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

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

Postby Gaius Marius » Fri Sep 23, 2011 12:30 am

Excellent work Shadow, great job of showing that not all of the Revenants are assholes and a very ominous ending.
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Re: Sons of Corax (Warhammer 60,000: Age of Dusk)

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Fri Sep 23, 2011 9:49 pm

Hehe thanks :)

Most of this stuff is really evolving organically and is actually delaying some half-formed ideas I had. But no worries.

This road is much more fun to take.

By the way, a free cookie of choice to whoever can guess where I took Svydro's dialogue about the honour duel from :D
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Re: Sons of Corax (Warhammer 60,000: Age of Dusk)

Postby Colonel Mustard » Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:56 pm

Alright, read it through now. First of all, an echo of Gaius' comment of how it's nice to see the Dorn Revenants aren't all a bunch of complete arses, and that helps make the story actually seem more realistic; generally, I hate seeing a group in a story who are a bunch of unashamed arses and set up only for the audience to hate, so it's nice to see you twisting this idea a little bit. Authoring kudos, good sir.

Also, I have no idea where there dialogue is coming from, but can I have a cookie anyway? I'm hungry.
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Re: Sons of Corax (Warhammer 60,000: Age of Dusk)

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:57 pm

Sure, come to Birmingham and I'll treat ya :)
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Re: Sons of Corax (Warhammer 60,000: Age of Dusk)

Postby Colonel Mustard » Sat Sep 24, 2011 3:03 pm

Goddamnit, then I'll need an expensive train ticket.

On the other hand, cookies are delicious. Hmm...
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Re: Sons of Corax (Warhammer 60,000: Age of Dusk)

Postby Razhbad » Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:37 pm

Ok having now read your 2 pieces on page 2 i found them a good read. The audience with Vulkan and the emergence of weaponry for your Corvians was nicely done, you once more displayed good dialogue and good descriptive text on the situation at hand and the feelings being generated. I was not to certain about the line "The night is darkest before the dawn" even though its a good line, i have head that far to many times before.

When it came to the combat you equally displayed suspense and drama in equal measures which gave for a thrilling read and you described the battle perfectly still maintaining your skilled dialogue that you use throughout your work.
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Re: Sons of Corax (Warhammer 60,000: Age of Dusk)

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Wed Sep 28, 2011 4:16 pm

Hehe thanks :) I wasn't so focused on the dialogue initially, but with the latest arc, I am really trying to get the dialogue down right.

Glad you liked it all so far!
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Re: Sons of Corax (Warhammer 60,000: Age of Dusk)

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Sat Oct 22, 2011 9:38 pm

The heaviness of his step, the rigid set to his shoulders and the perturbed expression on his face told all that met him that Captain Adrastos was not in the best of moods as he walked through the high-ceilinged hallways of the Montisgarre. Serfs and even several of his battle-brothers politely and hurriedly stepped out of his path as he made towards the battle-barge’s tertiary docking bay.

As he stepped through the armoured portal of the vast hangar, his eyes immediately went to the lone Thunderhawk that rested at the far end, framed by the emptiness of the deep void beyond. The low, background hum that permeated the air inside was an unnecessary reminder that the docking bay’s force fields were still in place.

Standing before the towering gunship, a bare-headed and white-armoured Space Marine addressed a group of young boys, their clothes matted with blood, their hands hanging limply at their sides, and their faces covered with dust and smoke.

Their dishevelled appearance served only to irritate Adrastos further as he approached them.

‘Apothecary Vex,’ he called out in anger. ‘Explain yourself, brother.’ At his sharp tone, several of the serfs looked up in surprise but one glance at his expression and they busied themselves with their work again.

As Adrastos came to stand next to him, Apothecary Vex turned around with a pained expression on his face and nodded at him in greeting.

‘Captain Adrastos.’

‘What is this... this... rabble you have brought with you, Vex?’ thundered Adrastos, pointing at the boys who looked up fearfully at the two Space Marines.

‘These twenty-seven boys are the only survivors of the trials, Captain,’ Vex answered, his voice low but firm. ‘The rest proved far too unsuitable.’

‘Twenty-seven,’ said Adrastos to himself. ‘Twenty-seven,’ he repeated. ‘What the frak are we going to do with twenty-seven initiates, Vex? We are not even going to be able to replace our losses on Medan with this... this... rabble!’

Vex understood the Captain’s anger perfectly. These twenty-seven young boys that he had culled out of a pool of nearly four-hundred aspirants were indeed a sorry sight to behold. Under Vulkan’s rule, Armageddon had prospered well, but some things never changed.

Malnourishment on a hive-world dedicated to constant war was one of them. Not to mention, the wide-eyed stares the unkempt youth gave the two Astartes.

But they had proved themselves well in the arenas. Each of these boys had killed at least three of their fellow aspirants. Some among them had gotten as high as seven kills. They might not be the best of what Armageddon had to offer, but it could not be denied that the hell-blasted hive world bred strong, hardy folk.

And malnourished they might be, but they had all passed his stringent medical tests, and the results had been positive. No genetic degradation, no malaise of the body.

Looking at their stunned and bewildered faces disgusted Adrastos like nothing had before.

‘Has Lord Svydro been summoned?’ he asked

‘He is unavailable, Captain,’ answered Vex. ‘Lords Astinon and Svydro have been conferring with Captain Saigun and his command cadre for hours now and the discussions are expected to continue throughout the day.’

‘What of the other chaplains?’

‘Chaplain Lokiir will be joining me in the Initiation Chambers shortly, Captain.’

Adrastos smiled at the mention of the frequently belligerent campaigner. Vex relaxed slightly at seeing the Captain’s obvious amusement. It meant his anger would be directed away from him for a while longer.

‘Good. Make sure that Lokiir’s examinations are thorough,’ said Adrastos, his smile still in place. ‘If these boys are going to be our future, then I don’t want to take any chances with their training.’

‘As ordered, Captain.’ Vex breathed a sigh of relief and then motioned to the aspirants to follow him.

-][-

The chapel echoed once more to the sounds of Space Marines at prayers as they chanted various litanies of thanks and devotion to the True Emperor and his son, their gene-lord, Corax. Large enough to easily accommodate hundreds of battle-brothers, today the chapel held only mere hundred and thirty-one warriors.

Clad only in simple robes of varying colours, the Corvians stood at parade rest, their manner easy and humble as they prayed. There was no idle chatter among them. No friendly camaraderie that was visible.

Standing in the presence of their three great lords, the Corvians were mindful of their actions. This was a holy place to them and to sully the devotional atmosphere with meaningless banter was anathema to them.

Silence descended on the chapel as the iron-bound door at the far end of the wide, high-ceilinged chamber opened and three figured entered. The gathered Space Marines snapped to attention immediately.

The Lord Commander of the Nineteenth Commandery, Astinon Dras, marched down the central nave, his bearing erect. Unlike his battle-brothers, he was dressed in full armour, his freshly-forged battle-plate gleaming with its dichotomous colours of black and orange. His helmet was clipped to his belt, next to his iron-grey scabbard that held his weapon of office. A light carmine-coloured ceremonial cloak flared behind him.

He did not meet the eyes of his brothers as he walked towards the Triad of Lords but he knew that pride flared in their breasts at the sight of their Commander and his new armour. He did not need to ask them openly to know that they approved of his new armour.

He was followed by two Space Marines in midnight-black armour adorned with fanged raven skulls. The sharp gold trims on their armour winked in the dim light of the chapel, and seemed to glow, contrasting with the rest of their armour.

Old Svydro, senior Chaplain of the Angels of Retribution, was a sallow-faced warrior with harsh features. A single disapproving gaze from him could unnerve even the most stoic veterans. He trailed after Astinon, his crozius arcanum gripped loosely in his hands. He observed each of the gathered warriors for any weakness, his face without expression.

At his side, Lokiir Tael’s face displayed more emotions but he still appeared stern and unyielding. The last Chaplain of the Raven Guard, he was youthful and eager but tempered by his solemn duty. His own crozius was clipped to his belt and he carried a smoking censer in one hand. The burning herbs and sacred oils evoked the harsh and bitter scent that permeated all of Armageddon, a reminder to the Corvians of where fate had taken them.

As the three warriors came to stand before the Triad of Lords, they knelt for a brief moment in supplication, offering their own prayers, and then faced their battle-brothers.

As Astinon looked on impassively, Svydro gave a single command. ‘Kneel.’

The sound of armoured knees reverberated around the vast chamber as the order was obeyed instantly. Lokiir stepped forwards, swinging his censer and unclipping his crozius.

‘For more than twenty thousand years, the offices of the Chaplains of the Adeptus Astartes have maintained litanies and prayers,’ he said. ‘They have been passed down from one generation to the other in an unbroken tradition. The greatest of these is the Psalm of the Warriors. Say it.’

Without hesitation, and in unison, the battle-brothers obeyed once again.

‘Blessed be the warriors, brothers of steel and fury,
Those who stand against the enemies of man,
And carry forward His light into the darkness between the stars,
Shall ever be in His grace.’

Lokiir extended his gauntleted fist and slammed it into his breastplate three times in rapid succession. Astinon and Svydro mirrored his actions.

Nost esun Angelius Nexrum, nost ado nexrum quodis ruinan uter nostrum inimicusi,’ intoned Lokiir in the old language of the homeworld of his chapter and bowed, stepping backwards as he did so. Svydro dipped his hands into the smoking censer and chanted the Litany of Sanctification as he drew ritual symbols of battle and purity on Astinon’s armour.

He nodded to the Commander once the ritual was complete and retreated two steps behind him, Lokiir standing to his side once again. Astinon stepped forwards and withdrew the Stormblade from its scabbard, pointing the blade down towards the floor and knelt.

‘My Emperor, my Primarch, my Master,’ he began. ‘Your humble servants give praise to you as we set out to the world of Kiavahr. Glorious and honourable battle will be our thanks to you as we deliver this former bastion of our might from the ravages of the enemy. With your grace and your blessing, Triad of Lords, the wisdom of the New Imperium shall soon prevail in your name on that blighted world. This we pray in your name.’

‘Honour and fealty!’ bellowed Svydro. The battle-brothers echoed his words and thumped their breastplates three times in rapid succession. Astinon rose and addressed his warriors.

‘My brothers, we travel to the birthplace of the Ravenlord, to deliver his world from the tyrannical grip of an ancient enemy. They have defiled his domain, and we shall not stand for this affront to our honour or the honour of Corax. You have my oath upon it!’

‘So shall it be,’ called Lokiir, the acoustics of the chapel echoing his words throughout the chamber. ‘The oath of one is the oath of all.’

The chapel rang once more with the deafening boom of clenched fists to breastplates.

‘Rise my brothers, and heed me,’ continued Astinon. ‘When we pledged our service to Lord Vulkan, we were given a great bounty of arms by our new lord, the better for us to bring the wrath of the True Emperor to the alien, the heretic and the mutant. Many of you benefitted from our new rewards but I held the greatest prize back from you.’
A murmur of confusion rippled through the ranks.

‘We were also gifted with ten suits of Tactical Dreadnought Armour. None among us has worn Terminator armour for over two thousand years, when the last of our suits was lost in war against the Petty Imperiums. I am here before you today to tell you that I have finally reached a decision.’

Astinon drew strength from the grand arbalstone statues of the Triad behind him, their presence focusing his mind and giving him clarity of thought.

‘Ten warriors among you shall have the honour of going into battle on Kiavahr wearing the armour worthy of any of the greatest heroes of our past. Blessed be the Primarch!’

‘Blessed be the Primarch!’

Svydro strode forwards once again and bellowed. ‘Leven. Rosto. Zharel. Cremon. Kremalius. Afvaan. Solios. Tariakus. Falis. Xenophon. You have been chosen.’

As their names were called, the ten warriors stepped out of the ranks and knelt on one knee. Lokiir took the burning censer from Svydro and approached the chosen warriors one by one, repeating the Litany of Sanctification and marking their armour with signs of battle and purity.

When he was done he nodded back at the Commander.

‘Brothers Leven and Rosto will retain their rank as Sergeants, each leading a demi-squad of our Terminators,’ Astinon announced in a voice full of pride and admiration. ‘But this is not all. Sergeant Drome and Apothecary Vex, step forwards brothers.’

Caught off-guard, the two Corvians stepped forwards and stood uncertainly next to the ten Terminator chosen.
‘It is no secret that ever since our return from Medan, these two have carried out initiation trials across the entirety of the hell-blasted world below,’ said Astinon. ‘And their efforts have borne fruit. Twenty-seven aspirants have been selected for the next stage of the trials. One day these youth will be one of you, as battle-brothers of the gene-line of the Ravenlord. I commend these two warriors for their efforts. Blessed be the Primarch!’

‘Blessed be the Primarch!’

Lokiir repeated the ritual with the censer, marking Vex and Drome’s armour this time.

‘Return to your quarters, brothers,’ continued Astinon, his tone rough and bellicose. ‘War calls us on Kiavahr. The ancient enemy will not be allowed to hold our own fortresses against us. Blood calls to blood and we answer the challenge. We shall not fail in our oaths. In the name of the Triad of Lords!

‘Victorus aut Mortis!’

-][-

The bridge of the Montisgarre was once again a hub-hub of activity as dozens of serfs went about their tasks, making sure that the venerable warship was ready to move out of orbit. A duo of tech-adepts oversaw the serfs and servitors, making their final preparations and chanting litanies to their Machine God.

Astinon wondered how the adepts could still believe in their Omnissiah after everything that had occurred during the Second Strife. Their Machine-God had been exposed as an all-powerful and destructive entity that was old when the galaxy was in its infancy. From what knowledge the Corvians had gathered over the millennia, he was known as the Void-Dragon, one of the few remaining Star Gods whose purpose was to shackle the myriad of civilizations that existed in servitude to sate their eternal hunger.

He only gave it a passing thought however. These adepts had served under Vulkan himself and if the Regent trusted in them, then he would too.

His imperious gaze swept around the bridge, taking in all the frenetic activity in a heartbeat. Satisfied that nothing was amiss, he gestured to Lieutenant Kostar.

‘The warship is ready to move out of orbit, Lord Commander,’ said the thin, red-faced officer. He was dressed, as always, in his immaculate Steel Legion uniform. A combination of a mustard yellow greatcoat, heavy black boots and gloves, sheathed power sword and holstered auto-pistol, the Lieutenant cut a strongly martial figure.

The effect was broken only by the rounded, bowl-shaped, black helmet that hung loosely down his back and the drab, olive gas-mask that hung from his neck. The rad-blasted deserts and the harsh environment of Armageddon necessitated such extreme utilities.

Astinon knew from prior experience how effective those masks and reinforced helmets were during combat. The mask itself was nearly as effective as his helmet sensors and the helmets themselves could withstand a bolter shell at extreme range.

His expression betrayed none of his thoughts as he answered back. ‘Connect me to the Hammer of Dorn, I wish to speak with Captain Saigun.’

Within moments, a two-way vox channel had been established between the two vessels, and the bridge speakers came alive with the soft bit firm voice of the Revenant Captain.

‘Tell me you have good news, Commander,’ said Saigun, his tone betraying his jovial nature. Once the honour-duel had been done with, the Revenant had proved to be a polite and supportive warrior. After the fiasco with Nicodemus, Astinon had thanked the foresight of Commander He’stan in assigning Saigun to his command.

He hoped that this temporary alliance between the Corvians and the Dorn Revenants would provide solid bedrock for the future of both Commanderies, allowing them both to prosper and grow together as part of the New Imperium.

‘My fleet is ready, Captain,’ answered Astinon, his tone equally mirthful. ‘Is your own wallowing strike cruiser ready to proceed?’

‘The Hammer will show you the error of your ways, Corvian,’ replied Saigun, his laughter echoing across the bridge. ‘This cruiser can match any of your ships in a straight fight, Commander. Keep that in mind the next time you decide to insult her.’

‘Noted, Captain. Proceed to the jump point in two minutes. We will rendezvous at Station Mannheim II in one hour and then translate to the Mako system as planned. Once the fleet is reorganized, we will proceed to the next waypoint. Astinon out.’

‘Understood, Commander. Saigun out.’

Astinon turned towards Kostar and gestured to him to cut the vox-channel to the Hammer.

‘Issue a fleet-wide alert. All ships are to proceed as ordered with no deviation. Inform all ship captains that Operation Deliverance is a go.’

Kostar gave a crisp salute and then started barking orders at the communications pit.

Astinon gazed out through the viewports at the black depths of the void beyond and his expression hardened.

We come for you desecrators
, he thought to himself. We have suffered your presence on the homeworld for too long. But not anymore. Today, we take back what is rightfully ours. Hell-spawn of the Eye, we come for you.
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Re: Sons of Corax (Warhammer 60,000: Age of Dusk)

Postby Gaius Marius » Sat Oct 22, 2011 9:53 pm

Woot. Nice update, glad they're going into this operation in high spirits.
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Re: Sons of Corax (Warhammer 60,000: Age of Dusk)

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 7:48 am

The next three chapters of Act 4 and the first chapter of Act 5 are plotted out. Working on chapter 12 at the moment, which is shaping up quite nicely. So stay tuned!
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Re: Sons of Corax (Warhammer 60,000: Age of Dusk)

Postby LordLucan » Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:58 pm

Looking forwards to it.

Also, congrats on getting to the second stage submitting for BL, hope you go all the way mate! Proud of you!
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Re: Sons of Corax (Warhammer 60,000: Age of Dusk)

Postby Gaius Marius » Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:05 am

Looking forwards to it Shadow!
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Re: Sons of Corax (Warhammer 60,000: Age of Dusk)

Postby Tyrant » Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:20 am

Nice updates, can't wait to see what happens next!
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Re: Sons of Corax (Warhammer 60,000: Age of Dusk)

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:45 am

This chapter was turning out to be a bit too large so I'm breaking it down in two parts. Here's part 1.
________________________________________________________________________________________

As he sat on the floor of his spartan quarters aboard the Hammer of Dorn, Vorokov could not shake off the sense of unease that had been plaguing him since he had begun his meditation. It nagged at him incessantly, ruining his concentration and causing his entire body to tremble every few seconds.

The Librarian snarled a gruff oath and opened his eyes, the emerald witch-light that illuminated them slowly fading out. He uncrossed his legs and absently dusted off his knee-length, red-trimmed yellow robe. His face was set in an expression of consternation, his thick heavy brows forming a bridge over his short, hawkish nose.

Shaking his shoulders to clear his lethargy, he walked across the barely decorated room towards the reinforced plasteel rack that held his armour. Coloured a bright blue, it signified his rank as a Librarian, with the red trims on the armour denoting his allegiance to the Eleventh Company. The white, horned skull spitting yellow bolts of lightning that adorned his shoulder-pads denoted his rank as an Epistolary among his Commandery’s Librarius.

Vorokov gazed at his crystalline hood framed helmet for a long time, standing in complete silence and completely at ease in the familiarity of his chambers.

With a sudden motion, he grabbed the helmet and donned it in one smooth action.

+Captain Saigun, this is Vorokov.+

+Epistolary?+ Saigun’s response was immediate, his deep, bass voice coming across sharply over the vox.

+I am unable to pierce the shadowy veils of the warp, Captain. I can neither confirm nor deny the strengths and weaknesses of the Great Enemy at Kiavahr.+ The hesitation in Vorokov’s voice betrayed his unease.

It was several moments before the Revenant Captain answered back. This time his tone was harsh and unforgiving, at odds with his usually jovial manner. +I hate going in blind, Librarian. Get back to your meditations and get me an answer one way or another.+

+As ordered, Captain.+

-][-

Stunned silence gripped the bridge of the Montisgarre. Even the constant chittering and humming of the control consoles was absent as the entire bridge crew stared at the view through the forward viewports.

Kiavahr.

The entire planet was caught up in fierce electrical storms. Lightning coursed unchecked through the planetary skies which were covered in dark, bloody clouds that obstructed any view of the surface. Thousands of miles away in orbit, the continuous, random and explosive storms that wracked the atmosphere were clearly visible.

The planetary orbit itself was littered with the burnt husks of destroyed ships and sensor platforms. Ten thousand years had passed since the last void battle in the system, yet the markings on many of those hulls were eerily familiar: Raven Guard, Angels of Retribution, Imperial Navy, Kiavahr System Defence Fleet and many others.

Scattered piecemeal across the debris were also pieces of broken hulls that bore a stylized, elongated silver skull.

‘Unbelievable,’ gasped a voice next to Astinon and the Commander turned sharply to his right to see who had broken the deathly silence.

If he hadn’t known better, he would have thought that the expression on Adrastos’ face was one of terror. The Raven Guard Captain was unable to disguise his confusion and shock at the terrible view of his chapter’s ancient homeworld.

'We fought our last stand in the void,' Adrastos whispered. 'Some of our ships were lost when the enemy attacked out of nowhere. All our defences were rendered obsolete on that day. We lost the planet to that uprising and the fortress-monastery to the enemy.'

Adrastos frowned as he continued, his expression a mix of anger and shame. 'The fleet records do not tell us who our attacker was. We barely escaped in the confusion. Many of our allies turned on us that day, for the cults had infiltrated several layers of Kiavahri society, even its defence forces.'

The Raven Guard Captain spat. 'We had to run for our very lives.'

Astinon looked at Adrastos with some pity. He did not have any knowledge of the battle. The chapter's surviving records only mentioned that a strike cruiser had been sent to Deliverance to meet with the Raven Guard fleet assembling there. The warship had been presumed lost in the turbulent warp, and rightly so it seemed.

His expression grave, Astinon turned to address his senior-most bridge officer.

‘Lieutenant, I want that orbital scan data now!’ His sharp command galvanized the stunned career officer to action and he quickly barked a series of orders to the serfs and tech-priests in the sensorium pit, demanding answers.

Astinon and the other waited impatiently until the venerable vessel’s vast arrays of sensors collected the necessary data and fed the information back to the sensorium pit. An incessant chittering surrounded the serfs as their consoles spat out wafer-thin vox-prints, which they dutifully handed over to their overseer. The senior tech-priest gave the vox-prints an agonizingly long look and shook his head at Kostar.

‘Sensors unable to penetrate the atmospheric disturbances,’ he said in a mechanical voice devoid of any emotions. ‘Interference too severe.’

Kostar looked sheepishly at Astinon, unable to hide his crest-fallen expression.

The Commander only scowled in response.

‘Helm, proceed to the far side of the planet. I wish to see Deliverance. Now!’

-][-

Vorokov could feel the planet and its torment through the warp. It seemed to have a consciousness of its own, and that entity writhed and twisted in pain, unable to free itself of whatever torture it was being subject to.

The grim-faced Librarian screwed his eyes together in concentration and expanded his awareness of the void that surrounded the Hammer and which connected the strike cruiser to the planet thousands of miles away.

He shaped his projection with the ease of having done it countless times before. A sleek, loping wolf covered in silvery-black fur, its eyes glowing with an eerie, inner green light. It was a projection he had used before. A careful hunter that was well-suited for this task, one which had always served him well.

He gave it a soft mental command and the wolf darted through the warp, headed straight for the planet. It forced its way through the roiling eddies of the immaterium that sought to slow it down, the swirling clouds of energy dissipating in its passage.

The wolf neared Kiavahr and prowled around the boundaries of the planet's etheric projection in the warp, testing its edges for any traps. Finding none, it crossed the border between the projection and the rest of the warp, and recoiled in horror, that briefest of touch like a super-charged electric shock to its system.

Back on the Hammer, Vorokov shuddered uncontrollably in unison with his warp projection. The wolf was scarred, its fur discoloured white in several places. The wolf howled in its pain and Vorokov let loose a scream of pain in response.

The Librarian reached back out to his projection and attempted to soothe its mind, dampening its pain with the strength of his will. The wolf relented, sitting back on its haunches and staring dolefully at the planet's etheric-self.
Vorokov mentally coaxed the wolf to once again cross the boundaries. There was no resistance from his warp projection. The Librarian poured more of himself into the wolf until his own etheric self was anchored to its body with the merest force of will.

Together, the wolf and the psyker reached out and touched the planet once more.

And they recoiled in greater pain and horror. The link between the two was nearly severed.

Vorokov struggled to make sense of what had happened and clarity dawned on him bit by agonizing bit.

A great evil lurked on the planet, holding it in a grip of iron. Now that he had touched it once, he was becoming increasingly aware of just how much power that evil could wield. The scale of the power nearly terrified him, for it was unlike anything he had ever experienced before.

He knew he should have exercised more caution in shielding himself from the entity when he suddenly became conscious of several etheric tendrils of warp energy reaching out for him and the wolf. His confusion increased and for a moment he did not know what had happened or what he had to do.

But his training reasserted itself instantly. He withdrew back into his mortal body, giving his projection more freedom than he had ever done before. It was a necessary step for both their survival. If the wolf was destroyed in the warp, then part of his own mind would be destroyed as well, and he would be reduced to a mumbling, drooling wreck of a warrior. He kept enough of himself tied to the wolf so that he could still see what the projection could see.

Realizing the impending danger from those etheric tendrils, he willed his warp projection to flee back to the safety of the ship. The reaction was instantaneous. The wolf ran swiftly, easily outdistancing the questing etheric tendrils.

But it was a short respite.

When he glanced back to see how far he had gotten, he saw in horror that the hungry tendrils were right behind him. He threw up a kine-shield to protect himself, but it was shattered as if it was nothing. Back in his chambers, long bloody cuts opened up on his smooth, porcelain face, bleeding freely. He winced in pain and redoubled his efforts, gathering more and more power to himself and feeding it directly into the wolf.

The warp reacted with blinding speed. He became aware of shark-like shapes swimming around his warp projection. An entire shoal of them coalesced near the tendrils and came straight at him.

This is not good, definitely not good.

The wolf turned around and opened its jaw as if in a scream, and Vorokov unleashed the power inside his projection in a storm of blinding bolts of warp energy, hurling them at his pursuers. The tendrils evaded the fire with remarkable ease. But the sharks were not so fortunate.

Several of them were shredded on contact, their forms exploding and returning to their natural state as pure warp energy, formless yet coherent.

Ahead of him, he could see the vague outline of the Hammer of Dorn, the cruiser’s sleek, predatory shape mirroring that of the warp-borne sharks that hounded him. Gathering more power to himself, he encased his entire body in it, and launched himself straight at the safety that the vessel promised.

This time, the tendrils were not so quick, and neither were the sharks, scattered as they were from his attack. He was next to the cruiser within moments.

But just as he made to pass through the thick, reinforced armour plating of the cruiser, he heard a horrible laughter behind him. He chanced a quick, furtive look behind him but could see nothing. Instead, a rough, gravelly voice laden with fury and temper filled his head.

<You have dared to enter my domain foolish psyker. Soltheusen the Elder does not tolerate such transgressions into his eternal realm. Now I shall teach you the folly of your misguided actions.>

-][-

Deliverance, or Lycaeus as it had once been known as, was little better than its parent. The cratered moon lacked the terrible lightning storms that inflicted Kiavahr, but it presented a no less inhospitable welcome to its visitors.

Astinon’s frown turned into barely-checked fury and he growled a gruff order at his bridge crew. ‘Prepare the battle-barge for immediate drop assault. I want all Thunderhawks prepared and ready to take off imminently. The entire Commandery is to mobilize.’

Grim-faced serfs and tech-priests responded to his order with discipline and urgency. Knowing well that it was not a time to speak his thoughts, Adrastos simply bowed once to acknowledge Astinon’s orders and ran out through the entrance to the left of the command pulpit.

Astinon barely heard his First Captain leave. All his focus was on Deliverance as the moon turned into the light from the system’s sun and presented its full day-side to the Montisgarre’s forward viewports.

A massive rune, kilometres wide and as many long, was carved on its surface. A rune of the Great Enemy.

Blood-red and exuding certain malevolence even as he looked at it. It burned his eyes to even steal a glimpse at it.
‘Cut the view to the forward visual arrays,’ he barked to Kostar. ‘Full speed ahead for sub-orbital insertion. Navigation by sensors alone.’

The Naval Lieutenant immediately relayed his orders.

The Commander unholstered his twin pistols and checked to make sure they were fully loaded. His scowl was now replaced by a fierce determination and focus that unnerved Kostar. ‘And send word to my artificers. I have need of the Stormblade.’

-][-

The skies of Deliverance burned once again after nearly ten thousand years. They were streaked with flashes of burning adamantium and ceramite as a massed wave of drop-pods hurtled towards the moon's surface. The plain, grey-coloured drop-pods punched through the outer atmosphere at blinding speeds, too fast to be intercepted by any ground-based artillery.

Not that there were any such defences on the moon to begin with.

Their target, a kilometres-high bulky tower of black stone, was surrounded on all sides by open, blasted wastelands. It rose up out of the moon's surface like a colossal giant, almost as if it was being defiant against the inhospitable environment that encircled it. The tower was also the only structure for hundreds of miles in all directions. However, at its base, shielded walkways and bunkers spread out like veins and arteries.

Following behind the mass wave of drop-pods were entire flights of Thunderhawk gunships, their bird of prey profiles enhanced by the flaming jets of engine wash that billowed out behind them as their pilots punched the afterburners.

Sitting in the cockpit of the lead Thunderhawk, Astinon monitored the status of all his squads, making sure that the first phase of the assault went off without a hitch. This was the crucial part. If their landing was opposed before they even hit the surface, then the assault would be in danger of failing completely.

On-board augurs and sensors had not detected any missile batteries or laser arrays that were capable of interfering with the Steel Rain but the chances could not be completely negated.

Which was why seconds before the drop-pods hit the surface, their landing zone was lit up by apocalyptic detonations as the fleet unleashed a horrific barrage of magma bombs and intense laser-fire. The landing zone was scoured clean by the punishing bombardment and it was difficult to tell if there even had been any traps present there in the first place.

It didn't matter. Once the bombardment finished, the drop-pods touched down seconds later. With their helmets locked in place and their weapons fully loaded and ready, dozens of warriors walked out of the drop-pods and quickly established a perimeter. Those carrying hand-held auspexes scanned the locale for any sign of the enemy, but the devices were mute in their hands.

The drop-pods were immediately followed by the gunships and warriors on bikes roared out of the Thunderhawks by squads, the throaty roar of their engines mixing in with the harsh whine of the gunships' own engines. The bikers were followed by warriors wearing jump-pack harnesses, their jets and turbines idling as they walked down the ramps.

Astinon walked out of the last Thunderhawk to touch down, followed by Manov, and seven other Corvians, all from a mix of chapters that made up the Commandery.

He was quickly joined by his three captains and others of his senior cadre. Astinon heard them approach but he had eyes only for his objective: the black tower. The Ravenspire. Fortress-monastery of the once Nineteenth Legiones Astartes and its direct successor, the Raven Guard chapter.
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.
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Re: Sons of Corax (Warhammer 60,000: Age of Dusk)

Postby Gaius Marius » Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:23 am

And now we get to the action!

The electrical storms are making me think Necrons though.
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Re: Sons of Corax (Warhammer 60,000: Age of Dusk)

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 7:47 am

Gaius Marius wrote:And now we get to the action!

The electrical storms are making me think Necrons though.


Hah! That's one interpretation I suppose :P
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My current fiction projects - Veergati: The Scarlet Records, an Indian space opera inspired by Star Trek.
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Re: Sons of Corax (Warhammer 60,000: Age of Dusk)

Postby Gaius Marius » Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:08 pm

One question Shadow, the Commandery is called the Sons of Corax right? If I called them that in another story I wouldn't be calling them by the title of the story would I?
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Re: Sons of Corax (Warhammer 60,000: Age of Dusk)

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:35 pm

Gaius Marius wrote:One question Shadow, the Commandery is called the Sons of Corax right? If I called them that in another story I wouldn't be calling them by the title of the story would I?


Either Sons of Corax or Corvians is fine.

As for updates, there shall be at least one update this month! its in the works :P
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My current fiction projects - Veergati: The Scarlet Records, an Indian space opera inspired by Star Trek.
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Re: Sons of Corax (Warhammer 60,000: Age of Dusk)

Postby librisrouge » Sat Sep 29, 2012 5:56 pm

I want to assure that I'm not trying to practice necromancy here but I truely enjoyed reading this and I was wondering if there was any chance of it being picked up again in the future?
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Re: Sons of Corax (Warhammer 60,000: Age of Dusk)

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:18 pm

librisrouge wrote:I want to assure that I'm not trying to practice necromancy here but I truely enjoyed reading this and I was wondering if there was any chance of it being picked up again in the future?


Thanks for reading! I tried to hammer out the next few chapters for this, even though I had the narratives planned out. But the writing just kept getting stuck so temporarily I have dropped the idea. However, never say never! I plan on coming back to this in November.
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