Saga of the Thirteenth. [60K Space Wolves: Part One]

For Warhammer fiction not strictly from either universe.

Saga of the Thirteenth. [60K Space Wolves: Part One]

Postby Dark Angel » Sat Mar 29, 2014 7:40 pm

And when the End-Time is near,
When the earth trembles and the skies fall,
The Wolf King will howl,
And to the hearth will his pack return.

Peace was a rare commodity, come the Fiftieth Millennium. Holy Terra was gone, snubbed out by the foulness of the Warp, the God-Emperor dead. The Imperium was a broken, corrupt thing - Shattered into hundreds, thousands, of petty empires, each headed by a despot. Some, like that of Tallarn-Ophelia were unforgiving theocracies, whilst others - Like Grand Sicarium, situated in the Galactic East - Were ruled by the remnants of the Adeptus Astartes, the Fallen-Emperor’s gene-forged heirs.

Vulkan, Primarch of the Salamanders, the Hermit, transformed Armageddon into his own personal domain, modeling it upon his Father’s own. At the head of his Commanderies, Vulkan expanded his empire, encompassing more and more worlds into the fold, recreating society from the base up. But he was not alone. His brothers, the melancholic Corvus Corax, the wild Jaghatai Khan, the sombre, brooding Lion El’Jonson, and the untamed, warrior-king, Leman Russ, marched alongside him, his most trusted, most able lieutenants.

And so it was that Armageddon enjoyed countless year of peace, a diamond in the rough, per say. It was the throneworld, never as grand or as fabled as Terra, and thus became the most heavily defended world in Vulkan’s growing Imperium. St. Jowen’s Dock had become the largest naval base known to man, housing thousands of battleships, cruisers and frigates in its orbital dockyards, whilst orbital fortresses studded the skies around Armageddon like giant, artificial stars. Many considered the system impregnable, and save for the rare, suicidal raids by cruel xenos and power-mad men, it was true.

Then they came.

Long-range watch stations detected a warp-flare on the edges of the system, pathetically weak, but enough to rouse the interest of the Primarch-Emperor. The battleships Veneratus and Scaleback, both monolithic throwbacks from a darker time, were dispatched to investigate - Having been performing long-term rim-patrols of the subsector. They were led by Nu’tek of the Salamanders, a proud and competent commander, having risen to fame during the early Reclamation Wars. It took them a week to pinpoint the exact location of the warp-flare, and by then it was obvious why. Whatever had spurted forth from the Immaterium, be it vessel or beast, was moving.

Nu’tek reacted quickly, redirecting his vessels corewards, hunting for this unforeseen prey. Battlegroups were sent forth from St. Jowen’s Dock, instructed to find and, if needed, destroy their hidden quarry.

It was Nu’tek who finally found it.

It was a vessel, hulled in a dozen places, dragging contrails of plasma and shoals of debris, artificial and organic, in its wake. It was garbed in black and gold, not proudly, and looked broken. Friend-or-foe identifiers upon the Veneratus failed to find the name of this ancient, scoured ship, that now ploughed onwards inexorably, like a splintered spear. It did not take an expert to recognise the heraldry upon the ship’s skin, and Nu’tek, a veteran of a thousand campaigns, knew it all too well, having once spilt the blood of the enemy - The Black Legion.

Nu’tek, forever the diplomat, hailed the vessel. It had shown no obvious signs of hostility, and if it was a ghost-ship, it could be rebranded and redeployed, bearing the colours of the Vulkan Imperium. Stab-lights aboard the Scaleback, which had ventured close to the Black Legion vessel, finally found a name - Scourge of Cadia.

Nu'tek: Scourge of Cadia, please respond.
Voice I: It's about time, I thought you were just going to prance around. Where I come from, welcomings usually come before gun-pointing.
Nu'tek: With all due respect, Scourge of Cadia, the Black Legion isn't exactly known for friendliness.
Voice I: Black Legion? Hah, we aren't Black Legion. Never have been, never will be.
Nu'tek: You aren't? Who am I speaking with?
Voice I: I am Jorin Einarsson, called the Bloodhowl, Jarl of Dekk-Tra, Axe-brother of the Russ. I am here to find my Primarch, and you're in my way.

Word of the arrival spread quickly, going from mouth-to-ear, mouth-to-ear. In a matter of hours, everyone, from the lowliest civilian to the highest official, knew of the Space Wolves. Many were dubious, for how could it be possible? Fenris was lost, so it was said, having broken the back of Abaddon the Despoiler and hi damned hosts. Others said that she survived, that she persisted against all, waiting for Leman Russ and his Vlka Fenryka to return, to fill the halls and chambers of the Aett with their raucous laughter and crude humour. Nevertheless, an armada of vessels - Centred around the monstrous, ostentatious Flamewrought - Met with the Scourge of Cadia, providing an escort, and in some unforeseeable event, an executioner.

Jorin Bloodhowl had refused all attempts of boarding, turning them down without a second thought. This brought much suspicion upon the heads of him and his war-host, assuming that he was not alone, of course. Later analysis of the events, particularly private communications between the many shipmasters, revealed that tensions were high. Was this Jorin Bloodhowl, if that was even his name, a would-be assassin? Were High Command fool for allowing a vessel, especially one in enemy colours, so close to the throneworld? Many certainly thought so.

The Scourge of Cadia arrived in geosynchronous orbit of Hades Hive later that week. Leman Russ was in the city, alongside Vulkan himself, and eagerly awaited the company of his long-lost brothers. During his time in the Eye of Terror, Russ had allied himself with many of the Thirteenth Company - Which had splintered into individual warbands and packs in their search for Magnus the Red - But had failed to locate Jorin Bloodhowl. Many said that he was dead, or worse. Leman Russ, ever the pragmatist, had refused to believe such rumours, going as far to crush them.

As the Scourge of Cadia drifted into orbit, a single, battered Stormbird - Once the faithful stead of the Emperor’s Legions - Flaked away from it, dropping down into the atmosphere on wings of flame.

Gunnar of the Red Snow was sharpening the smile of his axe with a whetstone. He went without his helm, favouring his own senses over the tight, smothering embrace of an helmet.

‘What if it isn’t him,’ Lejre the Blind grumbled. He was sat several rows away, with the remnants of his pack, head bowed in thought. ‘What if it is an imposter? A pretender?’

‘Then we cut his thread,’ Jorin Bloodhowl snarled, black-pinned eyes settling firmly on Lejre. ‘Don’t ask stupid questions.’

‘I recognise my failings and will be sure to correct them,‘ Lejre replied, not bothering to look up. Not that he could look. A flesh-artist of the Dark Eldar, an haemonculus, had stolen Lejre’s eyes long ago.

Gunnar of the Red Snow grinned. He was good at cutting threads.

The Stormbird circled the immense Hades Hive once, soaking in the wonder of Armageddon, under watch by a formation of Thunderhawks. Vulkan was taking no precautions, keeping the Space Wolves under close watch. They had, at this point, still been unsighted. In the shadows of Hades Hive, elements of a dozen Commanderies - The Fire Beasts and the Jade Princes being most numerous - Formed a strike-force, supported by a dozen or so Steel Legion Regiments, in case of the worst. These remained hidden, from the populace and Leman Russ, but were nonetheless present.

It was only after this pass, which served as an evaluation of the Hive’s defences - Jorin Bloodhowl would later reveal that he was impressed - That the Stormbird landed. A Company of Salamanders, glittering like raw-cut emeralds in the sunlight, and a pack of Space Wolves, newer, larger, Mark. II Space Wolves, formed the delegation.

Sub-Captain Thol’sar of the Salamanders watched the Stormbird with narrowed, wine-red eyes. It whined, ancient engines competing with Armageddon’s tempestuous winds, and settled down on the metal landing pad.
Beside him, Skil Het, pack-leader of the Space Wolves, hawked on the floor and muttered something.

‘What did you say?’ Thol’sar asked, voice straining to be heard over the sound of the Stormbird’s idling engines.

‘I said that Russ should be here,’ Skil Het snarled back. He wasn’t Fenrisian, rather raised from Armageddon stock. His skin was sun-kissed gold, his hair long, black and lustrous. He carried a bolt-pistol and a chainsword, both rune-encrusted, and looked ready to fight. ‘And Vulkan, too.’

‘Too true, friend,’ Thol’sar said, with a smile. He knew little of Skil Het, and didn’t want to know more. He was bellicose, straining in his armour. Thol’sar had little time for such men, the sooner this was done, the better. ‘They await in the Hermit’s Tower, as always. Tradition, they say.’

The Stormbird’s assault ramp began to lower with a pneumatic hiss. The Salamanders snapped to attention, bringing their bolters across their chests in one precise, uniform movement. The Wolves remained as they were, slouched, hungry-eyed.

Dark figures coalesced in hold of the Stormbird.

Thol’sar felt his fingers twitch towards his bolt-pistol as the figures, undoubtedly Space Marines, strode down the ramp. Skil Het growled, spat again, and stiffened.

They were ramshackle, clad in scuffed, broken armour - They wore pilfered pieces of armour, Black Legion vambraces, World Eater chest-plates, helmets of the Night Lords, sections displaying a hundred different heraldries. Some wore scorched pelts, others had cloaks of daemon-skin. One wore a belt of empty gauntlets, that jingled and jangled as he prowled, another carried a sheared helm; there were necklaces of finger-bones, bleached skulls, claws and fangs, other feral, heathen fetishes. Their faces were tapered around the nose and mouth, like snouts, and bore sharp teeth. Black-pinned gold eyes, the eyes of apex predators, watched the assembled Salamanders and Space Wolves wearily. Some were missing arms and legs, others were little more than large, loping wolves. Wulfen, Thol’sar remembered, as he watched these beasts.

Their leader was neither the largest or the most fearsome, but the way he conducted himself, bearded-head held high, told amounts about him. He carried a giant, two-handed axe, leant against his pauldron - Not his, the purple-dashed pauldron of an Emperor’s Child - The other hand fingering a wolf's-tail necklace dangling around his throat. He alone strode forth, the others milling about the Stormbird, hands tight upon their weapons. This close, a matter of feet away, Thol’sar could smell the Space Wolf - And it made every bone in his body, every muscle, itch. It was sickly sweet, cloying and invading. It was the stench of the warp, of corruption and Chaos.

‘Where is Russ?’ Jorin Bloodhowl growled, lips peeling back over his fangs in such a terrifying, animalistic way, that it promised violence. ‘Where is that boy?’
"I say, Mosley, what is your movement's attitude towards birth control?" Mosley drew himself up to his
full height, hands on hips, and looked the young man up and down, before replying:
"After looking at you, I should think the question of birth control comes about twenty
years too late. Next question, please." The questioner subsided into his seat, and the
meeting continued to a triumphant conclusion. There were no further interruptions.
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Dark Angel
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Re: Saga of the Thirteenth. [60K Space Wolves: Part One]

Postby librisrouge » Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:17 pm

I can't wait to read more of this and whole heartedly encourage you to write more asap. Great stuff.
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Re: Saga of the Thirteenth. [60K Space Wolves: Part One]

Postby Sardaukar » Thu Apr 10, 2014 3:57 am

Interesting. Good writing flow. Look forward to seeing more
"People who are rooted in the here and now, who are not defeated by their limitations, who don’t compare themselves to others, who confidently advance along their chosen path—such people are happy, such people are truly great." -Daisuke Ikeda

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."-Aristotle
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Location: Singapore

Re: Saga of the Thirteenth. [60K Space Wolves: Part One]

Postby Dorian » Fri Apr 11, 2014 4:42 pm

How did I not see this until now?! :shock: My Wolves .... *sighs happily* Please, continue this story because so far I really enjoy it.
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: Saga of the Thirteenth. [60K Space Wolves: Part One]

Postby Dark Angel » Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:11 pm

Thanks for the kind posts, all.

All of this is currently on my other laptop, so, when I get access to that - I'll post it up. Hopefully, it won't disappoint. :P
"I say, Mosley, what is your movement's attitude towards birth control?" Mosley drew himself up to his
full height, hands on hips, and looked the young man up and down, before replying:
"After looking at you, I should think the question of birth control comes about twenty
years too late. Next question, please." The questioner subsided into his seat, and the
meeting continued to a triumphant conclusion. There were no further interruptions.
User avatar
Dark Angel
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 11:41 am

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