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Welcome to the year's sixth

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 July 2015
. 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!


1,547 Posts
Another Day, Another Credit
Brother Emund

(1078 words)​

Kashrin Boulevard and Main: 2am - Death shift. Solo Patrol. Reposition Inebriates and delinquents.

Emperors teeth, the night was dragging.

Arbitrator Second Level, Aabraham Lohmus had had a bad shift. First he was bawled out for turning up late, despite the fact that all the power systems were down due to a net wide fault. Secondly, a scaghead had puked on him after a narc arrest and he could still smell the filth on his uniform.

I hate these vermin.

Now he was tasked to clear one of the main shopping strips of the homeless and undesirables. The local merchants were complaining that it was bad for business and were making waves with the Judges.
Solo patrol sucked. The nearest backup was always too far away. He would tread carefully and pick his targets. Nothing too contentious, nothing too stressful. Just a few of the weak to keep his Sergeant happy.

The Fairnard Emporium was always a good place to find them. It sat on a thermal vent that was closed during the day but at night the built up heat was released. This made it very comfortable for the local down and outs.
As he approached the ten-story Haberdashery, he could already see small groups vying for the best spots.
Lohmus would give them a chance tonight… he felt uncharacteristically generous. He held up the mike piece and gave it a short burst of static.

“Citizens. You are in a restricted area. Leave immediately. Failure to comply will lead to censure.”
Dark, worn, filthy faces looked wearily over to him. He could almost hear the communal groan.

“You have one minute to comply.” To emphasise the point, Lohmus drew his power-maul.

A general movement. Most of the groups stuttered to their feet and began to move in the opposite direction. Lohmus heard some dissension; a few muttered curses and some gesticulating, but not enough to get their skulls tapped.

One group did not move. Lohmus marched right up to them and positioned himself so all of them could see him. He tapped the maul on the shoulder of the nearest hunched figure.

“Citizen. You have been warned. Move now, or you are in a world of pain.”
“Why can’t you just leave us alone?” hissed one of the huddled sacks. Lohmus raised an eyebrow. He could never remember anyone questioning his authority before.
“Who said that?,” he rasped. “Quickly, before all of you are taken in.. for questioning.”
One of the group stood up and Lohmus stepped backwards. The man was tall, and as the blanket fell from his head the Arbiter knew that this man was in charge here, he held an air of authority and presence.
“We just want a bit of warmth, that is all. We are tired of the cold.”
Lohmus placed his maul under the man’s chin.
“Survivor,” came a weary voice, full of emotion. “No one desserts from the Valhallan Regiments, no one. We are the last of the 305th. We came here after demobilisation. It was a safe planet, a warm planet…”
“Papers.. deserter.” Lohmus interrupted. “Then hit the dirt and spread eagle yourselves,” he waved his maul at the group. “All of you.”
“We deserve respect,” said the leader. “We have paid our dues to the Emperor and now we just want to be left alone.”

Lohmus laughed. This was his ticket back to the Sector House and a long drink of caffeine.
He brought the maul around in a wide arc and struck the leader on his left shoulder. There was a loud crack and spark of energy and the man dropped heavily to the ground. The rest of the group rose quickly to their feet and Lohmus struck a second man, this time on the right arm.

“Hit the deck citizens!” he roared, then clicked to internal.

+Sector 21, this is six-zero on Kashrin and Main, request back-up and a meat wagon to my location. Six to come in +
+Affirmative six-zero. Units to location. Officer requires assistance +

Lohmus had been on post for five years and was good at his job. The useless and infirm were one thing, but the Imperial Guard was another. One of the group leg swiped him causing him to topple backwards, a second brought a metal crutch crashing down against his helmet.
His protection saved him, but now he was in trouble. A third man stamped down hard on his wrist and he lost the maul.

+Urgent Assistance! + Was all Lohmus could scream before a heavy boot struck the lower part of his jaw.

His bolt pistol was in his other hand and he shot his assailant in the face. At this range the man’s head exploded in a cloud of red and gore. Coming up onto one knee he placed another round in a second man’s chest and winged a third with a snap shot.
He could hear the sirens now and it gave him renewed energy and confidence. He looked for the leader. The deserter would not be taken through the judicial system, he would dispense justice his way.

Useless Vermin.

He saw the Leader standing silent at the end of a dark alley. He was staring at Lohmus and muttering to himself. Lohmus drew himself up to full height and then stooped down to pick up his power-maul. A loud crack sounded above his head followed by a ping of a ricochet.

Emperors teeth. That was a high velocity slug.

As the leader watched on, a flood of humanity flowed around him from out of the alleyway. Hundreds of the dispossessed, needy, helpless and unwanted, many with weapons, some with firearms.

Lohmus blanched. What had he done?

The first Lander arrived and a dozen Arbites jumped down onto the hard surface, Power mauls and Suppression Shields at the ready. They were immediately swamped by the grey/brown tide of hate.
Lohmus’s earpiece exploded in a cataclysm of panic as the reinforcements were overwhelmed.
A rock hit his helmet and a second later a glass bottle exploded at his feet and a great cloud of fire engulfed him. He stepped backwards, holstered his bolt pistol and dropped the maul.


He put out the flames just as another rock hit his sternum, and another high velocity pinged off the top of his helmet.

He saw the leader. He was carrying a heavy stubber and smiling.

The man was at home again.

Kashrin Boulevard and Main: 2.15am - Death shift.

623 Posts
Breaking the Winter Vaults
By Myen'Tal
Word Count: 1067​

Kendal of Mist Thorn never knew this day would ever arrive. Yet it was here. It was no simple daydream that he could dismiss after a horrible drunken night. The execution was underway.

King Caswallan’s ornate axe sang as it arced through the air and chopped into the vertebrae of a man’s neck. Silence reigned. Only the noise of shattered flesh and bone was heard over the sacred grove. Blood gushed from the wound. The shamed Avaanian warrior was on his knees, his severed head rolled across the stump of a broken tree. His naked body was coated in filth from months spent in the dungeons. King Caswallan removed his axe from the stump and kicked the corpse into the winter touched earth.

The skies above the forest canopy were cast in a grey shroud, constantly bleeding white onto the northern fringes of the world. The Evergreens were weighed down in their own weight in fresh snow, their roots buried in the stuff as well. Yet the members of clan Avaani were used to such frozen and harsh conditions. Hundreds of them had arrived from the settlement of Vienna to witness the execution of the King’s firstborn son: Blair of Mist Thorn.

The traitor that had attempted to usurp his father’s throne.

Kendal craned his head as a firm hand gripped his shoulder. His second eldest brother, Adair shared a grim look with him before he nodded his head once. His elder brother was a lean man, built of wiry and condensed muscle. Like Kendal, he wore nothing but a massive bear cloak that draped him from back to the edge of his shoulder blades and ebony trousers.

Kendal was a sharp contrast to his second brother, a broad wall of heavily toned muscle and bronze skin. His short blonde hair was an unkempt bowl covered in a leopard’s skin of snow. His features were chiseled and clean shaven, etched in silent reverence as the Chieftain of the Avaani released his first son’s spirit into the otherworld. Two one handed axes hung from his waist, each chipped and scarred from a dozen battles.

Kendal inhaled a sharp intake of breath. Blair’s head rolls off of the tree stump. The gathered masses cried out in exhilaration. King Caswallan was just to bring vengeance to his treacherous blood. Yet there was little chance that Blair had attempted to gain the throne by himself. News of the execution would bring outrage, draw out his supporters.

“Kendal, look.” Adair nodded toward a group of half—naked warriors –their bodies tattooed from the waist up with black runic carvings—that began marching away from the scene of the execution. “Craven trash that sided with our false brother. Should we follow them?”

“No.” Kendal may have been the third born son, but his lot was the warrior’s. Adair deferred to him on matters of feuding. “Wait until they make themselves known.” His lips spread into a wolfish grin. “Then we go for the kill.”


The forest of Mist Thorn were unwelcoming during the great winters on the northern fringe. The grey shroud in the sky had lingered for days and the forest floor was laden in a foot of snow. Kendal weaved cautiously through the evergreens, a hunting bow in his coarse fingers, an arrow already nocked upon it. King Caswallan, Adair, and a dozen tribal warriors followed closely behind him, their bows similarly at the ready.

A scatter of movement beyond a dense screen of shrubs caught Kendal’s eye. He twisted around, the nocked arrow immediately came level with his right eye. The wooden shaft came flying free in the same moment a great Stag erupted from the bushes. The arrowhead embedded itself deep into the Stag’s neck, but could not stop it’s momentum as it charged blindly into the woods.

A blood curdling cry shattered the tranquil silence of the forest. The battle cry was joined by a score of others. Kendal’s eyes flicked back and forth across the winterscape and made out shadows melded into the background. As their assailants came closer in their frantic charge, Kendal spotted half—naked individuals covered in black runic tattoos.

Kendal threw aside his bow and ripped his axes from his belt. The Avaani Separatists threw themselves into the waiting blades of his father’s bodyguard with ferocious abandon. He caught a blade with the bottom of his axe head and tore it from the grip of his attacker. Kendal whirled around, his second axe chopped through the vertebrae of his victim’s spinal cord. The body collapsed in a heap into the snow.

Adair managed to parry an axe head meant for his father’s ribcage. He answered with a quick pirouette and sure thrust that split open his opponent’s guts. The traitor squealed like a gut pig, ripped himself off of the blade, and brought his axe down upon Adair’s exposed arm. The blow tore through the bicep and splintered the bone beneath. A second attack cleaved through his left leg and chest. Adair screamed a cry of frustration and agony as he retreated from the battle.

Caswallan ducked beneath a wild swing. He leaned away from a quick uppercut, his battle-axe flashed from his chest in a heavy swing. Two heads rolled away from their owners’ shoulders. A brave Avaani traitor managed to leap through the bodyguards and thrust his spear through Caswallan’s lower ribcage. Despite a heavy wooden shaft in his gut, Caswallan countered a flurry of attacks and split another warrior diagonally from shoulder to hip. In moments, a longsword ended his life with a stab through the throat.

“Hell take you cowards!” Kendal screamed in the same moment he threw his two axes. Each weapon mortally wounded his father’s killers.

A piercing howl cut through the forest of Mist Thorn. The Avaani warriors loyal to Blair of Mist Thorn retreated into the woods, whooping and howling as if they were crazed wolves themselves. Too wounded and beaten to chase after them, Kendal could only watch as his father’s killers vanished into the fog. He was soon joined by Adair, who cradled his right arm gently.

Adair gazed upon his younger brother with pride. “A Chieftain must be strong to rule his people. I am too mortally wounded to lead them.”

Kendal nodded fervently. “The King is dead, killed by his own people. Long live the King.”

580 Posts
In a Riot of Colors... Perfection

In a Riot of Colors … Perfection

1,039 words

She looked at the canvas for a long time before she had even brought out her tools and brushes and thinner and paint. She didn’t look at the canvas as an empty thing but as what it would be. Now it is white. It is large, empty and … dead. She picked up her tea and sipped. It is hot. It burns her lips and she smiles. In her mind she sees what will be painted as a living thing. In her mind it is alive and fluid; breathing in and out and speaking to her. Her eyes are black as she opens her brush bag and tool tray. Her breathing becomes shallow and the room seems to cool.

Time is forgotten as it fades from her mind. Her surroundings fade to the edges of her mind. She is calm and becomes focus. The brush is dipped and the first strokes from her delicate fingers mark the canvas. The paint is storm red. With the wide brush she sets the backdrop to the canvas. The white is replaced with darkness. The form of her will begins to take shape. Hours pass and still there is much to be done. The tea is forgotten. Food is meaningless while she works. Days pass and her will is still unbroken.

She does not feel her muscles tire nor does she thirst for rest. The paint she is using becomes thick and jellied yet she works it into the canvas flawlessly. She uses many different shades of flesh and blood colors along with shades of brown and black. Paint is mixed and thinned and heated and cooled with her skill. Fourteen days later she comes out of her trance and falls to the floor, exhausted. Her canvas is only half way filled, the image incomplete. She calls for her servant and smiles as the man comes in holding his hands to his face. His mouth is covered and his eyes weep at the skill he sees before him. He falls to his knees and gasps, barely able to breathe.

She motions to the man to draw his attention back to herself. “I am weak. Thirsty.” She motions to her paint tray, “The paint is now too old to use. I will need more within the hour.” The servant bows on shaky legs and leaves the room. It is only a few moments in time before the food is brought in along with fresh water and wine. She eats in silence and admires the view through the star port. Outside everything is black with small points of light in the distance. She sips her wine and regains her strength. A new bag of paints are brought in and laid on the table before the canvas. Two servants fall to their faces and weep as they see the work, though unfinished, that she has done. They are pulled from the room for they cannot stand on their own. As the door closes the woman hears the weeping of the servants turn to screams. She smiles and regains her seat before the canvas.

Her eyes turn black. Her mouth opens ever so slightly. Her breathing becomes shallow and the room turns cold once more. She opens the paint bag and with fresh brushes she continues her work. Minutes turn to hours and hours into days; days into weeks. Even when battle rages all around her as the Pride of the Emperor is assailed from all sides, she continues to work. Even as the mighty Flagship of the Emperor’s Children pushes into the warp she seems not to take notice.

Even as her canvas is shaken from its mounting and falls to the floor not a single stroke is flawed. The painting is a thing of perfection. It is nearly finished. The rich reds and browns have dried and become darker. The flesh tones have become lighter. The shades of black and grey have become harsher. The gloves she uses are stained and blood comes from the openings at her wrists and dries on her alabaster skin. Time continues to flow around her like water around boulders. Even as the last strokes of the portrait are completed her eyes remain black. Slowly she brings up the sealant and applies it to the paint with gentle strokes. She does not hurry and her hand is steady. This process takes days to complete. Her eyes clear to their natural blue with the completion of her final stroke.

She sways in her chair and begins to fall but firm hand catch her. She gasps at the touch of the Primarch of the III Legion, the master of the Emperor’s Children. Fulgrim’s eyes are black. His mouth is set in a grim smile. His hands though strong enough to crush every bone in the artists body are gentle as he helps her to the table where food and wine are already provided. Provided by Fulgrim’s own hand. Today servants are not allowed in the room. Today servants will not provide for her. The Primarch himself will serve her for he is pleased with her work.

The woman is frail and weak. Her skin is older than it should be. Her hair has turned white. She removes the gloves from her hands. The human skinned gloves fall to the floor. The room has the smell of decay and spoiled meat. Her paint bag is old and stiff. The canvas is full with the detail of perfection. The Emperor in all his glory is fallen to the ground. He is beset by enemies that were once his trusted allies. He is weeping blood from wounds that have broken his might armor. His hand is outstretched, pleading. In a riot of colors the story is told.

Fulgrim looks to the lady, “Today perfection is accomplished. Today your purpose is completed.”

She smiles and bows her head. The food is left untouched. The wine has not been sipped. She does not speak or cower as Fulgrim pulls the blade and ends her life. Turning from the woman Fulgrim turns to the painting and weeps tears of blood with fresh emotion welling up within his breast. “It is perfect.”

145 Posts
The Unfinished Entry

This had been my entry. It was first written on my phone only, silly me, I failed to make sure the autosave/backup was on. Won't make that mistake again. The rewrite made 500 words, but I couldn't capture the feeling I had in the original work.

Just for giggles though, here's what was started;

Tap, tap, tapity-tap-tap-tapity, tap, tappity. Ezekiel was already started. Herschel frowned. He didn't want to peak too early, and Ezekiel was already laying down a beat. The show was still some time off. Frustrated, Herschel slammed his locker shut, the metal crash falling just right on the next beat. Herschel ground his teeth as his chin began to mark time. Ezekiel was going to peak too soon and ruin it all.

Caleb moved into the prep station. Looked between Ezekiel and Hershel, grinned at Hershel's mounting anger, Ezekiel's obliviousness to it, and chuckled at the oft repeated scene. Striding to his locker, the snap of his boots on the metal floor rang out, each falling in time with Ezekiel's beat, and was incorporated in the next repetition. Hershel glared at Caleb.

"Don't encourage him. He'll peak too soon."

Caleb ignored him. Nodding in time, he pulled out his gear and began his inspection and prepared for the show. A dance began in his fingers as they slid over the buckles, straps, joints, strings, and other various implements that made up his kit. Without conscious will, both he and Hershel would add a foot stamp to Ezekiel's work. Hershel might be right, the peak may come too soon, but Ezekiel was too experienced to do so on a whim.

Dressed in red, another man moved into the room. He took in the three of them. Ezekiel took no notice, but Caleb and Herschel nodded.



"Brothers," Novarius responded. "I have reviewed the parameters of the show. There will only be the four of you. I will not be joining you."

Herschel frowned and turned to indicate Ezekiel.

"Speak to him! He'll peak too soon!"

"Oh! That's right, Nov! You do as Hersh there says," another moved into the prep room behind Novarius.

"And your late, Gideon", Herschel growled at the newcomer.

Ignoring both Gideon and Herschel, Novarius continued.

"I would like to join you, but I have other matters that require my attention."

"New groupie you need to break in?" Gideon was incorrigible, and somehow never taken to task by their leader. Behind him, the bedlam of the hall punctuated his comment as wide eyed girl's stares were seen for a moment before the door fell closed.

The tapping fell silent and Ezekiel's voice rang oddly in the prep room.

"Prepare yourself Sergeant. This piece requires five to play properly."

"And we have not heard your horn for some time!" Caleb grinned enthusiastically. Reaching down, he pulled his guitar up by its neck and drew it into position. Quick notes slid out from beneath his fingers as they flew over the strings.

"Bring out the horn, Nov!"

Novarious gazed expressionlessly at Ezekiel for a moment, then stepped over to his own cubicle and began to prepare for the show. Caleb continued to weave a melody through Ezekiel's tempo and beat. Gideon moved to his cubicle next to Herschal's, laid his keyboard out next to Herschal's base and together they prepared.
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