Tournament of Blades
This page is a work in progress, part of the Imperium Asunder project, a fan remake of the warhammer 40 000 history.
The Warmaster calls a test of strength called the Tournament of Blades in honor of the Emperor. The winner of the tournament is to be named the Praetorian of Terra, tasked with guarding Segmentum Solar for all time. The Primarchs and their honor guard are invited to the newly compliant world of Cadia, where a mighty coliseum has been erected. There, brother will compete against brother to prove their superiority, and thus their worth to the Warmaster. The Judgement Bringers, Warhawks, The Knights Exemplar, Iron Hearts, Paladins of Kor, Silver Spears, Second Sons, Storm Hammers, Bohemoth Guard, Sky Serpents, and of course the Eyes of the Warmster, are all in attendance. The Loyalists are lead to believe that repulsor fields and Oathsworn medica teams will keep the tourney relatively safe, but they are fools to believe so.
The Primarchs and equerries of the legions muster in the arena with their honor guards. Above them in the stands are ranks and ranks of armored Astartes, here to cheer their fathers' names. The arena floor before them is so massive that the competitors set up their preparation camps and tents inside the arena itself, along the outer edge. The first (and only) match-up is the Crimson Warhawks against the Silver Spears. Cheers from both legions echo the clashing blades of the two forces, but when the spear of Milvious Garmon pierces the Crimson Warhawks commander Samandrial Huss, the whole arena goes dead silent. Garmon screams his treachery for all to hear, and tells his fellows now is the time to turn on their brothers. Garmon's screams are cut off by the telltale whistling of a thousand whirlwind missiles, which hit the stands. All hell breaks loose among the Astartes, with men charging down the stands for vengeance, safety, and out of sheer confusion. Those who knew of the treachery beforehand begin slaughtering their comrades, and the loyalists begin to defend themselves. The arena turns into a charnel house of death and gore, and the Primarchs stand dueling at its center.
Despite the best efforts of the Warmaster's puppets, many loyalists manage to escape the carnage. Chief among them is Bannroud Tenriel, equerry of the Paladins of Kor. The moment the battle breaks out, Bannroud realizes what has happened and rallies his men to him. They fight their way out of the arena while others fight to reach the center. Bannroud and his men escape to orbit, and bring news of the Heresy to Anders Kor.
Enoch himself leads an terminator-armored retinue. The Judgement bringers deploy three company's full motorpools on the planet in secret. Hundreds of whirlwinds remain hidden on the planet until Enoch orders them to open fire on the stands.
Milvious Garmon (fights in the first and only legitimate match of the tournament and brutally murders his opponent while screaming the opening line of the heresy, proceeds to get shot up from a hundred different angles)
Kaion of the 202nd (racks up a lot of kills and a lot of casualties)
Turilbane (gets wounded and secretly defects to whatever that legion was which harbors loyalists from traitor legions, goes anonymous for the rest of the war)
Kashaln (duels a primarch or three, catches the attention of Slaany McRapetacles)
Also there's a whole bunch of veterans and even some bikes and tanks who have shined themselves up to an even brighter gleam for the occasion.
Arms of AsuraEdit
Anshul the Resplendant and his honor guard
Eyes of the WarmasterEdit
The Eyes of the Warmaster watch from viewing boxes in the highest seats of the stadium, propriety not permitting them to compete in a tournament in their own honor. When battle breaks out their bolter fire acts like a vice grip, pushing warriors inward.
Shadow Captain of the 63rd Strike Battalion and an entourage of a dozen veterans. Samandrial's death at the hands of Milvious Garmon reveals the trap only too late.
Knight-Champion of the Hawk, known as The Dark Blade. Zachariah is one of the few Warhawk survivors of the Tournament
Klaus Staffel: Primarch of the XXth legion.
Adrian Feldt: Knight Commander of the first chapter, More diplomatically inclined than his lord Adrian was there to go to all those boring dignitary events while Klaus kept an eye on the fights, Dies in the preliminary bombardment.
Gerhart Berger: Champion of the inner circle, Supposed to fight in the lists, Dies after HERESY in single combat with someone noteworthy.
Detlef Adler: Knight superior of the inner circle, Is mortally wounded and placed in stasis awaiting a dreadnought.
Paladins of KorEdit
Anders Kor does not attend, sending Captain Bannroud Tenriel and a handful of Terminators as a formality. Bannroud and his men fight their way out from the center of the arena, cutting down anyone in their way. Bannroud and his men are among the first to escape the system, and bear the word of treachery to the Imperium's ears.
Primarch Engerand: Participate. Survive the battle with a missing leg.
Raimund: Commander Raimund, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Company, 7th Grand Company. A simple, honest man who refuse to wear too many ostentious decorations despite his amazing record. One of the few truly competent duelist of the Storm Hammers wielding a sword made from the same material the iconic Hammers of the Legion are made of.
Catumandus: Captain of the Taranisian Honour Guard. Did not deploy in Terminator armor because of his desire to compete. Is the first to fall when Engerand is attacked.
Bodocenos: Vicious, brutal and generally disliked by the Legion yet chosen for his sheer brutality. Bodocenos was already warp-tainted and of questionable sanity. He turns to the traitor side and murder Catumandus in cold blood, crushing his spine. Survive the battle and swear allegiance to Khorne. Join whatever legion want to take him.
Fulbert: Master of the first Grand Company. Is crippled in battle and become a Dreadnought after Raimund drag his battered body back to safety.
Dolfin: An ugly, brutish hulk of a man and a mere sergeant in rank. Stand nearly at Primarch size. He was teased as having mutant blood which explained his ugly appearance and large size. It seems these were just childish taunt, as Dolfin proven to be compatible with Storm Hammer geneseed. Dolfin excel in various competitions which involve brute strength and endurance, outmatching several Astartes from other Legions. He is killed when he throw himself between Traitors and Engerand, buying time for his primarch to regroup. As revenge for besting them, several Traitor marines butcher his body and put it up for display.
ROUND ONE, FIGHT!Edit
The Tournament of Blades is where some of the most titanic duels of the heresy took place.
"Everything is in place, my liege. The warmaster has given the signal." The warrior was clad the colors of Enoch's own legion, but Enoch's small cadre knew this stranger was not a true son of the primarch.
"No. We had a plan. This was not part of the plan," Enoch chewed his knuckle nervously, as nervously as an immortal son of the Emperor could, anyway. "The artillery, that a was precautionary measure. A last resort."
"The warmaster has spoken, my liege. The time is now!"
"No! I can parley with them, I can show them the error in their ways, they'll see! I'll make them see!"
"I speak for the warmaster, Enoch! It is an ORDER!"
Enoch glowered at the liason. "You are not the warmaster, nor would I obey that order even if you were."
The confrontation was interrupted by the sudden silence of the crowd, and Enoch's attention was drawn back to the arena. He smelled blood. Far too much of it.
"No... No! Zaul, keep your eyes on this meddling spy. The Judgement Bringers will not fire a single round until I give the command." Enoch jumped down into the arena where he could hear what could only be the insane cries of Garmon and the shocked and confused shouting of the rest of the arena. He walked toward the action but with mere seconds gone by Enoch heard a sound that made him tremble; The unmistakable whine of dozens of incoming whirlwind missiles. He trembled and shook in his rage, at the insult the warmaster had smacked across his face, and the pitiful waste of astartes life that was fractions of seconds away, at the insubordination of his sons. Before he could mutter a word everything was deafened and loyal marines were being tossed about like children's toys. The earth literally shook and heaved under the abuse of the Judgement Bringers, true to their namesake and masters at their craft. And through the barrage came striding, resplendent in his hatred, glorious in his fury, the Emperor's Storm. Engerand.
"ENOCH!!" Engerand roared. A single word that carried with it volumes, and was all that was needed. Enoch said nothing as he drew his blade and rushed to meet his brother. The time for words was over. He had made his choice, and he would see it through to its bitter end.
An oath disregarded, a blade drawnEdit
Klaus was shocked, a rare feeling for a Primarch such as he. The treasonous words were still rotten in his ears, what had he heard? "Death to the False Emperor?" That could not be - but his god-like focus refined through years of warfare broke him from the scant moments of paralysis.
The explosions of bolt shells were everywhere, screams of shock growing louder. Confusion everywhere. Klaus focused.
The Arena was under attack. The Warmaster must be protected, and the antagonists of this fiasco punished.
Klaus could have sworn he had heard slanderous words against the Emperor, but that was not possible. Was it?
All of this in an instant, within seconds Klaus was on the Warmaster, moving him to the rear - eager to get him to a Transport shuttle and out of this madness. Resolute in his decision, he would evacuate the Warmaster, then he would sort out whatever treasonous actions were unfolding in the arena. The Silver Spears, he was sure it was the Silver Spears.
His train of thought was broken suddenly, the Warmaster was resisting his aid? Klaus turned to his Brother about to rebuke his actions - Warmaster he may be, but he was also the Voice of the Emperor, his protection was paramount.
"You still don't get it, do you Klaus? Oh ever the honorable knight," REDACTED shook Klaus's hand off his shoulder, Klaus returned it to the pommel of his blade where it had been seated previously. "And a fool," REDACTED continued, but then Klaus heard it, that shrieking whistle he had heard countless times before, He heard one of his household knights shout, the voice audible even through the crack of gunfire, "INCOMING!" and then chaos erupted.
Shells rang from the stands and Klaus was bombarded with shattered rock. Bolter fire was erupting from all around in confusion. He saw his own men, some firing wildly into the Storm bringers, others scrambling for whatever cover they could find. Many of them lay dying in the sand. Klaus closed his eyes for a moment, his long dark hair flowing slightly in the wind. Then he looked, he saw Adrian's unarmored form face down missing three limbs, and Gerhart was taking bolter fire from twenty or so of the Eyes, "What is the meaning of this?" He questioned, the words could be cut through with a knife. Klaus was no idiot, yet he could scarce believe what was happening. REDACTED smiled and turned to face Klaus at last, "Join me, Brother," Klaus felt distaste at that last word, "Join me in glory, You are no mindless conqueror, No simple general. You were born to lead, And once the Emperor lies dead we who bask in the glory of the Dark Gods will be so much more than that false idol could ever be."
Klaus clenched his hands and his teeth at those words. I swear to serve you well and not bring dishonor to your name, and i return i swear you shall always have a meal at my table, a seat by my heart and that i shan't ask you to dishonor yourself in my service, that was the oath they had sworn to each other, the same he had sworn to Dietrich so long ago, and the Emperor after that. "Brother, you call me a fool, yet you ask me to dishonor myself by betraying my liege, if you knew not what i would answer then you are the biggest fool i have ever met," those were the last words he would speak to REDACTED as brothers. The Eyes of the Warmaster tightened their fingers on their triggers and in a blur of movement Klaus had taken a step back and kicked REDACTED down into the arena. In a swift, smooth motion he drew his sword and buried it in the nearest Eye, And decapitated the one next to that him, "KNIGHTS EXEMPLAR! FOR THE EMPEROR!" he shouted as he jumped off the podium, sword gripped in both hands and pointing down towards REDACTED.
With that Klaus had announced his allegiance for all to hear. His sons echoed his warcry and gained new spirits, quickly throwing themselves against the Eyes. Their superior skills as single combatants showing, as Klaus plummeted down, his sword squarely pointed at REDACTED, he shouted "DEATH TO TRAITORS!" REDACTED rolled away at the last moment, the tip of Klaus's sword driving itself into the sand. The Eyes were quick to respond and soon the hollow pings of bolter fire rung in his ears. Most of the lethal shells were stopped by the void shields of his Catapract pattern terminator armor, though a few penetrated to score his venerable armor. REDACTED backed away into the press of Eyes around Klaus, disappearing among them. They numbered over a dozen, wielding chain axes and swords, Power spears and mauls. Klaus did not care if they numbered ten or a hundred, no marine would keep him in his righteous fury.
As usual when his blood was pumping, Klaus was hard to keep track of. In the next moment he was standing with one of those 'champions' impaled on his sword, lifted high into the sky. He threw him off and cut the one coming to assail him in twain. No more grace than children with clubs thought Klaus with disdain as he buried his blade through the eye socket of one more, turning his blade in the wound and cleaving through the skull to cut another pair of Eyes in two. The remaining eight seemed more wary now, having gone on the defensive. This did not dissuade Klaus from his course of action, And as another barrage of bolts exploded around him he charged forwards. He made swift work of the remaining men, scattered limbs and bodies littering the area around him, The sand red with blood, He turned his head towards REDACTED "Too craven to face me alone? to fight me as a warrior should!"
Finally REDACTED came forth Swinging his power maul in a wide arc. No more a swordmaster than his children Klaus thought as he swiftly ducked under the strike and did his own halfspin, slashing his sword from the lower left to upper right chest of REDACTED. Klaus did not relent for a moment, as he stepped back from his halfspin he quickly lunged forwards to drive his blade through REDACTED. The Warmaster ducked back just in time and the beautiful power sword struck sparks across the black surface of REDACTED's armor.
Klaus did not give REDACTED a moment of rest, too furious to see the coming blow. The power maul struck him in the shoulder, the force of it knocking him onto his knees and his blade out of his hands. He rolled across the sand to a dead marine and gripped the spear it had carried. Putting some distance between himself and REDACTED, his eyes darted up and down the Warmaster's armored frame,his eyes keeping watch to divine intent from the slight of movements. He stepped forwards and made a few cautionary lunges with the spear to keep REDACTED busy as he closed in. Klaus barely ducked another blow as he got too close, and returned it with a stab in the chest. It connected and he forced his body forwards driving the tip deeper as he forced REDACTED to his knees. "Why?!" He demanded, Obviously in relation to the chaos around them. The warmaster simply smiled, white dust and blood staining his black face.
Klaus turned around, seeing brother fighting brother was... astounding. The exits were blocked by the Eyes of the Warmaster. He saw Gerhart dead, Three silver spears including milvious dead around. The body of his second in command Adrian Feldt had been trampled, unrecognizable save for the fact he wore Klaus's sigil on his robe. Detlef's armor had been torn apart by a thousand bolter impacts. As he surveyed the stands , he counted hundreds of his own men dead or dying amongst the carnage. Klaus fell to his knees and ran his palm over his face. He hoped this was just some nightmare, but he knew thatit was not. The coming days would be trying. There would be no rest, there would be no peace. There would be only war.
Klaus spoke, "Surrender, ((REDACTED)), I am a man of honour and oaths. I will give you a swift death, and your legionaries shall receive the same." He wearily got up to his feet and turned around, Seeing no trace of the Warmaster. Cursing under his breath, he went over to his blade and retrieved it before joining his men in the stands. It would be a long battle yet.