this is the first chapter of the first book of the fluff for my space marine chapter (The Scorpion Knights) (and yes, I know that planning on doing a multi-book story ark is very abitious) feedback is more then welcome, in fact, it is encouraged, please help me out here...
oh, yea, and enjoy, I will post more here as I deem it ready.
By order of the High Lords of Terra,
There is to be a new founding
of the Adeptus Astares beginning in the
year of 35250, this founding is to consist of…
Dessel paced the floor of his blank cabin aboard the battle barge
, his thoughts still dwelling on the last battle. He looked over at his Power Armor, now shamefully stripped of his chapters’ colors, another painful reminder of what had happened.
“Cease your pacing brother,” his bunkmate said. That is what things had come to though, sharing a cabin aboard a strange barge, in the presence of a man he did not even know. However, the presence of this marine, no, this Chaplain was some comfort, and that he was not the only marine to outlive his chapter. Sparing a glance at the Chaplains armor, he noticed that the shoulder pads, kneepads, and other chapter-color bearing segments of the armor to just as shamefully bare.
“Very well” Dessel replied, he considered going to the shrine, to once again go through the rights of repentance, but they would still be filled with the rest of the survivors on the ship, he would find no peace there. He laid down on his bunk, no intention of sleep in his mind, sleep had been impossible since Shabodo Prime, since that crushing battle, where his chapter, the War Dogs, had been all but wiped out. The battle was no failure of course, the full might of the chapter had been assembled…
1000 marines, resplendent in their glory had charged through that gap, to meet the forces of Chaos, Dessel and his squad of veteran squadron at the forefront, with the rest of the assault forces. Dessel could hear the roar of the Land Speeders as they hurtled overhead at top speed, guns blazing, they poured death into the fallen marines, the thunder of the Predators guns, the roar of vengeance missiles streaking overhead; the thudding chatter of heavy bolters. The valley beyond was filled with fire and death, yet the traitors were not dieing in the numbers they should have been. Dessel paid it no mind, the traitors would be slaughtered to the last, and this valley cleansed, for that is the mission of the Astares, to combat Chaos at every opportunity that presents itself. Dessel holstered his plasma pistol, so that his second hand could add strength to his strikes, he would need it against these traitors. Another sound grabbed Dessel’s attention, the high-pitched whine of assault marines accelerating their decent with their jump-packs.
Dessel tracked their path toward the traitors, then, just at the moment of contact, a cloud of pestilence and bugs sprang up, obscuring his vision. Dessel immediately knew that the sergeants were all dead as none of them wore helmets into combat, and the plagues of Nurgle were powerful and fast. Dessel checked the seals on his helm both through his HUD runes and manually, then instructed his squad to follow suit. As suddenly as the cloud of pestilence had formed, fire began to spew forth from it, 4 of the chapters’ predators, and two of the whirlwinds were destroyed outright, several more took major damage. At least half of the Land Speeders were plucked out of the sky by heavy fire and dark magics on their next pass, and focused artillery and heavy weapons fire silenced the better part of the devastator squads. Almost immediately after the barrage began, Dessels squad made contact with the enemy. Dessel delivered a vicious uppercut with his power-sword, he could feel it slice through the fallen marines power armor, then hit the unnaturally tough flesh of the marine. However, Dessel’s strength and momentum insured that he cleaved all the way through. He windmilled his blade over his head, cleaving the next traitors’ head down the center, he kicked out, and used the now falling body as a spring-board, launching himself into the air, he felt a bolter round smash into his Power Armor on his left side, he put all his weight into the ensuing spin he went into, and held his blade off to his right, crashing into the mass of traitors as a whirlwind of death, cleaving two heads as he landed, he brought his blade up to parry the a strike incoming from a chaos marines chainsword, Dessel the reversed his grip and stabbed his blade into the chest of a marine behind him. Never bothering to see if the foe had been felled, he spun to the right, hewing a chainsword, and the arm holding it. Dessel rapidly wind-milled his blade over his head again, trusting his power armor to protect him as he brought his blade down between the collar bone and neck of an Aspiring champion, his blow however, was halted by the thickness of the Champions flesh. Dessel pulled his blade from his foe, vile ichor and blood spewing forth with it, Dessel spun around, beheading one of the armless Chaos Marines, for the next thirty seconds Dessel became swirling death while he waited for his squad to catch up to him, just as they reached him, the main force of War Dogs reached bolter range, and both sides began pouring fire into each other. In search of his next foe, Dessel glanced to his right in time to see brother Cassius’s head explode from a bolter round, there was no telling which traitor had fired the shot, but Dessel swore he would avenge the death and shouted to his squad to press on. As they charged, there were a score of unmistakable earth-shaking crashes, the sound of drop-pods landing. 6 of them, loaded with the chapters dreadnaughts. 2 of the mighty war machines were so equiped that they would more than adequately replace the lost devastators, the other four had landed on the fringes of the battlefield, according to Dessels HUD, and were already pressing forward. Amongst the carnage and blood, Dessel bagan to notice the cloud lifting, Dessel was about to vox to command to ask if the clouds clearing was the work of the chapters Librarians, or if some fouler trickery was about to set in, when a hail of plasma cannon rounds tore into the ground around them, hurling his squad into the air, brother Santoro was cleaved in half before he struck the ground by a fallen dreadnaught, brothers Malagus and Prometheus failed to get back up, Dessel looked around to see four of his men hunkered down in the blast craters. Then the unmistakeable sound of Terminator telepoters could be heard at a distance, followed by the droning, thunderous whine of assault cannons being fired, Dessel sank deeper into the crater for protection. He then proceeded to check all at the runes in his heads up display, four of which were burning a bright healthy green, the other five were as black as night. Dessel prepared to order his squad to assault the fallen Dreadnaught as soon as the assault cannon fire abated enough for them to leave their cover, when Dreadnaught Crallus, obvious by its unorthodox layout, with a plasma canon mounted on its left shoulder, the connected arm ending with a standard close combat arm, with a heavy flamer underneath; the right arm, ending with a massive flail- crashed into its Chaotic counterpart, the two massive war machines dueled,. The Chaos Dreadnaught brought its massive axe down in an attempt to explode the plasma cannon. But Crallus caught the blade on its one arm, and swung its mighty flail, knocking the other machine to the ground, bending the axe blade in half. Dessel felt an icy grip fall over his heart as the Chaos dreadnaughts assault cannon reached its firing speed, the barrel pointing directly at Crallus’ sarcophagus, at point blank range. But Crallus was faster, releasing its grip on the now useless axe to punch into its foe, throwing the cannon off target, where it merely chewed through the extraneous armor between the shoulder and sarcophagus, then a smile came to Dessels lips as he saw the claw came out of the foe, broken body in its iron grasp; and fired its heavy flamer. Then, the assault cannon fire ceased, and Dessel heard in the deep modulated voice of a man in terminator armor shout “Onward Brothers!!!” followed by the chapters 15 terminators, the source of the assault cannon fire, charging into the line the Chaos forces had set up. Dessel felt the weight of his slightly heavier shoulder pad, bearing his crux terminatus more so then usual at that moment; unwilling to be outdone by his comrades, Dessel spurs his men onwards, sparing a glance back. He saw what appeared to be just shy of 500 marines or so still charging, along with the ruins of the rest of the chapters predators, whirlwinds, land speeders, two dead dreadnaughts, and the now clearly useless wreck of the chapters command base, and only Land Raider, one track incinerated, one snapped; one of the forward mounted assault cannons bent at a severe angle; and one of the hurricane bolter side-sponsons was simply gone. The War Dogs were still only halfway to the sorcerer leading this fallen chapter, who now had a sickly green aura about him, his ritual reaching an apex. The War dogs pressed on, despite their greatly diminished numbers, in defiance of the Traitors defenses, their ferocity doubled by the righteous indignation and fury for their fallen brothers, mercilessly slaughtering every traitor in their path. Dessel and his squads remnants at the forefront of the charge, along with the terminators, and surviving assault and elite marines.
Hours later, as the sun cast its last crimson rays over the blood drenched valley, Dessel, Chapter Master Brellis, three terminators, one with an assault cannon and thunder hammer, one with its lightning claws, and a third with a massive powersword and storm shield; three other Elite marines – survivors of other squads - and a score of tactical marines in damaged power armor stood face to face with a similar force of traitor marines Dessel shifted his new sword in his grip, he had pulled it from the chest of a traitor after breaking his on a chaos terminators armour; before kicking off its helmet and snapping its neck. Brellis and the Sorcerer both stood erect behind their men, staring each other down.
“Surrender now, and we may show you a merciful death!” Brellis shouted to the Sorcerer
“Fool!” the sorcerer replied “If you knew my power, you would beg for my mercy, and throw yourself to the service of the Plague god!!!!” He then thrust his hand forward, a vile orb of ichor and pestilence materializing from the warp and hurtling at Brellis’ head, he ducked; however the marine beside him had not the orb to turn smashing into him - eating away power armor and flesh alike, melting him into a festering pile of viscous, acidic, toxic fluid, his heavy bolter slowly decaying into the puddle. Troops on both sides shouted a war cry and threw themselves at each other; the bulk of the regular marines on either side didn’t even survive the bolter barrage they threw at each other. Then, combat was joined, the swirling melee of the days battle began anew, the War Dogs spurred on by their righteous fury and the knowledge that the Emperor was with them, the Traitors were strengthened by their patron and their rage, Dessel found himself matched against a Champion with a power sword, the two marines careening forward at full speed crossed blades, Dessel Striking from below, with the same vicious undercut that had been the death of many a traitor that day; the champion brought his blade down from up high, the blades crashing together with incredible force, but not nearly enough to stop all the momentum either marine had built up. Dessel rotated to the left, the Champion to the right, and their blades met again, this time they did stop. The champion sneered, and launched into a vicious assault, Dessel however, refused to be outdone, and launched his own, equally furious assault. The two blades became nothing more than blurs to the naked eye, both men totally separated from the outside world, completely isolated in their own world of thrust, block, parry and counter-parry. Dessel knew he had several deep gashes in him already, and that this champion had added several more, Dessel knew, however - that he had inflicted just as many to the champion. Dessel had a lucky break, the champions sword failed, or rather, proved inferior to Dessels, which now seemed to be burning with the emperors wrath as it cleaved through the champion blade. The champion dropped the hilt and reached for the boltgun strapped to his back, but Dessel was quicker, dropping his left hand to the plasma pistol in its holster, drawing the weapon, and quickly firing three shots into the champions head - killing him. Dessel looked around, to see the last few traitors being slain by the surviving War Dogs, ahead, he saw another elite drive one of his lightning claws into the gut of his Chaotic counter-part, hurling the marine backwards and up, the broken body landing at the feet of another traitor. A third champion took of the War Dog’s head with a thunder hammer, throwing the body backwards, and knocking one of the Lightning claws free of its hand. The same champion proceeded to charge Dessel, hammer prepared to crush him. Dessel, one hand still firmly around his blade charged as well, replacing his pistol in its holster, he dove, free hand sliding into the grip of the claw, and activating the blades; continuing his roll, Dessel came up at the last second, burying the claw in the Champions gut and lifting him into the air, Dessel spun around, and slammed the champion into the ground, pinning him with the claw and spearing his head with the sword at the same moment. Dessel released the claw and drew his blade from the champions skull, turning around in time to feel a massive concussive blast, and see the sorcerer lifted up into the air, sickly green tendrils of warp energy lifting him up, the green aura surrounding him now even stronger, Dessel looked around to see the survivors al barely conscious on the ground, he quickly drew his pistol and began pouring fire into the sorcerer, paying no attention to the heat of the pistol until its warning device told him it was about to explode, he then hurled it at the now hole-filled sorcerer, still coated in vile energy, still rising, and now rotating. When the pistol exploded, it incinerated half of the sorcerer, the remainder flopped lifelessly to the ground, all of the power remaining in his broken husk of a body then exploded, the second shockwave proved more than enough to knock out all of the War Dogs still conscious.
When Dessel came to, there were nine other marines still alive - none of them looked well.
“Where is Brellis?” he asked, one marine, who pointed over his shoulder, the lower half of his face slowly decaying away, he was helping several other of the survivors move all of the still useable fragments of the terminator armor suits, several others had taken the hover-drives from some of the land-speeder wrecks, and were trying to gather the dreadnaughts back to the same place as the terminator armor and a pile of salvageable heavy weapons and war gear. One marine was moving about the battlefield with a Reductor, removing geneseeds from his fallen comrades, checking each one - most, he threw to the ground. The next thing Dessel noticed was the lack of any markings of rank on any of the marines alive, Dessel was now the de-facto chapter master of the War Dogs. He quickly began to think of what had to be done, when his thoughts were interrupted by the unmistakable crack of a plasma pistol being fired, he looked to its source to see the Apothecary putting a geeneseed into a storage vial.
“I am going to see if the communication suite on the command Landraider is still functional, we will need a Thunderhawk to pick up us and whatever supplies are salvageable.” Dessel informed his men
After being extracted, Dessel had all of the survivors and gear quarantined for the duration of the trip back to their fortress monastery. Dessel sent out a message to any Space Marine forces in the area a summary of the battle, which he had pieced together using the recording devices on all of the functional helmets that could be salvaged, he also sent a message to Terra containing the truncated version of what had happened and their condition. Several Chapters rendezvoused with them in deep space, after a quick debriefing, several apothecaries were sent to see to the survivors. 8 of the 10 died, and half of the geneseed had to be discarded after a second, and more thorough check. When the High Lords of Terra responded, they had informed him and the survivor that their chapter would be disbanded and they would be make up part of the command staff for the chapters in the new founding which had recently ordered.
“So, brother,” the chaplain said, interrupting Dessels reverie, “what happened to them?”
“Who?” Dessel replied, still numb from the emotions that the memories of what had happened next caused
“The rest of your chapter, brother…”
“…Brother Captain Dessel Ordo, and we all died together, in a battle against Nurgleite Traitor marines, my best estimate was that there were approximately 1700 of them, several other chapters found at least 4 more groups of similair numbers and markings. What happened to you chapter, brother Chaplain…”
“Canderous Jafan, and we were ambushed by a cabal of dark eldar on our way to investigate the loss of contact with a large mining colony. Our fool of a Chapter Master continued the mission; it turned out to be Necrons, 5 of us escaped the tomb alive, three did not survive past a week.” There was an awkward silence for the next few minutes;
Canderous broke the silence “So you know you will be a Brother Captain, for sure?”
“Yes, they told me that much, they didn’t however tell me which company I would command”
“Are your wounds healed fully?” Canderous asks
“Yes, but why do you ask” Dessel replied
“Because reliving the last battle is doing neither of us any good, and I believe that we have both gone through the rights of repentance, and preformed the rights of maintenance on our wargear more than enough times…
“… I was not reliving the battle, Chaplain..” Dessel interrupted
“and neither was I” Replied Canderous, leveling a stare worthy of an Inquisitor at Dessel. “as I was saying, I do believe a bit of sparring would do both of us good, physically AND spiritually” Canderous replied
“Combat does clear the mind… I accept your challenge brother chaplain” Dessel replied. Both marines got up and headed out the doors from their quarters, moving at a leisurely pace towards the sparing ring.
“Do you know what chapter you will be attached to?” Dessel asked Canderous
“The 257th” Canderous replied “and yourself?”