guardian of the Forlorn Towers prepared my host to march into the unknown. I never knew why the sudden change of heart, the Guardian always seemed content to prove himself before the Gods of Chaos. Yet when the portals began to shatter the bonds between our world and theirs, I knew there would be no turning back. Never, so long as mortal souls still defied the whim of the ruinous powers and fought their divine right to rule. What sovereignty isn’t given freely may be taken through conquest.

The Necrons of all species were the first to defy our invasion. Our factions joined in battle on the ashen sands of the tomb world Silvan V. I fought tooth and nail on the frontlines, an endless sea of writhing demons against a phalanx of quicksilver and machinery. Their weapons thrashed through our ranks for weeks, their monoliths and fallen Star Gods slaying even the greatest legends among the Guardian’s armies. The battle soon turned ill. The Guardian called upon my services to slay the aspect of the Star God: The C’tan.

My sabers carved path after bloodless path through their defensive formations, gauss whips lashing into my flesh, peeling away the skin rather masochistically. Only my finest fought and bled with me, until I was sure we would all be no more until the eve of the next millennia. My powers did not seem to have the desired effect on these soulless machines and they continued to press the advantage against us. Their commanders must have convinced themselves the conflict had been won. The ghastly C’tan emerged from a parting host of undead machines, larger and wielding a scythe with unknown powers.

I knew that I must tread carefully, the C’tan feast on souls like any other possessed with their power. The scythe came down, fluid like water against my Sabers. The explosion of unstable powers erupted across the battlefield, the fallout pulsing through the throngs of our minions like a mental thought. I found vulnerabilities in the God’s guard, cleaving through mist and darkness as if I had struck a black hole. The Star God lurched with a monstrous maw, all ghastly grey teeth and utter blackness.

So I revealed my own fangs. My friends in the Forlorn Towers always noted that the bite of my fangs is the hardest. A spew of incomprehensibly burning flames made the strike incredibly more painful. The darkness lurched away from my person, shadows blazing away while it howled the most terrifying wraith-howl to rattle my ears. I leapt into the encroaching blackness, my fangs snapped deep into whatever looked real. The C’tan dropped the scythe. His explosion nearly eradicated my physical manifest, my own chosen were not so fortunate.

The Guardian named me Champion of the Host. I carved through system after system in no coherent fashion. After the Necrons I landed in the Tau Septs and warred for no longer than a year. The young race proved resistant to the influences of the warp, so their worlds were of little value. The Host invaded the Eastern Fringe inside the Imperium next. I challenged my first Astartes in the invasion of Karlia. All one hundred of them came down to face the chosen and myself. One hundred heads claimed for the Gods.

My campaigns ended on one fateful decision to launch a surprise assault deep into Imperial territory through an isolated sector called the Hellas. Four worlds by the name of Tarmathon writhed in the flames of war over a protracted period. All seemed lost for the miniscule Imperial presence located there, their effort hinging on only one distant planet. Had it not been for the intervention of one certain Eldar Craftworld, I would have succeeded.

The Aspect Warriors of Teyl-Jhen arrived across the four warfronts in lightning blitzes. Wherever they came, they repulsed us. Their actual numbers remain unknown, but I believed they were few enough given the task they were set to. Never enough to commit to open battle with our kindred, but they freely harassed us whenever they saw fit. The true intent to stop us, masked beneath the annoyances of raiding and ambushes, did not come to sight until the Imperials made to stand with them. We met across the four worlds and met our demise with some honor.

Our own demise came through the great Raihan, Tiger of Teyl-Jhen. A Farseer draped in a shimmering sapphire cloak emblazoned with both the Sea Dragon and the Tiger. He did not stand against me alone. All the council of Seers wielded their potent magic against me. I never yielded before them. Instead, I crushed them under heel. Yet the Tiger’s resolve only seemed bolstered. Raihan alone conjured an eldritch storm powerful enough to send me down to one knee. He gripped his Singing Spear overhand and cast the weapon from his fingers. The Spear was designed to disrupt the physicality of anything beyond the average warp creature’s proportions. And I, Hel’xata, looked disrupted without an eye to gaze through.

Struck blind by a tiny mortal in one eye, I had little choice but to watch him through whatever remained lingering in the physical world. I snapped my jaws at him one last time. One defiance repaid with another.

· Registered
1,555 Posts
Rock in a Hard Place
1021 Words​

“YOU HAVE NEVER seen its like” Sergeant Shaeffer smiled ‘and most of you will be dead by the end of the day”
A Trooper to his left inexplicably fainted as if to emphasise the point.

“We have no choice ladies. If our line breaks, then the Regiment falls. If our Regiment falls, the Division will run. If the Division runs the front will collapse, and that is it. All bug meat by last light”

A collective moan seeped out from the serried ranks and Guardsmen who had never seen combat before, visibly paled.

Sergeant Shaeffer, a legend and father figure to the 116th Pindaris Infantry Regiment. A rock in a sea of despair.

He quickly turned to a gaggle of officers who were huddled around a large map. The colonel was making sweeping gestures with his arms, and pointing at key points and then turning to the distant horizon as if to emphasise a point.

“Fuggin’ officers’ he growled ‘I shi….”

A rolling carpet of flame lit up the horizon, turning the early morning grey into a multitude of colours and sound, causing half the officers to jump into a nearby slit trench. Shaeffer quickly glanced around and noticed that all his men were watching him.

All of them are afraid, not one of them is ready he thought What a complete clusterfu...

He peered over the lip of the trench and placed his hands on his hips in his most intimidating manner. He put on his best drill face and picked out a particularly skinny, young lieutenant who was straight out of the Academy.
“Mr Rawlingson, Sir. How do you expect to lead your men to glorious victory with your head up your own ars….”

A second sheet of flame rippled across their front followed by the deep rumbling drawl of heavy artillery.
“Sergeant Shaeffer’ squealed the officer ‘I must protest...”

The old campaigner was already on the move, this time towards a Heavy-las gun crew who had taken refuge under a Chimera.
Although the ground was muddy from a night rain and churned up by a thousand feet, his combat boots were, as always, pristine and shiny. The Corporal in charge of the gun, also noticed that the sergeants boots had steel toecaps, as one, and then the other smashed into the side of his face and knocked out two of his teeth.
“Get your malingering ars..’

A battery of heavy mortars opened up nearby, popping rounds high over the heads of the Pindarian’s.

‘...out of the dirt before I shoot you myself. Corporal Huawei?”

The unfortunate NCO, face in his hands struggled to his feet, shaking and barely able to function.
“Consider yourself busted. Get your backside over to the right and join the Sappers. You shall be the first to have the honour of leading our men through that minefield ahead”.

It was always like this of course, before a battle, when good men were lead by bad men. Non-coms like Shaeffer were expected to take the lead, when others faltered. They were expected to stand tall when others scurried in the dirt.

A Vox-operator joined him, sweating profusely as he tried to maintain Shaeffer’s pace.
“Commissar Angove on the blower Sarge, he wants you to shoot a few people”, he handed the speaker horn to him and shrugged his shoulders. Shaeffer smiled.
“That was actually funny McNeill”

He stopped on the lip of the front trench and looked out onto the horizon.
Three hundred artillery pieces were now blanketing the enemies positions and the Fleet, high in orbit, were adding their firepower to an almost apocalyptic vision of death and destruction.
Not enough

“Shaeffer here”
“Shaeffer, its Angove’ came a crackled, distorted voice ‘your line will break, but you must hold as long as you can”
Shaeffer nodded solemnly.
“Today is a good day to die Commissar”
“Then die well and with honour my friend”

The NCO handed the hand piece back and turned his back on the vision from Hell.
“So it ends here today” he muttered to himself.
He smiled at the young Vox-operator and nodded to positions over to the left.
“Get off and join your mates McNeill, I will not be needing you any more”

“Here they come!”, was the shout that Shaeffer was dreading.
“Throne save us”
“Emperor have mercy…”

A vision from your worst nightmares was moving across the horizon, a vision so terrible that men literally died at their posts.
Shaeffer acted quickly before the rot set in.
“We must pile them up boys and pile them high. The Emperor is with us today”

A wave of Rippers, thousands deep hit the minefield in an unstoppable rage. The small anti-personnel mines failed to halt them even for a second. The anti-tank mines faired a little better, but still they came on.
Shaeffer was still standing tall on the lip of the trench.
“Be strong boys”
Heavy weapons opened up on all sides intermingled with vehicle-mounted weapons.
The sky now filled with flying creatures and Shaeffer shivered involuntarily.
“Wait for it”

The Tyranid vanguard were nearly upon them now and their ranks had never faltered. When they reached the first marker Shaeffer smiled.
“Light them up”

The trench was filled with promethium that ignited in a brilliant yellow fireball, instantly vapourising the scuttling things.
Then the Tyranid soldiers came, running over the backs of their brethren and never stopping for an instant.
“Independant fire at will”
Fifteen hundred Lasguns opened up in a wall of noise that momentarily stopped the enemy advance.
The first Hormagaunts were on him but Shaeffer was fast and his chainsword deadly.

Like corn on a summers day he thought Oh the joy of battle.

Like a rock in a sea of death, hard as granite, immovable, undefeatable.

“Hey… Sergeant!”
Shaeffer turned to see Corporal Huawei. He was bleeding from numerous wounds and his face was torn open. He was carrying a heavy-flamer in steady hands
“Yeah, thanks for the demotion and my new job, you piece of sh…”

++ Sergeant First-Class Ibrahim Shaeffer. Killed in Action, Dromlaces Incursion ++
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