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When my dad started playing Space marines he enjoyed the back grounds of existing chapters but felt that having the attributes and personalities of a group predetermined ment that he was working too much to almost a checklist and he wanted to be more dynamic and form his own personalities within an army feeling that after all the most populer chapters tend to be ones that deviate from expectation anyway. With that in mind I asked him to give me some general characteristics that his chapter should have. After several conversations I started to write a story in order to encapsulate the themes that we discussed.
A word of warning to any readers, I'm unfortunately rather erratic in my writing style in that I come up with events, write stories around those events and then work back and forth through the smaller stories i've written in order to fill in any blanks. This means a lot of my stories seem to start in the middle or atleast feel that way to the reader.
The Origins of 'The Dark Revelation' for example need to be written about. The general structure of the chapter post reformation as a new entity and how it differs from other chapters. Severin Ishaals opinions and views of the events pre chapter split as well as other major characters all need further info. But I'll work on that...promise.
In short the story below is far from complete and I'm just trying to get some opinions as to how my writing style could be developed, if people like the direction of the story and if their's things I could make clearer or easier to understand.
An elderly figured wrapped in a ragged cloak that was dirty and stained with age breathed heavily as maddened words forced their way past his lips. His form cast a shadow in an eerie metal chamber, a room among countless others aboard the ancient Hulk ‘The Spire of Dark revelation’. It had earnt its title as its surface had been caressed by the flowing energies of the warp for countless aeons honing it into a smooth twisted spike, impossible to comprehend as a functional vehicle anymore it wandered the stars evading it’s unceasing pursuant ‘The Brotherhood of The Forgotten’. However it’s crew striked often and cut deep, fighting a horrific war of nerves as no side could possibly risk open conflict and be mutually annihilated.
“Child, I have nothing to tell you that you don’t already know, I’m compelled to think that you like everyone else on this ship believes I’m a rambling warped and pitiful example of the dark god’s whim with no secrets to long lost fonts of power or anything of the sort. Yet you still listen... why is that?”
A chaos space marine of waning attention listened to the babblings of this living relic but not out of respect but because he wanted to satisfy his insatiable lust for power and this aged creature knew things other men could not possibly comprehend, although he very rarely admitted it. The bitter old sorcerer knew perfectly well his guests intent but it had been many years since his philosophy of understanding the ways of the dark god’s of chaos instead of just worshipping them was listened to even if only half heartedly. He knew that his time was short and that the two way mirror that stands between this world and the next was to break and rip his soul into the darkness of the warp. The actions of others were now irrelevant to him and now just like the day he fell from the emperor’s grace, he cared more for his own life than anything else and was determined to prove his worthiness yet again to the dark powers that dwelled in the warp before it was taken from him.
In a vain attempt to fake interest in what the sorcerer had to say the chaos space marine passed over a ship sensor report and tried to strike up a conversation.
“Not long ago did we pass a planet with a negligible technological presence on it. Our navigators were confused to say the least, the planet for the most part is arctic tundra completely devoid of any natural life, and although geothermal activity did slightly disrupt our sensors we were certain that if anything did live down there it was not going to for much longer. In terms of any tactical advantage the planet is far from any other world that the races we know of call home, our pursuant will unfortunately not pay it any attention, there sensory equipment is more dilapidated than our own.”
The aged sorcerer wiped sweat from his wrinkled forehead and arched his fingers.
“Did you not come across anything beneficial to us at all then?”
Shaking his head the marine continued to speak.
“We sent down a search probe in order to provide a distraction for The Brotherhood if they manage to repair their sensors in time for passing the planet, however our presence on the planet resulted in an altercation with the local populace, thankfully they were ill-equipped to handle the probes defensive capabilities and fled back into the ice caves, when we arrived to assess the situation and repair the probe we came across a mysterious podium surrounded by metallic runes, at the time we believed it to be some sort of religious meeting place for the natives that live on the planet. Needless to say it was quickly desecrated and prevented from functioning in whatever way it was originally intended to.”
Stumbling to his feet the sorcerer winced and his eyes widened. His guest watched as he shuffled slowly, limping towards a sealed metal crate, punching in a code the sorcerer plunged his arms into the ensuing cryogenic fog, clenching his hands he turned swiftly and slammed an aged piece of metal armour on to his table.
“Long has it been since I wore this child and yet I still toil to preserve it, even if I am to never wear it again. I remember when chaos was a force we were unaware of much less understood”
Intrigued the marine stared at the markings on the surface of the armour.
“It looks remarkably similar to our own; the only difference is the colour.”
The sorcerer grinned knowing full well the thoughts he had set in motion inside the mind of his guest.
“Are we so different from them? They feel the need to walk a so called higher path but it is a path no less bloody... but it is a path to be respected, unlike our own... ours is one of depravity and sickness...”
The Sorcerers marine guest narrowed his eyes and raised himself to his full height.
“The Astartes worship a husk! His thoughts are as unknowable as the stars themselves but they still wish to serve him and to what end? They will kneel before the dark god’s as we do in time; there is no release from there all encompassing grasp and our so called ‘righteous brothers’ will learn this.”
“Do not take me for a fool Farensi! The dark god’s have gifted me little in my service but the one thing they did ensure is that I knew them well.”
“You are lucky you have not outlived your usefulness to us old man...”
The marine turned away as the sorcerer scowled before lifting a great tome of knowledge from his work table.
“When you see Xenos you should think ‘tool’ not ‘corpse’ as all things have their uses.”
“What are you saying?”
Turning quickly to face the aged sorcerer the apprentice soon noticed that he looked brighter than usual.
“It is from an old text written by Severin Ishaal. Long ago he was a well respected leader and was the most decorated of our chapter, the imperium was ignorant of his teachings and believed the text to be merely the ramblings of a traitor, but they were wrong and I myself feel that we took the wrong path, Severin and his co-conspirators sought to end our Dark Primarch out of admiration and respect, not treachery, perhaps my young friend you should reconsider your position.”
For as long as the marine had known the aged and twisted creature that stood before him he had not seen it smile, but something new, or at least long receded stirred and roared to life within it.
“What are you saying? The dark god’s will not tolerate your deliberations, either way what makes you certain that the remnants of your chapter would hold back their wrath for you? They would kill you all the same, they have learnt well the stench of taint and you are nothing but filth to them”
The Sorcerer cracked his knuckles and stood up to meet his guests gaze, pointing his finger with no concern or fear on his face he shouted.
“I am filth? I AM FILTH? Child you know not who you speak to! I am The Sorcerer Aenest K’seth and without me this chapter would not be alive!”
Grasping firm the idol of his faith Farensi pushed the sorcerer to his feet and laughed at his weakness.
Aenest closed his eyes and cast his mind far back into memory; regurgitating long lost knowledge he began to speak with the fury of a man much his younger, spit flecs erupted from his mouth and Farensi gazed on, enthralled.
“When I served the false Emperor of man I served with the fraudulent zeal of a young man filled with self-righteous indignation, no one was my equal for I was Astartes, a warrior god incarnate and entombed in armour, soon I noticed the flaws of man as I lived in the shadow of power, glory and veneration. I no longer fought for the emperor; I fought for myself just as you do now. I, like many others, spiralled downward only to be greeted by smiling faces... and fanged maws. It was not long before our primarch was betrayed by his most trusted friends in the belief that his strange decisions and rapid shifts in personality were surely the signs of taint and they were right. In the time that our primarch usually spent resting; Severin Ishaal and his fighting shadows swarmed in, quick and relentless they scoured his room but he had already left; forewarned by friends who had heard the whispers of Slaanesh he ensured that the tables were to be harshly turned, were it not for the distractions of the Dark Eldar they surely would not have escaped.”
Pacing the room the chaos space marine was urged to sit by the sorcerer, confused and restless he leant against the wall of the chamber and wiped his brow.
“Speak! I must know more...”
Nodding his head the sorcerer grinned and continued his story of the past whilst pulling himself to his feet.
“The Blood Angels had long harboured a grudge against us ‘The Burning Blades’ as we were once known. Many times we came to fight but never war as even then they knew that our primarch was poised to fall and they were merely waiting for their time to strike. Having heard of the betrayal of Jovian by his most trusted friend and unsure of whom to trust they took their case to the inquisition. Knowing that the seeds of hate would ensure their honesty and devotion to the task at hand the inquisition designated The Blood Angels judge, jury and eventual executioner deciding that even the faithful ones could still be turned to chaos if they were left undealt with. Having no alternative we took our remaining ships and fled with our Primarch Jovian, leaving many of our brothers to their own ends before the Blood Angels had the chance to strike. I saw a noble man turn ravenous that day as Jovian prayed to all who would listen to spare his chapter, his fall into chaos was now complete as the dark mind of Slaanesh shouted the twisted thoughts that he shared with us that day, lithe and sinister, resolute and defiant ‘I’ve looked into your eyes and I have seen what lies beneath’ darkness had consumed Jovian and he was cursed to see knives in the shadows wherever he went.”
Farensi stepped forward and clenched his fist; he forced it to his side and spoke.
“What became of the emperor’s lapdogs? How did they evade the pathetic Blood Angels or the touch of Slaanesh?”
“Time and preparation child, Unknown to me and my fellow seers we were not the only ones with eyes for the events that were to pass and they refused to sit idle and watch us work, although they made life difficult for us their inexperience was their downfall as I had seen the failure of Severin in many ways, his success was an impossible outcome as far as I could divulge. The faithful following the guidance of their Commander El Mieros, fled to far off worlds in the hope that Severin Ishaal and his ‘fighting shadows’ would put an end to the madness that had gripped a hold of Jovian. The Blood Angels insist that those who did not escape into the warp as we did perished in time without guidance or purpose they threw their selves at foe’s many times their greater. However many brothers wandered the rim for millennia in search of Severin, untainted and defiant. The Imperium may have turned its back on them but they still fought in its name. If they ever found Severin I do not know but he was not the traitor in all of this and they will follow his last message to the bitter end; ‘Purge the Heretic!’.”
The marine began to panic, disturbed by Aenest’s words he lunged forward at the sorcerer’s throat. Gently flicking his fingers outward Aenest created a barrier of energy blocking the marine’s path and knocking him to the floor.
“Child now is the time of your redemption and instead you seek to take my life? I have not lost my mind and I’m not a mangy dog that needs to be mercifully ended. Meet The Forgotten when they next land to search for resources, they should be passing the planet that you mentioned soon enough, modify the probe to give out a more powerful energy reading so it can get through the volcanic activity, give them a reason to stop”
Picking himself up off of the floor the marine rubbed his neck and shouted rage filled words;
“Why would they listen to me? How do you know they won’t just kill me on sight? ”
The Sorcerer strained his brow, deep in concentration his mind wandered desperate for a solution.
“Take my armour, it is as pristine as the day it was made, it might be enough to hold back their weapons, tell them you are an escaped prisoner. I can’t say they’ll believe you but they will let you speak, use your words well and become one of them, my intent will become clear to you in time...”
Eranos had fought long and hard alongside men he had come to know as brothers. Using ships from millennia past ‘The Brotherhood of the Forgotten’ travelled ever nearer to their eternal foe; unsure of technology and power available to the now ‘Blackened Sabres’, they always ensured that their arrival would not be well announced. Eranos like many others was merely a space marine abandoned to die on a tainted world that by either fate or lucky coincidence was rescued by the Brotherhood and instructed on their principles and wisdom by ‘The Forgotten Guardian and his Fighting Shadows’ or as the rank and file refer to them ‘The Shadow Guardians’.
The Brotherhood of The Forgotten did not always fight beneath that name, after the Horus heresy the loyalty of many chapters was tested, however The Burning Blades did not fall from grace at that time although it’s effects resonated well within the chapter and in fact its demise came from a battle on the inside. Its primarch ‘Jovian Drhal’ had elevated his most trusted friend; Commander Severin Ishaal to his side only to have his actions questioned at every turn by him, but for good reason. Jovian had grown restless and over eager to spill blood on the fields of battle, too often did he instruct his men to dive head first into horrific blood baths against creatures with little means of defending their selves, Severin was certain that his friend had succumbed to the taint and his actions would later forge the paths of many lives over years of conflict. Eranos had been taught that what lurked within the oldest members of the brotherhood was both a blessing and a curse as they like their Primarch of ages past must fight the temptations of chaos or surely they would succumb to it just like he did, however this blackened gene seed within them gave them great knowledge of the creatures of the warp and kept them mindful of the ways of chaos and how it could be best avoided. Thankfully his gene seed was that of an Imperial fist however this ensured that he was never to be fully embraced by his new found chapter as he did not understand their strange drives and motivations. Bearing that in mind his first mission made him nervous and uneasy as it was determined to be a wise course of action to place him in command in the belief that it would ensure his loyalty.
A desolate ice world, it lacked any sort of resources or scientific interest, normally The Brotherhood would not commit their limited manpower to investigating such a place; however sensors had detected a minor sophisticated power generation unit emanating from the planet’s surface. Even though it was likely to be just an abandoned probe The Brotherhood decided that the opportunity of harvesting vital resources and intelligence on what sort of technology The Blackened Sabres had available to them was too great to ignore and as such sent down a scout party.
Removing a small device from his pocket Eranos rubbed its screen clear of any dirt and began to dictate to a small vox opening on its surface.
“It has been many days now since we were deployed to investigate the energy readings on this Barren arctic planet, food and fuel is running low and the cold is starting to grind our scout team down, we are heading in the right direction according to our sensor equipment but I doubt we’ll be capable of a return trip, if any long range communication equipment got left behind near the power source we are investigating and it still actually functions we might just get a response, however with the recent volcanic activity near our evacuation point it might be wise to split up and have team two find a safer evac zone “
Placing his device into his pocket, he continued to stumble ever onward into the snow. Gesturing for his team to follow he clutched his bolter firmly to his chest.
Subtle whispers wandered softly through the air as the winds embraced them. Adjusting the vision setting on his helmet display he noticed what he believed to be a small Eldar amulet resting in the snow, rubbing it in his hands it began to flicker casting an odd shadow in his cupped palms. Throwing it to the floor, he shielded his face. Having been wounded before by the possessions of fallen Eldar he was right to be wary. Instead of exploding the amulet hummed and casted out projections of unusual glyphs and runes, unlike anything Eranos had seen before he starred onward in amazement.
Humming ever louder the amulet sunk into the snow, steam rising from its resting place. The ground began to shake uncontrollably. The thick snow flowed from beneath him; stepping backwards the snow began to cascade into a widening chasm forcing him to leap, diving to the floor he breathed deeply and clutched his chest.
“Stay back! We don’t know what this thing is capable of.”
Slowly a structure of wondrous ethereal beauty, carved from stone and crystal it arose ponderously from the depths. Damaged and corrupted by wicked chaos symbols the structure, whatever it used to be, was now incapable of performing its intended task. Glistening white earth flowed from cracks and fell from ledges; a disturbing glow flickered in the dark as it broke through the aged layers of dirt and ice.
Cascading wisps of silver flew through the air, weaving intricate almost uniform patterns. Moving with incredible speed they washed over Eranos like a harsh wind that nipped his skin. Crippled, he could not move. Or speak. Only fall to the ground and writhe, his blood flowing into intricate shapes in the snow. A bright light shone into his eyes forcing him to recoil in agony. A cold harsh tone rang outward that gave no illusion of subtlety, forcing Eranos’ scout party to grasp their ears to shield them from the noise....
Well that's all I've got so far, I do have an ending but it's the gap between at the moment but ye i'll let you guy's think about it.
+rep, me likes it, MOAR
....Soren, a young initiate scout grasped his rifle firmly and began to shoot the structure in an attempt to disable it. Before the bullets even reached it they completely disintegrated causing it to violently react blasting a wave of energy outward, knocking Eranos out of its hold and the other scouts to the floor the structure sunk beneath the earth and snow once again.
Soren wiped his eyes clean of dirt and blood and struggled to his feet, looking around he saw the rest of his party doing much the same, apart from Eranos who was still bloody and motionless.
“I’m going to check over Eranos, keep an eye on the perimeter, that machine could still be operational.” He shouted to the rest of the team.
Slinging his rifle over his shoulder he walked forward and kneeled next to Eranos, whispering to himself he checked Eranos’ pulse.
“You’re not dead yet brother but there’s not much I can do to prevent it happening without any medical equipment...”
A figure walked from the horizon, obviously humanoid in structure he was not a native beast of this frozen tundra. Soren gestured to his fellow scouts to fall in and hold ground, they could not rule out the possibility that this being was an agent of the forces of chaos, a traitor marine or a hideous daemon.
In a loud authoritative voice the creature spoke with an air of arrogance and disrespect.
“Stay your arms! I am Farensi, I come to speak with brothers that I have not yet come to know, I know about this world and what lay ahead of you, I am a space marine of The Burning Blades and I mean you no ill harm unless you ask of it!”
Soren turned to his brothers for support but all he saw were gritted teeth, they knew as well as he did that the man before them was nothing but a shade, they had come across daemons many times before masquerading as lost allies. This occasion they believed was no different; always striking from a position of power the man they were encouraged to believe was called Farensi would wait for an opportunity to dominate the willing and destroy the defiant. Yet Soren hesitated, something was different, something was wrong.
“I am no judge of character Farensi, nor great leader of man, but it would be wise of you to show yourself and earn my trust instead of expecting it. I have been burnt many times before and believe me I would not worry myself with the possibility that you were an honourable man if it spares me from being burned again.”
Farensi lowered his bolter then threw it to his side and walked free of the blinding light. He was clad in armour and robes similar to ones that Soren had seen long ago in the great armouries of The Brotherhood of the Forgotten’s lead fleet ship ‘Reaper’s Star’.
Few people are left from the time of the chapters founding except perhaps the fighting shadows but The Burning Blades were created as successors to The Dark Angels. Much like their ancestors, The Burning Blades were conflicted and this as we know brought about their undoing but unlike The Dark Angels their fate was to be dictated by the events surrounding their division.
“I have travelled far to see what became of my brothers, your decision to name yourselves The Forgotten is without good cause, The Blood Angels still cry for your destruction and they will not rest for as long as you draw breath your destruction will be a failing of theirs.”
Soren walked forward with his arms outstretched and his brothers carrying Eranos behind him.
“I understand well that we have more enemies than most but as you can see our priorities are with defending our own, you have not yet proved yourself in my eyes yet marine”
“That device that attacked you was a trap left by The Blackened Sabres, they besmirch our true name and seek to lead you to your ruin but you have to listen, I know where you can send a transmission and get off this wasteland before it strikes again....”
I'm working on chapter 3 atm, i was going to write a bridge gap between Eranos and his teams rescue and Farensi boarding the reapers star but i decided it would be best to assume that nothing of interest occured during that time and skip forward to Farensi's trial of true intent before the shadow guard. The trial of true intent is something that all rescued humans go through to prevent being marked as tainted and destroyed.