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The rounds clipped into the wall beside him, the bullets chipping the mosaic beneath him, its ancient majesty ruined before his sight. The statue beside him was lifted from its life long perch as a large round smacked into its left leg, another following impacted to its chest, blowing the fragile plaster though his hair. Like a towering titan it fell upon a man cowering to its side, crushing him in a last act of its greatness. An explosion racked though the temple as more of the zealots were thrown from the hiding places, cowering and returning fire into the attackers.
Floyd stood in the besieged Temple hall as more of the freaks bared their fangs through the entrance. His blade purred beside him, the recently gorged blood flaking from its teeth further desecrating the tapestry nearby. New foes came upon him as he moved though the carnage like reaper, winging left and right as the un-clean fell beneath him; he trod their ashes and was glad. One of the lord’s mighty Temple cities known to this world, attacked on all sides by the scourge of the chaos. Yet this place was not without its bastions, the unclean thrown from its steps in their hundreds by the faithful and those that reached the steps were cut down by those such as Floyd, members of the holy order.
The grand cannons sounded again and again, their deafening anger tearing into the air and resounding on impact with the approaching metal titans tearing them into ruins of scrap. Yet as is the way with filth and the un-clean there is always more to clean out, more to kill. The mountains roared beneath the feet of an army of filth, the resounding reply was the screaming of the faithful that would stand to the last.
Such memories brought a tear to Floyd eyes, they were the days he lived for, and he had been 70 at that time...
The light had turned to dark and the day to night. The cannons could still be heard firing above the fighting, 30 booms, and 2 less than the last volley… The faithful had been pushed back to the upper defences, one line now stood between the enemy and the temple they sought to bring low.
Of the 20 members of the holy order that had rallied to the temple, only 6 remained. The others having fallen in the glorious carnage and bringing many foes screaming to hell with them. Floyd was amongst them still, half of his left ear missing and one of his fingers destroyed on impact with a sword that had tried to cut his blade in half and failed. He and the others were formed up at the forefront of battle.
Just to give scale to the battle the fought in over 8,000 of the faithful had fallen in the Temple city’s defence. The dunes around its bastions, hidden beneath a literal sea of un-countable minions, daemons and heretics that had tasted their sanctified rage stretched for miles around. However even with the amount that had fallen there were always more to take their place; the daemons and minions of evil are many and faceless. Yet in the surviving mass one thing stood above all others. A giant vehicle of massive dimensions that pounded the fortress with the mighty cannon mounted on its chassis. The shells it rained down taking entire blocks out of existence and making the fortress guns seem like child’s play in comparison.
A man to Floyds left was thrown back as a long shafted spear impaled him to the wall, another man selflessly throwing himself in front of Floyd as another two spears made towards him. His sacrifice was not in vain as Floyd charged forth and hacking the vile heretics from their perch above the wall. A second wave was already approaching from below that dwarfed the last. Even faith can only hold for so long...
Another two men gutted protecting Floyd’s flanks as he slit their killers into pieces along with the vile ones that stood either side. A tear trickled down Floyd’s right eye as he witnessed yet another selfless act by a man who grabbed an enemy’s sword with his own body and used his last strength to pull the man within Floyd’s arc. Such acts of Martyrdom were what great legends are told of, yet this one would never be told.
Floyd lost the end of his nose as a giant axe swung to cleave his head. Its reverse stroke caught by one of the Faithful in the stomach as Floyd beheads the great daemon that wielded it. Of the defence around 2,000 men still survived. Only 4 of the Holy order left standing as the previous wave retreated. Next up 8 great men with large shields marched forward and the four Priests signalled for the faithful to stay back. Huge clubs and frames blotting into silhouettes that towered before the moon.
The black armoured giants clambered up the ruined steps, their mighty boots simply o heavy to be affected by the torrent of blood that flowed downwards like a stream, crimson red. One of them swung low, aiming for Floyd thorax with a spiked axe. Barely missing and catching his cloth garment the blade missed by inches, Floyds reversed blade coming back down with more success. The blade landing in the gap between the neck and shoulder with its teeth grinding above any mans screams. With a heart wrenching crushing and blood spurt the chainsaw cleaved the man from shoulder to waist. The second of his foes blighting his footing as its axe smashed into the floor beside him causing him to fall into the small torrent of blood flowing towards yet another enemy force. Grabbing a handful of twisted rock he pulled himself up enough to cleave the legs from beneath the same foe. His legless form descending over the wall and into the massacre that flowed beneath them.
One of his brethren helped him up; it was brother Sinus his long aged mentor and trainer. His eyes like flames in the glare of light from the blood that surrounded them. The moonlight had grown as the full moon reared its head, the reflected light causing a sickening red aura.
"STAND FAITHFUL AND TURE TO YOUR CAUSE! IF WE MUST GO TO HELL THEN ALLOW US TO TAKE THEM SCREAMING WITH US!" Sinus roared with a deafening reply for all those gathered around the last bastion. There was potentially around only a thousand of them still alive, with three of the holy order standing amongst them. "WE WILL TAKE THE FIGHT TO THEM! THIS PLACE IS LOST, YET I WILL SEE THAT HEREITC, LORD MENKIN DIE BEFORE MY LAST BREATH! ARE YOU WITH ME BROTHERS? WE WILL TAKE OUR REMANING STRENGTH AND CUT INTO THE HEART OF THIS INFESTATION!"
The numerous cries and hatred that boiled around them were creating a fearsome battle cry. "LEAD ON BROTHER!!" Floyd screamed! For Floyd what happened next would live with him for the rest of his life, he would take those images to the afterlife and seek out his brothers and teacher, having won their peace in death and Glory. All of the remaining men in the fortress took up arms, the gunners of the cannons, the cleaners and workmen, the servants and the leaders. Every man and women that resided within drew sword and shield, and spear and gun. They took up arms for the last time and with the greatest courage that could be asked for, the less than two thousand mortals defying a force of far greater proportions and charging down the 10,000 steps to the dunes below.
Many of them slipped on the slick blood that flooded down the steps along with them, the force of those behind simply carrying them down like a wave. The two Priests at the forefront of the charge. The enemy moving up from below were stunned as the wave of foes they had deemed defeated fell upon them and washing those before them down the crowded stairs. Yet, moments before contact with their foes the two priests leapt into the air as one and cleaved downwards, decapitating those with any sense to raise their weapons against them.
The Faithful pushed down the stairs, using their weight and height advantage to bash numerous foes to oblivion against their combined force. Many of the faithful gave their bodies to those behind as they fell; unable to proceed they served their last duty as carpets to stand on, avoiding to flow of liquids that now ran like a flood. As they had almost reached the bottom another force of enemies were arrayed against them, these ones readying for the coming storm
The priests clove left and right, men falling and daemons screeching as their innards were made public. Floyd was several metres behind Sinus as a large tank loomed towards them a man sat in the control pulpit with glaring red eyes. The vehicle was so close that they could almost taste revenge...
Blood ran down the steps as the Faithful charged into the masses that moved to meet them. Their fury mixed with their charge and seer might saw them force a path, numerous foes thrown into oblivion as the weight of numbers forced them from the steps. All around a swirling blackness as the foes of light swarmed at the base of the steps, too many to count, too many...
Floyd was at the forefront of this charge, screaming inaudible above the dim of thousands of cries and pleas. The world was encompassed in darkness and very steps echoed endlessly, a rhythm that filled that void. Only their fury kept the faithful sane, as sane as such men that defied the underworld could be. The steps neared an end. Pushing out into the fray Floyd felt himself forced forward from behind, the men with him wanting as much as himself to get to grips with the evil. Floyd screamed so that those closest could hear him.
"SEND YOUR FOES INTO THE ABYSS! DARK ARE THEIR HEARTS! CAST THEM INTO OBLIVION AND REMOVE THIS TAINT FROM YOUR PATH!"
Floyd was deep in the fray his cloth tattered and singed, his skin burned and scared by near misses. The gashes and pain only added to his fury as he let slip what little of his mind remained. Those around him slowly doing to same, fighting a cause far bigger than themselves, they threw away the rights to their own lives. More Blood flowed and soon a river formed, flowing downwards with the blood of hundreds, a channel soon formed as thousands bled into the land. The soils resistance was irrelevant.
Despite the fury of the Faithful they numbered too few and soon their fury turned to martyrdom. The Faithful brought low as numbers beyond reckoning dragged them down into the chaos they fought to oppose. Floyd rampage thought them none the less, every injury he took meant the destruction of numerous foes... too many. In the end he could only watch as the pocket of justice was slowly overrun.
Then the clouds cracked and a path of light emerged as three winged angels descended from the heavens, staffs of lightning shredding those before them, white flames engulfing those of evil that approached too close. The battle turned with the intervention of just three. No it was four. Another man had been carried by the others; his aura was different, as close to evil as possible, but warm and good to the touch. That man landed in the middle of the three that had appeared and called out to the faithful.
"IN THE NAME OF THE EMPORER STAND YOUR GROUND! BUY THE TIME FOR THE SUMMONING OF THOSE WHO STAND WITH US!"
Floyd and the others rejoiced at the sight of the angels and their pains turned to wrath and wrath turned to power. The fury escalated and Floyd found himself fighting side by side with one of the angels doing everything in their power to hold back the assailing minions.
A red light spawned behind them as the ritual appeared complete, the man with the strange aura fell to the ground, his strength exhausted, several transparent being stood around him, one with blades for its arms. The terror that these deities sowed was unfathomable, they reaped the very souls of those that crossed them and thousands met their end against them.
In the end only a handful of the Faithful had remained, stood atop a carpet of their foes and friends, mixed together in their end. Stood with them were the angels, one of them helping the other man to stand once more, one of them approached Floyd.
"Never forget the oath you have taken, and those that share it. The Order you serve is but one of many that fights in the face of oblivion. Know this... I have seen the end of this world, but it can be stalled and together we can prevent it."
They had left soon after, the sun rising in the distance. The deities faded with the light, and only the faithful remained. The men that day had sworn and oath atop the bodies of the slain. They wait for that day and when it came they would end it.
(I wrote this as a backlog for my favorite Warhammer 40k model, a Preist that i have given the name Floyd. He has earned my absolute respect with his achievements on the battle table, taking down models worth FAR more points that he is. Relying heavily on the Gaurdsmen that fight with him to take the hits for him they remind me of zealots so i thought this up. Hope you enjoy.)