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Welcome to the year's fourth

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, 30 April 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!


· Registered
2,844 Posts

“Loose!” came the order, and three hundred black-shafted, white feathered arrows took to the sky in a high arc. The flew high and far, before finally succumbing to gravity and falling back to pierce flesh and other things.

The creatures kept coming, of course. Rather than disciplined lines, the demonic hordes moved like a pack of wild animals. Some seemed to flow like water or liquid flame, others sluggishly trampled forward, leaving trails of slime behind them. Slavering creatures the color of old blood charged forward with monstrous weapons in hand, while beside them ran sickeningly beautiful creatures with purple skin, seductive curves, and terrible claws. The arrows crashed into them, and dozens of them ceased. They burst like soap bubbles, exploded in pink flame, or melted from flesh to wax to ash. As varying as their forms, their deaths were just as varied.

In the time it took for the creatures to cross the distance over the open plains, four more volleys of arrows had been launched from the three hundred elven warriors arrayed in ranks before them. A sixth half-volley was launched from the back ranks when the demons got too close, before every elf sheathed their bows on their back, took up the spears at their side and raised shields into an interlocking wall. As one, the formations turned from blocks of deadly arches to walls of steel and hardened wood, impenetrable and ready for the monsters to break against them.

Three formations, each one a hundred elves strong, stood strong against the incoming hordes. In the center of each formation stood one of the Loremasters, and from their fingertips flew bolts of power, fireballs or arcs of lightning. As the demons got closer, they weaved spells of protection around their accompanying soldiers. Spears gleamed and shields seemed to grow sturdier.

The demons struck the line of shields with the force of a hammer struck against an anvil, and seemingly with as little result. The elves braced and held, and many of the creatures impaled themselves on the spear wall before them. The front lines kept shields locked, while ranks in the back stabbed forward with spears into the writhing masses. The soldiers moved flawlessly and fluidly, like a human clockwork machine more than a living organism.

It was only a matter of time before the demonic armies, realizing that they were outclassed against the well-disciplined elves, brought out more potent weaponry. Seemingly out of nowhere came flocks of predator creatures, but instead of being graceful birds of prey, they were creatures that looked like they belonged at home underwater, swimming through the air. They dived towards the elven ranks, lashing out with sharp fans and razor sharp wings. The elven ranks could not defend both above and in front of them, and soon found themselves having to give ground to reorder their ranks.

In response, the elven army retaliated with its own flying reserves. Compared to most winged hunters, drakes were massive creatures the color of fresh blood, though they were tiny compared to their own brethren, just barely large enough for a rider. These were riderless, and tore through the sky, ripping the demons from the air before they could do too much damage to the elven forces.

For some time the battle seemed like a stalemate. The elven defenses were strong and steadfast, and demons died by the droves. But each time one dissolved in flame or blood or mist, another one seemed ready to take its place. The drakes outmatched the swarming razor-winged creatures, but soon the great creatures were brought down by sheer numbers, until the Loremasters could counter with blasts of flame and light to tear the creatures away.

Nor were those the only aspects of the battle being used. The demons had enough cunning to have strange, monstrous cavalry at their disposal; the more humanoid-looking demons with limbs made for riding were astride great beasts, covered in scales and plates. The elven army had their own cavalry, but the great Dragon Princes were made for sudden strikes, and not for a pitched battle. They played to their strengths, crashing into flanks with thunderous force while chariots pulled by small drakes soared through the air, peppering the demons with volley after volley of bolts from mounted crossbows.

The tactics were, for the most park, classic and textbook, really. The elven spearguard made a perfect anvil, and the cavalry was a powerful hammer, while the drakes and chariots harassed at the demon’s weak spots. Against any mortal enemy, the battle would most likely have been over already. Against such a monstrous force, only an overwhelming force would break it.

Much like the exercise against the rock elemental, that show of force came from Eldran’tyr and Vorastrix. The Sun Dragon crashed down into the bulk of the demon forces, and a massive swathe of them disappeared in a gout of dragonfire from the creature. The mage on his back wielded a sword of flame, cutting through the demonic creatures that clamored to reach them.

With the dragon on the field, it went from stalemate to rout. Whatever power was animating the demons failed against the raw force of the Sun Dragon. Eldran’tyr threw bolts of flame into whatever demons looked more powerful than any others, instead of the regulated salvos that came from the Loremasters. Claws and fangs and tail tore through ranks of demons, and soon the horde was breaking, and the magic that animated them began to fail.

Half a league away, Eldran’tyr’s father stood beside one of the house’s Archmages, the one controlling the grand illusion that threw endless demons at his son’s army. At the Lord’s signal, the mage allowed the demons to fade away, retreating back into the aether.

At the Lord’s other side was one of his advisors, high general of his armies. He nodded slowly, though he looked unimpressed. “They will make a name for themselves, certainly. I think they’re ready, your Highness. Whether anyone else is, that is another story.”

· Registered
2,989 Posts
My first entry into HOES, and hopefully, not my last.

Brotherhood - 991 Words.​

For the fifteenth time, Elias Krateron slapped a magazine into his bolt-pistol and expelled it. He was armoured, like all of his brothers, in the sea-green of the Sons of Horus, a belt of pteruges ringing his waist. There were hundreds, thousands, of warriors around him - Each undergoing their own preparations, checking armour seals, boasting and bantering amongst one another, revving the motors of their long, barbaric chainswords. Krateron's own squad, 17th of the 17th Company - Some naysayers claimed, that after Murder and the loss of four brothers, they were unlucky, damned and doomed and damned again - Were crouched together, silent and statuesque, their helmets sealed and their weapons ready, though unloaded.

Snap-click, sixteenth time.

'We are the speartip,' Krateron heard someone say, jovially, nearby. 'We'll go in, beat the Isstvanians around a bit, and let Abaddon mop up the mess.'

Snap-click, seventeenth time.

Isstvan. Vardus Praal, the local governor, had revealed his true colours, murdering Imperial officers, throwing up his arms in open revolt. He was a turncoat, a bastard traitor, blind to the light of the Emperor, to Horus Lupercal and the Imperium. And now the might of not one, not two, but four Legions had fallen upon the Isstvan System - The Sons of Horus, the Death Guard, the World Eaters and the Emperor's Children were all present, and in massive numbers. It was almost unprecedented.

Snap-click, eighteenth time.

But something felt strange about this undertaking. Here, upon the Vengeful Spirit, a task-force had assembled, over a third of the XVI were present - An ad hoc formation of individual squads and formations, pulled from a hundred companies. Everyone had noticed the subtle rearrangements in the command hierarchy; tested, popular and capable Terran officers being rotated out in favour of younger, zealous Cthonians. Indeed, Esarhaddon now commanded the 17th, the Hesperus Guard, having replaced old Tybrean on the outset of the Isstvan Campaign.

Snap-click, nineteenth time.

'If you keep doing that,' Rasped a voice, low and brittle. 'You'll cause a malfunction.'

Krateron's head snapped around. One of the Sons of Horus, his armour so superbly polished that it shone like a mirror, stood over him. He was bareheaded, with wide-set amber eyes and a straight, dignified nose.

'Sarnbael,' Krateron called out, embracing his brother with a clatter. 'Brother.'

Sarnbael and Krateron were polar-opposites - Krateron, tall, pale-skinned and grey-haired, one of the XVI's Terrans, old and hardened; Sarnbael squat, broad and bald, one of the true Sons of Horus, having been raised from the slump-hives of Cthonia, and later, inherited the Lupercal's noble features. Despite these differences, friendship had blossomed between the two, and their squads often worked in tandem - Sarnbael's choleric nature complimenting Krateron's steadier, calmer outlook.

'Sergeant,' Sarnbael said, tersely, disengaging from his friend. He straightened, eyeing the gathering of Legionaries, and whistled. 'Quite the show, isn't it?'

'It is,' Krateron replied, nodding in agreement. 'I did not know you were selected for the speartip.'

'I wasn't,' Sarnbael said, with a disappointed smile. 'I have other duties to attend to aboard the Minotaur, but that is later.'

'Came to see us off, then?' Krateron ventured.

'I did,' Sarnbael meeting Krateron's gaze. 'I wouldn't miss this for anything.'

'Praal's a fool, a dead fool,' Krateron added, after a moment of silence. 'Fulgrim's peacocks have been given the duty of securing the Precentor's Palace, though.'

'Not all of the Emperor's Children are songbirds, Elias,' Sarnbael growled, his expression hardening. 'Remember that.'

'I meant no offence, brother,' Krateron said, grinning. 'Nevertheless, it shall be a glorious day. We'll be back by nightfall, mark my words. We're going in with Endall's lot, straight for the Sirenhold.'

'Or an infamous one,' Sarnbael grunted, folding his arms across his chest.

Krateron raised an eyebrow. 'Infamous? You're mistaken, brother-'

'Infamous,' Sarnbael interrupted. 'Days like this, where such a show of hand is needed, are infamous. The war with the Interex and the campaign on Aureus were the same. No glory, just blood and piss and infamy. Isstvan will be the same. Many will die.'

'I don't understand, Praal is a rebel-'

'You don't understand,' Sarnbael cut in, smiling sadly. 'Of course you don't. How could you? You see only one thing, brother - War. It rules you, you see no other purpose. Isstvan, to you, to these,' He indicated the crowd of Marines with his hand. 'Is just another war.'

'Why are you telling me this? Are you envious, brother, that Horus has put you on deck-washing duties?' Krateron laughed heartily.

'I'm telling you this, Elias, because I am your friend. Because my conscious wouldn't let me remain silent,' Sarnbael paused, pursing his lips. For a moment, he was lost in thought, in consideration. 'Isstvan is the turning point, the paving stones to something newer, something greater. Nothing will be the same after Isstvan. These next few hours, days, weeks and months and years? That will be the judge of whether today lives on in infamy or in glory.'

Krateron opened his mouth to speak.

'Speartip units to posts!' Commanded the deck officer, his voice echoing throughout the cavernous hanger.

'This is it, then,' Sarnbael said, offering his hand. Krateron clasped it in his, shook it, and nodded. 'Farewell, Elias, watch yourself down there.'

'Don't miss me too much, Sarnbael,' Krateron laughed, slapping a fist against his chest. 'Lupercal!'

'Lupercal,' Sarnbael mimicked, grimly, and spun on his heel, marching away.

Krateron jogged away, leading his squad from the front, lowering his helmet over his head. For a moment, everything was bathed in blackness, before reality snapped back into being, fuzzy-green.

He and the men of 17th entered their drop pod, buckling themselves into their harnesses, slamming magazines home, uttering oaths of moment.

What had Sarnbael been talking about? He was on the point of raving, of lunacy. He made little sense. Krateron made a mental note to inquire further into the subject, after he returned from the surface.

Slowly, deliberately, Krateron loaded his bolt-pistol.

Snap-click, twentieth time.

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2,152 Posts
Ceased Ambition​

Russilay let out a satisfied exhalation of warm, mixed breath. Hkavla did the same. She rolled over to one side of the misaligned pillows and scarlet sheets, closing her eyes with a genuine smile on her lips.

The Captain felt reluctant to move at first, but anticipation brought the soles of his feet to the onyx-marble floor.

“It will be the most important day of my life,” he reflected, softly. He began to dress, plucking up one article of clothing at a time.

Keeping her eyes closed, Hkavla’s smile faded.

“Are you sure?”

“I am.”

She said nothing. So, with a sigh, Russilay continued.

“I’ve tried explaining this to you many times. It doesnt matter if I die, all that matters is that I make history. That I make a name for myself.”

“How can death be so important to you?”

“Because how one dies defines their life. The human population is one of countless number, how else do I make sure my name lives beyond my body?”

Hkavla sat up quickly, the red sheets falling from her as she put her arms around Russilay, purposefully pressing her breasts into his back to whisper in his ear with the whitest of teeth,

“You’re an esteemed Captain. You command a Battleship. Your record is amazing and you’re sure to become an Admiral. Isn’t that enough?”

Russilay held her hand around his shoulder, softly, but wouldn’t be swayed.

“Unfortunately, no. One must go to greater lengths to truly last. Within the vastness of the galaxy, becoming an Admiral sadly means little. Many do not make it into any significant number of history archives. This will be a much quicker, much more powerful, and a much more guaranteed means of ensuring that I am remembered.”

She let go.

“Why does that matter so much to you? I dont care if the universe remembers me when I die. I dont expect it to.”

“But isn’t that all that matters in life? Such a small, infinitesimal number of people get the chance to truly be remembered and live beyond their name. How many men and women of the Imperium work an overly repetitive, Emperor-forsaken task, and die as insignificant as the dirt around their feet? We are talking about Astartes, Hkavla. They record everything, and they remember everything.”

“Its also why I know you’re not coming back.”

She made to pout, and her glimmering eyes began to tear.

“Why can’t your career be good enough?”

“Oh, don’t pretend to be more than you are! You’ll find another man to enjoy, you probably already have!”

Hkavla’s face reddened. She turned to the other side of the bed and began grabbing her clothes.

“There are only three ways to truly be remembered. Children, fame, and its evil cousin, infamy… and nothing shocks us more than the latter.”

“Speak for yourself.” said Hkavla as she left the room. It was brash.

Russilay sat for a moment. He had gotten three other women pregnant. None of them knew of each other. He shook his head and held it in his hands, his thumbs pressed into his cheek bones and his fingers against his temples. He had an astropathic conference with the Ultramarine, Captain Liferiel, and was practically late already. He knew what the orders would be, as Liferiel only contacted him for one reason. To make war. It was all the Astartes ever did, ever thought about. If they didn’t see it coming, then, quite honestly, they deserved it.

He made his way to the council room of his estate, where the astropaths were already stationed, their faces appearing even more odd than usual. Thier mouths twitched as if the connection they held was rather painful. Cables ran from the back of their heads, coiling along the rich flooring and connecting with the holographic projector. Here, in front of the vastness of windows overlooking golden-brown canyons lavish with waterfalls, stood the image of an Ultramarine, spectacular as ever.

It wasn’t his usual contact. Captain Galatir’s stride was broken, at seeing this. The marine wore a cape, it’s underside appeared red and its backside cream. The Astartes wore a peculiar device around his scalp. He knew by now, this was one of their psyker warrior-priests.

He stuttered, “Hello my Lord. I was expecting to hear from Captain Liferiel today. To whom do I owe the pleasure?”

“I am Brother Vitriamus. Captain Liferiel’s company is preparing to make war upon a new threat to the Realm of Ultramar. As usual, we have been granted the opportunity to assemble a fleet from those staged within our sectors, and to choose amongst those we have the most faith in. You are among both of those factors. Having supported our own vessels in void warfare over a dozen times, you continue to pave an impressive record, Captain Galatir. We understand that your time of leave has been short.”

“When isn’t it?”

“Excuse me, Captain?” The Librarian had lowered his head, and narrowed his gaze.

“When is it not a grand opportunity to make war with the likes of the Ultramarines, my Lord? I am more than eager to continue making a name for myself by being in your service. There is no doubt in my mind that when we meet this foe the battle, and its participants, will be much to remember.”

“There is no doubt in my mind either, Captain Galatir. We will be sending you the fleet assembly coordinates shortly. Once received, you are to make your way there immediately, and fall into formation behind our strike cruisers.”

Russilay smiled, genuinely.

“Perfect, my Lord.”

The connection was discontinued. The astropaths made a collective sigh of relief.

Russilay made his way to the edge of the nearest window and peered out over the landscape of his homeworld. He gazed up toward the sky, able to make out his Victory Class Battleship, the Prognosticate, knowing precisely where it was stationed in orbit.

The weapon crews never knew what they were firing at, as they slaved away their bodies on the gun decks. His Bridge? He would kill them all, and take control of all the ship’s functions himself if he had to, if they weren’t willing to follow his orders to the letter. One way or another, he would see the blue ships burn.

Word Count: 1049
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