Chosen of Hecate
|Chosen of Hecate|
|Colours||Bleached Bone, Obsidian Black|
Pre-Primarch History & ReunionEdit
Prior to being reunited with Lambach Kropor the Chosen of Hecate were known as the Warpclaws legion and their armour was painted a solid dark green.
The Warpclaws fought on many battlefronts in search of their missing father with noted stoicism and dependability to get the job done. While they preformed admirably on the battlefield the Legion began to show a weakness. An inability to replace their dwindling numbers as fast as was required. This was in part due to the lack of a stable recruiting ground that the Legion could call home. The Warpclaws would pick up potential aspirants on any world they liberated and then move on to the next. Another major factor was that The Warpclaws gene-seed was incredibly slow to mature and reproduce.
So it was that by the time the Legion was reunited with Lambach the Warpclaws numbered only a few thousand in strength and was considered little more than a skirmish force. Upon claiming the World of Miletus and the surrounding sector as the Legions base of operations and following Lambach's masterful directions on the field of battle the newly renamed Chosen of Hecate's numbers began to swell for the first time since the onset of the Great Crusade.
The Great CrusadeEdit
Once finally reunited with and renamed by Lambach Kropor the Chosen of Hecate Legion was still deemed too small a force to strike out on their own. Until they could reach a force size high enough to be reckoned with alone the Chosen of Hecate would fight alongside their brothers of the Silver Blades. While the 414th expeditionary fleet would be managed by the Titan Marchers. Working so closely with these two Legions would ultimately cause the three Primarch brothers and by association their Gene-sons to become an incredibly close knit trio of Legions, even after the three legions would head their separate ways it was not an uncommon sight to see a small force of Chosen of Hecate working alongside these brothers and vice versa.
The Great JoustEdit
Against his own expectations Radcliff Kaden of the Chosen of Hecate legion now stood in the arena, at the beginning of the final bout to decide upon the champion of the Lord Linares “Great Joust”. The Lord of Ale sat on an immense throne above the arena, stein in one massive hand happily watching the duels take place. Radcliff Kaden thought back briefly to the meeting with his Primarch. Lambach Kropor had informed the young captain that his brother of the Silver Blades sought to host a tournament. He bade that each Legion send a great champion to Kadir, to partake in a series of bouts until a winner could be decided.
Kaden was surprised when Lambach had requested that he go and represent the Chosen. He knew he had a certain talent with a blade and considered himself an above average combatant but to be selected to duel with the best the other Legions had to offer was both humbling and an immense honour. Radcliff Kaden had accepted and swore to his Primarch he would return with no stains on the Legions honor.
Many of his bouts had been very close calls, Chanka of the Golden Mountains and Bzaa-Drakk of the Forge Lords in particular had come very close to overwhelming him with their sheer size and strength. Scurlock of the Gunslingers had fought dirty with two pistols, using every trick up his sleeve. He’d almost been undone by the awe inspiring skill of Sahir Al-Halib of the Sentinels and Diaz of the Silver Blades, and the frightening speed and ferocity of Crazy Grox who hailed from the Soaring Host again almost had him beaten. But despite all of these amazing combatants Radcliff Kaden had prevailed, he held to his diligent training and dogged surefootedness to carry him through and now against what he considered all the odds Radcliff Kaden stood before his final opponent and the last step between himself and a great and honorable glory for his Legion.
Zamalash of the Smoke Stalkers stood patiently waiting for the match to start. Kaden had witnessed Zamalash take several opponents that had underestimated his skill due to his lack of vision. The Stalker moved with a languid, almost relaxed grace. His twin blades flicking out only to make telling blows, not to say Zamalash himself had not had struggles reaching this vaunted position. The Smoke Stalker champion was perhaps a foot taller than Kaden, who, himself was by no means a short man, but did not match the Chosen captain in bulk. Both had trained their bodies to reflect their respective fighting styles and while Radcliff Kaden had the stocky build of one who favored a defensive fight everything about Zamalash screamed he was a duelist.
The pale orbs of Zamalash’s eyes unnervingly followed Kaden as the Chosen captain circled gripping his spear tightly and hefting his shield reflexively. Kaden played the game of patience with his opponent. Both favored allowing their opponent to strike first and then react accordingly.
Lord Linares raised his stein and said “The two of you have proven the best of the best, regardless of the outcome both of you have fought with honour and skill and do your Legions proud, but there may be only one winner” with that he slammed his stein down signaling the match had now officially started.
Kaden advanced on his opponent warily, knowing it was exactly what Zamalash wanted but confidant that armed as they were he had the advantage of range. With a suddenness that caught Kaden completely off guard the Smoke Stalker champion launched himself directly at Kaden. His intention was clear and understandable. He too had studied his opponent and knew that Kaden preferred to keep his enemy at length. Zamalash planned to get inside Kaden's defensive stance and in doing so eliminate Kaden's ranged advantage.
Zamalash feinted towards Kaden's left hand side then quickly darted right chopping his twin blades towards the haft of Radcliff’s spear. Kaden predicted this move though as he knew it was a favored tactic to deal with a warrior armed as he was. He let his spear arm fall and rolled with blow, expecting to slam his shield into the back of Zamalash's head. A slower adversary would have been concussed with the force of such a strike but Zamalash was far to swift to be caught off guard. The Smoke Stalker dove to the side avoiding the hammer blow of a shield bash. The two fighters again separated, Kaden gave Zamalash a curt nod out of respect before realising the gesture would probably be wasted due to Zamalash's lack of sight and immediately chided himself for his lack of respect. Then to his surprise the Smoke Stalker returned the gesture.
The two warriors circled each other for a moment before both diving into an attack. Kaden swept his spear towards Zamalash's legs in an attempt to trip the sword master. When the Stalker jumped over the strike Kaden expertly followed up with a thundering uppercut from his shield arm. The blow caught Zamalash off guard and sent the Legionnaire sprawling. With a shake of his head Zamalash recovered just in time to dodge the full momentum of Kaden's follow up bull charge. He twisted to the right catching Kaden across the back with the flats of both his swords this time sending Kaden over. Deftly, Kaden rolled back into a recovery pose but lost his spear in the process. Zamalash pressed his advantage raining blows down onto the Chosen of Hecate Captain. Kaden struggled to fend off the onslaught. Taking as many hits as he could with his shield but for every blow he warded off two more opened his armour causing great wells of blood to splash onto the arena floor. With his vision blurring Radcliff Kaden let out a mighty roar and drove to his feet. He grabbed Zamalash around the throat with his free hand and rammed his head with full force into the Smoke Stalkers face, shattering Zamalash's nose and dazing the Smoke Stalker before hammering his shield into the Stalkers unprotected face twice. Kaden hurled Zamalash away from him and swept up his weapon. The Smoke Stalker was quick to recover, regaining his composure and opting for a defensive duelists stance. Both opponents were clearly on their last legs and it was obvious to the onlookers that if the match didn't end soon one of the champions would perish. None dared interfere though, for to do so would besmirch the honor of the duel.
Kaden noticed Zamalash was not moving as surely and seemed less confident in his footing. The silent warrior’s blind eyes still unnervingly followed Kaden's every move but Kaden picked up on slight shakes of the Smoke Stalkers head. Radcliff Kaden made a gamble on the guess that the repeated blows to the head had in some way damaged Zamalash's hightened senses. The Captain of the Chosen of Hecate hefted his spear and hurled it directly at his opponent. Zamalash cut the weapon from the air with his twin blades but with his dulled senses was just not swift enough to avoid Kaden's follow up charge. The Smoke Stalker tried again to dance away but this time Kaden, braced behind his shield, barreled into Zamalash and smashed the air from his lungs. Kaden drove his opponent to the edge of the arena. Zamalash gave a final push back and the two astartes locked in a brutal scrimmage. Slowly, inexorably Kaden's superior strength won out and he was able to push the Smoke Stalker from the ring. Zamalash landed on his back with a heavy thud as a great cheer rose from the assembled onlookers.
Lord Linares was on his feet. Applauding the performance as Kaden, close to blacking out sunk to his knees with exhaustion. Radcliff Kaden Captain of the Chosen of Hecate had just won the Great Joust. With a smile on his lips Kaden closed his eyes for a mere second that felt like an eternity as the situation set in. When he opened them again Zamalash stood over him, the silent warrior seemingly staring right into Kaden’s soul with those unseeing, unnerving orbs. Kaden was unsure of what to say and so remained silent until the Smoke Stalker offered his hand. Kaden took it and Zamalash helped him to his feet. Barely above a whisper the Stalker champion spoke for the first time. "You fought valiantly son of Kropor, there is no shame in losing to you only a great lesson for which I owe you my thanks". "And you brother, such skill I have never witnessed. This fight could easily have been yours, it was an honor to face you Zamalash of the Smoke Stalkers".
That night Lord Linares held a feast to honor all those who had participated in the tournament. Each warrior was addressed by name and Linares spoke with each about the highlights of their fights. No detail had he missed for he greatly appreciated the martial arts. Food and Drink was plentiful and each warrior swore an oath of brotherhood to each other. At the peak of the night Linares gifted the tournament winner with a magnificently crafted Shoulder Guard that he had had constructed specifically for the occasion and in the direct wake of the tournament painted and tailored to the exact specifications of Radcliff Kaden. At the same time announcing that in ten years time another great Joust would be held. No Chosen of Hecate warrior would ever go on to win again. Though some came close, none ever matched the honor attained by Captain Radcliff Kaden. The first champion of the Great Joust.
It would be almost twenty years after their renaming that the Legion could stand on their own. The Chosen of Hecate would fight alongside the Silver Blades, Ussaran Liberators and the vaunted Emperor’s Dragoon during the compliance of a xenos controlled system. Little documentation survived on this conflict save for the fact the previous First Captain was slain in the battle and Radcliff Kaden was unsurprisingly promoted to the position. It was after this that Lambach decided his legion was strong enough to stand alone and retake the reigns of the 414th fleet.
A Storm by CandlelightEdit
Dancing Devil sliced down, utterly destroying the six limbed xenos warrior before him. Je’she, Primarch of the IX Legion, The Sentinels, took a moment to consider the battlefield. His Legionaries, for the first time fought alongside the Chosen of Hecate.
He’d met his brother briefly before they’d deployed and while Je’She gave the outline of the battle Lambach Kropor had added little, just sat at the strategy table with a half cocked smile, he seemed companionable enough but Je’she had expected more input from his fellow Primarch and was a little off put that one of his brothers could seem so placid. By comparison Radcliff Kaden, the Chosen’s first Captain cut a highly impressive figure, even amongst his brother astartes. Giving voice to solid and effective battle strategies. The Stone Sentinel had heard mixed things about Kropor. Raj Vokar spoke very highly of the man but others had claimed that he was perhaps unprepared to properly lead one of the Emperors Legions. Je’She was yet to make up his mind. The Chosen fought in close knit units following in the wake of assault kitted Dreadnaughts. Their technique seemed effective but lacked any real flair. Je’She had heard they made extensive use of the psychically inclined but so far witnessed no evidence of it.
The fighting was hard, the multi-limbed opponents were swift, strong and deadly. Je’she had requested that Kropor advance with him and stoically push the xenos back, however Lambach’s unit had pushed hard up the middle and was in danger of being cut off.
Je’she gave a sigh. Surely Lambach must know the danger he was placing himself in, he seemed a formidable warrior at least and Je’she had to admit he admired his form with a polearm. Still being an excellent fighter was one thing. Lambach was a Primarch and should have a better grasp of battlefield awareness.
Mustering three squads to his side Je’she made to cut a path to his brother in order to extract him before he was trapped. Fighting picked up in intensity as they drove deeper. Dancing Devil accounting for hundreds of filthy xenos lives. The further in they were carried the more Je’she brooded on his brothers carelessness. Could he not see that they risked collapsing the line when they were cut off, harsh words formed in his mind as he sought the correct way to properly berate someone who was meant to be his equal. Perhaps Einchurt and the others had been right. Lambach Kropor was no general. Finally the Sentinels reached the Chosen.
“Lambach, what are you doing, you’re separating yourself from the main battle line”
Without turning to look at the approaching Sentinels or letting up his fighting Lambach’s answer was short and simple. “I know Brother, come fight with me, just a little further”.
Considering where they were Je’she had few other options. Also slightly intrigued by the completely different person his brother now appeared to be Je’she added his strength to that of Lambach’s and the two brothers fought like warrior gods. Laying waste to all xenos before them, their accompanying astartes falling in behind the two lords of war. Seemingly arbitrarily Lambach stopped his advance.
“Gaius” was all he said.
A robed figure in hulking, fearsome Terminator armour, perhaps the only suit that Je’she had noticed amongst the Chosen stepped towards his Primarch while the other Chosen warriors formed a ring around the man, protecting him from the enemy. Following suit Je’She gave the command for his men to do the same.
The already intense fighting picked up as the Terminator began to chant. Whatever he was doing was driving the xenos into a frenzy. Several marines were cut down under the barrage of attacks now assailing the ring of warriors.
“What is the meaning of this Lambach?” Je’she demanded “We are about to be over run”.
“Just a moment longer, you’ll see” there was that half cocked smile again, Je’she could hardly believe he had followed this madman.
Suddenly the chanting stopped, so too did the attacks. The legionnaire in the Terminator armour stood as rigid as a rod. The xenos began to mill, as if confused and became easy targets for the marines. Swiftly the xenos were over run, in a matter of minutes a battle that could have lasted days was over.
“I ask you again Lambach, what was that?” Je’she was unsure of exactly how to approach his brother at the moment, on one hand he was elated that the battle had been won with minimal casualties on the Imperial side. On the other he was desperately confused as to exactly what was happening.
“A hive mind Je’she, I noticed it in your briefing, the way these xenos behaved all pointed to it. I simply took my most powerful weapon, Gaius here to the very centre of the battlefield and had him block the enemies signal, much like jamming a ship's communications, I’m sure it was very taxing for him”
“But why would you not share this information with me, what if I had not rushed to your aid?” Still Je’she could barely believe what had transpired.
“I had a back up plan, my Librarians would have seen to my safety, plus I wanted to see how you would react, I wanted to see the type of warrior my brother was. There are those who would have left me to my devices and perhaps seen me slain. I am very glad to not have to count you among them”. Lambach offered his hand in the manner of the warriors grasp. After a second of thinking Je’she took it.
“You are an odd man Kropor” with a smile he added “I’m glad to say Raj was right about you, I almost had you pinned for a fool but your actions here saved the lives of many of my men. For that I thank you brother”
A remembrancer had taken a pict of the two Primarchs sharing in this handshake, and had events not transpired the way they had the pict would have become famous in the history books. Je’she himself still has a copy of the pict and in the rare moments he gets to himself looks back to it and wonders if events could have played out differently.
During the Crusade the Chosen of Hecate would integrate many worlds into the Imperium and while they failed to attain the some levels of glory and renown garnered by some of the other legions The Chosen still had an impressive field record. Primarily the Legion would be deployed against forces that hosted large numbers of psykers as the Chosen's experience in neutralizing such a threat was second to none. In one such occasion Lambach and his legion would earn the respect and favor of future Warmaster Je'she.
During the course of the Crusade Lambach would acquire for his legion a large influx of Dreadnought relics and at their peak strength the Chosen of Hecate would boast more of these venerable artifacts than any other legion. Retention and veneration of knowledge, wisdom and experience was held in the highest regard. Aspirants with psychic potential were also highly valued and sought after. The number of Chosen with warp gifts also soared compared to those of most other legions
Such was the trust Lambach placed in first captain Kaden's abilities that often times he would leave the fleet under Kaden's full command whilst the Primarch would chase down his own agendas and quests. Lambach would often be seperated from the legion for great periods of time, most notably whilst working with his brother Primarchs Calael Bishop and Pacha to instate the Librarian program throughout the legions. Such a burden was shouldered by the first captain with the dogged determination and skill he had become famed for and while Lambach may have earned the scorn of some of his brothers as unfit to lead, Kaden was afforded utmost respect.
Overall the Chosen of Hecate enjoyed a largely successful run during the course of the Great Crusade, until the events of the Nikea council bought everything to a grinding halt.
Council of NikeaEdit
Lambach Kropor, Lord of the VIII Legion, was the first to speak at the council of Nikea, as always he brimmed with confidence, certain as he was that the Emperor, his Father, shared his view on the matter and that this council was merely to put at ease the hearts of the more narrow minded amongst his brothers. Those that saw the Librarium programme that Calael, Pacha and himself had established amongst the Legions as a blight. Lambach gave a casual wave rising from his seat to his friend Linares as the giant of a man entered the room. The Lord of Ale overjoyed to again be in the company of one of his closest brothers rushed over, lifting Kropor from his feet in a bear hug of an embrace.
"Little brother too long we have been separated, does this council worry you?"
Lambach chuckled as he freed himself from his enthusiastic brother "Not at all Lin, Father himself has spoken with me at length on the subject, this is merely a gathering to let off some steam, nothing will change. How can it?"
"You heard of what happened to Kincaid while working with Gyhadread's Legion?"
Lambachs face grew uncharacteristically serious "I did, a terrible shame, something that I wish dearly to speak with both brothers about however this is all the more reason for us to continue our study into those that are powered by the warp. We must learn to control such powers"
"I agree with you, as always brother but I think you should consider this council more seriously than you think, for now we must take our seats, I will speak in favor of your Librarium programme be assured" with that the Lord of Ale moved to take his own seat.
Kropor stood his ground well, looking to his Father and to each of his brothers that were present, as well as each emissary sent by those that were not, careful not to make the Legionnaires filling in for their Gene sires feel unimportant.
"Brothers, Nephews, Father. I stand before you now in defense of a programme that should need no defending. The Librarium programme was designed as a means of not only weaponizing those of us that are gifted but also as a way of ensuring we have control over those gifts. Calael, Pacha and myself saw the dangers inherent with the Psychically gifted and also the merits to making use of those gifts. More and more common is the man who is born with Psychic talents. Many see it as an abhorrent mutation to be feared, however, I can tell you that this is not so. Clearly these gifts are the next logical step in mankind's evolutionary chain. We fight foul Xenos on a day to day basis who wreak havoc with their own Psychic energies, mankind must and indeed IS evolving, as it has always done to stand up and fight these threats" Lambach paused to read the room, He noticed several that clearly did not agree with his argument but for the most part the room seemed won over.
Lambach gestured to his own son Gaius Mendel. "Many of you know my son Gaius" the head Librarian of the Chosen of Hecate made acknowledgements as a room full of some of the most powerful people in the universe turned their attentions to him "he makes a habit of visiting each Legion that will have him and assisting with the Librarian programme, as an Alpha level Psyker Gaius is by far the most powerfully gifted man I have ever met, present company being the exception" Lambach bowed to his father and gestured to his brother Cal, earning a rare smile from the Emperor.
"My point is, Mendel is on our side, he is monitored and well trained in how to harness his powers. He is an asset not only to my Legion but to the very cause humanity fights for. Why disarm him of such talents? Fear? That's understandable. Mankind has always feared what it does not understand, what it does not know, but now is not a time for fear! We are better equipped now than ever to disable that fear, to make certain there are no more unknowns. There is no need to fear and shun something just because you do not possess it. Imagine if you will that my brother Isehko called a council of this magnitude to call a ban on the use of our eyes, simply because he cannot use his own" there was a murmur of laughter from those gathered "It would be madness and this council threatens the same thing. To remove our sight..."
With that Lambach bowed to his father once again and took his seat.
Tijo Nosebi sat in an oversized armchair, looking novelly tiny in this study room fit for giants. Before Nikea she had always loved this chair, the enormous size enveloping her in it’s comfort but mostly she’d loved the chance to spend time with Lambach and his inner circle. Now all she felt was sadness.
Where once Lambach had been so gentle, filled with joy and a genuine excitement for the future his father had promised him would come after the Great Crusade. The room itself had been kept well lit and meticulously organised, an open haven for all who sought entrance. Now both the Primarch and the room were shut off, disheveled and sorrowful.
Tijo understood why Lambach felt and reacted the way he did after Nikea. The entire Legion felt it. Everything they had worked for, everything they had held in high regard had been torn down. Many of their greatest heroes sacrificed to the short sightedness of a mere handful of Lambach’s brothers.
The Chosen of Hecate legion, whilst it did not share in the same amounts of celebrated glory as perhaps the Dragoons or Silver Blades had always been a Legion that had diligently done their duty. Bringing world after world into the Imperial fold. With Lambach dreaming of the days to come after the crusade and the new quest to raise mankind to its next, logical, evolutionary level. Now the warriors of the Chosen of Hecate were showing signs of change, as more and more of the psykers and scholars bled from the legion, fighting in the suicidal Speartip. The ranks now swelled with more warrior like, bloodthirsty Astartes.
On none was this change more evident than on the Primarch himself, his once pristine, gleaming, bone white armour was now marred and pocked with battle damage he had not bothered to have repaired. His hair hung long and unkempt.
The biggest and most telling change was in his face. Lambach's eyes used to shine with the joy of a joke forever untold, and an easy smile had played across the handsome, clean shaven face. Now those stone grey eyes which Tijo had come to adore were sunken pits of darkness, and while a smile would still split the Primarchs unkempt face from time to time, it was now a smile of sadness and haunted reflection, given for the benefit of others and not truly felt by its owner.
While Tijo sat, wondering how and when the Primarch would return to his normal self, Lambach toyed with the pages of an ancient tome. One the Emperor himself had given to his son from the vaults of Terra, a collection of biographies of ancient Terran rulers known as Presidents. For the longest time Shipmaster and Primarch sat in silence, when seemingly more to himself than to her Lambach Kropor spoke. “He lied to us all and this falsehood has been there from the very start. My Father is perhaps the greatest monster the Imperium has ever known”. Tijo was forced to sit forward to hear as the Primarch spoke in little more than a hushed whisper.
“I feel your pain, my lord, we all do. But surely the Emperor has his reasons for this ruling, surely things will return to a semblance of normality before too long. Perhaps it is unwise to utter such things, even in your pain” the master of the Starburst was unsure exactly how to respond to his accusations and felt incredibly out of place.
“We enforced the Imperial truth on every new world we discovered and yet we made use of sorcerers and mutants to travel the great ocean” The Primarch continued, finally turning to face her.
“We employed the very things we told the common man did not exist, in order to sustain them.“
The lie could never have lasted, so why was it allowed to happen at all?” as he continued his voice raised slightly, there was a tremble there, one of anger or disgust perhaps both.
“You speak of the Navigators, lord?” she ventured “Without them unifying the many worlds of the Imperium would have been impossible”.
“Consider this, the Navigators are the last of the old mutants. The most pure and potent example of how the Imperial Truth is a naught but a sham…” Lambach stopped on a particular page of his book before continuing.
“Just as he has done to my favored sons, once he can establish a means to have no further use for them, they will be discarded and purged. Make no mistake, He needs the navigator mutants and witches for now” the word was spat, recalling Ashur’s words from Nikea.
“But he will not allow them to endure... He needs them to be replaceable tools, like the Thunder Warriors he employed before us to unify Terra. Like a blunted weapon, to be discarded when no longer useful…
Much like my beloved Chosen” With that the Primarch fell silent again and unsure how to respond Tijo also said nothing. For the time being she assumed the subject was over and that the Primarch had lapsed back into his sullen reverie.
Finally, shattering the silence, the Master of Undeath continued “I can only conclude that He hates this lie of his own making and seeks to end it. He feels that there is no way the Imperium can last, when it relies so heavily on the warp to power its structure”.
Tijo dared not answer, what her master spoke of now bordered on treason, though after everything she felt hard pressed to disagree with what Lambach was saying.
“Always we were told that the Crusade was the end of all things. The most important task any of us could hope to accomplish. I now believe this was yet another falsification. A deception he sold us, his sons and his people, to further another agenda. Perhaps a quest for knowledge or power, I know not, but I intend to find out”.
Tijo recoiled in shock as the manuscript, an ancient heirloom priceless in value, burst into green flames in Lambach’s hands.
The Primarch was more animated now than she had seen him in the longest time.
“One thing is clear to me now. My father is a tyrant, merely using mankind to advance his own ends. I will seek and I WILL find the answers for myself, and I will be damned if I allow anyone to stand in my way…”
Angered by his father's decision at the Council of Nikaea, Lambach halted his wing of the Crusade and bought all tendrils of his Expeditions back to Miletus. Ridding the Chosen of Hecate of their Psychic presence would be no small task, considering how deeply ingrained they were in the Legion's dynamics. Lambach still could not understand his father's decision. He had always believed his father saw the future laid out the same way that he himself did. The gifted would pave the way for peaceful times to come after the Great Crusade. That Psykers were the next logical, evolutionary step for Mankind.
Lambach thought long and hard about how he would break the news of Nikaea to his sons. He loved them dearly and railed against seeing them go to waste. As the last of his legion returned to Miletus, Lambach made his decision. He gathered every gifted son amongst the Chosen and formed them into a single chapter known as the Speartip of Hecate. The Speartip would be the first to be deployed on any new world. They would not be stopped from using their powers, but eventually their numbers would grind down and they would be remembered as heroes of the legion.
Gaius Mendel was given the title of Grand Warpclaw of this newly formed chapter and, while many of the Librarians raged against this reform, he knew that the hands of his master were tied. This option would at least let the gifted sons of the Chosen end their service in glory rather than live the rest of their lives as blind and deaf men.
Lambach thrust the Speartip deep, while the Chosen of Hecate pushed deeper into the fringes of known space than ever before. He ignored any hails from his brothers, even those closest to him like Linares and Raj. As world after world fell to the mighty push of the Chosen, more and more of the brothers of the Speartip were claimed by the grip of death. Each loss stabbed at Lambach’s soul, slowly stripping away his once cheerful and pleasant demeanor and replacing it with emptiness, sadness and spite. Eventually the Speartip was worn down to little more than a few dozen Librarians, with Gaius still leading. The Grand Warpclaw had changed drastically from the man he once was. His armour was dented and scratched deeply, his hair was unkempt and his face was gaunt. The look in the eyes of one of his dearest sons haunted the Primarch.
How could his father have done this to his loyal sons? Lambach thirsted for the truth behind the question. Night after tireless night he spent researching documents from ancient history, desperately trying to understand his father's point of view; a reason as to why he was forced to sacrifice his favored sons to quell the delusions of some of his more narrow minded brothers. It was during this time Lambach learned that perhaps not all of the Gods from ancient times were fanciful stories.
It was on some dank rock of a planet, its name lost to time, that Radcliff Kaden fell. The occupants of the planet, vile cultist xenos, unleashed foul creatures upon the Chosen, creatures born of warp energy that normal bolters had little effect on. The few Remaining members of the Speartip were able to devastate these creatures. However, they had become too few to contest the creatures properly. Lambach knew that at full strength his sons would have easily crushed these xenos, but with his gifted sons diminished as much as there were already, he was sure to lose too many more. The Chosen of Hecate were forced to withdraw.
Kaden however, along with his command squad and a pair of Venerable Dreadnaughts, had become separated from the main body of the legion. While they fought valiantly they were eventually overrun, brought down one by one. As the last man standing, Kaden faced down a horrid creature, dragged forth from the depths of the warp, with his shield arm shattered and useless. Radcliff Kaden, perhaps the greatest warrior in the history of the legion was felled in a monstrously one-sided duel. The bodies of Kaden and his men were sent back to the Chosen of Hecate’s base camp. They had been hollowed out, all of their advanced organs and precious Geneseed had been removed, the bodies filled with live insects, rats and all manner of vermin. This was the last straw.
Lambach, distraught at the loss of his closest son, invoked a spell he had learned during his studies of the ancient texts. A spell from the forbidden lore of the Goddess Hecate herself. A spell of rebirth. This was a spell that made use of vile magics, locked away in ancient times for a very good reason. The bodies of Kaden and his men would indeed rise again, to Lambach’s rejoice, but this joy was short lived. Kaden and his men were mindless husks of their former selves that immediately attacked their former brothers. They clawed at their armour and tried to bite their flesh. Lambach realized that with the power of his absolute will he could control the awful abominations he had created and that he could calm them and direct their actions.
This was not the only repercussion of the hex that Lambach had wrought. It sent a shriek through the warp. Many ancient beings turned their attentions towards the Master of Undeath. Back on Terra Malcador also took note, and realised that Kropor had made a horrible transgression. Malcador informed Warmaster Je’She, a close friend of Lambach. Je’she, new to power could not let such a huge oversight of his father's last decree go unpunished though. So it was with a heavy heart he sent summons to Linares of the Silver Blades and Raj Vokar of the Titan Marchers, two of Lambach’s closest brothers and friends. They were to track down Lambach Kropor, disable his Legion and bring him back to Terra.
The Chosen are ChosenEdit
Linares had mustered almost the entire Silver Blades Legion to track down his wayward brother. Most of Raj Vokar’s Titan Marchers were occupied on other fronts of the Crusade, but the Titan Lord managed to pull together two companies with which to assist the Lord of the Ale’s sons. Together they formed a formidable force that should easily outclass the depleted Chosen of Hecate, if it had to come to a fight. Something that both Primarchs deeply wished to avoid. No matter what actions Lambach had taken to earn censure from Je’she, someone all three considered friend. They both loved their brother and both would speak in his defense if a trial was to be had.
The combined fleet found that nearly all Chosen had returned to their homeworld of Miletus. Approaching cautiously, Linares and Raj noticed that the Chosen of Hecate’s fleet did not move to intercept them. The Silver Blades flagship, the Argentan, hailed it’s Chosen counterpart, Starburst. The response from the Starburst’s captain informed both Primarchs that Lord Kropor was awaiting his brothers in Miletus' capital palace and they were encouraged to make planetfall.
Raj and Linares were both confused. Surely Lambach knew why they were here. Both thought, or perhaps hoped, that their good natured brother had decided to come quietly, in order to put this whole mess behind them, maybe to one day return to his Legion. Alas, they could not have been more wrong.
On the planet's surface the Chosen were displayed in full force. The Legion’s impressive array of Dreadnoughts standing alongside ranks upon ranks of marines and transports. The numerically superior Silver Blades and Titan Marchers faced off against their Legion cousins. Legionaries greeting battle-brothers from amidst the different legions. Lambach waited for his brothers on the raised dais in the city centre with his two most trusted sons, Gaius Mendel and Radcliff Kaden.
As they climbed the stairs Linares and Raj exchanged worried glances. Their brother looked different. His normally short, shaggy brown hair was now long and lank and his eyes, once so full of warmth and friendship, were now sunken and filled with sorrow and remorse. Once they reached the top Lambach smiled and spread his arms wide.
"Brothers! It warms my heart to see you again! You arrive with such a mighty display of force? To what do we owe this pleasure?"
"Lambach," Raj began with a solemn tone, "Je’She has sent us to bid you return to the Imperial Palace for transgressions against Fathers decree. Your men are to stand down."
"Father..." Lambach seemed to consider the word for a time, turning his back on Linares and Raj, "The man thinks he knows what is best for everyone, but how many more of my sons must be sacrificed to his lies and arrogance?"
"Watch your puta boca, Kropor!" Linares snarled with more aggression than he perhaps intended, "This doesn't have to come down to a fight! You know as well as I do that you do not stand a chance against me, let alone with Raj here. Come with us to see the Warmaster. Raj and I will speak with him on your behalf. Whatever the issue is, it can surely be resolved".
"Don’t you see, Linares? Father has lied to you, to all of us! The question I can't figure out is why?! I implore you brothers, please, join me! Ask our father why! Why hide from us ancient beings whose powers we have only one defense against?! And most importantly, why forbid us from using this defense?!"
"What are you suggesting Lambach?! Choose your next words very carefully!" Raj warned, the Titan’s wrath surfacing.
Raj readied his large array of weaponry while Linares drew the famed Silver Slayer. Taking queue from their Lords, the marines of both the Silver Blades and the Titan Marchers readied their bolters. Lambach took his weapon, the Venus Gospel, from the immobile Kaden, while Mendel started chanting.
"Our Father," Lambach spat the word, "Took my sons away from me! Now, one way or another, I will take his sons from him! I do not wish to harm either of you, but I cannot allow you to stand in my way!”
Lambach hurled a wave of sheer Psychic force at Raj, who was flung backwards down the steps. Linares leapt forward in an attempt to disable Lambach and end things before they got any further out of hand. The legionaries on both sides, unsure of what to do, stood awestruck at first, then they moved to engage. The Chosen of Hecate could not hope to win this fight, but they would make their opponents bleed.
In all the years they had fought side by side Lambach had never once bested Linares in a duel. Lambach was a formidable warrior, as was to be expected from one of the Emperor’s sons, but Linares was possibly the best sword fighter among the brotherhood of Primarchs. This time however, Linares noticed something different, something he had never noticed before. A stroke of his sword that should have connected simply passed through Lambach’s unguarded chest, while a thrust that Linares should have been able to parry with ease somehow penetrated his guard and stabbed down through his calf.
Lambach laughed, "It feels good to finally be able to fight you without holding back brother! Come, show me what passes for fury amongst your misbegotten kind and let me give you a lesson in humility!" Linares roared at Lambach in his native tongue, "Jódete!"
As the duel raged on, Raj had managed to return to the top of the stairs. He noticed that Mendel had finished chanting his mad words and was now throwing waves of warp energy into the Silver Blades marines at the base of the dias. Even more of a worry was Radcliff Kaden, a man whom Raj had grown to respect very much over the years, spasmed violently. His body contorted and twisted while his armor split. Despite how much obvious pain the first captain must have been in, he did not make a sound. Just the sickening cracking of bones and the ripping of flesh. From Kaden’s husk burst an enormous beast that had the general shape of a man, but with a rat like head and claws as long as Raj was tall. A sinister tail whipped back and forth behind the creature as it turned it's head to face the Turban clad Titan Lord. The creature that was once Kaden broke into a run, it's path charging directly at Raj, who bought his multitude of bolters and plasma cannons to bear.
Only one thought coursed through his head, “What had Kropor done?!”
Fighting on the ground, Taarush Amin could scarcely believe what was happening. His cousins were firing at him. This was unimaginable, especially since those cousins were the Chosen of Hecate. There were Primarchs that, had this same situation happened with them, he would not have been so surprised, but he had fought alongside the Chosen on many campaigns. They were considered one of Vokar’s closest allies and friends. Yet here they were.
While the Primarchs battled atop the dais Taarush Amin was forced to lead his ground troops in what was sure to be a massacre of the sons of Lambach.Taarush got the feeling that something was wrong, even more wrong than he thought. As the Silver Blades crashed into the frontlines of the Chosen, Taarush could not help but notice they seemed slow and jerky. The Silver Blades dominated the Chosen in close quarters combat, as was to be expected, but Taarush assumed they would be putting more into it. The front liners, armed with spears and combat shields, a combination that was favored by the Chosen of Hecate, were predictably battered, but there were several who rose off of the ground and continued fighting through injuries that would have even seen most Astartes be brought low. All the while the backlines and Dreadnoughts kept up a steady stream of fire into the massed Silver Blades, reaping a bloody harvest. Taarush also noted the distinct lack of enemy Psykers, despite the fact the sons of Miletus were famed for making use of the gifted.
The duel atop the dais continued with Linares, for the first time in their long history, conceding ground to his brother. No matter how masterful his strokes or how perfect his parries, it seemingly made no difference. Linares bled from several wounds, but still he fought on. Forced to one knee, Linares raised his sword to parry a swing that would not come.
"I do not wish for this Linares!" Lambach said, sitting on his haunches, facing his brother, "Our father has wronged us, not you. Why can't you see he has lied to you?! To Raj! To me and all of our brothers! He could have warned you about what you would face this day and yet he did not. Ask yourself why my dear brother! Why would he force us into conflicts we are woefully unprepared for when he supposedly has all the answers?!" Linares glared at Lambach, during the speech the Lord of Ale had noticed something, something only a Primarch could ever have spotted.
Raj dived to the side as the creature that was once Kaden slammed its enormous, meaty fist into the ground where the Titan Lord had been standing moments before. As confident as he was in his own superhuman endurance and healing factor, Raj Vokar was certain that if this beast landed a blow like that even he would surely perish. Rolling to his feet, his mechanical legs braced Raj as he unloaded his full arsenal into the side of the monster. Missiles, plasma fire and bolter shells hammered home, ripping huge chunks of flesh from the abomination. Yet still it pressed on. Kaden lept at Raj who attempted to dive away again. This time however, the clawed hand connected with Raj's left thigh, shattering the mechanical replacement to smithereens.
The creature was upon him instantly, pinning him down. The monster roared victoriously into the Primarchs face. With titanic strength Raj held back the monsters head, preventing it from crushing his own head into a red ruin. Raj pressed the Kagolus up against the monsters chin and, with a fully charged shot at point blank range, disintegrated the upper half of the abomination that had once been a great man named Radcliff Kaden. Raj allowed himself a single moment to breathe, before turning his attention to Linares and Kropor. Linares was down on one knee while Lambach spoke to him. Were the situation different Raj could have sworn the two were bonding, just like old times.
Dead. Taarush Amin could hardly believe it but the Chosen warrior he faced now could be nothing else. The man moved like a puppet. An enormous hole sheared right through his chest. A Power Sword, wielded by a Silver Blades legionnaire, had destroyed both hearts. The man should not have been walking, let alone be able to fight and yet he still carried on. Taarush knocked aside a clumsy spear thrust and fired his Storm bolter directly into the zombified legionnaire's helmeted head, explosive rounds shattering his skull. The body collapsed and did not rise again. What dark power had the Chosen of Hecate harnessed that they could force the dead to rise and fight like the living?
With horror Taarush noticed his own fallen brothers, and those of the Silver Blades legion, beginning to rise. They attacked their former brothers from behind, distracting them long enough for the deadly heavy weapons fire from the Chosen Dreadnoughts to cause massive damage to the Silver Blades ranks.
Then all of a sudden it struck Taarush. He knew why the Librarians of the Chosen were nowhere to be seen. He remembered a conversation he'd once had with his friend Radcliff. Kaden had told him that sometimes powerful enchantments required groups of Librarians, all focusing their Psychic might into one spell to keep the effects in place. The Titan Marchers and Chosen of Hecate had used this ploy once before to shield one of Raj's Titans from enemy scanners. Taarush just had to find where they were secreted. He gathered his command squad to his side, requested the aid of a squad of nearby Silver Blades and made for the base of the dais which had been largely ignored.
"Again brother," continued Lambach, "I implore you to join me. Below us our sons fight and kill each other, and for what? The lies of a man so far removed from both them and us that he does not, no, could not care about them! We could end this now, you, me and Raj! We could band together, others will surely flock to us! The three of us each have close ties to our brothers! We could make them see! We could show them the truth Linares! Great men like Kaden die in the name of the Emperor and he doesn't even care enough to learn their names!”
Suddenly Linares was upon him. A diving tackle forced Lambach down unto the ground, after which he hammered his fist into Kropor’s face. Linares had noticed that while Lambach spoke, his lips did not match his words, but only barely, just a fraction of second at most. Somehow Lambach Kropor was existing a fraction of a second after his actions. That is why Linares had been unable to land a blow and why he was unable to block. The Lord of the Ale saw it now and expertly adjusted his fighting style to match the time flux. He hammered several blows into Lambachs unguarded face. Then he raised his famous blade high, with the intention of pinning Lambach to the floor. Suddenly his arm felt leaden and the Silver Slayer became the heaviest object in the universe. With his fist wrapped around Lambachs neck he looked up to see Gaius Mendel standing several yards away. A look of intense concentration on his face, using his prodigious mental powers to hold Linares sword arm down. The Master of the IVth was about to release his brother and focus on the Psyker when suddenly a molten ball of plasma connected with Mendel's leg. Shearing it off and sending the Grand Warpclaw sprawling down the staircase, down to the ground, clutching at the stump of his ruined limb.
"Finish this Linares!" Raj shouted from his prone position in the middle of the dias. The Lord of Titans was affixing a crude replacement leg in place of his shattered cybernetic.
Lambach was stunned. He had expected Linares to listen to him, or Raj. These were his closest brothers, the two he always knew he could confide in. Had he made a grave error of judgement? Lambach felt the Psychic links of his Librarians snuff out. All of a sudden the fallen warriors of all three Legions fell to the ground, dead once more. Someone had found the Librarium’s chamber. Lambach ordered his men to fall back, to try and get to the transports and somehow make it away from the orbital Silver Blades fleet.
As Linares blade descended time seemed to stand still. Lambach rose from the ground. He could see everything. His brother still straddled his body, blade poised to pin him to the dias. Lambach felt two divine beings. The Weaver of Fate, eager to enlist a Psychic champion of Lambach’s renown, offered the Primarch phenomenal cosmic powers. Father Nurgle offered the Lord of Undeath true mastery of his titular abilities and eternal life for his men. Both offered him a chance to escape, they bade him make a choice.
Linares blade stabbed down into Lambach’s chest. Pinning the Master of Miletus to the floor. "You have made a mistake Lambach! You have cost my legion dearly in your folly and for that, you, will, pay! I will not question our Father! His word is absolute! I would have stood by your side and begged for his forgiveness, but you have spoiled that chance!" Linares leaned in close to Lambach’s face and was surprised to see a smile on his lips. Lambach let out a shrill shriek and suddenly burst into a swarm of plague ridden rats which swarmed over the Lord of Ale. Raj rushed to his brother’s aid and, with the help of his built in wrist mounted flamer, the vermin were swiftly vanquished. Lambach was nowhere to be seen.
Chosen of Hecate transports were taking off and being harried by the surviving Silver Blades and Titan Marchers. "We must return to the fleet, Raj. Kropor cannot be allowed to escape!" Linares spoke solemnly with uncharacteristic seriousness, finally letting the wounds he had taken show and thankful of his brother for the help standing. "We are in no state to pursue! The Chosen have taken heavy casualties, but our forces have taken a serious blow, my friend. We should report to Je’She. I heard what Lambach said to you. He may try to recruit others to his cause! I can think of one or two of our brothers that may give us cause for concern.” Raj made no comment on exactly how Kropor’s words had affected him.
Lambach was gone. The Chosen had fled. Reports from the captains of the 54th fleet reported what seemed to be clouds of flies swarming their ships, preventing them from taking real action against the Chosen of Hecate fleet. There were no traces of Lambach to be found.
The next time either Raj or Linares would see their brother would be at the side of Marduk Engur, Warmaster of Chaos.
The Brother war for the Chosen of Hecate would start much earlier than most of the other Legions. After the Formation of the Speartip and the death of Radcliff Kaden, Lambach would weave a powerful dark hex in an attempt to return his men to life. However, unknown to Lambach the spell he cast from the book of Hecate (Hecate actually being another older name of Nurgle) would not work as he had intended. While it did return Kaden and his men to life it was little more than a vile mimicry and the fallen Chosen of Hecate warriors would return as violent, single minded automatons with no thought of their own and only the instinct to feed on the flesh of the living. Lambach realized that with little effort he and his gifted sons could calm the minds of these risen marines and direct and channel their actions.
This Dark Ritual would draw towards the Chosen of Hecate the attention of powerful entities that dwelt within the Warp itself. It would also alert Malcador on Terra. Knowing the Dark path Lambach was about to lead his Legion down the Sigillite demanded that newly appointed Warmaster Je'she take action. So it was with heavy heart that the Warmaster would send a combined fleet of Silver Blades and Titan Marchers to hunt the Chosen down, disable the Legion and bring their gene-father to Terra.
The showdown took place on Miletus, the Chosen of Hecate home world. Lambach Kropor hatched a plan to either convert or to cripple the Legions of his two brothers making heavy use of his newfound knowledge on how to control the corpses of the dead. Over confidant in his victory Lambach's plan swiftly fell apart once First Captain Taarush Amen of the Titan Marchers located and shutdown the unit of sorcerers dedicated to maintaining the spell. Broken and defeated The Chosen of Hecate enacted a full retreat of their home world. As unknown to them Lambach sold their souls to Nurgle, the god of death and decay. During this battle Tijo Nosebi, Crispus Parthenios and a score of Chosen who refused to partake in Lambach's ambush also fled Miletus.
Proclaimed renegades by the Imperium at this point the Chosen of Hecate found they were quickly running out of places to hide and Lambach again decided to place faith in another brother. The Battered Chosen fleet made it's way to the Thashunke system. The base of operations for the Soaring Host Legion. Lambach and Elsu had always been close, Lambach's calm, friendly demeanor and acceptance of Elsu's mutations had always penetrated the haze of unbridled fury that surrounded Elsu Eyanosa. Here the Chosen of Hecate would remain in hiding, licking their wounds and coming to terms with their new patrons gifts until the arrival of Warmaster Marduk Engur
Both the Soaring Host and the Chosen of Hecate would agree to join forces with the Leviathan Host, and while the other two legions would attend the Council of New Hope to set Marduk's master plan in motion the Chosen, who were considered renegades could not attend. Hence Lambach assured Marduk that he would take his Legion and either convert or disable the Dusk Phantoms Legion at Grethor.
Again the Chosen of Hecate would lay a trap for their former brothers and again they would be defeated. Unknown to Lambach at the time Tijo Nosebi and the surviving Chosen of Hecate that had fled Miletus with her had bought warning to lord Gyhadred of Lambach's newfound powers and precedent for betrayal. None new better the weak points of the Chosen fleet than Tijo and the Dusk Phantoms set up a counter ambush.
The Chosen of Hecate fleet was shattered and considered neutralized, what Tijo and Gyhadred did not know however was the exact effects Nurgles curse would have on their former allies. While the Dusk Phantoms rushed from the system in order to warn the other Warmasters of Marduk's betrayal the Chosen of Hecate fleet began to stitch itself back together, inexorably slowly, but unrelenting.
Outside much smaller battles and skirmishes the Chosen of Hecate were not engaged on such a large scale again until the Siege of Terra began. Though their Surviving Warpclaws would aid the Loxodontii Stargazers in the creation of the great ruinstorm that would divide the galaxy.
On Terra the Chosen of Hecate were instrumental in the Chaos forces early victories. Summoning fourth great hosts of Daemons and returning every fallen defender of the Imperial palace to servitude once more, this time under Warmaster Marduk Engurs command. Most Notably they seized control of the Eternity Wall space port, allowing much easier access for the Warmasters reserve forces. During this battle Lambach Kropor fought an epic duel with his brother Raj Vokar and succeeded in capturing the Titan Lord. Much to the chagrin of his chaotic brothers Lambach would release Raj instead of slaying him outright.
Commander Galehaunt of the Star Warriors fired the twin assault cannon of his command apc into the oncoming ranks of the dead, knowing it was futile but needing to vent his rage. The Chosen of Hecate were attacking in force.
He had been given overall command for the defense of Eternity Wall space port and had successfully repelled countless enemy pushes since the start of the siege. This attack however, was different. Warmaster Je’she had seen fit to send reinforcements to Eternity Wall and now the Star Warriors manned the defenses alongside their brothers of the Titan Marchers. Lord Primarch Raj Vokar himself was among their number and while the Primarch had assumed temporary command of the defense effort, the Titan Lord had been nothing but gracious in not usurping Galehaunt’s command. The Primarch went to some trouble to carefully consider every single piece of information Galehaunt could provide and ensuring that the commander was included in every single tactical decision.
For all their efforts it seemed only a matter of time before the Star Warriors and their allies were overrun though. They hammered firepower into the enemy, but the tides of tainted flesh seemed endless. Hordes of ex imperial citizens now infected with the blight of undeath clamored at the defenses, easily hurled back but no less distracting, and in enough numbers could even drag down a mighty Astartes. More worrisome were the risen corpses of Space Marines. They moved like automatons, firing boltguns until whatever ammunition they had was spent then using their fists or guns as clubs. For the most part though, the walls proved an adequate defense. Even though he knew they were dead, firing on those who were once his battle brothers disturbed him.
Horrific... daemons, the word felt wrong but he could think of no other to describe them, lapped at the flanks. Their horribly distorted forms spewing maggots, bile, pus and other organic fluids. Rusted, cruel looking blades held in their bloated hands stabbed at Galehaunt’s men, easily parting their armour where they struck and turning flesh necrotic. Behind all of these foes came the Chosen of Hecate legionnaires, some looking more horrid than their daemon allies.
Blasting at the Space port’s defenders with heavy weapons, once noble Dreadnoughts now corrupted beyond recognition strode towards the walls with impudence, hammering them with all the deadly fire power they could bring to bear. These became a target priority for Galehaunt’s defenders. One Dreadnought, “Seraphium” scrolled on its nameplate, was struck by two Lascannon shots. The blazing lances smashed great rents into its chestplate. A foul green ichor gushed from the wounds but still it came on. The Multi melta on it’s right arm turned a section of wall into slag before tearing into the mush with its left handed chainfist. With this breach in the wall the undead host immediately began to pour inside the Eternity Wall.
Galehaunt’s Star Warriors and Raj’s Titan Marchers rushed to plug the gap, trying in vain to bring down the rampaging Dreadnought. Even as one Marcher clamped a melta charge to it’s leg the Dreadnought’s brother, Kyros strode through the breach and gunned the Marine down with his assault cannon.
Galehaunt turned his own twin assault cannon on the wounded Dreadnought leading the assault, stitching it’s already torn chassis with a trail of bullet holes as more and more of the undead flowed through the breach, dragging several of Galehaunt’s men down with sheer weight of numbers. Behind them came the Chosen of Hecate warriors, several throwing sickly green lightning. The warriors struck by this warp lightning would burst like rancid pustules or wither and decay where they stood, only to rise moments later to swell the ranks of the Chosen’s undead cohort.
Galehaunt’s driver gave a shout, giving the commander just enough warning to fling himself free of the cupola just in time to watch his mount explode. From another breach in the wall a third Dreadnought named “Eusebias” had split his tank with a precision shot from its twin-linked Lascannon. With it’s target neutralized the ancient turned its baleful gaze to more of the Star Warriors armoured support. Galehaunt drew his claymore chainblade and cursed the fact that the Emperor had seen fit to gift these traitor swine with so many of the venerable Dreadnought relics.
He was just about to give the command to fall back as he swung his blade in expert arcs shattering undead legionaries around him, when the mighty form of Raj Vokar joined the fray. Barreling into the swollen ranks of the undead like a cannon ball. The Titan Marcher Primarch’s vast array of weaponry cut a swath through the Chosen forces. A ball of super charged Plasma melted Kyros to slag while a volley of Krak missiles slammed into Seraphium, finally bringing the avatar of death low. The ancient’s powercore detonated in a monolithic explosion which engulfed several of the Chosen Astartes and a vast number of the undead in the immediate area. Raj paid them no heed as he continued on his rampage, underslung heavy bolters spitting death, flamers burning all around him to a charred crisp. For a brief moment in the face of such an onslaught the undead hordes faltered. Only for a moment…
A sickly green mist, almost tangibly viscous flowed in through the breach. Where it touched a fallen warrior the body would writhe with unholy power. Striding amongst it came Lambach Kropor, the gene sire of cursed Chosen of Hecate. With an air of arrogant confidence the Master of Undeath met his brother's eye and begun to purposefully move toward the turban clad Lord of Titans. A rich, thick green cape billowed behind him, the hood pulled low over his brow. The air around him crackling with psychic energy.
A massive force polearm was held in the relaxed grip of his right hand, it’s blade shining luminescent green with warp energy. With a casual wave of his free hand the shattered corpses of the fallen began to restitch themselves and rose from the ground to once again resume their attacks on Galhaunt’s men. None dared stand between the two titanic figures.
“Raj, my brother, it is good to s…”
Before he could finish his sentence the Titan Lord opened fire with everything he had. Missiles, bolt rounds and high impact shotgun slugs struck home, several seemingly passing through where Lambach stood, others detonating on a kine shield the powerful psyker had summoned around himself. Several struck the Primarch tearing great rents in his armour and flesh alike. Halting the master of the Chosen’s advance in his tracks. Miraculously the wounds that Raj inflicted repaired themselves as swiftly as they were dealt and again Lambach begun his stoic march, weathering every shot the Titan Lord threw at him. Craters in his flesh that would have given any one of his brothers pause reknitting themselves at an astonishing speed.
As Lambach drew nearer Raj really turned it up. Adding shorter ranged flamers and melta gun blasts to the lethal cocktail of destruction he now hurled at his forsaken brother. To a point where Lambach virtually disappeared from sight.
Surely, nothing could survive such an inferno Galehaunt assumed. Even one of the Emperor's mighty sons would perish. Eventually Raj was forced to stop firing as ammo belts and powerpacks ran dry. As the smoke cleared the figure of Lambach still stood, horrifically burned and maimed beyond recognition. For a split second it appeared as if the Primarch would fall, little more than a charred corpse but then the body took another step.
“Not very polite, dear brother...”
Gurgling words uttered from a throat that was so utterly destroyed that it was surely incapable of making such a sound. Yet even as Galehaunt watched the body of the Master of Undeath regrew to what it was. By the time he had made the last few paces to stand face to face with the Titan Marcher Primarch, Lambach Kropor was whole once more.
Still without saying anything Raj drew his Master crafted Power Falchion and Galehaunt knew things were becoming desperate. Raj Vokar was famed for his preference of ranged superiority and his utter disdain for a close quarters fight. Galehaunt fought valiantly to try and reach Raj’s side, slashing his way through undead and traitor alike. The fighting was fierce and a lesser swordsman would have been downed swiftly, but Galehaunt was among the best swordsmen of his Legion and his talents were known the universe over.
Between the two Primarchs there was a brief exchange of blows, periodically interrupted by a burst of flame whenever Raj’s auto loaders had generated enough fuel. The Titan Lord fought well and any lesser Astartes would have been instantly overwhelmed, but it was clear that he was completely outmatched by Lambach. The Master of Undeath knocked aside blows from the Master of Titans with a languid ease, and his return strokes almost always scored wounding blows. The Venus Gospel’s famous green-glowing edge parted Raj’s thick armour with little effort.
Lambach seemingly tired of the game just as Galehaunt cleared the crowd, his black and red armour now vastly more red as it was spattered with gore. Galehaunt gave a cry as Raj was impaled through the chest. The mighty form of the Primarch struggled for a moment before sinking to his knees. The Commander of the Star Warriors made to rush to Vokar’s aid when seemingly from nowhere a blow like a thunderclap smashed into his back, many of his vital organs spilling from a hole in his torso. For a moment he maintained his footing before his prodigious strength gave out and he toppled to the ground. A Chosen of Hecate warrior with a power claw and leathery wings that may once have been a jump pack stood over him. The warrior hissed as Galehaunt fought for the last few moments of his life. “Watch your hero die now, little whelp”
“Je’she and the others will stop you Lambach, you dogs of Marduk will not win, even if I am not around to see it, you will be repelled, slay me now and be done with it”. Raj stated through gritted teeth, his fury evident.
“Raj, let me try again. It is good to see you.” Lambach’s smile struck his brother as almost sad.
“I assure you, I am not here to slay you my friend. Marduk told me to take the Eternity Wall, not to slay my brothers. You will be around to see, but not what you think”. Lambach shrugged and sat on his haunches to get to eye level with Raj.
“I know you have had your own doubts about this ‘Imperium’ that has been built, Kincaid’s silly little attempt at religion? If only he knew what I know Raj. If only the fool knew that the real gods hate us, feed off of us. Would he be so quick to label our father as one? I think not brother. You have seen today the gift the gods can give. The power. It does not come freely Raj. Things have been promised, oaths I can never hope to undo and yet…” The Master of the Chosen stared over his brother's shoulder at the Imperial palace “and yet perhaps our Father is not so different, hmm? Your defenders here are defeated Raj, either dead or in full scale retreat. Take word to Je’she now. Tell him that this port is mine and tell him of what you have witnessed here today, I give you my word none will stop you and I will see you again brother, when our father is defeated and we can put all of this behind us”.
The hordes of Undead parted making a narrow passageway for the Titan Lord to take. For a moment it appeared Raj would speak again but the horde closed the gap and The Master of Manaan was blocked from Galehaunt’s view.
“Kropor, you fool!” spat the warrior with the power claw. “Nurgle would have gifted you greatly for that soul, you insult our master by throwing away such a boon”. Lambach slumped to a sitting position, looking more drained than Galehaunt knew was possible for a Primarch. Clearly whatever foul sorceries he had used to survive Raj’s onslaught had taken a much heavier toll than what Galehaunt had first thought. The Primarch looked almost incapable of moving. Yet another Dreadnought, this one with the name plate Mendel stood protectively between the Primarch and the wayward warrior.
“Not now Atreus” Lambach groaned. “Nurgle will have my brother and his sons, but I will not force him to join our ranks”.
“You were most fortunate... my lord.” Though using the proper title, the Astartes seemed overly disdainful. “If your power had run dry before Raj Vokar’s ammunition, I wonder if he would have been so merciful?”. The Primarch did not respond.
Galhaunt’s vision faded to black and he welcomed the embrace of death when suddenly he was pulled back. His eyes reopened and he climbed shakily to his feet. Commander Galehaunt was confused, he could see through his own eyes but he had no control over his body. Screaming on the inside but outwardly silent, Galehaunt’s body fell into step with the other slain legionnaires forced to watch but helpless to do anything as his body marched towards the Imperial Palace.
Ironically it would be the Chaotic nature of the Chaos forces that would result in their own defeat. Deshain Kane would succeed in boarding Raj's Titan and executing the Titan Marcher Primarch. This action drove Lambach into a fury and amid the ruins of the Titan's head Lambach and Linares of the Silver Blades would join forces one final time to banish the newly risen Daemon Primarch of Khorne. Seeing the Gene-sires fighting both the Gunslingers and the Chosen of Hecate turned their guns on each other allowing the Imperial defenders a much needed reprieve that they were quick to capitalize on. The Chaotic forces of Marduk Engur's war fleet began to collapse the Warmaster was left with little choice but for a last ditch headlong charge directly at the Golden Throne.
Raj lay dead at the feet of Kane. The Primarch of the Gunslingers cackled as untold power began to flow through him. Khorne would reward him well for slaying a champion as mighty as Raj Vokar. In a rage both Linares and Lambach, momentarily forgetting that they were now bitter enemies threw themselves at Kane as he finalised his transformation into a Daemon Prince. Both were incredible warriors and almost any other Primarch would have been instantly overwhelmed, but the power now at Kanes disposal was unlike anything either of them had experienced before. With the Blessing of Khorne Lambachs psychic talents were next to useless and even with how mighty a combatant Linares was his strength and speed counted for little, no matter how masterful a stroke he made Linares could barely keep up with the Master Gunslinger. Without even realising it the two former brothers began to, by instinct more than anything else, slip into their old fighting routine each complimenting the other. Both knowing that alone they would easily be overwhelmed by the powerful creature Kane had now become. Seeing this fight take place the Gunslingers and the Chosen of Hecate turned their guns upon each other. Severely weakening the Chaos bound push into the Palace. The defenders were swift to capitalise on the advantage that had presented itself and fired indiscriminately into the Chaos ranks.
The battle of the Primarchs was beginning to take it's toll on all three combatants. Kane was starting to show signs of weakness now that the initial flow of power had begun to subside yet both Linares and Lambach sported horrific injuries. Only their superhuman fortitude keeping either of them standing. Kane stood between his two opponents enormous, smoking, Daemonic gun barrels pointed at each of his former brothers. Khorne would reward him very well if he could finish off a second and even third of his brothers. Judging Linares to be the bigger threat Kane Launched himself at the Silver Blades Primarch, guns blazing. Unable to defend himself from such a furious onslaught, four holes opened in Linares chest a fifth sending the famous Silver Slayer flying from his grasp. The Lord of Ale staggered and was about to fall but Kane already had a skeletal claw around his throat.
"Pathetic, always lording yourself as the strongest combatant amongst us, but this would always have been the outcome. Now you die Linares".
With a pearlescent flash of green lightning the tip of Venus Gospel emerged from Kane's chest. Lambach stood grinning definitely.
"Gnat!" Kane squealed, with his other hand he fired a point blank shot into Lambach's chest. The light of Venus Gospel died and the Primarch of the VIII legion slumped to the ground his strength finally failing him.
It was all the time Linares needed. Grasping the warped head of Kane in his enormous hands Linares exerted every ounce of force left in his mighty frame crushing Kane’s skull into a foul ichor. With a scream of ten thousand unborn babies Kane's form was sucked from real space leaving Linares hands, befouled yet empty. With the apparent death of their Primarch the Gunslingers legionnaires went into full retreat. This wing of the Chaos incursion was more or less completely defeated.
Linares hobbled to the body of Raj, cradling his dead brother in his arms. Linares unleashed a howl equal parts fury and remorse. After several minutes Linares became aware of Lambach standing behind him. Never before had Lambach looked so close to death, relying heavily on the support of Venus Gospel just to help him stand.
"Look what your traitorous ways have wrought Kropor, all the works we achieved under the guidance of father undone. Our dear brother lays dead in my arms, the scum that killed him is dead..." Linares gently placed Raj's body on the ground "and now I will end you too."
Knowing he could not possibly hope to stand against the rage of his brother, as injured as he was, Lambach spoke, his voice rasping through the ragged crater in his chest.
"If you waste your time needlessly fighting me brother then who will stop Marduk from slaying our father?" he finished the sentence as if it were a joke, as he had done for as long as Linares had known him.
"Even now he approaches the inner sanctum of the Palace, the death of our father driving him to slaughter, none can stand in his way, none save perhaps yourself, also, you think we slew Kane? You are wrong brother, he has merely been banished it will take far more than that to end Deshain".
Linares smashed the ground with his fist, knowing that Lambach spoke the truth.
"The next time we meet Kropor, your head will roll" Linares retrieved his sword and with blade in hand he tore away from the scene of the battle. His superhuman healing factor already restitching his ruined body.
Lambach watched Linares go, completely drained of strength to do much else, when his brother had disappeared from sight Lambach turned his attention to the corpse of Raj.
"Looks like you'll be coming with me" Lambach hefted the majestic form of the Titan Lord and made his way from the field of battle.
The Chosen themselves are greatly divided regarding their feelings towards the Father they once loved. Almost half stick by his side and believe that one day the Primarch will unlock the secret to ending their eternal curse. The rest have openly renounced their allegiance to the Legion and strike out on their own in marauding warbands. Selling their services to whichever chaos Warlord pays them the most.
The curse of the Chosen itself ensures that they essentially can never truly be killed. Once Lambach had thrown his lot in with Nurgle he simultaneously ordered the full scale retreat from Miletus' surface. Each individual marine boarding whichever ship in the fleet that they could get too. Unknown to the Legion though Lambach had agreed to let the Chosen of Hecate fleet be host to a multitude of Nurgles Greater Daemons. These powerful beings merged with the machine spirits that powered the ships of the fleet, irreparably corrupting the great ships and bonding to them the souls of all the mortals on board.
These Funeral Fleets, as they have come to be known can never truly be destroyed, left long enough they will slowly regenerate any damage they have taken and begin the assault anew. Even those that are completely atomised are merely banished to the warp realm and with a heinous ritual and great sacrifice banished ships can be re summoned into real space.
The Legionaries themselves who perish on a planet's surface dissolve and inexplicably awaken indistinct amounts of time later on the ship they have bonded too. They find the injuries that had bought them low to have been horrifically and often inadequately repaired by the swarms of Nurglings that infest every inch of the ship, leaving them with a horrendous, ghastly and rotten appearance, those that have been reduced to slag by weapons in the vein of Plasma cannons can take on an exceptionally disgusting visage. Some hide their appearance beneath robes while many find that they can use their newfound features to inspire terror into those they attack.
The favored tactic of the Chosen of Hecate is to swarm lone vessels and infect them with the blight of Nurgle. Bonding the mortal crew into servitude, disgorging wave after wave of plague Zombies onto a planet to overwhelm or wear down the populations defenses. These indentured ships never gain the full extent of the original curse and once they are destroyed in combat they simply remain as such.
Of the Loyalist forces the Titan Marchers in particular despise the Chosen of Hecate and believe that one day they will be given the chance to recover the corpse of their beloved father and will finally get to lay his bones with the rest of the Legions deceased heroes.
Not all Chosen of Hecate would turn to Chaos though, at very least it is known that the Rune Claws chapter of Space Marines that fight for the Separatists faction were forged by the Primarch Gyhadred himself and given a full pardon for the actions of their Gene - sire. It is also rumoured that perhaps one or two successor chapters of the Silver Blades are descendants of Loyalist Chosen.
Miletus. A world at peace well before the arrival of the Primarch.
Once, after old night, the settlers of Miletus had worshiped ancient Terran gods and goddesses of Grecian or Roman mythology. Gods like Bellona the goddess of war, and violence. Voluptus the goddess of pleasure and delight, Janus the god of changing times and human advancement and perhaps most noticeably Hecate the goddess of Death, Sorcery and Rebirth. Eventually these gods were seen by the people for what they were, mere myths and legends and nothing more. The Planet stuck to the teachings of these gods as the planet thrived peacefully in doing so but open worship of them was met with disdain and ridicule.
When discovered, relatively close to Terra, on the great Crusade Miletus embraced the Imperial truth and joined the Imperial cause with no struggles. As Lambach Kropor had no need or desire to raise to power and the vast majority of the Imperial forces did not need to spend much time occupying the planet The Primarch was at first missed as he happily continued his everyday life. A Primarch could not hope to escape notice forever though and Lambach was in no way trying to hide. So eventually word reached the Imperial governors who immediately sent reports to The Emperor. The paradise world of beautiful architecture would soon become one of the most important worlds in the Imperium and primary recruiting grounds of the Chosen of Hecate Legion.
Due to starting the Crusade with only a handful of Marines compared to the other legions, Lambach loathed to see any of his sons wasted. This led to him often leaning towards a more careful and thorough approach to war. He lost as few men as possible in all of his engagements, while those who did fall and weren’t killed were almost always interred in Dreadnoughts. This eventually lead to the Chosen of Hecate Legion fielding vastly more Dreadnoughts than any other Legion. They would favor Dreadnoughts armed with ranged weapons over Devastators and Dreadnoughts armed for close quarters over Assault Marines.
Lambach also saw his sons gifted with Warp energy as a special boon and would actively seek out recruits who displayed such talents. The Chosen of Hecate had so many Librarians that they kept no standing Librarium, instead the Psykers were incorporated directly into the squads, often as Warp Claws.
The Chosen of Hecate were often deployed against enemies of the Imperium that relied heavily on the use of Psykers, witchcraft, sorcery, whatever the local populace referred to such talents as. While many other Legions could become bogged down when facing such an enemy The Chosen of Hecate specialized in their neutralization.
Predominately the Chosen of Hecate would prefer to integrate new worlds into the Imperium and avoid unnecessary conflict. However when no option for peace became readily available the Chosen would go to war with all the terrifying ferocity Space Marines were famous for. It would not be uncommon for individual squads to be accompanied by a Dreadnought elder. The Chosen usually favoring a slow, steady advance alongside these ancients. Forcing the enemy to concede ground until there would be nowhere left to turn. Lambach had instilled in the Chosen a degree of his own thoroughness. Get the job done right the first time, to avoid having to repeat the process.
Legion Culture & PersonalityEdit
Outside of combat the vast majority of the Chosen of Hecate Legionaries would follow in the footsteps of their gene-father. Seeking out and absorbing knowledge of all kinds in which ever form it could be found. Generally they would seek ways to further the use of psychically talented in any way possible, be it warfare, medicine or some other end. The more war oriented would study tactics and battlefield maneuvers. To a Chosen of Hecate knowledge quite literally was power.
Still far removed from the mortals they were sworn to protect Chosen of Hecate, unlike most other legions were encouraged to maintain family ties and when time afforded would spend time among the general populace. This at first came as a shock to the older generations of Chosen who hailed from the Legion's time as the Warp Claws but Lambach strongly believed in encouraging humility among his sons and realized how easy it may be to forget that the entire reason for the Astartes existence in the first place was as protectors of the non augmented humans not as their rulers. Lambach had hoped that after the Great Crusade was little more than history that his marines would be able to reintegrate back into society as professions other than warriors.
This trait led to the Chosen of Hecate being one of the more approachable Legions by the mortal populace and allowed them to stand shoulder to shoulder with the other Legions such as the Sentinels and the Ussaran Liberators. Held in high regard by the Imperial Citizens.
The Gene-seed of The Chosen of Hecate was considered incredibly pure. With no recorded deviations or mutations. The only notable exception was how long the Gene-seed would take to mature. This was believed to be the course of thoroughness the Legion and it's Primarch were famed for, as much like the Legion it was slow and deliberate leaving no room for error or mistakes. It was a leading factor in the relatively low numbers of The Chosen of Hecate Legion as a whole.
In what sub-groups is the legion divided?
Special units only this legion has
Special equipment only this legion has
Starburst (Chosen of Hecate Flagship): Like all Gloriana class vessels the Starburst is to be rightly feared for her fearsome armament. Her real power though comes from two massive, yet hidden thrusters built into the front right and left hand sides of the ship. Using these thrusters, the Starburst can turn far swifter than any other ship her size. These thrusters are submerged in the hull of the Starburst and enormous gyros will lower them into position when needed. This can allow Starburst to rapidly bring her deadly broadside to bare on any unexpecting foes or allow her to swiftly change heading and redeploy almost instantly. With her bone white hull the Starburst greatly resembles the infamous Hammerhead Shark of Terran legend.
Chosen of Hecate Special CharactersEdit
Radcliff Kaden, First Captain: Born and raised on the planet of Miletus, Radcliff Kaden served in the temple of Bellona, a temple dedicated to training soldiers. Kaden excelled in all martial skills and at the age of fourteen became one of the youngest people in Miletus' long history to join the ranks of the Temple Guard, Miletus standing Planetary Defense Force. Shortly after the Emperor handed the VIIIth Legion to Lambach Kropor, the newly appointed homeworld was sent into a recruitment overdrive in an effort to replenish the diminished strength of the Chosen of Hecate. Radcliff immediately signed up . He quickly rose through the ranks of the legion and displayed a keen eye for tactics and strategy. He reached the rank of Captain despite lacking any form of the Psychic potential, which was usually what lead to a son of Kropor being shown favor. With his keen military mind, Kaden soon found himself increasingly in the company of the Primarch to discuss battle plans. He was also a favored opponent of the Primarch in games of Regicide. Without even realising, Radcliff had become Lambach's seneschal. When the previous captain of the 1st company fell in battle and needed to be replaced, there was never any doubt that Radcliff would take the position. Often times, much to Kadens exasperation Lambach would leave the front lines and the Crusade management completely in Kadens control while he chased down some frivolous task concerning one of his brother Primarchs, or basically anything else that caught his attention more than the Crusade itself. While it may have been seen by some as irresponsible, Lambach had never done so with any other Captain. It was Lambachs utter confidence in Kadens abilities that lead to Kropor having so much free time to pursue other interests. Kaden himself earned the respect of many other Primarchs and their Legionnaires by consistently displaying his general knack for soldiering or by proving his combat prowess as a formidable opponent in the dueling arena. Few were there that could be said to stand on equal footing with the First Captain of the Chosen of Hecate. Radcliff Kaden was also the winner of the First Great Joust hosted by lord Linares, further proof of what a capable combatant the Chosen's First Captain was.
Gaius Mendel, Grand Warp Claw: Gaius Mendel, Miletus born, was the first born son of one of Miletus' leading politicians. Due to difficulties his mother passed during the birth and hence Gaius was never meant to enlist into the Chosen of Hecate, to ensure the family name continued. However Mendel was gifted. Very gifted. The Legion's homeworld recruitment Librarians immediately picked up on the boys talents and paid a visit to the house of Mendel. Gaius' father forbid his son from going with them and begged for them to leave. One week later the Primarch of the Chosen of Hecate himself arrived at the Mendel estate. Lambach understood why the father did not wish to lose his only son but knew he had to have Gaius join his ranks. For three days Lambach spoke softly with Mendel's father until finally an agreement was reached. Lambach left the house holding the hand of the nine year old boy. Gaius was unlike any mortal psyker Lambach had ever met, the energy of the warp seemed to flow through the boy as if he were a natural conduit. Lambach taught him how to control his powers and use them as a weapon and a shield. Gaius came to love Lambach as much as any son loves his father and was absurdly loyal to his Primarch. Gaius never obtained an official rank within the chapter until he was appointed Grand Warp Claw of the Speartip, but stayed close to the Primarch and learned all that he could from his Genesire. If Kaden was Lambachs General, Mendel was Lambachs emissary. Mendel visited almost every other Legion usually taking a squad of Chosen with him and made documentation of their ways of war. Most Legions were happy to accept Mendel but a few saw his prying as an inconvenience while some out right refused him with the threat of hostilities.
Atreus Thyestes, Captain of the 7th: Known throughout the Chosen of Hecate legion for his fury on the battlefield Thyestes was a powerful psyker as well as warrior. Atreus though would share little with the mannerisms of his father Primarch and would show no mercy in attacks that he was given charge of. He considered the option a weakness. Despite being well at odds, Lambach could hardly deny the results achieved by Thyestes and his company and soon the volatile captain had earned a fierce reputation and significant favor from some of Lambach's brothers. Atreus would probably have been more at home amongst the Death's Heads or Iron Guard. Atreus raged after his appointment to the newly formed Speartip following the Edict of Nikea and in his fury openly decried Lambach as weak, of the opinion that his father should have fought harder for his beliefs and that it was this weakness that now cursed Atreus and his brothers to a "Glorious Suicide". An accusation that tore his father's heart, for Lambach believed his words to be the truth. After Lambach's censure Atreus continued to decry the efforts of his father who had again cursed both him and his brothers, gaining even more support than ever before. Perhaps Lambach could have put a stop to the wayward captain but Kropor saw Atreus Thyestes as the personification of his own guilt and made no move against the captain. With the Warmaster defeated after the Siege of Terra Atreus finally broke ties with his Legion. Calling out to his brothers and playing on their own insecurities in the faith they once had in their father. Atreus sundered the Chosen of Hecate, refusing to sit idly in the eye of terror and instead striking fear into the hearts of those he had once served. Now a powerful warrior Lich who can never truly die. Atreus’ vast horde of undead have left many Imperial and Separatist worlds alike barren wastelands.
Tijo Nosebi, Ship Master of the Starburst: It was during the pacification of a planet designated Nova XIII that Radcliff Kaden found Tijo and her brother, after the main city had fallen and the Chosen of Hecate were helping to restore order and rebuild. Kaden heard the calls of the children in the rubble. Once he Cleared it he found two young children, twins. The brother stood defiantly in front of his sister holding nothing but a shank fashioned from broken glass and cloth. Immediately Kaden knew the boy would make a fine Legionnaire should he survive the training and worked on calming the children and gaining their trust, he knew he was fighting an uphill battle considering the Chosen of Hecate had just bought the world to heel. After two days Kaden managed to coax the children out by offering them food. He offered the boy a chance to join the ranks of the Space Marines. Tijo, the little girl was furious that such an offer be made to her brother and not to her as well, Kaden tried his best to explain to the small human child why women could not become Astartes. The best he could offer her was a role as a serf inside the legion. With the lack of trepidation afforded only to a child, the first time Tijo laid eyes upon Lambach she walked directly up to him, cutting into his conversation with his commanders and demanded she be allowed to join her brother in training to become a marine. Lambach, immensely amused by the girl took her under his wing. He explained to her how much he would enjoy having her as an Astartes but for reasons unknown to himself his father had disallowed it genetically. Tijo acted as Lambachs personal serf catering to his needs and he always made time to listen to her stories. The girl had an active imagination and could always seem to find new ways of amusing him. Tijo spent more and more time on the bridge of the Starburst and as time went by her fiery attitude never left her and she would constantly, loudly and much to the chagrin of the Starbursts old terran captain point out ideas and plans for the ship to take, highly against regulations but never less potentially effective. Lambach had her trained to pilot her own ship, the Cerastes, incredibly young at the age of 16, but when one had the favor of Lambach anything was possible. By the time she was 25 Tijo had replaced the old Terran as the captain of Starburst. A role she has performed excellently in. Her swift thinking and gungho attitude affording the swift moving Starburst a captain far more willing to push her to peak performance levels.
1st Captain Radcliff Kaden “The First Champion”
WS:7 BS:5 S:4 T:4 W:4 I:5 A:4 LD:10 Sv:2+/3++ Points:230
Warlord Trait: Unquestionable Command: Aside from his unflinching combat prowess Kaden was also a highly respected military commander who had earned high praise from Warmasters Je’she and Aristide. If Kaden is your Warlord all units within the army may use his leadership for morale and pinning tests.
Special Rules: Legiones Astartes (Chosen of Hecate), Eternal Warrior, Independent character, Bulwark of the Imperium, Champion of the Great Joust.
Bulwark of the Imperium: Kaden was made famous among the Legions with his victory of the first Great Joust. His ability to outlast any opposition became legendary. Every time Kaden suffers a wound increase his toughness by 1 for the remainder of the game. This total cannot exceed 7.
Champion of the Great Joust: Ever humbled by his own victory Radcliff Kaden will never refuse an issued duel. Kaden must accept any challenges issued in the combat phase, he may not let another character accept a duel in his place unless that character also has a rule with a similar effect. However Kaden is not obligated to issue a duel
Wargear: Master-Crafted Boltgun, Artificer Armour, Frag and Krak grenades, Kobaloi’s fang, Aegis of Manaan.
Kobaloi’s Fang: The silver spear Lambach used before he obtained the famed Venus Gospel. Kobaloi’s fang is a Master-Crafted weapon with an AP of 3, in addition it confers +2 Strength and Rending to Kaden’s melee attacks.
Aegis of Manaan: Such was the respect that Primarch Raj Vokar had for the Chosen of Hecate champion that he hand crafted this storm shield himself as a gift for Kaden’s promotion to Captain of the 14th. Kaden would often use it to beat opposition senseless. The Aegis is in all effect a Storm Shield, in addition whenever Kaden makes an Invulnerable save (not an armour save) in close combat he may immediately retaliate with a Strength 4 AP- hit.
The Surface of Túyet-Vong. 859.M30 The gigantic, flaming greatsword, wielded by the titan of war before him descended with the force of a meteor. The enormous blade crashed against the comparatively tiny Storm Shield attached to the left arm of Radcliff Kaden, Captain of the 14th company of the Chosen of Hecate Legion Astartes. A lesser shield and man would have been crumpled to dust immediately, but this particular bulwark had been crafted by none other than Raj Vokar, brother to Kaden’s father Lambach Kropor, and the technological marvels that it possessed were unsurpassed. While the powerful relic shield did absorb most of the blow’s power Kaden still felt the bones in his arm and shoulder crunch with the impact. The Avatar seemed almost comically appalled that one so tiny had dared to survive it’s attack but then roared in what Kaden hoped was pain as he thrust his spear tip into the monster's chest. Ignoring this injury the Eldar god of war connected a hammer blow kick that sent the Captain flying several feet to smash through the wall of a ruin that had now been reclaimed by Túyet-Vong’s natural vegetation.
The deck of Chosen of Hecate Battlebarge, designation The Empusa. 10 hours earlier. “Three survivors my lord”. The thin and hawkish shipmaster spoke. Delivering her shocking report in the same rigid and professional tone of voice she may use when informing him of the time of day. Though even she could not hide the look of horror in her eyes. Radcliff Kaden took the news with the dependable stoicism he had become famous for. While the rest of the bridge crew was awestruck to learn of the loss of effectively the entire 19th company. Kaden’s keen military mind was already formulating a course of action. With the destruction of Varinus’ 19th, overall command now fell to Kaden. At his disposal were Polo’s 55th, Brutus’ 27th and his own beloved 14th company. Spread throughout the splinter fleet. Whatever fate had fallen on the 19th could only be considered the greatest loss of life suffered by the Chosen of Hecate since before their reunion with their Gene-sire. Such a massacre could not go unanswered. There would be a reckoning, and the xenos filth of Túyet-Vong would pay dearly.
The Surface of Túyet-Vong. Kaden rose from where he had landed. Red warning symbols were flashing in his helm’s visor. His chest plate was fractured, split and scorched. His thick green robe was charred and in some places still smouldering with the intense heat generated by his monstrous foe. Blood seeped from the cracks in his plate and his shield arm was numb and obviously broken along with his reinforced black carapace ribcage. After he had fallen his command squad had moved to engage the Avatar and protect their Captain. The fight there was short lived. By the time Kaden had regained his footing only company champion Theocolyes was still alive. Theocolyes stuck at the beast with an expert blow from his Powerfist, a masterful strike that would have destroyed a lesser foe immediately, had it connected. It did not… The Avatar caught the powerfist in it’s free hand and raised the Chosen Champion off the ground, holding him at eye level. The beast opened its mouth and from within a burst of flame engulfed Theocolyes. The noble warrior’s roar of defiance transformed into a scream of untold agony as his bone white armour blackened and splintered. The Champions eyeballs burst in the intense heat as his flesh was roasted from the bone. The scream pittered out too a choked gurgle and finally silence as the beast dropped the blackened husk and again turned it’s baleful gaze in the direction of the Captain. Sizzling blood dripped from the warlord’s flaming blade as it strode in Kaden’s direction.
Chosen of Hecate Thunder Hawk Gunship. 5 hours earlier. Many among the Legion Astartes disliked Thunder Hawk insertion, something to do with relinquishing your fate to the hands of a pilot and being powerless against being erased from existence by a single, lucky anti air shot, or so he presumed. Kaden, however vastly preferred the solid dependability of a ship over the sheer unpredictability of teleportation or the bone jarring impact of a drop pod. The remaining three Chosen of Hecate companies had mustered in orbit of Túyet-Vong with haste and the fury was palpable, brothers had been lost. Their honor demanded satisfaction and nothing but the total eradication of Túyet-Vong’s Eldar population would satiate that need. Still something nawed at the back of Kaden’s mind. The Eldar populace of this sector had been almost agreeable until this point. Offering little in the way or resistance and warfare. Túyet-Vong, considered a death world had offered more resistance than the Eldar themselves, so what had changed? How did they now all of a sudden have the resources to wipe out an entire, veteran company? It felt almost as if they were being drawn in deliberately, the Eldar had an objective yet unrealised by the Imperials and every fibre of Kaden’s keen military mind screamed to him that he was playing into their hands, and yet the honour of the 19th company, and his friend Varinus had to be satisfied. The three remaining companies would make war on Túyet-Vong with a fury uncharacteristic of the Chosen of Hecate. The death world would earn it’s title.
The Surface of Túyet-Vong. The Avatar of Khaine advanced on the ruin and with a monstrous roar it gripped the structures ceiling, tearing the already dilapidated building asunder with a strength unlike anything Kaden had witnessed before. Radcliff Kaden was already moving, despite the immense pain movement bought, the captain of the 14th knew that inaction meant immediate death. Already his enhanced physique was adjusting to the pain, clotting as many wounds as it could in order to keep him at top physical performance. As the beast leered into the rubble Kaden struck. The tip of his spear, Kobaloi’s Fang, pierced the flaming orb of the Avatar’s left eye, as the monster roared in agony and hatred Kaden did not relent. Again he drove his blade into the creatures chest, raining blow after blow on his hulking opponent, his strikes were methodical, practised to perfection, each strike lacking beauty or grace and yet masterful in their simplicity. Each attack made was blunt and to the point. They were blows designed to kill, for show and flair were not among Kaden’s strengths. Yet for all of the Captains skill his enormous opponent showed no sign of faltering, for truly it was an Avatar of war.
The Surface of Túyet-Vong. Several minutes earlier. The Warpclaws attached to Kadens command confirmed that before them was the focal point of the Eldar forces. The robed figure stood facing Radcliff and his squad. Around them battle raged as Túyet-Vong burned. The Eldar Wytch was flanked by a bodyguard wearing a lithe, elaborate green plate. Which, in Kaden’s experience, marked the xenos as a Scorpion, An elite warrior not to be underestimated. The pair seemed calm, despite the destruction being wrought on their forces. Radcliff stood before the pair, in full battle plate the captain easily dwarfed either figure. Still neither balked or faltered. “You have bought this destruction on yourself xenos” Kaden’s voice boomed through his helmet’s grill. “As the deaths of your people had not been specifically ordered we were happy to allow you safe passage from this planet as it met compliance, however your treachery cannot go unpunished”. The waifish eldar sorceress moved in front of her bodyguard and stared definitely at the captain. “Foolish Mon-Keigh” she spat, surprising Kaden with how fluently she spoke the common tongue. “The sacrifice of my people means nothing in the grand web if it means eliminating you here today”. Faster than Kaden could follow the xenos girl drew a small silver dagger and plunged it into her own chest. Her blood flowed from the wound, but not in a way that was natural. The liquid seemed to dance and flash as it rose into the air. Kaden took a cautious step back as the blood, surely more than could be contained within the small frame of the Wytch, came crashing down. Covering the Scorpion from head to toe. The elite eldar warrior quivered and gave a cry, his blood soaked body twisting and contorting unnaturally. The temperature in the immediate area began to rise drastically as the blood turned to fire. The heat was so intense that Kaden had to turn away as the xenos warrior finally sagged and burst. From his corpse a rift had formed and a creature began to emerge. A creature far too large to possibly have fit inside the cocoon that was the Scorpion's body. A towering creature, a monster of fire and death strode from the blood flame. The Avatar of Khaine swung its enormous flaming longsword directly at the Captain of the 14th.
The Surface of Túyet-Vong. Despite his consummate skill Kaden was swiftly losing ground to the sheer fury of the Avatar. He was beyond exhausted and his ability to do more than barely defend himself was rapidly diminishing. His shield arm was next to useless after the initial hammer blow had broken it in several places. It was all he could do just to dodge and deflect with his spear. Still the Avatar showed no signs of slowing, the creature raged at the defiance of the mortal before it. Baffled by Kadens inability to just lie down and die. Knowing his limit was fast approaching Kaden norrowly sidestepped another swing of the titanic blade, which lodged itself in a three metre furrow in the earth, charing all the vegetation around it to dust. Spinning on his heel the stoic captain launched his prized shield from his shattered arm directly at the Avatar's head. His broken bones grinding together agonisingly as he did so. The monster went to one knee, momentarily stunned as the slab of reinforced ceramite that formed the Aegis of Manaan slammed into its face. Already Kaden was moving, what remained of his robes ignited and his armour began to melt like wax as the captain sprinted towards the stricken monster. Even bent as it was the Avatar was still double the size of an Astartes warrior. Mustering what strength he had left Kaden leapt, ramming Kobaloi’s fang into the creatures remaining eye. The Avatar let out an outlandish wail and reared its head. Clinging to his weapon Kaden was thrown into the air. As gravity reasserted itself and the captain hurtled back towards the now blind monster he wrapped his damaged arm around the monstrous neck of the beast. His armour now so badly melted and damaged the symbols in his helmet had all gone from blaring red warnings to dull grey and dead. Using his good hand, Kaden ripped his entire satchel of grenades free, he marvelled for only a moment that they had somehow not already exploded in the immense heat before jamming them between the jaws of the giant. Kaden released his grip and landed heavily on his back, as the Avatar righted itself the captain pulled his Boltgun free. Barely having time to aim the weapon in one hand he unleashed the full magazine. Not all the shots hit and of those that did they barely seemed to have any effect. Perhaps only a single bolt hit home inside the creatures throat but it was enough. The bolt detonated the satchel of grenades and the Avatar's head simply disappeared in a ball of flame. The intense heat dropped immediately as the immense body staggered back, one step, then another before finally it came crashing to the ground.
The servos in his armoured joints had mostly fused and it was only with the greatest of effort that Radcliff Kaden, Chosen of Hecate Captain of the 14th managed to hobble his way back to the slumped form of the Eldar Wytch girl. The fused metal whined and scrapped at the process and Kaden was forced to hold his own weight by using the haft of Kobaloi’s Fang as a makeshift crutch. He was surprised to see the Eldar still drew breath. Removing his ruined helm and letting it drop to the heat fused sand. Kaden collapsed more than sat opposite her. “You must have known that eliminating us here would not end it, others would come and they would seek the same vengeance I have already wrought upon your world, so why?” The girl looked in the direction of his voice with eyes now too stigmatized to actually view him. She drew in a shuddering breath “This was never about your kind Captain Kaden, we sought your demise specifically”. The only thing that hid Kaden’s shock at this answer was sheer exhaustion. “What do you mean? Why would you sacrifice the lives of your entire world just to get at me? How do you even know my name?” At first the girl only gave a smile in response, a smile of inconceivable sadness. The wind blowing her now unkempt hair across her face as embers caused by the flames continued, even now, to fall around them. Finally she answered in little more than a hushed whisper. “We have seen the future you bring Kaden… Your fate will set in motion events that the galaxy will never recover from. Had you fallen here today perhaps that future could have been avoided, but... we… have... failed” Despite his injuries Radcliff leaned closer to hear as the Eldar’s voice grew weaker. “You have failed xenos. Wherever the Imperium of Man sets it’s gaze you will always fail, for we will unite the stars”. “Still you do not understand Mon-Keigh, already the one you call Hecate lays her gaze upon your beloved Primarch, and you are destined to become the bait in her final trap” closing her eyes she muttered out the final sentence as the last of her life’s energy fled. Kaden sat in contemplation for what seemed like hours among the charred ruins that had formed the hardest fought battle of his life, unable to glean what the Eldar girl had implied and no longer able to muster the strength to move the captain let unconsciousness wash over him.
Candle in the WindEdit
Tijo Nosebi ran her fingers through her long, blonde hair, something she did repeatedly when flustered. Lambach’s plan had gone badly. As she knew it would when the Primarch originally bought it to the Legion and now they were on the run without a friend in the world, quite literally.
Tijo had been opposed, as had many of the Chosen of Hecate, there had to be a better way. Perhaps they should have just bitten the bullet and accepted whatever punishment the warmaster deemed necessary. But Lambach was sure he could get his brothers to see his way, he assumed he was closer to them than they were to the Imperium and if they were a problem he'd be able to handle it, so it appeared Lambach Kropor had been wrong.
Tijo, being the captain of the Chosen of Hecate Flagship the Starburst, making her an important member of the Legion was detained with the sixty two Chosen of Hecate warriors who spoke out against Lambach's plan. Not technically prisoners the primarch had informed them, but he could not allow them to interfere with the plans he had laid down. Once everything was set right they would be free to rejoin the Legion, the sixty two had been stipped of their weapons and armour and wore the simple, dark green robes of the Legion. They were kept in an empty hangar bay at Miletus capital spaceport guarded by a single squad of Chosen loyal to the Primarchs cause.
There had been a time when Tijo would have followed Lambach through any hell, The Primarch had practically raised her and trusted her, probably the youngest Captain of the era with the responsibility for one of the most powerful space faring ships in the known galaxy.
She had loved him for it. Everything had changed with the death of Radcliff Kaden, he had always been Lambach’s steady guide and most trusted advisor. But most of all Kaden had been Lambach’s best friend. Tijo missed the man dearly and was certain that had his death been avoided so too could the mess that was now brewing on the surface of Miletus. Tijo agreed with Lambach that Kaden's death was the fault of the Emperors short sightedness and egotistical hypocrisy as did every single member of the Chosen, but there had to be a better way. From the sounds of it Lambach was now engaged in battle with the Silver Blades and the Titan Marchers, the thought was unthinkable.
Suddenly one of the guards spoke.
"The Primarch has ordered a full retreat, we are to make our way into orbit and break free of the SIlver Blades fleet by any means necessary".
With that the guard squad simply left, leaving Tijo and the sixty two to their own fates. Warpclaw Parthenios was the highest ranking member among them so naturally the Chosen turned to him for advice.
"If we stay here we are like to be slaughtered, it may be hard to differentiate friend from foe after what our Father has done" the Sergeant informed them. "We need to get to a lifter and get off planet, there is an armoury close to the hanger where we may find some weapons that will suffice. However we have not got the time to locate and adorn armour. The real question is how will we escape the system?"
"Cerastes" Tijo murmured, more to herself than anyone but the Warpclaw, with his enhanced hearing picked it up.
"What was that girl?" he demanded, disdain for her presence amongst the Astartes evident in his voice.
"I am a Master of the fleet, my lord" Tijo shot back.
"Not anymore girl, you were Lambach’s pet before all this, and now? The Starburst is not likely to wait for us."
"I am still the Master of a Space faring vessel, aye, not as grand as Starburst but my original ship the Cerastes is likely still in orbit. It was repurposed as a civilian carrier but I’d wager still has some fight. If you and your men can get me on board I can get us out of the system, unless you'd rather stay here and die?"
Parthenios turned to the men, his men.
"We're moving out, we get as many weapons as we can from the stores and make for a lander, our priority is to protect the Captain" Parthenios nodded to Tijo by way of apology. "And what do we do when or if we actually reach this ship" Brother Demertes asked.
"A fine question Demertes, and one I have no answer for at this time, for now marines we have our mission, form into loose squads and let's secure ourselves some transport."
The group made way to the armoury with little hassle. Locating not nearly enough weapons to arm each of them. Twenty three Bolters and Eleven Bolt Pistols were all that remained as far as ranged weaponry was to be had,with precious little ammunition. As Well as a box of Fragmentation Grenades and most Importantly a Power Spear. Dividing the weapons as best he could Parthenios took the spear himself but eschewed a ranged weapon. Tijo also managed to find a rack of Lasguns, far too small to be made use of by the Astartes, Tijo felt safer with the firearm despite being painfully aware that it would be of little to no help if they actually were forced to fight.
"Ship Master" Parthenios beckoned her over, "Again I wish to apologise for the way I treated you earlier, this is a stressful time for us all, but it was no excuse for the disrespect I showed you". Tijo accepted the apology with a light hearted smile on her pretty face, "Don't let it worry you, I've been digging my heels in against your stubborn lot for as long as I can remember. You do your job and I'll do mine. Deal? Mind if I ask what the plan is from here? Do you have anyone who can fly a Storm Bird?"
"Amongst our numbers we have several specialists that we can call upon, two techmarines, Brothers Twain and Gerahost both able pilots. An apothecary, Brother Bonfiglioli and possibly most importantly a neophyte by the name of Torrens who was being psychically groomed. Before all this he would have risen swiftly in the legion."
"Well that's handy, now we just need to get through potentially three hostile forces, get a bird and hope we can locate my ship, take control of that and get out of the system before the Blades pound us into oblivion. Easy..."
"Also" Parthenios began
"Of course there's an also..."
"Bonfiglioli informs me there is a storage of gene-seed close by, he believes and I agree that we should check this storage and if possible rescue as much of it as we can, if the Legion survives the Primarch may need it to rebuild"
"That's a big IF Warpclaw..."
The plan was simple enough, Bonfiglioli and Gerahost would take eight men with them, each armed with a Bolt Pistol, they would attempt to gain access to the Gene-Vault nearby. They had ten minutes to get there, gather as much gene-seed as they could and make it back to the hangar. Meanwhile Parthenios would take the rest of the complement “acquire” a Storm Bird and hold it for the time given to the other group, but they could wait no longer. If the Gene-seed group took any longer than that they would have to be left behind. Each man knew they were about to be forced to face off against their former cousins and perhaps even their brothers, the mood did not sit well but what they intended had to be done.
Parthenios' group met little resistance as they made their way towards the hanger. They saw mostly panicked and confused mortals running for shelter and only a few squads of Chosen who had far bigger problems than Tijo's motley bodyguard but they could hear bolter fire very close by. Opening the blast doors to the hangar revealed why.
Hundreds of Chosen of Hecate Marines staged a fighting retreat towards the grounded storm birds, harried by Astartes of the Silver Blades Legion. Tijo's group had the advantage of being close to the ships with no real hindrance to getting them on board. The hard part now would be defending their transport from attack by the Silver Blades and indeed, their own brothers while they waited for Bonfiglioli, they were severely out gunned and in addition had no armour to defend themselves. In a concentrated fight they would be slaughtered.
Parthenios ushered his men on board the nearest Storm Bird hoping against hope that his power armoured brothers would defend the Storm bird without realising who was on board.
"Demertes, make sure the Ship Master is safely secured, her safety is our chief concern if any of us wish to make it out of here alive, Twain get this bird ready to fly, as soon as the Apothecary returns we take off".
Demertes scooped Tijo into his arms as easily if he were lifting a toddler, no matter how long she lived amongst them being physically handled by an Astartes was always an intimidating prospect.
"I am sorry Lady Tijo" the legionnaire assured her, "but the restraints in a Storm Bird were not made for someone as... tiny as yourself, and we will already be well above capacity. Our lack of armour is perhaps a blessing in that regard". Demertes strapped Tijo into a harness that was ridiculously too big for her then hunched himself over her protectively, shielding her from any potential incoming hazards.
Shots were pinging off the armoured hull now. The Silver Blades had noticed the unarmoured and hence easy targets presented by Parthenios' men. Two went down without so much as a scream their bodies pulped by mass reactive shells. The rest of the wayward Chosen dived for whatever cover could be found. Twain made his way to the cockpit and began the process of igniting the engines and preparing the bird for take off as soon as Bonfiglioli returned. Fortunately there were five more bolters on board and the Astartes who managed to get their hands on one were swift to add their fire to the fray. Desperately trying to dissuade any Silver Blades who tried to storm them.
Parthenios stepped forward to meet the first Blade to reach the ramp, with no armour it seemed a foregone conclusion the Warpclaw could not possibly hope to match the Silver Blade in strength or speed. He parried the first two blows sent his way but the third took his right arm off at the elbow, howling in pain the Warpclaw lept back and his brothers closed around him, lighting the Silver Blade legionnaire with bolt fire. The Blade staggered and toppled backwards.
Six more of Parthenios' Chosen went down, their unarmoured bodies bursting like ripe melons in the ensuing firefight.
"We can't hold much longer we need to take off soon" Twain called from the cockpit.
Almost on cue Bonfiglioli, Gerahost and three remaining Legionnaires, each carrying bulky black boxes, assuredly filled with precious gene-seed, appeared at the hangar doors.
"Give them cover brothers, they potentially carry the future of our Legion with them" Parthenios yelled.
Those with remaining ammunition poured their firepower into the ranks of the Silver Blades forcing them to take cover. One of Bonfiglioli's group took a round to the side of the head, showering his brothers in red ichor as he tumbled, the precious cargo he carried spilling to the floor, a horrendous waste but there was no time to collect the crates contents as the four remaining marines sprinted for the Storm bird.
As the small group thundered up the landing ramp Parthenios gave Twain the order to take off. Powerful engines burned as the ship rocketed out of the hangar, Twain and Gerahost being painfully aware that proper protocols had not been met and the machine spirit of their steed had not been properly roused. Small arms fire pinged off the hull as the ship climbed but fortunately nothing heavier.
Bonfiglioli did his best to tend to the wounded with his limited supplies as the small ship breached the atmosphere. With little effort Twain was able to lock onto the Cerastes. As a civilian hauler the frigate had been largely ignored by the combined Silver Blades and Titan Marchers fleet, a relief to Parthenios then that his cousins from the other chapter would not stoop to harming innocents in their quest for vengeance.The human crew were terrified and confused and readily agreed to let the Astartes board apparently in the hopes of gaining some kind of direction. Though in truth Parthenios was anything but certain of the path they must now take.
Cradling the stump of his right arm the Warpclaw approached the Shipmaster. Tijo was settling in well to the captain's throne of the ship, she had missed the simple nature of her first command even while she conquered entire systems from the helm of the mighty Starburst.
“Reports are that Lambach… my father is in full retreat and has been branded an outlaw, with the damage he has inflicted to his brothers legions I doubt they will welcome us with open arms and rejoining the Chosen fleet seems almost impossible, from what we can ascertain our Fathers space faring retreat is being covered by what appears to be swarms of insects. No doubt some further sorcery worked by Lambach”.
Tijo accepted this information without looking up from her work.
“The crew of this ship are not warriors Warpclaw, they are not trained and drilled to legion standards. We cannot expect much from them, but we owe them their safety. Thanks to the trust they place in us we have this ship and we must act fast if we to avoid being discovered for much longer. We need you to make a call right now, what are we going to do?”
Parthenios’ brow furrowed as he weighed up the options before him, what was the best course of action to take? After a minute he spoke.
“Do you remember, shipmaster, our time with the Dusk Phantoms? You would have been only a small child at the time, but both you and I had the chance to meet with Lord Gyahdred”
“Aye, meeting a Primarch is not something you soon forget Warpclaw and even amongst Primarchs the Dusk Phantom is an... interesting character.” A small smile played across the captain’s pretty face as she dawned on what Parthenios was about to suggest. Few of Lambach’s brothers had understood Lambach’s tolerance of Tijo as a child, save perhaps the Iron Bear and the eccentric master of the Phantoms. Tijo recalled being immensely amused by his many strange mannerisms.
“The Erlkoning, he likes to be called” Parthenios mused, “I have sworn brothers amongst that legion captain, I am certain we will find shelter from this storm amongst their number. Until we know exactly what is happening. We can at very least carry word of what has transpired here”.
“Setting a course for Ryamtscho system Warpclaw.” Tijo gave the order to the bridge crew to begin plotting exactly how they were going to get out of this current mess in one piece, but at least now, they had an objective. “Gyahdred does make the most interesting toys.”
“She’s called Swordbreaker Cap’n”. Higgens, the pilot of the small transport cutter voxed. Bruno, who was in fact not a captain, merely a squad sergeant of the Astral Wardens Legion of Space Marines, stared out the porthole at the derelict ship. It was a Sword-Class Frigate. The Swordbreaker was only small compared to many of the ships in his Legion’s fleet, but was still large enough to house a full hundred man company of Astartes. It could easily house their small craft. However the ship appeared hobbled and dark. It drifted listlessly through the void, like the corpse of a giant whale in the ocean. “I have run a preliminary scan Cap’n, no signs of life. Her codifers identify her as belonging to the Pale Hounds, no reports on the status of the rest of her fleet” Bruno stroked his chin and considered this information. What had befallen the crew of the Swordbreaker? A ship big enough to house an entire company floating dead in the proverbial water. What impact could he and the four men under his command possibly have in aiding the vessel? What was this ship doing so far from home? Still, the Pale Hounds were allies, elusive and uncooperative, but allies nonetheless. Bruno would not ignore their plight. With an exasperated sigh the sergeant pulled his helmet visor over his eyes and hefted his shield and breaching shotgun. “Pull ‘er in Higg, we’ll go take a look’n’see”
Getting on board the Swordbreaker was simple enough, some breaching charges in the right places had gained them entry to the frigate. Bruno was not sure what to expect once inside, but he certainly had not expected this. The Swordbreaker appeared empty. Utterly void of life. Not to say there were not signs of a struggle. Blood caked the walls, scorch marks where fire had burned before the oxygen ran out and battle damage was evident on every surface. “Where the hell are the bodies”? Voxxed Knox. “Let’s find out. Knox, Beattie secure the crew quarters and report what you find. Higg, Coop you’re with me. We’ll see if we can reach the command deck”.
The command deck was similarly ravaged, if anything far more intensely so. Still there were no signs of what had transpired. Even the Servitors were absent. “Higgens get on the comms, I wanna know the last thing they tried to transmit. Cooper find out where they came from or where they were goin’”. Bruno crouched by a console to inspect a particularly heinous gash carved into the framework. His keen eye ran over the damage. “This was done by a power claw, Astartes grade, but it seems heavier, more riggid, not sure how that is exactly” “Cap’n I got something’ here, puttin’ ‘em on the voxx” Higgens pressed a few buttons and Bruno’s helm filled with the sound of battle, orders being shouted by Astartes officers, mortals screaming in terror. Yet no sound at all from whatever enemy they fought. “This was over a week ago and it trails off. Records are saying there were twenty five Astartes on this boat” Higgens continued as the sounds of battle trailed off. “Over a week ago? Then who set the ships auto course for the nearest planet less than two days ago?” Cooper asked from his work station. Before Bruno could reply the voxx chimed again. “Sir” came the gruff voice of the Terran born Beattie “We’ve found the crew, you’re going to want to see this”
The squad reconvened on Beatties location in the hangar bay. The site that greeted them was shocking. Thousand’s of human corpses lined the floor. All seemingly dumped here after whichever massacre had taken place. An enormous funeral pyre. More concerning though were the glimpses of power armoured bodies strewn among the dead. Dumped with the same lack of ceremony as the mortals, their precious gene-seed unharvested. The hangar, bereft of any of the smaller spacecraft that could usually be located, was nearly filled with nothing more than these corpses. “Whole damn crew’s probably here Cap’n, what the hell coulda done this?” Higgens pulled the corpse of a female flight officer from the tangle. “Looks like they didn’t even get a chance to scramble their fighters… So where the hell are they?” “This ain’t right sir, what’re your orders?” Knox asked taking in the scene in quite disbelief. “We gotta do what we can for our battle brothers” Bruno answered “Knox I know you’re no real Apothecary but you’re the closest we got. You and Beattie dig through, there should be twenty five Pale Hounds in all this, do your best to harvest their seed. We’ll deliver it to the legion ourselves with a full report of what we’ve found here. Higg get back to the bridge, find out which planet this lump is aimed at, and whatever else you can find. Coop you’re coming with me, we’re gonna overload the core and blow this ship up soon as the others are done. Let me know the second something goes awry”.
Knox dragged the fifth corpse of a Pale Hound from the pile, Even his superhuman strength and endurance were being tested by the effort. There were just so many dead. Beattie, being terran born lacked the same respect for the mortal populace as most other Wardens and simply flung the smaller corpses aside to reach his targets. The Terran was roughly hip deep in corpses when he gave a start. “Knox, this one is alive” Instantly onguard Knox brought his shotgun up and locked it to it’s shield brace. “Higg said there was no returns of life on this rig, can you confirm?” As he said this he watched as a young man, covered in gore rose to his feet in front of the Terran. Knox reached out to the man with his psychic sensitivity, peering into the man’s thoughts. His mind filled with darkness. Endless, eternal, darkness. There was no thoughts, no emotion. Immediately he knew this man to be dead, yet he could not deny the man was moving. “Beattie, get out of there” The Warden bellowed as he noticed the entire pile of corpses begin to twitch and move. He fired his weapon. The round took the man in front of Beattie in the chest, blowing the once mortals corpse to smithereens. Beattie attempted to extricate himself but was soon lost from Knox’s sight as the writhing corpses simply engulfed the Terran in the masses. Over the voxx Beattie’s roars of defiance could be heard for several seconds before ending in a strangled gurgle. Knox continued firing until his weapon was spent, in an attempt to blow a hole through the mass of flesh and free his brother. Then he began beating against them with his shield, easily pulping the fleshy, animated remains of the mortals. Behind him the corpses of the Pale Hounds rose to their feet...
In the Command Bridge Higgens worked diligently, he’d always had a way with ships. He knew them like the back of his own hands, even before he’d been risen to the ranks of an Astartes. His fingers flew across control consoles frantically searching for any information he could find about what had happened to the crew, his brow furrowed in confusion. The records of battle they had listened to earlier, as Knox had said were logged over a week ago. The death of the Pale Hounds commander Yarvis was clearly documented early in the conflict. And yet, only two days ago Yarvis had locked in the command for the Swordbreaker to set a course for the nearest habitable planet. It simply did not make sense. Just as Higgens opened the channel to voice these concerns to Bruno he heard the bellows of Beattie come across and abruptly end, followed by Knox’s yells of fury and the sound of gunfire. It was then that Higgens noticed the temperature of the room. During the exchange on the voxx the temperature had risen to an unpleasant hight. The next thing he noticed was the horrific stench. Far worse than that of the hangars corpse pile. He simply could not match it to anything he had ever smelt before in his life. Even his super-human resistances were overwhelmed and he fell to his knees, hacking bile into his helm. Mustering the strength just to look up was monumental in its own right. The walls of the Command Deck dripped with condensation, or was that... pus? The pustules slid to the floor, taking on the form of squat creatures. With wicked, toothy grins and rusted, cruel looking blades. These tiny creatures cappered towards the staggered Marine. Emitting an awful gurgled sound, that Higgens realized was laughter. They stabbed at him with their foul weapons, most clattering harmlessly against his warplate but those that penetrated burned with infection. The wounds immediately bursting with infection from already rotten flesh. Mustering all of his strength Higgens surged to his feet and channeled his will into a force of pure energy. It pushed the tiny creatures back, crushing them and popping them between the pressure of his will and the iron shod walls of the Swordbreaker. More creatures appeared from the walls, these ones larger, the tiny knives of those that came before replaced by rusted greatswords. Twice more Higgens hurled back his attackers with force of will alone, and when that failed he reaped a toll on them with his shotgun. For each attacker slain though two more took their place. Gore slick blades effortlessly parted his armour as the shotguns ammo drum ran dry with a click, click, click.
Cooper placed the last melta charge. “Ready to blow sir” “Soon as we get the word from the others Coop, we’ll set a five minute timer and hightail it” The next thing Bruno knew Cooper’s head folded back. His arms and legs snapped backwards. With the sound of shattering bones Cooper folded into a perfect cube before turning into a green spark and floating to the ground as a pile of ash. Bruno spun on the spot, reflexively bringing up a kine shield of will power. Without even the time to think Bruno fired his shotgun on full auto. Pumping all twelve rounds into the figure that had appeared behind them. The creature looked like it was once an Astartes, but now it was malformed into something completely different. It had a bestial face, like that of a rodent. Huge leathery wings unfurled from the creatures back. It’s left arm ended it what could once have been a power claw but now a malformed, twisted parody of what it used to be. It’s armour was pale, bone white, trimmed with obsidian black. A tattered, dark green cowl cloaked its body, the hood worn low over it’s beady, rat like eyes. Bruno recognised the iconography worn on the shoulder plate as that of the Chosen of Hecate legion. Snarling and oozing a green pus from the wounds inflicted by Bruno’s shotgun. The creature laughed. “A cute trick, little Warden” It hissed. “I respect the power your legion wields immensely” “What the hell are you?” Bruno roared, frantically reloading his shotgun. “I am Atreus Thyestes and I am the Lord of Death and Decay. I shall bring exactly that to this region little Warden and as amused as I am by your tricks I cannot allow you to interfere”. Behind Atreus, Bruno noticed the colours of his Legion. Knox and Beattie had managed to get behind the twisted Chosen of Hecate sorcerer. “I dunno what happened to you pal, but this ends now”. With that Bruno bought his gun up again and fired. The shells tore great chunks and rents from the Chosen’s armour and flesh. Black coagulated blood sloshed against the walls in a vile spray. Still the creature wheezed in laughter. “Boys bring this thing down” Bruno screamed. “Indeed, let us end this game” Atreus hissed and at his gesture the two members of Bruno’s squad moved past. Shambling in their movements. Their armour, Bruno could now see was torn and broken in a dozen places. Blood oozed from greant rents. The two arisen Wardens lunged to attack their former sergeant. Smashing their fists into Bruno’s kine shield. Both were clearly dead and yet still they attacked with a frenzied vigor. “Enough of that” Atreus said, almost dismissively. Tapping his powered claw against the shield which burst like a bubble. The revenant Wardens clawed at Bruno, trying to drag him down and bludgeon him with their fists. “It has been fun, little Warden but playtime is over” Atreus rammed his claw into Bruno’s chest. Tearing a huge, fatal furrow through the Ceremite. Immediately Knox and Beattie hammered their fists into the wound tearing out great handfuls of flesh. “Fear not, for when they are done with you, I will rise you up again, to serve as a puppet to a different master”. The rat faced lich hissed. Time seemed to slow for Bruno as his blood spilled in great torrents from his body. His former brothers indiscriminately ripping into him. Bruno knew with a certainty that he was dead, but yet he had not failed. His shotgun hung limply in his fist and he turned his head to see the charges placed by Cooper. As the last of his strength fled the Astral Wardens sergeant raised his gun, ghostly and pale, pulling his consciousness from his own corpse. Bruno knew he had scant moments. He aimed the ghostly gun at the melta charge. “Hasta luego” Bruno uttered through blood caked lips, and pulled the trigger. The shells impacted with the Melta bomb and Atreus howled in fury in the split second before he was engulfed in the resulting explosion.
The void of space outside the Swordbreaker was lit in a flash as the ship came apart. It’s core ruptured. The spark of the ship’s death was brief in the great void. None would know of the sacrifice made. The Swordbreaker and it’s crew were officially designated as lost in the warp, like so many others.
|Pages of the Warmasters Triumvirate Project|
|Loyalist Legions:|| Death's Heads - Doomsingers - Golden Mountains |
Knights Stellaris - Silver Blades - The Sentinels - Titan Marchers
|Traitor Legions:|| Chosen of Hecate - Forge Lords - Gunslingers |
Leviathan Host - Loxodontii - Smoke Stalkers - Soaring Host
|Seperatist Legions:|| Astral Wardens - Corsairs Gallant - Dusk Phantoms |
Emperor's Dragoons - Iron Guard - Pale Hounds - Ussaran Liberators
|Primarchs|| Marduk Engur - Pacha the Earthquake - Deshain Kane - Linares |
Calael Bishop - Einchurt - Elsu Eyanosa - Lambach Kropor - Je'She of the Watch
Isekho the Unseen - Kinnévail Kincaid - Zelbezis Dyestes - Ashur of Banipal
Jon-Frederic Aristide - Gyahdred - Valorn Adras - Raj Vokar - Solomon Tyrus
Piter Karomonov - Mot Hadad - Rahman Keita'mansa
|Related Pages:||Warmaster's Triumvirate Timeline|