The Sanguinian Schism: IRON CASTELLAN

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The Sanguinian Schism: IRON CASTELLAN

Postby Razhbad » Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:16 pm

Foreword: I am not the author of this story only the distributer. This is a short story from a project that has been running now for 2 years. This is one of our earliest shorts and part of the build up of our alternate heresy.

The Sanguinian Schism

IRON CASTELLAN


It is an age of blood and glory.
Though the Emperor has retired to Terra, the Great Crusade continues apace. Led by the Primarchs, the Space Marine Legions are mankind's champions- conquering the galaxy in the name of Imperial Truth.
Greatest amongst these immortal demi-gods is Sanguinius, named Warmaster not by the Emperor's will but by Horus Lupercal's refusal of the role.
As war engulfs the galaxy and mankind faces down alien hordes and rebellious human civilisations, Sanguinius must contend with the unruly squabbles of his brothers.
Yet even these internecine rifts will pale in comparison to the shattered future that awaits them all.
Worlds shall burn and the galaxy shall bleed.


158.003 M31

'Regicide,' he said, keeping his voice monotone for fear of angering his opponent. It needn't have mattered; the other man was distracted and uninterested.
'That's the third time you've let me beat you today your Highness, is there something on your mind?' He asked finally.
The other man, he who was known as the Allking, Vorassis the First, Lord of the Twin Systems, master of a hundred worlds, turned away from him to move to the massive portal that took up the full third wall of the room.
Vorassis the First, a misnomer if ever there was one, viewed the massive musculature of the Allking's back. He sighed, this was actually the 23rd Vorassis, the 23rd clone.
Clone even the word felt wrong, a technology of a forgotten era, forbidden by the Emperor and rightly so.
No, this was not the true Vorassis but then he was not who he said he was either. Farcalis the Iron Ambassador, Lord of the Fifteen Clans was simply a front, one he used at the bequest of his current masters.
His true name was altogether simpler.
Callidus.
But his new Masters did not use assassins and instead found such tactics abhorrent. Farcalis had become a spy, an easy transfer.
He took in the room, every detail was soaked in, and he noticed the cyclical blades added to the weapon collection on the far wall. He noticed the two guards and how they kept their right arms bare in deference to their Lord. He noticed the hidden control panels behind the Allking but mostly he noticed Vorassis and how enraged he was.
The Allking clasped his massive hands behind his back, as he stared out; his body was taught with barely contained fury.
He nodded and the Royal Guard to his left initiated the vox.
'Vorassis, you have been given three Terran days, all of which you have wasted. You dishonour yourself by ignoring our offer of peace and by holding our Ambassador. Surrender now and you will bow only once and live. Resist and you will bow three times, the first will be to me, then to the Emperor and finally you will bow to my Lord as he takes your head from your shoulders! So send your bastard army. We will smash it before we take your walls and then we will come for you!'
Farcalis could barely contain a smile at that, it took a lot to get Forrix riled up and it seemed the Allking had managed it.
'You find this message amusing?' The Allking snapped.
'No my Lord, merely I recognise my Master's plea for peace.'
The Allking snarled and slammed his fist down, smashing the regicide board. 'How dare they? How dare they make demands of me? They think they can beat my army?'
'My Lord I beg of you, heed their demands, disperse your army and sue for peace. My masters will accept your surrender and you will be given a position in the new Government.' Farcalis pleaded though he knew the words were in vain.
Vorassis snarled. 'These are my worlds! A million men stand on the plains before these walls ready to die fighting your Masters for me! Millions more will heed my call!'
'The Emperor will not share power. He does not forgive tyranny; his Astartes will punish it wherever they find it.'
Vorassis' rage seemed to dim, he smirked. 'These Astartes, I have heard of them. And they shall know no fear is that not what they say?' His smile widened. 'All men know fear.'
Farcalis shook his head. 'These are not men.' Vorassis' smile turned sour and he turned away.
He went to say more but was stopped as one of the Royal guards grabbed him and slammed his face onto the table. He gripped the arm tightly pressing a nerve cluster in the exposed wrist hard, the man felt nothing but in time his arm would seize up, temporarily crippling it.
Farcalis scooped the king piece up in his left hand and let it slide up his cuff. He winced slightly as a slight staccato tapping began on his inner ear, a small machine had been implanted there, one that could be used to transmit hidden messages.
Storm squadrons inside the walls, be ready, the hammer will strike soon. Stay close to the Allking.

***


So, Lord Perturabo intended to strike the blow himself, he would need to stay close to the Allking to allow the homing beacon to gain the best possible position.
He remembered the tactical meeting held upon the bridge of Perturabo's flagship Iron Blood. The Iron Lord stood before his most trusted Astartes commanders, the fleet admiral, himself and the commander of the human army element.
Perturabo listened as first Forrix, then Berossus detailed plans that involved crushing the armies with artillery and infantry assaults but Perturabo said nothing. Even Farcalis could see the losses would be horrific.
Even Toramino's plan to use the fleet followed by the power of the Stor-bezashk to destroy the enemy ground forces were met with a grunt of derision from the primarch.
'No,' Perturabo said finally before rolling out a great schematic that overlaid the city with a skeletal framework. This city outdates even the Crusade; I have found this, in the archives of its architect. The Storm squadrons will penetrate the city using these tunnels and take the walls for us. Then we strike towards the Palace.'
His warriors nodded their approval though most seemed unnerved by the subtleness of using the scouts to infiltrate the city.
'And to think, my brothers think me incapable of finesse.' He laughed then, perhaps to lighten the mood or perhaps to connect with the human element of the fleet, who knows the mind of a Primarch but it was strange to hear the sound issued from Forrix's throat as he tried to mimic his master.
Farcalis knew then that he would die for the Primarch. He hoped he would not fail him now.

***


'My Lord, please. The Iron Lord will allow no room for negotia-' his face was slammed hard down onto the table once more. At first he thought the muffled sound and ringing in his ears was down to the strike but in fact it was down to an explosion. Several more followed, the smoke rising in stark relief to the blue sky and grey walls.
Farcalis tried to rise to get a better look but this time he received a blow that slid him into unconsciousness. The last thing he heard before he blacked out was the Allking screaming in frustration as more of the scout squads detonated their charges.
He found himself on the floor when he awoke, unsure of how long he'd passed out. The tapping on his inner ear was frantic.
Confirm location of target, hammer strike imminent, I repeat hammer strike imminent was tapped out again and again.
Farcalis pressed his temple sending acknowledgement. He felt one of the Royal Guards move forward from behind, it's bulky armour far from slowing its progress. He felt a gauntleted hand grip his head and pull him to his feet. He spun and rammed the onyx king piece through the lens of the guard's helmet, killing him instantly.
The second guard tried to raise his pistol but his arm, already weakened by Farcalis' blow, spasmed and the shot went wild. Farcalis pulled the ceremonial dagger he had noticed earlier from the wall and threw it as the guard approached. The blade took the warrior in the throat dropping him to the floor.
He realised in the confusion he'd lost sight of the Allking. He ran for the door hoping to find him in time.

***


Perturabo stood above the headless body of the Allking. He had made a proclamation to the dead man's army not an hour before, declaring them free and vicious fighting had broke out as those still loyal to the Allking fought those who were not.
Farcalis could see that this would prevent the need for the Iron Warriors to commit themselves until one side won. However it was obvious the death of any innocent human was a burden on his Lord's shoulders, it was obvious in slight sagging of his massive shoulders.
Farcalis coughed politely, breaking Perturabo's dour reverie.
'My Lord, a messenger has come. He says he has word from the Emperor.'
Perturabo turned to face him, 'He has sent a Wolf?' The question was more like a statement. Farcalis tried to hide his surprise at his Master's words.
'Yes my Lord, how did you know?'
'It matters not; I see he is impatient to speak to me. Rune Lord,' he said, beckoning him forward. The wolf strode forward handing the Iron Lord a roll of Vellum.
Perturabo read it quickly then nodded. 'Russ himself was given this message to deliver. Is my Brother too proud to do so?'
The Space Wolf shook his head, 'My Lord sends his apologies but he tires of delivering your Father's bidding.'
Perturabo grinned at that. 'Good to see he is as blunt as ever, very well tell him his apologies are not needed.'
The Rune Lord looked up, 'And the Emperor's request?'
Perturabo looked up at the sky for a while then sighed. 'Tell my Father my answer is yes.'
The Rune Lord saluted then backed away before heading off back to his ship.
'What did the Emperor ask?' Farcalis turned not realising Forrix was behind him, once again he was shocked to realise he had not heard his approach.
'He wishes us to join him on Terra.'
Forrix bristled with unasked questions but Perturabo ignored him.
'And we will but first we must attend a council on Nikaea.'

***


430.004M31

A lone figure upon the landing pad watched the shuttle as it descended slowly.
He didn't move as it touched down softly, the landing ramp extending to connect with the solid ground below.
He watched in silence as a massive figure made his way slowly down towards him.
His guest was easily twice his size with a bulk to match. The armour he sported was functional and suited his demeanour, iron grey, split only by solid black and yellow lines, it showed little ostentation. Only the mighty warhammer he held gave away his rank. That and the eyes.
The warrior's bald head protruded from a nest of cables that connected him to his armour. His face was stony with determination.
The Iron Catellan had arrived.
Malcador, the Sigillite, nodded in greeting.
"You understand the honour he has accorded you?" He said finally.
"More than you know, Sigillite," was the curt response.
Perturabo dropped to one knee and scooped some dirt from the side of the landing pad. He raised his fist to his mouth and kissed it. A simple gesture but it was a respect he gave any world he landed upon and this world, this ancient earth, deserved respect more than any.
"I did not think I would see it again." He said as he noticed the Sigillite watching him, he rose slowly.
The Sigillite gave him a quizzical look.
"Terra I mean. The Crusade, it pushed us ever outwards and away from here. Yet this is our home, we were born here, under these stars. Too many of us adopted our new worlds but this has always been home. I think many of my Brothers have forgotten that."
"Sanguinius hasn't."
At the mention of his rebellious brother's name Perturabo's face darkened.
He turned to face the Sigillite, his previous revelry forgotten. He fingered the haft of the hammer at his side.
'Where do we begin?' The Sigillite asked candidly.
Perturabo's eyes flicked from the weapon at his side back to the Sigillite, then up to the star lit sky.
"We begin on Mars."
A quizzical look shot across Malcador's face. The Emperor had warned him that Perturabo would not think like the others. He was chosen for a reason.
"Very well, I will alert the Fabricator-General that we will be attending Olympus Mons as soon as you have settled here."
"No." Perturabo's face was lit with impatience to get started. "We leave now."
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