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Kyros greeted the Apothecary Daeka in passing, merely nodding and acknowledging the Death Guard's rank with respect, "Apothecary." Morturg spoke 'The first two hours,' he says, slightly short of breath, we barely made it from the trenches to the industrial zone. We passed several cites of World Eater dead, and I've already had to kill dozens of my backstabbing brothers to get this far. From the sounds of it, you have as well, Sergeant Straesan. Even so, this is far, far from over.'

At the mention of the word 'Brothers' Kyros perked up, a great swell of rage flowed through his blood, from within his bones, within his heart, his whole being ached at the mention of that word in reference to his former Legion. "With respect Lieutenant Morturg, those of the XII Legion that I have killed today were not my Brothers, they were usurpers and traitors. My Brothers are dead and I am eager to see their lives avanged."

Kyros took up a position at the front of the assemblage of varying units of Death Guard and the Mechanicum. As the Thallax Guards powered the massive ornate doors open to reveal a passing patrol of green and grey, The Sons of Horus, those who fell under the sway of the WarMaster himself. Traitors of the highest order, the Death Guard Destroyers opened up with their radiation weapons, lightning guns crackled from the Mechanicum and Sebastien roared out the the warcry of the Emperor's Children, which was responded to only by Darius, his loyal comrade.

Kyros had no attachment to the warcry of his own Legion, he wanted nothing to do with that heritage, but it was his and he could do little but accept it, and use the curse of his blood to the benefit of vengeance. As the fire began to pour forth from both sides, he knew they would need to close the distance to most effectively use their numbers.

The barrage of radiation missiles from the Destroyers felled two members of the descending Sons of Horus, but the rest seemed uneffected for the most part, however, the explosion had rocked them, taken their footing out from under them and caught them off guard.

The blood raced, pulsing through his body more rapidly and he felt a surge within him, he saw a moment to capitalize on the Sons of Horus as they clambored back to their feet. He knew of only one way to fight, his combat shield was firmly braced about his left forearm, his plasma pistol in hand, his power axe flared to life and he was off, like a snarling rabid dog that had been let loose of its tether. His hatred fueled his charge, his anger took hold, and he let it, walking a fine line of being in control and losing himself completely in the excitement of killing the enemies of the Emperor. He sprinted as fast as he could until he reached the Sons of Horus who were retaking their posture. A squeeze of the trigger of his plasma pistol saw a bright blue globe of searing hot energy roar forth, without waiting to see what targets he may have struck he brought his axe to bare in a series of slashes, each one followed with his left arm returning to its protective position, placing the shield directly in front of his torso, protecting his most vital spots. He was banking on surprise, supressive fire from his comrades and above all, sheer hatred of his enemies.
 

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Krejer roared and rent two of Shabran’s men apart. Tiberius was almost beginning to regret accepting the challenge from this brute, but he squashed the thought before it had time to mature. No amount of unfettered rage could make up for consummate skill and Tiberius possessed plenty of that. Though his legion had shirked it’s bonds of loyalty and fidelity, the honour of the Imperium and their distant Emperor still deserved to be upheld and so long as he wore the imperial aquilia and drew breath, he would be their champion. Come hell or high water. Several World Eater surged forwards with him into the traitorous ranks. Evidently not about to allow their jetbikes to be used against them or salvaged by any survivors, the World Eaters blew them up in a spiteful detonation of fire.

Then Tiberius was amongst them. A fresh World Eater, bereft of legion iconography or the black corpse soot that marked Shabran’s warriors, came at him wooping and howling. His chainaxe came in at a wide swing, which Tiberius blocked with the half of his Phoenix Spear. The World Eater broke away and came in with a downward swing. Tiberius twisted round it and took the new-blood’s legs out from under him with his spear. On the floor Tiberius drove his spear into his chest cavity and twisted, exploding both the World Eater’s hearts. He still thrashed as his life-blood drained though. Contemptuously, Tiberius pulled his spear out and made for Krejer.

Shabran was a few meters closer than him, but clocked his approach. “This one is mine, Emperor’s Child.”
“I will not see the honour of my Legion and my Emperor tarnished by this rabid dog. I will have his hide for his insolence.”
“Once he’s dead his hide is yours, but his head is mine.” *We’ll see about that* Tiberius hardened his face and gripped his Phoenix Spear tighter. He would not be outdone by these mongrels. Shabran reached his foe first, and launched at Krejer with a flurry of strikes with his ornate chainaxe. All of which Krejer blocked with his duel weapons. He seemed to struggle, but that was likely a symptom of whatever those blasted nails were doing to his brain pan.

Tiberius arrived a moment later. The Beast of the Fifth seemed to pre-naturally know that he faced another opponent and swung his own chainaxe. Tiberius’s spear came up to block the axe. By Terra Krejer was strong. Brute force would not save Tiberius. A second blow came from Krejer’s sword, and Tiberius twisted his spear so the bladed edge met the sword-edge. Tiberius could felt his strength slowly give way to Krejer’s as the sword inched along its previous trajectory. Shabran pressed his attack and Krejer broke away from Tiberius to launch a 1-2 swing of both his sword and axe, forcing Shabran’s offensive into a defensive stance.

Tiberius swung his spear around, preparing to decapitate Krejer in his moment of laxity, but the World Eater spun in place and stopped Tiberius’s blade. Almost faster than Tiberius could react to, Krejer’s chain-axe came for Tiberius’s face. He backed away almost in time, the blow connecting with only the snout of his helm and skidding off. The force of the blow still filled his mouth with blood though and his helm has several new gouges in it from the chainaxe’s teeth. Tiberius snarled as he broke away as Darr pressed another assault in the opening unwillingly created for him, scoring a wound on Krejer’s hip.

The Beast turned his attention away for an instant and Tiberius could feel his ire rising. His instinct was to strike with fury, but that was not enough. The prohibitive implant afforded the World Eaters more wrath than Tiberius could manufacture. Besides, no duellist ever won through sheer bloody mindedness. It was through skill and a calm assurance that they were already the victor. Like freeing a statue from marble, it was merely a matter of creating the reality that already existed. Krejer’s response to Shabran’s attack was furious, and landed him at least one superficial wound on the World Eater’s chest.
Tiberius pressed a further assault. Krejer’s attacks on Shabran let up as he faced the warrior in gilded purple. Tiberius’s charge stopped abruptly as he jousted again for Krejer’s face. The Captain responded before the blow could land, battering it aside. Before Krejer could press another attack, Shabran was on him again, his chainaxe raking at his should pauldron. Tiberius, anticipating the force of the blow, let his spear be knocked back and twisted the blade, bringing it around for a horizontal blow. His chainaxe occupied fending off Shabran, Krejer’s sword moved to block Tiberius’s strike. The two blade briefly collided and then came apart.

Shabran’s attack required Krejer to devote his other weapon, hacking madly at Shabran to get him on the defensive again. That’s when Tiberius moved in. He had not yet perfected the famed Maru Skara, but he hoped his approximation would suffice. Again he came at Krejer, almost with a repeat of his previous move; a two-handed horizontal slice. As predicted Krejer moved his sword in an undercut motion to block it, but his blocked thin air. Tiberius had, at the last moment, pushed his spear down so that the tip of the blade was now in what had been his lower hand and he now held it in a one handed grip. By decreasing the length of his attack, he had avoided the block and let the blade continue. He had then reversed the direction of the strike and stepped inside Krejer’s guard, bringing a blow he hoped would take Krejer’s head off.

Sadly, the reflexes of the warrior were too fast and Krejer ducked back avoiding losing his head. However it was not fast enough to stop Tiberius’s blade slicing through his right cheek and the tip of his tongue as it passed. As impressively close at Tiberius had come, the fact that he had failed meant he was now dangerously exposed and with little room to defend himself. He back-stepped frantically, but Krejer swung both his weapons at him in an attempt to quarter the Decurion. The chainaxe skidded off of Tiberius’ armour, its power muted somewhat by his refractor field. The sword however, cut through the shoulder plating and into the meat of his shoulder and across into the tip of his pectoral before Tiberius could bring his spear to bear. Miraculously, both blows left the aquilia on his chest unscathed. He fended off two of three more frantic blows before Shabran distracted Krejer again with his own offensive. Tiberius silently scolded himself for failing but also knew that he had come close. Closer than Shabran. There was a good chance they could bring down this Beast and uphold the Imperium’s honour…
 

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Discussion Starter #103 (Edited)
Vultus and Krateron:

'Sons of Horus'

The eight Luna Wolves froze for a moment, together. Gretivalus even let off the trigger of his heavy bolter, seeing the familiar livery at the opposite end of the street. Their focus narrowed. Their hearts thumped as if they were the only organs left in their chests. The World Eaters had been getting their turn before anyone else apparently but now, it was theirs.

The Luna Wolves who had been in cover stood up without care. The bolter fire coming at them stopped. Hazy figures who had taken cover along the street stood up as well, throwing their own caution to the smoky wind.

An exploding whirlwind of wrath played out in the background as the Sons of Horus just stared at each other.

Each, for their own personal reasons, bounded over their cover and surged forward in vocal silence. Clanking boot falls hit the ground. Chains and mirror coins clattered. Weapons were forgotten, dropped or maglocked. The air pressurizes between the two lines of Astartes sprinting toward one another, each warrior with a suit of armor like their own rushing up to meet them. The two waves of sea-green crash int each other, blending in their murder-make.

The crunching of fists, armor, and bones turns to a percussive song of vengeance and disgust. Vultus reverses a knee and spears a chest with the banner of Second Company. Muor's arm is caught mid-swing, and his elbow decimated. Gretivalus swings his heavy bolter down upon a skull, popping it. Rydon's helmet is pulled off and slammed into his own face. Herridon, with a short blade in hand, swings his remaining arm wide landing it straight through the mouth grill of an MKII helmet. He then digs, digs, and digs.

Guns are pulled back out, and three things capture the attention of Dillinger, forcing them to refocus once a line of dead Sons of Horus lays in front of them. The most obvious one is the Rapier Laser Destroyer being brought up on the traitors' end of the street. It's first shot nearly vaporizes half of Dillinger and obliterates one of the downed jet bikes beyond. The second is a grouping of spotlights in the air just above the highest rooftops over the traitors' position. Smoke and ash filled, low blowing clouds keep it otherwise concealed. More Sons of Horus suddenly appear through the even greater amounts of kicked up dirt clouds it seems to be causing. Straining engines whine with their effort. It is only from looking at this that they notice how strong the winds have now gotten above the city. The third thing they notice is all kinds of gunfire somewhere not far off.

You should probably do something. Oh, and do detail that brawl for me a bit more.

Tiberius:

The fighting finds its way through the smoldering building wreckage and out into a much more open plaza where it appears thousands of Isstvanians melted and burned away a short time ago. There are dozens of large circular structures that must have been fountains, now dried up, cracked and scorched. There are scattered defense lines throughout, and a small network of pillboxes at the head of the plaza in front of what had been some kind of significant building but whether it was religious or political in nature is impossible to discern now. More from the noise than anything you can see, an aircraft makes its way over your position. Not that you would risk a second's distraction to look anyway, given the current circumstances. Some of the other World Eaters have followed the there of you into the plaza, continuing their own fighting.

On the other side of the plaza, figures clad in an off-green color emerge, running across. Before you know it, Sons of Horus are dropped beside you, and envelop you in flame weaponry. Your shield holds against it. You hear orders commanding "Stop!" and "Hold!, Hold!" which then become closer to pleas as the fire dissipates. You look up to find Krejer laying into the Sons of Horus, making mincemeat out of them, who are forced to fight back in turn. Shabran Darr has been forced to break from Krejer and fend off the Sons of Horus as well, or perhaps he has also bene take by the Nails, it is hard to tell.

As if the tides of fate hadn't been odd enough this day, you soon find yourself fighting the Sons of Horus somewhat side by side with Captain Krejer. You may also notice that Squad Dillinger and your pal Krateron are no longer in sight.

Sebastian and Kyros:

Morturg, Kyros, and Sebastian are the first the reach the top of the stairway, triumphantly making the final step to level ground. More scars and holes in each of their armor have been made. One of the Thallax cyborgs sat dead with its back against the wall half way up, a gaping hole in its face plate caused by a Sons of Horus missile launcher. Magos Decima moved to it, to see if repair or life was still possible. A handful of black and white armored Death Guard both, were sprawled about the stairs in various endings. Overall, though, the climb was incredibly successful.

With clouds of radiation hanging about, there is no time to stand idle. Further up ahead you hear more weapon fire, and in the distance you see what looks to be a rhino transport and a handful of Marines deploying a Rapier Laser destroyer beside it. Fortunately for you two, it is pointed down a different path.

Darius and the Death Guard squads move up over the stairway and pan out. You hear the whine of aircraft engines and see spotlights in the dark, fast moving clouds that are blowing through the tops of the tall buildings around you. The weather has become significantly more violent during your transit through the catacombs. There is no rain, just thick black clouds, strong wind and blowing embers with heat lightning flashing above.

Before you can get to the Rhino or laser battery, cables are dropped, and approximately forty more Sons of Horus legionnaires drop down into the street. The first ten or so are gunned down, most before their feet touch the ground, and some are flung into the the sides of ruins from the storm winds, but they inevitably muster and quickly make formation. A barrage of rockets rains down on your position from the clouds above, sending several Death Guard off their feet, blowing off limbs. But Death Guard are hard to kill.

Work together with each other and your allies to push through this force of traitors. You can be as creative as you'd like, pretty much, with what kind of cover or terrain may be around. The Sons of Horus are similar to the last group, pretty standard tactical marines with no crazy wargear on them or anything. The better you try to coordinate your actions with each other and your allies, and by thinking of long-term objectives, the more rewarding the outcome will be. You can certainly claim the deaths of several, but try not to go overboard. They won't all be gone until I say so.
 

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Krateron was the last to move. Squad Dillinger and the standard-bearer, Vultus, swept out of cover together - Murder on their minds. Krateron was slower, he hesitated. The Sixteenth Legion, his Legion - His brothers and friends - Emerged from the murk, armour glinting with pale mirror-coins, trophies and fetishes. Short, stabbing daggers were clutched in mailed fists. Plumes wagged back and forth as they charged, ash billowing into the air around their feet. Krateron's hearts missed a beat, and then he was rising, spinning Oathkeeper into its scabbard.

'I'm sorry,' He whispered, removing his helmet for the first time. Hot ashes landed on his head, burning his lips and cheeks. He ignored them - The fire in his hearts burnt hotter, fiercer, than Istvaan every could.

Krateron selected his target - A Legionary with no trophies, a youngling. Perhaps it was cowardly, perhaps others would mock him - But it was, strategically, the best choice. Krateron would outmatch him, with experience and sheer determination.

They closed together, the two of them, and time slowed. Ashes flurried around them, combat-stimms filled their veins, curses flowed freely from their mouths.

Krateron reached down, to his hip. There, mounted on a thick, scuffed chain, was a golden skull. During the Medea Worlds Campaign, the Sixteenth had come up against the Greenskins. A putrid tide, indeed - They had infested the Medea Worlds like locusts, enslaving the humans who had inhabited them. The Seventh Company had been selected for the speartip, and Krateron had fought in the thickest actions, from the beginning until the end. He had ended it.

Urgak had been the Ork Chieftain. Urgak had nearly killed Krateron, crushing the life from him in a embrace. His injuries had been extensive - A cracked Black Carapace, a pulped arm and a collapsed lung - But still Krateron slipped his blade, through Urgak's armour, and into the monster's heart. He had ended it.

His injuries had earned him a commendation from the Primarch, the right to carry Urgak's skull, and a month of healing.

Krateron slipped his fingers into Urgak's eyesockets. He raised the skull, above his head, and it shone brilliantly for a moment.

With a bitter laugh, he swung.

Ork-skull. Reinforced. Swung with the power of a heavy-duty piston.

It struck the Marine's helmet. The forehead crumpled, an eyepiece shattered in a rain of colourful glass, and the Son of Horus tumbled away.

'I liked that,' Krateron said, dropping skull away, as he encroached on the youngling. 'I will need a replacement.'

His opponent tore his helmet free, drew a tapered blade from his hip, and came at him. His face was smooth and tanned - Broad cheeks, bright, fevered eyes and a murderous grin. It was like staring at a mirror - A mirror intent on killing him.

The blade slipped across his cheek, opening it, and Krateron sneered. Blood, warm and sticky, splattered the side of his face, pauldron and arm.

'That's all you are getting,' Krateron spat, stepping into the youngling's guard.

A headbutt. Broken nose and jaw. Krateron's assailant reeled, his free hand reaching for his face.

Krateron yanked his bolt-pistol free and shot the Marine through his knee. He went down into the dust, roaring and spitting.

His bolt-pistol fired again, pulverizing the Marine's weaponhand.

'I told you,' Krateron said, unlatching a pair of mirror-coins from his side. Blood ran from their surfaces, thick droplets falling to the ground. He tossed them to the stricken Son of Horus, watched them roll away, and shook his head. Silently, he brought his foot down onto the Marine's skull. It burst, sickeningly.

'That's all you were getting.'
 

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"Cover!" Sebastian yelled into the vox as the first barrage of missiles fell. The Decurion dived aside as one struck where he had previously been standing. The force of the blast augmented his dive and threw him heavily into the arch through which the Loyalist forces had just passed, cracking stone and ceremite together. As he pushed himself back to his feet the air was already filled with bolter fire and Sebastian groaned as he raised his own, firing wildly as he waited for his senses to return to him. A second later he was dragged off his feet and down behind a piece of fallen archway.

"Look out Sir." Darius said, retrieving his bolt pistol with his good hand and adding to the hail of fire.

"Thank you Brother." Sebastian replied, shaking his head until the cobwebs cleared. With his senses returned he looked out from cover at the situation before them. It took little time for the precarious nature of their position to dawn on him.

"Lieutenant Morturg." he called, opening a vox link to the Death Guard commander who had become lost in the fray.

"Go ahead Decurion."

"We have limited cover here. If the traitors turn that Rapier battery upon us we are doomed."

"I agree Cousin." The Death Guard replied. "Do you have a plan?"

"I do, but it will not be pretty. We need to punch through. With cover from the main battle line a spear tip could drive through and eliminate the battery before it could be brought to bear. It is simple. It is direct. There will be causalities but we do not have time for anything more."

There was a brief pause in which Sebastian thought the Death Guard would reject his suggestion and he was prepared to fume at him for his short-sightedness. "What do you need?" the sombre reply came.

"Your toughest and most capable close quarter troops. Have them converge on my position immediately."

"They will be there. This had better work Emperor's Child." Morturg said, threat clear in his voice.

"It will." Sebastian replied coldly then changed the vox link to pick Kyros out of the crowd. "World Eater. We are punching through their lines. I need you to be our spear tip. Will you lead the charge?"
 

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"Cover!" The voice of Sebastien rang out over the vox on open channels just as a salvo of missiles impacted their position. Kyros scrambled to find what semblance of protection he could in the form of a large slab of broken ceramite and plasteel the size of a small boulder. He quickly glanced around the battlefield, seeking the positions of his newfound comrades, taking into account where they were, the distances from himself and one another.

His scan also revealed the position of the Rapier battery that was being used to great effect to lay down covering fire against another front. It quickly dawned on him that if the battery were to be turned on them, their small skirmishing force would quickly be obliterated. He looked over the battery before being forced back behind the ceramite block from incoming fire. It was too far through open terrain for them to mount an easy assault. His lip furled with frustration and anger at the situation, his upper lip twitched, revealing his inciscors every so often, not too dissimilar to a wild animal that's been agitated or provoked.

Kyros propped himself up for a moment to unleash a blast from his plasma pistol, ducking back before he could know if he struck his target, or any target for that matter.

The vox crackled again as a line was opened, "World Eater, the Emperor's Child Sebastien requires your abilities," it was the voice of Lieutenant Morturg, a blip showed up on his HUD as to Sebastien's location and Kyros scrambled, half hunched over to the position along the edge of cover, towards the location some ways down the line of Sebastien and Darius.

Clamboring behind yet another makeshift barrier Kyros made his way to Sebastien. Darius nodded to him in acknowledgement, but it was Sebastien who spoke. "World Eater. We are punching through their lines. I need you to be our spear tip. Will you lead the charge?"

Kyros grinned beneath his helm, his teeth exposed like the maw of a wolf in a truly disturbing, gleeful smile given the situation. He quickly looked over his shield to make sure it was secured, he placed his plasma pistol on his hip, locking it in place much to the surprise of Darius, who tilted his head quizzically as if he were baffled by the World Eater's tactic.

"I will lead our charge, keep pace cousins!" Kyros quickly broke cover, his shield braced firmly in front of his chest, covering the lower portion of his helmet, leaving the only flat surface the shield, which would help absorb the impact of any incoming fire, the rounded shape of the upper portion of the helm would allow rounds to skim off the surface unless they were a direct hit, in which case he'd be dead. These were not thoughts that crossed Kyros' mind though. 300 meters...280 meters...250 meters... The countdown echoed in his mind, his shield arm rocked as impacts from incoming fire slammed into him, his momentum carrying him forward, several rounds creating deep gouges in his helmet as they raked across the sides but ultimately skimmed off.

Kyros didn't look to see where his cousins were now, he just counted down each meter, every second until he would crash into his enemies like a singular rampaging wave.
 

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Not that he would ever admit it, but Tiberius knew this duel was not going well. After slicing Krejer’s cheek open, he had not been able to make any significant gains. Shabran was holding his own, more through sheer dogged rage and determination than skill. Still, Krejer’s armour bore more gouges from his chainaxe than it did from Tiberius’s Phoenix Spear and that irked him. The frantic whirling of the battle had caused the trio to drift away from the main brawl between the two World Eater forces. It had also caused them to drift from anyone Tiberius could reliably call an ally.

For a while Krejer had been on the defensive, or as defensive as one of Angron’s berzerkers could be. Shabran’s blind fury and Tiberius’s pride, having swelled from feeling so close to ending the Beast, pushed him back into the building Krejer and his men had reliably bombed out with their Jetbikes before this mess started. Tiberius twirled round ruined pillars trying to catch Krejer off-guards, but often found either his chainaxe or the bastard sword ready to block his strike. Even when he didn’t his strike was either only glancing or, occasionally, blocked by Shabran’s body.

Finally Tiberius seemed to have a good opening. He wound up a strike, intent on taking a limb from Krejer if nothing else. At the last moment Krejer swung with his chainaxe in a wild motion, striking Tiberius in his chest. By this point, most of the teeth had been shorn away, but the force of the blow was enough to send Tiberius flying through an opposite wall. He crashed into an open plaza, or perhaps the courtyard of some thane. Whatever it had been, it was unrecognisable now. He tasted blood in his mouth and his chest ached from the force of the blow. Moments later Shabran and Krejer came charging through an archway, their wild blows reducing ancient stones to dust.

In retrospect, Tiberius should have let Shabran have his duel. He should have stuck with those with the presence of mind to defend themselves rather than attack their allies. He had not and he had set his mind to bringing Krejer to justice and he would not see that frustrated. He got up and several other World Eaters, their weapons slick with gore, fought their way into the plaza, each caught up in their own personal murder-makes. Tiberius charged back towards the two duelling Captains in white and blue and the whine of an aircraft could be heard overhead.

As Tiberius defended from a series of blows from Krejer, opening him up to a glancing strike from Shabran, he noticed figures in off-green appearing on the other side of the plaza. Moments later several Sons of Horus appeared beside the trio. Then the world disappeared in a cloak of fire. Most of the heat washed harmlessly over his shield, occasionally a fiery tongue would lick his armour, leaving a scorched smear on his ash-caked battle-plate. There were frantic barks, pleads and supplications to stop or hold. Eventually the flames subsided and Tiberius saw what, or more precisely who, had caused the Sons of Horus to crumble.

Krejer was laying into the Sons with furious abandon. Tiberius was stunned. For what had felt like an age he had been fending off Krejer’s blows. Blood had been spilt and victory had almost been his. He had expected Krejer to fight until the end. Now he was gone, the duel ended as if Tiberius was not even worth noting. As if the wounds he had inflicted and sustained were nothing. It wounded Tiberius. That whoreson couldn’t even finish the fight he started. Tiberius was worth more than that.

Tiberius ground his teeth and quickly scanned. He would have his due, even if Krejer would not give it to him. He found a worthy foe. A sergeant, slathered in Cthonian glyphs and serpent eyes, covered in barbarous spikes and with a mangy top-knot flapping in the light breeze the over-head Storm Eagle kicked up. His HUD marked him as Sergeant Eralak. Yes he would do perfectly. “Eralak you Cthonian bastard! Finish sucking on your mother’s teat and face a true foe...” Tiberius shouted. The Horus-son withdraw his power fist from the crater he had punched in a World Eater’s chest.
“So be it peacock. I will end your idle boasts.” Tiberius’s mouth twisted into a snarl.

The two weaved through the ranks to meet each other. Eralak wound up a swing that was obvious to Tiberius. After facing Krejer, Eralak seemed to move painfully slowly. Tiberius lazily spun around the blow and struck Eralak across the back of the head with the blunt end of his spear.
“You are pathetic.” Tiberius purred derisively. His spear turned in his hand and sliced deep into Eralak’s side. The Son spun with a heavy fist. Tiberius hopped nimbly back and brought the blunt end of his spear up into the Son’s jaw. Eralak stumbled back and laughed bitterly.
“And you are deluded. Horus is Mankind’s rightful master and you are too blind to see it.” There was a moment of charged stillness between the two combatants, and then they flew at each other again.

Eralak lashed out with a serrated combat knife, forcing Tiberius to lean away to avoid being gutted. The power fist swung again. Against a foe with a shorted reach, it might have landed, but Tiberius’s Phoenix spear twirled and separated the arm at the elbow. The power field deactivated abruptly and the loose fist bounced harmlessly off Tiberius’s shoulder. “You will die here. You and all of those unworthy to share in Horus’s new Imperium.” Eralak spat. Tiberius scoffed and cut Eralak’s legs out from under him.
“Perhaps, but your Primarch will fail and his rebellion will come to nought. The Emperor is the only ruler of Mankind. So it is…” Tiberius drove his spear into Eralak’s forhead “…so it shall ever be.”

Krejer was rows deep into the Sons. That battle was over for now. Tiberius would have his honour’s due in time. However, with so many combatants here already and more incoming it seemed, he knew it was time to leave. He needed to link back up with Krateron and the rest of Dillinger. Or better yet. “Sebastian, come in. Krejer is wounded, but…I lost him to the Nails. He charged off into a squad of traitor Sons of Horus. The enemy of my enemy…” Tiberius let that tacit implication hang. “What is your status and location?” Tiberius began to move back to where he had seen Krateron last, prepared to cut down anyone who stood in his way…
 

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Discussion Starter #108 (Edited)
I have added in the two new players. This is another long update but there is a lot going on here. As always, PM me if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you for sticking with it despite the slow pace. I am still enjoying writing for it. I know my RPs can be pretty demanding, time-wise, but some of these characters are really starting to shine, I think.


Tiberius:

You step back into the flame filled ruins of the building you passed through, mostly uncontested bar some shots reflected by your Refractor Shield or hitting your armor. You turn to make your way through it, noticing several of Shabran’s scorched World Eaters, likely those not lost to the Nails, stop in their tracks or finish off their last foe without a care, staring over the distance of the ornamental plaza. You pick up on the uncharacteristic nature of this, and turn around to see the cause of it.

It’s as if a warhammer strikes you in the chest. Your eyes sharpen to pinpricks and you feel the closest thing an Astartes can to feel to fear: panic.

At the opposite edge of the plaza, a monstrous figure garbed in gore-soaked gold, and weilding two massive chain axes, cuts into view. The Red Angel. Angron.

The cityscape behind him becomes speckled with white-armored warriors as they clamber through the ruins, following their Primarch’s lead. The Sons of Horus take a supporting role, filing into the bombed out defense lines slithering over the plaza, and letting the World Eaters push by.

You make to retreat, but notice Shabran Darr still fighting against a band of Sons.

You know you must at least try. He is clearly too valuable to simply leave behind, as nearly any ally is, at this point. Your job for this post, is to convince a World Eater… to retreat.

He will come back to his senses, the bite of the Nails fading after killing over a dozen Cthonians. So, you can at least speak to him. I will speak for him, though.

Sebastian, Kyros, and Tyrus:

200 meters…

Bolt shells hammered the World Eater's Shield, and battered his feet. A dozen or so Death Guard had propped themselves up from the ruins and fell in behind him as he moved forward, some with shields of their own, pulling them over their heads and onto their arms.

The Mechanicus Magos had rejoined the line, adding more plasma fire to the already fatal air. His Thallax warriors quickly became the main fire support for the spear tip.

Morturg directed the few heavy weapon Marines he had left toward the sky, missiles launching upward toward the rocking, cloud-concealed stormbird. As the transport vessel attempts an evasive maneuver, a powerful gust of wind from the storm throws it into the side of a skyscraper. A wrenching metal sound and screeching whine cuts through the battle. The ship does not fall, but the bright spotlights lighting up the street quickly disappear as the pilot disengages.

Kyros’s shield finally gives in, simply not able to take any more punishment. Huge swathes of it are blasted away, leaving a mangled scrap of metal left in in the Sergeant’s hand. Two Deathguard beside him are cut down. One of which trips up the Marine behind him, causing a bloody hole to be blown into the top of his helmet.

Sons of Horus ahead are dropping as well. Bolts of lighting and mutli-lasers streaking into their positions.

Kyros casts the ruined shield away, raising his battle axe high, coming up to the first Son of Horus to charge out of cover at him. Faster than the eye could see, his axe slices down between the neck and collarbone of the Traitor, whose chainsword then weakly connects with Kyros’s side armor as he falls.

With the lines now met, Sebastian and Darius, who had been running up behind, make a break for the weapon battery. Sebastian makes aim to fire at the two Sons of Horus manning the Rapier beside the Rhino, but sees them blown apart just before pulling the trigger. Though they fall to the ground in pieces, the Rapier fires again, apparently set on autopilot so the drivers could join the fight…

Sebastian the front and sides are too well armored for an effective bolter attempt. With no more opposition between you and it, you make your way to the Rapier. The very moment you plunge your blade into its control system, you find Akkad Krateron standing beside you. A half dozen Luna wolves following suit.

Shortly after, another Son of Horus emerges from the back of the Rhino. All guns are aimed at him immediately, the air tense. The only thing that saves this Marine is the bright green lining from everyone’s HUD. One named Xaren, from the Sons of Horus Tenth Company. One of Captain Loken's.

detail the post with his perspective of the described events, and then continue his action from where I left off, meeting with Krateron, the newcomer, and the rest.

Kyros finishes off the last of the Traitors, and moves up to Sebastian and Krateron’s position, meeting them, leaving Morturgs’ bunch to regather themselves for a moment. Detail this for your post, and follow up with any conversation that may be started by the rest.

Tyrus, you are among the Deathguard who are ordered to join Kyros in the charge. In your post, detail the charge from his perspective, his thoughts on the World Eater leading it if he has any, and the battle at hand. End with a description of the melee once the lines meet. You may kill a couple Sons of Horus Legionaries, but no more than that.



Xaren:

Somehow, you were separated from the rest of Hellebore and all of tenth Company in the chaos that was the First Wave. And somehow, you survived the virus bombing and the firestorm that followed. You had been wandering aimlessly, for all intents and purposes until A vox message was finally able to cut through. It was Captain Torgaddon (this is froma few updates back if you wish to read it) explaining that there were other survivors and to head to the Precentor’s Palace if possible, also noting that limited Vox communication was possible and makeshift friend or foe tags were up. Moving in what you believed to be the right direction you eventually came upon the sound of battle.

Moving in with caution, you follow the lights of what must be an enemy stormbird’s lights toward the warzone. You turn your head around the corner of a hellish street to find dozens of Sons of Horus being deployed from a Rhino Transport and the Stormbird, some of them setting up a Rapier las-battery. These are the first Traitor forces you have seen so far. Some of them go down the street perpendicular, moving out of sight, and the rest go down the opposite direction in a battle with what appears to be mostly Death Guard. You likely find it odd that a group of Death Guard have come so far from the Western battlements.

As you sneak your way along the street and the rubble strewn throughout, you decide you need to add your own weight to this fight as the stormbird is knocked aside and forced to flee. You make your way into the Rhino transport through one of its still-open side doors. You find two Sons of Horus within. One is operating a Vox unit and the other is standing guard; likely the pilot. Kill both of them however you see fit.

The sounds of gunfire will have subsided by then, for the most part. Exiting the back of the vehicle, you will find a multitude of weapons instantly trained on you, the only thing that stops them from obliterating you is the thin green outline around you on their HUDs indicating you as ‘friendly’. These Marines are the players above, Sebastian, Kyros, Krateron and the NPCs (non-player characters) with them. Move to meet with them.

You can include as much detail as you want regarding his response to the betrayal and his journey through the Choral City to this point. From there, guide us through the events laid out above through Xaren’s perspective. Remember, his thoughts are important as well as his actions.

Krateron:

You rise from your kill. But the real threats still remain, and no plan to address them has been made through the emotions wrought by Dillinger’s first delicious taste of vengeance. Snap shots are made toward the Rapier as Dillinger, Vultus, and yourself move back into cover. More Sons of Horus move up the street to fill their dead brothers’ emptied position.

While fighting hard against this new wave, you notice missile-fire streak through the air, hitting the already unstable Stormbird above. As it tries to evade further damage, a powerful gust of storm-wind nudges it into the skyscraper beside it. A wrenching metal sound and screeching whine cuts through the battle. The ship does not fall, but the bright spotlights lighting up the street quickly disappear as the pilot disengages. You also hear the sounds of weapons almost certainly not being used by Astartes. Rapid fire cracks of las-weaponry and snaps of lightning..unless the storm above has moved to street level…

What must have been the majority of Traitor reinforcements from the stormbird moved to engage this other threat, leaving the seven of you less than a full squad’s worth of Sons to deal with.

After defeating them, all that remains ahead is the Rapier and its two pilots, the spotter and driver. With no allies in front of them again, they are sure to let loose with the weapon once more. Gretivalus fires upon its position with his heavy bolter. Its armored front holds up with minimal damage, but the spotter and driver are blown to pieces behind it.

Believing the path now clear, Dillinger begins to move forward. Vultus is the first one to move, charging out of cover into the middle of the street with the Banner of Second Company raised high and proud, a roaring battle cry on his lips.

Despite Gretivalus’s success...the Rapier fires.

Decius Vultus becomes fully eclipsed within the blazing light. Even within the beam, his eclipsed form could be seen still running forward as his body was forever erased from head to toe. His armor, body, and banner evaporating into nothingness. It was as if he ran straight into the light of the Emperor upon his death, and all that remained of him was his battle cry, Echoing through the ruins of the Choral City, and a scorched shred of his banner, now lost to the wind.

Apparently just in time before their deaths, the Traitors placed the weapon-battery on its limited auto-pilot mode. The Six of you left know that if you hesitate, it will fire again, and so sprint to its position. Just as you reach the Rapier, you find a familiar purple-clad warrior’s sword already plunged into it.

Decurian Sebastian Aurellian, alive after all, and Darius too, behind him.

A small army of Death Guard, Thallax of all things, and even a lone World Eater are present in the background, still moving up the street.

A clank of armor is heard and another Son of Horus emerges from the rear of the Rhino, caught by surprise. You may recognize him, but you wouldn’t have been the first to fire anyway. The rest, bring their weapons down at seeing him tagged as friendly. It is Legionary Xaren Lurghad. A Cthonian-born. One of Captain Loken’s.
 

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Tyrus raced to the ranks forming up behind the World Eater that was leading the charge against those blasted Traitors. Tyrus was at the very front, next to the World Eater about two feet behind him. Almost as if everybody knew they automatically started running towards the Sons Of Horus legionaries with the clank of ceramite against the ground. Tyrus knew that the blood that demanded his feet become stuck to the ground was the blood of Traitors. "Scum!" He shouted as the space between the two sides narrowed and narrowed.

Tyrus' thoughts drifted to the World Eater leading the charge. "He does not fall to a rage and possesses a great tactical ability, something most World Eaters didn't do" Tyrus thought. He was so occupied in these thoughts that he didn't know the lines were only a couple feet away from each other.

The lines crashed into each other, both ceramite and bone cracking under the onslaught. Screams of pain were drowned out by whirs of the chain weapons that rose and crashed down. Tyrus found his target through the conflict, and attacked the Son of Horus. Tyrus brought Spinebreaker up in an over head block that caught the wrist of the Power Fist determined to smash his head to a pulp. Tyrus activated Skullbreaker which cut through his opponent's armor and wrist. The Power Fist came crashing down on the Son's leg and shattered it. The opponent fell like dead weight and Tyrus brought Spinebreaker down, carving open the chest.

Another opponent from behind struck his shoulder Pauldron and Tyrus spun around and brought Spinebreaker through the groin and ripped upwards. The opponent was ripped in half and Tyrus looked at the melee. So far neither side had the advantage and Tyrus was the only one who plunged and broke through enemy lines. However, the Death Guard were pushing back the Sons of Horus by a few steps and still fought with excellent morale. Tyrus raised his Chainsword in preparation to take down as many of the Traitors as he could.
 

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"Damn crazy son of-" Sebastian cursed as Kyros burst from cover and launched into the charge before the rest of force could be assembled. Switching vox channels he added, "Morturg! We need those troops, now!"

To the Lieutenant's credit heavy Death Guard troopers in scarred battered armour carrying shields and chainswords were already moving from the Loyalist lines and forming up around the charging World Eater. Sebastian spared a final nod to Darius and the Emperor's Children too joined the charge. The weight of fire around them intensified, laser and bolter fire passing by them closer then Sebastian would have liked. The thought that the gambit could be foiled by their own cover fire passed through his mind, but he swiftly dismissed it. Not to do so was to dishonour his allies, Astartes without whom he would not be here. His vox lit up and a familiar voice filtered through, but in the chaos the Decurion didn't consciously register the words.

Then everything went dark. Sebastian hadn't seen what had felled the Stormbird circling overhead, only heard the tortured screech of scraping metal before the lights went out. The senses in his helmet quickly adjusted and it was good to know the enemies air cover was neutralised, for now.

A moment later and the spearhead was amongst them, Kyros cutting a swathe through the traitor forces, just as Sebastian had hoped. He shifted his grip on the bolter and switched it to his left hand, still firing, he drew Spectre from his back with a flourish, thumbing the activation rune halfway through a wide arc that decapitated a Son of Horus as he rose to fire. Surging ahead, the path was already clearing. The Death Guard were fine warriors, indomitable and unrelenting. Sebastian watched one cut a traitor from groin to shoulder in a spray of blood and flesh.

Taking their opening, the Emperor's Children pushed through the gap. The target came into view and both raised their weapons to fire upon the battery's crew, but the traitors fell before either could pull the trigger. For the first time since returning the the surface Sebastian allowed his muscles to relax for a second, until the weapon fired again. Cursing his laxity the Decurion charged, leapt from a fallen alabaster statue and drove Spectre through the weapon's control panel. The battery sparked and died.

Sebastian was immediately aware of a presence beside him and his bolter snapped up in it's direction. His helmet hid the amused smile that crossed his face as he cocked his head and registered the information being fed into his HUD.

"Krateron? So you resisted the urge to run for the hills after all?" He asked, the question lined with mocking condescension.

Before they could get much further there was movement behind him and Sebastian spun, redirecting the bolter, one-handed at the newcomer. His helm told him this one, another Son of Horus was 10th Company, Loken's group. A good sign, but if there had been only one thing Sebastian had learned so far today it was not to trust anyone until they gave you good reason to. This, Xaren was a long way from his unit. He had some explaining to do.
 

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This was turning into a blood-bath and for what? The spec of dirt they were fighting over had no strategic value and yet Astartes from both sides continued to flood the plaza with no goal other than slaughter. It was madness. The immense guns of the fleet above were not reducing them to glass so Tiberius could only conclude that the same atmospheric storm that was wreaking havoc on his HUD and auspex grid was similarly affecting the fleet in orbit. A saving grace he supposed, but one he knew could not last. Still the butcher’s bill was too high and with a force of his brethren making a meaningful muster elsewhere, intent on opposing the madness that had gripped their parent Legion, Tiberius weaved through the crowd deflecting blows whenever they opposed him or ignoring the few shots that reflected from his shield and armour. He would be mired here fending of berzerker until numbers overwhelmed him.

As he passed several World Eaters, he noticed they were either finishing of their foes disinterestedly or, more remarkably, standing slack jawed staring behind him. This disturbed Tiberius, enough for him to stop and see what had inspired such an eerie calm in these psychopaths. His mouth went dry and he felt his eyes sharpen to pinpricks. His heart hammered in his chest and his adrenaline surged. His hand gripped his spear a little tighter, trying to draw on the power contained in his weapon for comfort. It didn’t work. No weapons could quell the primal feeling now surging through Tiberius’s veins. From the far side of the plaza strode a gore-soaked demi-god. Angron, the Red Angel, had come to hunt them, and Tiberius was far closer than he would like to be to a being of such unassailable power.

Behind him brayed a great multitude of Angron’s sons and behind them were the Sons of Horus, content to let the World Eater spill blood in the way only they knew how. If it was folly to stay before, now it was suicide. Tiberius was about to retreat, intent on putting as much distance between him and the Red Angel as quickly as possible. He didn’t though. He spotted Shabran, a whirlwind of blows amidst and off-green sea. Is there no end to the foolishness of these World Eaters! Tiberius growled to himself. He had to go back for him. “You of the Eleventh Company…” Tiberius said to the surrounding World Eaters. Those still with sense acknowledged him. “…follow me.” To his surprise, they obliged and Tiberius led them to retrieve their Captain.

By the time Tiberius and the rest of World Eaters crashed into the Sons of Horus, a dozen or so lay dead at Shabran’s feet. Tiberius dismissively cut two Sons down with deft strokes, their bolt pistols and combat blades proving little defence against Tiberius’s lethal skill. He cut through to Shabran, clasping his shoulder as the World Eater sent a Son’s head rolling from his shoulders. "Captain Shabran, we must go. Now! Do not spend your life so cheaply here when you can make a difference elsewhere." Unsurprisingly, the World Eater didn’t agree.
“Cheaply? Ha! Our lives are already meaningless here beyond a chance at vengeance. There is no elsewhere. There is no better target.”

Shabran laid messily into another Son, hacking his limb rather than going for the kill. Tiberius ended him quickly. Every second they wasted was another step Angron took towards them, and he was already killing scores of Legionaries with every blow. From the distance there was the sound of tortured metal and Tiberius had to should to be heard over it and the din of battle.
"There is no vengeance here Shabran, only a meaningless death! Leave now and we will live to make our brothers bleed for what they have done to us. That is our vengeance. That is our victory! You will not make Angron bleed for what he has done, but you can make his legion bleed. We can make them all bleed, but not if we die here!"
“I understand if you want to leave, it is not your fight. But for us, what you suggest is cowardice.”

This was madness! This was not a fight they could win. There was a great battle at work and to die here would be senseless. Yet Shabran was content to die because his father, the same father that would kill him without hesitation, taught him to never run from a fight. He had to see sense.
"Us? Ha! The only us you have is those who are betrayed. You think whatever derange burblings your bastard father made to you about honour mean anything to him anymore?...” Shabran seemed to stop at this. He was getting through. Tiberius had one chance now to pull him back from the brink, else lose him forever to oblivion. His eyes scanned and found Krejer, still cutting Sons down with furious abandon. Tiberius pointed to him “…If you stay, you are nothing more than a rabid dog, afflicted with the same madness of our betrayers and you will be put down as such...” Tiberius saw in his face that he had Shabran’s ear at last. “…Leave now and prove you still have the sanity to recognise sense!"

Shabran nodded and Tiberius breathed a sigh of release. The World Eater signalled his followers and those who still had their faculties followed him. They sprinted back into the burning ruins, towards where their allies had been and Tiberius hoped they still were. He activated his vox. “Akkad, Squad Dillinger what is your position?” It was possible that they were all dead, but since Krateron had not scalded him for bringing his doom, Tiberius suspected that he was alive at least. “Be advised, Angron is perhaps a couple of hundred meters away on the south side of our previous position. I have Shabran Darr and several World Eaters in hand. We will link up with you and then we should leave. Are there any other friendly forces besides the World Eaters? If so, tell them as well. I would deny Angron all the prey we can.” They were almost on the other side of the ruin and Tiberius could still hear the din of battle. Clearly someone was still alive on the other side. Whether Tiberius would embrace them or put them down was another matter…
 

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..200...Meters... Kyros was sprinting, the entire, seemingly endless and open expanse he had been sprinting. The lungs of a mortal would have exploded with the speed he carried himself forward. The seemingly inconsequential gap between the ruins and the Rapier battery would be littered with the dead of those still loyal to the Emperor on this day. Kyros could not break his charge, he could not mourn the loss of the valiant Cousins he lost this day. History would not remember their names in all liklihood, but he would, he would remember them in whatever short span of time he had left in his life. He would remember them through acts of vengeance.

That small expanse would be littered with the bodies of those Loyal. Kyros resolved he would litter the forward defense around the Rapier Battery with the bodies of those warriors who would turn their backs on the Emperor.

The crack and shunk sound of layered ceramite tore through the air and could be heard by him over the din of back and forth weapons fire. His trusty combat shield, which had seen him safely this far gave way, breaking to pieces, and looking as if made of shards of glass. A follow up volley saw the two Death Guard in his peripheral vision fall, he heard the familiar thunk of a bolter round striking home behind him, he could not turn to see that another Brother had been tripped up and as a result had his head blown to pieces by a round impacting flush with the top of his helm.

Kyros' head snapped back as his helm was struck by a bolt, right at the rounded crown and sent careening off in a ricochet harmlessly into the distance.

His rage swelled as they reached the line. Sons of Horus waiting like eager wolves, but the bastards would find no easy kills now that the distance had been covered. Now that he was in their midst. Like a wave of rage and hatred Kyros leapt the barricade that the Dogs of Horus had set up, his axe crackled and roared to life. A Son of Horus, his chainsword in hand rushes to meet Kyros, but he is surprised by the recklessness of the warrior in front of him. Kyros, not worried about defensive postures, ripostes or counters simply lunges forward with all his might, slashing down as he lands. The Son of Horus brings his chainblade across in an attempt to counter, but Kyros' power axe cuts deeply through the gap in the pale green armor plating between the pauldron and the chest plate. The Bastard of Horus, tries to bring his chainsword to bare, the teeth whirring hungrily, biting into the ceramite siding of Kyros' chest plate. With no small amount of savagery, Kyros throws his left arm over the top of the Son of Horus' right chainblade arm, trapping it against his body, the teeth of the weapon still revving and skimming along the surface of his armor, digging into the paint, eating away little flecks of ceramite. Digging the power axe deeper, applying more force, he twists the axe, a sharp crack audible over the surrounding fray as he rips the weapon free in a misting of blood that covers himself and those around him.

His left arm still hooked over the sword arm of the now dead Son of Horus, he looks at the whirring teeth and grins beneath his helmet. Quickly he takes the weapon from the dead hand of the Traitor and looks at the chainsword "You again serve the Emperor!" He yelled to the blade as if he had freed an ally of great importance.

With both chainsword and power axe in his hands he stalked forward, the rage that flowed through his blood guiding him. Another Son of Horus came into view, bringing a storm bolter up as if to unleash upon the Death Guard who had followed him into the fray. The power axe flew across the battlefield with horrifying accuracy and the weapon struck home with a thunk. The wounded Son of Horus turned to see the visage of an Astartes in battle scarred white and red armor, painted in blood bringing a Chtonian chainblade down upon him in a deathstroke. Kyros dug the chainblade deep into the throat of the Son of Horus, prying his power axe out of his chest and returning to the fray with both weapons moving in a flurry of violence.

The thudding of the Rapier Batter finally stopped, Kyros, locked in combat with one of the final defenders of this position. Kyros laughed, he found glee in the exacting of vengeance. The Son of Horus was skilled, his grasp of martial combat was immense, but Kyros would simply not be stopped. The dog of Horus though struck home, driving his blade into the gap near his abdominal muscles. He felt the blade pierce the outer sheath membrane of his armor, then cut into his muscle tissue. His teeth bared down into one another hard as he clenched his jaw in pain. He then hacked downwards with his left hand, his chainblade tearing into the flesh of his foe. The power axe followed shortly after, cleaving his enemies' sword hand, hacking at it until it fell to the ground, the blade remained lodged in his armor, having pierced about 3 or 4 inches into his muscle tissue. The Bastard dog pulled a bolt pistol from his hip with his remaining hand, the trigger however was not pulled in time. Kyros seemed to cut the space between them in an otherworldly manner, forcing the muzzle of the weapon down with a well timed strike from his chainblade. The following strike from the power axe struck the warrior square in the chest, knocking him to his back. In the melee, the Son of Horus struggled to grapple, his blood flowing freely onto the hard packed dirt, his strength draining from him he tried to fight back. An attempt to bring the bolt pistol up to shoot Kyros at point blank range failed as the World Eater knocked the weapon out of his hand. The reaching hands of the Son of Horus however struggled to grab at the helmet of the World Eater, who had stowed his power axe, his right hand held the Son of Horus' helmet, pinning his helm against the ground. The chain blade whirred as he brought it up to the throat of the Traitor in pale green. A gurgling sound came from the bastard as the adamantium teeth of the blade dug into his throat, a savage roar erupting from Kyros, who, upon decapitating the Traitor threw the head into the air, not looking to see where it landed.

The sheer silence in the aftermath of the ferocious, but short lived battle was deafening. "Where is apothecary Daeka?" Kyros questioned, motioning to the flesh wound at his abdominals as he found Sebastien and Darius once more. Morturg was still not present, and he suspected Daeka would be near the Lieutenant.

Still in the grips of the wrath within his blood though, Kyros stormed at pace towards the newly arrived Sons of Horus, his newly acquired chainblade still whirring in his left hand, his power axe crackling to life in his right, not bothering to discover their identities or status of friend or foe, his HUD was ignored. All he could see was his Death Guard allies, the purple of Sebastien and Darius and the pale green of yet another enemy, another Son of Horus. "You Bastards of Horus! Good! Another to die at my hands!"
 

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Tyrus looked up from the corpse of the Bastard traitor Son of Horus when he saw the World Eater, whose name was like Kiros or Kyros or something like that, storming toward the loyalist Sons that had just arrived.

Tyrus lunged upward and through the comforting blast of his jump pack, landed in front of the World Eater. "World Eater!" "The battle at hand is won!"Tyrus knew that trying to face down a World Eater was a life or death situation. But Tyrus knew he couldn't let loyalist cousins blood be spilled on accident, when it could be spent killing Traitors.
 

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He was soaked with the blood of his kin, stinking like a abattoir, his nostrils clogged with the ashes of a dying world. The wound on his cheek was healing, the flesh knitting together as he turned his attentions to the next target - A rumbling, rolling Rapier that was headed towards them. Surrounding it, veiled in shadows, were the Sons of Horus - Unlatching hooks, swords and cudgels, axes and firearms. Shots filled the air, buzzing like hornets, and Krateron darted into cover - Behind Dillinger and Vultus.

Their cover was a piece of building, blackened and scorched, having been dislodged from one of the surrounding starscrapers - A cracked gargoyle remained, leering at Krateron.

'What are you looking at?' He said, grinned, and took the head in his hands. With a pitifully soft squeeze, the rock crumbled and fell away.

And then the next enemy had vaulted their cover, swinging an axe. Krateron shot him in the stomach and away he tumbled, but not before one of Dillinger blew away his faceplate.

Dillinger were outnumbered and outgunned, as they had been all day, Krateron realised. Nonetheless, they rose bravely to their would-be killers, hate upon their lips and steel in their gauntlets. Krateron came face-to-face with the Sergeant, the Eye of Horus shining proudly upon his chest, a long, curving Chainsword held in both his hands. He was issuing his orders in Cthonic, and Krateron felt a pang of guilt - He was about to kill another of his brothers.

'Sergeant,' He called, mockingly. 'There is no dishonour in fleeing,' He holstered his bolt-pistol and drew Oathkeeper, the blade tarnished with gore and dust. 'I have done it often, today.'

The Sergeant replied with something filthy. Krateron laughed sadly.

They went together. It was blindingly fast, cruel punches being thrown whilst blades kissed and twisted, ash swirling up around them. One of them was going to die, Krateron realised, and it wasn't going to be him.

He sidestepped, caught the Chainsword with his hilt, and twisted. Disarmed, the Sergeant reached for his bolt-pistol - But Krateron was quicker. Oathkeeper cut through armour, muscle and bone - Through the wrist, and then up, into ribs and across - Through the torso. Bisected, dead, the Sergeant fell away and Krateron was left with a brief moment. Dillinger battled with their brothers around him, gutting them, robbing them of limbs, firing at point blank range. It was exhilarating and terrifying, transhuman dread seeping into Krateron's very soul. The longer he stayed here - In this quagmire - The longer he risked death.

When the last body fell, steaming and hissing, all attentions were turned towards the Rapier. Gretivalus fired, slew the operators, and the Squad moved up from cover - Krateron at their rear, eyes scanning. The Stormbird had been chased off, but Krateron knew the Sons well - More would return, at some point. And from where? He was in a ruinscape, a twisted labyrinth of broken splendour, with a thousand alleys - All bearing butchery.

And then, it fired. Vultus, the brave standard bearer of the Second, was annihilated - Turned into dancing motes of light. Krateron would mourn little, if at all - Vultus had been a stranger, another face that went amiss in the crowd - But still charged forth, with Dillinger, at the Rapier.

A sword was sheathed in the gun's metal, a purple gauntlet wrapped around the hilt.

'Burning Hells,' Krateron muttered beneath his breath, locking eyes with Sebastian. 'I had hoped you dead.'

Sebastian addressed him, and Krateron grinned darkly.

'Oh, such a lovely city, Decurion,' He said, encompassing the surrounding area with a swipe of his free hand. 'I am still running, I merely found myself sightseeing.'

When the one called Xaren came stumbling from the Rhino, Krateron's lips twisted. He had never thought highly of the Tenth Captain - Nor his Company - But he inclined his head, nonetheless, in greetings.

When the World Eater came, frothing and bellowing, Krateron grinned again.

'I have put down enough of your rabid breed today,' He pointed Oathkeeper at the Twelfth Legionary. 'One more doesn't bother me - Lower your weapons, or I'll bury mine in your heart.'
 

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Xaren wipe the blood from his helm, the liquid causing visual problems with his lens ability to see. The Isstvanians, though not able to match the Space Marines in terms of strategy and execution, fought with a fervor not normally seen in humanity. The Isstvan system rebelled against the Emperor and reverted to their ways of psychik usage, regardless that it was banned by The Decree of Nikea. The Warmaster, Horus Lupercal ordered four entire Legion Astartes to the system to quell out the rebellion. Xaren was torn at the idea that someone could rebel against the benevolent Emperor of Mankind and outraged that they were openly denouncing The Imperium. Isstvan III would soon erupt into combat.
The drop to the planet had been rough, rougher than a usual interjection by drop pod. All of Hellebore Squad was loaded into two pods. Intelligence left out that the Isstvanians had any sort of anti-air weaponry, and a single drop pod, 5 members of Xaren’s squad were blown apart in a blast of smoke and metal. 5 green blips on his HUD went black, Xaren felt his blood boil at the arrogance of the Isstvanians. They think they can kill my squad and get away with it? The comm link chirped once, with Captain Torgaddon on the other end.
“All units, be advised that the Enemy has Surface-to-Air defenses. Deploy flares and chaff if possible.” The irony was palpable to Xaren as one of the battle bothers spoke on the squad vox.
“Little late with the details,” one of his squad, Larth cursed.
The air inside the drop pod grew hot, the suits temperature readings estimating a 120 degrees. On the targeting data-slate in front of Xaren showed the trajectory of his pod, and the remaining distance to the ground. 200 metres remaining. The heat intensified and with a slam, the metal husk hit a solid object and the doors ejected the 5 remaining members of Hellebore.
Bolter and lasgun fire whizzed around the destroyed city, with explosions that echoed like thunder of an angry god. The Astartes of the Sons of Horus, the name sounding bitter to Xaren, were charged with taking the enemies temple stronghold, The Sirenhold. For reasons unknown to Xaren, his squad was launched entirely off-course. What should have been marble and temple structures around him were business centers and market stalls. His HUD and showed the objective to be to the immediate west. His vox clicked once with in incoming message.
“Hellebore Squad, this is Captain Loken,” the voice came through gruff and low, interrupted by the sound of muffled explosions, “The squad indicator shows you are off target and in World Eater mission zone. Advance to our location.” The link cut off before Xaren could give a response. With a burst of hand signals, The sergeant of Hellebore squad got his group moving through the civilian territories.
The marketplace was quiet, the distant rumble of gunfire and explosions filling in the gap between screams of the damned and dying. The route was untouched, no one having tread through in the last several hours. Unease swept through Xaren as the gunfire drew closer and the death throes of buildings collapsing were spotting in the near horizon. Towering above most of the landscape was the Sirenhold, their main objective. A trail of smoke caught Xaren’s eye as his retinal enhancements made out a lone Thunderhawk speeding towards the planet. He noticed his vox chirp and all of the channels were filled with the same news. An incoming bio attack from Isstvanians. It was Captain Tarvitz of the Emperor’s Children. His voice was frantic before it was cut short and static filled is ear.
Thunder rippled across the heavens and Xaren sensed dread rising in his chest. This wasn’t the work of the local populace. This was treachery. He quickly ordered his squad to find shelter and ran. Nothing seemed like it would be safe from the incoming bombardment but at the last moment, his eyes fell upon an abandoned Rhino Transport. Xaren checked for his squad all seeing them in opposite directions. He felt a pang in his heart as he locked himself in the metal transport and heard the world explode outside.
From a reinforced porthole he saw the virus bomb, The Life Eater, do its devastation to a battle brother, Larth. He was not able to find adequate shelter and his helmet fell off of his head. His skin was liquefying and hi bones crumbling to dust. Xaren watched as one by one, his brothers indicators on his HUD blinked from green to red then to black.
The world outside the porthole then burned red as a fire attack commenced, burning everything that isn’t safe. Xaren screamed until his throat hurt, his voice becoming hoarse and rough. He cursed The Sons of Horus, he cursed the Warmaster, his own father, for turning on them. They were loyal to the Emperor and for that, Horus deemed they had to die.
The flames that scorched the earth subsided and Xaren exited the tank. Everything was blackened and the smell of burning metal and flesh leaked through his helmets filters and he ripped it from his head. The heat that was lingering was warm against his face. He stared blankly across the landscape, seeing the blackened armor pieces of his squad. His anger burned in his throat and he saw the symbol of his legion, The Eye of Horus, leering up at him.
Xaren found a piece of metal and scrapped off his Eye of Horus on his shoulder pauldron. It felt like a tainted icon to him, something unholy and wrong. He scavenged around in a market area and found what he was looking for. After several moments, he emerged, his armor the original white and black trim of the Luna Wolves, with a crudely painted Luna Wolves emblem over the scratched out Eye of Horus. He felt at home again. He felt right.
He tested the vox system and found nothing but static. I must be the only one left, He mused. No, that couldn’t be true. Their had to be others. He began to head towards The Sirenhold, in hopes of finding someone else. Several hours passed with no contact.
The quiet of the landscape screamed at him, deafening him with abrasive silence. It played with his sanity as his mind turned to violence and revenge. He heard something in the back of his mind, a whisper of a name that he never heard before and yet felt that he knew it from somewhere. It felt right thinking of how he could inflict vengeance and pain on his once-called brothers. It turned in his mind, warping his thoughts and ignited a blood lust he never knew existed. After several hours, he came to the Sirenhold and found it empty, only bodies remained. Xaren heard the boom of something breaking the sound barrier and raised his vision to the sky. Dozens of Thunderhawks were rocketing towards the surface. His face darkened. So they’ve come to finished the last remaining few. His vox crackled with static and suddenly a voice came through.

‘Loyal sons of the Emperor, this is Captain Torgaddon of the Luna Wolves, Second Company. The Second and Tenth are at the Sirenhold, where Traitor forces are beginning to amass. The Precentor’s Palace is still in Loyal hands. We plan to make our way there for a stronger, united last stand. If you still live, you are not alone. If can make your way there, and add to our unified strength, we urge you to do so. If you cannot, as impossible as it may seem, cast your emotions aside and concentrate on what you have been trained to do and kill. Kill as many of these traitorous bastards as possible with cold, calculated precision.’

‘We have sent out a revised friend or foe indicator. It is not comprehensive, merely based on what units we know were a part of the first wave. The Emperor’s Children holding the Palace will continue to work on setting up a more stable, local vox network.

Kill for the Emperor! Kill for the Living! And Kill, for the dead!’

His HUD lit up with an array of new friend and foe indicators and finally he had his objective. He headed south, the direction of the palace. His journey was unnoticed by the landing forces and he encountered no one in his venture, keeping low and to the buildings just in case. He was one against many and knew he had to be smart, rather than vengeful. He came upon a courtyard, a Thunderhawk hovering over the area. It dropped down, letting loose a Rhino transport and several squad so his former brothers. He waited, wanting to see how the situation could be turned to his advantage. The squads began to move off to a battle somewhere nearby, leaving the Transport alone except with the Pilot and Copilot as the Thunderhawk took off, back to orbit. Now was his chance.
Xaren crept his way to the Rhino, watching the weapons swerve on its auto sensors. His footfall landed on the ramp as the copilot looked in his direction. Xaren brought his bolter to bear and let loose a trio of ammo, turning his former brothers face to blood and brain. The pilot twisted in his chair and swept up a bolt pistol, but not before Xaren came upon him, knife in hand. The blade found the area between helmet and chest plate , killing the marine in only seconds. He heard footsteps outside and slid the rack on his bolter, ready for more.
He emerged seeing a ragtag force of loyalists aiming their weapons at him. The indicators above them showed green for each name, some he knew and some he didn’t. A Son of Horus, he recognized as Kraetorn nodded to him and Xaren knew he was finally safe,.
 

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"World Eater! The battle at hand is won!" the outburst came from one of the previously silent Death Guard. A Brother named Tyrus, clad in the faded dark green of Morturg and Daeka stepped forward, impeding his path to the newly arrived Xaren. For a moment the call seemed to ease Kyros' aggression and he paused, taking the Death Guard's words in and processing them.

As he barked at Xaren, another Son of Horus called in defense of his battle Brother 'I have put down enough of your rabid breed today,' Krateron spoked and pointed his blade Oathkeeper at the Twelfth Legionary. 'One more doesn't bother me - Lower your weapons, or I'll bury mine in your heart.'

The snide remark brought a new wave of fire pouring through the blood of Kyros, he felt himself breathing in and out at an accelerated rate, he could feel that familiar sensation of losing himself, but the green indicators that ringed them showed they were friendlies, despite his instinctive desire to tear them limb from limb. The insult of the Dog of Horus did not aid in matters.

Kyros quickly fought his feral instincts and stowed away his newly acquired chainsword, freeing up his left hand. With his left hand he quickly worked to undo the seals and then removed his helmet, slamming it against the mag lock to affix it to his hip. The whipping winds of the newly ravaged Istvaan contained harsh, burning contaminants, but the rush of 'fresh' air seemed to bring a sense of clarity to him. His blonde hair whipped about in the wind behind him, steel blue eyes meeting with the red lenses of the Son of Horus in Krateron. "I have killed your treacherous Brothers this day as you have killed mine. Perhaps should be enough to prove that we are not enemies." He spoke, almost as if in a fugue state, his words were clearly meant for the Son of Horus, though he never introduced himself, nor did he wait for a reply. Kyros simply turned and wandered off in search of the apothecary Daeka, he would need to be as fit for combat as possible for whatever came next.
 

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Discussion Starter #117 (Edited)
All:

Whether or not Krateron decides to reply to the message Tiberius sends him, the Sergeant doesn’t hesitate to ping him the group’s location, with a shaky, ‘Acknowledged, Decurion.’

The Death Guard Legionary who had spoken up to the World Eater, an Assault Marine named Tyrus, walks over to the group standing by the destroyed Rapier.

There is as much tension in the air at these forces meeting as there is a feeling of relief at seeing more allies. Just an hour or so ago, no one knew who they could trust, and no one knew what exactly was going on. It would not be surprising if some still couldn’t come to grips with the situation. Whoever’s shoulder was next to their own early this morning seemed to mean so little now. Or perhaps it meant even more, to some.

Darius asks the Sergeant what he has been informed of, noticing his discomfort.

Sergeant Rydon looks at his four men, then at Krateron, and then back at Darius.

‘Angron is here. He, and his Legion, will be moving through this position at any moment.’

Sebastian, yet to take his weapons’ sights off of Xaren, finally releases his stare. The Son of Horus’s explanation would have to wait, for now.

Rydon lifts a hand slightly to Sebastian. ‘Another Decurion, one Tiberius Loculus, has just informed me of this. He is nearby, on his way to us now with a band of loyal World Eaters.’

With no weapons aimed at him anymore, Xaren finally feels he can move closer to the group as well. Though, his notion of finally feeling safe is shattered by the news he is hearing.

Tiberius is glad to see the squad of Luna Wolves had not moved too far, as he and Shabran’s World Eaters race down the street littered with trashed jetbikes and dead members of the XVI.

When he gets there he will not only find Krateron and the others, but Sebastian and Darius as well. Though, they look nothing like they did before parting with him earlier. It is clear how much fighting they have gone through in the last several hours. He will notice that the Standard Bearer, however, is nowhere to be found.

Shortly after Tiberius and Shabran arrive, Lieutenant Morturg, his Apothecary Daeka, and Magos Decima approach as well. Since Daeka is seeing to Kyros’s wounds, he comes with them, perhaps to finally see more loyal brethren of his own than to continue getting touched up.

Morturg’s force of Deathguard and Ordo Reductor units in the street behind him is rather impressive, but unfortunately will only make it that much harder to avoid Angron and his followers.

Tiberius catches everyone up to speed. Everyone agrees that attempting to fight Angron and his forces here is worthless suicide, therefore a decision must be reached on how to best avoid the Primarch’s warpath. There are four options:

1. Run in the opposite direction and hope you can move faster than him and any vehicles that may be accompanying him. Tanks will be slowed enough by the terrain, but he may have bike units or more jetbike squadrons. Perhaps traps or distractions could slow down the World Eaters’ progress or at least change their direction.

2. Move upward. There are dozens of tall buildings surrounding you. Though most of them have walls blown out and other major structural damage, there is a good chance the World Eaters won’t take the time to search them. It will be hard to hide everyone here from aircraft, if there are any following Angron.

3. Return to the catacombs that Sebastian, Kyros, and the Death Guard came through. It is pretty far down the street, but still accessible. It will take a bit of time to get everyone back down there, but it will be completely safe from aircraft searches. There is no guarantee that some of Angron’s legionaries aren’t already moving through them, however.

4. Move through Angron and his forces. This will be the trickiest option to pull off, but if successful it may take you out of his path faster than any of the others. You would get the most intel on Angron’s force this way, but it may seem next to impossible with the size of force you currently have. At ground level, aircraft won't be as much of a problem, but still a potential threat to your stealth.

There are two other options here:

1. Stay with the majority group. It took this long to get a significant force of allies together. Splitting that up weakens the force, and also risks never being able to put it back together. Splitting up also means a greater surface area for the Traitors to find someone, and the more they find, the longer they will stick around looking for more.

2. Go your own way. You could decide that the news of Angron around the corner is too much to risk standing around for another minute making a decision about something, and run off in the direction you think best. Or you stick around for the conversation and are simply unable to agree with the rest of the group, deadset on your way to avoid Angron being the best option and taking it regardless of the others’ choices. Someone may try to stop you if they feel strongly enough about it.

This post should include the beginning, where everyone meets up and takes it all in. Then posting should include your character’s decision/contribution to the discussion. All of this may lead to more than one post, naturally. I will speak for any and all NPC characters that are present if I feel they would add something, or if you PM me about interacting with them.
 

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Sergeant Rydon was the one to respond with co-ordinates. Tiberius and his cohort of World Eaters made their way through the corpse choked streets. His hopes of using the jetbikes to escape had died. Even the ones that had not been there when his fight with Krejer had dragged him away were ruined beyond and ability to repair quickly. Somehow the sheer bloody mindedness of the World Eaters astonished him.

The Cthonians weren’t far and as happy as Tiberius was to see them, it was the smattering of purple in their midst that made him smile broadly under his helm. He recognised the blue-ish hue of Sebastian’s blade at a distance. However, the rents on his armour told him that his fellow Decurion had been fighting far longer than he had. Tiberius noticed Vultus was nowhere to be seen either. Had he missed a single off-green corpse in the ocean of blue, white and red?

“Sebastian!” The Decurion turned to face him and barely had time to extend his forearm before Tiberius grabbed it and pulled him close. “It is good to see you alive brother.” The two separated. “No sign of Captain Tarvitz then?” Sebastian explained they had not found the Captain, despite several hours of separation and searching. “Fear not. Torgaddon said there was a muster at the Precentor’s Palace. No doubt that is the Captain’s doing.” Lucius would just challenge Horus for the fate of humanity, although Tiberius kept that to himself.

Although he wished to learn more about what had transpired with Sebastian and Darius, they were losing precious seconds. A small group of Death Guard and some Ordo Reductor appeared. Tiberius was impressed, they actually had assembled an impressive force. Not enough to weather the coming storm, but impressive none the less. “Greetings brethren. Introductions will have to wait. We must move. Angron and his legion will be upon us any moment. We can’t stay here. As lost as they are, their bloodlust will compel them to search every building for fresh meat. They will find us and when they do we will have nowhere to go. We should move and hide or at least find somewhere where, if we’re found, their numbers can’t be brought to bear.” Tiberius sincerely hoped that, since they had approached from a different direction, the force they had met would know of such a place. All he could suggest at this point was to run from here and hope…
 

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As the band of World Eaters approached, Sebastian's twin hearts each leapt into his throat. The hint of purple and gold at their head though settled him and he let out a long slow breath he didn't realise he had been holding.

"Sebastian!" The purple armoured figure called to him as he approached.

"Tiberius!" he called back and found his forearm clasped tightly in his fellow Decurion's armoured gauntlet before he could even finish extending his arm to him.

“It is good to see you alive brother.”

"And you Brother." Sebastian replied, relieved that any ill will from their previous disagreement seemed to have been forgotten.

“No sign of Captain Tarvitz then?”

Sebastian shook her head mournfully. "The trail went cold. There will be more time to explain later."

“Fear not. Torgaddon said there was a muster at the Precentor’s Palace. No doubt that is the Captain’s doing.”

"We picked up that message too. I hope you are right."

Sebastian could see Tiberius attention had shifted to the rest of the group and listened as he spoke.

“Greetings brethren. Introductions will have to wait. We must move. Angron and his legion will be upon us any moment. We can’t stay here. As lost as they are, their bloodlust will compel them to search every building for fresh meat. They will find us and when they do we will have nowhere to go. We should move and hide or at least find somewhere where, if we’re found, their numbers can’t be brought to bear.”

"Decurion Locolus is right." Sebastian declared. "We should make for the catacombs." he added, speaking to Tiberius first, then around the rest of the group, finally stopping on Lieutenant Morturg. "If your men can collapse the entrance it may give us time to escape." He turned back to Tiberius. "They lead all over the city. I'm hoping they will give us a path to join up with the forces at the Palace."
 

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The voice that filled his ears was hoarse, exhausted, filled with doom. Angron is coming, Krateron thought, and groaned. Krateron had seen the devastation wrought by the Red Angel on a dozen worlds, witnessed the carpets of sheared limbs and blood - Horus fought clinically, masterfully, effortlessly. Angron, on the other hand, fought madly. Krateron had seen Angron fight, on a dozen worlds, and had felt fear - And now Angron was coming for him. He slammed Oathkeeper into the ground and sunk onto his knees, leaning heavily upon it, and smiled. A sad smile, a reserved smile - Teeth begrimed with dust, ash and blood, lips red and raw. Angron is coming, he thought again, turning the words over in his mind. His eyes drifted to the new-found World Eater, wandering away, and narrowed venomously. This is your doing, he wanted to say, but held his tongue.

Krateron lifted his hand to his earpiece, Tiberius's voice still in his head, and switched it off.

'No hard feelings,' He whispered, his voice lost in the wind.

There was a brief exchange between Sebastian and Rydon, but Krateron paid little heed, until Tiberius came running along the street - Surrounded by a gaggle of World Eaters. Krateron stood, watched Tiberius pass him, and embrace the other Decurion. His lips twisted sardonically, he felt his tongue tingle with a jest, but, once again, choose to withhold his words.

Sebastian suggested catacombs.

Krateron spat at his feet. 'Sealing the entrance would also leave us trapped,' He pointed out, matter-of-factly, uncaring of other entrances. 'I will not die like a rat, like an Emperor's Child, cowering in the dark,' He looked at Squad Dillinger, and the newcomer, Xaren. 'I will not die.'

He paused, pursing his lips. 'We should punch through Angron's forces,' He said, with a smile. 'The Sixteenth have always been the speartip,' He looked at the others, this motley gathering. 'Spears aren't very useful when they are running in the opposite direction. Let us go through them, make the bastards pay, and run.'
 
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