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Looks like I'll be playing against Necrons and Tau this weekend. So, in preparation I threw together some pre-game fluff to help me and the other players get into it with some gusto.
Solstice 7 loomed large in the viewscreens mounted around the mess hall of the thunderhawk. Vet. Sgt. Lucas was watching the room where some marines watched the screens intently, while most went about finishing their meals as the green and white planet slowly filled the screen. It was a planet that had remained untouched by war, not near any significant travel lanes or close enough to any military targets. Really, a planet that should not warrant a visit by Murder 3 of the Space Marine Chapter called the Stormcrows. This was however not unusual for the Stormcrows who followed the commands of the Librarian Prophet Iberius, which were based on omens in dreams. The Stormcrows found themselves in the right place at the right time again and again, usually in backward planets like these where there were no other Imperium forces around. Their success at ferreting out forward forces of Xenos or Chaos earned them begrudging respect from other Chapters. Some however, and specifically Lord Inquisitor Nicodemus, thought this was a gift of the Chaos gods and mistrusted the Stormcrows or at the very least thought them a joke.
Lucas shrugged at these thought and finished his cup. Over the rim of the drink he spied Iberius sitting alone as usual, watching the looming planet on a screen. Lucas stood and walked over, straightening his uniform and adjusting the bolt pistol at his side. Iberius held the status of Codicier, a lower rank among the Librarians, but he was for all intents and purposes the Commander of the Stormcrows and so Lucas treated him as if he was of higher rank. Because Iberius was born blind, a defect in his geneseed, the Librarium would never promote him. Fools, thought Lucas.
" Commander." said Lucas, and saluted rigidly. He, as the rest of the Stormcrows, had reverence close to worship for Iberius. They had been made from his geneseed, and he had a holy gift from the Emperor to foretell the future and because of it the Stormcrows were a valuable tool to the Imperium. Iberius did not even look up and Lucas had that same eerie feeling he always got when he approached Iberius that he was expected, even when he'd just walk over on a whim, as he had just now. "Lucas, I would again remind you that such formalities are unnecessary, specially given the closeness of our ranks. But you will pay me no heed. I mention it only so it would be said. Sit with me and I will answer your question." All was said simply, as matter of fact. Lucas sat, feeling Iberius' gaze despite the Librarian being transfixed on the viewscreen now filled with the planet, swirls of white clouds visible. He was used to the Librarian's habit to jump ahead in the conversation, addressing things yet unsaid. At first it had been startling, but now it was mostly a time saver. They sat in silence a moment then Iberius sighed and looked away from the viewscreen, his silver cybernetic eyes, a trait of all Stormcrows, staring forward. They gave him sight, but still one would get the impression of his born blindness. Iberius spoke again " The visions are as always too general Seargent, and as always I regret not being able to tell you much to help you prepare Tengu squad better." Lucas nodded. Speaking was usually excessive with Iberius since the man seemed to pick up on your answer's by some form of empathy, or simply already knew what you were going to say. Again, rather disturbing to have a conversation with, unless you had known him for some time.
Iberius continued; "The dream shows ranks of scarecrows marching, invisible strings pulling them along, filled with not but hay and palpable hate. The crows swarm them, and claw them, but they do not bleed and they do not stop. Then.." Iberius paused a moment, his features becoming rigid. "..then the blackness of the night grows eyes and stands on the ground amongst the scarecrows, and crows fall dead from the heavens as thick as rain." It was this last bit that had Lucas talking to Iberius now. He had heard it all once before during the debriefing prior to leaving the last planet. He had hoped to gain some more insight by hearing it directly. Tengu squad, his squad, used jump packs to get into battle - Stormcrows that flew. This raining dead crows from the heavens was unsettling. Iberius paused just long enough for Lucas to finish his thought. " But we are not alone on the field. Tin men watch, cold, from the hills over the killing field. And as crow and scarecrow become a mass of battle, the tin men open their mouths and spit forth great beams of light that fill the night and make it as if pure day." Iberius sipped his glass of water. He never drank anything else - there was enough skepticism of his visions without him fueling them with claims of drunken rants. " I am sorry Lucas, the dream shows nothing else. On that planet we will find an enemy, and we will find one that may be both enemy and ally. But most of all we will bleed and die..." Lucas broke in with a smirk" ..and win. For the Emperor." Iberius smiled, as Lucas knew he would. Lucas' unbridled bravado and presumptuous optimism usually helped bring Iberius out of his melancholy. "Of course Lucas. Honor and Glory." Iberius said, giving Lucas a warm look despite cold, unblinking silver eyes. "Blessed are they that reap the sinners from the sight of the Emperor." replied Lucas from the readings of Inquisitor Hand. Iberius smiled a bit broader then, and looked back at the viewscreen. "Indeed Lucas. Let us hope that blessings stop bullets then..". And with that Lucas was dismissed, he knew. Like if an invisible something that held him in attention suddenly vanished. Lucas stood, saluted again, and made his way out of the mess hall looking for a Chaplain. Blessings stop bullets..maybe an idle comment, but he was going to have the Chaplain bless every last power suit in his squad before setting foot on that planet that might very well be his graveyard.
Stormcrows Chapter of the Space Marines