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8,544 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Welcome to the year's final

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 December 2016
. 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
I guess there are a few people interested? Time to get my head down and start thinking of an idea??


623 Posts
Beneath Crimson Waves
Word Count: 1100 (Not Including Title)​

Bjorn clashed his hand-axe against a heavy wooden shield in sync with the rhythmic booming of fresh thunder. Lightning cracked across ashen skies and an unearthly wind hurled the crystal blue waters of the Sea of Claws every-which-way. Crown of Avarice’s oarsmen sang their songs of war and rowed across the heaving waves with an unnatural strength. Onboard the Crown of Avarice, a hundred warriors of chaos donned their horned helms and metallic shields. Wicked swords were drawn, as were great halberds and other weapons meant for slaughter and battle.

“They lie in wait for us.” Kolli called from where he leaned over the Crown of Avarice’s yawning daemonic maw. “How many do you think there are?”

Bjorn pushed aside a shield and joined his younger brother toward the front of the ship. He glared out over the erratic waves of the Sea of Claws, and noticed several other long ships plying the seas nearby. Each of them bore tattered crimson sails, emblazoned with the heraldry of the Blood God and clan Alle’.

All around them, the sea was threatening to come alive and swallow them all without much thought. Perhaps it was nothing more than an ill turn of weather to an untrained eye, but to Bjorn, he knew it could be nothing other than elf magic attempting to drag them down into the depths.

“They’re elves,” Bjorn shrugged. “Whatever numbers they do have, I assure you that it won’t be enough. When is that ever not the case, brother?”

Kolli glanced over his shoulder toward his elder brother. “I can think of a few times they turned us aside.” He inclined his head toward the silver armada rapidly approaching from the horizon. “None of them would be hear if they did not think they could kill us. You aren’t worried about that?”

Bjorn shook his head and cackled. “You aren’t thinking like a north man, Kolli. Expel your doubts with an unquenchable bloodlust! If all else fails, there will always be bloodshed in the Lord of Skull’s name.”

Kolli nodded and clapped his brother’s shoulder guard. “If blood is to be shed on this evening, then I would have it done by my brother’s side. I’m tired of looking at those pretty elves. Let’s go kill them!”

Bjorn removed the curved war horn from his belt and blew one long and sonorous note across the waves.

Bjorn bellowed over the choir of guttural chanting. “Right, you worthless mongrels! Full-sail ahead! Ram the bastards!”

A hundred voices thundered their approval over the wrath of the storm.

A burst of lightning sprayed from a gap in the clouds, so thick and bright it seemed more like Khorne hurling his spear than ominous weather. Bruised and ethereal, the lightning forked down toward the sea until one of the long ships blossomed in purplish flames. Such was the force behind the attack that the ship disintegrated and a hundred north men vanished beneath the erratic tides. All that remained of the vessel was a burning sail, which soon toppled into the sea.

“Don’t be afraid!” Bjorn called as the Crown Avarice gained momentum. “Once their Mage is in range, we’ll hurl our spears and claim for her skull for the thrown of our lord! Choke the sea until it runs red with blood brothers!”

“Hyah!” A spear hurtled across the waves, hurled from an Alle’ tribesmen. Bjorn watched the spear fly across the waters and impale one of the Sea Guard on a rapidly approaching trireme.

“Hah!” Kolli howled gleefully. “Good aim!”

“What are they doing?” Bjorn grumbled and nodded toward the silver armada shrinking into the distance. “Are they running?”

Kolli hurled another spear across the sea. “You must have scared them, brother! Run while you can—“

A tremor of force slammed into the Crown of Avarice from below. All at once, the jovial atmosphere onboard the ship vanished in a moment of silence as the ship bucked violently. Kolli shut his mouth and wrapped his hand around the daemon’s head on the front of the ship. Bjorn fell onto his knees and wrapped an arm around his brother. Several warriors of chaos screamed to their deaths, thrown overboard into the waters.

As quickly as it came, the tremor ceased and the vessel resumed course. Bjorn sagged back onto the deck and let out a loud breath he did not realize he was holding. Kolli searched the horizon for any sign of trickery.

Kolli suppressed a shiver. “Brother, what in the name of the gods was that?”

Bjorn’s axe came to rest on his shoulder. He fought to regain his feet and leaned over the railing of the ship to hurl. As he vomited, a long dark shadow beneath the waves began to surface. He scurried backward as an elongated head of emerald and dark blue scales, bronze eyes with sharp slits, and a ferocious maw of rotting teeth emerged from the sea.

Hydra! Hydra!

In that moment, so many spears were hurled toward the creature assailing them that Bjorn could not count them all. Some of them found purchase in the soft skin around the neck, others beneath the jaw. The Hydra seemed to ignore these flea-bites and snatched several north men into its gaping maw in one strike. Bjorn looked on in horror as the Hydra loomed over him and crushed her meal with several chomping motions—armor and all.

“Give me that!” Bjorn snatched a javelin from out of another Northman’s grip. “Where are you aiming, you fools!” With practiced fluidity, he loosed the throwing spear so far over his head that he surely thought he had missed his target completely.

The Hydra head loomed closer in search of her next meal, almost oblivious to her prey’s resistance until a spear became lodged in her eye. The sea serpent unleashed a furious cry and vanished back below the waves. The crew cheered in great relief, knowing that they had escaped another brush with death.

Bjorn almost did not realize that the men from another long ship were screaming. He craned his head in time to find another, unscathed Hydra head capsize The Bloody Dawn completely. Then another appeared and stole away an entire dozen of Dark Pyre’s crew.

Kolli said, his voice bleak. “Surely they won’t eat all of us, will they? They have to get full at some point.”

Bjorn snatched another spear from a barrel. “I won’t be testing that theory today. Don’t just stand there, this is going to take all day. Pray to the Dark Gods that they shall see their champions through.”

145 Posts
Brought to you by Psalms 37, 62, 121, 1, and 23

Death of a White Shield

1098 words​

“Fear not the psyker, xeno, abomination, nor traitor! They will fade as fog in the heat of the sun and we, the faithful, will triumph! Remember! The Emperor is our stronghold!

Abelard listened to the inquisitor as he stood in formation. He had finished his basic training, along with hundreds of his fellow recruits. Each stood, a white disk emblazoned upon his blouse. Though training was done, no one would be considered a soldier of the Imperium until after the successful defense of their homewold. Until then, they were only white shields.

As the inquisitor wound down in his speech, officers turned to their men and the parade ground emptied as the white shields were marched off towards the frontlines that had closed in upon the city, home to the older boys and younger men that made up the bulk of the fighting force that had been cobbled together as the main force of the Imperial Guard was ravaged.

I fight for the Emperor alone. He alone is my rock and my protector. I trust in him at all times. Remember! All our power and love belong to the Emperor.

The prayer rang in Abelard’s mind, and fell quietly from his lips, as his unit marched along the road. Other units fell away, but his block of white shields advanced alone down a road through a broad open field. He wondered where and what the attack would be. The rumors that passed through the camp had been such a jumble of contradictory news that Abelard finally stopped listening in. Many a fist fight broke out over whether the attacking xenos had either been so beaten back that no one would see any fighting, or the whole cause was lost and the entire camp was nothing but a sacrifice so that the planetary government and elite could safely evacuate.

When the attack did come, Abelard was totally unprepared. Rather than burning lasers and desperate firefights, they came under fire of an artillery barrage, fired by their own bombards.

The rounds came without warning. Great plumes of dirt, smoke and shrapnel shot up around them, filling the entire field they were crossing. Men filled the skys as rounds fell into the midst of the formations that moved towards the enemy positions that were the low rolling hills ahead of them. Discipline did not take over. There was no orderly dispersal with sergeants and officers taking quick command to tell men to go to break up and go to ground. Instead, like ants disturbed in column, it was every man for himself, each running pell-mell, scattering in all directions, running into each other, into new impacts, or being tossed into the air with rocks, dirt, and the already dead. Abelard found himself, like the others running in blind panic. Escaping the dangerous road for the dubious safety of tall grass. Tripping over a dismembered corpse, Abelard missed the explosion of an artillery round, but he no sooner jumped to his feet to keep running when the concussion of another blast lifted him up, and tossed him.

Abelard curled up in a tight ball, tears of pain and terror bleeding out of him. The words of his mother came to him, a poem to put him to sleep; Lift up your eyes to the hills; your help comes from the Emperor. He who keeps you will not slumber. The Emperor will keep you from all evil.

But the Emperor did not seem to be paying attention right then. The explosions continued to rain death and destruction down upon the white shields in the field. In an eternity, Abelard felt, more than heard, the barrage getting marched towards the hills that they had been heading towards and the chaos of the past few minutes calmed.

Peace and quiet descended upon the field. Abelard slowly uncurled himself and stood. Abelard looked about with a silly smile plastered to his face. Among all the dead, others were standing up as he had. The survivors began to mill about drunkenly. As his sergeant walked up to him, Abelard could not help but greet him.

“Blessed is the man who does not walk with the wicked, whose delight is in the law of the Emperor. He is like a tree planted by the water. Sheltered and nurtured, he grows unafraid.”

“Enough of that Abe. Form up and let’s move towards the hills.”

As the men were formed up and moved towards the hills, death descended again in the form of the xenos that were supposed to have been decimated by the bombards. The singing discs of the enemy ripped and tore through Abe and his compatriots. Seeking cover where there was none, Abe crawled, ran, and was dragged by the sergeant in a vain attempt to fight or survive the xeno’s attack.

As he was dragged over a piece of surviving fence by a superior, wearing the helmet of one of the fallen, Abe realized that he had long lost his lazgun. Blood sprayed over him as the soldier was shredded by the shuriken rounds fired by the xenos above them. Spun around, the cacophony and destruction everywhere he turned, Abelard staggered trying to find direction and focus in the battle around him. Faces of friends and strangers alike appeared before him, shouting incoherently and pulling him about before getting lost in the fog and smoke until Abelard found himself bouncing about, the sounds of battle fading into a drone that blanked all other sound. Another round of barrages fell upon the fighting forces and as Abelard felt himself lifted again into the air, as the ground slammed into him and indescribable pain assailed him as darkness took his sight.

Abelard tried to breath. The world was falling away. The din of the battle faded and he knew death was not far off. His limbs were as dead wood, unresponsive to his wants. His thoughts turned to his mother, her smiles and her hugs. Her words came to him as he let everything go.

“The Emperor is my protector. He leads me on paths of goodness and light. He shields me from evil. Within his fortress, I am safe. Forever.”

As he lay in the mud, Abelard began to regain his senses. Abelard found himself staring in shock at his savior. White teeth flashed through a coal black beard that was fuller and more meticulously groomed than an officer’s doxy as the short stump of an unlit cigar waggled its way from one side of the soldier’s mouth to the other.

“Veghard. Sixty-First Detatched Thunderers. Welcome back.”


623 Posts
Nice one! All I saw was this typo. :eek:k:
Thanks, Treesnifer, I corrected that typo.

Nice to see Abelard featuring in his own H.O.E.S. story. I'll wait to give full comments until the competition voting begins, but good job:victory:.

1,547 Posts
Cannon Fodder
Brother Emund
(1098 words)

Things were going seriously wrong.

Sergeant-Major Rolph Schaeffer ducked back down into the safety of the trench and passed the magnoculars back to his companion. He let out a deep sigh.

“Well Dormagen, my friend, things are well-and-truly terminal!”

Schaeffer calculated that most of the 1st Company was scattered and probably out of the game. The Regiment as a whole had been decimated, worn down by pointless frontal assaults. Luckily, what remained of 1st Platoon was dug in around him. They were still relatively intact and putting up a good fight. Casualties were thankfully light. One of them was Trooper Dietz who sat propped up opposite. Schaeffer gave him a cursory look which seemed to be the signal for him to speak.

“Is this mortal Spiess?”
The wizened NCO hacked a globule of phlegm across the trench and sneered.
“Yes, it’s mortal. You have an infected stomach wound. The time for your recovery is over and now you are truly fracked. Sit there patiently and die like a good Guardsman.”

The sound of giggling and soldiers idle chit-chat caught his attention and he watched two white-helmeted medics saunter towards him via a communications trench. When they saw Schaeffer their faces visibly paled.

“Sp..i..ess!”, one of them managed to mutter, realising their mistake.
“Never mind Spiess you vermin. It is Sergeant-Major to you! Young Dietz here is dead now because you think it is all a game. You frack up like that again and you’ll be in the stockade being used as a punch-bag by the provosts. Take this sorry sack back to the field hospital extra quick.”

A stocky Trooper clattered over the lip of the trench and plunged head-first into the mud between them. When he shuffled to his feet, his pugilist face broke open into a wide grim. It was Maag, the platoons Comms-officer.
Schaeffer ripped the Vox unit out of his hands and scanned the screen.

“Totally shagged!” Maag growled, pulling off his helmet to reveal a mop of thick brown hair. Dormagen, the third member of the gathering offered him a small hip flask.
“Well, what did you discover?”
“We are surrounded and well-and-truly cut off from the rest of the Division. I see red flags everywhere. They are big brutal bastards and they aren’t taking prisoners so you don’t want to get caught.”
Schaeffer handed back the Vox and then slid down into a seating position.
“A monumental disaster is unfolding here my roughish friends. Heads will roll.”
“I would not want to be the General right now.”

* * *​

“Options Gentlemen?”

The command room was deathly quiet and no one moved. None of them had or could say anything that might make a difference. The General looked up from the map table and scanned the faces of his staff officers.
A tactical officer jogged up to his side and forced a smart salute. He held out a Dataslate as if it was a poisonous chalice. The General gave an imperceptible nod and a junior officer took it from him. His raised eyebrow spoke volumes.
“We have lost the Spaceport Sir.”

General Bakano was from a line of hereditary officers that hailed from the esteemed military academy on Rebrinda. He was one of the very best that his planet could produce. He was destined for great things, maybe even the exalted rank of Lord Marshal… but not today.

“Explain?”, he hissed through gritted teeth.
“Drop pods have been detected. Enemy Space marines have landed in company strength. They have overrun the PDF stationed there and built up a substantial bridgehead.” He paused and then added, “They have taken our only viable reinforcement point.”
The General circled and area on the map. “This area of blue here…”
“The 3rd Jirmania Sir, or what is left of them. There is only a single company left. They are still holding out and have formed a salient in the enemy lines.”
“Have them abandon their positions and advance towards the Space Port. I must take it back, whatever the cost.”

There was a creaking sound of leather and then the tap of metal against metal. All eyes turned to an obscure alcove in the corner. A towering figure in black stepped out of the shadows. The air pressure seemed to drop like the calm before a storm.
“Commissaar Rabe, I had no idea….”
“How true,” the figure interrupted, “You have no idea.”
The General ignored the slight.
“We will match the enemy Marines. I have my own. There are two squads of Vengeance marines in orbit. Have them assist the 3rd Jirmania….”
Rabe slammed an open palm down hard on the map desk.
“At this moment, your precious marines are repelling boarders aboard their battle barge. No help will be forthcoming from that source.”

The General was unmoved. A tiny bead of sweat formed on his forehead.
“Switch the reserve artillery from their interdiction action in sector five-zero and have them neutralise the enemy in the Space port. Inform the battery commanders that they should choose their targets wisely. I do not want unnecessary destruction of the facilities. Any miscalculations could see them bound for a penal battalion.”
“All communications are being jammed in that sector. That message will not get through.” An aide hastily interjected.
“Release Legio Metensis. The six operational engines will easy neutralise whatever resistance it encounters.”

Rabe laughed.
Bakano’s face turned crimson, his body quaking with hidden rage.
“Call it now General. Give the order before this expedition becomes a rout.”
“I will never give General Order Nineteen. I can still turn this around.”
“Current casualty predictions exceed sixty percent General. A forlorn hope by a Titan Legion will not turn the tide.”
“The 3rd Jirmania are already advancing. We shall see.”

* * *​
“Which idiot ordered an assault?”, growled Schaeffer so everyone in the vicinity could hear.
Maag was holding the Vox-receiver to his ear. He grinned again. The Sergeant-Major would go apoplectic and when that happened, teeth would be shattered and bones broken. It was always a thing of beauty to watch his Spiess go into berserker mode.

The Sergeant-major scratched his head.

“Belay that,” his face turned to stone. “Tell all our units. General Order Nineteen, repeat, General Order Nineteen. Resurrect! Pass it on loud and clear. Resurrect!”
He threw the handset at the Vox officer.
“All units resurrect. Get back on your feet, re-group and make our way to the harbour area. Fracking end-ex*, END-EX! Exercise is now over. Thank the Emperor. Another monumental cluster-frack. Emperor-only-knows what would have happened if this was for real, eh Maag?”
“Situation normal Spiess. Situation normal.”

* * *​

*End-ex… Military terminology for End of Exercise or end of manoeuvres.

Resurrect is the term used by re-enactors at the end of a battle. This is shouted out across the battlefield. Anyone who is ‘dead’ suddenly resurrects and is fully fit and functional again!

The word (or rank) Spiess came originally from 040M2-era Europe (Europa), specifically the country called Germany. It was unofficial title for the most senior sergeant in a regiment.

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