The Age of Dusk [60K] [SECTION 54 IS UP!]

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Re: The Age of Dusk [60K] [SECTION 53 IS UP!]

Postby Dorian » Thu May 05, 2016 7:03 pm

I can't believe I missed your update for freaking months! :shock: As of now I truly know you want to torture me and make me all sad. You kill off my beloved Ahriman and you kill off my Eldar. You are a cruel man. ;) It's really difficult to put in words how much I love your story. LL, you are my hero (even if you are cruel). :lol:

And why have I never heard about The Arrested Fall before?
Wyrd bið ful aræd.

We've been looking for the enemy for some time now. We've finally found him. We're surrounded. That simplifies things.

If the world is at peace then it means someone is planning war.
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Re: The Age of Dusk [60K] [SECTION 53 IS UP!]

Postby OshawaIcedHands » Thu May 05, 2016 9:13 pm

Dorian wrote:I can't believe I missed your update for freaking months! :shock: As of now I truly know you want to torture me and make me all sad. You kill off my beloved Ahriman and you kill off my Eldar. You are a cruel man. ;) It's really difficult to put in words how much I love your story. LL, you are my hero (even if you are cruel). :lol:

And why have I never heard about The Arrested Fall before?


Perhaps it is because he did not update said story for YEARS on this Forum. Also, do you realize that your Eldar are now replaced with super awesome Eldron (Necron Eldar) ?!
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Re: The Age of Dusk [60K] [SECTION 53 IS UP!]

Postby Sumeragi Atsukuni » Fri May 06, 2016 11:40 am

Is that so ? I thought it was on this forum Lord Lucan was posting his fic... I read it for the first and only time less than a month ago, on 1D4chan, and then sought some place I could give comments. I am almost sure I never read anything about Eldron... there was nothing of the sort in Section 53 : the last Craftworld. And as far as I know / remember the Necrons on the Silent King's side are downloading their minds into Burakumin... ><"

So, where are the other sections ?
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Re: The Age of Dusk [60K] [SECTION 53 IS UP!]

Postby OshawaIcedHands » Fri May 06, 2016 2:06 pm

Sumeragi Atsukuni wrote:Is that so ? I thought it was on this forum Lord Lucan was posting his fic... I read it for the first and only time less than a month ago, on 1D4chan, and then sought some place I could give comments. I am almost sure I never read anything about Eldron... there was nothing of the sort in Section 53 : the last Craftworld. And as far as I know / remember the Necrons on the Silent King's side are downloading their minds into Burakumin... ><"

So, where are the other sections ?

I was referring to Arrested Fall, not this one, although; it would make sense in order to spread out to a broader audience

Also, I made that word up to describe Ynnead's new soldiers, not that the idea is implace in Wraithguard
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Re: The Age of Dusk [60K] [SECTION 53 IS UP!]

Postby Sumeragi Atsukuni » Sat May 07, 2016 12:35 pm

Sorry, I went crazy for a moment (well, crazier than usual I should say). :oops:

Well, that's just your usual Iyanden army list, + Ynnead.

I wonder what would be the effects of an Ynnead mark... By the way, their is no codex / fandex for all those new armies appearing in Lord Lucan's setting ? War of Krork codex, Star Father Codex, New Devourer codex... that would be awesome. BTW, at least, all Warp gods should have a Mark. I liked the version with each mark focusing on one stat : Mark of Khorne A+1, Slaanesh Initiative +1, Nurgle Toughness +1... and then their is Tzeentch. Somehow, Khorne giving "Rage" USR makes sense, though. Star Child was Strength. I wonder what would be Malchocht and Ynnead. Their is only 9 stats, so it's dubbious if making 10 marks for 10 Warp gods would be okay (though sacred number "1" could be simply Universal Chaos).
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Re: The Age of Dusk [60K] [SECTION 53 IS UP!]

Postby Gheist » Mon May 23, 2016 12:49 am

I found this fic while searching for something new in the Warhammer worlds. This is one of the finest series I've ever read. I registered because of this story and found a whole new lot of stories that I dearly wish could be printed and circulated. LL I had an idea for a story based in the world you've crafted about a semi-sane survivor from the old Imperium leading a community through the hell of the second strife and beyond and I was wondering if you were ok with that. I was just wondering if you had any special rules regarding dreadnoughts from the old imperium.
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Re: The Age of Dusk [60K] [SECTION 54 IS UP!]

Postby LordLucan » Mon Jun 06, 2016 4:53 pm

Section 54: Sailing to Salvation: The voyage of the Quilar Fleet

[Note: In our archives there are many tales and biographies detailing the many refugee fleets and exiles from all corners of the galaxy throughout M58; far too many to all be included in this collective history. Vasiri’s initial document included almost all of these accounts, but I have been more selective than the half-mad seer from which I have drawn inspiration. I have included this excerpt due to its unique nature, being one of the few surviving accounts of a refugee fleet from the Fringe Alliance. As with the Salvation War, the immaterial fallout from the conclusions of these wars destroyed most of those archives and left the memories almost inaccessible even to Vasiri the Watcher.
This, this account is rare indeed.

-V.Greal]


I cannot begin my tale at the beginning. That would mean me having to remember the fall of my world, the blood in the screet, and the red-eyed madmen who had once been neighbours. The atrocity and the war are too big for me to describe; what justice can I give to the battle over my world? I only saw it as a young girl, snatching brief glimpses of the void war from a porthole in a converted merchant barge as it raced to the Mandeville point of our system.
I saw space ablaze with every colour of the rainbow, I saw armour-plated planets and cathedrals spewing rocket contrails, guns vomiting impossible light, and… things crawling across the fabric of space… across the back of my eyes, even when I looked away.
The month long race to the system edge was in darkness thereafter, pressed together with a hundred thousand other souls. The conditions were worse than grox carts. The stench of bodies and excrement became so normal, the sulphur-laced air of Prandium almost smelled fresh when we finally escaped the warp’s maddening clutches in Ultramar.
The Fringe Leadership had detected a signal, a human one, using Pentus codes, emanating from a region of becalmed space; an orb of sanity in a disintegrating galaxy. This signal beckoned all refugees to come and seek sanctuary there. The voice was one Vulkan had vouched for in centuries past, a man, a saint, Iacob. The signal was old, and the world might have been dead by the time we reached it, but there it was; a sliver of that old serpent hope. I didn’t learn this information until years into the exodus of course; no one consults the promethium where it wants to be shipped.
I was a mortal woman; an agri-worlder and a poacher. When the Fringe Alliance set us on our final course, I was transferred onto the ancient Idealist-class vessel ‘Hopespear’, commanded by Captain Quilar. The Tau needed all their greatest vessels for the ever-expanding front, but Hopespear would serve. Its AI was a decrepit thing, barely sapient and dependant on its mixed crew of earth caste scientists and Promethean cultists to function. Patched up with a mix of hybrid-made human tech, the ship looked ugly as only a crude chimera could be.
I remember one of the Novamarine Old Imperials comment on Hopespear snidely, when he thought no one else was listening. “It has a face only an ork could love.”
I never understood what he meant, as I had no clue what an ork was.
In any case, Hopespear was the flagship of a hundred ship fleet; bulk haulers, old freighters, Tau explorers, Nekulli junks, Niscassar Dhows; a fleet as varied as its cargo. For that was what we were, cargo. I determined not to be so passive, and through some unlikely wrangling, and a demonstration of my skill with a lasrifle, I was allowed to be a member of the security detail on the Hopespear. They had no uniforms for me, but they had a rifle and a carapace vest, which was enough.
Some say it was a minor miracle Captain Quilar’s flotilla didn’t starve to death in the first months of the long exodus. I don’t ascribe a god to this fortune. This fortune was due to our choice of travelling companions. We had left Ultramar in a hurry, as the Grand Lord Folkar led the Fringe Alliance to finish off Khaine’s Bloody Handed tide. We had only been loaded with half our provisions.
The Melded* and the Water caste were invaluable in their highly efficient rationing procedures and recycling programs. Somehow, despite our increasing hunger, the water caste managed to make the people feel good about it, whilst the melded crews tirelessly worked to build archologies and void gardens with which to feed us. We were forced to take incredibly short warp jumps at this time, for anything longer would arouse the ire of the increasingly-turbulent warp. In those years, everyone had nightmares, even when in the materium. The warp was intruding into reality in a way most of us had been born into, whispering into our ears with the voice of oblivion since the crib.
The first year of the exodus was quiet. Quilar kept us on defunct space lanes linking long-dead systems. The only reason he could navigate these regions at all was due to the ancient charts provided by the Librarius of Ultramar. That was a hard, harrowing year of hunger and labour, with everyone working just to keep our old vessels running. Yet, they were good years.
This will sound strange, but I had never seen a xenos before the exodus. Yes, the Fringe Alliance was a great melding of humanit with three mighty alien polities, but that was all military. The closest I came to true aliens before my world was destroyed was the occasional delegation of three-armed hybrids who loaded the Trade-Magus’ produce shuttles each year.
During the exodus, I was in close proximity with xenos of many breeds. There were kroot, who ate raw meat and sweated stinking tar, nekulli who shed spines everywhere and seemed to always speak in shrieks. I shared a quarters with a four-armed hybrid guard called Morl, and I learned Tau from a water class envoy called Por’Vaneh’Kais. There were fights of course, murders and tensions between races. There were rival religions too, and some ships suffered segregation and mild insurrection. But for the most part, there was a kind of uneasy peace. Children were raised, families founded. We were all living so close together it was inevitable. There was a kind of desperation to everything we did; when any moment might be your last, every moment becomes a chance to live. I was with many partners in those times.
Though we only occasionally jumped to the warp, the warp shutters remained down for most portions of the ship. We weren’t missing much; everywhere you looked, there were warp storms frozen like malevolent nebulae. The skies were bruised purple and yellow and black. I’ve never known skies that didn’t look poisoned, but I am told once the skies were black as pitch, with only pinprick stars to light them.
Inevitably for this galaxy, we eventually ran into outside forces, reavers and pirates. Homeless exiles in dying ships, these pitiable specimens were known as the dreg fleets; lurking in interstellar space, too afraid to approach the main powers, and not deranged enough to throw their lot in with chaos. These wretches were tragic spectres of what we might become if we failed. Though I felt sorry for them, that did not make them any less dangerous to our convoy.
The dreg ships stole out from hidden positions in a shattered solar system, a great tide of ramshackle vessels hungry to cannibalise our ships and devour the crews. Quilar and the armed ships unleashed ordinance, but much of their weapon capacity had been stripped back to make way for more refugees. Railguns, torpedoes, macro cannons spat silent death, but the vast pirate fleet surged on towards us, its mad cannibal crews hungry for blood. Five to one they outnumbered us in ships, if not in crew, who were mostly non-combatants. I girded myself for battle, and prayed to the four-armed emperor with Morl as we made our way to armsmen muster points across the Hopespear.
Thankfully, we had another defender. The War of the Krork had sent a battlecruiser with us on our pilgrimage to serve as an escort. Where Hopespear was a crude amalgam of alien technologies, the Krork used their innate technological mimicry to synthesise the greatest examples of the allies into something utilitarian, brutal yet somehow beautiful.
The Krork had been taciturn, almost ignorant in their silence during the first year, unwilling to communicate with the other ships of the fleet, and keeping to themselves.
This changed when the Dreg Fleets attacked. Suddenly, the cruiser came about, engines firing and weapons charging. War roused this beast to action, and within half an hour, the gargantuan battlecruiser interposed itself between the two fleets.
The Dregs filled the vox lines with screamed chanting, desperate cries of hunger, lust and fury.
The Krork captain replied in a low, calm rumble, across every channel for all to hear.
++War. You have woken War. War will eat you. ++
I shall remember the message to my dying day, for it cut to something deep and animal in me, the innate fear of the beast. I was thankful that the Krork were our allies.
The cruiser was a sight to behold as it cut into the heart of the Dreg fleet. Lances and arcing bolts of lightning ripped through hulls as if they were hot wax on a skillet. Gravity lashes snatched battleships and snapped their spines, as railguns and smart missile barrages swept the void of assault craft and counter ordinance. The Dreg flagship, some ancient battle barge daubed in red and gold, changed course to confront the cruiser, but the savage Krork ship outmatched it. In seven hours of far distant void war, we saw the battle as a series of strobing flashes, many millions of kilometres distant.
When the Krork ship returned to formation, it was unharmed, trailing the wreckage of the vessel it had destroyed behind it like a red wake. I cheered, I could not help myself. My cheers were taken up by every armsman, then every crew member. Across the fleet, we chanted the name of the bemused and bewildered Krork.
The War of the Krork do not name their vessels, but after that day the people of the Quilar fleet affectionately named it the Shark, after its vaguely predatory profile.
Alas, this was not the only attack we suffered. In the broken cracks between habitable systems, poison and infection festered.
In the rust belt of the tomb world of Gryphonne IV, whilst searching for parts to repair our vessels damaged in a particularly painful warp transit, we were ambushed and boarded by scrapcode ghouls; former skitarii infested and twisted by the daemons of Valchocht the Maker. Thousands died, dragged off to be stitched, still living, into horrendous daemon engines. Only the fury of the Krork shock Nobles and Quilar’s Sternguard finally expelled the heinous creatures. Quilar himself took a wound whilst battling a great Soulgrinder which had breached the cargo hold of the Hopespear.
We sent landing parties to replenish our food stores on a paradise world dense with vegetation, only to lose hundreds when the living forests devoured them, and the food we did bring back harboured daemonic viruses, which killed many more before the psykers of the fleet isolated and exorcised the putrid nurglitch contagions.
We found empty hive worlds, their grand spires filled with cannibal corpses after the last supply ships failed to come and feed them. Others were populated by ritually blinded cultists, who howled till their throats bled that “the Cherub will come and open our real eyes…”. There was a space station filled with administrators chained to their stations like servitors, endlessly scratching at vellum, that piled up uselessly around their feet.
In the desolate Tiamet system, chittering, stupendously violent beasts, all spines and teeth, stole out of burrows hidden beneath the ash dunes. The Hybrids feared these things above all else, and dared not leave the ships throughout our journey through that system. When I sought out Morl the week afterwards, I found him chained up in our chambers, his bulging yellow eyes watering with dread.
Once, we encountered a ship as big as a world, a sleek behemoth festooned with fins and crystal domes, like many cephalopod eyes. The ship was like a sculpture, not carved but moulded… grown. Though the ship shimmered with pale, ghostly light, the Krorks advised we not contact it, nor get its attention. I was never told what the ship was, beyond ‘a place of ghosts’.
Sometimes, there were forces too terrible for us to fight. Oft times, the warp would vomit up a fleet of daemonships from the Deep Warp. Neither galleon nor squid, the undulating, multi-hued things hurt the eye to behold, and stained the soul to comprehend. Oars, or fins, swirled at their sides, as if imparting motion to the impossible things, whislt fanged cannons licked their lips with rough tongues. When we could not fight, we hid in the dark sides of planets, behind ablative layers of warp shrouding and void shielding, killing all the crew who went insane, for fear their madness might attract the attention of the hellish galleys.
In one system, populated by naught but barren worlds, we discovered a single silver vessel, a queer crescent-shaped probe no bigger than a thunderhawk. Thankfully, the Tau ethereals on board recognised it as a Dragontide sentinel, and we were able to avoid its detection in the radiation bloom of the system’s unstable red giant star.
Sometimes we could not hide, and flight was all that was left to us. When the warp-poisoned void whale Varga opened its apocalypse jaws wide, it almost swallowed the whole fleet, before a well-timed barrage of cyclonics set the beast’s belly aflame, giving the seers time to plot an immediate warp translation, snatching the entire fleet from the hungry beast.
I lost Morl when, one day in the canteen, a human driven by voices from the warp opened fire on the diners as they laughed and joked. I killed that man myself. Two pulses, turning his head to jelly. Too good for him.
During one particularly gruelling warp transit, the Hopespear burst back into realspace with another ship clinging to its Gellar field. The ship was of Imperial vintage, a pitted and scarred derelict which looked half-chewed, any identifying markings or even regular hull structure torn so badly, it was impossible to tell who the vessel had belonged to. Initially, Quilar assumed it was some warp-tainted flotsam, and the damage to the hull were the ravages of some warp behemoth. However, auspex picked up life forms within the ship, and miraculously, the M’yen seers of the fleet detected no damage to the ship’s Gellar field. Investigation by Quilar’s hand-picked sternguard revealed the truth.
The ship had been a strike cruiser, for an Old Imperial chapter, long thought extinct. But when Quilar’s men discovered the three near-fossilised Astartes in their wan yellow power armour, sealed in the enginerium, it was clear the Lamenters still lived. The three were sorry specimens however, atrophied in their suits, alive only by the suspended animation capabilities of their posthuman biology.
When revived, one died after thrashing in his restraints till his desiccated muscles snapped. The second was deranged, and spoke gibberish. Only the third, Belaris, was cogent enough to tell their tale.
“The Devourum Nova… we could not destroy them. They changed and ate and built, too fast to overcome. When we lost the bridge… we hatched upon a plan… vengeance.
“Techmarine Deichos plunged us into the warp. We took the monsters with us. Destroyed the engines, sealed them off. They took the crew… took my brothers… but they couldn’t escape.”
“The Devourum… where are they now? Are they still aboard? We found nothing,” Quilar said.
The ancient smiled, and split his lips bloody with the effort. “You will find nothing. When the prey was exhausted, the Devourer devoured itself. Body and soul. I do not know what the beasts were, nor what they became… I know only I avenged my brothers…”
Belaris’ last brother died in the night, and he was himself sent to the dreadnaught vaults at his own request.

[Fragment missing.]

On and on this went, every new warp jump bringing us some new challenge, some new harrowing ordeal. Psychuenien on Vandashad’s world, famine, disease, Rak’Gol marauders, more pirates. But onwards Quilar forged, with a righteous certainty only a Son of Guilliman could know. We became inoculated against horror in many ways, with only the worst taint of the warp piercing this shell of bewildered fortitude.
Over the years, I advanced, not through martial ability but through my ingrained knowledge of farming and agriculture, memories of my life before the touch of the Bloody Handed God. As so few worlds yielded safe and reliable supplies of food and materiel, we were forced to become inventive. The Krork spread out amongst the fleet, and I helped establish expanded gardens and arcologies. The Krorks had spore-born food sources in abundance, which grew with intense virulence (so much so, one whole ship, the Archemos, was converted into an arboreal vessel filled with all manner of exotic plants and strange red beasts. Much like grox, these red meat things were violent and temperamental, so I used similar techniques of lobotomy and electro-shock collars to make them more docile. Their meat was strange, with the texture of mushrooms and tough pork, and a taste I would charitably call ‘stringent’. But we were starving, and these meals were gods-given to the survivors of the fleet. The kroot we had on board ate these ‘squigs’ as the Krork called them, voraciously. This had the strange side effect of reddening their skin, and making them more violent. Soon enough, only the presence of a Krork Noble allowed the kroot to be tamed.
Slowly but surely, I gained the trust of the krork. Their soldiers were fearsome to behold; a head taller than a space marine, festooned in sealed, overlapping plates of obsidian and ebony hue. Their guns were bigger than my torso, with hands that could engulf my entire head without much effort. Their helmet lenses glowed baleful green, and when they stared at you, it was like being a rodent, pinned upon a dissectors block. But as my efforts to spread the krork crops across the fleet bore fruit, their attitude thawed. One of the war-nobles, Malgrotha, even removed his helmet in my presence, revealing the scarred green flesh of a cunning, merciless face. His little eyes were red, his tusks filed short in his square maw.
Eventually, I was granted leave to visit the Shark itself. Inside, I felt like a child in a world of giants. Everything was scaled for the krork; monolithic, with harsh and blunt lines. Everytihng was tightly regimented, every krork a soldier, with even their farmers armed with powered falchions as long as I was tall. I wandered through chambers filled with incomprehensible technologies; crackling arcs of green lightning jumping between oscillating spheres, pistons and endlessly complex levers in constant motion.
The krork could not tell me how this technology worked, mostly because it simply did. Their engineers built without schematics or plans; what they required, they built. Before I could delve further, I was granted an audience in the central core of the Shark, past cordens guarded by ever-larger krork specimens, larger than ogryns, mounting weaponry which would shame a main battle tank. In the central sanctum, I was sprayed with counter-septic, doused with purifiers and unguents, before the doors sealed behind me with a hiss.
It was in this clean room I met with the War of the Krork’s true leaders. They were two in number, seated on twinned dais at the centre of the spherical hall.** The walls were embedded with viewscreens and hololiths depicting scenes from across the fleet, across the galaxy. I had expected the leaders of the Krork to be monstrous examples of their sub-species; vast as titans with tusks as long as men. But these creatures were small, smaller than a three summer old child. Their pointed features and long noses put me in mind of imps or sprites, spiteful folkloric spirits imbued with mischief. But these creatures were not mischievous, they were wise, ancient eyes that pierced with the weight of millennia of knowledge. Their heads were bloated, heads plumbed into the ship’s systems by suckling cables.
When they spoke, it was with a psychic might which belied their frailty. When the two spoke in their odd echoing unison, you listened. I had been selected to be one of their ambassadors to the rest of the fleet, to better understand those they protected. I was not sure why this was so necessary, for they were clearly potent psykers, who could place their thoughts into anyone they chose. I suspected they were simply lonely creatures, in need of company. On the occasions I spoke with the Two, they were always distant, trailing off into silence as if interrupted by some far removed voice, as if they were just a part of a larger choral dialogue I was not entirely privy to. I confess, I barely understood their conversations or their concepts.
I think they wanted me to know what they were, and why they existed. I provide an example below. At the time, I had no comprehension:
“Defenders first. Garrison soldiers for a war without end. We who were castellans grew insane when the masters of the keep abandoned the post. Hold the fort, man the barricades… it is much to ask of your children… it is all too easy to wander in dark places.
“There’s always a siege you see, human. From the beginning there was a siege, and every generation since; the castles change, the garrisons too, and the hordes at the gate, but it hasn’t changed until now. Now, the final storming has come, and the walls are coming down. What is left but to usher the helpless to the inner sanctum, whilst the heir apparent saddles his chosen swords, and sallies forth from the main gate?
The shadow and the clown set us a task, but it is the Heir apparent who will save us or damn us. He must find…”
The Two paused there, peering off into infinity in their infuriating manner.
“What gate? What sanctum? Is this something to do with the signal? Who must they find? What do you know?” I begged them. I had to know more, but they spoke no further that day.
I could not tell you truthfully how long our fleet journeyed across the underbelly of the galaxy. Warp transit and time dilation pollute any accurate telling of the march of years. But decades, many decades seems correct enough a reckoning. I’m no chrono-mystic or wyrd, so I can only give you what I felt had passed.
My sober, lucid descriptions of these wonders are inadequate to convey the maddening fgue which pervaded the entire fleet. The trip was like a journey through a half-remembered dream which simply would not end. Little surprised us, for this was the galaxy of nightmares. Of course there were worlds that wept, and stars that burned with churning, cursing faces; that was what happened in the land of Nod.
One day, upon Archemos, I strolled through the woods beneath the great crystal dome which crowned the dorsal section of the ship. As I strolled, I looked up at the skies, at the countless warp storms which poisoned the once-beautiful sky. I looked, and I saw shapes, moving across surface of the storms. They were humanoid figures, wrestling and fighting in slow, exaggerated motions, immaterial blades clashing silently as impossible lightning lit the roiling thunderclouds with multi-hued light.
I asked the Nocturne seers who travelled with us what it meant. They wept as they told me. “The siege of Cadia has begun. The brothers are making their final assault on their kin’s stronghold. The warp sees them. Their strife stirs it, for they fight at the heart of the weeping Eye. Everyone bears witness now…”
I marvelled at the sight, as did many of my friends across the fleet, but it was too big, to momentous for us to comprehend. Even the Two on the Shark were but cogs in this delusion machine, this war between quarrelling gods. I was less even than that, I was but fodder.
Unbeknownst to us then, all the while we sailed, we were being hunted. As we skipped across the warp, we began to lose ships, the stragglers and minnows at the rear vanished with each warp translation. Now loses are inevitable when you traverse hell swathed in a thin bubble of reality, but this was different. It was systematic, continual.
But as we neared our destination, the hunters became more overt, for the warp was beginning to lose its hold over realspace; we began to regain our minds, which was intolerable for the thing which made sport of us. It was during one of our final warp ransits that we all felt the reality quake. Every vessel was effected. Something… colossal swiped at us from the warp. Automated safeguards came into effect across the fleet, and we were, almost as one, dumped back into realspace with a screaming jolt. There were no stars, no planets in the interstellar space we found ourselves, lightyears from any resupply. Every warp engine of the fleet seemed to be broken by this unexpected jolt, and our enginseers and mechanics set about their tasks with reckless, desperate haste, for if we could not fix them, we would be trapped on the slow path. We could not survive ten thousand years of sub-light transit. Whilst our ships were becalmed, we were trapped.
Which was always their plan. They came from the warp as pus from a gangrenous wound. Daemonships by the thousand. Some like ghostly galleys, others more mollusc than battleship. This was the fleet of the Shadowmaster, the hunter of innocence. Amongst the daemon fleet, our scryers recognised the mutilated machine spirits of many ships known to them…
… each ship was part of one of the Fringe Alliance refugee fleets. The abominations were murdering our brethren. We were to be next.
At the centre was a living fortress of tiered corpses, woven together with thorny daemon limbs and lead. There were turrets and towers, ziggurats and domes. To look upon this Citadel of Lead was to feel a bone-deep dread which could not be explained.
Somehow, I knew the Dark Master of this ship, as if his name had been whispered into my crib before I even knew what words were. Everyone else had the same feeling, for they seemed, as one to whimper his name.
(I will not utter the name in this account, for names, even written, have power. My interrogators wish me to be utterly candid, but there are some things which must remain unsaid.)
As the momentous daemon fleet approached, we quailed before them. I saw visions of a shadowy king, serviced by ten half-daemon handmaidens, tethered to him by branching umbilical cords, all channelled into his navel. The daemon things would swell with child then through their navels their terrible progeny, unborn, would pass into the belly of the all-consuming shadow squatting upon his ossified throne. Amidst the perfect blackness of his countenance, a wide, white fanged grin split him open, and from that mouth spilled terrors beyond description. Something vst perched upon his shoulders, something too big to grasp. A ten-horned horror which seemed to rise from every angle, talons and eyes peeling open, stripping off my flesh to peek at the naked soul beneath. When I screamed, it was with the voice of half a billion fellow mortals, cringing and cowering before the madness.
As we cowered in deluded madness, we were fortunate that the krork and the Astartes did not. The krork had their psionic war field shrouded them in gleaming green halos. The space marines had but their will, and the hatred to fire their bellies. As daemons boarded every vessel, the krork fought them with equal fury. Purging flame and flashing sword were the weapons to fight conceptual foes; ancient weapons against ancient foes. The enginseers, sealed in their warded engine rooms, fought on to reactivate the warp drives, even as the daemons hammered against the gates. Quilar purged the Hopespear deck by deck, room by room. He led a phalanx of Tau-enhanced terminators and centurions on a relentless march through the ship, as his grav-gun equipped drones sped through the ship like hunting dogs driving game, their empty minds impervious to daemon assaults as they crushed the putrid horrors, corralling them in the cavernous mess hall. Here, the daemons were contained, for this was where they had killed the majority of the mortal crew, their souls like a beacon. But ringed by warded-battlesuits piloted by the unbreakable minds of Astartes pumping endless munitions into their writhing mass, the invading daemons found themselves trapped.
This was when the Melded launched their attacks. Thousands of hybrids and purestrains flooded the mess, climbing over the shoulders of the posthumans to reach their prey. Lit by the conflagration of a hundred purging flamers, the genestealers and daemons fought claw to claw, fang to fang, until there was nothing left but burning shreds of meat, gobbets of daemon bile fizzing and spitting where it fell.
Yet, no matter how many daemons they killed, our defenders could not defeat a fleet of thousands. Tides of daemons continued to pour into our ships. Huddled in our warded refuges, we mortals shivered in the darkness as the slaughtersongs of devils echoed through our adopted homes.
The Shark fought like a beast of legend, tearing through daemon vessel after daemon vessel. Its inexhaustible weapons fired constantly in an expanding halo of fire and debris from its vanquished foes. The War Field blazed about them, banishing any daemons which got near. Like a bullet wreathed in vermillion fire, the krork cruiser plunged into the heart of the daemon fleet, on a course for the Citadel of Lead itself. Teleport attacks flared, before the ship plunged at a fraction of c into the fortress of malignancy.
This sent the Shadowlord’s forces temporarily reeling. The Shark’s sacrifice was the only thing which made the daemon assaults falter, giving our mechanics and warp seers time to fix our warp drives and Gellar fields. With one final ceremoour remaining vessels; a minnow slipping through the fangs of a whale’s great closing jaws.
What happened aboard the possessed ship, I cannot say for sure. I had a nightmare about it sometime later, so vivid I fear it may have been the truth, distilled into a warp-borne psychic memory. I dreamt of green giants wrestling with gargantuan horrors, as much cephalopod as machine, avian and mammalian as much as they were mineral. The giants tore through screeching ligaments of worms, spiny beasts tall as towers. Green giants against red winged giants, goblin sprites haloed by fire, purging undulating meat columns and purging capering purple hermaphrodites. And at the heart of the storm, an armoured giant with a powered claw and a pulsing energy glaive, battling a shadow cast by a goliath wall of ever shifting matter. The green ones could not prevail, but they could hurt the horrors, and make them squeal. All the while, the warriors chanted their battle cries.
“For War’s sake we fight, never beaten, never fallen. War is life, war in the blood! War! War! WAR! WAAAAAR! WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!”
I woke in a cold sweat, the scorched handprint of a krork blistering the skin across by back…
[Fragment unreadable]
-of course, the next warp jump was the last time we ventured into that twisted hellscape. Once we entered within half a lightyear of Iacob’s signal, the warp seemed inaccessible entirely, and we were forced to venture forth as fast as our plasma drives would allow us. Battered and violated, with only half our complement of crew, we limped onwards to our destiny. Without the krork ship, the squigs aboard the Archemos became ever harder to control, and as years went on, food and supplies dwindled. Makeshift ship repairs were undone by the rigours of continual plasma burn. But on we forged.
There was nothing for us behind, and only the signal ahead. The seers were oddly calm, the warp’s veil thickened in this region mysteriously. Some found the phenomenon unnerving, but most were just glad the daemons had stopped shrieking at them.
One year. Two. Three, four turned into five. You cannot adequately comprehend the colossal distances between worlds until you have attempted a sub-light burn. It is a special kind of harrowing; there is no enemy to fight but hunger, cold and maddening blankness.
Inertia more than anything crried us on. Quilar was wounded, his soul cut deeply by a bloodletter’s hellblade. In his last hours, he would only grant an audience to the Lamenter survivor, who we learned was once some chaplain of the old Imperial Adeptus. Maybe Quilar wanted a confessor? Maybe he wanted a friend to speak of long lost years of glory and might? Or perhaps he, like most old men, simply did not want to die alone?
When the last Lamenter emerged, we knew Quilar was dead, his geneseed sealed in a cylinder of armourglass.
Six years into the journey through the featureless black, we encountered something else. Black against the swirling pollution of the warp storm skies, the fleet of crescent-shaped ships was unmistakably Necron. They simply appeared, as if they had merely slowed down upon detecting us.
If I am honest, our defence was perfunctory, for the fight had truly left us at that point. When the living metal giants appeared on the Hopespear’s bridge, we knew there were so few left who could pose a challenge to these ancient aliens. Their very presence made me feel ill, as if their exuded a horrendous wrongness that poisoned their every action.
“Your vessels have been scanned… assessed… evaluated. The taint of the Dissolution does not cling to you,” said their Phaeron in a cold, artificial voice. “You are mad wretches for certain, but I believe you approach with no ill-intent.”
With that, to our collective astonishment, the Necron then reached up, and removed its head.
Beneath, there was a face laced with thin lines of circuitry, which was clearly, impossibly, a human woman.
“You are not Necron…” I said dumbly.
“The Necrons are dead, for the most part,” she agreed. “But the Pariah lineage of the Necrontyr endure.”
As if reading the disbelief in our faces, she smiled. “There is much you do not understand. Iacob sent us out to scout for any further refugee fleets. Come with us to T’sara’noga, and we can explain.”
We did not know what to make of these creatures. Fear of the necron was long ingrained in our mortal hindbrains, but the necrontyr seemed different; passionate, animated and oddly human. In the end, we had little choice but to allow ourselves to be taken by the necron, led through theor Dolmen gates towards the heart of the grand, lightyear-spanning null field matrix.
A journey of decades was completed in minutes, and suddenly we were confronted with a sight beyond reckoning.
Millions of vessels, hundreds of fleets of ramshackle craft, all filing towards a grand sphere, big as a blue giant star plated with silver and gold. Light streamed from the vast… portals in its flanks.
This was the last bastion, T’sara’noga, the mad god’s skin, the sphere of D’son, the Place Outside. The star cage. It was a sight of such sublime majesty, I cried as I beheld it. With trepidation we approached this sphere. This would be our refuge, the place from which we would ride out Apocalypse.
How could we have known then that [excerpt ends]
*(The hybrids of the Realm of Fathers preferred this term to hybrid. Though I never could tell what offended a melded, as they were always so quiet and rarely perturbed. The broodmind was to blame I suspect.)
**(There were always two, I later learned. Morkar and Gorkul were always their names. Every krork ship had them, and they all spoke to one another via the ‘War Field’, which I believe functioned very similarly to the genestealer broodmind.)
Check out the start of my new serialised novel, Gingerbread, published with Jukepop Serials (It is free to read, so please read and comment). Here's the link, enjoy:
https://www.jukepopserials.com/home/read/1367/?chapter=2&p=0&sl=10
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Re: The Age of Dusk [60K] [SECTION 54 IS UP!]

Postby qah » Tue Jun 07, 2016 3:44 am

ITS SO LIT.


So that giant daemon was....

Spoiler: Malal?

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Re: The Age of Dusk [60K] [SECTION 54 IS UP!]

Postby ArmstrongDicksmasher » Tue Jun 07, 2016 1:20 pm

ILU LL! great update, hope for more, juicer ones in the near future!
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Re: The Age of Dusk [60K] [SECTION 54 IS UP!]

Postby Endless_Purge » Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:17 pm

You've done it, Brothers. You've made it at last. Your war is over, you may rest now.

Image

For those we Cherish.
Can't kill all of us, BITCH.
~Unofficial Imperial Guardsman motto.
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Re: The Age of Dusk [60K] [SECTION 54 IS UP!]

Postby OshawaIcedHands » Fri Jun 10, 2016 5:50 pm

Wait, too much to take in at once, but here is what I figured

1. The Silent King has united with Iacob :D
2. Something (

Spoiler: Malal or Dracnyndra

) may be rushing for Iacob :evil:
3. The Lamanters have fallen :( :cry:
4. Squigs may taste like Chicken :?
5. Gork and Mork are FUCKING GRETCHEN!! :lol:
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Re: The Age of Dusk [60K] [SECTION 54 IS UP!]

Postby helix123 » Sun Jun 12, 2016 12:11 pm

HNNNNNGGG YISSSS
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Re: The Age of Dusk [60K] [SECTION 54 IS UP!]

Postby Isobaric Hellfire » Mon Jun 13, 2016 8:05 am

OMG, the Lamenters, they'd died in the mightiest glory :cry:

Great work, LL, as always. Our prayers were answered, finally. I hope not have to wait another year for another update xD
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Re: The Age of Dusk [60K] [SECTION 54 IS UP!]

Postby hei_john » Sat Aug 06, 2016 9:18 am

The reason why i register to bothole.org because LordLucan work..amazing saga..Congrats LordLucan you got yourself a new follower..personnaly i consider your "Age of Dusk" Saga as cannon, yeah made 40k like a walk in park on sunday morning compare to humanity fought in 50k-60k Saga to my personal taste
''Who told you to die? Keep fighting! - Commissar Otto Xavier
"Men of Tanith! Do you want to live forever?" - Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt,
Tanith First and Only
"Your foe is well equipped, well-trained, battle-hardened. He believes his gods are on his side. Let him believe what he will. We have the tanks on ours". - Colonel Joachim Pfeiff,
Krieg 14th Armoured Regiment
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Re: The Age of Dusk [60K] [SECTION 54 IS UP!]

Postby psyscope » Sun Sep 04, 2016 7:10 pm

Me too, looking forward to the next chapters.
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Re: The Age of Dusk [60K] [SECTION 54 IS UP!]

Postby Tyrant » Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:02 am

If anyone's curious about what LL has been writing in between sections of this masterpiece, then check this out.
My Facebook writing page. Like it, it's awesome!

My Twitter page.

Cytheria

Valerion

I think Valerion could stand toe-to-toe with the best of Gaunt's Ghosts. I loved it. Gundi Da Grot

The sense of threat that permeates the entire piece is fantastic. xrayex

Tash'shi is made of win and awesome. Raziel4707
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Re: The Age of Dusk [60K] [SECTION 54 IS UP!]

Postby OshawaIcedHands » Wed Oct 19, 2016 8:24 pm

So, should we wait a little while longer than usual for a new update Lucan? Or are you doing both at the same time?

Also, Is Revelation Going To meet With The Primarchs?
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Re: The Age of Dusk [60K] [SECTION 54 IS UP!]

Postby Sumeragi Atsukuni » Sat Dec 03, 2016 8:53 pm

You mean, like this ? :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGPTrRueZXY


Emprah damn it... their is Vulkan and Lion too ! I think I raised a flag. Unlucky presage, my friends. :o
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Re: The Age of Dusk [60K] [SECTION 54 IS UP!]

Postby .axl » Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:52 am

Last time i checked most fresh was eldar ascension chapter, so i guess i will have to re-read it all from scratch!
Humble and slow translator reporting in. My apologies for probable off-topic.
I'm slowly getting to the ch.27 of SoNtC, but i remember there were also some side-stories(about Ophilim Kiasoz, for example). Can someone please help me find them?
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Re: The Age of Dusk [60K] [SECTION 54 IS UP!]

Postby Sir0galahad » Thu Dec 22, 2016 7:05 pm

LL would we perhaps be getting a new chapter for a christmas present? The are so many unanswered questions :'(.
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