Warhammer 40k Forum and Wargaming Forums banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

· Registered
623 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The Second Word

· Registered
623 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Chapter One: Homeworld Invasion

Commoragh, the Dark City​

Commoragh. Dracon Xehia could not remember the last time she had uttered its name. She could still recall memories of the Dark City. The twisting labyrinth of black and barbed spires and pleasure palaces that stretched on forever above the disgusting urban sprawl produced by the slave markets. She remembered the red star entrapped in the distance, burning only for the True Kin’s pleasure. As the Kiss of Decadence, Archon Nihlus’ flagship broke through the web way gate and into a realm betwixt reality and the immaterium, Xehia finally realized that she was home.

After the long years of hunting the eldar of Myriell. After those times that were nothing more than glorious battle and triumph, Xehia had also forgotten how insignificant the Kabal of the Blinded Blades millennia long struggle had been. After a thousand years, no one would certainly remember their kabal or their names. And as the Kiss of Decadence sailed toward their ancient stronghold, she did not find it surprising that another Kabal had already moved in and claimed it.

The Raven’s Talon. A fortress that floated above the disgusting under city and slave pits completely upside down. It’s fortifications were purposefully erected in reverse, so that the further enemies advanced into the fortress, the complex continually expanded and became more difficult to navigate. Xehia stared through the view beyond the bridge, her eyes flicked from left to right as she studied the formations of snow white and vermillion bladed grav—craft amass into a defensive formation.

Xehia turned on her heel to face the dais at the center of the bridge. “Your orders, Dread Archon?”

Nihlus merely broke into wolfish grin and leaned forward in his seat. “I am still Archon of the Blinded Blades. And with the Kiss of Decadence, we’ll hammer their defenses until their grounded into dust. That is our last resort, if the fortress cannot be taken by strength of the on ground assault alone. Prepare the first wave to attack. You should join them Xehia.”

The Dracon inwardly cursed, but merely saluted and marched through the slide doors that led further into the bowls of the ship. A squad of Trueborn were lying in wait for her beyond the bridge. They immediately snapped to attention and followed Xehia through the dimly lit corridors. Ha! Trueborn! These louts were hardly fitting of that name. She had lost all of her True Kin in the ruins of Tyrannus, fighting to execute Nihlus’ foolish little ploy. Xehia had never forgiven him for that. Those who were her best soldiers, her most loyal subordinates. Without them in a dark realm of betrayal such as this, she was even more vulnerable than usual.

When she arrived at the hangar bay, it was to the sound of guttural chanting. Hundreds of Kabalite warriors baring the deep oceanic color and striking green accents of the Blinded Blades were already aboard a decent fleet of Raider and Venom transports, supported by waiting Ravager Tanks and Razorwing Jetfighters. They chanted Xehia’s name proudly, their fists thrust through the air as she strode across the hangar bay. Xehia lifted the majestic helm on her head and allowed her long silver and raven black hair to fall behind her knees. Loose strands fell in front of her violet eyes and narrow nose. Her full lips curved into a vicious grin.

The Blinded Blades approved of her ever since the battle of the Ghost Crypts. It was Xehia who had truly led them into battle that day. She had bled and suffered alongside them. She had lost as many comrades as they had. And they admired her for it.

Xehia thundered across the hangar. “Storm the keep! Spare no one! Take what is yours!”

The Kabalites roared furiously.

· Registered
623 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
The first assault wave from the Blinded Blades deployed from their mothership as if a swarm of insects leaving their hive. Hundreds of bladed grav—craft quickly organized themselves into battle formation: a spearhead that would break through the enemy’s center. Squadrons of Raider transports loaded with warriors waited behind thin screens of Venoms and Jetbikes that circled the entire frontline. Units of Ravager tanks hovered along the formation’s flanks, their Dark Lances glistening in the wine red light of the sun.

Xehia observed the defensive lines of the Kabal of the Siren Ghosts as her forces advanced at breakneck pace. With her keen sight, she immediately noticed the grisly decorations that hung from certain squadrons of hostile craft. The Kabalite warriors onboard them wore faceless Reaver masks and their armor was so pristine that it glimmered in the dark light of the trapped sun.

Trueborn. The Raven’s Talon obviously belonged to a powerful noble family then.

Xehia tapped her comm. link. “All Ravagers, switch target priority to heavily decorated Raider Transports. I want them out of the sky!”

One of the pilots confirmed her command. “By your orders, Dracon.”

A voice suddenly blasted across the skies surrounding the Raven’s Talon. It was so sonorous that even Xehia and her troops could easily hear every word in clarity. “Mysterious warriors from beyond the Dark City. I am Archon Imerlith and this fortress belongs to the Siren Ghosts. I advise you to turn back and return from whence you came. Immediately. Failure to comply with my demands shall only end in defeat and humiliation for your entire Kabal.”

Xehia roared into her own channels. “To hell with this bastard! Annihilate them! Attack!”

The Siren Ghosts unleashed a withering volley of dark energy as their challengers raced into the teeth of their waiting guns. Distorted shielding materialized around speeding Raiders as their flicker fields were activated. Scores of Reavers and Scourges were not so fortunate. Combined fire from disintegrator cannons tracked back and forth across the skies. Jetbikes blossomed in fiery descents and Scourges were shredded as they attempted to close the distance. The Venom transports performed better, their splinter cannons successfully strafing Raiders and softening their cargo.

Half—naked combatants bearing the Blinded Blades’ colors whooped and hollered as they leapt from their chariots and landed amongst the enemy. Once they were onboard, they danced from foe to foe, their blades quickly cleaved through vital organs as they leapt around their fallen victims. Yet the Siren Ghosts were not so easily frightened by the thought of close quarters assault. They maneuvered their Raiders into higher positions, Kabalite warriors leaned over the edges and picked off the gladiators in a poisonous rain of fire.

Xehia shouted into her link. “Elluvan’s Curse, engage those Raiders in higher altitude! They’re picking off my shock troops.”

As Xehia commanded, the Siren Ghosts Trueborn were being hammered by the Ravagers that raced along the flanks of the battle. Their shields quickly faltered before the relentless onslaught of a dozen dark lances smashing into them. The transports crumbled as they were hit or exploded marvelously, disgorging their cargo to plummet into the abyss below. The surviving transports unleashed devastating firepower, however. Blaster fire quickly claimed a dozen Raiders and Venoms attempting to break through the lines of the Siren Ghosts.
Xehia grimaced. She peered into the raging storm of flames and firepower unleashed as she spoke to the pilot. “Take me into the battle.”

The pilot inclined his head gracefully. “As you will, Dracon.”

Xehia whistled sharply at nearby Venom Transports. “Shardstorm Two! Follow my lead!”

Xehia’s chariot weaved through the battle flawlessly, too quickly to be caught by stray fire, and nearly invisible due to the night shields equipped on the vehicle. She lived for moments like this, striding across a battlefield for only the pleasure of watching everything unfold spectacularly. The moment could only last for mere seconds, but it was enough to remember and cherish for a lifetime.

The moment was gone.

One of her Trueborn had leapt too early from the Venom, managed to cleave himself in two on a jetbike’s bladevanes. The Dracon sighed as she watched the body plummet and then signaled her remaining guard to ready themselves as the chariot came into range of a Siren Ghost Trueborn Transport. Xehia’s archite glaive thrummed with power as she performed a backwards flip even as her Trueborn unloaded their weapons onto their victims below. She landed with a graceful sweep of her polearm, neatly severed a pair of legs from their owner and finished him with a leap and downward thrust.

Another of the Siren Ghosts elite brought his splinter cannon to bear. The heavy weapon made a distinct popping noise as it fired. Xehia spun as she leapt off of the railing. The moment her feet hit the grating, she rolled aside from the slew of poisonous rounds desperately tracking her. Her next landing brought her close enough to pounce upon her foe and stab him through the faceplate before kicking him overboard.

A strangely familiar voice called out to her from a distance. “You handle yourself gracefully in combat! Well done, not many of my Trueborn are so easily bested!”

An unerring volley of dark lance fire punched through Xehia’s personal chariot. Before any of her bodyguards could make the leap onto the Raider, an explosion tore them to shreds. Xehia gazed up in the direction of the voice. Archon Imerlith of the Siren Ghosts sat onboard a Raider, tightly surrounded by Shrine of Incubi. “Dracon! I do not desire to fight this rabble any longer. You appear to be the only commander worth noting. Come here and discuss terms.”

At Imerlith’s snap of his fingers, a lone Venom descended toward the emptied Raider that Xehia stood upon.

Xehia managed a wicked laugh. “Do you think me a traitor, Imerlith!?”

“No,” The Archon of the Siren Ghosts quipped. Even from such a distance, Xehia could see his smug grin. “I took you for an ambitious commander. If you disagree, I can vanquish you now.”

Xehia watched the lone Venom descend and reluctantly stepped onto it before it sped away.

· Registered
2,989 Posts
Nice to see you back in action so soon, mate.

Seems like a solid start to me - I'll be keeping my eye on this one. Keep it up.

· Registered
623 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Nice to see you back in action so soon, mate.

Seems like a solid start to me - I'll be keeping my eye on this one. Keep it up.
Thanks, DA, this is my first time actually writing in length about a Dark Eldar character, so if they don't seem so vile and twisted as they should, I'm just a beginner when it comes them :p.


The battle at Raven’s Talon raged in the background, distant enough that Xehia could observe its full scale without being ensnared in its destructive wake. The Incubi onboard the Raider wore the heavy armor the color of the night and marked with bright crimson accents. Their klaives shimmered in the sunlight as they held them tightly across their chests, ready to cleave Xehia’s head from her shoulders should she lift a finger in a way that displeased their Archon.

Imerlith perched himself upon a raised throne, clasped in ordinary kabalite armor that was adorned with neither sparks or barbs. His helm sat upon one knee, revealing his facial features to full inspection. At once, Xehia could see nobility chiseled into his high cheekbones, long and narrow nose, and pointed jaw. His skin was incredibly pallid and shone in the sun nearly as bright as his large bloody pits that were his eyes. Long mahogany strands of hair cascaded down his face and grazed against his neck.

The Archon of the Siren Ghosts looked out over the battlefield. “When the weak inherit what should be given to the strong, they become blinded by their new found power. They think the fates will always fall in their favor, somehow, because they earned something that they should not have. That their schemes can rival the gods themselves. Only the hardest lessons shall teach them otherwise. I intend to teach your Archon what I have learned from my experiences.”

Xehia narrowed her eyes into accusing slits. “I thought you desired to discuss terms?”

Imerlith sighed with pleasant laughter. “Yes, but with you. Not with that mewling coward hiding on the bridge of his ship.” He paused to consider her. “You know that the Siren Ghosts have claimed this fortress for nigh millennia? You can imagine my surprise when I learned that Raven’s Talon’s predecessors were marching upon my fortress. I am certain Asbrubael would love to hear that story.”

Xehia snarled in disgust. “The Tyrant still lives? Never mind, that is another matter...”

“Indeed.” Imerlith shared her displeasure. “To terms. I’ll be forthright, your kabal impresses me. Despite your meager forces, you have managed a decent fight, but you must have realized by now that you cannot break through my lines. Even if you did, I could end your entire raiding party with a simple command. It appears your Archon has forgotten his fortress’ most valued strength.”

Xehia maintained a stoic façade, but inwardly, she was curious. “Is that so?”

Imerlith revealed sharpened teeth in a wolfish grin. “I am in possession of an orbital cannon capable rending that pathetic flagship into stardust.” He leaned back into his throne. “Halt your assault on my fortress, defect and pledge your service to me, so that I may take your Archon’s head. Do this, and I shall make you an Archon of one of my lesser kabals, should you prove yourself worthy. Any warriors that defect with you will be spared.”

Xehia cackled madly. “Do you not even consider that it should be you, Imerlith, that should prove himself before me?” She paused as Imerlith’s Incubi took a collective step forward. “How do you know that I won’t betray you as well?”

Now it was Imerlith’s turn to cackle. “That would be quite the feat without an ally. The only one that you have has mere minutes or less to live. So weigh your option and choose. My offer only stands once.”

Defiance would meet only imminent destruction, Xehia knew that much. She turned back to the watch the battle. Nihlus had already deployed his second and third assault waves and contrary to Imerlith’s opinion, the Siren Ghosts defensive lines were beginning to break. What if the orbital cannon was a bluff? Not only would she be played like a fool, but also show grievous signs of weakness in her tactical and strategic analysis.

The Dracon of the Blinded Blades inwardly cursed herself and prayed to the muses that her decision was the right one. She tapped into the channels of the assault waves. “All units, cease and desist all hostile activity. Cease fire. I repeat, cease and desist all hostile activity. The Siren Ghosts are allies, steer clear of the Kiss of Decadence. I repeat, steer clear of the Kiss of Decadence. An orbital cannon is about to shoot it out of the sky.”

As Xehia had thought, the channels were filled with confused chatter. The battle continued in sporadic firefights, but eventually calmed down as her orders were relayed down the ranks. Some squadrons of grav—craft ignored her words and retreated back to the starship when they realized that the combat was over. Others, however, proved themselves loyal to her over Archon Nihlus and quickly defected toward Siren Ghosts lines.

Imerlith abruptly stood up. His gaze was fixated on the Kiss of Decadence. He whispered into his comm. link. “Destroy it.”

A deafening noise reminiscent of a very slow klaxon drowned all other noise for long moments as the invisible orbital cannon unleashed its payload. A massive lance of sickly green energy hurtled through the skies toward the Kiss of Decadence. Xehia clearly saw that Nihlus was desperately attempting to raise his shields, but it was far too late for defensive maneuvers. The orbital battery’s salvo obliterated any trace of the nose of the ship, including the bridge.

A second and third barrage crumpled the ship even as it began a slow descent toward the under city. The combined fleets of the Siren Ghosts and the Blinded Blades quickly scattered mere moments before the Kiss of Decadence erupted into a miniature supernova. The fallout was enough to catch the stragglers and incinerate them, but most of Xehia’s forces remained intact.

Imerlith watched the Dracon, amused. “An interesting choice. Time will tell if it was the correct one.”

· Registered
623 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Not entirely sure how I feel about this scene, I may come back to it and redo it.
NOTE: Made some edits.

In the depths of the Raven’s Talon​

The inner corridors of the Raven’s Talon were a labyrinth of barely lit obsidian stone and strange, grated walls that reminded Xehia of the Ghost Crypts. Archon Nihlus had built but a fraction of those ruins in the image of his ancient fortress. Lifelike monuments loomed in the hidden crevices of the fortress, Archons and Dracons with their knees bent in silent devotion, their fingers wrapped around the hilt of their blades. Their stoic gazes appeared to pulse with a sickly green light. Xehia swore to herself that she could even hear the statues whisper through the ether.

Sentries marched through the hallowed halls of death with an arrogance that even stoked Xehia’s ire. Kabalite Warriors clasped in the snowy white and vermillion patterned armor held splinter rifles across their chest as they scanned every inch of their patrol routes for danger. They were used to the frantic pitch of their wounded’s screams, entrapped in their regenerative pods. The pods were hung all along the walls, filled with writhing, skinless bodies and of those who had suffered less grievous wounds.

Xehia clucked her tongue sympathetically. There would be no torture or exquisite carnivals of agony that would help these louts along. Their recovery would be arduous and unhurried.

The Dracon of the Blinded Blades glided through the haunted corridors in a multi—layered oceanic dress with an elegant golden jacket. Instead of her usual shock of raven and silver hair, she pinned it into a tall ponytail and long bangs. She could not remember the last time she had ever strode through a palace, let alone taken off her armor. Why not savor the moment? After all, she may be dead tomorrow.

Soft sighs and moans greeted Xehia as she neared the entrance of Imerlith’s throne room. Beneath the small archway that led inside stood two Incubi clasped in armor the color of Raven’s feathers, their lenses pulsing with a violet light. Imerlith must have warned them that she was due to arrive, since they unlocked their klaives that barred entry and stepped aside. Xehia raised her head proudly as she strode into the throne room.

Lining the path to Imerlith’s throne were slaves, Xehia immediately felt their psychic presence and recoiled. Each of them were on their knees, Craftworlders with their eyes and tongues removed, their sockets and lips tightly sown into a mass of wire. Flanking them were two raised pulpits where Imerlith’s courtiers and courtesans would seat themselves. The actual throne that the Archon of the Siren Ghost was perched upon was a thing created from milky white wraithbone, a rare material in the dark city, and cloaked in a banner bearing the Siren Ghost sigil. Based around his throne were chained courtesans, naked and in ecstasy from chemical drugs.

“Xehia!” The courtesans craned their heads in her direction at Imerlith’s boisterous call. “At last the traitresse arrives. Do not mind the slaves, they are about as mindless as you see them now.”

“Dread Archon.” Xehia announced as she approached the throne. To the courtesans’ displeasure, she remained a respectful distance from them, a sneer on her lips. She fell onto one knee. “To what do I owe the pleasure?”

Imerlith clapped his hands and suddenly the chains holding the courtesans snapped. They quickly left the room alongside the slaves, as did the Archon’s Incubi bodyguard. He waited until there was no one within earshot. “Tell me, do you believe in prophecy, Xehia?”

The Dracon snorted a derisive laugh. “Of course not, my archon. Only our desperate cousins would bother with such foolishness.”

Imerlith sneered deeply. “Reading the skein is no game for fools. After all, it was prophecy that told me of your Kabal’s arrival.”

Xehia cocked a brow. “My Archon, I do not understand. Pyskers are outlawed in the Dark City. To keep one…” She gestured to the eldar slaves. “It is only a matter of time…”

“Calm your nerves, Xehia.” Imerlith smirked wickedly. “You see, I have another guest that I have been entertaining for some time now. In fact, she has been asking for you personally. Far before your pathetic raid on my fortress had even begun. She claims that you two are acquaintances?” The Archon stared pointedly into a corner painted in shadow. “Come out and introduce yourself.”

A slender female figure emerged from the darkness, dressed in wine red robes inscribed with infernal markings along the hem of her garments, edges of her wrists, and flattened portions of her clothing. As the figure revealed that it was a long raven—haired eldar female, Xehia also saw the same markings carved around her face and small, jade colored eyes. Her ears were pointed like sharp knives, extended to nearly twice the length of the average eldar.

Mirathir smirked. “Greetings, Xehia. Fate has crossed our paths once again.”

Xehia took several steps back, her hands flew toward a blade that was not there. “Mirathir!? What is the meaning of this?”

Imerlith edged his voice with steel. “Stay your hand, Dracon. Hear the witch out, at least. I command it.”

Xehia appeared horrified by the revelation. “So you decided to take this witch under your protection? How long before the Black Heart Kabal storm Raven’s Talon? One or two weeks, perhaps?”

“Relax.” Mirathir sighed. “I am being hunted, so I must make our meeting brief. They shall never find any trace of me within these walls.” She paused to take a quick breath. “I arrived in the Dark City to warn our Archon here of the danger posed by the Blinded Blades. I nearly suffered a slave’s fate. Yet I was able to prove my prophecy by showing him a vision of his own destruction. Having rescued Imerlith, I am allowed to garner a favor with him. Now that you have arrived, Xehia, I can request that favor.”

Imerlith nodded imperceptibly . “As long as it is within reason.”

The Raven Prophet folded her arms under her chest and looked pointedly in Xehia’s direction. “I desire to hire a real space raid against the Hellas Sector, one with Xehia as a prominent commander.”

Xehia’s lips curled into a vicious smile. “You are already groveling for aid? I suppose your invasion of Tyrannus has left much to be desired?”

Mirathir scoffed. “Tyrannus is of no concern of mine for the moment. I have a handful of planets under my command that you could find useful. Their populations lie in the millions. Take whatever slaves you wish, their souls are yours. Pillage and destroy if that is your whim, I can always rebuild.”

“Tempting,” Xehia hissed, skeptical. “Who would you desire we fight in your stead?”

Mirathir calmly approached Xehia until they were face to face. “Who ever said you would fight in our stead? The mon—keigh and your craftworld cousins are now at each other’s throats. Now is the perfect time to strike and claim a large foothold for our empire. I would see the Imperium of mankind in the Hellas Sector devastated. And the Eldar, I will have to wait and observe their strategy.”

Xehia shook her head grimly. “Has my Archon made his decision?”

Imerlith grinned sharply. “Indeed I have. Xehia, I gift you with the Kabal of the Silent Veil. Make preparations for departure to the Hellas Sector and come back with bountiful spoils. I shall send you a list of enlisted allies soon. Dismissed.”
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.