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Ok, this has already been posted up in the Literature forum under the guise of the fluff for a member of an Inquisitor warband, but I dropped the character and it seemed a shame to abandon the start with it. So, in a road test for an idea of mine, I will post this up again now and anybody with ideas on where to go next can PM me with their ideas. Anything goes: new characters, events, plot threads - anything. If I like an idea enough, I will use it. Its a shameless cop out from me, but meh, I don't have time to think of ideas for three stories by myself and I thought this might be quite fun.
Kreston was a dead world.
It was a fact undisputed by the veteran guardsmen of the 77th Korenian, and Lord General Lorena was inclined to agree. The sun rose majestically over the barren, jagged peaks of the planet’s equatorial mountain range, washing the white desert sands with brilliant crimson light.
The Lord General was a hard man in his early sixties, his face lined with age despite the extensive juvenat treatments he underwent. His storm-cloud grey eyes flashed dangerously in the light as he fixed his unflinching gaze upon the mountains, the rock formations stark black against the orange sky. His lips, sunken where they gripped the stub of a lho-stick, were cast into a grimace, and his close cropped silver hair glinted like steel in the harsh sunlight. His skin was tanned by multiple sunlights and as tough as old leather. His threadbare coat blew in the unnatural wind, and he reached into his inside pocket for his gold-chased bolt pistol, concealed beneath rows of medals pinned to his coat facings. His left hand gripped a pair of battered magnoculars.
Behind him, half a dozen Korenian troopers sat, warming calloused hands over a guttering campfire. Their ancient bolt action rifles were shoulder slung, bayonets rusting and wicked. They huddled close, sheltered by the form of an old Salamander Command vehicle, its grey-painted flanks flaking to reveal orange rust. Inside it lay yet more weapons; trophies from a thousand campaigns.
The Korenians were hard men, old soldiers used to the trials of combat. Their fur trimmed greatcoats were patched and worn from years of use, but Lorena was glad to have them under his command. They were fine soldiers, and had served under the tough general for years.
Kreston was a hard fight. The world lay to the rear of the Crusade supply lines, and the Warmaster could not afford to let the world slip from Imperial rule. The rebels had risen from the dusty plains and dunes, armed with ex-guard issue weapons, and within days they had captured the Imperial governor Khirat Khan, butchering him and stringing up his corpse as a sacrifice to forbidden gods.
The Imperium had been swift to respond. Units headed for the main crusade battlefields were instantly diverted to Kreston, Lorena’s beloved Korenians amongst them. The Imperial tacticians had assured him that the war would be over shortly, freeing the regiment up for other, more glorious assignments.
They had been wrong.
The rebels on Kreston were powerful, and had the support of the local hillmen secessionist tribes which had long sought for an exit from the yoke of Imperial rule. Battalions and even entire regiments disappeared while crossing the desert on the first day of campaigning, later reappearing as skeletons stripped clean by the raging sands, leaving only gleaming white behind. After three regiments of Aldatian rough riders had been lost in this fashion, guard high command had ordered that regiments only travel using orbital landers, slowing progress further.
Then, the Chaos Space Marines had arrived.
The traitor Astartes struck the Imperial expeditionary force with the destructive force of a thunderbolt. Entire fortifications, recently recaptured by the guard, fell within days to the foe as they advanced relentlessly. Only the efforts of Lorena's Korenians had held the line, but they couldn't hold out much longer. Already, thick black plumes of greasy smoke marked the Chaos advance as they performed their vile sacrificial rites, and the growl of engines drew closer every day.
Turning away, Lorena cast his eyes over to the hooded form of the astropath attached to his command group and strode over to the man. The psyker's features, hidden by the emerald hood, were sunken and pallid, and he twitched nervously as an artillery shell detonated in the distance. Lorena gestured to him and the astropath nodded, leading the general to a small tent with an aquila emblazoned across the door.
Inhaling sharply, Lorena stepped in and read the message he hoped would save their lives.
I completely missed this one, sorry!
Better late then never, lets see what my brain can come up with.
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