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The Halcyon Incursion
A Space Marine Roleplay

The tragedy of war is that it uses man's best to do man's worst. - Harry Fosdick

War does not determine who is right - only who is left. ~Bertrand Russell


High Chaplain Mikhail Jhonikov stood hunched over the podium staring at the assembled mass of his brothers around him. Seven hundred and sixty-four Battle Brothers of arguably the most terrifying chapter of Space Marines in the Imperium. Of the nine companies of full-fledged Battle-Brothers only the Fifth Company was not in attendance; their continuing conflict with the tyranids in the Zsaz'o quadrant meant that attendance of the Revelation of the Sacred Blood was impossible. But the host assembled here was fearsome nonetheless; seven hundred and sixty four space marines, armour deepest black flanked with grey like fog and crimson red. Each one coated in the blood of the slain and trophies from their honoured predecessors. If it weren't for the fact that he was assembled in front of the entire chapter, Mikhail would begin to weep.

He shook himself. He had a job to do; this was his first direction of the Revelation of the Sacred Blood, the most holy rite performed by any Chaplain of the Sin-Eaters. With the entire chapter, including the Venerable Brothers in their iron tombs and the assembled Chapter Council, watching his rites, he needed to get this totally right. He looked around at the building inside as the Battle-Brothers conversed quietly among themselves. They were inside the Obsidian Sepulcher, the tomb of the greatest heroes of the Sin-Eaters chapter. Built almost entirely out of rare obsidian from Holy Terra, the tomb was massive, easily fitting not only nearly the whole chapter but the hundreds of graves of honoured dead.

The ornate gilded chronometer high in the rafters amidst the stained glass windows began to click ominously. At once, the entire assembled host of marines snapped to attention and raised their right fist above their breastbone. The chronometer began to chime a deep bass twenty times. At each chime, every frater in the room slammed his fist into his chestplate, Dreadnoughts included. The combined sound of the ceremony was like listening to an immense meteor impacting on the surface of the planet. As the last chime faded into silence the assembled host stopped and stared directly at Mikhail. Although he was hesitant to admit it, Mikhail had never been more nervous in his life.

He took one last look around the room at the assembled host of marines before clearing his throat. The sound, magnified by the massive chamber and the silence of his brothers, was like a thunderclap. "Brothers," he began, "we are standing on a crossroads. Two paths, but one traveler, we are. As Space Marines in service of His Divine Omnipotence we are twofold. On the one hand, we are the shield of the Imperium. We are the defender of the weak, yet devout, servants of His Majesty. We are the bastion the frightened, sheltered masses of humanity cowers behind. We are the shield. And yet, on the other hand, we are also the sword. With bolter and blade we deliver sweet death to the heretics, mutants, and xenos scum that assails the Imperium from all sides. Even reduced to our bare fists and savage fangs we tear at the accursed assailants of this Holy Empire with a fury rivaling that of the so-called "gods" they worship. Two paths, one traveler."

He paused, whirring the Maw of Sanguinus anxiously as he did so. "And so we honour that duality today in this, the most holy ceremony in this Blessed Chapter's history. We honour the dual purposes of ourselves...and of our honoured dead." He waved the massive chainfist to one of the walls. "Observe, my brothers, the consequences of our dual purposes, for if we do not view our failings, we may never improve in His Holy Work of Death." With his other hand, he pressed a small button on the underside of the altar he stood at. Slowly, with a groan of shuddering metal, the inlain spade-like discs on the walls slid up to reveal hundreds of armaglas tombs containing the bodies of the Holy Dead. Some contained the bodies of fratres who were still in the condition of their death, unmarred by decay. Others, in the case of those battle-brothers who's bodies were unobtainable, bore simple plaques or personal belongings. None wore armour; the corpses were dressed in black robes and their eyes bound with blindfolds.

"This," intoned Mikhail, "is the price of the shield. Even we, the strongest and most fearsome servants of His Immortal Majesty, do not always succeed. Here lies the remains of the brothers who spent their most valued ammunition in service of the Emperor; their lives. Gaze upon the honoured dead, for they gaze upon us all in eternity, waiting for that day when His Glorious Emminence will walk mortal soil once more. Gaze, and hail the honoured dead." With one fluid motion, the entire assembled mass raised their right hand once again and slammed it into their chest. Returning once again to ordered ranks, the Space Marines turned back to Mikhail.

Mikhail then reached below the altar to the hidden golden lockbox and withdrew a small gilded vial. "And this," he whispered, voice automatically amplified by the sepulchre's speaker system, "is the price of the sword." At once the entire assembled company dropped to their right knee and bowed their heads, with the exception of Mikhail, who still held the vial. "The Sacred Blood," he breathed. "One of the most sacred relics in the entire Imperium. A single drop of the blood of our Blessed Primogenitor, Sanguinus himself. He was the ultimate sword. He gave his life to strike at the Arch-Heretic, the accursed Horus the Betrayer, and in doing so revealed to Our Beloved Lord the true intentions of his once-Favoured Son. Here we kneel in the presence of our Father. And now, just as we honoured our dead, we must embrace our father."

Walking slowly and deliberately, Mikhail strode down to the assembled crown, cradling the vial. Travelling up and down the ranks of the assembled host, he stopped at each and every Space Marine in the tomb. When the Chaplain stopped in front of them, the marine in question would remove his helmet and gently kiss the vial. Even the Venerable Brothers, entombed in their iron prisons, bent and touched their faceplate to the sacred glass. Stopping at the chapter council, Mikhail watched as the Chapter Master, Methuselah of the Bloodied Fang, bent and gently kissed the glass. Strinding once again to the altar, removed his helmet, and kissed the vial. Placing it gently back in the lockbox, he locked it deliberately with it's gilded key and placed his helmet back on.

"Now, my brothers, go in the service of the Emperor." The host stood as one and stared at the altar again.

"So we go, our blood calling for the enemy, our souls whispering the Emperor's name," he intoned, along with the other marines. As Mikhail watched, the companies dispersed throughout the fortress-monastery, their commanders already returning their attention to the art of war.

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All - All of you, being veterans, are members of the First Company. However your Captain has no immediate assignments and so you all go your seperate ways, as described below...

Aurio Daverin - After the ceremony, you make your way towards the armoury to inquire with some of the Techmarines; your storm shield's power cells have been acting up lately. This has been your second time receiving the Sacred Blood; as you walk away you can still feel the cold glass on your lips, see the dried blood inside the vial, hear the voice of the Primarch; faint and far away, but still clear. You ponder the ceremony as you arrive in the massive chamber, packed to the brim with weapons and vehicles. The chamber is cold. Cold like death.

((Converse with the Techmarine; small-talk really, or problems with your storm shield. Is it hard to fix, or a simple problem? What are your thoughts on the ceremony? How did it go for you? What about the honoured dead? Did you know any? Kind of a bad start, I know, but I'm only playing off of what you gave me.))

Cassius Scipio Augustus - You leave the ceremony in a sullen mood, headed for the drinking halls. As much as the new High Chaplain seems like a good religious leader, the ceremony reminded you of your dear friend Arkuliae. You miss him already, like a brother; the memory of the action on the sulfur fields of Jjojos are fresh in your mind. You can even remember the exact moment he died, pierced through the chest by a bright lance. But the final blow was the ruined shell of Arkuliae himself, entomed in one of the armaglas containers on the sepulcher wall, gaping hole still in his chest.

You grimace. Perhaps some heavy drinking of that delicious sanguine will clear your mind a bit. You enter the drinking hall to find it mostly empty. Grabbing a mug and filling yourself up, you sit and one of the long tables and nurse the red alchohol, thinking of memories past.

((Think of memories you've had with Arkuliae. What did you like about him? What do you think about Mikhail? Also, what were your experiences with the ceremony. Like Aurio, this is your second time experiencing it. Did you recognize the dead among the tombs? How many were your comrades? And the Sacred Blood; what were your feelings about it?))

Michelangelo Mangano - You walk towards your personal quarters in the fortress monastery, strangely tired. You don't know why, but you are experiencing severe fatigue and a very bad headache. Then again, you did return from warp-travel only two days ago; perhaps some of the side effects of warp travel still lingered.

On your way to your quarters, you are stopped by two young Chapter Serfs; the oldest couldn't be more than ten, and the younger was only seven, by your estimate. Giggling at your presence, they hide behind a corner and watch you, huddled in their tiny black robes emblazoned with the chapter symbol.

((How does your headache feel? How tired are you? What happened in your Warp Journey? And the children. How do you interact with them? Do you politely converse with them, or shoo them away as you exhaustedly travel towards your quarters? Do you know them? Perhaps you've met them before.))

Tacticus Romus - You leave the ceremony eagerly. Before the rites, one of the more burly members of the First Company, a hulking squadmate of yours by the name of Aleksandr has challenged you to a friendly boxing match in the chapter arena. A few other squadmates of yours are tagging along to watch the fight. Stripping out of your armour, you enter the dirt arena and bare your fists at Aleksandr, who grins at you cockily.

"Maybe you might actually win this time, eh, Romo?" You grimace a bit. As much as you like Aleksandr, you hate that nickname. You're going to have to teach him a lesson...the hard way. You lift one fist in his direction threateningly. "I guess you'll have to find out," you laugh.

((Beat 'em up! Aleksandr's quite a bit stronger than you, being the squad's dedicated heavy bolter man, but you've got the edge in speed. He's gonna rough you up quite a bit but you'll eventually win. But what about the watchers? They may have been betting on the fight...did they win or lose? How did they react to the fight?))

Lucifer Octavius - You've left the ceremony to head to the firing range to practice with your plasma pistol. In your last mission, the pistol overheated three separate times, all three of which were due to personal error. You need more practice with it, and so you're resorting to simple shooting. As the targets slide out from behind the wall, you grimace as memories of the painful burns fill your mind. You'll have to reprimand that source of error.

((Sorry about the bad update, but there's not much to work with. How accurate are you? What exactly happened relating to your burns? When did they happen? Did they affect your mission? And what about the ceremony? How did it go for you?))

Brother Fenix Xentor - As you leave the ceremony, you head to the librarium in search of some reading material. When you enter, you're met by a very different story. Two elderly chapter serfs are sitting across from each other playing a game of chaz, one of your favourite games adapted from an ancient Terran pastime. As the two moved the various pieces one after another, they debate one of your favourite subjects; interplanetary moral code.

"Do you mind if I sit here?" you ask the two. Startled by you, the two serfs nod and wave to a seat perpendicular from them. You sit and watch their game and listen to your debate.

((Watch the game; it is one of your favourite games after all. How is the game going? Perhaps you may want to challenge the winner. What about the debate? Perhaps you might want to interject at some point; what are your feelings on the subject?))

Vitus Cornelius Appirga - You leave the ceremony a bit shellshocked. Being one of the younger members of the First Company, this was your first rite of the Sacred Blood that you've ever experienced. Can you imagine? The Blood of Sanguinus was mere inches from your lips! You head to your quarters and sit on your bed, thinking about what just happened. The honoured dead, the Sacred Blood, the oath; all of it is a bit much for you.

However, that is by no means your only concern. As you remove your armour, you notice the paint of your armour is beginning to flake. You'll have to see the chapter heraldrist to fix it up.

((What are your feelings? The Ceremony was a truly awe-inspiring event, enough to break the hearts of even the bravest men, especially for one who's never seen it before. And what about your armour? You'll have to converse with the heraldrist to fix your armour up; perhaps you might want something enscribed on your armour (keep in mind your left shoulderpad is unadorned).))

Dominus Hasta - You leave the ceremony with creative juices flowing throughout your brain. The majesty of the sepulchre has really gotten some ideas flowing in your head. Heading off to your quarters, you immediately grab a sheet of paper and a pen to jot down some music. You remember one of the serfs mentioning earlier that the servitor choir needed some new songs to import, as the old ones were getting a bit old. Perhaps you might be able to get something new written up.

You scoff. Even if that's going to happen, you're going to have to get to work.

((What happened in there? How did the chamber inspire your musical abilities? What kind of music are you going to write up? And what about the rite itself? How did that go for you?))

Clodius Terentius Vulso - The ceremony has filled your heart with even more devotion to the Emperor, if it was even possible. Your whole mind is filled with the words of the saints of old and preachers of today, but unfortunately you have more pressing matters to attend to. Before the ceremony, you were asked to man the systems comms after the ceremony. You grumble as you head off to the comm chambers. The systems comms were famously boring, as nothing out of the ordinary ever showed up on them.

As you head to the access terminal and log in, mind still filled with faith, you at first fail to notice the almost immediate beeping sounds emminating from the terminal. Only after a solid three minutes of daydreaming do you come back to reality enough to notice the mass of red dots indicating hostiles a mere twenty light-minutes away.

((This one should be self-explanatory; the "Holy shit!" alarms have been sounded! What are you going to do? Can you access any files to see the defenses of the planet? Who will you alert first? Or will it even make a difference?))

((Let the games begin, everyone :victory: ))
 

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Lucifer looked down-range, his eyes directly along the barrel of his pistol, he pulled the trigger twice and the two targets, thirty metres downrange and five metres apart, exploded in a hot, white flash, Lucifer grimaced, it reminded him of his last mission when he had nearly melted his own hand off and had come close to blowing his pistol up.
He fired off three more shots at three grouped together targets, in the end he only hit one of them.
Lucifer cursed himself and took more careful aim down the course, he popped off another shot which ripped the target from its railing. He then took aim at the next one and popped off two shots, one at the head, one at the body, both fatal. the one aimed at the head missed by mere millimetres, but the second shot impacted with the body and a hole was burnt throught the target.

He then turned away from the static shooting range.
'Enough static shooting, time to practice my ability to fire on the move,' Lucifer thought as he walked up to the shooting course.

As he walked inside he was immediately scanned and the sensors attached to his armour glowed as they were activated.
He then stepped into the course and started sprinting down the narrow hallway, pistol up and ready, he remembered what had happened on his last mission, it was in a hallway not much different than this...

...Lucifer ran, pistol aimed down the narrow hallway, he ran hard and fast, legs pumping, he spun round a corner and there stood a cultist, Lucifer brought up his pistol and fired, the blinding flash that followed was suprisingly bright and starting to burn...
...his pistol was overheating.
Lucifer threw his pistol at the cultist, who caught it and immediately screamed, the overheating pistol melting his hands.
He fell to the floor and dropped the now cooled pistol at Lucifers feet. he bent over and picked up the pistol and while he did he broke the heretics neck with a small flick of the wrist...

...Lucifer shook off the memory, it made the burns on his hand sting, he thought of the ceremony to take his mind off it. He thought of the blood of his Lord, the purest drop of blood he knew, he thought of the cold touch of the vial and he remembered the look of the dried blood, even in death the Primarch still reviewed his subjects.

Lucifer ran down the hallway and spun round a corner, he dropped to one knee and aimed down the corridor, seeing no targets he got up and walked cautiously down the corridor, pistol at the ready.
He came to a door and without second thought kicked it open and walked through, instantly a loud beeping sound came from Lucifer chest, he looked down and saw one of his sensors was blinking red, he knew what this meant, he was dead, he had been shot through the chest by a weapon powerful enough to break his powerful body.
He threw down his pistol in disappointment and then picked it up and holstered it.

'Looks like I may have to learn how to restrain my battle-lust,' Lucifer said to himself as he started the course again.
 

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Fenix Xentor took the seat, resting his mighty form on the the seat fit for a marine, the debate was interesting to him, one's moral code. A gift from the Emperor to humanity. Putting his mailed hand over his mask's chin, his eyes fixed on the game in play and oddly he had not played in sometime as most marines refuse, that was the way of many Sin-Eaters.

He wasn't as welcome to 3rd company as he had wanted as he was the replacement to a honored brother and they still morned his lose. some he though looked at him as a promotion hungry marine but that reason was false.
He liked being a brother, fighting with his fellow space marine shoulder to shoulder.

The Chaplain's sermon was beyond question, as always but the he couldn't shake the feeling that the Chaplain had something else on his mind...

back to the game at hand he watched carefully...the tip of victory was balanced on a sword's tip.
 

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Clodius stood stock straight moments after the Revelation of the Sacred Blood. His mind had been occupied with this sacred rite months before it was to actually be performed. And at its conclusion he was right, The Emperor of Mankind and Sanguinius was still watching over them all. The chapter was alive and well, no shortage of recruits in these days of constant warfare. His mind was filled with the words of Mikhail, the entire sermon was memorized and catalogued in his mind. The words of other sermons also mingled in his thoughts, inspiring and filling him with even more devotion to his beloved Emperor.

Glory to Sanguinius and the Blessed Emperor... Throne I feel alive.

Suddenly he felt the impact of a brothers palm on his shoulder, catching him off guard and making him sway just a little. He looked up and saw Brother Sargeant Tiberius' solemn face. He reminded him that it was his post in the Communications wing.

Brother Clodius, need I remind you that it is your post in the vox chapel? I will give you leiniency due to your pious nature, the ritual was inspiring indeed. Never have I seen a more promising age in our chapter... Now on to your duty.\par

Yes brother sargeant. The Emperor protects...

He turned and began to make his way past the battle brothers that had began to return to posts and exercises. He saluted a few notable captains and sargeants as he passed, respectfully giving the sign of the Aquila to the various librarians and chaplains. Once he was out of the Obsidian Sepulcher he made his way up the various mag lifts and tunnels to the Communications Wing. The brother that manned the vox throne stood up and saluted him with the sign of the aquila before walking away. Clodius sat down at the vox throne and sat back a bit, resting his elbows against the stone arm. His mind began to drift off twoards the memories of his first Revelation of The Sacred Blood. The creeping cold that lingered on his lips, the smell of century old stone and the necrosis of the glorified fallen.

So long I have served in his name... This post humanity is a gift from the emperor, and I do feel gifted. So long as I draw breath I shall serve...

Another vox chime sounded out, this time more urgent then the last. He looked up from his reverie and glanced down at the flourescent green sphere, at first he dismissed the flickering red lights as a glitch. The master vox system was centuries old and prone to rare malfunctions. He was about to drift back to his thoughts, that is until the hard white line returned the same reading. At that same time on the opposite side of the console a planetary vox screen began to show a flood of traffic on the outpost networks. After listening to three vox messages of confirmed sightings he immediately turned to the side panel and thumbed in the proper vox codes, suddenly claxons would ring out through the entire chapter facility. He then pressed another vox code and sent a general vox message through the entire planetary defense net, command grade code issued only to vox operators and select memebers of the chapter. With his other hand he worked the central control panel and brought up the orbital defense platforms, to his terror the entire orbital network was offline. His voice was filled with awe at the efficiency that the invaders used... NO! These were invaders, worthy of neither his awe or pity. He steeled his voice as he took up the vox caster and spoke with a most urgent tone.

Vox code Theta, Ion, Omega, Alpha...This is Brother Clodius Terentius Vulso of the Sin Eaters. We have multiple contacts by the orbital auspex network! Visual confirmation of drop craft and interplanetary vessles. PDF and Imperial forces are to switch to RED ALERT, I repeat RED ALERT the defense platforms have either been compromised or bypassed...

He looked down and began to count the algamation of various sized blips but stopped knowing there were too many new contacts with every clockwise turn of the hard white line. Suddenly the Master at Arms burst in the room flanked by a retinue of aides that hurried to auxillary vox units, activating them and working feverishly to decipher the threat. The Master at Arms was an old and grizzled astartes, looking even more gaunt and macabre with his advanced age. Where his left leg should have been was a replacment bionic prosthetic that hissed and squeeked as he ambled over to Clodius' terminal. The grizzled marine studied the read outs and vox globe, nodding his head with Clodius' assesment.

You were correct in your actions Brother Clodius. You are to stay here at the vox terminal until called to your squad... This is most peculiar, how did these fiends manage to disable the orbital defense platforms? No matter we will turn back this rabble...
 

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As soon as the High Chaplain had finished the rites, and every helmet had been replaced on their respective helmet, Tacticus and several other members of the moved out quickly heading straight to the training arenas. Tacticus was used to brawling, always being in the thick off fighting with his power fist Imperitor glowing and cackling in his hand as he smote the enemies of the Emperor. He had been challenged by one of his fellow brethren, Aleksandr, the squads heavy bolter carrier of the squad. He and Aleksandr had fought a few times before in the cages, and were normally evenly matched. However it was mainly due to Tacticus speed against the brute strength of his brother. He had lost the last bout and was determined to get revenge.

As they reached the cages the pair stripped out of their armour. Tacticus entered first and awaited for his opponent. "Maybe you might actually win this time, eh, Romo?" Tacticus stared at his opponent. He was trying to put Tacticus off his game but Tacticus wouldn't allow it. "Yeah, maybe you will make it two straight victories in a row brother." He raised his fist threatingly towards his brother and motioned for him to come forward. He watched as his brother moved straight towards him, before diving forwards. He smashed a fist forwards, scrapping the skin off his brothers face.

In return he received a black eye, and Tacticus stumbled back. He ducked underneath his brothers next punch and immediately lashed out with a vicious left uppercut. He smacked him on the chin and weaved to the side lashing out with his right. Unfortunately his brother saw this coming and blocked this before impacting on Tacticus' chest. Tacticus moved back, warily watching and waiting for his brothers next move. His brother charged forward like a rhino. It was a classic move from Alexsandr and Tacticus forsaw this. He waited till the last possible moment before impact, before leaping to the right, rolling to right himself and lashing out with his left fist. He impacted on the side of his cheek knocking his brother over with the force. The crowd around him gasped as they saw him fall, a fight between veterans always brought out a large gathering of brothers.

Tacticus bent over to his brother, both were hurt, both bleeding. He extended his hand to his brother who accepted it before grabbing Tacticus in a crushing bear hug. "Well fought brother, I win this one." He laughed with his brother who acknowledged his victory.
 

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His ceramite encased fingers traced the slashes of emerald amniotic fluids in the giant silver blister which protruded from the obsidian wall, contrasting heavily against it. His furred cloaks, each rough with clumps of dried blood, pooled out across the ground behind him. Cassius Scipio Augustus was a large Astartes. His hunched shoulders and wide torso was hidden beneath the furs and partially obscured his form, although a single split along the centre allowed the crimson hued Aquila beneath to shine out. Pushing his hand flat against the rounded surface of the ball, Cassius smiled weakly.

‘Arkuliae…’ Was all he managed as an handsome, puckered corpse bobbed into view. The chest was a pink mess of ripped flesh and strands floated free from it. A mane of now scraggly black hair floated above him like a splintered crown. Flecks of blood were spread across its torso and lower face, giving the dead Marine a leopard like face. Both of the eyes still clung to small orbs of blue, withered and glazed over.

‘A year….’ He muttered again, the opals embedded in his left cheekbone twinkling with an expelled tear.

‘His loss was great one not felt by a sole Brother, Cassius. We all shared your pain’ The voice startled him, juddering his body and slowly the Space Marine turned with his arms curled across his chest, hands neatly tucked beneath his armpits.

Behind him, in full segmented armour and draped in a shoal of vibrantly coloured feathers was Captain Casperius Valens of the Fourth Company. His studded armour was a swirling plate of red and jet, blood streaking down across his chest, which was formed into that of a naked mans. His single-horned helm was held in the crook of one arm, the cyclopean eye slit reflecting a dulling regal. His right hand was encased in a long clawed Lightning Talon that reached down to his knees, each of the curled adamantium blades sliding against one another impatiently.

‘You cannot possibly understand the measurement of the pain which I have felt for him, Arkuliae and I were the closest of Brothers’ Brutally retorted the Marine, forgetting rank momentarily.

‘I just came to bide my respects Cassius, there is no need for such hostility. Can I not come here and pay homage to our glorious friend?’ Valens groaned, his fingers tapping loudly against the side of his helm.

‘I did not mean no disrespect Master of Marches. I was simply venting my-’ Cassius never finished and simply turned around, wrapping one of his hands around a bone-bearing necklace that festooned his thick throat. With one jerk it shattered and fell across the floor before him, skittering on the cold marble as it slipped in all directions. He rubbed a single finger on the opal-dwelled grooves on his face, feeling the smooth rocks push against his raw flesh, and turned away. At a haste he marched from the chamber, younger Marines scooping out of his angered way.

The Fortress-Monastery was a marbled jewel, one lined with riches and luxuries. Furled banners, tapestries and portraits lined many of the halls which Cassius moved through. The drinking halls were his destination, he wanted to rid the morose feelings which he had in a bathe of sanguine. When he came to the drinking halls, he found it remarkably empty. The long rows of oaken tables, lined with etchings of past victories and flanked by steeple chairs were all but devoid of life. He could see the odd rambling Scouts, the old leathered warrior, and the overeager youngling.

One Scout was hopping backwards, a drinking vassal in hand, trying to impress his companions. He bounced right into the flank of Cassius, who growled warningly and gripped him by the chin, scanning his features. He tried to mutter an apology but the numbing fingers of Cassius would not allow his jaw to move, least he break it. Cassius ruffled his hair with his other hand, the red mane entangling with his fingers, and threw him away discerningly. He liked the youths, and they liked him, but he was in no mood to tell them a tale.

As the drinking hall furthered, it began to dip inwards until it was a gradual incline of marble and metal. Within it was a swirling mass of crimson, rippling with some strange submerged mechanical device. Drinking cups rimmed the steps around it and Cassius took one up into his grasp as he moved past. He went down onto his haunches, dipping the brim of the chalice into the bloody liquid and slowly submerged it entirely. It grew heavy suddenly and he yanked it back up, splattering scarlet droplets across the ground behind him, he however ignored this and stood, slowly advancing back to where the tables rested.

He sat alone on one cold, dank looking corner, staring up at the golden bulbous atrium that protected the chambers from the harsh rain of the planet. The first swig he took tasted like Grox urine. No, worse even. It brought back a mind numbing flash of happy and terrible memories, of celebrations and funeral pyres. Arkuliae….Precious, dearest Arkuliae…..

‘To the Lost’ breathed Cassius, and calmly threw back his head and tipped back the chalice. All the while, streaks of crimson parted his alabaster cheeks and dripped back into his armour.
 

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The high chaplain stood hunched over the podium, staring at the assembled lines of astartes arrayed before him. Seven hundred and sixty four battle brothers, more than three quarters of the chapters fighting strength all present at once, it was an awe inspiring sight for all to behold, be he a lowly serf, newly inducted initiate, or a veteran brother of the first company. The majesty of this very sight, that alone was enough to take Vitus's breath away, and yet it was merely the beginning. Of the Sin Eaters space marine chapter, these seven hundred sixty four marines represented eight of the chapter's ten companies, with only the fifth battle company and the scout company missing; their presence was a notable one, but even now the fifth fought against the menace of the Tyranids in the Zsaz'o sector.

Given the option, Vitus would have willingly given up this honour to be fighting alongside his brothers against the alien that even now beset worlds that rightfully belonged to the Emperor of mankind. In part, Vitus longed to fight alongside his brothers to protect the worlds of the Imperium and bring forth judgment upon its enemies; but another part, one steeped in barely controlled rage and blood-lust, it wanted to be with the glorious fifth company simply to take part in the slaughter. It would come to no surprise if any, or even many, fellow brothers felt the same way. The dark lust, the thirst as it was known by some, it was a curse bourne by all those who bore the geneseed of the primarch Sangiunius, the hero who gave his life so that the Emperor would be able to defeat the traitor warmaster Horus. There were others who suffered as well, like the Blood Angels, the founding chapter of all the successors of Sangiunius, who fought against the curse. Then there were those who suffered worse than all, like the Flesh Tearers; in his time with the deathwatch Vitus had fought alongside such a brother, the scars from what he had to do a reminder of the fate any of them could fall to.

But the choice was not for Vitus to make, first company was here, and the ceremony of the Revelation of Sacred Blood must be performed. No one, not even chapter master, Methuselah of the Bloodied Fang, was above the order and rituals layed down millenia ago. Since their return, none of the assembled brothers had removed their armour, none had scraped away the blood that each of them wore, the damage to armour had not yet been repaired. Despite the filters of his helmet, the scent of the blood pervaded Vitus's senses and he had to fight his own emotions to keep the red haze from engulfing his vision and his very being. Looking to either side, Vitus noted that there were some conversing in these moments before the ceremony began; that was until the chiming of the golden chronometer high above the obsidian sepulcher. In the instant of the first chime, every marine snapped to rigid attention, raising an armoured fist over ceramite plate and pounding that fist into the plate with each successive chime.

As the chronometer chimed one last time, there was silence and all eyes were on the high chaplain as he began the ceremony; intoning rights and preaching ancient lore spoken hundreds of times before. When the bodies of the honoured fallen, those heroes of the chapter who had given their lives in service to the Emperor, were revealed, the breath left Vitus and it was all he could do to keep himself from weeping on the spot. Then, the high chaplain revealed one of the greatest relics of the chapter, his voice amplified by hidden vox systems, the sacred blood, the blood of Sangiunius. Upon seeing the vial, Vitus and every other brother dropped to a knee and bowed his head. With this, the high chaplain moved away from the podium and down to each and every battle brother, when he came to Vitus, the veteran removed his helmet slowly before gazing at the vial for what felt like an eternity.

There were few greater honours than to take part in this, but something deep down screamed that Vitus was not worthy; the memory that still haunted him. Without thinking, without knowing, Vitus moved mechanically, pressing his lips to the vial and then drawing back before the chaplain moved on to the next brother, this time Vitus could not keep himself from weeping, but by then he had replaced his helmet so that he could bare his shame in silence. Upon his return to the podium, the high chaplain replaced the vial in its resting place and the assembled mass stood as one before being dismissed by the chaplain. Slowly, the assembled companies left, first company was the last of them to leave, and Vitus quickly returned to his chambers so that he could remain alone with his thoughts.

Sitting on his sparse cot, the metal groaning under the weight of his armoured bulk but holding, Vitus removed his helmet once again and looked into its lenses. He could see his reflection in the unlit reinforced glass, the shaved head with bleached splotches of flesh; the memory came back to him in full at this sight and he was only brought back to the now when he heard the clattering of his helmet on the stone ground. He had lost himself in the past enough to drop his own armour, but that was not what disturbed him the most; the state of his helmet, paint chipping and in need of repairing, to honour the former owners and the machine spirit. A quick inspection showed him that the chipping was not contained to just his helmet. Standing back up, Vitus quickly made his way to the arming chamber within the massive fortress the chapter called home, he would need to seek the heraldist.

Without a word, Vitus moved through the high corridors, ignoring other members of the chapter he felt; the rites of his armour had to be upheld above all others for now, nothing else mattered. It took him some time, he had been away from his home for so long, fighting, that he had needed moments for the familiarity; but after minutes he strode into the arming chambers and bade several serfs to him, making his desire known and moving himself to an arming bench where his armour could be worked on without trouble. The heraldist, and a small cadre of chapter serfs, approached Vitus and he closed his eyes while the rites were spoken and his armour was slowly removed. This process alone would take a fair portion of an hour, and repairing the paint would take a further two. Looking at his left pouldron, it was bare save for a single honour and his squad marking, signifying him as a member of first company and a veteran brother. The honour marking was a silver I with a skull in the center, the mark of his time with the deathwatch years ago. Each of those ten years felt like decades unto themselves; the things he had done, what he had seen, Vitus was sworn to secrecy of them all. Donning simple clothing, Vitus left the serfs to their work and slowly made his way to the drinking hall. He needed something to distract his mind from the past, perhaps listening to the tales of his fellow battle brothers and the glories of their own pasts might be able to help him.
 

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Aurio hefted his Storm Shield up onto his arm and checked the power pack and flinched as a spark flew up into his face, quickly he removed the burning power pack just as he entered the armoury.
Weapons and vehicles lined the room, to his left Aurio could see rows of bolters stacked on the walls, under them lay the storm boltrs and combi-bolters all surronded by crates of ammunition.
To his right rhino transports and land raiders were silhoueted against the darkness while blades of all types hung from racks above them.

At the far end of the room his old friend, Techmarine Agnotius, looked up from working on a Predator Destructor.
"Ah Brother Daverin, how can I help you my friend?" Agnotius asked when Aurio removed his helmet.

"If you are not too busy Brother, could you see to my shield, somthing keeps shorting the power-packs out" Aurio replied as he unstrapped Ilea from his arm and holding it out to Agnotius.

"Never too busy to help you brother, now, let me see..." The Techmarine held Ilea up with his servo-arms while he examined where the power-packs usually were, "Yes, I see, this isn't that bad, it should not take me long to repair"

"Good, I notice that you seem to want to say somthing, spit it out Agnotius" Aurio said

"Aurio, I have been...I have been told by the Master of the Forge that I shall be his eventual successor!" Agnotius grinned

"Well done my friend, you deserve it" Aurio grinned back as he drew Siloe and laid it on his hands examining it for nicks and marks, there were not many but one about three inchs above the hilt vas not a small nick and might cause the blade to shatter if it with enough force, while Agnotius worked on Ilea, Auro began on Siloe.
 

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Mangano had a nasty headache that he couldn’t seem to explain, in addition to his growing fatigue. He had only just slept (battle meditation) two days ago and wasn’t due for another day or two. In any case, he was making his way to the Apothacarium where his long time friend Judas might be able to help him with his predicament.

Upon rounding the corner near the entrance to the Apothecarium, his advanced hearing spotted two very young serfs hiding in a corner down the hallway. They were both cracking jokes at him as well as amazing at the man himself. Mangano pretended not to hear until he was right next to them, then suddenly turned in his heel and confronted them. They immediately fell down before him; trembling before his hulking statute. Mangano pitied them, but in a stern voice said, “Young ones, you shouldn’t be here, return to your sacred tasks or else punishment will await you from your Taskmaster.”

With that the two serfs bowed and scurried off like rats from a flame. Mangano continued, eager to get ride of this head splitting headache.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Mikhail stepped down from the podium as the respective companies of the chapter left the massive sepulcher. The sounds of hundreds of armour-clad boots thudding monotonously on the obsidian floor sent goosebumps up Mikhail's spine. "Truly, we are gods among men," Mikhail whispered, his breath reverberating inside his skull-shaped helmet. Whirring his chainfist briefly in relief at the ceremony's end, Mikhail began to walk towards the other Chaplains to begin the preparation for the next round of prayer sessions.

"Mikhail!" a voice boomed from across the room. The High Chaplain cringed infinitesimally, recognizing the voice as that of the Chapter-Master of the Sin-Eaters, Methuselah of the Bloodied Fang. "Continue without me, brothers," murmured Mikhail to the other Chaplains, who saluted him and trodded off towards the reliquary. Mikhail readied himself for the worst as he walked towards the stern Chapter-Master, his thunder hammer leaning on the wall next to him and his arms crossing his chest.

"What can I do for you, Commander?" said Mikhail, removing his helmet to reveal his unnaturally pale features. "I wish to speak with you about the ceremony, Chaplain," replied Methuselah, his ancient eyes staring straight into Mikhail's. The High Chaplain shuddered briefly before replying; "Of course, Commander; what would you like to say?" The stern Chapter-Master held up his hand and looked around the room briefly; the plaques and banners of ages past covering the walls had evidently garnered his attention.

Finally Methuselah crossed his arms once again. "You did well, High Chaplain. Certainly the best of the three ceremonies I've seen as a Sin-Eater. Your words were moving, your actions reverent, and your humility...evident." The Chapter-Master reached over and patted Mikhail's shoulder forcefully. "You have done well in the eyes of your chapter, Mikhail. Sanguinus would be proud if he could see you honour him so." With that, the aged champion turned and strode out of the hall.

Mikhail stood dumbfounded as he watched the Chapter-Master walk out of the sepulcher. The full impact of his words had left him speechless, unable to comprehend what he had just heard. Naturally, then, it was a jolt of surprise when the voice of one of the chapter servitors cut into the main speaker system of the sepulcher.

*szzkhrrkt* Chapter Attention. Alert Notice One-One-Seven-Alpha-Omicron-Seven; directive: Chaper-Wide.

Long-Range Comms indicate hostile vessels in orbit of Planet -- Asmodeus -- practicing combat-type maneuvers. Sensors indicate potential preparation of orbital bombardment.

Message repeats.

Chapter Attention. Alert Notice One-One-Seven-Alpha-Omicron-Seven; directive: Chaper-Wide.

Long-Range Comms indicate hostile vessels in orbit of Planet -- Asmodeus -- practicing combat-type maneuvers. Sensors indicate potential preparation of orbital bombardment.

Directive Achieved. Chapter Notice Out. The Emperor Prote---*szzkhrrkt*


The rest of the message was drowned out by the ultra-loud sounds of lance batteries rending the Chapter-Monestary open, and a light brighter than any Mikhail had ever seen filled the room....followed swiftly by blackness.

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All: The Chapter-Monestary has just been lanced from orbit! Continue with your previous updates, but perhaps you knew about the bombardment before Mikhail; did you try to avoid it? Where were you when the blast hit?

((The game's afoot again, gentlemen :victory: ))
 

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Lucifer jumped to the side as a lasbolt ripped past him, he rolled and brought his Bolter to bear, ripping his target to shreds with a burst to the head.
He looked around as he finished the training.
Well that was easy
he left the training room to go for a long run, he picked up all his equipment and loaded it, as well as taking a bag full of equipment and slinging it over his back, he then started to jog around the Chapter monastary, passing serfs and fellow marines, as he passed them he nodded in greeting and kept running, he finally got to his quarters and dumped the bag, a servitor then came and picked it up, then went off again to place it back in its designated space.

Lucifer walked into his quarters, all that furnished the place was a bed and a stand for his armour and weapons.
He had just taken his helmet off when he hearda great building sound before he saw the roof above him crumble and he saw a light that would have blinded normal men but because Lucifer threw his helmet back on it just was irritating.
What the Throne is going on
 

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Fenix's contraction was broken suddenly from the action and extreme care the surfs put into the game, as if the surfs were officer of the imperial guard before devoting them selves to the chapter? Emperor only knows for that matter as like him they serve him and the memory of Sanguinus only. To honor both Chapter and Humanity's greatest being. The loud bang opened his mind to reality as he turned his head back.

A careless surf, who has never held anything heavier then a simple pen in his his lifetime of service had dropped a tome on the ground as the dust from it's fall was still in the air it'self. Needless to say he forced his huge armored being up from the seat and approached the fallen tome of knowledge. although it almost a few miles away, a great show of the awe-giving size of the Librarium but to a space marine it was but a simple walk while speaks likely of the senses of a space marine to hear and see it.

It didn't take long for the marine to have the tome at his feet as he knelt down to pick it up, it was a book of the common forces of chaos. An index on what a space marine would face when confronting his most hated of foes. beyond the traitors themselves it's words spoke of the demons and mutants in it's ranks. Horrors, Possessed traitor marine and even the demons known as bloodletters. the tome was holy as it showed only how best to destroy them and nothing of their lies. the marine's face turned to a small hint of fury as he walked up to a sheave. "Honorless Scum." was on his mind as he placed the holy tome of the Traitor's Doom back where it belonged.

His back to the surfs that were still playing the game, Fenix returned his gaze to them after the book was homed...only to see a bright light come down from the ceiling and time itself froze to a crawl. the image of the surf, who didn't even have time to react were slowly covered in a red light coming down on them. their skin being thrown off their bones before they too disappeared and turned to dust. the last thing that was in Fenix's mind was the image of the blast sending him back flying, crashing though the heavy book case as the tome's rained around him as he fell to the metal floor. the words "By The Em...." was on his lips but everything went black before he could finish.
 

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Mangano was meditating in his chambers, trying to calm the storm that raged in his mind. The apothecaries had said that it was probably just an effect of warp travel, and to check back with them in a day or two. Still, Mangano felt it was more than that, and he was right. The headache had worsened considerably since he had eaten that night. Now he quietly meditating, trying to bring it under control, and remove it from his mind.

As he said the prayers of Warding, he felt his head go nuts, a massive spike of pain driving into his head, and he fell over onto the floor, screaming out loud, and tearing at his head. He saw a flash of a vision, a large ship, something bright coming from the ship…….a weapon??

It didn’t matter, for the next thing he knew, the roof above his started to cave in, and Mangano dove to avoid a falling piece of debris. The move had taxed his already exhausted body, and he fell backwards and blacked out…………………..
 

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*szzkhrrkt* Chapter Attention. Alert Notice One-One-Seven-Alpha-Omicron-Seven; directive: Chaper-Wide.

Long-Range Comms indicate hostile vessels in orbit of Planet -- Asmodeus -- practicing combat-type maneuvers. Sensors indicate potential preparation of orbital bombardment.

Message repeats.

Chapter Attention. Alert Notice One-One-Seven-Alpha-Omicron-Seven; directive: Chaper-Wide.

Long-Range Comms indicate hostile vessels in orbit of Planet -- Asmodeus -- practicing combat-type maneuvers. Sensors indicate potential preparation of orbital bombardment.

Directive Achieved. Chapter Notice Out. The Emperor Prote---*szzkhrrkt

The Master at Arms grew tired of hearing the servitors voice, grumbling at he sharply ordered an aide to cut the vox feed from the servitors until he heard the telltale thunderclap of orbital lance batteries let loose with their deadly payload. Seconds later... impact. The very strata of the monastery rumbling as multiple lancer rounds sliced through rock and building materials as easy as a power sword through flesh. The force was so great that it wrenched a vox speaker from the roof and sent it atop two of the aides to Clodius' right side. Suddenly a great screech of metal against stone blared out from atop Clodius.

Brother Clodius!

The Master at Arms pulled Clodius clear away from the vox throne as another one of the ancient sound producers fell atop the vox panel. Clodius, The Master at Arms and the aides all turned to flee from the collapsing vox chapel, only the two astartes making it out before the room caved in under the pressure of unsupported rock and building materials. Secondary explosions ripped through the walls behind them as the continued their frenzied pace back towards the sepulcher. Clodius hoped that they had not struck the most revered of areas in the fortress monastery. This hope was crushed as Clodius turned right into the enlarged entrance of the sepulcher. A groan of anguish resounded from his lips as he saw the destruction, the Master at Arms pushing past in a search for surviving brothers amongst the wreckage.

By the Emperor... These invaders will pay with every last drop of blood for this! DAMN THEM!

After heaving a few rocks the old astartes swung his head back in Clodius' direction and bellowed for him to help his brothers who were still buried beneath the stone. The younger astartes nodded his head and began to search through the rubble, pulling a few of his brothers from broken rock and plasteel trusses. Every time he found a dead battle brother his rage increased tenfold at these dishonorable whoresons. After heaving a particularly heavy slab of stone off of a tangle of the foundation that had fallen in a cage like configuration over one of his brothers he would peer into the wreckage. He was alarmed to see High Chaplain Mikhail knocked out underneath the steel, with the help of another battle brother they freed Mikhail from the cage. Clodius crouched next to the chaplain and patted his cheek with his ceramite enclosed palm.

Father Mikhail! Wake up for we are under attack! HIGH CHAPLAIN! WAKE YOURSELF!
 

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The walk to the drinking hall was a silent one for Vitus; many squads were gathered for firing or combat rituals. There were a few brothers here and there, but Vitus ignored them; rounding a corner something smacked into his leg and fell back. Pausing, Vitus looked down to see one of the younger serfs, one of two children that had been fleeing for something. The second serf gathered behind the first and both stared at him with eyes wide with fear. At this sight, Vitus could not keep his lip from curling in distaste; but it was not because they had run into him that he had been angered, they were just young serfs and had not been taught any better. What angered Vitus was fear, for it was nothing more than a weakness that evil used to prey on the weak, and a serf, like the chapter he served, must be anything but weak.

Kneeling down, Vitus loomed over the pair even while down on a knee. They shrank back from him, but Vitus simply held up a hand while shaking his head. "Fear is for the weak young ones, only those who can do nothing need be afraid. You are not weak, you serve the chapter and its heroes; do not fear those you serve, for then you let weakness into your heart and risk failing in your sworn duties." He said while helping the first child up before standing to his full height. With a motion, Vitus bid a serf from the shadows to come take the two away. He knew that they were always there, the serfs, for it was their duty to remain in the shadows and serve the chapter. They were a silent force, and that was their duty, to silently serve the chapter in the only way they could after failing to become battle brothers themselves.

Shaking his head, Vitus continued on to the drinking hall without another incident; but the thought of the two young serfs and the fact that they had been running from something stuck in his mind. Perhaps after he had retrieved his armour Vitus would inquire what had gone on. Entering the hall, Vitus had to pause for a moment, like many places in the chapter fortress, the drinking hall did take his breath away. High arches held aloft by a mixture of onyx and ivory pillars chiseled into the likeness of heroes of the chapter. Long rows of mahogany benches reinforced by stone from deep within the world's crust contained groups of brothers and initiates in various states.

However they are not what caught his eye, a single brooding form did this. He knew this man, Vitus had fought alongside Cassius Scipio Augustus many times since his return to the chapter and induction into the first company. He was a strong man who did not seek the aproval of many, and though he did hold an air of arrogance about him at times, he was loyal and respectable; Augustus did not allow his arrogance to rule him like some did, earned or not. It was to Augustus that Vitus tread, obtaining a bottle of wine and a goblet for himself.

"My brother, would the company of another be acceptable to you?" Vitus asked, placing the bottle on the table as he awaited an answer from Augustus.
 

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Tacticus and the rest of his brothers in the combat hall gathered around more fights, watching the other brothers and their companies as well as the first company. Tacticus was about to challenge another of his brothers when mason fell from the ceiling, cracking on the floor below. He stared up, and all the Astartes sensitive ears picked up the tell tale signs of an orbital bombardment. "By the throne, who would dare bombard the chapter without one of our ships dealing with it when it had dropped out of warp?" A brother asked as the rest stood in silence.

Tacticus turned to his brother, "Indeed it is a mystery, but I'm sure that it will be taken care of quickly." As he finished speaking the chapter batteries began their return fire at the ship, huge lances and missiles designed with this in mind. "Come brothers, it will be taken care of. Let us get back to our combat practice." One by one his brothers returned to were they were though Tacticus now moved away from the main fights. He may need his Wargear soon, and it needed to be in pristine condition. He pulled on his armour and helmet and stood like a god of war.
 

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The chalice, despite being the size of an human skull, felt rather insignificant in his Demi-God grip. It was a simple thing to Cassius, a bronze curling atop a rounded base and spindly neck. Jewels emblazoned the flanks, each rough and worn from an untold amount of years in service. Like four black, crooked minarets, his ceramite-encased fingers lifted up above the curled rim of the chalice. The crimson liquid within had thinned out so that it was a mere shimmering layer, the golden-brown curve of the cup casting its hue from beneath.

Gently he placed the chalice back onto the deck, disinterested in its contents. For a short period of time he sat alone, simply taking his fingers across the smoothed surface of the table, running them along rivets from the wood. A voice brought his attentions from his idling activities and he looked up with half closed eyes, staring at the face of Brother Vitus. Both were members of the same Squad, and while Vitus was younger than Cassius, he enjoyed his company nonetheless. However Vitus was a silent one, probably due to his time serving in the Deathwatch of the Inquisition.

‘Ah, Vitus. It is good to see you, please sit. This drinking hall is rather boring today. I would be glad to have your company.’ He indicated the seat opposite him with one open gauntlet.

Vitus sat and the pair gently conversed, remembering past battles and sharing experiences. Cassius was careful not to ask him about his service under the Inquisition. He knew that Vitus was bound to secrecy. Thus was the way of all members of the Deathwatch, Cassius knew this. While he had never been selected by the Inquisition to serve, those Brothers that had commanded his respect for doing such a thing. He almost viewed as being selected as a death warrant, knowing that the chances of returning were rather slim. He thanked the Emperor that a Marine of such capability as Vitus had survived.

And then Hell itself came to the drinking halls. The overhead atrium burst in a spear of fluorescent light, sending shards of amber glass upon the heads of those within. Cassius felt the skin of his forehead split and then heal, allowing a minute trickle of blood from the wound. The drinking pool ceased to be, transforming the liquid into a fine crimson mist that rolled over Cassius and Vitus, transforming them into bloody visages. Pillars collapsed towards one side of the vast hall, allowing the floor above to smash downwards and unleash a tide of flames.

A serf stumbled through the flames, flesh sloughing away, and Cassius felt his gauntlets clench tightly. He saw Scouts fall back, a pair of which were dragging an injured fellow who left a trail of gore on the deck. His hair was gone bar a few strands and a mask of gore covered the left side of his face, the cheek draped down so that crisped teeth could be seen. It was the redhead who had bumped into him earlier, his chest rapidly rising and falling.

Some pang of regret hammered into him at that. Another First Company Veteran was bellowing orders, standing in the large access way and pointing the Marines outwards. The flames crept forwards, devouring wood with loud cracks and fizzles. He looked across at Vitus with anticipating eyes, his mouth gaping. The furs upon his shoulders had caught the odd ember and now miniscule palls of smoke lifted upwards around his face.

‘I will gut whoever did this…’ He growled, looking at the flames ‘I swear that!’

He slammed his fists into the table, sending the chalice skittering away, lost forever. He began to walk towards the entrance, behind him the room spewed dust downwards into the flames as compensators leaked water across the ground, however it came to no prevail.

‘I think we shall collect our weapons now Vitus, we have something to kill.’ He shouted over his shoulder at his Brother and began for his quarters. He would reap bloody vengeance upon his fellows, oh so bloody.
 

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Aurio was hurled to the floor as a blinding light filled the armoury before going dark, his occulobe implant om s he could see the burning wreck of a land raider and other vehicles that had been caght in the blast.
Rising he sheathed Siloe and retrieved Ilea from the fllor where it had fallen then helped Agnotius to his feet.

"Get those fires out!" Agnotius bellowed as servitors moved to fight the fires which were blazing all around, "Aurio see if you can find Master of the Forge Marcellus" with that Agnotius ran off to help a fallen Techmarine.

Aurio quickly searched the armoury and found nothing but servitors and confused and dazed brothers, not a glimse of the Master of the Forge.
"Brother he is not here" Aurio called over to the kneeling form of Agnotius, as he neared Aurio saw that Agnotius was cradleing a shard of shattered power armour.

"You won't find him old friend, he was caught by the blast" Agnotius replied with sadness as he held up the name plate on the shoulde pad 'Marcellus'
"He will be avenged broth..." Aurio stopped as he felt a stabbing pain in his side, looking down he noticed a piece of shrapnel embedded just under his arm.

"Brother, are you alright?" Agnotius asked worridly "Lets get you to the apothicarien" Aurio slumped against him as they made their way to the medicalbay.
"You must get back to the amoury brother" Aurio gasped as he lay down on a bed and an Apothecary came over and began to treat the wound.
"Very well Brother, I hope you will be alright" Agnotius replied before sprinting back to the armoury.

Aurio looked around and saw that injured astartes were pouring in and that there were not enough apothecarys to cope, when he saw that the shrapnel had been removed and the wound patched he said "Brother, there are many worse wounded than I, aid them, I will live"

The Brother nodded then went to aid another brother with a gaping wound in his chest.

Aurio rose and headed for the drinking hall and encountered Cassius and Vitus.
"Brothers, do you have any idea what has happened?" He called
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Mikhail was lost in a sea of darkness. A strange vision was beheld to him and he heard dozens of voices whispering, some in Gothic, some in languages he had never heard before. Images faded into view slowly and then dissapeared; a golden figure whispering soft words to him; a strange skull-shaped rune dripping blood; and a shadowy voice laughing contemptuously as dozens of Battle-Brothers were torn apart by an unknown source.

"No!" Mikhail wanted to scream, but he was deaf. He could only watch as the Space Marines were rent asunder, their limbs torn apart and their bodies disintegrating as the flesh sloughed off of their bones. Their armour wept blood only to be reduced to ash under the crazed eyes of the myserious voice. The Chaplain almost reached out to them but the image began to fade once again as he sunk back into dreamless unconsciousness....

The world returned to it's ordinary clarity slowly. Grey fog seemed to clear from his eyes in what felt like an eternity for Mikhail. As he woke, he could begin to understand words being spoken to him. They seemed slurred and fluctuating, like listening to someone speak while underwater.

".....ather Mikhail! Wak.......der attack! HIGH CHAPLA........SELF!"

With a rush of clarity Mikhail's eyes snapped open to reveal two Astartes struggling to remove him from the rubble. He recognized one as the Chapter's Master-at-Arms, the grizzled commander's mechanical leg straining to help him remove a slab of obsidian. The other Astartes Mikhail did not recognize; he only knew he was a member of the First Company, judging by his elabourated arms and armour. Both were straining to move a huge slab of obsidian trapping the High-Chaplain on the floor.

"Brothers! Thank the Emperor you are alive!" With as much effort as he could muster he helped the two Space Marines push the obsidian slab off of him with a screetch. The High Chaplain stood slowly, wobbling and clutching his head. Blood trickled down his cheek in a slow stream, the scent filling Mikhail's nostrils and the familiar sight tugging at his instinctive curse. "My thanks for your assistance, brothers. Who knows how long I may have laid under there withour your hel......"

The High Chaplain stopped in mid-sentence. The full force of the destruction around him hit Mikhail like an iron weight. The various pews of the Sepulchre were rent and cracked; vast expanses of the intricate ceiling were torn asunder, revealing the Asmodean night sky. The sepulchre's entire left wing had collapsed, spilling out the corpses of the honoured dead onto the ground as if they were children's dolls. The Chaplain allowed a single tear to drip down his cheek.

"What...what happened here? What caused this destruction?" the Chaplain asked, his normally stern voice thick with emotion. "Your Holiness," began the Master-at-Arms, "it appears the planet is under attack by a currently unknown adversary. Three battleships in orbit unleashed with lance batteries, two directed at our Fortess-Monestary, and the third directed at a yet-unknown target. Planetary communications arrays managed to detect landing craft emerging from the fleet before they were taken down. We've lost contact with the few PDF outposts on the planet and the Chapter Outposts are all silent. Orbital defenses are completely offline and our ground defenses registered massive attacks before they were either destroyed or went silent."

The Chaplain shuddered. "This is appalling. Where were the serfs manning the Vox-stations?" The third Astartes shrugged. "We found the vox-station unmanned, Your Eminence." Mikhail sighed and observed the Sepulchre once again; it would take months to repair this room, not to mention the other parts of the Fortess-Monastary. He shook his head; finding other Astartes was his immediate concern. "Well, brothers," mumbled the Chaplain, "we'd best get to work. If we are to begin to search for survivors, we must do it quickly. Excuse me for a moment as I fetch my personal vox; I left it up at the altar in case I received..."

He stopped again. Dread filled his eyes and his already pale face drained of blood completely.

"The altar," he whispered.

Without warning, the High Chaplain bolted towards the gilded altarpiece. The other two Astartes stood dumbfounded for a moment before taking of after him. The three Space Marines raced across the broken rubble of the Sepulchre before reaching the altar, the broken obsidian crunching beneath their iron tread. Occasionally their massive boots would crush a piece of intricate stained glass, and the two Space Marines cursed and prayed softly for forgiveness. Finally, the High Chaplain reached the altar first, only to sink to his knees. The others raced to catch up to him, then stopped dead in their tracks, seeing what the High Chaplain had found.

In the High Chaplain's massive chainfist rested the broken vial of the Sacred Blood, it's gilded housing completely crushed and discarded a few feet away. The third astartes' HUD indicated 98.462% of the blood had been evaporated instantly in the lance attack, leaving only the tiniest dried fluid inside the shattered vial.

The High Chaplain set the vial down carefully with his chainfist, tears now flowing down his cheeks. Then, slowly, the black-clad figure clenched his fists. His soft weeping slowly became a droning growl, increasing rapidly in volume, and his clean tears of sorrow soon became bloodied tears of fury. Standing to his feet slowly, the Chaplain's eyes began to turn red with blood-rage. Finally, Mikhail leaned back and thrust his fists to his side, uttering a bloodcrazed roar of such apocalyptic volume it could be heard throughout the entire Astartes Fortress.

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Damage Report:
Here are the current statuses of the various areas of the Fortress-Monastary and their conditions after the lance attack:
Librarium: Most of the Librarium is in utter ruin, the books burnt to cinders and the ceiling collapsed on the precious databanks. The only exception is the lounge area which is relatively unscathed and the Reliquary which has suffered minor damage.
Sepulcher: The sepulcher is moderately damaged; the left wing is totally collapsed and the ceiling is destroyed in some locations. The altar is completely crushed.
Drinking Hall: Almost completely destroyed; the ceiling has collapsed on the Sanguinite Pool and the precious liquid has completely evaporated. Fires have broken out across the hall due to cut wiring in the walls.
Chapter Arena (of which the Firing Range is a part): Relatively undamaged; parts of the ceiling have collapsed in a few locations but the areas that have been damaged are relatively unimportant.
Armoury: Most of the vehicle bay has been buried in rubble, although most of the tanks' armour is thick enough to survive the weight. The actual weapon racks and armour posts are undamaged.
Apothecarion: Completely unscathed with the exception of the rear entrance.
Personal Quarters: Variable levels of damage; some areas are utter ruin while others are barely nicked.
Communications Wing: Most of the comms and voxes have been crushed but the Astronomicon choir is still operational.
Serf Quarters: Survived most of the attack; some personal quarters were destroyed but minimal casualties sustained.

Clodius Terentius Vulso: After checking to make sure the High Chaplain's bellow has not permanently deafened you, you set off with the Chaplain to find survivors. The Master-at-Arms leaves, mentioning trying to bring planetary communications online again. Following the muttering High Chaplain, you set off along with him, heading for the Reliquary.

Aurio Daverin, Vitus Cornelius Appirga, and Cassius Scipio Augustus: All three of you are now in the Drinking Hall's entrance room, attempting to put out the fires around you and saving as many survivors as you can. The fires are raging but not impossible to put out. Several Scout Marines have emerged relatively unscathed and are helping you put out the fire, while a few of the older Serfs in the area offer to fetch your wargear for you so that you may stay and free the trapped brothers from the rubble.

Tacticus Romus and Lucifer Octavius: Both of you exit your respective areas and meet outside the Chapter arena, then set off for the Apothecarion. Once inside, the High Chirugeon, a broad Astartes by the name of Leonid, directs you to the wounded bay, where your at-least intermediate knowledge of medicine can be used to heal the dying and retrieve the gene-seed of the dead.

Brother Fenix Xentor: Awaking after the attack, you run over to the two elder serfs who were playing chaz, both buried under a pile of tomes. Each of them have suffered some injury but they will live. The three of you begin to search the Librarium, both looking for survivors and saving particularly damaged books from destruction.

Inactive Participants: You are buried under rubble and unconscious!
 

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Lucifer limped away from his quarters, they weren't especially damaged but a large piece of the roof had come down on his leg, trapping him until he mustered the strength to lift it off him.
As he saw the various states of destruction on his walk to the Apothecarion, a burning anger grew within him, he wanted to lash out at something, he just wanted to scream.
His thoughts were soon answered when he heard a massive roar of tremendous volume.
Lucifer dropped to his knees and roared too, nowhere near as loud as the other one but still of a large volume.
Lucifer stood back up, his tremendous height now fully revealed.
He started running as fast as he could, eager to help those that needed help.

He burst through the Apothecarion and looked around, an apothecary walked up to him and gave him orders to go to the wounded bay and help those who were wounded and recieve the gene-seed of those who could not go on. He bit back his tounge, he nearly burst out at the Apothecary that even though he was the master of his saction to order a member of the 1st company was despicable.

He walked into the wounded bay and started to care for those he had been assigned to.
It filled him with rage and sadness that such a glorious chapter as his was dealt such a blow with no warning.
 
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