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Age of Darkness [IC | Warhammer 30K]

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Lunas Legion
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Psychotic Dictatorship

Age of Darkness [IC | Warhammer 30K]

Postby Lunas Legion » Sat Jul 24, 2021 5:06 am



Tower of Hegemon, Imperial Palace
Terra, Sol
Segmentum Solar
673.000.M31


Constantin Valdor considered himself to be a dependable man. Not an honourable one, certainly not a good one, but dependable. Someone who would do what needed to be done, in the end, regardless of what needed to be done. Someone willing and able to make the hard decisions.

He had not wanted to make the decisions he had made, but he had made them. He had not wanted to be Imperial Regent, he had made sure that the War Council offered it to Malcador first, but Malcador had refused. He had reasons, yes, understandable, justifiable reasons, but they had not been sufficient. Not when the fate of Mankind and the Imperium were at stake. Collective rule would be possible in the short-term, but in the longer-term? It would lead to stagnation. Weakness. The Imperium would collapse as the cracks and indecisiveness at its very heart spread, eroding over time.

So he had done the unthinkable, and what he must, and taken control by more underhanded means. It did not leave him in an enviable position.

The Tower of Hegemon was the sole domain of the Custodes; Valdor did not need the grand strategium of the Bhab Bastion to formulate his thoughts, the simple projected map of the Galaxy he could find in the silence of the Tower of Hegemon, locations lighting up in tiny, labelled dots as he keyed them in.

Malcador had fled to the Yarant System, on the northern edge of Segmentum Solar, and declared him a traitor. Valdor had not expected Malcador to escalate; he was only doing this for the good of the Imperium, to ensure that it survived until the Emperor’s inevitable return, be that in a century or a hundred centuries, but no doubt Malcador thought the exact same. He would be rallying support, to attempt a decapitation strike against Terra itself, aiming to prevent this from spiralling out into a wider civil war.

Neither of them wanted that, and so ending this war quickly would be ideal. Malcador was closer to the frontiers, to the armies of the Great Crusade; forces would arrive to Yarant faster than to Terra. He would be able to strike long before Valdor was.

So only one option remained; to absorb Malcador’s assault at Terra, and deliver a backhand blow to secure a swift and decisive victory. Seeking a pitched battle would see him outnumbered and defeated.

Even then, there were other problems to handle. The Mechanicus had, of course, been untouched; Kelbor-Hal had not declared for either side, and although not ideal, it was an acceptable state of affairs to Valdor. An unfriendly Mechanicum was not something that he needed, and he trusted their self-interest to cause them to sit the conflict out. The Mechanicum would not back anyone but a certain victor, he felt, and that was satisfactory.

The freshly-named Warmaster, Aleksander Zorkastanov, had likewise not declared for either of them. Valdor did not know what He had been thinking when He made one of His sons the head of the Imperial military in His place, and indeed had disagreed with the entire project from the very beginning for this exact reason, the tendency of humans to grow prideful and arrogant. He expected the Warmaster to declare himself as Imperial Regent any day now, and to rally his siblings and their legions, and take His Imperium for themselves. Perhaps some few, who saw the larger picture, might side with him and not the Warmaster or even Malcador as unfortunate as that would be.

Praessian Corro, Primarch of the Imperial Lions, was on Terra, having been charged by the Emperor Himself with its protection. That he had not declared for Malcador immediately was a promising sign, but he would need to be persuaded into siding with him. The Custodes were few, even moreso with many of their number accompanying Him when He had vanished, but powerful. The Old Hundred and the Terran elements of Battlefleet Solar would provide additional forces, but a knife in the back from the Imperial Lions in any such battle would be a death sentence. Their loyalty would have to be obtained; destruction was not an option, as damaging to his forces as it would be, it would cripple them when Malcador’s forces attacked. Their loyalty, by contrast, would enable his backhand blow to destroy Malcador’s forces or rout them, and then drive on Yarant to end this in two decisive battles.

With luck, this would be ended by the end of the year, or the end of the next at the latest. The Warmaster would see sense, and bow rather than tear the Imperium in two after Malcador’s defeat, and the Imperium would be secured, awaiting the return of the Emperor. Whether that be in the next century, or a thousand centuries.




Yarant Grand Strategium
Yarant III, Yarant System
Segmentum Solar
674.000.M31


If Sol was the beating heart of Battlefleet Solar, then Yarant III was a limb. It was one of the largest naval anchorages of the Armada Imperialis in the Segmentum, and was a formidably fortified fortress world, having not only successfully defended itself from the Legions and Imperial Army during the Great Crusade, but forced them to abandon their first siege of the world entirely.

It was why Malcador, along with those of the War Council that supported him, had gathered there, winning the support of Yarant’s fleet and garrison, and marshalled what forces they could in the small amount of time they had. Other ships arrived every day, ships trickling in from nearby systems and sectors, hearing the summons of the Sigillite to muster. But of all the representatives of the forces that composed Malcador’s armada, Tykos Poio loomed above all of them. A Primarch could not simply fade into the crowd, even one who lacked the sense of presence, gravitas and grandeur that many of his siblings had like Tykos.

“Even if we have the forces to secure orbital superiority, it’s debatable if we have enough to force a ground assault-” Haldane Malon, one of the two Lord Commanders Militant of the Imperial Army and the only one loyal to Malcador, argued. “Even with the Liberators’ expertise in orbit-to-ground assaults, we lack the follow-up forces. We should await the arrival of more of Lord Poio’s legion, House Malinax and Legios Vulturum and Kydianos.”

Tykos could understand the Lord Commander’s logic, but it went against every instinct he had. “If we wait for additional forces, Valdor will have had more time to consolidate his position, more time to root out the assassins, more time to find allies for his mistaken cause.” He argued back. “If my brother sides with us-”

“If.” The Sigilite’s one softly-spoken word made even a Primarch fall silent. “To rely on ifs in war is a fundamental mistake, Tykos. If Praessian sides with us, this is over, yes. But he has not, because he has not acted sooner.”

“But-” Malcador continued, Tykos falling silent rather than interrupting Malcador. “Your analysis is, fundamentally, correct, if for the wrong reasons. We must strike sooner than later, for every day we wait, the Imperium tears itself apart a little more, a few more cracks wider towards becoming irreparable. We will not await the arrival of more Liberators, more forces from Xana II, or more forces of the Solar Auxilia and Imperial Army. Even if we cannot invade Terra itself, achievement of control of the Sol System means Valdor’s defeat will only be a matter of time, and demonstrate the futility of his cause to the Galaxy at large. Success will achieve a quick and decisive victory; if defeated, we will regroup with fresh forces arriving as Liberators and forces from Xana arrive to reinforce what we have.”

“This war will be ended by the end of next year, at the latest, if all is according to plan.”
Last edited by William Slim Wed Dec 14 1970 10:35 pm, edited 35 times in total.

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Prusslandia
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Father Knows Best State

Postby Prusslandia » Sat Jul 24, 2021 9:12 am

Virivia
REDACTED

The stars sang in the void. They twinkled and shone, light endlessly bounding to touch all it could reach, a warm and pure embrace amidst the cold of space. It brought life and civilization in its wake, But wherever there is light, there must be a shadow; Pits of nothing, of dank shadow and creeping darkness. Where the Immaterium tangled and roiled, where blood was spilt and abominations rested, where dishonor and discord seeded and took root.

Deep within the maze of the Halo Stars, there sat such a place. Unrecorded and hidden, A quiet and cold system, The cold light of a dying star illuminating the cracked remnants of what once were planets, now a jagged field of debris and dust. To the unknowing observer, only that destruction could be seen, could be recognized; For what could possibly live in such a wasteland? But to the knowing eye, to those who truly looked, the shadows were not still. Plasma batteries sat obscured beneath steel and stone, as obsidian vessels flitted toward the greatest of the cracked planetoids. Minefields rested in great swarms, weapons of cleansing and destruction. As one delved deeper through the ruinous maze, the defenses became thicker and greater; Hidden batteries became thickly reinforced bunkers, bearing naval guns the size of a hab. Vessels could be seen now, cutters dully reflecting what little starlight reached them as they sped and swam in great masses, artfully avoiding one another as they came and went. Further still and we come now upon a great fortress, of gleaming black metal and sprawling defenses. Here sat the true guardians of this hollow; Great battleships, a hibernating flock of sinister wrath.

And now, we come upon that great pit itself; Virivia. It had once been a world, whole but not necessarily pure; Foul rites and benedictions had taken place for centuries there, as worm-fleshed warlords and demagogues warred for dominance. A game between psychopaths, monsters, eternally waged. This changed when the King arose, when XX became Lucretian Karath. When the Gentle Lord employed his ministrations in crafting a weapon, a vessel for his cruel intent, a creature of lies and shadow. Atrocities unrecorded and forever unnamed had occurred there, on those basalt sands. Honeyed lies had ensnared the minds of many, and the Hunger had been satiated, the dagger bleeding with mirth.

Then HE came. HE saved Lucretian, and in the wake of salvation had wrought purification, had cracked worlds and erased them from history. A new beginning.

Within the dark halls of once illustrious Virivia, the Host awaited their King. In the wake of HIS disappearance, Lucretian had gone mad. He had been within the hulking, bloated sensorium at the heart of the facility, below the manufactoria and myriad defenses; Only the Vaults of Sin rested beneath it. Hundreds of vox displays and information feeds were hosted within, vomiting forth raw data collected from both the Host and their tools within the Administratum itself. He had been observing them, primarch mind gorging itself on it all as he formulated and plotted.

It appeared once, and he had dismissed it. Twice, and he began to… investigate. The Astartes within stood silently, stoically as the Primarch began to whisperingly mutter, ever so slightly swaying on his feet. The mutters increased but yet they stood; They knew only to interrupt Lucretian if it were a dire matter. By the time they realized what had occurred, it was already too late. He had begun to scream.

Not the cry of a babe, plaintive and weak. Nor that of a great warrior, filled with vengeful rage. No. This was not even a scream but an animalistic, pain-filled cry. Of sorrow and rage and weeping, mind-breaking madness. It became a wheezing laugh at times before breaking into a growling, hissing moan. His words became unintelligible, slipping from Low to High Gothic, and then to an altogether foreign dialect; It grated and wrought upon the ear, like ground glass shoved within. The room began to grow so very dark; Candles guttered as the pict-viewers began to blink and distort, shadows lengthening and deepening, soaking in the light. Frost lined graven skulls and soaring eagles, and for a dread moment he sat, talon-like nails gouging into the throne of the Sensorium as he silently shook.

One of the Astartes stepped back, and the Midnight King looked upon them. They made as if to speak, to dissuade the fears of their King, but it was already too late; Like lightning he moved, the dagger gleaming and cutting, carving through ceramite and flesh like paper; The second made move to fire, and thus made his last mistake; Hateful Light spat death, and the flash-boiled remnants of transhuman flesh were all that remained.

With shaking hands the King brought the sensorium into siege-mode, thick boat doors slamming down as he struggled to retain his sanity. He stumbled and swayed to the front of the room, and sweating, crimson hands grasped a great silken sheet, pulling it down onto the floor and exposing the great golden statue beneath, stern gaze digging through dark armor and pale flesh to pierce the tattered remnants of flame within Lucretian.

With a heaving sob, Lucretian kneeled before the statue. Bloody hands pressed upon gold in seeming supplication, begging phrases and imploring cries met with the deafening silence of absent purpose.

He does not know how long he sat there, pleading, begging for HIM to return. How long he spent in fractured madness, how long he wrent the sensorium and painted eye-burning sigils upon the walls in desperate attempts at repayed salvation. How long he simply screamed, throat hoarse and exuding bloody-bile as he clawed at his own eyes in raw disbelief.

Then, he looked upon HIM, and he understood what he must do.

He would bring HIM back. He would return The Light. He would fix this.

He rose, lucid and wholly in control once more; His mind had already begun formulating plans, analyzing information and selecting response measures. With clicks of his vox he began to issue orders as he strode to the center of the Strategium; Cogitators hummed as Houses prepared themselves, bouncing through myriad layers of security and encryption. They would further trickle down to active Hands themselves, as their brethren prepared themselves. Code-phrases issued out, fires lit and secretive signals given. The Sigilite would have to be dealt with; A simple man could not be trusted with such power as HIS; While Valdor could not possibly replace the Light, he could not and would not betray HIM. He could not reveal his support of the Regent openly, but to monitor for and root out agents and supporters of the Sigilite ? This would be done. He smiled, milky eyes shining with the joy of madness, as he knew it would not matter ultimately. The Imperium would be ripped asunder once things were ready.


In Strife the Light came, and in Strife it will return.
Last edited by Prusslandia on Sat Jul 24, 2021 10:18 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Audunia
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Audunia » Sat Jul 24, 2021 5:46 pm

Dynastos, Flagship of Heraklus
Ceranus Memnos


His blade clashed furiously against his foe’s, the shock digging his unarmoured feet into the dusty earthen ground as he braced for it. A quick following blow was deflected before he was on the move again, rolling smoothly beneath his foe’s arching blade that would have left a nasty gash if he had been slightly slower. He had already gotten to his feet before he had ended his momentum, using it to pivot around to strike at his foe’s exposed back.

He licked his lips as he thrust his blade forwards, his bionic arm whirring wildly as the sharpened blade split through the air, he could almost picture his victory and the glory that would attach to his name for it. His hopeful dreaming was interrupted by his foe’s blinding speed, the clatter of blades ripping him back into reality as his fantasy shattered. A grin from his foe preceding a shove, sending Ceranus stumbling back, fighting to regain his footing. His foe was relentless, pressing the attack. Strike after strike came, hurried parries and lithe dodging was all Ceranus could offer in return as his foe refused to let him rest and reorganise.

There was no room for playing dirty, such a concept created such a foul sensation within Ceranus that he found it impossible to tolerate for long, so all he could do was to withstand this punishment for a while. It wouldn’t take long, as his parries quickly turned into counter-attacks. He saw off a strike aimed for his head, bringing the blade down in a single motion, missing his foe by a mere breath of a distance, his choler rose in annoyance. He had suspected that his aim had taken a turn for the worse following his surgery, something with the bionic grafts had not taken root successfully yet. He made a note to visit Apothecary Tyrtaios after this bout to have them fully tested.

The two fighters separated following yet another defended blow, circling each other like vultures around their prey as they continued to size each other up. He was fast, that Ceranus could not deny, faster than even him, his foe’s attacks came as a blinding barrage that stunted any of Ceranus’ attempts to break through. Though this speed came at a price, his attacks weren’t nearly as strong, not once had Ceranus struggled to maintain the grip on his blade or been knocked off balance by it. There was nothing shameful about it, of course, even a weak Astartes could still tear a mortal apart with ease.

It was during this prodding that Ceranus had become fully aware of the crowd that viewed them, seated throughout the ampitheatre. All unarmoured, dressed only in robes of purple and white, laughing and chatting as they watched the latest bout of the Karneiaic. At the head of the ampitheatre sat the most important watcher of any Karneiac that Ceranus had ever fought, his Primarch. Heraklus Hamartia. He sat amongst a beautifully decorated box, marbled and etched with designs that had never seen true sunlight, while the Primarch himself seemed to almost be made of the same material as his box, sculpted from the marble by the most masterful hands of any artist, the Emperor, Master of Mankind. To stand in his gene-father’s radiance was intoxicating, and to fight the Karnaeic in his presence? He lacked the words to describe the euphoria of the experience. Yet, there remained a tangible feeling of dread in this most honourable of tasks, that he might be defeated or worse, bore his Primarch with his duel.

Ceranus risked a glance, to gauge his father’s interest in the duel, and found him in conversation with the most noble of Sons, Seleukos Nikator and Antaeus Olbian, half of his Companions that formed his innermost circle. One could only know what these honourable men spoke of, yet Ceranus felt annoyance at them, for distracting their master from his duel.

The fight began again in earnest, Ceranus striking hard and clashing loudly against his foe’s blade, the crash of the metal resounding through the ampitheatre and raising a chorus of cheers. On and on Ceranus began to land blows with increasing intensity, bottling his foe up and keeping the outrageous speed in check.

He could see the panic in his foe’s eyes as the battle turned swiftly against him, even when he lashed out it was defensive and the offence quickly countered. Ceranus began to feel the sanguine feeling all warriors felt when they realised victory would be their’s, the honour fueling his muscles as they began to tire. It was remarkable to watch Astartes fight, their blows struck multiple times a second and with such speed that a mortal would lack the comprehension to fully understand in whose favour the battle had titled.

Cenranus could see his foe’s defensive style clearer now, it was held low and he became more withdrawn, each parry performed with the precise movements of an automaton. The issue was it was basic, and Ceranus had fought many duels to locate the flaws in his defense.

He launched a right strike, his foe’s blade ractively raising to meet it when suddenly Ceranus dropped it, hooking the blade cleanly behind his foe’s and yanked it free of his grasp, sending it clattering to the dusty earth on which they fought. At first there were no cheers for his win, Ceranus’s blade levelled towards his foe’s throat, defiance was still raging within them and frustration painted his face as he lacked the means to act. A grin crept across Ceranus’ face at this sight.

“Are we sanguine?” he asked, tilting the blade with his words. The silence was deafening, he saw his foe’s hands flex into and out of fists.

“We are sanguine” he replied, his head sinking as the defeat dawned on him. Cheers ripped through the ampitheatre, applause resounding that sent a rush to Ceranus’ head. Never had a Karneiaic been so honourable, so rewarding for him and in front of such a crowd.

The honour was palpable in the air. He looked towards his Primarch and saw whatever conversation they were engaged in had ended, Heraklus’ eyes fixed firmly upon him. The sensation was new, he felt as though his feet had become rooted to the spot as those eyes bore into him, digging through his being to find any fault in him.

He dared to believe this would never end, the sound of his heartbeats in his ears were the only things that reminded him of the passage of time. After what felt like an eternity of waiting and inspection, Heraklus rose to his feet, adding his applause to the chorus, Seleukos and Anteaus joining dutifully in. Heraklus raised his hands, the crowd falling to silence almost immediately.

“A noble fight, my Sons” Heraklus speaks after the silence has settled over them, his voice clear and tightly controlled, authority rang with every carefully phrased syllable “For which reason were you forced to Karneiaic?”

The two men were silent, Heraklus’ engagement with the duellists was typically not something that happened openly, rather held in private. Ceranus felt his confusion stunt his tongue, was he being honoured to be engaged so openly or dishonoured by the same act, and refused the respect a Karneiaic victor deserved.

“Have my Sons without tongues?” Heraklus said again, a small smile appeared on Anteaus’ face, while Seleukos held suspicion in his eyes.

“No, no, my Lord” his foe stammered out, falling to his knees and bowing his head, Ceranus following the move swiftly, a jolt running up his knees from the impact.

“Then enlighten me as to the reason for this Karneiaic” Heraklus repeated, his words falling stern.

“Slighted honour, Lord” Ceranus responded dutifully “My foe, Astinos, slighted me with accusations. He claimed my valour at Ullanor was not earned, but rather luck”. A small round of gasps ran through the crowd, such an accusation was not something to be taken lightly, death was the common response for such a slight. Heraklus remained unperturbed by this accusation, nodding his head slowly.

“I congratulate you on your mercy, Ceranus, other men would have put their foes to death for such a slight” Heraklus stated, his tone matter-of-fact “You are of the Secenth Lochos, are you not?” His words may have been a question, but his tone did not imply it was a question in any form.

Ceranus felt a thrill run through his veins, the rush of his own Primarch noticing him and knowing his name. He doubted such knowledge might escape the vast intellect of his Primarch, perfect in every form, yet the rush remained in spite of himself. He nodded in reply.

“Indeed I am, Lord”

“One of Lysimachus’ warriors. You do him a great service in this display. I ask that you now do a service for me” Heraklus said, Ceranus’s head raised from the floor to look upon his lord.

“I am your servant, Lord” Ceranus replied dutifully, fighting to contain the joy at such a request.

“Not my servant, Ceranus, you are one of my Sons” Heraklus said “As are all those within this Legion. I ask that you send for Lysimachus, inform him that I have need of him” Ceranus rose to his feet, as did Astinos, both bowing to their Lord.

“Of course, I shall find him at once” Ceranus replied, watching Heraklus take his seat once again, reclining comfortably into it.

“See that you do”

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Wysten
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Founded: Apr 29, 2017
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Wysten » Sat Jul 24, 2021 11:38 pm

“The Rumblings of War”
Primarch Abu Rayhan al-Biruni
Golden Plains, Hashimite
Three Months After Ullanor

The plains of Hashimite waved as the winds beat against them like a ship at sea. Abu Rayhan al-Biruni stood atop his genetically modified horse, it’s chestnut skin stood in stark contrast to the Primarch’s jet black robes. His grim face looked out over the plains, falconry glove in hand. Beside him stood the four commanders of his four armies, jovial Abu-Bakr, stone-faced Umar ibn-Khattab, constantly scowling Yazid, and the bearded soft face of Al-Mansur all in the dark black power armor. The only signifier of their rank being the Hashimite runes of their right pauldrons. Rayhan stared ahead giving only the rare glance to the sides to see his falcon dive and fly around. Grateful for the rare moments of freedom it seemed almost on another planet compared to the moods of its master below. Rayhan would finally break the eternal silence with a sigh before turning him and his horse to the four commanders. Rayhan’s dark brown eyes stared into each one of his gene-sonss’ as he spoke, “What will happen in these next few precious months will either see the Great Work continued or see everything He built turned to rubble. The Captain-General and Sigilite are both fools however to predict an easy victory over the other. I will not lie to you my sons for you see the future perhaps better than my sister, this war will not be won by the end of this year or even the next. It will be an attritional one, one decided not by the courage of single actors but through the constant sacrifice of blood, steel, and ceremite to this new god our Imperium has created to fill the void He left behind.” Rayhan kept his gaze steady at his sons’ before dismounting, his towering figure somewhat lessening as he got off the massive chestnut-coated horse. Walking forward until he was just a few paces from his four most trusted of his seemingly countless sons Rayhan looked out towards the fields of his homeworld. His eyes seemed to reflect a shade of sadness before turning ice cold.

“What do you advise I do?” He said turning back to the four.

Khattab spoke first, his voice came out somewhat grated due to cybernetics replacing parts of his throat. “We begin mobilization, my Lord. Even if we are to conduct basic offensives our numbers sit at a miserly 25 million which will not be able to sustain itself if we are to take any important centers of gravity. I propose that we up our total forces to 50 million with another 25 million acting as reserves.”

Rayhan nodded as he looked over the other three as Al-Mansur spoke as well. “I say we begin courting favor with the Forge Masters of Graia sire, not only does it guarantee us one of the largest forges in the Iron Belt and an entire Titan Legio. It is the closest Forge World to your sister’s homeworld of Aldatia should she choose to side against us, which brings me to the question my brothers have been needing to ask. Who are we to side with sire?”

The entire mood then took a tense tone as Rayhan nodded, “An important question indeed,” He responded as he clasped his hands behind his back walking towards the field, and gave a deep breath before responding. “We will stand with Valdor. I know you would follow me into Ullanor alone if I so much gave the word but I would be amiss not to explain. What the Imperium needs now is a strong central figure to rally itself around. Malcador is not that figure, his more unnoticeable qualities will not be enough to stop His Great Work from falling apart.”

The four commanders nodded as al-Bakr spoke up as well, “If that is the case then we must contact Lady Vasilia. Our Legions might as well be as one given the ties both halves towards each other.”

Finally, Yazid spoke as he stepped forward, “Sire I request that I and my brother Al-Mansur lead the offensive against the Forge Worlds with Al-Bakr and Al-Mansur acting in reserve as they receive the brunt of the reserves in which they can exploit any major openings in the line we can.”

The space marine then stepped back in line as finally, Rayhan turned around back to his sons. “All of your requests have been granted, I already have Auxilla tithes raised and sent to all of the 500 worlds. Al-Mansur you will lead your armies to Garia and establish ties with Garia and begin operations against Valia-Maximal only after they begin their own war against Garia. Yazid you will also work with Al-Mansur in securing the Iron Belt by securing the forges of Arachnus. They have wanted independence from both sides for ages and will no doubt take this opportunity to take it.” Rayhan finally turned to al-Bakr and Khattab. “You two will begin collecting your forces here and acting in reserve for both your brothers and I will personally see to my sister. No doubt she has her own machinations for this but we will just have to see.” Rayhan finally mounted his horse as his falcon finally swooped down and mounted on his shoulder seemingly like a dove on a giant statue. “There is much work to be done, in history there minutes that make decades and decades that make minutes, and my sons. These minutes will make a millennium.”
Last edited by Wysten on Sat Jul 24, 2021 11:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Europa Undivided
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Europa Undivided » Sat Jul 24, 2021 11:58 pm

Arkadij Dreyksyn
The skies above the Zapozhian Steppes


The white clouds were thick and the skies as blue as the seas below. The yellow star around which Zapozhia orbited rose high and proud over the skies. Truly, one could think that this was a scene from the past, a time when Holy Terra was still the lush world of seas filled with fish and lands of abundance. But it wasn't. Anyone could tell this was so, as a pair of great elder dragons flew, their vast wings keeping them afloat. On their backs were warriors of great renown, Space Marines of the Grey Dragons Legion. Both of them wielded spears, green blades tempered by the flames of the greatest artificiers and forgefathers of their number. They wore grey armor, as did all of their brothers. But for this occasion, they had mere lances of hardwood. They weren't meant to harm one another, after all.

Not too far away, their Primarch watched. Arkadij Dreyksyn, wielding his own powerspear, the Sunpiercer. Unlike his genesons, however, he did not have armor on; he had left it in his chambers in one of the many fortress monasteries that his legion maintained on the single continent that this world had. He didn't see it fit to use it when the matter he was attending was merely a friendly joust between two of his greatest captains, Chornovil and Dobroshtan. Both of them came from the steppe tribes of Zapozhia Primus, and their culture of having these duels had carried over once they and the others were inducted into the Grey Dragons as battle brothers, and then through circumstance and feats of bravery, had ascended into the rank of captain.

They charged each other, lances bared. Their dragons, armored from head to toe, slamming unto each other as both of the lances shattered upon impacting against ceramite armor. Dobrushtan, the one with a fabulous red feather on top of his helmet, was nearly pushed off the armored drake, but his brother Chornovil took hold of him and prevented his 500 feet fall.

"It is good to see that none of you decided to cheat your way to victory this time." Arkadij chuckled. "Not like the last thirty or so times."

"You have taught us well, Father." Dobrushtan answered. "You have guided our Legion to our current place..."

"I hope that we remain steadfast." Chornovil said in turn.

Arkadij shrugged, and motioned for the three of them to make planetfall through pointing the tip of his spear downward. "I have faith in you, my sons."




It's been quite some time since the Emperor's disappearance. Arkadij looked up to Him as a father, as he himself didn't have one when he was yet to be found. He had lived under the care of a great elder dragoness, and then a human woman, who still lives, albeit no longer as powerful as she once was. Arkadij appreciated that they had both cared for him, but something was missing. There was a void in his heart, one that was filled by the Emperor stepping in a father, even if He was less than ideal, given the circumstances.

Now, the Emperor was missing. The Captain-General and the Sigilite were trying to, in Arkadij's words, "hit each other in the face in an effort to prove that Father liked them more". He still couldn't choose. Side with the strong Regent, or the wise Sigilite? Arkadij respected both strength and wisdom, but he leaned closer to wisdom.

Then there was the matter of his brother, Aleks, being the Warmaster. He too hadn't declared his loyalties, perhaps because he was supposed to be loyal to the Emperor, not to His bodyguard or his greatest friend. But the Emperor has taken long. Things are going to chaos soon enough.

Arkadij sighed. He stepped out of his underground chambers, clad in his armor; a dark grey set of expertly made armor, made in the likeness of a dragon's scales. He marched off through the metal corridors, techpriests and serfs paying their respects as he passed by. Battlebrothers of the Serpent Riders would then accompany him once he got through the gate and out into the open field

A transport was waiting, while his draconic mount had gone off in a different transport. He was met by his mother, Khatarina. She was well into the years, but rejuvenative treatments made available by the Imperium's technology extends her life. For now.

"Mother." Arkadij bowed to her. Even if he was demigod-like being forged by the galaxy's most powerful psyker, he was still human that had affection for the one that had raised him through all of these years.

"My child, you're going, so soon?" Khatarina said to him. "You have been gone very long."

"The Emperor is missing and the Imperium is beginning to crack from its highest courts." Arkadij replied. "I must go."

"I understand." Khatarina nodded. She then clasped her adoptive son's hands, and turned away. A pair of Zapozhian Auxilia soldiers accompanied her to the great serpent that she rode across the vast steppes.

She would see the transport blast off into the skies and out to orbit, where the Grey Dragon's Legion fleet, taking a respite from all the campaigns, was waiting.

At that time, she wondered. Was this going to be last time she saw him?
Futurist ~ Reformed ~ RPer~ #WritingCommunity ~ Asian ~ Trad ~ Discord: Cegorach the Laughing God#7123
"FRESH AIR UPON MY SKIN IS LIKE THE FLENSING DAGGERS OF A THOUSAND THOUSAND MENIAL URCHINS GOING AT A SACK OF POTATOES. MY EXISTENCE IS FRAUGHT WITH FALLS AND POINTLESS ANGST IN THE MIDST OF THIS DISGUSTING REALITY. THE LIGHT BURNS! FOR I HAVE NEVER BEEN WORTHY TO WA-[bird noise]".

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United Islands of Polis
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby United Islands of Polis » Sun Jul 25, 2021 8:51 am

The Primarch Aleksandr Zorkastanov, XV Legion, Primordial Guard
Border of Segmentum Pacificus, Brachestea System, Perilous Overlook City, Brachestea


I gave them the chance to come peacefully, and they spat at us.

Aleksandr swung Exsolutus Actionis into another mech-suit. The magnetic amplification of the hammer's mechanisms crushed the hostile's armor, caving it in and ceasing its operations. Another mortal had tried his luck at the Primarch, somehow having gotten past the Vigil Confido, but then again, he was far ahead of them. He always prefers to lead from the front.

The autogun's rounds bounced off harmlessly as the shields flared. In an instant, Aleksandr swung the bladed side of his hammer; the man had gone limp instantly, his only guess being that the impact had killed him instead of the blade. Aleksandr switched on his vox emitter via the neural link of his armor. "Helios, you best catch up, they're getting braver by the minute."

"Afraid of a few fights now are we?" a response came back from his second in command.

"Of course not, but I don’t want to leave you from fighting honorable foes, now would I?” Aleksandr responded back.

”Fair enough, Lord Marshal, we will make haste.”

After a few minutes of slowing his pace, he finally saw members from his personal guard unit finally come up, vehicles and Astartes in terminator plate. The vehicles were rushing forward first, Landspeeders, Jetbikes, and Assault Bikes, acting as scouts, zooming ahead of the unit. Each rider gives a greeting in respect to their Primarch as they zoom by. Soon enough heavier vehicles and the rest of the Vigil Confido caught up and were now ready to move out.

Aleksandr motioned for his second in command, Grand Sentinel Helios Alistaire, who was already moving to his position as fast as he could in his Cataphractii plate. “Helios!” he yelled. “What do the scouts report?”

Soon reaching a respectable distance, Grand Sentinel Alistaire spoke up. “They say the rest of the way is clear for the most part, excluding a wave of civilians heading this way, in an attempt to flee from the battlefield. We may use the vehicles for this stretch of the battle, Lord Marshal.”

Aleksandr shrugged as he climbed up the side of the No Chance Left, a modified Mastodon used by the Primarch as a command vehicle. “We will mount up then. Comrades! Mount your vehicles, we are moving!”

Once inside and reaching a bulkhead where it was remodified to fit a proper forward command center, he could see on a holographic display all the units currently on the field, most notably a majority of the war engines fielded by the Legio Mortis. Their titans were being used as fire support assets, for the time being. Once they left the civilian and business sectors of the city, they would spearhead the attack on the executive block itself, which spans an entire mountain range.

The city Perilous Overlook is a hive city in its own right, however it would be registered as one of the weirder classifications, given it was a hive city, but horizontally built. The city itself covered over ⅓ of the total planetary surface, making it perfect for subjecting the last major holdout, and capital of the Brachestea Union to mechanized warfare, the way the Imperium makes it.

One Solar Week Earlier

The Primarch Aleksandr Zorkastanov, XV Legion, Primordial Guard
Border of Segmentum Pacificus, Brachestea System, The Phalanx, The Observatory


Aleksandr had sat across Brachestean diplomat, Saife Rynn, who was going over a document, one meant to integrate the Brachestean Union into the Imperium, peacefully and intact. It was a set template which was only modified slightly after analyzing important documents such as constitutions and the like.

“These are all very appeasing indeed, Warmaster Zorkastanov, however, we have a few concerns.” the diplomat began.

Aleksandr had adjusted his coat, deciding earlier to meet the final leg of integration in a civilized manner. “That being, Ambassador Bourne?”

Ambassador Rynn had placed the data slate down on the table. “The protection of the elite. Surely you will keep them in power?”

“Only if they follow the laws of the Imperium and the will of my father, the Emperor of Mankind.” Aleksandr responded back.

Ambassador Rynn took a deep, slightly shaky breath. “And would the title of Emperor be able to be passed down to others?”

Aleksandr raises an eyebrow. “No. What are you leading up to?”

“Well.” the ambassador continues. “Phuno Kalistenson wants to have a line up to the throne. It is a recently added request he has given.”

“System Governor, no more, no less.” Aleksandr drew the line.

“Shame. We could have ruled together. Nothing personal, Warmaster Zorkastanov.” Ambassador Rynn pulls out a weapon and begins to unload. The proto-laspistol model native to the Brachestea system began to unload blue bolt after blue bolt, only to have each shot be absorbed by the built in shield generator, strapped to Aleksandr’s back. Behind Ambassador Rynn, his entourage and escort were cut down mercilessly, and quickly. He soon saw he was the only one left alive.

Aleksandr was a mixture of morose and rage. Over three weeks worth of work had gone to waste in an instant. It simply could have been talked out. Taking a deep breath, he spoke again, containing his rage. The Emperor was missing, and now a plan goes terribly wrong. “Ambassador Rynn. You and your people are no longer welcomed guests abort the Phalanx.”

In an instant, Aleksandr grabbed a nearby chair and flung it at great speed towards the ambassador. The chair impacted with a sickening crack, undefinable whether the crack had originated from the chair or the bones of the ambassador. To make sure, he also put two shots into the ambassador using Last Recourse.

In the distant hallways, lasguns and bolters could be heard being discharged as the internal defenses of the Phalanx began to turn on their unwelcome guests. Soon enough, all the remaining survivors were able to reach their shuttle in the Disembarkation Deck, however before they could even get to the shuttle, the entire deck was cleared and vented, leaving the vile backstabbing party to the mercy of the void.

Present Time
Brachestea System, Perilous Overlook City, Administrative Region, Brachestea


The mass armored assault had stopped temporarily. What lay ahead of them was a large defensive position. The valley of dirt and steel had been the perfect place to hold a defensive stand, with the proper equipment anyway. It was a mix of both defensive positions and traps, meant to stop, or in this case, delay an assault.

Aleksandr did not have the time to wait.

Pressing on a vox emitter, he switched the channels to the one used by Legio Mortis. “Princeps Turnet, you may begin your assault. Legio Mortis will lead this phase of the assault, with the rest of the elements to follow directly behind your legio in support. Level everything but the mountain range.”

The mighty titans of Legio Mortis took off as fast as possible, keeping a neat battle line as they marched into the battle. It was hard to control Legio Mortis, Aleksandr had to admit. They were rather bloodthirsty, which did not merge well with the preservation of property and life. However he did strike up a middle ground with them. Everytime a compliance mission required martial means to bring them in, there would be zones where their titans were free to do whatever they pleased, such as the valley in front of them.

Great plumes of smoke and flashes of light erupted soon enough, the order to advance was given eventually, following behind the titans to clean up whatever is left, eliminate stragglers who may present a threat, or to take out targets the titans could not target.

The titans could not move very fast, however progress was progress. Legio Mortis got their share of destruction, and the rest of the Primordial Guards got an easy path. The vengeance of each legionnaire was not meant for the populace, nor the common soldiery of the enemy, but was deserved by those who orchestrated such a backhanded attempt at usurping the Imperium.

Eventually, the titans had stopped moving and firing as they faced the mountain range proper. Legionnaires began to dismount, and the most powerful weapons of Legio Mortis powered down in exchange for less destructive weapons in order to support the push. Luckily the earlier bombardment from the Phalanx and the other Battle Barges took care of the majority of the resistance on the Administrative Region, however there were still holdouts to deal with. The 1st Zachitnik Glava would make for the large structure where the traitorous wretch was holed up in, accompanied by the 4th and 8th Zachitnik Glavas would encircle the main sector, while the rest of the forces currently present in the Perilous Outlook City would deal with the remaining stragglers.

It did not take long however to reach this place. Almost nothing and no one stood in the way except for debris and broken infrastructure. It would take years to rebuild this, even with the caution taken by Aleksandr. However this did not happen to all the worlds in the Brachestean Union. Many did defect immediately to the Imperium, however some still required some intimidation to flip sides. It was not a total loss.

Aleksandr eventually disembarked from his personal Mastodon. In the square, they were greeted with gun emplacement fire and anti-armor fire. Some of which seemed to work, but not at the rate required to stop this assault.

Running right into the frey, he was a blur to the eyes of a mortal, appearing right in front of them, or seemingly failing to understand what happened to them. He first swept a tank aside with his hammer, denting the impact point, and sending it tumbling, putting it out of service. Slamming the bottom end of the shaft of his weapon, he sent a gun emplacement crew flying, mopping them up with the internal bolter of Multitool, and then destroying the gun itself with the powerfist.

The assault was quick, their flanks failed, and now the only defenders left were on the steps to the main building, with pillars and buttresses that seemed to span all the way into the sky. Those outside were more of a Gendarmerie or an Arbites force, they were poorly armed, to fight Astartes anyway. It was short work.

“Helios, gather three Strazh Yedinitsa from the Ostriye Tolchok and then follow me inside.” Aleksandr ordered. “Comrades! Excellent job! Secure the perimeter, none of these wretches leave this place alive without my say!”

Aleksandr lifts Exsolutus Actionis and brings it down on the door, causing it to break from its hinges and fall, as a panic from the otherside rings out, and bolter fire suppressing them. The inside looked grand, almost on par with the Imperial Palace.

Almost

“Kalistenson! Surrender yourself! This is your last chance to talk this out! There’s no more need for bloodshed!”

The answer came back from the shadows, but not from who Aleksandr wanted. “You’re not getting close to him, this is your last chance to surrender, mutant!”

Aleksandr turned on his thermal imaging unit on his armor and saw figures, both in powered armor and not, hiding behind the pillars and buttresses. It was hopeless, they would die before surrendering, this must have been Kalistenson’s last remaining loyal dogs.

“So be it.” Aleksandr slammed the bottom of the shaft of his hammer on the ground, pulling a large majority of the defenders from their positions, dragging them in front of Aleksandr, in a swift motion, activated the power claws in Multitool and cut those in front of him. The rest of the Ostriye Tolchok members present began to clear out the ones left alive.

“Gentlemen, the remaining defenders will not surrender. Burn them out if you have to. Kalistenson is mine.” The Primarch stormed off into the main hall and its connecting hallways. The sounds of assault cannons and heavy flamers echoed about as it clouded the screams of the last defenders.

Kicking down another door, he entered what seemed to be a meeting room. One with high tables for an uneven amount of people. However what was more important was that he saw the wretch, the man who threw away an opportunity to join the Imperium.

As Kalistenson tried to make a run for a secret tunnel, Aleksandr had grabbed the man with a magnetic field from Exsolutus Actionis, and brought him closer to the Primarch, then slamming the shaft down, knocking the rest of his guards down. “Why throw away a chance at unity with mankind?”

The man struggles to look at the Primarch. “Power, dear boy. You were going to depose all who opposed your pathetic Imperium. There’s no gain for us!”

“It is only natural, how else will the Imperium grow a foothold and loyalty? I gave you a chance before, now live with the consequences.” Aleksandr tightened the grip on the shaft of his hammer and squashed the man, a splash of red and the sound of bones cracking, eternally ingrained into the minds of his guards as they watched their ward die.

“Who is next in line?” Aleksandr demanded.

A figure walked from the group of guards. “I-I am, sir.”

“There’s no more need for bloodshed, order the surrender, sir.” Aleksandr replied back, calmer and with respect.


Border of Segmentum Pacificus, Brachestea System, The Phalanx, The Observatory

A table was set to host the Conference of Sentinels once again. It was a debriefing for them and other matters were touched on, all pertaining to the events that had transpired. The remaining 17 planets had already announced surrender, with elements of the XVth Legion already moving to disarm them, alongside their Imperial Army escorts. Rebuilding efforts were well on their way, starting first with the capital, agri-worlds, and industry worlds on the focus of rebuilding, with civilized and hive worlds being the main focus for medical missions. Both the Operatory Vosstanovleniya and Starthilfe would have their hands full for a while, however it had already been agreed upon that proper Imperial bodies would see its completion first.

Grand Sentinel Helios Alistaire had, at this point, received a transmission from Communications. He grabbed the transcript from the Auric Auxilia member, snapping a sign of the Aquila before leaving. “Lord Marshal before we end, we have received a transmission from Guardian Captain Mangjeol.”

Aleksandr opened the transcript, reading it quickly, and then bringing both his hands to his face, sighing. “Comrades. As we know, the Emperor is missing, however not dead as the Astronomican still shines. However, Malcador the Sigillite, and Captain-General Constantin Valdor has raised a faction of their own.”

“A political party, Lord Marshal?” A Grand Sentinel asks.

Aleksandr snickers bitterly at the remark. “How I wish it was, a civil war is on the horizon it seems.”

“Are we to side with anyone?”

“We must wait for the arrival of the Emperor.”

“Does the position of Warmaster allow you to grant Martial Law?”

More and more comments flung across the room. It was good and bad, it meant they were still as sharp as ever, but also meant the situation was confusing. Aleksandr raised a hand as the chatter died down. “Gentlemen, we join the side of the Imperium. We took an oath, all of us took it, our loyalty lies with the flag, the Emperor, and then our homes. Rest assured we will first determine what the situation has developed into. We require information.”

“There’s a bigger picture here, yes. But what of the Mechanicus? Are they picking a side?” a Grand Sentinel speaks up.

“As far as we know, no. However this does bring up a good point. Legio Mortis may be recalled in this event to defend Mars. We must talk to both sides if possible. We must reconcile them, find out what is wrong, and make peace. If we must pick a side, we need more information. But we must keep the Imperium from falling apart, whether by peaceful means, or by force.” Aleksandr states plainly.

Aleksandr waves over a member of the Auric Auxilia. “Tell Admiral Zubarev to move the fleet as soon as possible. Anywhere close to Segmentum Solar, but not inside of Segmentum Solar. And one more thing Comrades, none of this comes out of this room, not yet. This meeting is adjourned, thank you for your time.”

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Audunia
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Founded: Jun 29, 2020
Democratic Socialists

Postby Audunia » Sun Jul 25, 2021 10:38 am

Dynastos, Flagship of Heraklus
Heraklus Hamartia


The Companions gathered within the Inner Sanctum, a circular room kept well lit by flickering flames, decorated with carved stone patterns reminiscent of those from Achaena, reliefs depicting the important events of the Legion. The start of the Crusade, the Unification with the Primarch, the Defiance of Gulthor, and most recently, the Ullanor Crusade. Purified Ork skulls dangled from chains above their heads from that campaign. Heraklus liked to reflect on the glory of that war when he looked upon the scrubbed skulls, how it was warfare in its purest form. Fighting side by side with the Emperor, displaying the full might of his military genius and the unbeatable strength and honour of his sons. A smile briefly appeared on his lips at the memory.

The sound of a great door opening and closing with a satisfying boom took him from his reminiscence, seeing Lysimachus entering. He offered a brief bow with his hooded head, the hood split down the centre by white and purple. Heraklus nodded and waved him over, his eyes falling over his sons as he inspected them.

There was Anteaus, capable and loyal, an almost instinctive connection between the two had him wordlessly completing whatever it was Heraklus needed of him, be it in war or politics. His face suited him, square-jawed and rigidly controlled, his blonde hair pulled back by a leather band. By his side stood Kassander, a sanguine warrior whose demeanour obscured his ruthless personality, never had there been a Son more obsessed with the total destruction of his foes, obliterating them without a thought wheneve Heraklus let him off the leash. His grey eyes seemed to always be moving, eternally vigilant for potential foes, while he kept his hair cropped close to his skull. By him stood Seleukos, permanently scowling with hawkish eyes that betrayed nothing of his thoughts or emotions, a man perfect to be Heraklus’ spymaster. Any and all information that had been intended for secrecy he would find out, quite the antithesis to the character of the Sons of the Achean, from his underhanded tactics to his pitch black hair, yet he was the most dependable of all the Companions. Ptolemaios was next, his intelligence stood second to none amongst the Astartes, it was a wealth that Heraklus did not hesitate to utilise whenever he required a second opinion or forced to tolerate the ever intruding and esoteric nature of the Mechanicum, he seemed to be one of the few souls, other than Heraklus himself, who the Mechanicum took heed from. His physical appearance suited this task, as an ugly mesh of metallic skull replacement occupied his face following the campaign against a particularly carnaptious foe. Last of all, and the most recently arrived, was Lysimachus. Proud Lysimachus, noble Lysimachus. Heraklus had taken a shine to him during a period of rest following the conquest of Anthallax, he appeared to possess a humanity that his other officers lacked and a true concern for the well-being of his soldiers, not to mention he was an exceptionally capable officer.

His Companions, the most important Astartes of the Legion, and he truly loved them as his sons. He could not help but feel a loathing to expend their lives in forlorn situations, yet honour demanded that they volunteer first. It was a testament that they always returned to him, while their feather’s showed recognition of this fact.

In the corner of the Inner Sanctum, a small dais stood. It was unimpressive compared to the rest of the room, dark wood that blended with the shadows, decorated in a simple display of feathered etchings, while a lectern stood within it, an ever changing globe stood on the top, illuminating the pages. Occupying it was Empsykhos Labda, his Chief Librarian and one of the more offputting individuals of the Legion. As Chief Librarian, he was afforded the right to sit in with Companion gatherings, and he often did, though he kept himself reserved, speaking rarely yet wisely, content instead to merely take notes of whatever discussion necessitated the Companions to gather. He kept his head covered, a brilliant white hood with a golden trim along its edge.

The Companions gathered themselves around a central table, its wood dark like the dais and just as unblemished by decoration, its understated design making it stand out amongst the room of excess. At the head if the table sat Heraklus, his chair more akin to a throne, carved from marble and golden inlaid patterns swirled along its edges, meandering into symbols recognisable only to those from Acheana, while the chairs of his Companions were lavish wooden chairs, though reinforced to sustain the immense bulk of the Astartes build.

They sat in silence for a moment, till Heraklus reached out from under his robe, placing a bronze knife upon the table, uncharacterisically primitive in design, a jagged knife edge that glinted with the ever moving flame braziers that illuminated the room. The Comapanions followed suit, each placing a bronze knife upon the table and moving it away from them, while from the corner a clatter was heard as Empsykhos let his wood stave fall to the floor. None of them reacted top this noise.

Heraklus rose from his chair, smiling, and bent his arms out in front of him, palms facing the ceiling. “My favoured Sons” he said at last, his Companions nodding their heads in thanks “I believe that there is much to be spoken of, Seleukos, if you would begin the discussion” he added, returning the his seat, taking a metal goblet from a servitor that stood by him. The brain-dead servitors were the only non-Astartes permitted within the walls of the Inner Sanctum, their lobotmoised brains were incapable of recording or recalling anything that occurred within these walls.

Seleukos rose from his seat, offering a quick bow in the direction of Heraklus before he spoke “You are correct, Autokrator, a worrying development has occurred within the Imperium”

“Do you refer to the Emperor’s disappearance?” Ptolemaios interupted “As I believe we are all aware of that already” a small chuckle arose from the Companions, while Seleukos’ hawkish eyes glared.

“The Sigillite has fled Terra” Seleukos continued on, ignoring Ptolemaios jibe. A few glances passed between the Companions, while Heraklus remained seemingly unperturbed, his lips pursing in thought.

“I had heard whispers of such a thing, though it is a wise move. To stay on Terra would have spelt death for him” Heraklus replied after a moment, a hand moving to his chin and scratching it “Though I believe you have held the more shocking news till the end”

Seleukos nodded “Indeed I have, sire, if you would forgive the dramatics” he felled silent as he looked to his lord. Heraklus remained silent, but motioned for him to continue “The Primarch Tykos Poio, and the IV Legion, have declared their supported of the Sigillite”

A wave of protestations ripped through the Companions, rising to their feet. Accusations of treachery flew wildly, statements of disgust and disbelief were just as common. Even Empsykhos’ head rose from his tomes, his weary eyes watching not the rabble the Companions had unceremoniously become, but rather their Primarch.

Heraklus remained seated, calm and collected, reclined comfortably within his throne. His raised arm scratched at his chin and his lips pursed as he thought. He had already been alerted to these developments and thus had time to process them, when first learning of Tykos’ revelation, he was just as shocked and outraged as his Comapnions that stood before him. It was the nature of things, where he would be informed first, so as to air out any unbecoming emotions of his hidden hotheaded side, so as to appear calm in front of his men. Even his closest sons.

He raised his hand, and the room fell to silence once again, all eyes falling upon him. He cleared his throat, placing the goblet down.

“Thank you, Seleukos, it seems your dramatics have had the desired effect” he said, rising from his seat, palms placed firmly on the wooden table as he leaned forwards, his eyes brushing over his sons as he read them. Seleukos was unreadable as ever, Anteaus had his jaw clenched tightly, the muscles tightening with each movement of his mouth, Kassander sat with barely contained anger Heraklus could almost sense the red that had begun to cloud his vision, whilst Ptolemaios and Lysimachus had decided to cover their anger by gulping the wine from their goblets, knuckles clenched white on the metal, denting it. Heraklus tutted at the display, those goblets were rather an expensive gift. “But I have asked Seleukos to tell you this so that you might control yourself more honourably in front of those you command. It is unbecoming of you, and I suspect you recognise this.”

“Indeed we do, I apologise sire” Ptolemaios muttered, placing the now empty goblet down on the table. Heraklus frowned at the ruined state of it, he doubted he’d be able to get them replaced, his sister Victoria had gifted them to him when they first met, but prolonged exposure to each other had led to him finding her quite intolerable, and vice-versa.

“It is forgiven” he said, moving around the table by Ptolemaios and placing his hajd gently upon his shoulder “Outrage is to be expected for this betrayal, but contemplation offers us something much more valuable. Understanding”

Lysimachus’ eyebrow raised quizzically as he looked up over Ptolemaios’ head and into his Primarchs eye “Understanding? I cannot find much to understand about this, other than understand this sets us upon a path that cannot be diverged from”

Heraklus shook his head, removing his hand from Ptolemaios’ shoulder and placing it upon the crest rail of the chair “Your understanding is clouded by shock, Lysimachus, but I will enlighten you. The Emperor’s disappearance was something none of us could have foreseen, not even with my gifts” he words trailed off for a moment after that. He coudn’t help but feel disappointed about his inability to act, frustrated by these boundaries. His visions had come with less frequency recently, none at all since the Emperor’s disappearance. Perhaps his connection with the Emperor was severed, though he crushed the thought swiftly lest he devastate himself with grief. The silence seemed to be noticed by his sons, as they glanced between each other, yet none dared speak up.

Heraklus dug himself free from his thoughts, a smile returning to his face before he continued to speak, moving around the table in pacing thought “And without the Emperor, the Imperium is stifled, the power is centralised around Him in the purest sense. Malcador and Valdor are those closest to the Emperor, so it was inevitable they would bicker over who should take charge, only Valdor is not afraid of getting his hands dirty publicly rather than the Sigillite’s conniving manner.”

“We understand this, sire, but what does this have to do with Tykos and the IV’s betrayal?” Kassander asked, his voice betraying the struggle within himself to contain his anger.

“Because both the Sigillite and Valdor believe themselves right. Fleeing Terra, while costing him legitimacy, is the only way for the Sigillite to continue his camp. And that brings us to Tykos” Heraklus answered him, with Kassander spitting at the mention of Tykos. Heraklus shot him an angered look “Control yourself, Kassander. Tykos is still my brother and a Primarch, and thus above you. Do not let you anger blind you to your place”

“Apologies, Lord” Kassander replied through gritted teeth.

Heraklus nodded sternly, his eyes hovering onto Kassander for a moment longer before he continued to speak again, continuing his pace around the room, each step reverberating quietly off the stone walls of the Sanctum “Now, Tykos has always felt loyalty to the Sigillite. I know this, as do you, it has always been a source of concern for me when I learned of it but I possessed no means to do anything about it. I can only imagine what went through Tykos’ mind when he heard of the Sigillite’s expulsion from the Throneworld, but what it clearly sparked was his loyalty. It is unsurprising that he aligned himself with the Sigillite for this, no one has a particularly soft spot for Valdor, but this certainly angered Tykos.” Heraklus rattled off, arriving by his throne by the time he finished his speech “The only surprising part of this is that Tykos was the first” he added, taking his seat again.

“Indeed, Tykos Poio has always been an outsider, much like Sceafa Kentigern of the XVI, so his announcing of his loyalties and openly taking part in this coming conflict was unexpected to say the least” Seleukos grunted, taking a sip from his goblet

The Companions sat in silence once again as they processed what Heraklus had informed them of, Heraklus could see the gears turning in their heads and for a brief moment wished he could sense auras in the way his sister Titania could, though he did not need it to still read Kassander’s anger. It was beginning to annoy him.

“So what will you do?” Empsykhos spoke up from his lectern, his voice sounded gravelly in comparison to the silken voices of the Companions. The occupants of the table turned to face Empsykhos, whose head had risen from his tomes again, his eyes ignoring them and focusing on Heraklus instead. Heraklus raised his glass in the direction of Empyskhos.

“At last, a fine question,” Heraklus said, his voice sounding congratulatory. He turned his head to face his Companions, placing the goblet back on the table “Though it is an incredibly loaded one. To align with the Sigillite or with Valdor, both present benefits and heavy tolls. So, I ask you, my Companions, what do you think we should do?”

“Ignore it, sire, this war will be brief and only serve as a distraction from the Great Crusade” Kassander answered, banging his fist upon the table

“And what if the Mechanicum decide to get involved? The supplies will dry up with the forgeworlds preoccupied with their own war, or if the Sigillite or Valdor invade them” Antaeus shot back “We are not the Marauders, we require the Mechanicum’s produce to fight our wars”

“The Mechanicum is above this petty dispute, Antaeus, they have nothing to gain and everything to lose by getting involved” Ptolemaios argued

“Do not tell me you believe that nonsense? Kelbor-Hal is a snake and an opportunistic one at that. If he senses a chance to gain power or leverage, he will seize it, would you wish to face the faction that sides against us?” Kassander replied, pointing his finger accusatory towards Ptolemaios “Shall we get that graft inspected, I’m sure there is some flaw to have you align yourself so quickly with the Fabricator-General”

“You accuse me of disloyalty?” Ptolemaios said, rising from his seat, eyes glancing down to the bronze dagger that lay in front of him.

“I accuse you of confusing your interests with the needs of the Legion, involvement in this war will only lead to ruination for the Legion” Kassander replied, before looking towards Antaeus “Do you believe the Mechanicum would simply cease to supply a Legion that has not even aligned against them?”

“I believe they will cease to supply us because we are not aligned with them, regardless of our participation in the civil war”” Anaetus replied, folding his arms.

“All that has happened is Tykos and the IV have aligned themselves with the Sigillite, that is all. It’s hardly the basis for a civil war” Kassander replied.

Anaetus shook his head with frustration “You delude yourself, brother, the battle lines are being drawn already. Those that stand to the side will surely suffer for their neutrality”.

“What of the Warmaster?” Seleukos asked, his absence from the conversation instantly being noticed. Once again, Heraklus smiled in response.

“No word, as of yet. Dear Aleksandr has not yet responded to this inflammation of tensions” Heraklus replied, annoyance bubbling beneath his voice. The mention of Aleksandr always annoyed him, his elevation to Warmaster earned much disgust and derision from Heraklus and now was no different.

“Of course he hasn’t” Kassander spat “He should never have been chosen as Warmaster in the first place, he is too weak and ineffective for the role, undeserving of it” the reply was immediate. A loud crash followed by Heraklus rising to his feet, a crack spreading up the table from where he had slammed his feet. It was now Heraklus’ turn to act unbecoming.
“I have warned you, Kassander, watch your tongue or I shall rip it out with my own hands. I may lack tolerance for him, but he is still my brother and above any reproach. He is master of the XV Legion and you shall recognise him as such, am I understood?” Heraklus raged, his words frothing with venom and anger and his eyes seemed to stab daggers into Kassander. For a brief moment, Kassander said nothing, before bowing his head in defeat.

“Of course, Lord, I shall refrain from speaking out of turn in future”

“Indeed you shall, Kassander, else I will have to find a replacement for you that knows his place” Heraklus replied, returning to his seat “Yet, you speak with a kernel of truth, I am loath to admit. My siblings hold the view that he may be kind, but he lacks the decisiveness for his role. Tykos is proof that he lacks the authority to bring the more...unruly siblings into line. Tykos is merely the first domino, others will begin to fall into camps. Anaetus was correct when he said battlelines were being drawn, I fear the Warmaster will hesitate too long before making a decision, in which case it will be too late.”

Grim acceptance hung over the Companions and Heraklus, an unwelcome replacement for the fiery rage that had burst into being mere moments prior. Heraklus could see it on their faces, that the Great Crusade had reached its greatest extent. Though he hoped it was temporary, the unification of man would cease while the successor for the absent Emperor could take his place.

Heraklus looked towards Seleukos “Friends, I ask now for your counsel. The prospect of continuing the Crusade under these circumstances is untenable, not without the resources that we do not possess. I have bias towards who to align with, but I wish to hear your thoughts.”

Antaeus spoke first “Valdor, Lord. He, out of the Emperor’s entourage, would know His plans and possesses the will to see it through” Heraklus nodded.

Kassander spoke second “Valdor, Lord. The Sigillite has lost the Throneworld and has always surrounded himself with dishonourable people that we cannot trust.”

Seleukos spoke third “I stand by your decision, Lord” Heraklus smiled, Seleukos remaining as steadfast behind him as ever.

Ptolemaios spoke fourth “The Sigillite, Lord. Though I disagree with it, the Council of Terra was founded as the succeeding organisation for humanity after the Great Crusade, I cannot see how we have any right to align against it”

Lysimachus spoke last “Malcador, Lord” Heraklus nodded.

“Your words are noted, and I find myself in the majority. The people cannot be trusted with democracy, if it had been right then He would have organised the Imperium to reflect this. We now stand united in this decision, dissenting opinions will be forgotten, understood?”. A chorus of agreements followed Heraklus’ command “Good, now we make way for Terra, Lysimachus, send word to Valdor of our intentions and summon the rest of the Legion. Now, dismissed”

The Companions left in an orderly fashion, placing their bronze knives back into their hidden sheaths. They offered the Sign of the Aquila to Heraklus as they filed out from their seats. Heraklus stood as he watched them depart, before returning to his own seat, dwelling on the matter.

They would have to make way for Terra with haste, this much he knew to be certain, less a lesser Primarch were to reach Terra first and manoevere themselves into a position of rank and render Heraklus a subordinate of them. The concept of that were intolerable to say the least, he only put up with Aleksandr as Warmaster as the Emperor himself commanded it, as mistaken as Heraklus felt the decision was. He looked over to the dais and saw Empyskhos still sitting there, deep in his studies.

“You believe I will have a vision?” Heraklus asked, his eyes narrowing at the unreadaable figure. Empysykhos did not move his head from the mighty tome in front of him.

“Indeed, sire, the winds of the Warp are shifting in the way they always do before the Light blinds you.” He replied. Heraklus simply nodded.

“I pray you are right, the way ahead meanders too much to make sense”

Empyskhos smiled beneath his heavy hood “That is how it always is”

Encryption Cipher: Vermillion
Astropathic Choir Urgency: Extremis
Code Protocol: Black
Recipients: Warmaster Aleksandr Zorkastanov
Content as transcribed by Senior Dynastos Flagship Astropath Syren Attalia, serial authorization 4839103499-82/B

Message begin:
Warmaster Zorkastanov, I write to you with a heavy heart. The IX Legion, the Sons of the Achean, intends to withdraw from its service in the Great Crusade as a temporary measure. I do not find its participation within the Great Crusade as a tenable act with the worsening situation on Terra, between Captain-General Constantin Valdor and Malcador the Sigillite, especially as it risks the continued supply of ammunition necessary for commitment within the Crusade

I have ordered the Legion to finish its current commitments before they are to venture to Terra to assist in Captain-General Constantin Valdor’s persecution of the rebel faction led by Malcador the Sigillite.

Transmission End

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Krugmar
Minister
 
Posts: 2170
Founded: May 06, 2012
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Krugmar » Sun Jul 25, 2021 11:47 am

Imperial Palace
Terra, Sol
Segmentum Solar
A year hitherto


It was a sight unlike any the citizens of the Imperial Palace had seen since the launching of the Great Crusade, almost two centuries prior. Fifty Thousand Astartes clogged its main avenues, marching in columns that never seemed to end. They were joined by scores of troopers from the Imperial Army and Solar Auxilia, as well as vehicles of all types and manufactory. The God-Machines followed, though relatively few in number, largely drawn from Legio Adamantus and Victorium, though a few ranged from various legions who had been eager to send an honour guard with the Emperor back to Terra. Once Praessian could assess the situation he would likely return most of them to active duty after a short tour of Terra. Same with the knights, most of whom had come to bask in glory and adulation.

The Custodes did not march, for they waited for the Emperor's arrival. The Imperator Somnium had yet to arrive, likely caught in some turbulence or forced to make an emergency stop for repairs. Regardless Praessian had seen fit to make his own arrival known, if only to allow him to quash any rumours of the Emperor's delay which could spread out of control.

He watched his legionaries march down the Avenue of Sacrifice towards the Lion's Gate with a cool and dispassionate gaze. For the people of Terra it must have been a monumental triumph, but compared to what he had seen at Ullanor it was nothing. Truly nothing. It did not hurt to boost the morale of his men, though, before the realisation of their glorified garrison duty wore down on them. A regular cycling of troops would be necessary, not only for their desire to see active duty but to keep them in top condition.

He was not here to merely be a ceremonial guard for the Emperor. No, that duty could easily have fallen to one more eager for his approval and adulation, say II, XIV, or particularly IX. He was not here merely to build, no that could have fallen to I or VIII who were just as skilled as himself, albeit the former excelled more in taking down structures. To sit on a council and help rule? No, VII and the new Warmaster would have been more suited for that. The Emperor had named him Praetorian not only because he could execute his duty in all these affairs to the utmost, but because he was the only one of his siblings who could be trusted absolutely.

The Emperor had left the Crusade for a reason. Terra was highly important to his plans, and not merely as the throneworld. The Emperor had plans for the Imperium that likely went beyond anything the Primarchs could imagine.

And Praessian would see his will done.

Ruins of Villai-Karim
Messad Mol, Mol System
Segmentum Obscurus
673.000.M31


It had been a beautiful city once, Villai-Karim, once a monument to what could be accomplished when Humans and Xenos worked together for the betterment of both and all. Now it was a monument to those who disagreed with such a foolish notion. A permanent reminder that the Imperium did not debate, for it did not care whether its position was correct, whether it was ethical or righteous, only that it was backed by big guns and a horde of idiots willing to die for it.

Ekkehart was one of those idiots, and she had some of the biggest guns and idiots at her disposal.

She sat atop her tank gazing out at the blasted visage before her. In the distance the sounds of battle could be heard, though they were faint. The last dying breath of a civilisation being wiped from existence. Here it was silent and peaceful, only the muffled screams of those dying, or the shouting of Messadians being rounded up for examination.

The crew of the Blot were also milling about, or sitting with her and enjoying the view that they had worked hard to create.

"Enjoy it, this is the last happy memory we'll create for some time." Said Ekkehart.

It was Gendor Fel who worked up the courage to speak first, "Eh, I'm sure we'll make some good ones when your siblings start swinging at each other." It was a bold statement, one that other Primarchs would never even consider a close companion to utter, let alone a tank gunner like Fel.

But Ekkehart merely laughed, "I'm sure you'd like to test yourselves against some of the other legions. Itching, I bet."

"Wouldn't mind taking an Achillean Spear down a peg or two myself." Spoke Var Kuln, a wide grin on his greatly scarred face.

His opposite, the pretty Kata Kar, He-Without-Scar-or-Scratch, chuckled. "The Sons would mop the floor with you, don't pretend." He mocked, and before long the Astartes were locking heads and growling at each other. Members of the crew egged them on as they began to wrestle, while Ekkehart ignored them.

"You really think it'll come to civil war?" Asked Variel Sul, the newest member of the Blot's crew and a fairly young Astartes who had seen less than ten years of the Crusade.

Ekkehart did not answer for a few moments, and the mock fighting between Kuln and Kar stopped as they feared her mood had begun to sour. But she turned to Sul with a slight grin and instantly relieved the tension. "It will, if only because most of them are idiots unable to point their guns in the right direction. Outwards! Not back towards bloody Terra."

She pushed herself up, and with a wave sent them scrambling back to their posts. "Tell Sarrin I'm coming back up to the Vow, tell Scarren to deal with the rest of this mess and make it quick. And make sure nobody bothers me while I'm in my Sanctum, I've got to work out which siblings I want to kill." She said to nobody in particular as she made her way to the Blot's command module.

Imperial Palace
Terra, Sol
Segmentum Solar
673.000.M31


It had been near a year since the Emperor's disappearance, and already the magnitude of his presence was notable. The Emperor was the centre of the Imperium, not only in propagandic terms or flowery allegory but in truth. The Imperium had been solely his vision, it designs stemmed from his dreams made manifest. The Primarchs designed in his image, and the Astartes his favoured weapon to restore order to a galaxy bereft of it.

And now without him that dream was dying.

But it was not dead. Embers remained, waiting to be sparked back into life by the heat of the Emperor's return. Until such a time came Praessian would guard them well, though truth be told he was now conflicted as to how well he could execute his duty. He did not doubt his own abilities, that the Emperor had chosen him put to rest any such non-existent fears. No, he doubted the abilities of Malcador, of Valdor, and of his siblings.

Malcador and Valdor had acted all too human, unable to see the greater picture. Valdor's grab at power had been ill-advised, Malcador's refusal of such power a foolish move. Was the galaxy to burn for the pride of an up-jumped bodyguard and faithless vizier?

That IV had already declared himself for Malcador boded ill. Praessian had hoped his brother, indebted as he might be, would see reason and steer clear of the conflict. Now the precedent had been established, that the Primarchs were to be pawns in their games.

All eyes would rest upon the Warmaster. Would XV act decisively and bring the conflict to an end before it started? Praessian doubted it, 15 was meek and ill-suited to such a task. His purview as Warmaster was solely ensuring the Great Crusade kept functioning in the Emperor's absence, a task he would likely have succeeded at merely by keeping most of the Primarchs as far away from each other as possible. His remit did not include attempting to mend a fractured Imperium in the Emperor's absence, a task he would not succeed at no matter how much he might try.

It was not in his own purview to try to fix the mess either. Not that he did not feel compelled to try, but he knew the limits of his own abilities and of his rank. All that he could do now was limit Valdor's moves, and keep Terra safe.

To start with the latter, he would issue an order forbidding any Primarch from returning to Terra, and advise them to steer clear of Yarant III. They were to be reminded of the Emperor's last orders: Continue the Great Crusade.

They would not listen, no, but if it kept the peace at Terra for just a few months longer it could be considered a success. A few months to continue with his task, and to begin intensifying fortification efforts.

He would not fail in his duty. Never.
Liec made me tell you to consider Kylaris

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Antimersia
Chargé d'Affaires
 
Posts: 363
Founded: Mar 04, 2020
Father Knows Best State

Postby Antimersia » Sun Jul 25, 2021 9:28 pm

The Venom
Flagship of the Azure Serpents
Segmentum Pacificus
675.000.M31


A young girl, no older than 15, jogs through the halls. Her boots clang when magnetically attaching to the metal floor with each step. She dodges personnel that she passes by in the hall. A pair of astartes stride past her in their power armor. The men tower over her. nearly twice her height and ten times her girth. They are a sight that not too long ago would have inspired awe within her. But seeing them almost every day has made her grow accustomed to the sight. The lithe redhead snakes her way through until she reaches the CIC of the Venom, a Gloriana class ship, and flagship to the fleet of the Azure Serpents. At the center of the CIC stands a man that towers over even the Astartes. Although currently he is without armor, so he doesn't appear quite as bulky as the astartes she past did. His hair looks almost wet as it is slicked back. the end of his hair reaching just above his shoulders. Every few moments a light chuckle can be heard from him as he reads data coming in on a large hololith. A sound that the crew working around the room of the CIC have clearly learned to ignore. Just as the young girl begins to walk towards the man at the center, her turns towards her with a crooked smile on his face. Looking at her as if he already knew she was there.

"Agatha, you've finally made it! Come quickly I have something I think you'll get a good laugh at." The man said, stifling laugher of his own.

"Yes sir Lord Pentecost!" Agatha replies, standing at attention and speaking in a mockingly formal tone. She runs over to the Primarch Sevren Pentecost, who is himself laughing at her mimicry.

"Agatha I told you to call me Sevren. You aren't a soldier. Especially with that horrible posture. If you think that was standing at attention you might have a spinal injury." Sevren replies.

"But you laughed so that means I did it right. What did you want to show me?" Agatha teased Sevren as she walked up to the large hololith to take a look for herself. The amount and speed at which the data was being shown was far greater than what she was able to properly interpret. But for Sevren it was moving almost painfully slow.

"Praessian has sent us a warning to stay away from Terra." Sevren replied, finally letting out a cacophony of laughter that he had been holding in up until this point. Agatha covered her mouth with both hands as she too began to laugh. "So utterly predictable." Sevren continued once his laughter abided. How long after we learned of the Emperor's disappearance did I predict this?"

"It was the second thing you said. Right after you looked worried and mumbled 'I did not forsee this.'" Agatha replied snidely.

"You must have been hearing things Agatha. I never said such a thing. I have a plan for every eventuality. Including the seemingly impossible." Sevren replied.

"You know I can read your mind right? I know when you're lying." Agatha whispered back at him teasingly. The young lady was a psyker. Not one of noteworthy power. But a psyker none the less.

"What I know is that I have asked you not to. And that I am the only reason that the Sister of Slaughter haven't taken you." Sevren whispers, leaning down close to her and giving her a devilish look. The two stare one another down intensely for a moment before breaking out into bellying aching laughter together. "Run along now Agatha. Begin your training. I have some siblings of mine that I must contact."

Sevren watches on with a warm look as Agatha sprints out of the CIC. She had grown much since Sevren found her as an infant, fifteen years ago. In the process of bringing the planet the small pleasure world of Reth into compliance, he heard distant cries that no one else seemed to be able to hear. He parsed through rubble to find the source of it. Discovering the infant Agatha, alive in the arms of her birth mother. Perished from the bloody would on her head where rubble struck her. Sevren has a distaste for psykers. their mind reading irks him in more ways than one. But, something about this infant spoke to him. The fact that he only heard her cries, when none of his marines heard a sound, made Sevren feel a connection that he had not felt since the death of his adopted father Sentum. He took the child in, hid her from the Sisters of Slaughter, and made her his protégé. He knew he would outlive her by centuries. But he did not care. As he saw in Agatha the reason why the Great Crusade had meaning. So people like her could live and prosper. throughout the expanse of space. And his belief in the Crusade, is exactly why the moment the Emperor disappeared he decided that the best plan of action would be to follow the will of the Warmaster, Aleksandr. Something he would affirm immediately.

"Have the astropath deliver a message to the Warmaster for me." Sevren commanded to one of the ensigns within the CIC.

Astropathic Message to Warmaster Aleksandr
From Primarch Sevren of the Azure Serpents.


Brother dearest,

I am sure you are busy with the Crusade, or maybe you're just busy putting on your armor. I do know how much of a burden donning that hulking behemoth must be. But I am contacting you to discuss this recent message from our brother, Praessian. I presume you received it as well? I do hope you weren't left off the guest list. But it appears as though Praessian is inviting us all to Terra. I do know that the wording of the message seemed to say the exact opposite of this. but to be frank knowing our siblings, a demand to stay a way is more of an invitation than a call to action by the Emperor himself. Please get back to me at your earliest convenience. I wish to know your orders in the wake of this regency madness.

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Theyra
Negotiator
 
Posts: 5634
Founded: Aug 29, 2015
Democratic Socialists

Postby Theyra » Sun Jul 25, 2021 9:42 pm

Yeglu System
In orbit above Zesichi
Hammer of Zesichi
Vin Tallow


So this is what happens if the Emperor goes missing, instead of a stable and functioning empire with a regent to lead it. It is this mess instead, the starting of a civil war between a bodyguard and an advisor. If only Malcador took on Valdor's offer on becoming regent. Then this whole mess could have been avoided but, here we are, instead of continuing the Great Crusade as the Emperor wanted. People are choosing sides on who to back in the coming conflict. That is, if this mess end does not end soon. Regardless, if civil war breaks out, his legion, his sons will not bleed or take imperial blood. No, they will be sitting out this conflict in the safety of their home system.

Vim was at the bridge of the flagship of his fleet, the Hammer of Zesichi. Wearing his full armor and his hands behind his back. Standing motionless as he stared out the bridge's viewport as the bridge crew worked around him. Scanning the visible space like a hawk looking for prey. He is waiting for the rest of the legion and their fleet to arrive. Some got lost on transit due to a random warp storm but, contact had been made with the lost vessels, and they should be in system soon. Hopefully soon, for Vim's sake, as he does not want any of his legion or fleet to be far away from home. Not during what could be a civil war.

Then he saw them, several ships coming out of the warp near Zesichi bearing the legion's colors. They had finally arrived, and they are home. A smile formed on Vim's face.

Then Vim heard a voice behind him, "Primarch Tallow, the rest of the legion and fleet has arrived." An old but strong voice.

Turning his head to see it was the captain of the hammer Admiral Silas Varevis. An old but reliable captain that Vim had the pleasure of knowing. "I see Captain Varevis and with the fleet all here." Vim turning around to face the captain. "Have the fleet set up position around Zesichi, and if any legion ship that is not ours enters the system, then I want to know."

"It will be done, my lord and are we expecting anything?" Sounding concerned. "Given recent events?"

"Maybe my friend maybe not, who knows if this mess gets worse but, for now. Just tell me if any imperial ship enters the system, Malcador or Valdor will probably seek the favor of the legions for this mess, and at least one of my siblings has joined the fray with Malcador."

"I understand, and I will keep you informed, my lord," Bowing in respect.

"Good, and now I need to discuss things with the legion," Vim used the ship's comms to send out a message for the Order Commanders to convene to discuss the legion's neutrality. It did not take long before all were in the meeting room with Telaros Riel, his second in command next to him at the meeting table. A metal but ornate room with a large circular metal table with a small circular hologram projector in the middle of the table. Once everyone was seated and ready to begin, Vim got up from his chair and spoke. "I know that some of you are concerned about the actions I am taking during this time of uncertainty. So speak up and let your voice be heard," sitting back down.

The first to speak was Elatus, an active and skillful commander. "Are we sure that holding up at Zesichi and staying neutral is the best course of action? I mean, would it be better to support either Malcador or Valdor instead of doing nothing?"

"Doing nothing," a hint of anger in Solahr's voice, a fiery commander. "We are doing something, saying out of a conflict that started because Valdor could not stand a council to rule the Imperium in the Emperor's place." His voice sounding annoyed, and standing up. "If we were to join a side, then we should join with Malcador. He has the right of things".

"Are we sure of that? Another voice coming to the fray belonging to Igatai, one of the legion's best melee fighters. "Malcador may have been the Emperor's hand but, there is a reason why Valdor did what he did. We need someone strong to lead the Imperium without the Emperor."

"And a usurper is the best choice?" Solahr's voice rose as he placed his hands on the table. "He took power based on not having faith in what the Emperor wanted if he would go missing. Shaking his head and looking straight at Igatai, "If he does not believe what the Emperor wanted to be the best course, then why should we trust him or deem his cause just?"

Now standing up, Igatai spoke, annoyed, "But that does not mean he does not want the best for the Imperium."

"And starting a civil war is what is best for the Imperium? His voice getting louder.

Igatai's annoyed voice was even louder now, and both hands on the table, "Now you understand this you..."

Before Igatai could finish speaking, Vim pounded the table with his right hand like a gavel pounding on wood. Then spoke loud but calm, "We are here to talk, not argue and fight with each other. You two calm down."

Solahr and Igatai both looked at each other before looking back at Vim and saying, "yes, Primarch." Both of them said and sat back down. Both looking shameful.

"Now, after hearing those points, does anyone else have something to say?" Vim looking around the table.

For a minute, there was silence before a clam voice spoke up. Coming from Xertath, one of the more cool-headed and reasonable of the commanders. "While I do support your decision to stay neutral if things get worse. Not pledging ourselves to a chance now will let us see what the other legions do. See if any stay neutral like us or join one of the sides. Make us better prepared to see who we might have to fight if we join either Malcador or Valdor. I mean, we know that the IVth has pledge themselves to Malcador and so far none to Valdor."

He does have a point, my Primarch. "A quiet voice in time coming from beside Vim, from Telaros his second a terran. "This conflict is fresh, and who is ally and who is foe is still unknown. Staying neutral can be used to gauge who might be friend or foe.

"Hmmm," Vim looked at Telaros, "That may not be my reason but, that is a reason to stay neutral." Looking back at the rest of the commanders. "Besides, we have been ordered by Praessian not to go to either Terra or Yarant III. Something I am okay with and it seems that even he is on Terra and close to Valdor. He has not picked a side yet." Vin sighed, "though that may change if Valdor convinces him to join his side."

"But of the XVth? Surely the Warmaster has a say in this."Elatus spoke up.

"So far, Aleksandr has yet to say anything on the matter or issue any new orders." Vim sighed again, "at least not yet, and I doubt that he will be focusing on continue the Grand Crusade while there is trouble brewing in the backyard. If he does, then....," sounding unsure. "Then I wonder what his priorities really are." Vim leaned back in his chair, and he had always had a good relationship with Aleksandr. Ever since he mentored him when he first joined the Imperium all those years ago. Eased him in and even understood his reluctance to join the Imperium. A rarity among his siblings, and he is the Warmaster. If he would give an order, then Vim might just follow it out of respect during this mess. It is one thing that Vim is waiting for and dreading. Vim wants to keep his legion out of this coming civil war and do what is best for Zesichi. For his sons and people.

But, for now, the order is neutrality, and after hearing out the concerns of his commanders, it was clear most were on board with staying out of the fight. At least for now and Vim dismissed the commanders, and they leave the meeting room. Only Telaros stayed behind, and Vim spoke to him. "Telaros, I want you to take control for a time while I head to the capital." Getting up from his seat and looking at Telaros.

"For what reason, sir? Wondering what it could be.

"I need to talk to someone important down there while I still have the chance."

"Family, sir?

"Yes, Telaros, and kept things running okay," Vim crack a smile.

"Sure, my Primarch, I will tell you if anything changes and take all the time you need," Telaros smiled back behind both of them leave, and Vim headed down on a shuttle to one of Zesichi's spaceports. Just one last thing to do before the waiting starts to see if this mess starts a civil war. And he will be prepared if so and will see how the tides go. See what is good for Zesichi', and if the war comes here, then he will defend his home to the death. That is all he can do for his home and people, after all.

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Lunas Legion
Post Czar
 
Posts: 30462
Founded: Jan 21, 2013
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Lunas Legion » Mon Jul 26, 2021 7:19 am

Tower of Hegemon, Imperial Palace
Terra, Sol
Segmentum Solar
677.000.M31


Someone more ambitious than Valdor might have been sparked to rage by Praessian's order. It was, after all, a blatant move against him, supposedly presenting a barrier to him amassing forces at Terra to defend it, or assembling forces there to launch an attack on Yarant III. He was not ambitious. The post of Imperial Regent was a duty to be discharged until the Emperor's return, no matter how distant that might be.

Likewise, Praessian Corro's duty as Praetorian of Terra required him to ensure the protection of Terra, regardless of what enemy might approach Sol. That would include Malcador and the forces amassing around Yarant III, and so he would not gainsay Praessian's orders as they suited his purposes quite well in protecting Terra. He was simply fulfilling his duties, and quite admirably so given the current circumstances. Other news was... More problematic.

Heraklus Hamartia was a prideful, prickly figure. Not one whom Valdor had ever expected to side with him, but perhaps the allegiance was in name only, or simply from lack of other options. Heraklus would have bowed to any of his siblings, not even the Warmaster, and Tykos Poio had already claimed the honour of being first to declare for the Sigilite. Perhaps he sought to claim the same honour in being the first to declare for him, or the first he had heard to declare for him. Others may have declared and word was simply yet to reach him, or they had declared for him in name only and were using it to hide their own ambitions.

Encryption Cipher: Aurum
Astropathic Choir Urgency: Extremis
Code Protocol: Aurum
Recipient: Heraklus Hamartia, Lord of the Achillean Spears

++TRANSMISSION START++

Your declaration of allegiance is most welcome. However, as the Praetorian of Terra has placed the Sol System onto a defensive posture against all Warp transits regardless of loyalty, I must instead advise that you assemble your fleet at the world of Gathalamor to avoid unwanted incidents if you intend to continue on your course towards Terra regardless, or instead divert towards the world of Xana II to disrupt the Liberators and other enemy forces that are doubtlessly using as a marshalling point, striking the first blow and winning the first victory in this war.

++TRANSMISSION END++


A spoiling attack, of sorts, to disrupt Xana II's mobilisation and any Liberator forces that sought to rearm there before joining their Primarch at Yarant III, and hopefully encourage Malcador and Tykos to strike sooner rather than later and enable a backhand blow to be struck to end this war quickly and decisively, which given Heraklus' declaration, now seemed more likely than ever to Constantin Valdor's mind. Of course, there was always the possibility that someone would throw a metaphorical spanner in the works, there were far, far too many things in motion for him to properly see their trajectories right now, but he would adapt to that as those challenges were laid before him, like he always had.
Last edited by William Slim Wed Dec 14 1970 10:35 pm, edited 35 times in total.

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Revlona
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Founded: Jan 23, 2017
Father Knows Best State

Postby Revlona » Mon Jul 26, 2021 9:49 am

Victoria Ave Aldatia
Upon the Planet Aldatia
Within the Palace of the Eagles


Victoria Ave Aldatia, Primarch of the Second Legion, First Found of the Emperors Children, and bearer of the Aquila, gracefully descended the long stairway which led from the great hall of the palace to the courtyard. She knew that the ones she was searching for would be there.

As she rounded the corner which led to the courtyard, a spectacle of martial beauty entered her vision. High above her, two beings in astartes power army were dueling with unsheathed energy blades. One of the duelists had the jump pack so adored by her children while the other bore the wings of an eagle.

The fighting stopped when the two marines noticed Victoria. She beckoned to them and they came to her, both of them landing before her with grace and sinking to one knee. On the right was the captain of the Aquila Singulare, her personal fighting force and guard, Andreas Verion who bore wings similar to her own. On the left was the Legatus of the first Chevron, Octavius Ave Iolino.

"My Queen, pardon me but you look unwell. Was it another vision?" Octavius said, his unarmored face showing the worry which he held for his gene mother.

"Yes Octavius, my dreams last night were yet again disturbed. However I'm afraid nothing has changed, the same dream as all the others." Victoria said, spreading her wings to their fullest extent, stretching them in a display of angelic beauty.

Ever since word had come of the Emperors disappearance her visions had come with even more frequency. Hardly a day had passed where the same dream of death, war, and destruction had not come to the Imperium.

It was nothing however, compared to the news which they had been receiving. The Warmaster sat idle as their siblings declared for one side or the other, Valdor or Malcador. She did not fault Tykor for taking a side, his founding had been tragic to begin with and he had been attached to the Siglitte ever sense. However that fool of a took Heraklus had only worsened things. He had gone and declared for the traitor Valdor.

That combined with the threatening moves made by her brother Rayhan to the south of Aldatia had forced her to act. Already most of the legion was on Aldatia, having been recalled months before after Ullanor. Nine Chevrons defended the planet. She had also sent out a chevron to each of her allied forge worlds to secure them while also sending a Chevron to Phaeton to offer them the protection of the second legion.

"War is coming to the Galaxy my children and there is seemingly no way to stop it, we must make ready. Andreas, inform Legatus Pius of the Auxilia that I wish him to begin an immediate recruitment drive on Aldatia and our recruitment worlds. We require both more astartes and mortal Auxilia, that much is certain." Victoria said, her wings returning to the folded position across her back.

"At once my queen," Andreas said before spreading his own wings and immediately taking to the sky, not wasting a moment to see to his mothers command.

"Octavius you will be leaving Aldatia. I want you to take the First Chevron south to Grai. Make the same offer as was made to Phaeton but be as persuasive as you can manage. Securing Grai should help secure Aldatia and Terras southern flank. You are to gather your ships and men and depart immediately, good luck my child." Victoria said.

"At once my queen, Ave Victoria!" The Legatus said before rising and turning away from his queen, his jump pack activating as he made haste to follow her orders.

Victoria was left alone in the courtyard, except for a few legion serfs who reverently kept their distance of course. "Father, we need your return desperately or all which we have accomplished together in these past years will have been for naught," Victoria said, before sighing to herself and leaving the courtyard.

Encryption Cipher: Aurum
Astropathic Choir Urgency: Extremis
Code Protocol: Aurum
Recipient: Praessian Corro, Praetor of Terra

++TRANSMISSION START++

Brother, I understand the reasoning behind your directive to protect Terra and I agree with it. However, urgent matter still present themselves and must be handled. Therefore I ask permission for myself and my flagship to transit to Terra so that the two of us may converse. I shall bring the minimum amount of my sons as necessary to safeguard myself and my ship in the warp and to properly honor you and the throneworld if this transit is allowed by yourself.

++TRANSMISSION END++
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Father Knows Best State

Postby Prusslandia » Mon Jul 26, 2021 11:30 am

Chondax System Outskirts
Immortae Triumphant
Lazarus Ignus

Of all the species in the galaxy, it could be said the Ork was most successful. From a singular spore sprouted entire ecologies, fully functional environments that thrived and persisted in even the harshest of conditions. From fungal outgrowths came the first smaller life forms, primitive plant-analogues which eventually gave way to snorting, slobbering squigs. Time passes and the first intelligent life will develop, weak and stunted; The scrabbling drones of the Ork machine, spindly creatures known as Gretchen which clawed their way into teeming, fearful masses. At this critical point, we see the development of the bioform which has ravaged countless worlds, has put entire species to the sword in gleeful, undiscriminating warlust.

The Ork.

Little more than cunning, brutal instinct made into jade-coloured flesh. Thick, yellowed tusks split to give raucous cries as corded muscle exuded savagery with every blow. In great hordes they existed, multiplying in factors unimaginable; Even in death they spread still, each fallen warrior the seedbed for millions of spores, from which legion could arise. With greater numbers come delineation of purpose, guided by instinct to craft weapons and great pieces of armor, to cut and sow as surgeons, or to manipulate the Waaagh! itself as psyker-analogues.

Lazarus pondered these thoughts as he sifted through the malformed organs of the Ork beneath him, cherry-red vitae staining the plastic of his medical gloves. Sprouting from the glistening sands of Chondax, it had been subjected to a myriad of growth-inhibitors and unsubtle toxins, yet still managed to fight on despite barely-functioning vital organs. This frustrated him. Again and again he found himself developing new inhibitors, new anti-Ork agents with each campaign. The resilience, and sheer adaptability, of the Ork genome was a quandary which pointed solely toward an artificial creation, this he knew for certain.

His hands were steady as his gauntlet sawed through bloated, tumorous abdominal tissue; Only the shuffling of the hunch-backed servants surrounding him interrupted the high-pitched whine of his saw. He was drawn from his thought as a menial handed him a transcript; His eyes glanced over it, great mind turning as it absorbed and understood the information. Wordlessly, he slipped off his gloves and surgical gear, making quick pace toward the Choir aboard the Triumphant.

With the absence of the Progenitor, and the first flames of war between Imperial factions, he would need to move quickly to safeguard the Great Work.

Encryption: Vermillion.
Astropathic Choir Urgency: Extremis.
Code Protocol: Black.
Sender: Genarch Lazarus Ignus
Recipient: Fabricator-General Kelbor-Hal

TRANSMISSION BEGIN

++ONE ASSUMES MECHANICUM NEUTRALITY IN IMPERIAL CIVIL CONFLICT++

++RESPECTFULLY REQUESTING CONTINUANCE OF SHARED RESEARCH BETWEEN PURIFIERS AND MECHANICUM++

++I ASSERT THAT MECHANICUM WOULD NOT BE INVOLVED INTO IMPERIAL CONFLICT DUE TO CONTINUANCE++

++PURIFIERS WOULD DEFEND NEUTRALITY OF SHARED RESEARCH FACILITIES++

++KNOWLEDGE IS ABOVE IMPERIAL POLITICS++

++AVE SCIENTIA++

TRANSMISSION END


Encryption: Vermillion.
Astropathic Choir Urgency: Extremis.
Code Protocol: Black.
Sender: Genarch Lazarus Ignus
Recipients: Legio XI Command

TRANSMISSION BEGIN

++ALL NON-ENGAGED PURIFIER FORCES ARE TO MAINTAIN COMBAT-JUMP READINESS BEARING MYRDEN.++

++ASSUME NEUTRAL STANCE IN REGARD TO SIGILITE - REGENT CONFLICT++

++THOSE WITHIN CO-RESEARCH FACILITIES ARE TO WILLINGLY COMPLY WITH MECHANICUM DIRECTIVES++

++DO NOT ENGAGE IMPERIAL TARGETS UNLESS FIRED UPON++

++PROTOCOL EPSILON NOT AUTHORIZED++

++AVE SCIENTIA++

END TRANSMISSION


Encryption: Vermillion.
Astropathic Choir Urgency: Extremis.
Code Protocol: Black.
Sender: Genarch Lazarus Ignus
Recipients: Preatorian Praessian.

BEGIN TRANSMISSION

++MESSAGE RECIEVED REGARDING SYSTEM-SOLAR ENTRY++

++REQUESTING PERMIT TO DEPLOY PURIFIERS TO FURTHER SECURE SCIENTIFIC FACILITIES AND DATA FROM POSSIBLE DESTRUCTION++

TRANSMISSION END
Last edited by Prusslandia on Mon Jul 26, 2021 1:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Imperialisium » Mon Jul 26, 2021 7:02 pm

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//Unspooling Data Coils\\
\\Data Packets Retrieved for Transcription//
-Access Key Input Required-
GENE CODED TRANSCRIPTOR RECEIVED....
//######\\
\\Key Input Verified: Imperial Clearance level Vermillion//


\\User: Unauthorized Access of this Terminal carries punishment of: Summary Execution.
...DO YOU WISH TO PROCEED?\\ [YES] | NO
//Loading Data Coil Script...
//Script Loaded...


Volscar Sector
Segmentum Obscurus
Trailing Direction from the Occularis Terribus


The star speckled silence of the void was disturbed by flashes of light and the smoky fires of bleeding atmosphere. A slowly spinning sleek ship of bone like material creaked quietly like a wounded and battered skeletal system. Spinous membrane like sails broken and tattered. A pair of small purple beams fired to the rear of it. Met by eight return salvos of orange lancing lasers which punched deep into the bonelike hull of the ship. Internal detonations bubbled and warped its outer hull as it began to list off its previously linear course. Careening in an amber death spiral as its predator, a bulky angular vessel festooned with arches and golden domes cruised path at an appreciable percentage of c.

A pair of smaller attack craft launching from its bays and as they moved perpendicular away from the portside they could see a field of loose stellar debris orbiting a milky brown arid world. Its surface spotted by small seas and river systems. A small polar region sat were ancient Terra had its equatorial zones. A sign of significant axial tilt. However, as both attack craft accelerated they saw that the debris was home to a lattice of flashes, blooms, and fiery eruptions. Yielding smaller debris fields while a lumbering, glowing, oblong stellar body moved at a glacial pace in rotation. This was not a debris field. This was a void battle.

Easing on the throttle and firing counter-thrust to decelerate slightly. Both attack craft zipped in between two dueling behemoths. Another bulky gothic vessel yielding the death victory of its bone like counterpart with a final salvor of macro-cannon and lance batteries. Twisting in a half rotation and a carefully vectored thrust both attack craft more or less flung their ordinance into the turrets of another bone like vessel. Their detonations causing the turret to erupt in silent debris. The pilots could scarcely see the scope of the conflict. As over a hundred ships on their side alone took part in this massive, yet still coordinated, space based brawl.

Mighty warships bearing the sigil of the Sun Angels moved close to the wounded beast of a glowing vessel. Pounding it with repeated salvos of torpedoes, macro cannons, lance fire, and missiles targeting pinpoint installations. All before a series of small pod like vehicles with their forward facing surfaces ringed in vicious metal claws sprang forth. Joined by long cylindrical tubes fitted with what would appear to a layman as an oversized boring drill. Boarding pods and boarding torpedoes...

Craftworld Il-Shae

Craftworld Il-Shae was mortally wounded. Its life flickering even as the Mon-keigh boarding vehicles burst through the outer hull into the internal organs of the once mighty, once proud, craftworld. Though, among its sister Craftworlds it was rather small, its wraithbone structure sung not long before The Fall, and the birth of She-Who-Thirsts. The Accursed Demon Queen! The pointed eared, angular faced, angled eyed, being who thought these solemn neurological sparks could only fit on his helmet. He was a Seer. A leader of his people. But what could he say he led them too? To escape one hell only to run into an expanding Empire of a race gone senile? The absurdity of it all! It was if the Galaxy, the Universe, was to treat they, the proud Aeldari, as but mere mockeries to be tossed away.

He pointed, his spear crackling with arcane energy, "Keep the Webway Gates open as long as possible. Seer's Altaya and Mirthrayvn will lead survivors to Biel-Tan. Hurry! Youth and women first! Hurry! Aeldari are dying!"

Gulping breaths as a blue clad warrior of the Craftworld's defending militia. A Guardian. Came into view. His thoughts in turmoil. The Seer could feel it. Could sense it. It was only an after thought that the Seer saw the Guardian had lost his left arm below the shoulder. His suit jagged and pocked from shrapnel. His arm oozing blood despite a temporary cauterization and patch job, no doubt done by another Guardian, speaking with ragged breaths, "They've taken everything above the Shrine to Gia! We cannot hold th-."

The hall shuddered and dust churned as fighting spread throughout the Craftworld.

"We cannot hold them. The Halls of Erthrayoec are gone. Guardian Zer led a thousand in a defense of the Shrine of Hoec but we lost all contact twenty minutes ago. Our fleet is gone. Prince Cathren is dead aboard the Faithful of Gia. It lies burning off our starboard domes."

The Seer touched the Guardian's still present arm. "Calm yourself. Our people have survived worse tribulations," the Seer looked back behind him. The hall narrowing into a smaller passage and thence into a larger balconied hall lined with statues of his people's Gods. A Webway Portal lay beyond. How many had been saved? Two million souls once called this Craftworld home. Thousands? Tens of thousands? I am the only Seer left. The others have gone leading cohorts of several thousand to Biel-Tan. Leaving markings and wards to guide those that come after. But how many? We lost the smaller ancillary webway gates almost immediately. Destroyed by the enemy or ourselves in the fighting. How many? Looking back to the Guardian he finished, "Go. Gather what wounded you can and take them into the Webway."

But the Mon-keigh draw near? I can feel Her presence! The Soulless One! The Guardian blinked, "But the Mon-keigh draw near? I can feel Her pre-."

"I know. She is close...hunting the strongest of us. She knows where I am. Now go!" Gesturing to the hundred or so wounded Guardians in various states of agony lining the wall. Some were blinded, some deafened, many having lost limb or suffered grievous damage to their torsos. Some may not even survive the journey to Biel-Tan. But they had to draw, for there weren't many of their kind left...

The Guardian did not ask twice and nodded to a pair of Aeldari women tending to the wounded. They began leading the hobbled procession down the hall as a second, more violent, rumbled erupted. The sound of bolter and shuriken suddenly audible to their ears.

The lone Guardian moved through the hall, picking up his pace until he reached the threshold were the passage narrowed. Touching the wraithbone wall he felt the Craftworld's trepid beats. Its groans as its superstructure cracked and bled into the void. Waving everyone passed until he picked up the rear. Funneling them after a few seconds into a wide rectangular hall lined with balconies betwixt mighty statues, each on pedestals forty meters high, their bodies twenty meters in height thence, over a towering glowing arcane portal that crackled with power. Power of a forgotten age. The Webway.

The Guardian urged them on as they began to hurry through. Glancing about him as a platoon of Guardians took up position in the balconies and around the gate. The rearguard to this entryway. The Seer appearing from the other hall to watch him turn away, face the gate, and step through.




The Seer watched the wounded go. The Guardian he had spoken too stepping through when the bark of bolter shells erupted in the opposite hall. Detonations and sound of collapsing debris as the Human's gene-transformed soldiers, Astartes they called them, advanced relentlessly. Their scaled armor, red-black-and gilded, even showing signs of battle remained imposing. The chugging bark of their brutal weapons turning many of his compatriots to red mist, even now, in the hall he had just stood in. But even despite all this fearsome panoply of war. Even with the whirring toothed blades and power weapons. The lasers and plasma weaponry leveled against them. It was not their most potent weapon. No. Their most potent weapon was the invisible ones that marched alongside them. Wielding curved blades and distinctive armor. The Seer had seem them in action. Diffusing even their most powerful psychic attacks, walking invisible to their senses, slaying without remorse or care for those that stood in their way. But the worst, was Her.

The flash of gunfire could now be seen flickering rapidly in the other hallway. Then silence. The psychic crystals which cast light into the chamber dimming, then sputtering, until finally dying like a freshly snuffed star into the blackness of the abyssal cosmos. The Seer pressed a red stud and the Gate shut down behind him. He removed the power crystal. Felt its psycho-reactive properties and with a silent curse crushed it under staff with a lance of focused psychic power. She'd have felt that, that much is assured.

The Seer telepathically spoke to the platoon of Guardians. Their bodies tense. Gird yourselves, Sons of Asuryan, We go before our God's soon, our Soul's carried to the infinity circuit of Biel-Tan by the plans of my fellow Council. Who carry the seed of our salvation in their caravans. Make peace with this life and smile, as Khaine himself would by this final stand, for make no mistake. We are not leaving here alive.

There was no lying. No grandiose speech of a final victory or triumph. No, this was their end. And they would do their ancestors proud. Silence. The Seer leveled his crackling spear. Squinting into the stark blackness. Silence. It was disturbing, intoxicating, and he could not help but feel a growing inexplicable chill run down his spine. Cooling his skin. Frosting his breath. His mind buzzed, he fought to keep his thoughts tame, controlled. It was Her. She struck him before he could even react. Mentally. A sudden flare of blackness within black. A black sun erupting its invisible rays that caused many of the Guardians to cry out in horror. The Seer thrust out a hand but no light, no sparks, came forth. Only cold, only freezing air. He stepped forward and the ground crackled like crushed glass. All of the surfaces around him were frosting over. Spat. Blood, a sudden rivulet from both nostrils, flowed from his nose while his mind lanced with a horrendous ache. He felt weak and his spear dropped vertical to support his quickly deadening weight.

Something shimmered in the blackness. Something narrow and deeper than even the core of a black hole. It was a cursed thing to witness. It flashed and a Guardian cried out in a bloody gurgle near the threshold. Then suddenly the blackness inverted into pulverizing white as a squad of the enemy's gene-soldiers. Astartes. Opened fire on the defenders. The Astartes were in the balconies! The Guardians returned fire but their minds were dulled, their psychic attenuations blinded, their senses in agony. The Seer could only withdraw himself mentally as he took four steps back and with a grunt leveled his spear once more at the doorway. That is when he saw Her. She stood there, even in her golden armor she was undoubtedly feminine. Her face hidden by a golden war mask depicting what the Mon-Keigh called a Weeping Angel. Wailing bloody tears from its eyes. Its mouth perplexed in a death scream. In one hand she held a menacingly elegant spear. Its great blade buried in the chest of the fallen Guardian he had heard die moments before. A malevolent purple flame danced over its edges. Melting the fallen Guardian's suit into a liquid sludge. She reached over, as if time had slowed, and pulled her sword free. Its great blade was also slightly curved and its mere presence made the Seer grimace. It was a weapon of Soulless kindred. Built for those who bore no presence in the Sea-of-Souls, those were beyond not present, those who were anathema to it.

Its blade was blood red and sporting an electrical pattern of captured lightning. Golden and silver veins. But it was the darker than black fire which slowly spread along its length that drew the ire of the Seer. The sword was a weapon drawing from the Psi-Negative power of its Soulless Master. The golden giant tilted its head as if beckoning the Seer to say or do something. The Guardians indulged by an audible cry to open fire. Their Shuriken Catapults letting loose a barrage of razor sharp projectiles. Most struck against a shimmering energy field. She had a personal shield! Not that she might have needed it. As her motions were a flickering blur. Each flash of inverted bolter fire light like a stop motion picture that the youth would oft draw. An after image and her spear was ripped from the fallen Guardian and hurled. Impaling the closest Eldar defender. Picking him off his feet and back to the end of the hall to be pinned to the wall three meters above the floor. Hung like a sickening mantle piece.

The Seer sneered but the Guardians in either bravery or fear continued to fire. She spun and twirled among them. Moving far faster than a being of her size and stature ought too. Her blade sliced through joints, split open torsos, and removed heads from shoulders in spinning fountains of dark gore. It was like watching an artisan extract a desired medium. A painter who only used the blood of their enemy. A Guardian turned to shout to the Seer, only for an armored fist to grip his helmet and with a sickening flick of the wrist, spun his neck one-hundred and eighty degrees. Hurling him by the head to the side to snap the spine on impact with the last Guardian who still frantically tried to engage the approaching golden angel of death.

The Seer muttered a Prayer to what Gods still lived and sprung forth with a silent scream. Their blades clashed. Her strength was titanic. Her movements like a dancer. Beautiful, in a way. She kicked up, one knee up, and stabbed down. He barely had time to parry. His Spear sputtering in a shower of crackling sparks. He was brought to one knee. He spun and twisted with all the trained speed he could. His Psychic might and training feeding into his movements. What little he could use this close to Her. He brought the back of his Spear up and it glanced off her shoulder pauldron. Drawing a scratch along its width. They parted. He weakly stood up, spear held out before him. The golden angel drew up in height as if finally heralding a worthy opponent. It was then he saw it. The wings which formed from golden and silver flowing metal. Cascading purple-crimson energy from the spines like feathers of energy. The Seer screamed as he dug up every ounce of strength he had left and channeled it into a single psychic charged strike. Breaking into a dash as he aimed his spear for her heart. Her Soulless heart!

His blow never landed. Watching in horror as a metallic wing folded to bat the flat of his spear up and away. The burning cold of her blade puncturing his body. Severing his spine. It was scorching of frozen fire. The darkness swimming forth in his vision as the world lurched. His body sliding off her blade until his last image was the gaze of the chipped and battle damaged statue of Asuryan, and for a moment, he swore the statue was smiling in pride at him.

\\TRANSCRIPTION ENDS//



Solaria
Present

I am Vasilisa, and this is a lie.
-Vasilisa Sanguina

The cities of Solaria glimmered in the soft glow of the system's star. The terrestrial world still host to a functional ecology and vibrant blue seas. A cared for and groomed world. Unlike the sickly dull gray-brown rock that is the Cradle of Humanity. Though she had heard the stories of its mythic past. Of how it was once host to Seven Seas and mighty nations. Of it being the birth of the Human species now standing to inherit the Galaxy. To inherit the stars themselves. But, as she looked back at the print out before her, on her properly apportioned desk, she could only frown. The Emperor was missing. Her creator, her fellow creation's creator, and it most deeply troubled Vasilisa. She had met all of her siblings after all, and very few she remarked as anything but petulant warlords given a responsibility ill-prepared for. No, if the Emperor was gone for a prolonged time then this could be a reversal in the Imperium's fortunes for the past two centuries.

She had stood at Ullanor at the Triumph, though her Legion had been busy else where, and she had stood by as Aleksander was crowned Warmaster of the Imperium. The thought made her grimace. She was not jealous, of course. But, she felt that the Emperor's departure from the Great Crusade was premature. That he was rushing to some other project before this phase in whatever plan he possessed was close enough to completion. Before the seeds of trouble and danger could be thoroughly obliterated under the ceramite boots of the Legiones Astartes.

She glanced to her left and up at the other side of her personal study in the Palatinate Angelum. At her Guard Company commander. Voivode Vladimir Nyirgheza. "Gather the Legion. We muster here at Solaria."
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Audunia » Tue Jul 27, 2021 11:20 am

Dynastos, Flagship of Heraklus Hamartia
Heraklus Hamaria


The bridge of the Dynastos was as lavishly decorated as the rest of the ship, statues of legendary sailors were etched into the walls, reaching out as though they were sprouting from the walls, while a dais stood dominatingly at the centre of the bridge, surrounding by a sea of screens and bridge crew, hurrying about their duties while being sure to avoid gazing at the three central figures.

One of which was Heraklus, his figure was clothed casually, a simple white chiton, it’s edges laced with golden pattern that meandered along its edges, folding back on itself before continuing on. The pattern was repeated on the equally simple himation he wore ove the top, though it was buckled together with the unmistakable Falcyn buckle. Lesser siblings accused him of using it as a loophole imitation of the Aquila, as only Victoria was granted that right, but he rebuked them. Had they, he would say, slain the Falcyn with their own hands? That tended to silence the weaker minds, but the stubborn minds refused to let the matter go, so he would ignore them. Let them stew in their pot of ignorance, blinded by their own inadequacy that they could never replicate his glorious feats, while he would decorate himself with his achievements with pride. Behind him stood Antiochus, clad in bronzed Cataphractii terminator armour of the Myrmidon, his thunder hammer clutched tightly in his hand, while the other held a storm shield, also bearing the visage of the Falcyn.

Next to him stood Abaeze Cyzienese, Fleetmaster of the 23rd Expeditionary Fleet, which the First Ilai called its home. He was a bronzed man, his skin darkened beyond the typical olive of those from Acheana, he hailed from the desert world of Calderis and had served the Imperial Navy loyally, earning distinction and support to facilitate his rise to Fleetmaster of an Astartes fleet. Heraklus himself had chosen him to lead his fleet, for which Abaeze had sworn absolute loyalty to Heraklus ever since. His uniform was always freshly starched and proper, imitating the meticulous standards to which the Sons held themselves to, and sought to enforce the same standards amongst those that served under him. Never let it be said that the 23rd Expeditionary Fleet were not the sharpest dressed force in the Great Crusade.

The two had stood in silence for some time, letting the goings and comings of travelling through the Warp pass them by, with only Abaeze taking an active role in suppressing any emergencies that might occur during this dangerous stage of interstellar travel. It was Abaeze who broke the silence first “Terra, sire? It still seems like a dangerous course to set”

Heraklus looked down at the Fleetmaster, and Abaeze suddenly felt slightly smaller than he had moments before. Heraklus nodded gently “An astute observation, Fleetmaster, but it is a necessary course. My brother, Praessian, though to bat me away with his decree that none may approach Terra, but his purview does not extend to me and I will not be dictated to in that manner” he replied, his words were curt, the ends clipped off in the way Heraklus did when he thought himself being disrespected.

“Of course, Lord,” Abaeze agreed, turning his head to look out of the large viewing port. There was nothing to look at, its thick translucent filling long since covered up by thick metal sheeting. He’d seen men go insane looking at the raw energies of the Warp, and he had no intention of following that path “Though, I still hold trepidation”

A small laugh escaped the Achean’s lips “The day Fleetmaster Cyzienese feels fear, my it must truly be worse than I had thought”

Abaeze shook his head diligently “Not fear, this is born from caution”

“Caution? Tell me then, what has you speaking out of caution”

Abaeze straightened out his back, moving from the position he stood towards a console that dominated his view. His fingers fell upon the buttons, clacking in a number of words required to access its vast wealth of information. He pulled up the file of the Praetorian, his stern face looking outwards in eternal disapproval, as though the picture itself was displeased with its own performance. “The Praetorian protects Terra, something everyone knows, but surely that defense extends against the Sigillite as well? Should the Sigillite appear upon Terra’s doors, with his guns bared, then surely Lord Praessian would fire to defend Terra.”

“You say this as though it was something that has not crossed my mind, it is a dangerous game that the Regent will have to play to placate my brother” Heraklus responded, his eyes narrowing at Abaeze.

“Then what is to stop him firing upon you when we arrive?” Abaeze asked. Heraklus titled his head at Abaeze, surprised at the Fleetmaster’s seemingly simple questions.

He shrugged, though it was a more graceful motion from the Achean instead of the more dismissive one typically used “It is simple. I am aligned with the Regent, who controls Terra, firing upon it would serve no purpose other than to damage my own cause” he answered, pausing for a moment before adding “Regardless, being fired upon is not what this action stands for. Praessian may think himself above it, but he is not. If I follow this directive, then I have asserted Praessian’s words above my own and granting him a degree of authority over me that he does not have.

“It will be a tense stay over Terra that I can assure you” Abaeze responded, folding his arms

“Indeed it shall” Heraklus nodded “But a necessary one The Praetorian holds no authority over me, none of my siblings do other than, perhaps, the Warmaster, and I feel no inclination to follow their hollow orders”

Abaeze settled into silence, looking upon his lord. Heraklus had returned to staring ahead at the bare metal sheets that blocked metal sheets ahead of them, his face was inscruitable but seemed to tense, his face seemed to churn with displeasure, like a sheet being pulled over smooth stones, the chisled angles of his face seemingly trying to burst out.

A buzz had started to form around the astropathic choir, something that does not usually occur given the mundane nature of most astropathic messages, but something had the scribes of the choir in a hive of activity. Abaeze called the chief scribe over, who complied with his head bowed in typical supplication when in the presence of the Primarch. His hand gripped the message tightly, as though his shock at the orders had overome his typical self restraint. Abaeze tried to pry it from the man, who seemed incapable of letting it go.

“Out with it!” Heraklus shouted, the unexpected burst snapping the chief out of his limb-locking daze. He offered a wave of apologies for his indiscretions, but Heraklus waved them aside with an impatient wave of his hand, taking the message forcefully from the chief’s hands. Abaeze watched as the chief bowed multiple times when departing the dais, tears beginning to stream from his eyes as he begged for forgiveness, though Heraklus paid it no heed. Instead, his eyes darted greedily over the message.

Moments of silence passed as Heraklus read the message before he finally spoke. “The Regent welcomes our aligning with him” he said, a murmur of cheers passing over the more hardline members of the crew “Though it appears he has decided to align with the directive of the Praetorian and bids we stay away from Terra”

Abaeze felt a shock riddle through him “The Regent has granted the Praetorian authority over him?” Heraklus shook his head, his eyes shooting to look at Abaeze as though he were a fool mocking Heraklus.

“No, the unspoken rules that bind the Primarchs do not bind the Custodians. Just as this Legion does, they obey the Emperor and the Emperor alone. This is merely a measure to placate the Praetorian, until he can be swayed.” he answered dismissively “Instead he offers us two paths. The first is to assemble at Gathalamor, let the Legion gather close to Terra to act quickly if it were to be attacked. The second is to strike at Xana II, disrupt the supply chain of the rebel forces”

“Xana II” Antiochus spoke after his long silence, armour creaking as he turned to look towards his ward “The homeworld of your brother, Tykos Poio”

“Indeed it is.” Heraklus responded, though his voice lacked any conviction to it, his mood seemingly drained by the message. As Abaeze looked up to Heraklus, he noticed that the freshness of his skin had seemed to drain from him as well. A crack shattered the stunned silence of the bridge as the door was forcibly open.

“Antiochus, grab your Lord!” a robe covered Astartes cried out, thundering into the room with no regards to the mortals that were caught in his path, batting them aside as he raced to Heraklus “The Blindness has claimed him!”. Antiochus, to his credit, wasted not a moment. His spear had no yet clattered to the ground as he raced to Heraklus, far quicker than such an armoured figure should be capable of.

Heraklus’ face had turned the pale white of marble, his knees fell from beneath him he he collapsed to the floor, his knee slamming angrily against the metal. His brown curls dangled from the fringe as his head faced the floor.

“The path..hnnnng” the Primarch said, his voice pained. Antiochus had managed to prevent Heraklus from tumbling face first onto the decki, while the new Asartes had reached them, his hand outstretched over Heraklus’ head, mumbling words that Abaeze’s had no concept of knowing or understanding. The words themselves seemed to defy nature, he knew they were there and being spoken, yet he couldn’t hear them at all, the noise seemingly torn from nature and replaced with nothing.
“An enemy of the Imperium dies!” Heraklus shouted, his head suddenly thrust backwards to face the non-existant sky, his blue eyes now a blinding golden light that illuminated the ceiling above in sterilising light. Abaezes felt the vessel shudder, the superstructure of the bridge groaned under a weight that should not exist. A bulb by his side shattered, sending shards flying.

He looked up, seeing small rays of light start to burst from between the gaps of the metal sheeting, an impossibility as they were built to entirely shut out the Warp, with no potential to breach. He’d never seen anything like this, while another violent jerk of the vessel knocked him to his side, his chest impacting painfully upon the bannister of the dais.

His panic began to rise, eyes flashing across the monitors as they returned impossible readings. It looked like, no, it couldn’t be. Yet, it was undeniable from Abaeze’s eyes. Something was trying to get in.

“An enemy dies! To Xana! To Xana!” Heraklus shrieked in repition, the brightness of his eyes intensifying with every word spoken.

“Helmsman!” he shouted “Get us out of the Warp immediately!”. He could see a reply be shouted, but couldn’t hear it over the noise of Heraklus shrieking. The superstructure screeched in response to this sudden shift, the depowering of the Warp drive flung those not in power armour forwards, Abaeze barely catching himself onto the dais. He blinked a few times before he realised the ship had stopped groaning and Heraklus had silenced. He glanced over and saw he had collapsed backwards, his loose brown curls clung tightly to his forehead, matted with sweat.

He looked up at the Astartes knelt over their Lord. The hooded one looked back.

“You did well” he said, his voice was hollow and reminded him of a aged vizier on Calderis “Do not fear for the Primarch, he will be rise within hours” he paused for a moment, though Abaeze could see his face, as obscured as it was by the heavy hood.

“What then, in the mean time?” he ventured.

“Repair what you can, then inform the Legion to gather at Galthamor...then set heading for Xana II on the war footing” he said, his words seeming as though they were reluctant to materialise themselves within Abaeze’s eyes.

It was in the hours after they ripped free of the Warp, when repairs were near finalised, did Abaeze had time to himself, to dwell. It was while he dwelled that, though the words were unmistakably those of Heraklus’ and excruciatingly loud, he realised that he never saw Heraklus’ mouth move throughout the entire episode.

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Segmentia
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Founded: Jan 16, 2010
Mother Knows Best State

Postby Segmentia » Tue Jul 27, 2021 3:20 pm

Mars

The forges of Mars were never silent, the beating heart of the Mechanicum, the greatest of all Forge World, the greatest source of industry in the galaxy, never slept. But in the past months it was the mortal servants of the Omnissiah that had become hushed, muted in their daily routines as much as one could, in fact the lack of idle-gossip had lead to a temporary increase of overall efficiency of 0.000000001%, which was to be praised. The Emperor of Mankind, Master of the Imperium, and Avatar of the Omnissiah was missing. It had sent a ripple of disquiet among the Tech-Priests and other followers of the Machine God, as had the slowly building fracture at the top of the Imperiums power-structure. Malcador the Sigilite and Captain-General Valdor hadn’t come to physical blows, though rumors of Assassins deployed on Terra had filtered in, but Malcador had fled Terra and was calling forces to him, as was Valdor. In effect, a civil war had begun within the Imperium of Man.

Mars, and the Mechanicum in general, was bound to aid the Imperium of Man thanks to the Treaty of Olympus. But which side was it bound to aid in a conflict that saw the Imperium fighting itself? DId it supply both?

Fabricator-General Kelbor-Hal had a very simple answer to such a complex question. And that answer was; neither. Both sides claimed to hold the Emperor's authority, and a logic survey at those claims ended with the resulting conclusions that both did indeed have legitimate claims. Captain-General Valdor had been voted into the position of Imperial Regent, but only by barring a majority of the War Council from the vote. Malcador and the bulk of the War Council had fled, and they had been entrusted by the Emperor to lead the Imperium. Thus both sides had legitimate claims to being the rightful ruling authority in the Imperium until the Emperor returned, thus logic dictated that both sides were, in essence, the Imperium. And so logic also dictated that one can not help the Imperium by helping it fight itself.

It was an answer that Kelbor-Hal, Fabricator-General of Mars, Lord of the Martian Parliament, and Head of the Cult Mechanicus, liked. He had told both Malcador and Valdor that Mars and the larger part of the Mechanicum would be adopting a position of ‘Armed Neutrality’, while also fulfilling its obligations to the Great Crusade by supplying those legions, fleets, and armies that remained there at the front lines. Neither had been happy with the answer, of course, but both knew better than to argue it. Kelbor-Hal was not an easy being to get along with, and it was a surprise to many that he had risen to the rank of Fabricator-General of Mars at all, but it was also a profound display of his political acumen. For Kelbor-Hal did not see the Emperor as an Avatar of the Omnissiah, he saw him as a Terran Warlord that had tricked Mars and the Mechanicum into subservience. Kelbor-Hal was not private with these thoughts, though he was with the sheer depth of them, but he was smart enough to not let them stop his advancement, to not become so weighed down on that one thing as to inhibit his growth and rise.

Needless to say, Kelbor-Hal was surprisingly happy with current events. With the Mechanicum, or at least Mars and those worlds loyal to it, and those Fabricator-Generals loyal to Kelbor-Hal, adopting the stance of armed neutrality, and issuing very stern warning for any fool daft enough to attempt to interfere with the Mechanicum, this left Kelbor-Hal with a golden opportunity to solidify Mars’ influence on the other Forge Worlds. Granted there were forge-worlds that would side with one faction or the other, or fall back on alliances with individual Primarchs and Legions, but the bulk of Forge Worlds, especially major forge worlds, he was betting, would try to remain neutral, focusing their efforts on breaking away from Mars or settling ages old rivalries.

A golden opportunity...and a headache.

Streams of information circulated through his mind as he continued to pour over data concerning a wide range of Forge Worlds. Loyalties, strengths, industrial output, rivalries and grudges, sorting each forge world into a column when he was confident in the logic of where they would fall on the spectrum of loyalties.

There were of course other factors to consider beyond the forge worlds themselves, but the armies and fleets of the Mechanicum, and the Titan Legions. Having already pressured his allied forge worlds to follow suit, new orders were sent out to all Mechanicum forces.

---+++ PRAISE THE OMNISSIAH+++---
RECIPIENT: All forces of the Mechanicum
ROUTED FROM: Fabricator-General Kelbor-Hal, Fabricator-General of Mars, Lord of the Martian Parliament, Head of the Cult Mechanicus
CONCERNING: Updated directives concerning the ‘Great Crusade’ and the political fracturing of the Imperium

-+MESSAGE FOLLOWS+-

All armies, fleets, and Legio Titanicus formations are hereby issued new directives on their support and participation in the Great Crusade. Due to the recent political turmoil and splitting of the Imperiums top levels of power, the Mechanicum has issued a declaration of Armed Neutrality concerning the power struggle, but shall fulfil its obligations to support the Great Crusade.

All forces are hereby given new directives.

+All forces will continue to support Astartes, Imperial Army, and Imperial Armada formations continuing with the Great Cruasde.

+If the commanders of said formations declare their allegiance to any political faction, support is to cease at once and Mechanicum forces are to detach and return to their Forge World of origin.

+Withdrawal of said formations from the frontlines past a ten light year distance towards Terra or without their intended and final destination being a designated supply point will be taken as a declaration of support for a political faction, support is to cease at once and Mechanicum forces are to detach and return to their Forge World of origin.

+Cessation of operations for the Great Crusade will be seen as a declaration of support for a political faction, support is to cease at once and Mechanicum forces are to detach and return to their Forge World of origin.

+If said formations come to combat against themselves, Mechanicum forces are to defend themselves as appropriate and support is to cease at once and Mechanicum forces are to detach and return to their Forge World of origin.


Message to Primarch Lazarus Ignus

Continued research to cease, Purifier Astartes to be removed from Mechaicum facilities, current data to be code-locked.

Research may continue if/when Lazarus Ignus and Purifiers are determined to be neutral in forthcoming Imperial civil hostilities.
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Wysten
Minister
 
Posts: 2588
Founded: Apr 29, 2017
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Wysten » Tue Jul 27, 2021 9:32 pm

“One Minute Can Determine The Outcome of A Battle…’
Commander Yazid
Planetary Capital “Golden Dome” Dara
11 Months After The Disappearance of the Emperor

Yazid walked forwards through the spartan halls of his headquarters. The clank of both his own power-armored feet along with that of his guard sounded throughout the hallway as men of various stripes passed through busying themselves with the task of mobilizing almost an entire small city’s worth of men in the span of a year, with that deadline coming closer every day. The space marine kept his gaze forward until he finally reached the main chamber of his situation room. Stepping in the room was already alight with activity as clerks, other marines, and the rare Machine Cult worshiper skirted around. In the center, however, stood Yazid’s Chief of Staff. At the head stood the power armor clad al-Muwaliam serving as Yazid’s right hand, the blue-uniformed Corinutias serving as the head of all Naval Forces in Yazid’s army, next to her stood with cross arms the green-clad General Norinatus in charge of the Imperial Auxila also under Yazid, finally the red and white-robed figure of Alpha-Beta 89 the representative of the Machine Cult. His almost completely inhuman face constantly hummed as the AdMech’s eyes constantly adjusted and calculated its surroundings. Yazid strode forward and the staff saluted an Aquilla before all sitting down around the holo-projector.

“So first I must ask the state of the reinforcing of our forces General Norinatus?” Yazid spoke grimly as the holo-projector whirled showing a steadily increasing number of runes appearing around the war world of Dara.

“Yes, Lord Commander, the additional six million Auxilla requested by Lord Rayhan for our forces has been progressing rapidly,” The general stood straight as an aide brought forth a datapad to the Marine. The runes flashed for a moment as a percentage coupled next to the Imperial Aquilla steadily increased to 100% showing the original 6.5 million Auxilla common to one of the armies under Rayhan to a staggering 12.5 million. “As you can see Lord Commander the Auxilla is now at full strength and is ready to move at your notice.”

Yazid merely nodded before speaking, “I am impressed General, however, I fear it may be used soon.” The space marine turned then to Alpha-Beta 89 as it paused for a moment before seemingly strenuously speaking in Low Gothic.

“Mars had dictated that all Forge Worlds stay neutral...Date of Rescinding such a declaration….Calculating...Unknown...Variables include sectarian splits depending on region and probable waiting for the victor in the Battle of Terra...A possible positive outcome for the XI…Lord Rayhan...No known fortifications between our current position and that of the II are detected on star charts updated 2.3 seconds prior.” The Machine Priest merely cut off the speech like the end of a vox transmission as it went back to it’s calculations.

Yazid gave a sigh as he gazed at the star chart on the projector, “Well that is more than good news. No doubt this information has already been passed to my father and so we were given an objective, take Aldatia either by force or through convincing my Aunt to ally herself with the XIV.”

The black-clad Space Marine stood as he looked over the hologram once again and turned to al-Muwaliam and the marine nodded silently as the projector changed for its usual overview of the sector instead of an overview of the II Legion “Emperor’s Eagles”, its primarch Victoria Ave Aldatia, and of their homeworld of Aldatia. “Before I begin the information displayed here has already been deployed to your datapads to review prior to commencement of operations. I should not have to remind everyone but the information here is classified and is only privy to those in this room and to figures previously selected for other operations. The enemy we fight is one we have never fought, each other. The Space Marine is probably one of the deadliest things to face on a battlefield unprepared, especially that of an Emperor’s Eagle. While a more in-depth view of their origins is in the report sent to you it is important to know that inter-service cooperation in regards to dealing with the II Legion is incredibly crucial. The II Legion prime operational doctrine of vertical envelopment has seen to devastate even hard to route enemies such as the Orkz of the Warlord on Ullanor and of numerous other Xenos and renegades. It is recommended then that ground elements work hand in hand with naval elements in order to ensure that no transport from the II Legion can possibly be above any central elements of the XIV Legion or its auxiliaries. Please refer to D2-3 IADS for further information on countering air elements. Should however elements of the II legion successfully reach the ground your best plan is to isolate and digest any pockets of resistance as quickly as possible before then beginning spoiling attacks against the inevitable assault across the mainline.” al-Muwaliam finished as he looked over the other commanders and back to Yazid who gave him a nod before continuing.

“This leads to the core operation at hand, the seizure of Aldatia should diplomatic talks between Lady Victoria and Lord Rayhan tourn sour.” The holo-projector then changed to the homeworld of the II Legion and of Victoria. Corinatus and Norinatus leaned forward towards the hologram as the Space Marine continued.

“The planet Aldatia has four key points that need to be taken in order to ensure total control of the planet. Victoria’s personal citadel is located here,” The marine would then point towards a city located near the equator of the planet.

“Here is where we can take the primary political and logistical center of gravity on the planet due to the starport located in the citadel proper. Taking this key point of transit will allow heavier elements of both the marine and auxilla detachments to land and begin their assault on the city proper.” The projector then flashed red runes towards the main palace of Victoria’s and of the city-sized starport.

“After the capture of both, there will be an advance from Lord Commander’s al-Mansur from Victoria’s Palace down into the city from the governmental district while we will then advance across the city to cut off any escape of Aldatian forces still in the city. From there we will slowly digest what remains of any resistance. Follow-up operations into the underground sewer system will be done by terminator elements under al-Mansur.” The Space Marine commander then stepped back and Yazid gave a nod of approval and a small smile. al-Muwaliam’s eyes widened for a bit in surprise before going back to that usual cold stare back towards the rest of the staff.

“That’ll be all brother al-Muwaliam,” Yazid said as the junior marine bowed and stepped back from the holoprojector as the Lord Commander turned to the rest of the staff. “This battle will no doubt be the bloodiest one the legion has ever faced. Conservative estimates puts the marine losses alone at 40% and the auxilla at 50%. The enemy we face is one who will try and hold every inch, every hab unit, and every street with a ferocity not seen in our long history. However they will be outnumbered, outgunned, and alone. With sufficient application of firepower, material, and men this will end with the Black Standard rising above this planet.”

Astropathic Message to Lady Vasileia Sangunia from Emir Abu Rayhan al-Biruni

It seems in troubled times as these it is time to look towards friends and allies, I only hope that you, dearest friend that you are, have chosen the right path in this great debacle under the Lord Regent Valdor. What kept the Imperium together was not just the backroom dealings of the Sigillite but the sheer force of both personality and strength He possess that can only be found in those who are genetically closer to the Master of Mankind than even ourselves.


Astropathic Message to Lord Herkalus Hamaratia from Emir Abu Rayhan al-Biruni
Despite our conflict over what now seems to be minor issues, we need to at least accept each other’s company if we are to serve the Regent to our full potential. Because of this I have plans that will need at least your tactic support of if we are to win this war.


Astropathic Message to Lord Regent Constantin Valdor of the Adeptus Custodes from Emir Abu Rayhan al-Biruni

Here you have my utmost fealty and support for your cause and claim to the Regency of the Imperium of Man until the return of the Master of Mankind.
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United Islands of Polis
Diplomat
 
Posts: 640
Founded: Jun 27, 2015
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby United Islands of Polis » Tue Jul 27, 2021 10:05 pm

The Primarch Aleksandr Zorkastanov, XV Legion, Primordial Guard
Border of Segmentum Solar, The Phalanx, The Strategium


The 83rd Expeditionary Fleet had already made a temporary Anchorage near the border of Segmentum Pacificus and Segmentum Solar. From here they were able to hear transmissions from inside their capital. It was a rightful mess. Transmission after transmission of movements and allegiances, luckily however those transmissions were rare and few, considering the outbreak of these two factions having only been so recent.

On a deck, a few floors below the Strategium lay the communications center, booths of astropaths lines neatly, inside each booth was a high end vox array, which was fed into a printer, churning out messages as it came, in tandem with cogitators to keep the messages coherent. Messages deemed important as of the moment were being printed out. Prominently, the messages from Heraklus, Praessian, Sevren,
And the Fabricator General himself.

At some point, after having filtered out the important transmissions to take note of, and those deemed ignorable, Grand Sentinel Alistaire made his way towards a lift, heading towards the Strategium deck. The busy hallway seemed almost dead, as the dread of those who knew what was at stake here if the tensions had escalated towards something more heated. It would be pandemonium in the Imperium, everything every single member of the Imperium worked so hard to accomplish would come crashing down. Some only knew of this, however rumors spread fast.

The lift doors opened with a hiss of hydraulics. Facing the Grand Sentinel were a pair of legionnaires in camouflage, black trimmed, Cataphractii Terminator plate, who both had realized the other Astartes in similar gear was, opening the door towards the Strategium itself.

The Strategium was much like any command bridge on the ship, save for the fact of its size, and sheer grandeur when it comes to naval amenities. Unlike the command bridge of the Pride of the Nation, Astartes did not have to reflexively lower their heads, they could walk around just fine, the same can be said for Primarchs, which was certainly more than welcome. It had also included a strategy table, which was currently on, the holographic display showing the entirety of Segmentum Solar, or at least what the sensorums of the Phalanx and the rest of the fleet’s larger ships could produce. Small shapes could be seen dancing around slowly, ships most likely, the sensorums only being able to identify the largest ships, but not all of them, even then it was still hard to determine, and for how long the determined vessel would stay labeled.

Aleksandr was on the lookout for those belonging to his siblings, or in a hopeful manner, the Emperor’s own ship. However the trance was dissipated as the voice of his old friend cut through it. “Transmissions, Lord Marshal.”

Aleksandr took the folder, opening it and pulling out the first one in the front. “Thank you, Helios. From who?”

“The Lord Praetorian, Lords Hamartia, Pentecost, and the Fabricator General Kelbor-Hal.” Grand Sentinel Alistaire responded back.

Aleksandr raised an eyebrow at the mention of the Lord of Mars. “Is this a general transmission or a personal one?”

“A general transmission, sir. I have not read it, so I cannot disseminate further information to you, Lord Marshal.” Grand Sentinel Alistaire put his hands to his side, at an attentive stance.

“I shall read them then. And what of the preparations for the address?” Aleksandr asked as he put the folder onto the table.

“Almost ready, Lord Marshal. If I may be excused, I must return to my duties, overseeing its preparation, Lord Marshal.” Grand Sentinel Alistaire was dismissed by his Primarch, the two trading a Gentian salute before departing.

Some Hours Later
Border of Segmentum Solar, The Phalanx, The Observatory



A vox array had been set up already, alongside with picters in the Observatory. They were pointed at Aleksandr on a podium. Behind him was the armor-glass dome the Observatory had, the view of the stars gave it a commanding feeling, as the intention was when the vessel was made. Luckily he had already responded to his transmissions already, so he could return to the Strategium to monitor what he could further. A light went from green to red, the live transmission was now starting.

People of the Imperium of Man. In the past few months, turmoil has been churning with the disappearance of the Emperor. Fear not, for he has not perished! The Astronomican still burns bright, have hope! However, there have been some problems of critical concern. Primarily the fact that the Emperor’s friends, my mentors, Malcador the Sigillite, and Captain-General Constantin Valdor, due to opposing views, are at the precipice of a civil war.

They call upon others to join them, to support them, to claim legitimacy to the title ‘Regent of Terra’. In this, there are faults to them. One claimed legitimacy without the support of the majority of the War Council, the other, failing to see the importance of the need for a central leadership figure in times like this. However, their shortcomings are understandable. One wishes not to seemingly usurper the power of the Emperor of Mankind, the other wanting to keep the Imperium from falling. These stances are understandable and within reason, however what irks me is that their views are about to drive the Imperium into a civil war!

I refuse to spill the blood of my brothers and sisters in arms, over petty politics. I am asking both sides to return to a civil manner of conflict resolution. As Warmaster, I am willing to act as mediator to find a solution to this problem without the need of bloodshed. In addition to this, I am also ordering all forces of the Imperium to join neither side, and continue your work on the Great Crusade, albeit at a slower pace. Protect the interests of the larger Imperium, if one side wants to attack a system to bring in their resources, manpower, or whatever valuables, tell them ‘No!’, and if you shall be met with a choir of weapons, respond in return. Peace is the outcome we all wish for, but I will let no one who defends the Imperium’s interests and properties from these two sides die doing nothing!

We, the combined people of the Imperium of Man, must ensure that the work we have all put together does not unravel. The Emperor will return. Let us not shame him in showing him upon his return that we have regressed into a bunch of animals, fighting over nonsense. Help us preserve the Imperium, to prosper further, not regress and stagnate. Our birthright is the stars, let us end this peacefully so we may claim these stars, together!

Ave Imperator! Ave Terra! Ave Unitas!


With that the transmission had ended. Aleksandr inhaled a deep breath, and exhaled a minute later. For that few minutes, a large portion of the Imperium had their eyes on him. Hopefully his message was heard and interpreted the way he intended it. The call for a peaceful resolution, but with a will to use force to keep the Imperium whole.

Hopefully.


Encryption Cipher: Vanta
Astropathic Choir Urgency: Extremis
Code Protocol: Black
Recipients:Lord Praetorian Praessian Corro

Brother, I do wish that this communication had found us at a better time so we may exchange pleasantries. I urge that you maintain a neutral stance on this civil war, and help me keep this boiling pot of a situation from turning any hotter that it can. You are a key in this situation, brother. We must ensure Terra falls to neither of them, lest we start unravelling all we have built and progressed this far, and fail.

May the winds be in our favor.

Primarch of the XVth Aleksandr Zorkastanov.


Encryption Cipher: Vanta
Astropathic Choir Urgency: Extremis
Code Protocol: Black
Recipients: Primarch Heraklus Hamartia

Negative. Do not leave current Great Crusade work. A solution is currently being made to solve this without the need for bloodshed of brothers and sisters at arms. Mars and the Mechanicum will cease supplying your legion if you deviate. Please return to your duties in the Great Crusade.

Safety follow you always.

Primarch of the XVth Aleksandr Zorkastanov.


Encryption Cipher: Vanta
Astropathic Choir Urgency: Privatus
Code Protocol: Grey
Recipients: Primarch Sevren Penetecost

Good to hear from you, Brother!

The donning of my armor merely takes minutes in the single digits now, unlike the first time I donned it in the forges of Mars. I have gotten the Lord Praetorian’s message as well, but I advise not to go to Terra just yet, I will tell you when you can make transit for Terra, Sensorums from the western edge of Segmentum Solar show defensive formations, I rather not have siblings blown out of the void in accident. A solutions is in the works if you have seen the address,

The best of luck and care to you always.

Primarch of the XVth Aleksandr Zorkastanov.


Encryption Cipher: Vanta
Astropathic Choir Urgency: Extremis
Code Protocol: Black
Recipients: Fabricator-General Kelbor-Hal

I wish to appeal to His Excellency, the Fabricator-General of Mars, and the Leader of the Parliament of Mars, to discuss our regards in our neutrality, but enforcement of the unity of the Imperium at large. Whether this talk may be conducted via psychic channels, or in person is up to the decision of His Excellency, considering the circumstances and current defensive posture of Segmentum Solar.

With all due respect.

Primarch of the XVth Aleksandr Zorkastanov.
Last edited by United Islands of Polis on Tue Jul 27, 2021 10:08 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Europa Undivided
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1383
Founded: Jun 18, 2019
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Europa Undivided » Wed Jul 28, 2021 9:17 am

Primarch Arkadij Dreyksyn
The VII Legion, the Grey Dragons


Warp Transit




Arkadij stood still within the private briefing of the Inviolus Vox, the windows all blacked out as the unnatural colors of the Immaterium streaked past the Legion fleet. Half of it, anyway, as the rest of the Grey Dragons were carrying out a purging of Orks on the frontiers of the Great Crusade.

He had heard the pleas and commands of his brothers. Praessian decreed that no other Primarch was to come near Terra while the whole political turmoil between Valdor and Malcador simmered like the sun on a desert planet. The Warmaster, Aleksandr, had in turn offered to be a mediator between the walking citrus fruit and the withered raisin. By those words Arkadij would mean 'the Emperor's most stalwart bodyguard' and the 'Emperor's greatest bureaucrat'. Sevren's names and insults had rubbed off a little at Arkadij; it would seem that his exposure to his brother's esoteric words had… quite an effect, one might say.

"Lord Dreyksyn." One of the Praetorate's voices faded into his ears. "Who shall we support?"

"Hm." Arkadij placed his hand unto his chin, his mind deep in thought. Valdor didn't like him or any of the Primarchs, even if Arkadij himself held a high opinion of him as the Emperor's bodyguard. Malcador, on the other hand, was more tolerable.

It was not in attitudes or personal relationships that would determine the allegiance of the Grey Dragons, but purpose. Between the Emperor's shield and the Sigilite, one possessed the knowledge and wisdom to govern a massive Imperium in the absence of its Emperor, and it wouldn't be his bodyguard. Malcador, in the other hand, had single handedly made a bureaucracy that worked in this day and age, especially in this scope. What does a dedicated warrior know of ruling, except to subjugate those who oppose him? Arkadij knew this well. He was not built to govern. He conquered, and he conquered swiftly-

"Lord Dreyksyn… have you decided?", asked Fyodor, another of the Praetorate of the Legion.

"I have." Arkadij nodded to Fyodor. "The Sigilite is the best choice for leading the Imperium in the absence of our Father… but we tell no one except the Sigilite. We do not make it public yet."

"Why is that, Lord Dreyksyn?" This time, Erasyl, one of those that tended to the Drakes, was speaking. "Your brother Tykos has also aligned with the Sigilite-"

"Not when we are not sure on how the Master of Mars will react to this development." Arkadij answered. "The Mechanicum makes and maintains everything we use. If the Forge Worlds cease their supplies because we showed our hand, then that will spell disaster for us. No. We will keep up a neutral front to the others, as the Warmaster has insisted. Only when we have ensured the favour of the Foregworlds near to us may we show our allegiance. And even so, I would very much prefer to wait for the rest of my siblings to show who they seek to root for before I tell mine."

"... So you want to make sure you're on the winning side, Lord Dreyksyn?" Fyodor asked. "Is… that it?"

"If winning is even a point in this conflict, seeing as how the Warmaster is trying to mend the mess back together." The one who spoke was Gregori, one of the first marines to come from the plains of Zapozhia, having been here ever since Arkadij turned the Ravagers into the Grey Dragons.

"If it's war, then war it is! The burning will be-" Erasyl ripped up, only to be shushed momentarily.

"Apologies. I didn't meant to be-"

"I know." Arkadij answered. The Firethirst had been mostly contained, and it was only in the worst of battles did it ever rears its ugly face again. "For now, we have to lay low. Be as silent as the dragons of the mountains. For the people."

"For the people.", echoed back the Praetorate as they all left the chamber until only Dreyksyn was left. Once he was alone, he clicked open a pocket watch, and stared at it.

"The clock ticks closer and closer towards the mutual destruction of ourselves. Father, where have you gone?"




Encryption Cipher: Black
Astropathic Choir Urgency: Privatus
Code Protocol: Black
Recipient: Malcador the Sigilite

++TRANSMISSION START++

Greetings, most trusted vizier of my father. This message is to inform you that I and the Grey Dragons are aligned with your cause; however, we may not yet speak of it in public, lest the Mechanicum suddenly sabotage my Legion's supplies. Just know that if conflict does come to pass, you will have my support.

++TRANSMISSION END++
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"FRESH AIR UPON MY SKIN IS LIKE THE FLENSING DAGGERS OF A THOUSAND THOUSAND MENIAL URCHINS GOING AT A SACK OF POTATOES. MY EXISTENCE IS FRAUGHT WITH FALLS AND POINTLESS ANGST IN THE MIDST OF THIS DISGUSTING REALITY. THE LIGHT BURNS! FOR I HAVE NEVER BEEN WORTHY TO WA-[bird noise]".

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Lunas Legion
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Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Lunas Legion » Wed Jul 28, 2021 11:43 am

Mia Donna Mori
Orpheus Sector
Segmentum Tempestus
675.000.M31


Morgan Duri watched the world designated 2000-4-91 burn. It was a green-yellow colour, stretching across the surface of the planet as the atmosphere of the world in front of him, the chemical agents used reacting violently with the atmosphere and causing a planet-wide firestorm and, if the conditions had been correct, scouring all trace of the orkoid menace from the planet.

"Atmospheric conditions within anticipated ranges." One of the ship's sensor operators reported. "Firestorm projected to last three more planetary rotations, four and three-quarter solar days."

Morgan nodded. As expected. Orks were... Troublesome to deal with. Fighting simply seemed to draw more and more of them in, like some xenos immune system, and no matter how many of them one killed, there always seemed to be more. Even when a world was properly scoured of orks, they would always, without fail, return to plague any colonists who had settled on that world in the wake of the Great Crusade's advance.

"Another world burned to ash, Lord Primarch?" Lady Arica Orpheus, Rogue Trader and the source of the Sector's name for her charting of the warp routes and currents in advance of the I Legion's course.

"Another." Morgan Duri gave a grim nod. "How is the Pegasus' Flight?"

"Still undergoing repairs." Arica's face turned into a snarl. "Damnable xenos caught me off guard. I've never seen ships of their like."

"They underestimated you." Morgan noted, still watching the world burn. "Two ships against one is never enough against a Rogue Trader."

"It's not." Arica nodded, snorting loudly. "You've heard the whisperings from towards Terra?"

"Foolishness and idiocy." Morgan spat. "I've send a squadron of destroyers to Gryphonne IV and Kiavhar to inform them of my intent to continue the Great Crusade and ask that any forces that return to their worlds that are surplus to their requirements to adequately defend themselves. The squabbling of my siblings, the Sigilite and the Chief Custodian are not within my remit to involve myself with. My legion is scattered across six Sectors, your own, the neighbouring Leyak, Eyridice and Haxan Sectors and the Mandragoran and Corribra Sectors. Even if I wished to intervene, which I do not, it would take months for the legion to finish this campaign."

"And if it has not ended by then?" Arica asked.

"It will have ended." Morgan said firmly. "Or I shall end it."




Tower of Hegemon, Imperial Palace
Terra, Sol
Segmentum Solar
681.000.M31


Some ancient commander had once said no plan survives contact with the enemy. For Constantin Valdor, it might have been better said no battle plan survived contact with his allies. He had, originally, intended to remain on the defensive and launch a counter-blow; with Heraklus and now Abu Rayhan declaring for him, it seemed that the strategic initiative had been passed over to him, away from Malcador. Truth be told, he had expected more Primarchs to side with the Sigilite rather than himself; he had not kept his dislike for the Astartes and Primarchs hidden, and had opposed them both before the Emperor himself. Regardless, the situation had changed in, seemingly, no time at all.

Encryption Cipher: Aurum
Astropathic Choir Urgency: Extremis
Code Protocol: Aurum
Recipient: Emir Abu Rayhan al-Biruni, Lord of the Star Spears

++TRANSMISSION START++

Your declaration of allegiance is most welcome and most fortuitous. I would bid you amass your legion's strength with all possible haste and make to launch a direct assault on Yarant III. Your brother Heraklus makes attack Xana II, or will be mustering his forces at Galthamor. I would bid that you move to muster at Galthamor alongside him if he does so before launching your assault on Yarant III to bring this war to a quick and decisive ending.

++TRANSMISSION END++


Encryption Cipher: Aurum
Astropathic Choir Urgency: Extremis
Code Protocol: Aurum
Recipient: Warmaster Aleksandr Zorkastanov

++TRANSMISSION START++

Your offer of mediation, while commendable, is ultimately futile. Malcador is in rebellion against the legal Imperial Regent. His rebellion will be crushed through force of arms. If you will not assist, then return to the Great Crusade.

++TRANSMISSION END++





Yarant Grand Strategium
Yarant III, Yarant System
Segmentum Solar
680.000.M31


"Your brother Arkadij sides with us." The Sigilite's voice was nearly a whisper as he looked over the holographic map of the Galaxy, expeditionary fleets and their trajectories tiny labelled dotted lines among the thousands of stars. "He does not do so openly for fear of the Mechanicum restricting his access to supplies, however. The Praetorian's declaration has rendered our initial plan of engagement null and void. This will not be a quick war to end in our victory, and so we must make it a long war."

The Sigilite looked away from the map, turning to the towering figure of Tykos Poio. "Kelbor-Hal has denied us supplies directly from the Mechanicum, and so we must work around the Fabricator-General. Mars is not a monolith, and there will be many that chafe under her. Send out your Pioneer Companies, sound out the forge-worlds of Segmentum Solar, and if possible obtain their loyalties. The Mechanicum are, fundamentally, self-interested beings. Offers will need to be made. The reduction of the power of Mars over them, allowances for their more... Idiosyncratic tendencies. Phaeton has long-founded grievances against the Red Planet dating back to the commencement of the Great Crusade, while Voss Prime should be ignored; it's Magi are known as the Right Hand of Mars for good reason. Voss... I do not know."

"I will dispatch companies immediately." Tykos nodded curtly. This war would not be as easy as either of them had hoped.

Encryption Cipher: Rubrium
Astropathic Choir Urgency: Prioris
Code Protocol: Rubrium
Recipient: Warmaster Aleksandr Zorkastanov

++TRANSMISSION START++

Although your offer to mediate is commendable, Warmaster, there is no negotiating with one such as Valdor once he has set his mind to something, only the Emperor himself could make the Grand Custodian desist from a task he considers within his purview. Likewise, the Imperium does not negotiate with rebels and traitors, and Constantin Valdor is most certainly both. I implore you to muster your siblings to assist me in putting down Valdor's mistaken rebellion, and ensuring that the Great Crusade can continue uninterrupted until the return of the Emperor.

++TRANSMISSION END++


Encryption Cipher: Rubrium
Astropathic Choir Urgency: Prioris
Code Protocol: Rubrium
Recipient: Arkadij Dreyksyn, Primarch of the Grey Dragons

++TRANSMISSION START++

Your loyalty is most appreciated, and your caution wise. I fear that the first shots shall be fired much sooner rather than later, however, so your legion should prepare as best as it is able for a long war.

++TRANSMISSION END++
Last edited by William Slim Wed Dec 14 1970 10:35 pm, edited 35 times in total.

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Revlona
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Father Knows Best State

Postby Revlona » Wed Jul 28, 2021 4:15 pm

Victoria Ave Aldatia

Aldatia burned around her, great pillars of smoke and ash drifted from the pyre which was her home. Screams echoed from around her, pleading for mercy, for forgiveness, for death. The voices of her children whispered in her ears, warnings of death and destruction which could spell their end. It was then that Victoria, child of the Emperor of Mankind, realized what was happening. She looked around her, becoming conscious of the wingstrokes which kept her aloft as she did.

The great Palace of the Eagles, her home, had been sacked. It was as if her home had been taken directly from the artwork of ancient terra millenia old. The four great towers had all fallen, the keep had been opened, and fire consumed it all. She moved closer to the Palace from where she hung high above the city and castle. She was not afraid for she knew this wasn't real, yet all the same she knew how real it could become.

As she beat her great wings against the torrent of air which strained against her, she wondered to herself if this was the doom she had been picturing since the Emperors disappearance. She wondered if this fate was reserved for all of the Imperium or for her alone. Had she failed in her duties? Would this be the the Emperors Retribution? A rivalry between siblings? A treasonous plot? All of them? She did not know and she hoped to never find out.

Victoria landed in the courtyard with grace, her fast descent turning into a controlled landing with no effort. Her eyes narrowed as she gazed upon the view which assaulted her senses. Bodies littered the grounds, her children, the faithful servants, even visiting citizens, all with weapons in hand. Besides them laid what could only be their foe, black figures of ever changing size.

"So it has yet to be decided then?" She muttered to herself. "Onwards then,"

The Primarch of the 2nd legion had seen war, from the early years of her life on Aldatia to even now as a leader of mankind she had seen almost endless war. However she still found herself shocked at the sheer violence which obviously had occurred around her. Not a single body lay unmolested, a torrent of wounds having felled every one. Great gauges in the stairway and walls caught her gaze, from massive holes obviously caused by explosions to smaller pockets and burns which could only be bolters and las fire.

"Civil war?" Victoria muttered, her thoughts flashing back to a battle almost two hundred years past now which had been fought in this great castle.

It was with a sense of foreboding that Victoria laid her hands upon the doors of the great hall and pushed. She knew what she was going to see and yet, she did not wish to see it.

In the center of the great hall a circle of bodies decorated the room. The Dark blues of her Aquila Singulare mixed with the lighter blue of her regular sons. Here she found what was obviously the worst of the fighting. Hundreds of bodies, both her own and the dark figures, filled the room. Her sons here put to shame all who had died in the lead up, here blood covered every single marine. All bore the signs of dozens of wounds, all of them had fought to their fullest capabilities to defend their mother, yet it seemed it was all for nought.

Within the circle of bodies which were her personal guard laid an even greater and thicker circle which was completely made of the dark figures. Within this circle lay Victoria. Dried blood coated her face and hair, her helm had been gouged to reveal her face, her sword lay broken in two, and her armor was rent with gashes. A single wing was still attached to her back, the other lost among the bodies.

"So this is my fate? To fight to the death against an unknown enemy? We shall see..." Victoria said, her voice hard with emotion.

She turned away then and opened her eyes, above her was the ceiling of her living quarters. Above that was the Palace of Eagles. Above that was the void which hosted the innumerable stars which swore loyalty to the Emperor and his Imperium, but the void also hosted innumerable foes which wanted only to tear the Imperium down. One of them had locked their gaze upon her and Aldatia, one of them dared to raise a hand against a daughter of the Emperor. Against the bearer of the Aquila, the Eagle Queen of Aldatia, and the Primarch of the Second Legion Astartes. They raised their hand to strike against Victoria Ave Aldatia and Victoria intended to strike back.
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Morrdh
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Postby Morrdh » Wed Jul 28, 2021 6:50 pm

Denikin Line
New Mitama
Ullanor Sector


The rolling rumbling thunder of artillery fire by now had long since become background noise much like the buzz of insects or the whistling of the wind. Even the crack of small arms fire or the heavier rattle of heavy stubbers barely drew much attention now, though there was still one priecing shrill sound that everyone dreaded. Amidst the melody of war, the troopers of the Calbernian Darkwatch's 5th Brigade stood sentry or tended to various tasks. Brigadier Éamonn Maguire, officer commanding the 5th Brigade, made his way along the muddy, flak-board lined trenchlines and noted that the soldiers remained alert with their weapons within easy reach.

They'd been here for well over a year now, initially deploying at the onset of the Ullanor Campaign to pin down some of the greenskins in the sector. The Triumph had been and gone with the Calbernian still manning these trenchlines to merely 'contain' the savage xenos, least there were also other Imperial Army units present but many of these had barely seen any combat prior to leaving their homeworlds. Many of them were now grizzled veterans, though the price in blood was high.

Maguire paused outside the entrance to a half-buried bunker, a crescendo of fire had erupted further along the trenchline. The 43rd Polythreme under General Bellington was his guess, a guess that was proven correct when he entered the bunker and saw the holographic map displaying the ongoing battle. Some officer awaited the Brigadier by a table to one side of the bunker, whom Maguire strode over and nodded. "As ye were."

"Sah," Replied one of the officers. "The Forty-Third is taking a basting, we've taken the liberty of issuing a general stand-to order."

"Very well." Grumbled Maguire. "Though I'm afraid there's more bad news; All Imperial forces have a forty-eight hour notice to withdraw."

"I received a communique earlier, we're to be redeployed elsewhere."

"Ye serious sah?" Blurted out an officer. "The greenskins will harry us the whole way if we try to withdraw."

"Higher ups say they've accounted for this, but ye know Command..." Responded Maguire. "I'll be speaking with the other commanders to try and co-ordinate things but we'll begin pulling out units in phases, one trench at a time whilst being sure to leave a few surprises for the Orks. I want you to brief yer men and have them ready."
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Imperialisium
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Imperialisium » Wed Jul 28, 2021 6:59 pm

Astropathic Message to Lady Vasileia Sangunia from Emir Abu Rayhan al-Biruni

It seems in troubled times as these it is time to look towards friends and allies, I only hope that you, dearest friend that you are, have chosen the right path in this great debacle under the Lord Regent Valdor. What kept the Imperium together was not just the backroom dealings of the Sigillite but the sheer force of both personality and strength He possess that can only be found in those who are genetically closer to the Master of Mankind than even ourselves.


Solaria
Arx Angelum

Vasilisa read the missive again as the city-scape below the mountain caldera located fortress of the Sun Angel's hummed with humanity. Off to the West were darkening clouds. Solaria was a stormy world, prone to abrupt and fierce electrical storms, yet Vasilisa found it beautiful. A stormy night on Solaria was a night of blissful sleep for her. If she slept. For staying up long hours dealing with matters of the Hegemony and the Great Crusade tended to occupy many hours in a day. For that she could be thankful for her Primarch physiology in that she could easily maintain such a work schedule. Sitting back in her chair she spared a glance out the tall windows. The lofty mountains of Volskaya were snow capped and lush with trees on their slopes. The city-scape in the valleys below, threaded through, like a Terran spider's web.

Rayhan's missive was expected and spoke of the fast moving events taking place. Vasilisa in truth cared little for Valdor or Malcador's political factions. She was loyal to Imperium and the Emperor's Dream as told to her long ago. The memory of which swam into her mind. A sunny day in the Hall of Leng. Deep within the Imperial Palace. How she remembered that peculiar place. A personal study of the Emperor. A place where he measured time and space through arcane mathematical understanding from a probably bygone era. She remembered Valdor standing guard near the entrance to the Hall while her and the Emperor spoke for seemingly hours. Yet, in Valdor's words only minutes had passed. A peculiar place under the still snowy, somewhat intact, high peaks of the Himalazian Mountains.

Activating a mnemo-quill she wrote a response. The automatic writing device scratching across the surface of the stark white parchment without need of her hand to actually guide it. For the pen had memorized her hand strokes and thus performed each character without flaw. The message of course would be broken down into emotions and abstract concepts by the Astropaths of the Angelum. Sent off to be received by the Astropaths of her brother and in their own personal codebooks they'd be able to decipher the message back into written word. As safe an encryption as there ever was for who could crack a message which to an outward observer could be just 'moon-red-sad-righteous-naval-star-yes.' Exactly, minded Vasilisa to herself.

To: The Primarch Rayhan
From: Primarch Vasilisa Sanguina
Encryption: Vermillion Extremis

Fear not that my actions will be to resolve this conflict in the name of Emperor and Imperium. Make no mistake that the Primarch's and Legiones Astartes are but pawns to the Sigillite and First of the Ten Thousand. My actions will be expedite such conflict to a conclusion that will involve less damage to the Imperium of Man.


Pausing, she slotted a second piece of parchment under her mnemo-quill. This one was to be sent to the Lords of Ryza. The Archmagoi of that proud Forge World who more than a few within the Mechanicum and Imperium whispered that it rivalled the glory of Mars.

To: The Magi of Ryza
From: Primarch Vasilisa Sanguina
Encryption: Vermillion Extremis

URGENT: Transcription of Message is priority.

Lords of Ryza, Masters of the Forge, and loyal servants of the Omnissiah. I bid thee the Omnissiah's Grace in all your endeavors. As your astropaths have undoubtedly informed you, a growing schism has erupted within the Imperium between the The Captain-General of the Legio Custodes, Constantin Valdor, and the head of the Council of Terra, Malcador the Sigillite. Let this be affirmation that the Sun Angel's still hold to the Treaty of Olympus Mons and respect the sovereignty of the Mechanicum. As such, we wish confirmation and dealings in the matter of assuring delivery of vital supplies to the Hegemony in exchange for aid if your holdings should be assailed by any of my less than wise siblings.


Deactivating the mnemo-pen she took both pieces and handed them of to a brass and bronze ornate servitor.
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Prusslandia
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Father Knows Best State

Postby Prusslandia » Wed Jul 28, 2021 7:01 pm

Do you know why I made you, Lucretian? To serve without hesitation, and without compunction.

Gholam had seen the walls of Ursh fall. He had led the first of the Ghost Legion during the hellish slaughter that was the Unification. He had stolen countless artifacts in His name, executed dissidents and silenced the tongues of thousands more. He had served long and he had served well, loyally and without compunction. His was the Left Hand of the Emperor, the serpent within silk robes. He had prided himself upon this, perhaps even vaingloriously. He and his brethren viewed themselves as above, as privileged and endowed with glorious purpose.

If Gholam could, he would admit he was mistaken. But little can be heard from a jawless mouth; Less even from a madman.

Where once was a mouth and jaw sat a black augmetics, an industrial mixture of rebreathers, chem-pumps and audio-amplifiers serving in their stead. There were no arms any longer, but yet more gleaming augmetics; His pale flesh continued for inches until reaching his shoulders, grey expanse halted by the jutting of augmetic arms, limbs reconstructed to be little more than weapons of war, cruel talons and a crushing fist; His lower-body was much of the same story, powerful machinery replacing the flesh of a once-known failure.

His flesh was marred, cut and burned, the scars as countless and ever-present as the stars in the void. The wounds snaked and curved, a finely detailed tapestry of pain and torment.

Gholam challenged the Midnight King, and found himself deposed. He had submitted himself for execution, for rightful death following his ritual defeat. Lucretian had decided to make example of him instead, to show the fate of those who thought that in death does duty end. How long had he spent, locked away within the depths of the Black Keep? How long had the King spent in warping him, in widening every minuscule crack of his psyche, in ripping his mind to shreds before putting it back together again? How long until Lucretian was satisfied?

Gholam had stopped counting after Day 40.


Encryption: Midnight.
In shadow and silence I loyally serve. You alone I trust with regency, Valdor. I have already begun counter-infiltration efforts against the Sigilite in the Segmentum Solar; Of what would you bid the Host?

Have you come closer to finding HIM? HE must be found, Valdor. HE is the reason for all of this.
Last edited by Prusslandia on Wed Jul 28, 2021 7:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Oblivion2
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Postby Oblivion2 » Thu Jul 29, 2021 8:29 am

Sacristan
Endymion Cluster, Maelstrom Zone
Segmentum Ultima
678.000.M31


The Runes had been right after all, Domhnall Ainfean, Lord of the Green thought to himself as his double edged greatsword cleaved through a shadowy being that even the great Primarch could scarcely focus on. Hrud, his brother Sceafa had called them. He had shown Domhnall the precise angle to disembowel the creatures with the most ease possible. His sister Titania had shown him how to channel the power of the warp through the massive force weapon and obliterate them utterly.

The runes and bones of dozens of Green-Walkers had told of a dark tide sweeping out from the Maelstrom and into the Imperium’s south-eastern flank. The ships of the three hundred and thirty third expeditionary fleet had been pressed into action and had made swift speed to the Endymion Cluster on the readings of the Psykers alone. Endymion had been brought to compliance more than a century earlier by one of Domhnall’s siblings, but any further into the Maelstrom was still lawless land that had yet to see the light of the Imperium. To make matters even more difficult, the nature of the Maelstrom made the surrounding stars a hotbed of evil; warp creatures, foul Xenos marauders, and things like these Hrud made them their home.

And the Hrud truly were monsters. With a touch, they could age anything biological until it was naught but a dried out husk. They were difficult to see in even the brightest light, something to do with their entropic qualities. Worst of all, they seemed to move in massive migrations, practically blotting out entire planets at times in their search for a suitable subterranean domain. The Astral Walkers had found the edges of the Hrud migration as they arrived in the Endymion Cluster to reinforce Imperial garrisons there. It wasn’t often that the Astral Walkers fought almost as an entire legion, and their Primarch would see that this migration of darkness wouldn’t be the last time either. Taking command of the Cluster’s defenses, Domhnall had the leading edges of the migrations flanks systematically eliminated via rapid naval actions while he and his Astral Walkers prepared the local populace for what would become a long siege. Production quotas ramped up to emergency war footing, militias were raised and trained under the watchful eyes of Astartes in bright green armour, covered in all manner of tribal sigils.

The Primarch was never still; always in conference with Imperial commanders and governors. Advising his various captains and regfennids on how best to engage the encroaching enemy. Cajoling forge administrators to focus their efforts on any armament that could produce intense light: hellfire rounds, Phosphex grenades, and promethium by the barrel. The Hrud were disoriented by intense light, it being almost anathema to their being. For long months the populace and the Imperial forces in the Cluster worked at their labours, forcing the main line of Hrud advance into a smaller and ever more concentrated line. A line that was centred on the Frontier World Sacristan.

It was here that the Astral Walkers had prepared their trap, months in advance, for the terrible Xenos hordes. It was the sort of planet the Eighteenth Legion was well versed fighting in, with few population centres and more unspoiled terrain than one who didn’t come from such a place could imagine. When the Hrud began to make landfall, the forests became killzones. The mountains great bunkers of rock and frost. For days the battle raged on the surface of Sacristan, and there like the eye of the tempest was the Primarch of the Eighteenth. Monster Slayer, Lord of the Green, World Walker. In him and his sons, the Hrud had met their match.

Surrounded by the Duskbreaker Guard, Domhnall fought like a god out of some ancient Terran fairy tale; slaying with every sweep of the runed Force Sword. In the distance, a thousand thousand suns seemed to blaze as the Astartes of the Astral Walkers employed their stock piled weapons and munitions to bring light to these creatures of shadow. “A glorious day to die, lord!” Called out Galraan Karta, Terran born captain of the primarch’s Duskbreaker guard.

“I’d rather it be these creatures than any more of us, good Captain.” Domhnall replied dryly in between swings of his sword. “They have to be running out of bodies to send after us. We’ve been at this for-“ He pauses a moment to back hand an indistinct shadowy shape away from him, “Four days now! Four days with hardly any rest to be had!”

“Tiring my lord?” The captain asked as he changed out magazines on his combi-bolter. Clad in terminator armour, Galraan could take and dish out the sort of damage a lesser Astartes could only dream about.

“No, but the auxilia have been taking tremendous casualties. Hard to fight when a third of your men die of old age!”

“Aye, something to that Lord. Something to that.” The captain paused as the tide of Hrud seemed to ebb for a moment. “Something’s changing out there. They’re slowing down I think.” Both captain and Primarch would glance up to the heavens.

“The Navy has engaged them in orbit now, I believe. They’re caught in between the hammer and the anvil now.” Domhnall comments as his superhuman sight allows him to see the pinpricks of light in the skies, even against the bright sky and the light pollution brought on by the war on the ground.

“Your witchsight telling you that, Lord?” Galraan asked almost casually. He had never managed to quite get past his gene-site’s psychic abilities. “No, Captain. I can see it from here. Or the signs of it anyhow. Benefits of having been crafted by the Emperor himself.”

“Well, that’s all good. But it looks as though the ones down here on the ground are massing for one last assault on our position here. I think they mean to kill you.”

“Well,” Domhnall replied with the ghost of a smile pulling at his lips, “Let’s see if they’re up to the task.”


———————————————————————————————
Above Sacristan,
Oberon Class battleship, Reckonings End


The assault had dragged on for another eight hours. Eight hours of brutal, close quarters fighting that nearly led to the Primarch’s position being overrun by the tide of shadow creatures. His position had only been saved when the Primarch had used the warp to create a ball of light as intense as a newborn star the size of a heavy tank above their position. It had stunned the creatures long enough for his sons to rally and put the rest of them to death with fire and sword.

The day had been carried, but at great cost to the mortal Auxilia who had fought at the side of the Astral Walkers. From his chambers upon the battleship Reckoning’s End, Domhnall could see once more just how fragile those in his charge had turned out to be. Time hadn’t seemed as great an impediment to his own Sons, but enough had died physically to the Hrud that the nuance between being aged to death and being cut in half seemed rather paltry. The battle had cost him too. Where his sister Titania could crush an Imperial Knight with her mind given the right sort of preparation, Domhnall’s abilities trended more towards the elemental and precognitive. He wasn’t half the Psyker his sister was, and doing something like summoning a large instance of intense light could sap the strength from even his immortal limbs for a time.

He felt his tired mind beginning to drift off, lulled to vulnerability by the battles the last few days, and the mind numbing regret that casualty figures always seemed to bring to him.

“Lord.” A voice spoke from the Vox Speaker at his massive oaken desk, “You have several waiting Astropathic Messages addressed to you. Each of them marked priority. Seems the Maelstrom had slowed a few down. Some are rather old.” Domhnall’s equerry. Oddr, a young but keenly intelligent Astartes from Vola.

“Very well Oddr. Forward them to me here, I’ll have a look.”

A chime at his console indicated the messages had been forwarded. As he read, Domhnall could feel the exhaustion that had built up over four days of high intensity combat banished immediately. The Emperor missing, Malcador and Valdor engaged in the early makings of a civil war. His siblings choosing sides or following Kelbor-Hal’s recommendation of neutrality.

Toggling thé vox, Domhnall kept his voice calm and steady as he spoke, “Summon the moot. Now.”

———————————————————————————————————————

Council of the Moot,
Reckonings End


Domhnall’s advisors all clamoured over one another to speak. Each Astartes was letting the unprecedented news affect them in just the same way the mortal members of the council were. Only two minds remained still, the Primarch himself and that of the Green-Walkers representative, Brother Loghain.

Domhnall allowed the near panicked discussion to continue for a moment before he raised a hand for silence from the seat of his carved wooden throne. One by one the grand chieftains fell silent, followed shortly by the mortal representatives on his council. All eyes turned to the Primarch and each human there seemed to draw strength from his silent resolve. “Friends,” Domhnall said, his eyes a curious ringed purple as he locked gazes with each individual one by one. “We find ourselves living in dangerous times. The Emperor’s disappearance has left the entire breadth of his Imperium in mourning, and in its mourning it has begun to roil with madness. In its madness, men of vision begin to pull and tug at the fabric of our Great Father’s tapestry. I have summoned you here to help me chart the course that our legion and the scant few worlds under our direct protection will take. The Runes have shown that there is no clear outcome to be found at this juncture, would you not agree Brother Loghain?”

The Green-Walker nodded from beneath the hood of his grey robes. Most Green-Walkers prefered to keep their raiment on the simpler side, and Loghain was no exception. “Indeed lord,” the young Astartes said in particularly rich tones, “Many of your siblings still seem to be within their own orbits, and we know a few have already chosen one side or the other. Great locus points of fate seem to form around them, but it would seem even the Warp has no great insight into who will fall where, and to what end.”

“My King.” Spoke a raspy voice as an Astartes bedecked in cybernetic implants stepped forward. Edward ‘Ironhoof’, Great Chieftain of the First Clan. Much of his clan were still Terran-born, and Domhnall had granted him the pride of being his first amongst equals as the Terran Astartes had led Domhnall’s legion in the days before his finding. A brutally scarred face makes a compassionate warrior, with a mind like a steel trap. “The legal aspects of the conflict between Malcador and Valdor are both technically legitimate, making whom has primacy an incredibly sticky issue. What of the Warmaster? He does have the authority to loose and bind in absence of proper authority on Terra.”

“My brother is opting for neutrality in one form or another.” Domhnall explains with a wave of his hand. “It is in his style, delaying and negotiating. But perhaps in this case it is a wiser course of action than immediately choosing a side. Perhaps in this, our Warmaster shows a cunning sort of wisdom.”

“You cannot mean to continue the Crusade with the Imperium in turmoil, can you lord?” Asked chieftain Ænid of the Third.

“Is it any worse than choosing Malcador or the Chief Custodian at this juncture?” Domhnall countered, “I know my sons that our course has been decisive since we have been reunited. And I know that these events give us pause in where our duty may lie, but I have perhaps another option for all of you that you may not have considered. What if while yes, we continue to remain neutral and we crusaded amongst the stars, what if we search for our missing Father? If we can find him, imagine the glory in being the ones to put aside this Civil War? And who better to find him than those that tread the darker paths to bring the light of hope to humanity?”

That seemed to please everyone in the room greatly. It was the perfect mixture between duty, honour, and decency. It was clear that none here relished the idea of Astartes fighting Astartes, and Imperial fighting Imperial.

“What then Lord,” Came the voice of Mira Han, mortal Admiral of the three hundred and thirty third expeditionary fleet. “If we cannot find the Emperor, what course do we take then?”

“Clever Mira.” Domhnall said approvingly, “Once again I find myself glad that you have found your voice amongst my sons.” Mira flushed at the praise as the Primarch gestured in her direction. The assembled Astartes found themselves nodding, the Admiral had come a long way since her promotion, managing to get over her awe of the Emperor’s Angels and managing to speak to them as an equal.

“If we cannot find the Emperor then we shall have to choose a side one way or another. To that end, shall send out four delegations. One each to the courts of the Sigilite, Valdor, my brother the Warmaster, and to the Courts of Mars. It will be the delegations job to keep a finger on the pulse in court, to represent our legion, and to determine if anyone knows anything about where our father might have gone.”

“Think you Lord that someone might have had something to do with the Emperor’s disappearance?” Asked Ironhoof, his ruined voice filled with curiosity.

“A star doesn’t simply vanish from the night sky. Something happens to it, and a star such as my Father’s is too bright to simply gutter out. It is an outside possibility that one of these men know more than they are letting on, and I will not leave finding out to chance. As for my other siblings, they will either fall in line with a warlord, or continue our father’s work. There are a few that I will need to confer with as well. Great Titania, valiant Sceafa, and Lucretian.”

At the mention of the Lord of Midnight, a series of collective hackles would rise. Lucretian held no love for any sort of savagery, despite his own methods. “You cannot be serious, my King.” Loghain murmured softly, his voice managing to cut through the grumbles of discontent.

“Dreadfully, I’m afraid. If anyone’s agenda includes looking for our father, it is Lucretian. Now is not the time to allow our petty grievances to get the better of us. Now, see my will be done. Ironhoof, select the delegations and coordinate ship choices with Admiral Han. Admiral, I want us out of the Maelstrom Zone as soon as possible. Find us an Anchorage somewhere we can resupply for a time while we listen in on Astropathic messaging and plan our next stage of the Crusade. The rest of you, see to your Clans and disseminate my intentions amongst your men.”

The various officers and Astartes saluted, banging their fists against their chest pieces before turning to their duty. Only the Equerry Oddr remained behind. “Do you really believe we’ll find Him, lord?”

“It doesn’t matter what I believe Oddr.” Domhnall murmured softly, “Only that they believe that we have a future.”

————————————————————————————————————

Encryption Cipher: Aurum
Astropathic Choir Urgency: Extremis
Code Protocol: Aurum
Recipient: Malcador the Sigilite, Constantine Valdor, Kelbor-Hal, Warmaster Aleksandr Zorkastanov

++TRANSMISSION START++

Noble Lords,

I have heard your Astropathic messages and I too convey my sorrow at the loss of our Father’s noble personage. It is my intention to continue his Great Crusade out in the fringes of Space. However, I will not remain eyeless or earless to the plight of the Imperium. To each of you I send a delegation of Astartes who will speak on my behalf at each of your Courts and maintain our neutrality. They will be traveling under escort and bearing my Seal, any attack on them will be seen as an opening of hostilities with the Astral Walkers Legion and will be treated as such.

I hope that is conflict will be resolved swiftly and to the benefit of the mortal citizenry of the Imperium, it is after all for them that we have all come together in this great and glorious work. I look forward to our eventual correspondances.

Ever the Emperor’s Servant,

High-King Domhnall Ainfean

++TRANSMISSION END++


Encryption Cipher: Omicron
Astropathic Choir Urgency: Extremis
Code Protocol: Gamma
Recipient: Titania Ironheard, Titaness of Voln

++TRANSMISSION START++

Glorious Sister,

It is with a heavy heart that I find myself writing this message to you. News of our Father’s disappearance has only now reached my ears, blanketed by the Maelstrom I have been until now. I have sent delegations to our brother the Warmaster, Kelbor-Hal, The Sigilite and Constantine. They will maintain my neutrality in this conflict as I appear to continue our Father’s crusade. This however is not my true intention, for I mean to search for Him. Using all of my knowledge and all the tools at my disposal. Forgive me if this duplicity offends you sister, but it is the only way I know that will allow me to operate unimpeded by our brethren and by these would be Warlords. I would seek your aid, or your counsel if you will not provide it.

I miss you Sister, and the certainty you have long provided me since my first journey into the stars. Please, return this missive either through the Astropathic choir, or find me when you dream walk across the stars.

Your Student and Brother,

Domhnall Ainfean

++TRANSMISSION END++


Encryption Cipher: Omicron
Astropathic Choir Urgency: Extremis
Code Protocol: Gamma
Recipient: Sceafa Kentigern

++TRANSMISSION START++

Great Yyntenwalda,

It would appear that civil strife has gripped our Imperium as our Great Father has been lost to us. I have declared my neutrality to continue our Father’s work, when in truth I wish to seek him out there in the great voids of the Stars. It would be good for the Wake and the World Walker to be united in this goal. Should you wish to join me, I presently make for the anchorage of Sarum for resupply before I set out on my journey.

However, if other concerns press at you, I understand your choice brother, and I hope circumstance remains kind to us and keeps us on the same side. Regardless of your intentions, please reply to this correspondance. I would love nothing more than to regale you with tales of the breaking of the Hrud migration.

Your Oathsworn Brother,

Domhnall Ainfean, World Walker.

++TRANSMISSION END++


Encryption Cipher: Omicron
Astropathic Choir Urgency: Extremis
Code Protocol: Gamma
Recipient: Lucretian Karath, King of Midnight

++TRANSMISSION START++

Shrouded King,

Our Father is lost and his closest servants flail blindly at one another. If I have come to know anything about you brother, it’s that you will not let such a thing stand. Your devotion to our father is far too great to allow you to sit idly by. The time has come for us to set our petty grievances aside and make common cause. We must find the Emperor before the Imperium is rent asunder by those who lack our Father’s vision. Mankind depends upon it.

I make for the Anchorage of Sarum to re-arm and resupply before I begin my journey. Send an emissary, come yourself, or continue our correspondance. This could be our best chance to do something that our Siblings cannot.

Yours in trust,

Domhnall Ainfean, Lord of the Green.

++TRANSMISSION END++
Last edited by Oblivion2 on Thu Jul 29, 2021 8:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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