To challenge the odds[40k custom chapter]

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To challenge the odds[40k custom chapter]

Postby Isghamor » Mon Oct 01, 2018 7:29 pm

Hi, this is my first fanfic. Since I'm a beginner every piece of critic is more than welcome. Hope you enjoy it :)

The blast door of the drop-pod opened and, from the smoke, a marine came out.
He was clad in black armour tarnished with silver details. On his back he wore a jump-pack with a pair of silver mechanical wings attached to its sides. On his shoulder pad was painted a glyph representing the full moon. He was Gwidion, captain of the luna plena company.
Behind him, in a similar attire, another warrior emerged from the smoke. This one had a skull shaped helmet and a book chained to his belt. He was Markov, reclusiarch of the Silver Feathers. His crosius was shaped as a spear on whose guard shone the Aquila imperialis.

The chaplain looked around himself: there was no sign of life besides some critters and the noise of the ongoing battle in the distance. He examined the terrain; it was barren.
Reddish dirt framed the solitary rocks here and there. Huge craters, left behind by artillery strikes, broke the monotony of the landscape.
The mist blown away by the drop-pod’s shock-wave was closing again granting its cover to the warriors.

Heavy and dragged footsteps broke the silence. Gwidion turned to the source of the noise with his bolter ready to fire. His eyes trying to peer past the white veil.
A lonely guardsman came out of the mist. He had blood dripping from his waist down his leg. After he concluded it was not a trap, he holstered the weapon.

The soldier quickened his pace “Milords, did you finally came to save us?”

The chaplain gave a nod “The Emperor will always protect the faithful.”

Gwidion gave a quick look at the wound. The blood was bright red which meant the soldier won’t have much time. Probably he made it this far thanks only to his will. An impressive feat, he thought.

“Soldier, what’s the situation?”

“The orks are everywhere. We charged into an ambush, probably I’m the only survivor. There is not much time.”

He started coughing blood and fell to the ground. Both marines crouched beside him.

“We are being overrun.” He was staring to a point far away in sky. He lifted a hand seeking comfort and Markov grabbed it.

“Rest in peace now. The Emperor is proud of your service.” said the chaplain.

“Thank you, sir” the last word was just a feeble whisper spoken as the hand lost its strength

Gwidion closed the guard’s eyes and stood up.
“We got to move. The other teams reported their landing and they are now moving in position. We need to find a vantage point and quick.”

“Yes, brother. If they break into the city all of this will be for nothing.”

They were trained to move fast and stealthily and to use the scarce visibility to their own advantage.
Their advance was quick even though they had to make a few stops when they would hear the roar of the orks to avoid being detected.
At some point Gwidion caught the attention of Markov and pointed to a hill nearby.
It was steep enough to make a direct approach hard at best but they took a serpentine path which climbed to the top.
From there the whole field unravelled before them. In the distance the sculptures adorning the city walls popped out from the mist like ancient titans. At their base, near the gates a complex network of trenches was dug in the earth. In there the guard was fighting its last stand.
The orks where charging at what remained of the guard’s fortifications and the desperate fire of the guard looked like fireworks at that distance.

“The city is about to fall. If we push there is the risk they would just throw themselves in like cornered rats.” said Gwidion

Markov rested the spear on his shoulder and turned to him “Do you want to reconsider the plan?”

A group of orks below spotted them and begun to climb the hill with their shoota covering their frenzied growls.

“There is no time. May the Emperor assists us.”

Markov planted his spear in the ground “Gwidion, my brother and captain, if the mists shall reclaim our souls today, know that its been an honour.”

The orks were now in range and Gwidion picked them with his bolter but there were too many to wipe them like that. The orks returned fire forcing the marines to seek cover.
Markov backed using the natural curve in the terrain as cover and plunged his mind into the warp to draw upon its energy.
Soon enough the orks reached the last part of the path leading them on top.
Gwidion mag-locked his bolter to his belt and drew his sword and pistol ready for the melee.

“Markov, as soon as you’re ready...”

The orks shot a barrage at them but the shells stopped mid air, just a few steps in front of the two marines, blocked by an invisible force. Markov’s voice powered by sorcery rumbled like thunder:

“Filthy xenos, today you shall meet your fate at the hand of the Imperium. I am Markov, chaplain of the Luna Plena.”
He lifted the spear from the ground and bolts of light sparkled from the tip of the lance burning the orks wherever they hit them.
“We are the Silver Feathers, the true sons of Avalon, and you shall know our holy rage.”

At first the orks were confused by the sorcery but it didn't last long. They charged again, their war cries reverberated ignoring Markov’s litanies and curses. They reached them and passed through the barrier. Gwidion met them power-sword in hand.
He gutted the first ork and the blood-thirsty heritage of their founder-chapter kicked in. Soon his fluid and controlled movements became more of a flurry of attacks. He occasionally fired his jump-pack to empower his thrusts or dodge last second. The mechanical wings gave him a surprising mobility in the air but the stray fire didn't allow him to stay in the air for long.
The horde never stopped. He hit them with everything he got be it sword, fists or bullets. At his side the chaplain, too, let go of his composure screaming litanies of hate and fury as he spun with his spear. After what could have been an eternity the two brothers were surrounded with ork’s carcasses. Both of their once shining armours battered and drenched in blood.

The great part of the xeno’s army had gathered at the feet of the hill drawn by their provocations and also by the fire of the other groups. They had ceased the assault on the guard to focus on the new threat.

Markov laughed “We did it. We’ll be remembered in our chapter’s history as heroes, my brother.”

Gwidion lifted his power-sword to the sky shouting both in the comm and out “Brothers, its time. Let your fury be known to the enemy and may you find in death what had been lost to you in life.”

a hundred voices chorused “For Avalon” as the orks were caught in a pincer manoeuvre.
Steel met steel and beast met human in a brutal brawl.

From his vantage point Gwidion spotted a towering ork. It was cleaving with his axe and inciting his comrades. Gwidion removed his helmet, r his silvery long hair, and went downhill. He stared at the orks’ boss whit his fangs bared in a grimace of challenge.
When the beast met his gaze it advanced towards him. An astartes tried to face him but, with a powerful blow of his axe, the ork slain him.
Gwidion threw away his pistol and wielded his sword two handed with the point facing the ork.
The boss met his challenge “'Da 'umie wants ta fight me alone. Boyz, let ‘em have it.”
It didn't matter if it was against a mutant, a xeno or a heretic; an honour challenge was sacred among the Silver Feathers and not a single astartes would dare to ruin it.

The two warriors circled around waiting for the right moment to strike. Their eyes filled with fury. The boss moved first “WAAAGH” he lifted his axe and brought it down so fast that Gwidion avoided it only narrowly despite his trans-human senses.
He was forced on the defensive under the flurry of blows carried by the ork.
Being patience not an ork’s virtue, soon the boss lost it and his blows became stronger but also more unfocused.

In the meantime both sides separated and were now watching the match.

Gwidion lifted over a swing of the axe and hit the boss with a jump-pack powered head butt. The mechanical wings on the side allowed him to remain lifted precisely at the height of the beast’s face. From there he aimed a cleave to the neck.
The ork answered just in time arching his back to charge a fist and the sword missed its target cutting the right eye instead. While Gwidion was recoiling from the attack, the ork unleashed its fist sending him rolling on the ground. He planted his feet and took advantage of the momentum to stand up again.
The boss cleaned the blood flowing from his wound and walked towards him with a furious growl.

All around Gwidion the landscape had morphed in a familiar way. It was his home.
He, somehow, was on Avalon.
He smelt smoke and, when he turned back, he saw all devouring flames. That vision hit him so deeply that he forgot about the ork and the reality from which he came. He fell to his knees trying to understand how such a tragedy could have happened. His home was burning and his mind voiced what he tried not to think:

Avalon had fallen.

He shouted with such a fury that the boss, who was approaching, stopped to get on the defensive anticipating an assault.
The astartes knew what he was going through. It plagued their chapter since the first time chaos tried to invade their world. They called it the black sorrow.
From the astartes’ side a low and melancholic chant lifted. It was led by Markov who, in sign of respect for their fallen brother, had removed his helmet.

Among the flames Gwidion saw a tall figure. He needed something on which to release his anger so he picked up the sword beside him and walked towards the figure.
“Your suffering will never be enough for the crime you have committed.”
As he drew near the figure got more and more defined. From his shape Gwidion understood he was wearing some kind of armour similar to his but he was too big, even for a chaos marine. He wore a wolf pelt around his neck and used talons as his weapons. The gold details on his armour shone in the light of the flames.
Gwidion knew him, every astartes did. He was the Arch-traitor, Horus.

He saw blood pouring from his chest as grievous wounds opened by themselves and yet he didn’t felt any pain.

He could not afford to fall not before his vengeance was fulfilled.
With another wild scream he charged, uncaring for the wounds or his life. His opponent parried all of his many blows with the exception of a single thrust which hit on the spot just where the heart should have been.
Even if the enemy expired the flames kept on eating his world as other figures emerged from the flames, each wearing the same treacherous face.
“Come to me. If it is what it takes to save Avalon I will kill you all. I want more blood, your blood.”

Gwidion were standing atop the boss’ corpse; he was covered in blood and gore. His sword left lodged in the beast’s heart.
The orks fled afraid of the madness of that warrior who slew their leader.

Chaplain Markov approached him, his spear held low by the weight of the duty he had to perform.
As tradition demanded he spoke the ritual words.
“Brother, like a moth seeks the flames you seek righteous vengeance for your home.”
some astartes took place behind the chaplain ready to protect him.
Gwidion was screaming at something but he stood still.

“If the flames hadn't burned your wings, heed my call and let your spirit come back to us.”


Gwidion tried to charge at the shadows but a firm yet kind hand held him back and
a female voice ringed in his ears from behind:

“Not yet. I still have plans for you.”

Gwidion tried to break free but the grip became stronger.

“My home has burned. I seek only vengeance now.”
The woman walked in front of him. She wore a black and white dress. Her long silver hairs concealed two pointy ears.
Gwidion tried to dash at the woman. He was prey to his own madness.

“Your blood will do, xeno”
An enormous pressure forced him on his knees.
“If you want this to be your reality” she gestured to the flames
“go on but do not condemn your brothers to the same fate”.
At her gesture the flames retracted showing the burned bodies of Markov and the other warriors he had led.
“let go of your anger. Focus on reality” she put a finger on his forehead.
Gwidion’s vision became blurred as things shifted again. Just for a moment he had the impression the woman cast a far larger shadow than her size.

He heard Markov’s voice
“May the mists welcome your soul. You shall be remembered.”
He braced his spear to strike.
“Brother!” Gwidion spoke those words with surprise at seeing him alive again.
“Captain, I… thought you were lost.”
“Maybe I am, Markov. Brace yourself a great darkness is coming for Avalon.”
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