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please leave critisism
Wish I was dead and no-one cared
Wish I was dead and that I cared
Fear and hatred may build your empire, but faith and respect will keep it.
The 2389th year of Aima’thaya the cursed one
(Imperial year M36 the great crusades)
Aima’thaya breathed deep and steeled herself for the final task that lay before her. She would, no she must, show true courage for once in her bitter, hateful life. Her devotion to the task at hand must overwrite all of her other ambitions and desires. Her whole existence had revolved around the pursuit of power and rising above all of her friends, her pitiful relations and defeat even death itself. It is well known that given enough time everything falls, and that the higher one has been built up the harder they would fall when the inevitable occurred and she fell hard.
As she walked across the endless rolling expanse of green, the fuel can that she had grasped tightly within her palm swayed and splashed its vital contents on the once beautiful grass. It had been crushed almost completely flat during the pathetically short cleansing of her hallowed lands. She slowed her pace so that she wouldn’t lose anymore of the cans contents to the uncaring winds. As she gazed out at the slowly approaching horizon, she began to notice the sun just beginning to recede into the clouds, dark wretched clouds lined with a fluorescent blood red. The sight made her stop and look longingly towards the sky, wishing she could become one of them, to join the souls of her ancestors, to be part of a force of nature.
Her thoughts turned from the sight in front of her and back to her origins and the highlights of the last few millennia. Her dynasty had risen to power in the wake of their separation from the honoured land. They had had successfully seized by from the fractured and divided nobleman. However after a great many eons of ruling the disenfranchised people rose up and stole power from the ruling house. They were cast down, they had their land stolen and the greater percentage of their men were beheaded and displayed in the front of the new imperial palace.
When she was born the remnants of her family filled her head with a litany of lies and hatred from an era long past. Stories of the glories of her family’s previous taste of power were told to her on a nightly basis. The bitter words that her relatives filled her infant mind with were part of what fuelled her undying hatred for them and caused her to kill them decades on. The other effect this had on the young Amia’thaya was a desire to see her family rise to the prominence it had previously enjoyed.
Her childhood had been an utter disaster, the first five years before she went to school were a blur of moving from house to house as her family alienated themselves from and finally were forced to leave the neighbourhood. Her school years were no better; due to the perverted and insular view of the world that she had been brought up with she had little or no social graces at all. Few of the children or teachers could but up with the haughty arrogance that she displayed when around others. During these years she was beaten to a bloody pulp so many times she couldn’t count them, and had been knifed several times as well. After she left school she suffered equally as badly at the hands of co-workers and employers. Soon she had worked out a plan which would help her restore her family’s pre-eminence. She founded a new cult which drew in the dregs of society, filthy, hateful men and women that society had forgotten or rejected. Most of them willingly bent their knee in subservience to their new mistress; others had to be coerced using the currency of the land.
Years later whilst they began the siege of the first city, she uncovered a tome of incalculable age, it was a large sorcerous tome written by some long dead man known only as Magnus the red.
She cursed aloud as she tripped on a rock she plunged forwards spilling some of the volatile liquid she carried all over her front. Her only clumsiness enraged her. Were this any other situation she would have shed her own blood to appease her own personal deity, a being that hated failure with a burning passion and wouldn’t tolerate anything other than perfection. She had adopted this strange and unknown god of darkness of her personal patron after learning about him through many sorcerous tomes that she had collected over the years, books whose authors were older than the heavens themselves. It mattered little as she would give her blood soon enough to calm the changer’s raging temper.
Her mind drifted slowly to the necromantic tomes she had found towards the end of her natural life. She had finally conquered the entire continent and forced it to its knees. They had bowed down before her and provided her with an army of willing men with which to crush the other continents and rule the entire world itself; however aima’thaya still had one more thing to overcome. Death itself. She began the invasion of the nearest continent with earnest. Her and her men threw themselves mindlessly into battle against their foe and eventually overcame them. In the raid on the main city they discovered the tomes of n—ash faded copies of a once great sorcerer’s notes on the art of necromancy.
The book gave her access to knowledge that would expand her life beyond all natural limits and provide her with unearthly powers. She used her newfound abilities in the pursuit of power and she overran the other continents in a blaze of murder and death. Unfortunately these immense powers came with a price. A month later Aima’thaya had began to feel the effects her life-giving elixir. Her face had become sunken, almost skeletal. Both food and water had become an anathema to her. Her skin had become an almost alabaster white due to the lack of contact with the blessed sun. She could no longer feel the warming rays of the sun on her skin without crippling agony racking her every movement. She had begun to feel a keening hunger racking her body to the very core, a hunger they made her bones ache unbelievably. After several decades of this she was dismayed to find that the elixir no longer had the desired effect. She discovered that the only way for her to continue her cursed existence was to slaughter her enemies on the battlefield and feast upon the fallen corpse. She had known idea why it was so specific but she had a feeling the many-faced one was merely playing with her.
This was of little or no consequence to her whilst she had a world which she could rule in her own name and a society which looked up to her in reverence. She thrived under the adoring gaze of her acolytes. She had giant coliseums built in which her citizen’s lived and died at a simple nod from her head. She finally had the absolute power she had dreamt of since she was a little girl. But as all the great men and women before and all of those who will come after her learnt and will learn to their downfall that absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Two months before hand some rumours of a warrior god began to circulate, rumours of a massively tall man, one who was so beautiful he held the stars themselves in rapture. A man who had launched brutal vicious attacks on the nearby worlds and all but razed them from the planets surface, it was said that he was so cruel and ruthless that he would destroy the entire planet in the name of his foul gods if one man refused to bend their knee to him. Her pride and arrogance caused her to ignore an important warning about the oncoming storm.
She had dismissed these rumours as blatant lies and propaganda made up to destabilise her reign and incite a rebellion making it easy for them to move in like vultures and remove her from the seat of power. Exactly a month before the current date she received the most devastating news she received in her reign. Even though she spent her many thousands of years wandering the planet slowly dulling her emotions in the fires of battle and the brutal encompass of war. The discovery that her town of origin had been razed to the ground by ethereal attackers chilled her down to the very bone. It brought the first tears she had shed in millennia to her eyes. The bright red viscous fluid dripped slowly down her cheeks leaving tracks down her face. Tracks which seemed to tell the passage of time, of battles won, of love lost, of the many numerous victims who suffered over the millennia.
Gods of battle and war had rained down upon the planets surface accompanied by fell beasts that had far less right to be wandering this earthly plain than she did. When the martial town refused by laughing in the gods face he flew into unholy rage. Countless hordes of genetic brutes and warp-spawned monsters had descended upon the relatively large continent of alkali. Although they had fought bravely and with all the martial honour inherent to the true peoples of terra, in short order their homes had been smashed and their continent burnt as they were slaughtered to a man. The brutal vengeance of the man hailed as the warmaster was both staggering and immense to behold.
She was shaken from her reverie as she began to feel the bitter chill settling into her skin. It was invigorating and kept her wide awake as she walked forwards into the light of the oncoming day. It surprised her to realise that she been walking for so long but she could sense that her destination was close. The time was nearly at hand.
Clasped in her palm the accursed can continued to swing reminding her of the burden she now carried, again her mind began to wander as remembered the last week of her reign as supreme overlord of the world. She had watched the brutal merciless men of chaos as they systematically burned all the great continents of her beautiful planet one by one in an attempt to force the world to compliancy. At the outset of the week the monsters began by sending emissaries to the city of life. As the other great cities had done, the beheaded the emissaries and send their heads back attached to wicked looking metal spikes.
The very same day the monsters poured onto the surface of the continent, burning and pillaging everything in site. However unlike the other cities she had a secret weapon that she could employ against the invading force, as the men reached the edge of city, their ranks began to suffer incredible bad luck, the more psychically attuned of them were driven beyond the brink of sanity and began to turn on their unhallowed battle-brothers. The serfs began to burn the supplies and ships which supported the men and their attendants.
This had almost no effect upon the fighting spirit and numbers of these goliaths, in fact if anything it served to spur to greater feats of sadism and hatred. The next couple of days was a brutal war of attrition in which the monsters wore down the defenders of the planet with the uncountable hordes of serfs and then launched brutal and exact strikes upon the leaders of the army ignoring the honourable art of war that the heroes of the planet had perfected over the millennia since their separation from the blessed land of terra and their entrapment on this forsaken world.
On the fifth day the hated monsters had almost breached the palace gates themselves. But over the millennia since retrieving Magnus’ ritual tome she had perfected many different arcane arts. The foremost being the rite of the dead, necromancy.
She had spent the week locked up in her sanctum using an ancient ritual circle to feast upon the passing souls of the dying of both sides. Aima’thaya was planning use a spell used only once before in her lifetime. Although she had good intentions to the changer would exact a very painful revenge for this blatant exploitation of his given gifts, even if it was in the defence of her planet and her peoples. As she spoke the last word of the ritual the air began to crackle with vile, foul, warp-spawned air that seemed to physically tear the air apart. The air formed into a semi-tangible ball of crackling electricity then suddenly it seemed to burst apart as it expanded and encompassed the room. From that point onward it continued to expand until it covered the entire continent.
Stories that reached the palace the next day were hopeful and inspiring. The enemies ranks had been thrown into confusion, as they dead of both sides stood up and began to tear into the surprised enemy ranks. Even the demonic creatures were surprised as the corpses of both armies rose up and began to drag the beleaguered attackers to their doom with power armoured fists and ragged rotting bones tore into their faces and tore huge chunk out of their faces. Even the battle hardened chaos worshipping warriors who had betrayed and slaughtered thousands of their own loyal battle brothers couldn’t face the rotting faces of their men and they fled the planet with their tails between their legs. Without the defence the power armoured men had provided for the scions of chaos, the chaos lords found themselves beset on all sides by rotting versions of their former minions. Even the mighty daemon princes couldn’t stand up to the multitudinous hordes of the walking dead and found themselves banished to the warp again in a blaze of hate and glory.
Now as her tale was drawing to a close she had one more feat to perform. She had long ago lost the ability to feel any kind of pain as her body died around her. She could literally feel her nerves dying one by one; it was an excruciating process that had lasted about five decades from start to finish. This would make her task just that bit easier. She had finally reached the location stated by the changer of ways. She was on the edge of a cliff. She stared out over the expansive valley out in front of her. It used to be a lush fertile paradise that covered at least half the continent. But in the wake of the invaders it was a scorched blasted land, devoid of all life. Only a few burnt and broken tree stumps stood in the middle of the land.
Out of the corner of her eyes, the crimson liquid that now masqueraded as her tears dripped down her face. She continued to weep silently for a few minutes. Then she collected herself and raised her hands to her face and wiped it smearing the blood. She sat cross legged and began to pour the can all over her body allowing it to soak into her clothes and skin. She lit a match that she’d brought with her and dropped it on the floor.
She watched in rapt fascination as the flames crept slowly up her body. It moved up her legs and kept going. Then it reached her chest, and she began giggling like a little school girl, she had no idea why she was doing it, this situation wasn’t funny. As the flames reached her face she good herself under control. She uncrossed her legs and stood up. She took once last glance backwards at her homeland. She saw the twisted still burning spire of the palace. She watched the pillars of smokes pour upwards into the atmosphere. She turned around and looked upwards towards the sky. She smiled, a true genuine smile, as she got to see the sun rise again for the last time.
Aima’thaya leant forwards and tipped of the edge.
Hmm, title ideas...
You could just title the story after the main character, Aima'thaya
Curse of the Dead? Changing Ways?
Titles aside, you seem to like burning things in your stories. That said, I've read all of two of them, so what do I know?
In terms of actual criticisms... I can't help but feel this whole story would almost have worked better in a fantasy setting. You've translated the Warhammer Fantasy Vampire stuff to the 40K world fairly well, but it still felt a little bit forced. I know certain elements of the story do work better in the setting of the 40K world (i.e. planets and systems rather than a single world) but there just seems to be a mismatch of ideas here.
I mean, in the 40K world, there are plenty of ways to gain immortality, or at least an unnatural extension of your life - you don't need to resort to a Vampire's Elixir, a Daemonic pact or ritual would probably be equally as feasible. So to me it just doesn't seem necessary to introduce the Vampire stuff when you already have similar ways and means to achieve what you need.
That aside, my two usual tips of 'give it a decent proof-read' and 'watch your repetition' also apply here, to some degree.
Cheers for another story, though! I'm quite enjoying your writing.