Sons of Corax (Warhammer 60,000: Age of Dusk)

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Re: Sons of Corax (Warhammer 60,000: Age of Dusk)

Postby Tyrant » Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:42 pm

Excellent part, you've really conveyed the progress that is being made on Armageddon and the sense that this new Imperium represents real hope in a galaxy bereft of any. Your description of Vulkan and his Salamanders was particularly good. Keep up the great work!
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Re: Sons of Corax (Warhammer 60,000: Age of Dusk)

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:17 pm

Tyrant wrote:Excellent part, you've really conveyed the progress that is being made on Armageddon and the sense that this new Imperium represents real hope in a galaxy bereft of any. Your description of Vulkan and his Salamanders was particularly good. Keep up the great work!


Thank you! That was the entire intent. The next installment is really going to be stirring the pot.
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Re: Sons of Corax (Warhammer 60,000: Age of Dusk)

Postby Gaius Marius » Tue Jul 26, 2011 4:25 am

You do a good job portraying the differences between the old and Vulkanite Imperiums.
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Re: Sons of Corax (Warhammer 60,000: Age of Dusk)

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Tue Jul 26, 2011 5:04 am

Gaius Marius wrote:You do a good job portraying the differences between the old and Vulkanite Imperiums.


With a Primarch at the head, a blacksmith no less, its pretty much a new era. Interesting revelations ahead!
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Re: Sons of Corax (Warhammer 60,000: Age of Dusk)

Postby Ghurlag » Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:58 am

Ahoy! My review of the first chapter. Nitpicking below, followed by further comments.

Astinon’s stunned expression turned to one of contempt and hate. ‘You lie, Idel. You tell me some fable, thinking that you can dupe me with such grand falsities, but I will not suffer that indignity. I once called you brother and friend, but no more. Your own ambition to take my place as the Master of the Corvians has doomed you. I denounce you!’ The Lord Commander turned to his champion, Sergeant Manov, and pointed at Idel. ‘Arrest this interloper, brother, and throw him in the brig. I will see to him later.’


A couple of points here. First, Astinton's accusation of ambition confuses me slightly. It doesn't seem to follow from what Idel has said. If it was a way of revealing backstory, I'd see if there was a more elegant way of doing it. Secondly, Astinton uses the word 'Arrest', which seems a little inappropriate to me, as it conjures up the sense of a rule of law and a judiciary proceeding - which I very much doubt is the case in this torn and twisted world. Perhaps 'Seize' would be better?


Manov however, stood helpless next to Astinon’s throne, caught between his loyalty to his commander and his friendship to the Collector. For his part, Idel was as dumbfounded at Astinon’s order as the latter had been at his words only a few moments ago. Rage took hold of Astinon as his order went unheeded and he got up.


I'm not sure that that 'however' is necessary.

Before the Sergeant could respond, a voice full of authority and purpose challenged Astinon. ‘There will be no arresting of this man today or forever, Lord Commander Astinon Dras of the Corvians.’


The words 'arresting' and 'forever' seem out-of-place here. I'm fairly sure that 'arresting' shouldn't be used as it is here. If you go with my earlier suggestion about using 'Seize', I'd go with "no hands laid on this man", otherwise I would try "no arrest of this man". The 'or forever' part I would be tempted to scrap, or else change to 'or ever', or possibly 'or ever in your reign'. The use of the full title at the end feels a little clunky to me, too.

The furious general turned towards the direction of the voice and was struck speechless for a second time in less than an hour. Stepping onto the bridge was a tall figure, a figure he had never expected to see again, not since the last time they had met on the blood-drenched fields of Gida Prime. In full battle-plate of polished dark emerald, the helmeted warrior’s presence had a distinctive affect on the tense atmosphere of the bridge. Many of the Corvians recognized the armour and its distinctive markings, markings which seem to have become even more complex and ostentatious, as if the wearer of the armour had risen high in rank and recently.


You put 'affect' instead of 'effect' in here. 'Effect' is the noun form you want. You also slip into present tense briefly with a 'seem' which should be a 'seemed'. The last clause doesn't read quite how it was intended, I think, and I would rewrite it 'as if the wearer of the armour had recently risen high in rank.'

unable to accept so many changes in his chaotic and turbulent life


This strikes me as a contradiction. If his life is chaotic and turbulent, then change is the norm. Not a major issue, but I thought I'd point it out.

‘Hope? Truth? Justice?’ Astinon laughed maniacally. ‘Such concepts are meaningless in these times Sian’me of the once vaunted Salamanders. Meaningless I tell you, for the Emperor’s light has...’


There are a couple of problems with the way Astinon addresses Sian'me here. Firstly, it should be ", Sian'me of the once-vaulted Salamanders." (note comma and hyphen). Secondly, it feels weird that Astinon would tell Sian'me who he was. Who is he addressing with that addition? I would probably cut it just to "Sian'me", and let the rest of the facts seep through more naturally. Finally, you should use a dash '-' rather than an ellipsis '...' to indicate an abrupt interruption like this one.

‘I am no longer Sian’me, Astinon,’ said the warrior gently. ‘I am reborn, and in my rebirth I have a new name. A name bestowed upon me by my new lord. I am now Dalmor, Captain of the Salamanders Commandery, the Lord Nocturne’s Own.’

Good, that's an easier name for me to remember :-P

To everyone around him, Astinon appeared remarkably changed from whom he had been just a few moments prior, and they saw their old commander return in his bearing.

I would say 'the <something> man whom he had been'.

‘Indeed, my brother,’ Dalmor smiled at his friend’s words. ‘He himself has asked to meet with you on Armageddon, the capital of his new Imperium. It is why I accompanied Collector Idel,’ he said, pointing at the scion of a long-line of those who had once called themselves Rogue Traders.

The hyphen in 'long-line' should be removed (so, 'long line').

And that be it for the nit-picking. I must say, I found Astinon's speech to be very well-written, extremely impressive work there.

The sense I get is very much of a new beginning, which is ideal for a first chapter. I feel like something big is going to happen ahead, and it makes me want to read on. For all those reasons, this is an excellent first chapter.

Your main weakness was a slight rush to get information out in dialogue, which led to a few of the clunky things I highlighted above. Small things, easily fixed. The best part was definitely Astinon's monologue, which was inspirational. I'm not usually a fan of full-caps for a stress indicator, but that's just my style and so I let it be.

I must admit I haven't followed the 60k stuff, so I can't comment on the lore/backstory that much. The story has a ring of additional background to it - have you used the characters before?

All in all, excellent work. I shall devour the next chapter soon.

As the misty veil of Albion is cast aside, we turn our gaze to the war-torn island of Albany, where the Red King vies with his former master for the control of a realm in dire threat.
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Re: Sons of Corax (Warhammer 60,000: Age of Dusk)

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:13 pm

Ach! Missed those things, especially the "seem", "seemed" thing.
Note to self: must re-read the chapters more carefully!

Good points about the nitpick, I'll keep them in mind for the future chapters.

As for the lore/backstory, in ch1 the 60k setting is only roughly alluded to with the occasional references. If you haven't guessed who the special figure is so far, I would recommend reading the Armageddon section of the background, or just keep reading on in here :)

The characters themselves have never been used before and were created expressly for this piece, although like I said in an earlier post, the Angels of Retribution are my own chapter (formerly named Sons of Corax, changed to current name once I started writing submission pitches for them). Some information on the chapter can be found on my blog.

Anyways, I drop references to the chapter's lore from my blog and a couple things from my first submission sample which my earliest beta-readers might recognize :)

This entire piece is, I think, a great way to practice my hand at proper writing, especially if I any of my pitched shorts are picked up for stage 2.
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Re: Sons of Corax (Warhammer 60,000: Age of Dusk)

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:04 pm

‘Rise, Lord Commander Dras, and stand as the proud warrior and general you are,’ said the crystal clear, perfectly-accented voice. ‘No warrior, no matter how high or low his station, shall ever have to kneel before me.’

Hesitantly, Astinon and his Space Marines got up from their kneeling positions, standing tall before their new master. His aura, if it could be called that, held their eyes captive and they were unable to look away from his face.

‘Once I was the lord of an entire legion of warriors, eighty thousand Astartes at the height of its power,’ began Vulkan, addressing the entire chamber. ‘I was an unwilling general in those times, commanding the finest and most brutal armies in the history of our race. The last twenty thousand years have changed much. I came back from my exile to find my father’s realm torn asunder, more potently than even my most twisted brothers could have ever planned.’ The Primarch paced in front of his throne like a caged lion, as if struggling to break free of invisible chains that held him down.

Astinon could hear the pain in Vulkan’s heartfelt speech, aware of how monstrous the Great Betrayal had been for the demi-god. He could even see the faint shadow of the anguish in the Primarch’s eyes, eyes that silently and forcefully promised vengeance for millennia of suffering.

‘And my heart soared to find that my sons and the sons of my brothers still survive, that they still hold true to ideals that the rest of the galaxy has forgotten. They, like you, have sacrificed much over the centuries and the millennia since the Fall of Terra. Many of them were forced to become savages while others kept their nobility of purpose and duty alive. And it is they who will carry aloft the torch of our new future.’ Vulkan now stopped and pointed at the Corvians.

‘These warriors, the sons of Corax, Corvians as they call themselves, are one of the many that have joined our new beginning, like the Fire Beasts and the Dorn Revenants. There will be others as well, mark my words, my friends. Lord Commander Dras?’

‘Yes, my lord,’ croaked Astinon.

‘Dalmor has told me much about you and your battle-brothers. And in my exile I have heard much of your predecessors as well. Corax was my closest brother in the Golden Days, together with Ferrus Gorgon and Rogal Dorn. I would be honoured to accept your service until the time when Corax himself calls upon you.’

Tears came unbidden to Astinon’s eyes at the Primarch’s words, and he managed to nod, answering for his brothers as well. Vulkan smiled at him once more and sat back down in his throne.

‘Very well, then. Astinon Dras of the former Angels of Retribution chapter, I hereby give you command of the Nineteenth Commandery, the Sons of Corax. Your warriors shall ever be your own. Sergeant Tel’maon, take the Captain of the Nineteenth and his officers to their quarters.’

‘Yes, my liege,’ Tel’maon saluted, forming the Aquila over his chest.

‘Captain Dras,’ Vulkan called out to the former general as he began to leave. ‘Remember always that what we do, we do in the name of the True Emperor of Mankind, not the bloated, bastardized mockery that is the Star-Father.’

‘Yes, my lord,’ Astinon bowed and left with Tel’maon.

-][-

‘We are still in the Primarch’s tower, are we not, Brother Tel’maon?’ asked Adrastos as they all walked towards the quarters assigned to the Corvian officers.

‘Indeed, Captain. The Emerald Tower lies at the heart of Hades Hive, just as Armageddon is the heart of the New Imperium. It serves as the Primarch’s base of operations, his sanctum, his refuge, and his court.’

Tel’maon and a squad of his Firedrakes led them via power-lifts down to the deep sub-levels of the tower, where access was carefully restricted and entire squads of Astartes in emerald power armour stood as sentries. Astinon could see that their armour was the same as that of his escorts, recently forged and shining with its own newness. In comparison, the armour worn by him and his warriors was a patchwork of armour-plates salvaged and repaired times beyond count and in the early stages of becoming obsolete in their functionality.

The Firedrake Sergeant stopped as he came to stand before a large, armoured door of Adamantium and strengthened ceramite. Astinon looked on as Tel’maon typed in an access code and the door opened, soundlessly and with such a grace that he could not have imagined of Imperial technology. Curious as to what the chamber beyond could hold, the Corvians followed the Salamanders inside.

As Tel’maon switched on the chamber’s bio-lumes, bathing the entire chamber in a soft golden light, the Corvians were stunned at the incredible bounty that lay before them.

The walls of the entire chamber were covered in various weapon racks and storage boxes full of a multitude of varying ammunitions. There were chainswords, chain-axes, power swords, thunder hammers, lightning claws, power-axes, boltguns, plasma pistols, heavy bolters, multi-meltas and more besides, resting snugly in their casings and giving off the sheen of newness that was the norm throughout Hades Hive. The chamber was a repository of technological wonders.

Grinning, Tel’maon watched their shocked expressions with some amusement. ‘This is to be your armoury, Captain Dras. It will fall under the jurisdiction of the Nineteenth Commandery and serfs and artificers will be provided to you in due course.’

‘This is extraordinary,’ whispered Manov, finding his voice.

‘The entire chamber is to be given over to us?’ asked an incredulous Adrastos.

‘These are wonders beyond measure,’ remarked Astinon in an awed tone.

‘This is not the entirety of the Primarch’s gift to you, lords.’ Tel’maon turned to the wall behind him and activated a control panel next to the light-box. Astinon and the others could hear a soft, whirring noise as six perfectly circular recesses some fifty feet in diameter opened up in the floor of the armoury and a platform arose from within each recess. The Corvians gaped dumbfounded at the new sight before them.

Suits of newly-forged, unpainted power armour were stacked neatly together on five of the platforms, thirty on each, their surfaces unblemished and unmarked. On the central platform were ten suits of Terminator armour, finely wrought and unpainted just like their smaller versions.

‘These suits of armour have been forged for you and your warriors, Captain Dras. More will be provided in due time as your Commandery grow in number. I suggest you and your warriors take charge immediately, for if I have read the Primarch right, you will be given a vital mission of great import soon enough. That is how it has been for all the Astartes warbands and mortal soldiers that have so far come to Armageddon. Lord Vulkan does not delay in making appropriate use of the forces under his command.’

‘Understood brother,’ said Astinon and turned to Captains Adrastos and Dheimmel and his champion Manov. ‘Assemble the rest of the Corvians. Distribute the suits of power armour and the weapons equally between all. I will make a decision later about the suits of Terminator armour.’

Taking a final look at the chamber and its contents, Astinon continued. 'The night is darkest just before the dawn, my brothers. We have begun to step out of the darkness of our conflicted past and it looks like the sun has now begun to rise on our destiny as well, a new dawn full of hope and promise heralds our future.’
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Re: Sons of Corax (Warhammer 60,000: Age of Dusk)

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:09 pm

And that ends the first arc of the piece. Most of the necessary setup for what is to come next is done. A change in my newly developed plan for the piece requires the actual "heating up" stuff to be pushed back for later.

Act 2 is where things are going go to hell and we get into some nasty, blood-and-guts action. Some of the 'opponents' are going to be surprising ones.
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Re: Sons of Corax (Warhammer 60,000: Age of Dusk)

Postby Ghurlag » Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:53 pm

As before, I begin with nitpicking and then move on to general comments.

who had shed blood with them and mourned lost brothers with at the victory feasts.

It should either be 'with them at the victory feasts' or 'and with whom they had mourned lost brothers at the victory feasts'.

Astinon cut an impressive figure alongside his brothers.

Earlier you said he was facing them.

A hushed and frantic looking conversation between two of his senior bridge officers near the vox-pit drew his cold, hunting gaze.

I believe frantic-looking should be hyphenated, but I have a tendency to overhyphenate, so I'd check that before you change it.

‘Lieutenants Lammer and Dequade, approach the throne,’ he commanded in his typical, high-pitched and imperious voice that would brook no insubordination.

The description of his voice needs rewording. Something like 'in his typical bridge voice, a high-pitched imperious tone which brooked no insubordination.'

Snarling, Teluga turned to Sergeant-at-arms Veol, the ranking bridge security officer. ‘Sergeant, throw this man in the brig and charge him with incompetence and gross negligence of duty.’ Veol offered a smart salute to Teluga and then dragged a whimpering Lammer away from the bridge. Before the lieutenant could get hysterical, the beefy sergeant gave him a short tap on the head, knocking him out. Teluga watched the spectacle with some distaste then turned back to Lieutenant Dequade.

I wonder if 'he is charged with' would read better than 'and charge him with'?

Too fast for Dequade or anyone else to have noticed, a calculating look flitted like a shadow through Teluga’s eyes at the mention of the senior most officer of the First Commandery, the Salamanders. Before he could say anything however, a serf from the vox-pit hurried over to him.

'senior most' should be 'most senior', although simply 'senior' would be sufficient for the same meaning in this context, as the 'the' would focus the term. You might've been aiming for 'senior-most', which I'm unsure about.

‘Why has the Corvian fleet not given safe passage to Armageddon, Lord Admiral?’

Missing a 'been'.


And that be the lot of them!

I liked this continuation, it seemed to carry forth the mood of the first quite well. Astinon's second speech was almost as good as the first one, and you brought in Teluga just at the right moment.

The balance of power in Nocturne's realm seems to be an interesting one, I'll be paying attention to that as I read on. The Corvians seem to be one of the more significant forces of the marines turning to Vulkan, so it'll be interesting to see how they affect that balance. The tension between humans and marines also looks set to provide interesting interactions. I'm liking what I'm reading so far.

I'd still behind, but I'll try and catch up for Act 2.

As the misty veil of Albion is cast aside, we turn our gaze to the war-torn island of Albany, where the Red King vies with his former master for the control of a realm in dire threat.
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Re: Sons of Corax (Warhammer 60,000: Age of Dusk)

Postby Tyrant » Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:52 pm

Another nice piece, but it's good to know that some action is coming soon to change the flow of things a bit! Good to see the Corvians are going to be back to their former glory before long; I suspect the mission they will be sent on won't exactly be a walk in the park.
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Re: Sons of Corax (Warhammer 60,000: Age of Dusk)

Postby Ghurlag » Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:09 pm

What's this, a second chapter review? It's a twofer, brought on by my desire to read ahead.

Meagre pickings in this chapter. Still, a format's a format. My humble points and opinions on chapter 3 below.

Our reputation precedes us brother.’

I think there should be a comma before 'brother'.

‘Given our past dealings with them, the Admiral’s actions are perhaps, appropriate,’ Astinon’s light tone conveyed to his champion all he needed to know about his general’s feelings on the matter. Not that they were any secret to him.

The 'them' here is unclear as to the subject. I would say 'The Steel Legion', or if the admiral himself was involved, 'him' would be appropriate.

I recall old Svydro’s sermons well when he told of how they had all either disappeared or died.

This needs some work. Perhaps 'I recall one of old Syydro's sermons where he told of how they had all either disappeared or died.'?

As Astinon and his officers stepped off the ramps of their Thunderhawks, the unmistakable smell of a hive being rebuilt after a war assailed them

You might want to explain what that smells like. Plaster, fresh rcokcrete, etc.


As I say, very little to pick at in this chapter! Very good work. Vulkan has been busy, it seems - Terminator armour everywhere, cities being rebuilt, teleporter technology rediscovered. You managed to pull off Vulkan's aura very well, which must've been tricky. I'm looking forward to seeing what comes out of this meeting.

As the misty veil of Albion is cast aside, we turn our gaze to the war-torn island of Albany, where the Red King vies with his former master for the control of a realm in dire threat.
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Re: Sons of Corax (Warhammer 60,000: Age of Dusk)

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:37 pm

Ghurlag, you are a god-send :)

The balance of power is indeed quite significantly changing. In the First Imperium, there was barely a single Space Marine for each of the planet's that were within it. That is obviously not the case here. There are only a few thousand (probably no more than 25-30,000 planets) in the New Imperium but in contrast to before, there are several hundred Space Marines around now. Not to mention all the gene-seed data being harvested through Vulkan.

*And blimey, that just gave me a goooood idea for where to base my next action! :twisted: :twisted: *

Glad you are liking it :)
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Re: Sons of Corax (Warhammer 60,000: Age of Dusk)

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:38 pm

Tyrant wrote:Another nice piece, but it's good to know that some action is coming soon to change the flow of things a bit! Good to see the Corvians are going to be back to their former glory before long; I suspect the mission they will be sent on won't exactly be a walk in the park.


With the idea that Ghurlag indirectly just gave me, the mission is not only not going to be a walk in the park, but it is going to have a significant effect on the balance of power within and without the New Imperium.
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Re: Sons of Corax (Warhammer 60,000: Age of Dusk)

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:41 pm

@Ghurlag, yeah I wasn't really too happy with the wording of that sentence and couldn't figure out how to make it "proper".

As for the smell of the hive, only today I read a blog from William King (Space Wolves, Gotrek & Felix) about how to create a hive. I would consider that blogpost to be DEFINITIVE reading if anyone wants to write about hives.

And meagre pickings in the biggest chapter so far? I am impressed :D
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Re: Sons of Corax (Warhammer 60,000: Age of Dusk)

Postby Ghurlag » Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:31 pm

An idea, ay? Intriguing.
Yep, I was impressed with that last chapter, it looks good for what's to come :)

Also, part of chapter 1 of The Land of Two Kings awaits you!

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Re: Sons of Corax (Warhammer 60,000: Age of Dusk)

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:42 pm

Ghurlag wrote:An idea, ay? Intriguing.
Yep, I was impressed with that last chapter, it looks good for what's to come :)

Also, part of chapter 1 of The Land of Two Kings awaits you!


I'll get to it tomorrow. Been busy with Lord of Ultima :oops: , apparently my resource management took a hike and there were some irreversible mistakes made.
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Re: Sons of Corax (Warhammer 60,000: Age of Dusk)

Postby Ghurlag » Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:03 pm

Last part of the act, my usual format. Caught up, woo!

‘Dalmor has told me much about you and your battle-brothers. And in my exile I have heard much of your predecessors as well. Corax was my closest brother in the Golden Days, together with Ferrus Gorgon and Rogal Dorn. I will be honoured to accept your service until the time when Corax himself calls upon you.’

Far be it from me to pass notes to a primarch, but I think 'would be honoured' would ring truer than 'will be honoured', as the latter seems a little presumptuous, whereas the first is more modest and charismatic.

In comparison, the armour worn by him and his warriors was a patchwork of armour-plates salvaged and repaired beyond count and in the early stages of becoming obsolete.

This needs attention. You can't quantify 'repaired' - perhaps you mean 'repaired times beyond count'? I'm also not sure that I understand what you mean by 'in the early stages of becoming obsolete' - is it that the armour is outdated? That's always been the case, really, especially for the Raven Guard. If it's a statement about functionality, you might want to make that clearer.

Astinon looked on as Tel’maon typed in an access code and the door opened, soundlessly and with such a grace that he could not have imagined for Imperial technology, at least not the technology that he was familiar with or had ever seen.

I think this could be worded better. Perhaps 'soundlessly, with a grace that he could never have imagined of Imperial technology.'. Note the 'of' instead of 'for'. The expansion into what he has experienced is somewhat unnecessary, as if he can't even imagine it, we're fairly safe to assume he hasn't seen it. If you wanted to include that bit, you should reverse the order so that it escalates in severity.

that lay in front of them.

Nothing wrong with this, but I would use 'before them'.

The walls of the entire chamber were covered in various weapon racks and storage boxes full of a multitude of varying ammunitions. There were chainswords, chain-axes, power swords, thunder hammers, lightning claws, power-axes, boltguns, plasma pistols, heavy bolters, multi-meltas and more besides, resting snugly in their casings and giving off the sheen of newness that was the norm throughout Hades Hive. The chamber was a repository of technological wonders.

That Vulkan sure knows how to treat a gal. ;)

Suits of newly-forged, unpainted power armour were stacked neatly together on five of the platforms, thirty on each, their surfaces unblemished and unmarked. On the centremost platform were ten suits of Terminator armour, finely wrought and unpainted just like their smaller versions.

I'd just say 'central' rather than centremost.

‘These suits of armour have been forged for you and your warriors, Captain Dras. More will be provided in due time as your Commandery grow in number. I suggest you and your warriors take charge immediately, for if I have read the Primarch right, you will be soon sent back out in the galaxy on a mission.

The 'sent back out in the galaxy on a mission' bit seems a little awkward, like I'm listening to a game character. Something with a little more finesse to it, perhaps?

Taking a final look at the chamber and its contents, Astinon continued. ‘The night is darkest just before the dawn, my brothers. And it looks like the sun has now begun to rise on our destiny, a new dawn full of hope and promise heralds our future.’

I'm not sure about his imagery here. The 'the night is darkest' line is usually used when the speaker and his audience are actually in the dark bit of his tale, and that doesn't seem to gel here. Whilst we know things weren't going well beforehand, there didn't seem to be any imminent threat.

Overall, great stuff, Shadow. One thing I can see on the horizon, though - the way you've written the tale so far, every chapter follows immediately on from the previous chronologically. It's working alright so far, but if you keep it up it could lead to the story feeling incredibly fast and short. Just thought I'd flag that ahead of time.

It's interesting to see Vulkan's operation here. He seems very much to overawe his guests, win their gratitude and then immediately employ them - a great show of efficiency. I wonder if he is being more sparing with non-Salamander lives than those of his legion? Is he the true-blue loving leader he appears? Maybe I just have a suspicious mind, but I can't help note that those marines we've encountered happy in his employ are all of his legion.

As the misty veil of Albion is cast aside, we turn our gaze to the war-torn island of Albany, where the Red King vies with his former master for the control of a realm in dire threat.
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Re: Sons of Corax (Warhammer 60,000: Age of Dusk)

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:06 pm

‘To battle, brothers! For Corax and the New Imperium!’ cried Astinon as he leaped out from the front access hatch of his Thunderhawk, followed swiftly by twenty-nine of his warriors, their jump-packs roaring in the quiet of Medan’s morning sky. The Space Marines soon left their gunship behind, which used its boosters to head back out into space where the warships assigned to the task force held position.

At some distance from Astinon and his three squads, other Thunderhawks also unleashed their deadly superhuman cargo and two hundred Corvians descended together through the white clouds on wings of fire, headed straight for the sprawling manufactora complex below them. Their helmets protected them from any air drag during their descent and they busied themselves with identifying landmarks and calculating flight trajectories to their intended destination.

+Approaching drop zone, execute maximum dispersal pattern, you know your targets, Corvians.+ voxed the Commander of the Sons of Corax to his strike force. On his helmet display, a series of green runes flashed by in quick succession, indicating the acknowledgement of the orders by his warriors.

The descending Corvians broke up into four separate groups as they approached the manufactora complex from above, each group spreading out in a loose formation over its respective drop zone. . No cannon-fire reached out to halt their controlled, speeding descent, which was to be expected. The bombardment cannons of the fleet’s two battle-barges had relentlessly pummelled the target for several minutes prior to the assault.

They all landed as one in the slagged and crumbling ruins of the manufactora, the impact shock of their fiery descent kicking up dust and rubble which spattered harmlessly off their new-forged armour. Around them, kilometre-thick, black-coloured spires rose towards the heavens, each linked together by gigantic causeways and ramps wide enough to accommodate three Land Raiders at once.

The pungent smell of rusting metal and rotting bio-waste permeated the air around them, so potent that it caused Astinon’s helmet purifiers to work overtime in order to filter them out. The stench was just about strong enough to make any lesser man gag but he ignored it and accessed the primary command channel on the strike force’s secure comm-net.

+Secure your drop sites, brothers, and standby for further instructions.+ Astinon’s twin bolt-pistols were already in his hands as he issued his orders, tracking back and forth over the surrounding ruins as he searched for any sign of the hostile forces that he had been told infested the long-abandoned complex like vermin. His own squads spread out away from him like the spokes of a wheel, each battle-brother covering the other as they patiently awaited contact with the enemy.

+Move out to your targets and remain in vox-contact. Secondary mission is a go for search and destroy. Once inside, I want confirmation of the primary objective.+ A chorus of affirmatives on the command channel confirmed his terse orders as his battle-brothers proceeded to their own individual objectives, scattered throughout the manufactora.

A buzz in his helmet’s audio feed alerted Astinon to an incoming message from the Montisgarre, and he blink-clicked a glowing yellow rune on his display to accept the audio link.

‘Force Commander,’ said Kostar, his senior-most bridge officer aboard the battle-barge, a man assigned to him by Faress Teluga himself and was said to be one of the Admiral’s protégés. ‘The venerable vessel’s sensors are picking up multiple life-signs in the ruins. Clusters of them seem to be converging on the locations of the strike teams under Captains Adrastos, Dheimmel and Salsax.’

‘Identification?’ asked Astinon, still tracking his bolt pistols across the ruins as his kill-team secured their landing site.

‘Indeterminable, Force Commander,’ answered Kostar. ‘We are unable to get clear sensor readings, most likely due to the massive quantities of metallic substances within the complex.’

‘Keep me informed of any further developments, Astinon out.’

Astinon cut the link to his flagship and accessed a secondary command channel on the comm-net that connected him with his fellow officers. +You heard Lieutenant Kostar, brothers. Be wary, the beast has awoken.+

+My strike force is already establishing a defence perimeter at Zone Kappa, Astinon, we will be ready.+ said Adrastos, all matter-of-fact and focused on the task at hand. +I am about to send four squads through the north-east entrance.+

+Let them come, Force Commander, it has been far too long since I had a good fight on my hands.+ joked Salsax as usual, the Raptor’s excitement about the prospect of a close combat evident in his voice.

As was customary for him, Dheimmel remained silent, acknowledging Astinon’s warning with only a brief click on the comm-net. Astinon paid his Second Captain’s reticence no heed, the Reviler’s taciturn attitude something he had gotten used to long ago. Instead, he turned to his champion.

‘Manov, status of the kill-team?’ he asked, his voice sounding flat and mechanical through his helmet’s speakers.

‘We are ready to proceed into the complex, Force Commander,’ came back the answer.

Astinon nodded slightly in return, and blink-clicked a faint yellow rune on his helmet display to re-establish a two-way audio link with his flagship. ‘Mr. Kostar, we are proceeding into the complex proper, be advised we may not be able to communicate with you further until we exit back.’

-][-

Within minutes of Astinon and his own squads entering the complex through the south-west entrance, the comm-net came alive with curses, oaths and warnings. The enemy had finally attacked them, and in overwhelming numbers. The Commander brought his small kill-team to a halt with a silent gesture and accessed the secondary command channel.

+Adrastos, Salsax, Dheimmel, report!’ Astinon yelled into the comm-net.

+This is Salsax from the north-west end of the complex, Force Commander.+ The Raptor Captain’s relish was clear, even on the comm-net. +We are under heavy attack by some two hundred of the enemy. We should be able to hold on.+

+This... Adrastos... light resistance... holding... north-east... will... vox-contact...+ Background noise filtered through the Raven Guard’s end of the command channel, and Astinon could barely hear him or make sense of what his First Captain was telling him.

+Enemy warband numbering approximately one hundred encountered, proceeding to eliminate all targets.+ Dheimmel’s terse report convinced Astinon that his fellow officer and his warriors could hold their own.

Ultimately, it was his own small kill-team that he had to worry about. They had not yet run into the enemy themselves and he knew that his warriors were itching for a just fight that would somehow vindicate their years of unyielding resolve through the last few decades. He was about to order his team to move forwards when he was halted once again.

‘Contacts ahead!’ yelled Leven, the auspex in his hands suddenly emitting a constant beep, beep as it warned of a horde of approaching enemies. ‘The auspex is having trouble estimating the size of the enemy, Force Commander, they are clustered too tightly. It is currently approximating three hundred enemy combatants.’

‘Those are good odds, brother,’ Manov laughed in the grim, oppressing darkness of the tunnels they were in.

‘Hold position,’ ordered Astinon, his voice as calm and confident as his champion remembered from the old days.

‘Leven, your squad will be the rearguard. Rosto, your squad will be in the vanguard with me. Manov, hold the centre. For the honour of Corax!’

‘We bring retribution to death to our foe!’ intoned his warriors in unison and split off to their assigned positions in the narrow and cramped tunnel.

Within seconds, the enemy horde was upon them and the tunnel rang with the whirring of wildly-swung chainswords and the staccato reports of inaccurate bolter-fire. The steel-grey armour of the enemy was a patchwork collection of armour plates covered with dried, crusty blood all over.

Astinon could pick out no distinctive markings on their armour but he still easily recognized who they were from the mission briefs given to him by Vulkan when he and his warriors had been assigned this mission. These charging berserkers were his lost cousins who had long ago given up even the semblance of their humanity, succumbing to their base, primal urges in a galaxy full of damnation and heresy.

They were long-lost sons of Corax; as much a part of the genetic lineage of the Great Raven as he was, and he had been charged with their absolution and redemption. But those would have to wait until he was finished here. Right now, he had twenty-nine battle-brothers to protect from the insane killing rages of his cousins.

‘Weapons free, fire at will!’ he cried and his warriors opened fire at the onrushing renegades, whose bestial screams of hate and murder matched tone for tone and pitch for pitch by the Corvians’ battle-cries of revenge and judgement.

Effortlessly contracting his surroundings to just his outstretched arm and the bolt-pistol held in his black gauntlet, Astinon took careful aim at one of the incoming enemy warriors, his helmet display providing him with a wealth of targeting data. He muttered a single word as he fired, the bolt pistol slightly bucking in his hands as he was still unused to the new weapon.

Carcharadons.’

The shot hit the renegade square in his forehead and he dropped like a puppet with its strings cut, only to be trampled underneath the booted feet of dozens more of its kind as they charged in at Astinon and his vanguard.
Rosto’s squad was not equipped with any heavy weapons but they still answered the incoming hail of bolter-fire in kind with their own combi-plasmas and bolt pistols. Streaks of heated plasma and bolt shells whizzed past Astinon at the renegades, killing some outright while others barely faltered in their advance. In return, two of Rosto’s squad went down, concentrated fire leaving big gaping holes in their plastrons and helmets.

Astinon had been prepared to fight toe-to-toe against Space Marines who could exhibit a modicum of rational thought and a grasp of simple infantry tactics. He wasn’t prepared for the berserkers that were charging at his squads, heedless of their own safety. Most of them were without their helmets, their faces twisted into a rictus of varying bestial expressions. If they had not been wearing power armour, he would have barely recognized them as Space Marines even with their height.

One of the renegades charged straight at Astinon who was forced to quickly holster his pistols and unsheathe the Stormblade, which was bathed in silver lightning once he switched on the sword’s power field. The unhelmeted Carcharadon brought his chain-axe down in an overhead swing at his head but Astinon blocked it with the sharp, thin edge of his sword, its energy field cutting through the haft of the chain-axe with as much ease as a bolter shell through unarmoured skin.

Ignoring the Carcharadon’s inarticulate cries of hate as the renegade came back at him with his fists, Astinon simply grabbed the renegade around his gorget with one hand and ran him through the breastplate, and the primary heart inside. As the sword emerged out through the warrior’s back and into his backpack, the Force Commander drew it back before it could rupture the armour’s power generator. The renegade’s challenge died on his lips as blood poured out in a fountain from the fatal wound; he was dead before he hit the tunnel floor.

There was no respite for Astinon however as he became surrounded on all sides by more Carcharadons, their brutal weapon-swings chipping off his armour-plates piece by piece. He stepped back towards Sergeant Rosto’s squad and sub-vocalized an order on the comm-net.

+Kasten, burn them with the purifying fire of your flamer!+

+In His name, Force Commander+ Kasten hefted his battle-worn flamer and re-igniting the pilot, hosed down the enemy with flames almost hot enough to cook them inside their armour. Or so Kasten and Astinon had thought.

The Carcharadons came on, heedless of the intense fire that burned the very air around them. Their self-contained armour, so like that of the Corvians, kept most of them safe and alive. They resembled angels walking on a carpet of flames as they came at the kill-team. Angels of Death, thought Astinon, what an ironic situation we find ourselves in.

The Commander was busy duelling against a Carcharadon renegade with his power sword when his opponent was roughly shoved to the side, his place taken by a hulking form in Terminator armour bearing a pair of crackling lightning claws. The shoved warrior snarled at the newcomer but before he could say anything, the Terminator swept his gauntlets down in a blinding, murderous arc which shredded the renegade’s head to pieces. Astinon slowly backed away from the giant, the Stormblade held en garde before him.

‘Fall back! We cannot hold this tunnel. Retreat to the entrance chamber,’ he ordered in a voice still as calm and confident as before.

‘Fall back to the entrance!’ Manov echoed his Commander’s order, directing the remaining twenty-one Corvians as they retreated from the cramped tunnel, nearly made claustrophobic by the advancing Terminator.

More renegades followed their leader, their thirst for the Corvians’ blood evident in their fell battle-cries. They had abandoned their ranged weapons and all brandished close combat weapons of one type or another which, although looking aged and ill-repaired, appeared to be in frequent use. The Terminator roared a shrill battle-cry that brought Astinon to a halt as he retreated with his warriors. He turned to look back at the warlord and was horrified at what he saw.

The Terminator held one of Astinon’s battle-brothers in his oversized gauntlets. The Knight of the Raven had been gored through his stomach by the renegade’s lightning claws, which were dripping steadily with the Corvian’s blood. The Carcharadon lord put the warrior down on the ground; none too gently, and with the shocked Astinon still watching, brought his enormous sabatons down on the hapless Space Marine’s head.

A sharp, meaty crunch announced the death of Brother Lykasz, formerly of the Knights of the Raven chapter and Astinon’s battle-brother for the last eighteen years.
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Re: Sons of Corax (Warhammer 60,000: Age of Dusk)

Postby Tyrant » Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:46 pm

shadowhawk2008-

This definitely needs a re-read to catch more than a few errors. The most jarring is this:

"Rosto’s squad was not equipped with any weapons but they still answered the incoming fire in kind with their own combi-plasmas and bolt pistols"

Erm.....what? :shock:

Apart from the minor stuff it's a great part, interesting to see them in battle against their fallen cousins. I wonder what they're looking for.....
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Re: Sons of Corax (Warhammer 60,000: Age of Dusk)

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:48 pm

Ack, meant to be heavy weapons >.<

As for what they are looking for, that is a surprise.
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