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Disclaimer: I don't write. Therefore, please take the following with a grain of salt and a tall glass of water. Hopefully I'll improve?
Grand-Master Talos leaned back, his golden cape trickling across his rigid throne. His scarred face bespoke of annoyance though his tone remained steady. He looked down once more to the wretched figure, who bowed awkwardly, its single arm clutched tightly over a charred and almost eviscerated stomach. The figure’s skin was blackened and shrivelled - once he would have stood over 7 feet tall, but today this man’s stature was more akin to a rodent. A dead rodent.
The Inquisition had numbered in the thousands. How could this single knight be all that remained?
Anderson rolled his neck painfully, to look Grand-Master Talos in the eye. He could not speak even had he wanted to.
“Your demeanour matches not your actions. You appear to be the lone survivor of the Tal-Aidur Inquisition. Tell me, were you successful? Was the Eldritch Avatar slain?”
Anderson’s body racked as he coughed an affirmation. Blood trickled down his chin and began pooling before the Grand-Master’s feet.
“Our pathfinders found you in a crater, surrounded by the ashes of both friend and foe. How did you survive the orbital strike?”
Talos placed a calloused hand on Anderson’s head. So this was the Grand-Master’s famous compassion. Anderson’s mind screamed in agony that surpassed his broken body’s torment. Every Grey Knight was an accomplished Psyker, but Talos was supremely powerful – though a little clumsy. Talos paged through Anderson’s mind, noting any pertinent facts. Anderson left his mind an open book, lest the Grand-Master punish him for resistance.
Minutes passed as the Grand-Master’s court looked on silently. As Talos withdrew his presence, Anderson fell to the ground, his face splashing blood onto the Grand-Master’s golden boots. Talos said nothing, staring down at what would soon be a corpse.
A grey-skinned man, one of Talos’ many advisors ventured forward. “Grand-Master?”
Talos wiped his hand, his eyes staring through the man. “There was no orbital strike. It seems Anderson has proven himself an ample conduit for The Emperor’s wrath.
The grey man's voice was full of fear. “He did that?”. Whispers erupted throughout the court.
The Grand-Master stood up and gestured to his guard. “Take him to the Apothecarium. I am bestowing Terminator Honours upon Justicar Anderson. Have a Tac Suit retrieved from the Reliquary.”
Anderson coughed in quiet disbelief as two men dragged his broken body away from Talos’ throne.
“And start a communiqué with the Ordo Malleus Command. They’ll want to hear about this.”
Comments & Critique are very welcome!
Woot! I love it. Nicely written, fluffilogically probable.
Just a point of clarifacation. The Grand-Master is from the Inqusition, or the GKs? His manner would indicate the former, though I daresay it would fit in the GKs. He seems a little isolated from Anderson. I might have expected a little more fraternity.
Having said that, I really enjoyed reading it, do write more soon! The plot line seems ot be coming together nicely, suspense nicely utilized as well.
I like it, just wondering is Talos a Grey knight Grandmaster or an Inquisitor lord with Grandmaster as a title? Mainly asking cause he is acting more like an inquisitor to Anderson then as a brothern / fellow grey knight.
- You must set fire to water or you will be extinguished.
Sorry, Talos is a Grey Knight Grand Master. I tried to illustrate his suspicion, since Anderson is the sole survivor of a large inquisition. He is also motivated by regret or shame, that so many of his bretheren died - men he fought beside, men who were much more important to him than a Justicar. That Anderson survived when other did not is almost an insult to Talos.
I think my writing was too subtle. It is difficult to introduce such complex behaviours in 200 or so words
My (limited) understanding of the Grey Knights is that even though they are brothers, the fear of demonic taint (since they are all psykers) is prevalent within their caste.
Alright, I can see that now that you've told me. But you can shape understanding, or attention with just a few stratigically placed words here and there. And just a few would be needed to clear that up.
“He is powerful.”
“He is dangerous.”
“You say that about everyone.”
“Grand-Master Talos, this is no laughing matter. Were it not for your intervention, the Justicar would have found himself in front of an Inquisitor.”
“You also say that about everyone.”
“It is my job to be suspicious. Still, someone with that amount of psychic energy could become a very useful tool. How many men did you lose on Tal-Aidur?”
“The final count was four hundred and sixteen of my brothers. Eighty-nine of which served with Terminator honours. The loss of so many Tactical Dreadnought suits is almost unbearable... but I fought alongside some of these men for centuries; that this Justicar alone survived is an affront to their memory.”
“Now now Grand-Master, the Inquisiton was a resounding success. If all of the Emperor’s servants could give their lives for such a noble cause, I would probably be out of a job.”
“I’m glad the result pleases you.”
“And unearthing this Anderson fellow may yield even more fantastic results in the future.”
“What would you have me do with him?”
“What else would you do with a war hero? Promote him...”
Also, when a grey knight is of any rank, even that of battle brother, his fellow brothers are of equal importance to him no matter what. What seperates a grandmaster from a normal grey knight is, like justicars and brother captains, he bears the weight of any who die under his command because it was his orders and their fulfilling them that resulted in their death.
Note: while they may be a militant arm of the inquisition, the grey knights follow the codex astartes when it comes to organization as far as chapter size is concerned. In that prelude, you just said that half a chapter was decimated in a single action on one world. (So not only would terminator grey knights have died, but between one and four grandmasters would have died as well.)
Take my love, take my land, take me to where I cannot stand; I don't care I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me.
"The difference between gods and daemons largely depends upon where one is standing at the time."- Lorgar
Member of the Fluff Masters Clan
If I remember right they dont follow the astartes for organization I believe the grey knights are said to number between 2750-3250 but even still that is a huge blow to the chapters strength and would take some time to refill that gap given it takes longer to train grey knights then it does normal space marines even.Note: while they may be a militant arm of the inquisition, the grey knights follow the codex astartes when it comes to organization as far as chapter size is concerned. In that prelude, you just said that half a chapter was decimated in a single action on one world. (So not only would terminator grey knights have died, but between one and four grandmasters would have died as well.)
- You must set fire to water or you will be extinguished.
How about making it a little less casualties. Half a chapter gone would affect the entire Imperum.
How about almost all of the task force for that particular mission?