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

Got some current fan fiction? 40k, WFB, Age of Sigmar and all other fiction is to be found here.

Re: The Age of Dusk [60K] [SECTION 13 up!]

Postby Colonel Mustard » Sat Jul 23, 2011 6:19 pm

Tyrant wrote:Interesting that Guilliman named the Lion as his successor first, and Vulkan second. I remember from an earlier part that Vulkan is seeking the whereabouts of the Lion; if he finds him, I wonder if that will create any conflict of loyalties for the remnants of Sicarius's empire?

Actually, I'm not too sure about this; after all, they were pretty reluctant to secede to the Vulkan Imperium, and the Lion did come along I imagine that they wouldn't be that compelled to join with him. As far as I understand it, Sicarius still holds the fanatical loyalty of most of his citizens even though he is now dead; I wouldn't be surprised to see 'Sicarian Cults' popping up in the Post-Secession Grand Sicarium, in a similar manner in which Stalin was worshipped in Soviet Russia.
User avatar
Colonel Mustard
 
Posts: 711
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:58 pm


Re: The Age of Dusk [60K] [SECTION 13 up!]

Postby LordLucan » Sat Jul 23, 2011 7:13 pm

Certainly an interesting concept to explore mustard.
Check out my debut fantasy novel from Fox Spirit Books, The Hobgoblin's Herald (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hobgoblins-Herald-R-Aston/dp/1910462047). If you've read it, please rate and review it on amazon; I'd be eternally grateful. The sequel, Eater of Names, is out in 2018, so watch this space.
User avatar
LordLucan
 
Posts: 3561
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:05 pm


Re: The Age of Dusk [60K] [SECTION 13 up!]

Postby Sipahi Commando » Sat Jul 23, 2011 7:22 pm

LordLucan wrote:Which bit? The bit where Titus refuses to give up command? I just thought that would be in character for the scheming sychophant. That was his big moment to become master finally. Titus was never the best warrior however (and was also incredibly old at that point. Not as spectacularly old as Sicarius, but still old), so wasn't at his peak. Folkar was however.

What I meant was Ultramar becoming a vassal of Vulkan's empire. If it was simply forced into an alliance I guess I would be okay with that, but the whole "Ultramar becoming a subordanate of Vulkan", or at least the execution, felt rather hurried. I guess it was sort of foreshadowed with Telion's dissapearance in 50k, but the exact contents seemed more like a plot device to get more resources for Vulkan.

EDIT: Also, who is Matthaeus Bardus? I don't recognise the name.

Matthaeus=Matthew=Matt

Bardus=Bardo=Bard=Ward

The "Space Marine Creation Myth" almost sounded like fluff that Matt Ward would come up with while on some sort of drug. At the end of the day, it was a pretty unfunny joke.
User avatar
Sipahi Commando
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2011 5:03 am


Re: The Age of Dusk [60K] [SECTION 13 up!]

Postby LordLucan » Sat Jul 23, 2011 7:41 pm

Lord Solar Macharius wrote:
LordLucan wrote:Which bit? The bit where Titus refuses to give up command? I just thought that would be in character for the scheming sychophant. That was his big moment to become master finally. Titus was never the best warrior however (and was also incredibly old at that point. Not as spectacularly old as Sicarius, but still old), so wasn't at his peak. Folkar was however.

What I meant was Ultramar becoming a vassal of Vulkan's empire. If it was simply forced into an alliance I guess I would be okay with that, but the whole "Ultramar becoming a subordanate of Vulkan", or at least the execution, felt rather hurried. I guess it was sort of foreshadowed with Telion's dissapearance in 50k, but the exact contents seemed more like a plot device to get more resources for Vulkan.


Well actually it was a plot device to set up a later story part, but yeah I suppose it could do with more foreshadowing. I may have to edit the post some more (I already edited the seciton to make it clearer that Guilliman was the guy who put hs fist through Draigo, and corrected the anathame typo). I'll bear your thoughts in mind for later sections.

But I will try to explain myself here a bit I tihnk; the reason Telion never took the scroll anywhere before was because he believed all the Primarchs were dead, and thus which primarhc got to rule it would have been moot. When he learns Vulkan is alive, this was the key he needed to legitimising his rebellion.



EDIT: Also, who is Matthaeus Bardus? I don't recognise the name.

Matthaeus=Matthew=Matt

Bardus=Bardo=Bard=Ward

The "Space Marine Creation Myth" almost sounded like fluff that Matt Ward would come up with while on some sort of drug. At the end of the day, it was a pretty unfunny joke.


lol, sorry. I was being dense. ;)
Check out my debut fantasy novel from Fox Spirit Books, The Hobgoblin's Herald (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hobgoblins-Herald-R-Aston/dp/1910462047). If you've read it, please rate and review it on amazon; I'd be eternally grateful. The sequel, Eater of Names, is out in 2018, so watch this space.
User avatar
LordLucan
 
Posts: 3561
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:05 pm


Re: The Age of Dusk [60K] [SECTION 13 up!]

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Sat Jul 23, 2011 7:42 pm

Don't want to seem like a pain or anything, but I would say that sentences with the name of a GW employee and the word drug should not be used on the board. :)
Shadowhawk's Shade My 40k/writing/review blog. You can check out all my reviews here.

My current fiction projects - Veergati: The Scarlet Records, an Indian space opera inspired by Star Trek.
User avatar
shadowhawk2008
 
Posts: 7716
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:17 am
Location: Battle-barge Spear of Lycaeus of the Angels of Retribution


Re: The Age of Dusk [60K] [SECTION 13 up!]

Postby Sipahi Commando » Sat Jul 23, 2011 7:53 pm

[quote=LordLucan]lol, sorry. I was being dense. ;)[/quote]

I could understand. The "B" in "Bardus" could really throw people off.
User avatar
Sipahi Commando
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2011 5:03 am


Re: The Age of Dusk [60K] [SECTION 13 up!]

Postby Mr Stereo1 » Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:56 pm

Considering his advanced age, I'm surprised that Telion didn't bring along at least one younger marine to make sure the scroll got through. Were their numbers really so low?
Mr Stereo1
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:21 pm


Re: The Age of Dusk [60K] [SECTION 13 up!]

Postby Lord Avernus » Sun Jul 24, 2011 7:00 am

I found a plot hole: Stern cut the Emperor off the face of that Daemon dude in 50k, yet was part of the squad not in the Solar System in 60k and got killed by Abaddon and that traitor guardsman.
Lord Avernus
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 6:57 am


Re: The Age of Dusk [60K] [SECTION 13 up!]

Postby Kilroy » Sun Jul 24, 2011 7:19 am

I gotta say, I'm really impressed with the story! Keep up the good work!
Kilroy
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 7:15 am


Re: The Age of Dusk [60K] [SECTION 13 up!]

Postby LordLucan » Sun Jul 24, 2011 3:09 pm

Lord Avernus wrote:I found a plot hole: Stern cut the Emperor off the face of that Daemon dude in 50k, yet was part of the squad not in the Solar System in 60k and got killed by Abaddon and that traitor guardsman.


I will get on that right away. Stern was supposed to be the dude Abaddon killed. I'll correct the 50K account. Thanks for spotting that Avernus. Much appreciated.
Check out my debut fantasy novel from Fox Spirit Books, The Hobgoblin's Herald (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hobgoblins-Herald-R-Aston/dp/1910462047). If you've read it, please rate and review it on amazon; I'd be eternally grateful. The sequel, Eater of Names, is out in 2018, so watch this space.
User avatar
LordLucan
 
Posts: 3561
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:05 pm


Re: The Age of Dusk [60K] [SECTION 13 up!]

Postby Lord Avernus » Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:52 am

LordLucan wrote:
Lord Avernus wrote:I found a plot hole: Stern cut the Emperor off the face of that Daemon dude in 50k, yet was part of the squad not in the Solar System in 60k and got killed by Abaddon and that traitor guardsman.


I will get on that right away. Stern was supposed to be the dude Abaddon killed. I'll correct the 50K account. Thanks for spotting that Avernus. Much appreciated.

No need to thank me. Just doing my job (really! IRL I'm an editor).
Lord Avernus
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 6:57 am


Re: The Age of Dusk [60K] [SECTION 13 up!]

Postby LordLucan » Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:35 pm

Next part. Enjoy folks:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Additional Background Section 14: Artificial Bodies; Birth on N’dras and the flight of the Idealist.

The Tau reached the peak of their powers at a time where extinction came closer than ever before in their history. The desperate stalemate inflicted upon the Nightbringers undying Legions was breaking down, and the grand alliance of xenos races began to splinter under the furious strain of the endless war. Billions of Drone-Battlesuits were produced every few minutes, flooding into hundreds of diverse warzones simultaneously across a front fifteen hundred light-years across (though, as with any space-based campaign, in reality battles were fought by leapfrogging between embattled systems endlessly, from every vector possible.)

The Tau civilisation continued to develop apace however. New machines and inventions were crafted every year. Earth caste and Fire caste funding was near limitless; nothing was denied them. N’dras became the central R and D centre of the Meta-Empire. Scientists from every vassal race flocked to the Sept world to help develop the next generations of hyper-advanced war machines.

In 823.M55, the first of the Shas’N’drassir’Kais’Por’Vanos (known unofficially as ‘the Idealist’ by its builders) Class of starship was finally commissioned. It was the most advanced Tau vessel yet built. It was completely drone-controlled, with an extensive super-mind governing every aspect of the ship, only a small crew of maintenance staff was required to remain on board the sleek yet substantial craft. With the space saved by reducing crew numbers, the ship could mount sophisticated and experimental FTL sensors, as well as an upgraded armoury of the most powerful weapon systems yet devised by the Tau’s genius. The idealist also had an engine which was capable of performing multiple ‘warp dives’ in quick succession, making the vessel faster at FTL than even the Imperium vessels of old. The Fio caste were eager to get it mass produced and exported to the front lines asap, but Aun’Va overruled this order directly. The Idealist needed to be tested on a warzone away from the Necrons (otherwise the C’tan may learn of its capabilities early on, and devise a counter to them). Fio’Tunsenig protested most strongly. How were the Tau to test a weapon away from Necrons? The entire eastern fringe was part of the warzone, he argued.

The Earth Caste engineer could not have realised at the time (or afterwards to be honest, after his mind was cleansed of unorthodoxy by members of the M’yen psyker caste), but the Tau did have a means of finding a warzone beyond the fringe; the Jericho gate. This ancient interstellar transit path, devised by the Old Ones for a purpose not recorded in this archive, connected the Tau Empire to the Calixis sector, on the opposite side of the galaxy. Massive effort had been expended over the years ensuring the gate was never located by the C’tan, but it was deemed by Aun’Va a worthwhile cause. Thus, the Idealist was sent through the gate. Its mission was to defeat local forces, and store telemetry on its performance, before returning safely to Tau space, with its crew intact.

And thus, barely a week after this decree was issued, the Callixis gate flared into life once again, and the idealist emerged into the sector in a shimmer of baleful energies. For many centuries, the Tau had complied telemetry and stellar models of the Calixis sector, and had trawled third sphere expansion accounts to prepare the Idealist for its maiden voyage. Such efforts were futile, for Callixis was much changed.

Men did not dwell upon the worlds of Callixis. At least, not true men. Only the maggot men, who spawned and writhed across the face of the darkened hatchery worlds of the Slaugth. As soon as the Idealist entered the sector, passive sensors detected it, and messages were scattered amongst the Slaugth terror-form vessels, that mustered to locate the interloper.

The idealist was waiting for them. It used its specialised sensors to detect the enemy vessels before they arrived, and timed its salvoes for maximum damage as soon as the unsettlingly-angular vessels of the worm-men exited the warp. Particle beams sheared through the first squadron for vessels, and these beams were then used as a designator for follow-up salvoes of phase missiles and gravitic mines, that pulverised the enemy vessels one by one. The engineers on board were terrified and awed in equal measure, as they watched their creation wreak terrible destruction upon the abhorrent alien craft with cold professionalism. The battles between Slaugth and the Tau craft continued for many months. Whenever the press of slaugth ships was too great, and their esoteric technology seemed to be carrying the day, the Idealist would effortlessly deny them a target, and skim-warped to a different location with regularity.

Yet, each time it escaped, it left dozens of damaged or crippled enemy vessels in its wake. This weakened the Slaugth notably, and this bitter combat reached a climax in Lathes system. The Lathes were vast world-prisons, where the slaugth tortured and experimented upon the former inhabitants of the sector. It also happened to be one of the most well defended worm-man installation in the region. When the Idealist warped into its space, the slaugth were ready, unleashing a strange crackling field of energy that prevented warp breach in the local vicinity. It was then that their hateful leviathans of capital ships closed in upon the Idealist. Each of the three titanic craft were like great floating hive cities, swarming with attack craft and subsidiary escorts. The Idealist, despite the desperate protests of its frantic engineers, declared that it would give battle. It was the logical course of action, despite appearances; whatever kept it chained to the Lathes was a function of slaugth technology. Thus, all of their technological assets had to be eliminated if they were to be free.

What happened next is a source of many legends amongst the annals of the oppressed peoples of Slaugth-Callixis. The Idealist drove for the centre of the Slaugth system, where the various gravity wells and astronomical phenomenon were at their fiercest. The three enemy vessels had no choice but to follow and engage. The Idealist brought itself within range of the formidable orbital weapons of the three primary worlds, as well as the three worm-hive ships. It was a suicidal run.

For a ship with a limited biological brain. But the Idealist had weapons which could further distort and manipulate gravity, and systems capable of cogitating on a scale not seen since Iron men walked amongst the stars as Stone Man’s equals. The Tau super ship deflected and dodged the fearsome fusillade, directing their weaponry to strike at their own vessels as they attempted to manoeuvre within the intense gravity fields. At one point, the Idealist duelled three capital ships at once; lance beams and ion cannons flaring in all directions as it span and swam through the void like some oceanic predator. Finally, through a complex system of tractor beam strikes and immobilising volleys, the Idealist dragged one of the leviathan vessels into a terminal orbit around one of the lathes. The worm men within screeched and flailed with anguish, falling into masses of writhing maggots as they looked on in impotent panic, the ground looming large in their viewscreens.

The impact shook the very foundations of the prison world, and for a moment, a new star was born upon land. An entire factory-spire toppled into the corroded depths of the lathe’s mantle, and a volcanic blast fourteen miles high thundered into the stratosphere. Tectonic plates shifted, and prison walls across the planet broke as one, as if shook to pieces by the daemonic din of impact. Many beings escaped those prisons that day. Many went on to join resistance movements or neighbouring stellar empires, while there was one who was freed, who should never have been freed. Hindsight allows us to see what he would create in the Last of Days, but a that time he was barely a footnote in history. We were not to know that it was he who engineered the collapse of so many nations, and brought about the abhorrence-ascendant. But that is another tale to be told at a later point.

To return to the naval battle raging in the shadow of the Lathes, the Idealist had broken the Slaugth dampening of the warp, and managed to slip away from the furious slaugth reinforcements. It was a victory of sorts, but it left the vessel damaged, and its navigation threw it out of Callixis entirely, into space uncharted by any Tau scholars. It is likely that the Tau would have prayed for a chance to lay low and repair itself, before attempting to return to Jericho. But alas, it was not to be; word had already spread to the Imperium of the Expanse, of this single vessel which could take on the might of the entire slaugth armada, alone, and triumphed. Under their High Chancellor, Verridium Silon XXXXVVXIII (a direct descendant of the first Emperor of the Expanse, Ambraesk Silon), this Imperium had formed strong trading links with every civilisation and empire for four hundred light years. Now, every faction in the area hunted them; some in order to plunder and study the ship’s technology, such as the Vulkan Imperium or the Viae Confederate of Alien dependencies. Others simply wish to hunt them for the sheer thrill. These included the Bloodknights of Baal, and the infamous Khornate Reaver Mawdredd, one of Abaddon’s most infamous Admirals.

The Tau vessel’s engineers attempted to reason with the Idealist. It had to make full speed for the Callixis gate, and back to T’au. Surely it had enough data. However, the ship’s systems decided it needed to defeat the local threats. All of them. The tiny crew of the vessel suddenly realised, with mounting dread, what the ship intended. It would kill them all. Desperately, Gue’vesa and Fio engineers tried to break into the ship’s computing systems (for it was suspected that the damage done by the slaugth had somehow made the vessel lose track of the Greater Good). The vessel almost killed them in resisting them; venting atmosphere in an attempt to subdue them. When the ship realised what it had almost done, it realised its crew were not safe onboard. It forcibly deposited them upon the nearest habitable world, and sped off into the void, to search for spare parts.

It found them upon the civilised world of Ganner Haktar. Ironically, the Idealist’s entrance into that system was a blessing for the Haktarians. This was because they were under attack by a mercenary fleet of hostile xenos races, who were trying to plunder the world for its materiel. The Idealist’ arrival instantly turned the tide of the naval engagement. Within an hour, the enemy fleet were limping back out of the system, while many simply smouldered in orbit, adrift and powerless. In gratitude, the Haktarians ferried supplies up to the Idealist. Bizarrely, the idealist responded by crippling the ferries and tugs, and taking their supplies anyway, before neutralising the Haktarian orbital defences. The Tau vessel recognised them as combatants to be eliminated. Yet, once these were destroyed, it spared the citizens below; it was a military vessel, not a tool of butchery.

In contrast, Mawdredd’s battle-barge, the Ossified Jaw, was very much a tool of butchery. IT had a legacy of carnage woven into its very hull, for it was a snarling patchwork vessel, consisting of various stolen ship components, roughly bonded to its own form. The battlebarge looked like a great serrated lance, clad in the armour of its foes and somehow drenched in fresh blood, which never tarnished or froze in the airless vacuum. The Ossified Jaws burst into the system, and instantly its vox channels were alive with braying roars and bestial challenges. Flanking the snarling barbed giant came smaller sibling vessels, similarly ramshackle but almost as fearsome. Mawdredd’s fleet didn’t hesitate. The vast majority of them made for the planet below, seeking a change to pillage and murder the populace. Yet, the Ossified Jaw and its escorts had eyes for only one prize; the Idealist.

Mawdredd stood up from his throne, throwing off his cloak of flayed man-skin, and howled like some canine maniac, before he ordered the boarding torpedoes manned, the main batteries armed, and the assault boats ready for close assault. Then, the Ossified Jaws turned its prow, shaped like a fanged maw, directly towards the Idealist.

Ramming speed! Ramming speed! Ram them! Pierce them curse you all! Kill its guts!!” was screamed over the captain’s personal vox, echoing throughout the hellforge of a vessel, and his (somewhat unclear) orders were obeyed as best his slavers and pit bosses could fathom.

But the Idealist did not fight like that. He did not fight at 6000 kilometres; such suicidal distances were almost knife-fighting range in naval terms. The Tau ship kept its foes at bay with controlled and blisteringly accurate salvoes and perfectly timed barrages. It insured the engine blocks and the drive systems of the Khornate armada were targeted first, deftly keeping out of range of the relentless broadsides of the chaotic vessels. Mawdredd grew delirious in his frustration, as his ship continued to lose power. He randomly ripped apart several of his attendant staff, and put his fist through his own viewscreen (for the rest of the battle, he had only the word of his helmsman to help him determine what was happening outside his bridge). Systematically, the Idealist weathered the hail of fire from the outclassed escorts and battlebarge, while systematically slaying the Ossified Jaw’s escorts. Finally, the Idealist took on Mawdredd’s vessel. It closed in upon the barge from beneath it, forcing the barge to spin upon its axis to attempt to cap its tee with its broadside, but the Idealist avoided this onslaught with calm grace. Railguns and lance beams carved into the Jaw’s flanks, blasting away its shields within a few hundred shots. Then, the energy weapons began to burn through into actual hull sections. Whole decks were voided, others burst into flames and roasted their inhabitants alive.

But still the Ossified Jaw fought on. Worst of all for the Idealist, it had to move in close to aim more precise shots with its ion cannons. This allowed waves of assault boats to strike its. Boarders found there were virtually no internal spaces to gain entry to the ship, so they merely clung to its skin, and blew chunks from its hull armour with their saboteur charges and melta bombs; futile, but irritating nonetheless. Such distractions taxed the Idealist’s turrets, and made it harder to concentrate on annihilating the Ossified Jaw, which still refused to die. With a final devastating volley of missile waves, the Idealist destroyed the starboard weapon batteries in a great conflagration. This effectively gutted the Khornate barge. With that, the Idealist fled to the outer system, and then warped to freedom.

The Idealist found no peace amongst the western galactic plane. At Elebor, it evaded the watch fleets of the Q’orl. The vessel fought off a pursuing fleet of Iron Hands that detected it on the fringes of Armageddon , and it destroyed a wolf pack formation within uncharted space. Soon enough, the Idealist became an infamous legend; the ship of the dead. The ship that could see everything, the ship that could not be slain.

One could be forgiven for thinking the Ossified Jaw, unlike the Idealist, was very much mortal, and had died in orbit around Haktar. Such views do not take into account the bloody-minded determination of Mawdredd. Even as the ship suffered massive flash firestorms and collapsing bulkheads, he furiously led his minions into the lower decks, dragging captured engineers and tech seers along with him. The fires were brought under control, but the Ossified Jaw remained without any forward drives, and its gun decks were almost completely destroyed. It was a hulk in all but name. It is said that when one of his command staff suggested they abandon ship and conquer the world below, instead of chasing ‘that devil of a ship’, Mawdredd carved him open from neck to navel.

“Khorne damn your eyes! I am not dead yet. I have its scent in my nostrils! The Jaw will ride again, even if I have to drag it in my wake!”

He eventual solution was barely any less insane, one would argue. Amidst his bloody dreams of vengeance and burning hulks, Mawdred recalled the legends of the very oldest human vessels; stories ripped from the mind sof ancient mariners long since brutalised by the old reaver over the years. The oldest of ships; the bomb-riders of Orion. Mawdredd ordered the remaining munitions in the armoury and vaults to be brought forth; heavy duty mines, fission charges, magma bombardment munitions, and various other high explosive devices and technologies. Even his torpedo stores he ordered pillaged. After this, he ordered the rear of the vessel reinforced with vast adamantine plating, the thickest possible. No one dared question him, and his brass-clad daemon hybrid bodyguards ensured his orders were carried out without hesitation. Nevertheless, when he finally revealed his scheme, most of his crew thought him insane (The rest of the crew also thought he was insane, but these slavering fools were just as mad as him, and they wished to get the vessel moving once more, no matter the cost). Mawdredd ordered bundles of his surviving munitions to be ejected from the rear of the Ossified Jaw, and ordered them to be detonated sequentially. The Jaw would they ride the nuclear force of this blast, allowing the vessel to reach the distance necessary to engage its semi-functioning warp engines.

The people of Haktar watched in disgusted awe, as the night’s sky was illuminated by hundreds upon hundreds of spectacular blasts, that seemed to ripple across the heavens in a wide arc of fire. Mawdredd cackled praises from his ruined bridge, as the Ossified Jaw sped from the system on the crest of a nuclear conflagration. He ignored the pitiful shrieks of the ratings burning in the rearmost sections of the vessel, and the insidious groans of the tortured metal of the ship as it suffered from the titanic strain of blasts at such proximity. The Ossified Jaw rode again! The ship only increased in speed through the warp. Mawdredd sacrificed thousands of his own crew, drawing a veritable tide of daemons alongside his vessel, thrusting him forwards through the Immaterium with all the volcanic power suicidal rage could conjure in the sea of souls. The hull burned with the talons of clinging, formless daemon-things. Mawdredd’s hateful mind focussed upon only one thing; the Idealist. That accursed ship would not escape him. Not while his skull remained affixed to his spine!

The Idealist fought over seventy engagements in the western fringe over just three years. Not once was it defeated, though it found itself severely damaged. Its tractor beams were ruined, its missile stocks were utterly depleted, and its shielding was sporadic and faltering. Maintenance drones produced from within its vault-holds tried their best to fix the many varied malfunctions and near-crippling damage; they lacked the imaginative and sophisticated skills of it human and tau engineers. The Idealist warped with all haste to the world it had deposited its mortal cargo upon. However, when it arrived, scans showed they were gone. But they were not dead, for the Idealist detected further signals; the telltale contrails of ships recently breaking warp. The Idealist’s engineers had been taken. It had to save them, no matter the cost, for the technological miracles that allowed the Idealist to exist was contained within their minds. Should any rival enemy gain such knowledge, it would be a dark day for the Tau Meta-Empire. The Drone-ship instantly set in a pursuit course, intending to reach the kidnappers destination before they did, and cut them off before they reached their homeworld. However, the Idealist was damaged, and could not make those kind sof immense speeds any more. It barely managed to keep up with the speeding vessels as they fled with their prizes sealed in their holds. The enemy employed strange warp drives that spewed forth hundreds of miserable souls in their wake, like vapour trails from a jet craft. The Idealist did not know of the excruciator engines of the Theologian Union, or how they powered their vessels through the screaming of psykers fed into their soul furnaces like diabolical coal-dust.

The speeding cruisers of the Theologian Union arrived first, and their new slaves were taken to the star fort of Von Drannen’s Purgation, the fortified laboratory of Eccliesiarch Ceylan’s most trusted and vile servant; the demented Mechanicus priest Deng Vaal. Within his chambers, he began his many hideous torments upon the tau’s quivering blue flesh. Ceyland desired a fleet of ships, powerful enough to break the back of the Vulkan Imperium, allowing him to unite humanity in the worship of the Emperor of the Wasteland. Von Drannen’s Purgation was guarded by an entire sector fleet detachment, including cruisers personally modified and up-gunned by Deng Vaal himself. This was Lord Vaal’s own personal demesne, and the seat of his power. If he could develop a fleet of advanced weapons, he need no longer bow before Ceylan. He could take the Theologian Union for himself. He had also instructed his cruisers not to hide the course they had taken to his star fort; he hoped that the Idealist followed them. If he could capture both the ship and its engineers, his task would be all the simpler.

Soon enough, his hopes were fulfilled, as the Idealist burst from the warp, all its functioning guns blazing. However, this time it was the idealist’s time to be outclassed. The Tau ship was battered and wounded from a thousand cuts, while Vaal’s ships were fresh and well-stocked. They surged into combat, one after another. Though the Idealist outranged them, they did not fear remaining within range of the craft, as they closed with their own shorter ranged ordnance. Torpedoes burst across the skin of the Idealist in searing blossoms of plasma fire, as lances thrust into its flanks from every angle. But the Idealist fought on, fear unknown to its artificial brain. Inside, drones exploded and storage holds were split asunder by the bombardment of the Theologian vessels. But onwards it came, launching all the ordnance it still possessed. It killed several smaller craft with the last salvo of phase missiles that bypassed armour and shields, detonating inside their very decks. Deng Vaal watched this battle unfold from his personal chambers onboard the star fort, his fingers clenched like claws into the arms of his chair, eyes intent and straining to make out the status of the enemy vessel. He had ordered the idealist crippled, not destroyed. He needed it relatively intact.

But the fight was leaving the idealist. Its manoeuvring thrusters were almost all destroyed beyond repair, and its weapon banks were now dry. Unable to defeat its foe, it simply diverted all its power to its shields, as it desperately tried to calculate a method of victory.

The lead Theologian cruiser turned about then, moving in close for a full broadside. Macrocannons were primed and activated all along the human vessel’s starboard flank, and firing solutions were calculated as quickly as its servitors and cogitators could manage. It was then that reality seemed to distort and warp in a space fifteen thousand kilometres to port of the Theologian warship. Moments later, the fanged snout of the Ossified Jaw punched its way out of hell at tremendous speed. The Theologian Captain screamed for evasive manoeuvres, but it was hopeless. The Ossified Jaw ploughed through the portside of the cruiser, before erupting spectacularly from the starboard flank. The Theologian vessel was thrown off course by the force of the battlebarge’s blow, and the two vessels seemed locked in a silent waltz in the void as they tumbled over one another. Mawdredd, desperate to slay his foe, actually boarded the vessel he had just rammed. He and his brass-daemons slew the Theologian crew, and set his few surviving technicians to work controlling the vessel’s main drives. This event made for a rather perplexing sight; in the middle of a naval battle, the Theologian’s flagship sped towards the Idealist, with a multiple-kilometre long battlebarge lodged like a cross-bar of a cruciform in its belly, while both vessels blazed.

The attentions of the Theologian fleet turned towards this new and surreal threat. But even as their broadsides ripped great chunks from both the trapped vessels, they continued to power towards the Idealist. Mawdredd opened all his vox channels, and began to scream with murderous joy for all to hear. His bridge was chopped away by the sweep of a lance beam, but Mawdredd cared not, as he rose in his seat. The air was blown from his bisected bridg, and all his crew was instantly sucked into the void save for himself, thanks to his prodigious strength. This mattered little to him; he could now see the idealist looming large before him, barely six kilometres away, and he hissed a shuddering breath of pleasure into his respirator mask. It was then that the Tau vessel lowered its shields. Too late, Deng Vaal realised what the drone-ship intended, and desperately ordered his vessels to tow it out of harm’s way.

The Ossified Jaw was barely a kilometre from the Idealist when it detonated its warp cores as one. For the nanosecond before Mawdredd the Reaver was utterly atomised, it is possible he realised that he had been denied his quarry, as his soul fell screaming into Khorne’s lake of fire. Deng Vaal had been glaring at the Idealist through his observatory telescope when it exploded in a blinding flash. This blinding was quite literal in Deng Vaal’s case, and he whimpered as he staggered from his observatory, retinas boiled in his skull. He was robbed of his sight and his ultimate prize.

But still, he possessed the tau.

[Compiler pauses. The chamber is breached. Relocating archive documentation facility. Please wait.]

Forgive me. The Draziin-maton have found their way in. Time is short. I must relocate to a deeper gallery of this archive. Pray for me, O ye future readers. I see the black shapes crawling. I am certain the library’s sentinels can handle them for now. But I must escape. This is too important.

[Chronicle paused.]
Check out my debut fantasy novel from Fox Spirit Books, The Hobgoblin's Herald (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hobgoblins-Herald-R-Aston/dp/1910462047). If you've read it, please rate and review it on amazon; I'd be eternally grateful. The sequel, Eater of Names, is out in 2018, so watch this space.
User avatar
LordLucan
 
Posts: 3561
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:05 pm


Re: The Age of Dusk [60K] [SECTION 14 up!]

Postby Gaius Marius » Sun Jul 31, 2011 1:06 am

The Idealist sounds like a seriously cool ship. The man worms and the Orion ships were nice touches.
Space Cowboy, Spartan II, Specter, Reclusiarch

'I see the fear you have inside.'
User avatar
Gaius Marius
 
Posts: 1044
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:14 pm


Re: The Age of Dusk [60K] [SECTION 14 up!]

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:26 am

Good stuff man!
Shadowhawk's Shade My 40k/writing/review blog. You can check out all my reviews here.

My current fiction projects - Veergati: The Scarlet Records, an Indian space opera inspired by Star Trek.
User avatar
shadowhawk2008
 
Posts: 7716
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:17 am
Location: Battle-barge Spear of Lycaeus of the Angels of Retribution


Re: The Age of Dusk [60K] [SECTION 14 up!]

Postby soddinnutter » Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:27 am

This is so incredibly awesome.
soddinnutter
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:26 am


Re: The Age of Dusk [60K] [SECTION 14 up!]

Postby Tyrant » Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:45 pm

I'm hoping that the Vulkan Imperium doesn't get too badly trashed by the new ships I suspect the Theologian Union will soon have; they are the best hope that humanity has at the moment.....

I also suspect I know who was freed from the prison who shouldn't have been!
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
User avatar
Tyrant
 
Posts: 835
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:55 pm


Re: The Age of Dusk [60K] [SECTION 14 up!]

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:47 pm

Tyrant wrote:I'm hoping that the Vulkan Imperium doesn't get too badly trashed by the new ships I suspect the Theologian Union will soon have; they are the best hope that humanity has at the moment.....


I won't let that happen! :evil:
Shadowhawk's Shade My 40k/writing/review blog. You can check out all my reviews here.

My current fiction projects - Veergati: The Scarlet Records, an Indian space opera inspired by Star Trek.
User avatar
shadowhawk2008
 
Posts: 7716
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:17 am
Location: Battle-barge Spear of Lycaeus of the Angels of Retribution


Re: The Age of Dusk [60K] [SECTION 14 up!]

Postby Colonel Mustard » Tue Aug 02, 2011 4:38 am

Lord Lucan wrote:We were not to know that it was he who engineered the collapse of so many nations, and brought about the abhorrence-ascendant. But that is another tale to be told at a later point.
I'm taking a stab at his name beginning with 's' and ending with 'parrod.'

Also, I thought you mentioned Stone Mind when you mentioned 'Stone Man.' Which had my have a bit of a shocked moment before I realised I was barking up the wrong tree. A pox on your scaly hide, LL...
User avatar
Colonel Mustard
 
Posts: 711
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:58 pm


Re: The Age of Dusk [60K] [SECTION 14 up!]

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Tue Aug 02, 2011 11:28 am

Colonel Mustard wrote:pox on your scaly hide, LL...


It's an ever-changing hide :P
Shadowhawk's Shade My 40k/writing/review blog. You can check out all my reviews here.

My current fiction projects - Veergati: The Scarlet Records, an Indian space opera inspired by Star Trek.
User avatar
shadowhawk2008
 
Posts: 7716
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:17 am
Location: Battle-barge Spear of Lycaeus of the Angels of Retribution


Re: The Age of Dusk [60K] [SECTION 14 up!]

Postby Colonel Mustard » Tue Aug 02, 2011 1:09 pm

shadowhawk2008 wrote:
Colonel Mustard wrote:pox on your scaly hide, LL...


It's an ever-changing hide :P

It's usually safe to say there are some scales on it somewhere ;)
User avatar
Colonel Mustard
 
Posts: 711
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:58 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Board index

Return to Fan Fiction

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest