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40K Fhanados' 40k Fluff

Discussion in 'Fluff and Stories' started by Fhanados, Aug 5, 2016.

  1. Fhanados
    Terradon

    Fhanados Well-Known Member

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    I've been working on a pair of Renegade Knights for my 40k Chaos army and also to use in the Imperial Knight: Renegade box game. The models have a fair way to come, but to keep me motivated I've done a bit of background on the first one.

    The Hunter’s Son

    The former Freeblade Knight known as The Hunter’s Son is spoken in hushed tones and spat curses. Tales abound of its fall from grace and ultimate betrayal of the Imperium, but as with all rumours of Heresy and Treason factual history is lost among the accusations and details deliberately omitted. Mankind is quick to decry any who have fallen from the Emperor’s Grace as the worst kind of scum; born and bred tainted, and the tale of The Hunter’s Son is no different.

    His origins are uncertain, for no Household wishes to taint its reputation by admitting to be his sire. It is known that he was born to one of the several Noble Households that inhabit the Knight World of Arden and quickly gained a reputation as a great Hunter, travelling the wilderness and slaying the gigantic beasts that dwelled in the dark corners of the planet. At some point that became his only cause – the politics of Nobility and the burden of leadership cast aside he took up his new name and title as a Freeblade. The Hunter’s Son’s skill at defeating the mighty beasts of Arden were legendary. He was a giant slayer, a monster hunter, and even rumoured to slay a mighty Daemon (although claims were never confirmed one way or another).

    When Arden became embroiled in its second Great Planetary War the Freeblade was called upon to defend the Knightly fortresses. These mighty strongholds were the bastions for Nobles, Royals and Imperial diplomats and administrators alike, as well as being the prime manufactories for the mighty Knights and their armaments. The masses of humanity rose against them, rallying against what they perceived to be cruel, over-wealthy tyrants and dictators. In truth the nobility was mostly benevolent aside from one or two households, but Arden was a harsh place with a huge working class population quick to side with one who could promise a better life. More often than not this resulted in migration from one Household’s lands to another with the balance of power shifting to whichever family could better provide for the people. This time was different.

    Hundreds of Knights and the armed forces that accompanied them put down the rebellion with systematic violence. It was ignoble, and it caused great pain to the chivalrous Knights who were born and raised to protect their people, but it was necessary to prevent the world becoming entirely embroiled in anarchy. All households united in the pacification and Freeblades returned to their roots to support their families, some even returning from off-world campaigns. All except for The Hunter’s Son. The wholesale slaughter of humans was entirely unappealing to him on many levels. The destruction of his supposed charges was distasteful, the ease of which the task was done was inglorious but mostly there was no challenge and without a challenge there was no glory. Seeing no reason to partake in such petty bloodshed and being unsympathetic to the Nobles and Royals, the Hunter’s Son refused to comply with the orders given.


    Trial of a Traitor

    Once the war had ended and the status quo was restored The Hunter’s Son was brought before a council to stand trial for treason. Representatives from each Household formed the bulk of the council, with members of the Adeptus Mechanicus, Adeptus Ministorum and the Planetary Governor also present. The Nobles were quick to declare the Son a traitor to the Imperium and called for his execution and for his Knight to have all heraldry defaced with the Mark of Treason to be displayed in the capitol as example to others. Rather than defend his actions the Son in turn accused the Nobles of being pompous and self-serving, and that the war was a direct result of the mismanagement of their subjects.

    The hearing quickly devolved into a furious argument and exchange of personal insults. It was the Planetary Governor’s call for silence that ended the furor. He was a man who traditionally held little sway over local politics, however in matters related to the Imperium at large he had ultimate authority. Since none of the rebel elements in the war had renounced the Imperium or defied Imperial edict (indeed many even believed to be fighting for a more just and Imperial form of government) he declared the war a localised conflict and proclaimed that no Heresy or Treason against the Emperor had taken place. The dumbfounded Nobility sat in silence as the member for the Ecclesiarchy voiced their agreement – all parties involved in the conflict had been followers of the Imperial Creed and subsequently declared Pure of Faith. The Hunter’s Son included.

    The Nobles, despite their numbers and their power over Arden were in no position to refute the word of the Governor and the Ecclesiarchy without resulting in further bloodshed. Even the Mechanicum were hesitant to accuse, for to do so would result in a precious and irreplaceable Machine Spirit and Throne Mechanicum being lost. So it was that they settled on banishment. The Hunter’s Son was to leave Arden and never return and would be forever forfeit of their right to return to their House – a grave and nearly unheard of punishment.


    Diary of a Mercenary

    Since its banishment from Arden the Hunter’s Son acted as a mercenary for Imperial forces, not unlike other Freeblades. He plied his services in support of Imperial Guard regiments undertaking various campaigns and crusades; defending supply lines, besieging enemy strongholds, ambushing and executing hit and run strikes against Traitor and Xeno alike. Thousands fell to the whirring teeth of a Reaper Chainsword, searing blast of a Thermal Cannon, and hail of bullets from Gatling Cannons and Heavy Stubbers and crushing grip of the mighty Thunderstrike Gauntlet. In exchange for delivering death to the foes of Mankind he was provided with munitions, repairs and travel but what he sought most was more worthy foes to hunt.

    As time wore on The Hunter’s Son rejected more and more contracts – taking on only those that would pit him against mighty war engines and gargantuan beasts. With less paying work his Knight fell into disrepair, although care was still taken to maintain weapons and locomotive systems. The haggard, battle worn suit of armour gradually became an untrustworthy sellsword rather than a resolute ally in the eyes of the Astra Militarum, and generals were often hesitant to deploy The Hunter’s Son in battle where his unreliable nature would cost them not only the price of the mercenary’s contract but also the lives of their soldiers. Although unpopular and held in great suspicion by the Imperium, a Knight is still a Knight and the Imperium is constantly at war so eventually a contract would be signed and the Hunter’s Son would see battle (and payment) again.

    It was on the world of Cando during a campaign that would be retrospectively dubbed “The Cando Incident” that the Freeblade slipped from the good graces of the Imperium. Cando was an archive world, honeycombed with tunnels and vaults containing archeotech, data crypts, librariums and all manner of invaluable information and relics. The ruling class were divided into Clans, as much at war with themselves as the Imperium was with its own. Each Clan had proclaimed the other as Heretics, claiming one another to be followers of Chaos. Imperial response was swift and brutal, Astartes and Imperial Guard deployed and attacked the Clans, who subsequently requested the aide of other Imperial Guard regiments and Space Marines Chapters. As the campaign escalated more and more groups became involved, including several Xenos factions and even a host of Word Bearers Chaos Space Marines.

    Global war had erupted on an apocalyptic scale, and the Hunter’s Son intended to make the most of it, constantly switching sides to the highest bidder. With so many forces in play no matter what group he worked for there was guaranteed to be a challenge. At the height of the conflict another Knight appeared, a renegade adorned in the trophies of slain beasts. It was then that the Hunter’s Son first began to hunt this Renegade, ignoring all other orders and betraying his hiring Clan to stalk his new prey. Ultimately it was in vain, the rival Knight was extracted from the planet by the Word Bearers force after it was defeated by an Eldar assault. Seeking to follow his mark the Hunter’s Son was similarly extracted by Clansmen seeking to flee the conflict. Soon after his departure Cando succumbed to the damage dealt by the conflict and the planet came apart, its great knowledge – the very thing that was fought for – lost forever.


    The Traitor and the Beast

    Following the Cando Incident the Freeblade was branded a Traitor by the Imperium, however thanks to the ruthlessly inefficient bureaucracy that is the Adeptus Administratum it would be some time before any who weren’t involved in the Cando Incident to become aware of this. It wasn’t long before the Hunter’s Son abandoned the refugee Clans to pursue his quarry.

    Time and time again the two Knights encountered one another on the battlegrounds, each stalking the other in turn. Predator and prey. Hunter and beast. The Hunter’s Son stalked the unwary renegade through the ruins of Port Chathaven until the Imperium drove it away. On the jungle world of New Airtsul he found himself the prey, narrowly escaping the hungry chainsword of the beastial Knight. During the Sybarian Crusade on the Maelstrom’s edge both Knights sought to best one another at range while evading the massive Imperial presence bearing down on the region.

    As their galaxy spanning dance of death goes on the renegades are enigmatically drawn to the Hunter’s home world of Arden. Tracking the beast to the Knight World revealed a convergence of forces moving into the system; Imperial Navy ships had blockaded the world and deployed regiments of the Astra Militarum to the surface, Blood Angels strike cruisers and a battle barge hang in low orbit over the capitol and all manner of civilian craft anchor themselves outside the quarantine while more menacing starfarers lurk at the dark edges of the system like hungering wolves. War has come.
     
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  2. spawning of Bob
    Skar-Veteran

    spawning of Bob Well-Known Member

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    No one can manage being noble and good for very long in 40k, can they? *

    When do we get to read about your other champ / chump?


    * See Crapsack World
     
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  3. Bowser
    Slann

    Bowser Third Spawning

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    Wow this was really awesome! More to come I hope. Want to see who will emerge the victor!
     
  4. Warden
    Skar-Veteran

    Warden Well-Known Member

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    Sounds interesting! Some really intriguing fluff you wrote here, I want to learn more!

    Of course when you finish completing your Knights please add pictures, but for now do you have any idea how you are going to paint them? Or what their heraldry will look like?
     
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  5. Fhanados
    Terradon

    Fhanados Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys! I'm still in the early stages of number 2 but I've got some ideas floating around.

    A lot of people in my circles have been giving Imperial Knights shit for being a shallow and poorly thought out faction designed to sell models. I disagree! Ignoring the fact they've been in the background for as long as Titans I really like the premise of them and the fact that the Knight's programming/machine spirit alters its pilot's personality to become more "noble" is quite cool. It allows for some interesting character developments and in the case of renegades it poses the question: who is the REAL traitor - the Knight, or the Pilot?
     
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  6. Fhanados
    Terradon

    Fhanados Well-Known Member

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    Sorry for the double post, I somehow missed this post. I'll create a plog in the painting section when I get to that point - at the moment I'm still assembling and ripping my hair out trying to figure out how to magnetise them.

    I have a good idea of how I'm going to paint The Hunter's Son, and I'm sure the nerds among us will notice the inspiration for it as soon as I start posting WIPs. Heraldry will be fairly minimal but I intend on magnetising the ion shields so I can swap them out for different designs for different marks of chaos for when I use it as a Chaos Knight with the Forgeworld rules. One shoulder will have a kind of personal insignia of sorts, but nothing that ties back to the households on Arden. Ultimately he will be fairly non-chaotic so that he won't look out of place in an Imperial army if my friends borrow it or when facing off against the "beast" but ambiguous enough to fit in among the traitorous hordes of my Chaos army.

    The "Beast" on the other hand.... I don't know. I have some cool conversion ideas for him but nothing in terms of colour scheme. I want this one to be more obviously chaotic than the Son so that it actually looks like 2 different "sides" fighting when I play games of Imperial Knight: Renegade, so eight pointed stars are likely. I'll probably go a tad Khornate to emphasise the bestial nature (and so I can run it as a Khorne Daemon Knight in a Daemonkin army if needed). There will be some colours to tie it together with the Hunter's Son but I'm still not sure.
     
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  7. Fhanados
    Terradon

    Fhanados Well-Known Member

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    A kind of related story, but one I didn't feel worthwhile making a seperate thread for. It will eventually be a part of my overall army background.

    The side of Yarred’s face had grown numb from pressing his ear up against the cold metal door. How long had it been since he rested? One, maybe two hours? For all he knew it could have been a day and none would be the wiser. Nothing outside had changed. The distant sounds of gunfire and artillery still raged on but he heard no movement immediately outside so he peeled his flesh away from the steel and opened his eyes. The sight that met him was the same as every other sight for the past three days. Three days he and these other refugees had been locked in this storage room. Three days since they fled from the monsters in red. Three days since death had come to Arden.

    Twenty or so people were crammed in the small dark space. He didn’t know the exact number because he couldn’t concentrate long enough to count them, that damned chanting clouded his mind! It had been at least a day since he heard it last but still it was there, a twisted, dark, angry chant. Over and over again the same words in the same tone were repeated by the Red Armoured Astartes. He had always thought the Blood Angels were their saviours, not destroyers. But what if these weren’t the fabled Angels of Death? What if they were something else, something more sinister? The chanting grew louder in his mind and Yarred squeezed his eyes shut and willed for it to stop. It didn’t.

    A soft hand rested on his arm and the storm of dark thoughts immediately ceased. The chanting was still there, but it was quiet now and the images of death and destruction those dark words invoked were gone.

    “Yarred, brother. Are we safe? Is there anyone out there?” his older sister’s fearful eyes met with his.

    “We will never be safe Eis. But there is nobody outside. I think that…” he was cut off by the sound of something large and solid smashing violently through stone and steel.

    The fear in the room was palpable, yet none made a sound. For several minutes they all sat perfectly still in the darkness, gaunt shadows of their former selves, living statues of fear. Shaking, Yarred slowly pressed his ear against the door once more. The outside world was no longer silent, massive iron shod footsteps rang out through the corridors beyond the doors. Closer and closer. Louder and louder…

    CLANG! Yarred leapt back from the door. CLANG! They had been found. CLANG. They were doomed.

    A fourth and final time the iron fist smashed against the door, violently flinging it open. There, silhouetted against a halo of red from the emergency lighting was an Astartes. Its armour burned fiercely in the crimson light, a blood-red reflection glinted along the edge of the boltgun aimed squarely at Yarred.

    “Whom do you serve?”

    Yarred blinked dumbly at the question. The deep voice, distorted by the vox grille caught him off guard.

    “Whom do you serve? Respond,” the gruff voice repeated and the Astartes hefted the boltgun into a firing position.

    “We serve the God Emperor of Mankind,” Eis spoke with a trembling voice. “We are loyal citizens of the Imperium.”

    Time stood still and Yarred could hardly breathe. After what seemed like an eternity the Space Marine lowered its boltgun and the room collectively exhaled a sigh of relief. For the first time Yarred got a good look at the super human soldier. As with all Astartes, it was massive. At least eight feet tall. Unlike the red warriors who had laid waste to the city, this one had no spikes or horns and his armour was not adorned with trophies and skulls. Its armour was metallic blue, although the exact colour was impossible to judge in the dim inconsistent glow, trimmed in brass or gold. An animal pelt hung like a cape from its back and a series of crude runes were carved into its armour, but they were not the cruel and sinister script that embellished the armour of the Red Warriors. They were saved!

    “The Emperor Protects,” he muttered through a smile, the first one since the invasion.

    The Astartes reached behind its back with one hand. “I have a gift for you Loyal Citizen,” it spoke and revealed an object the size of a man’s head. “Take this and with it you shall truly be one with your Emperor.”

    Yarred took the object with outstretched hands and his heart sunk to his stomach. The others huddled around gazing on in curiosity and wonderment at the gift they were bestowed, but he had served in the PDF, he knew what it was.

    “When your spirit meets with the Soul-Thief remind him that his Throne is stolen,” the Astartes turned and began to stride down the hall. “His grandchildren are coming home, and we shall claim our inheritance.”

    “What is it brother?” Eis spoke what all were thinking.

    “It is the end of the war for us dear sister,” said Yarred. “We need not hide and suffer any longer.”

    Yarred turned and looked his sister in the eyes and saw the hope and happiness in them. He could not take that from her. Despite himself he smiled too and they embraced. Then the melta bomb detonated.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2016
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  8. Bowser
    Slann

    Bowser Third Spawning

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    Cold and calculated, but the hope inspired by the one man who was not ignorant of his gift was brilliant. Short and sweet this had perfect timing and ended exactly where it needed to! So good.
     
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  9. Fhanados
    Terradon

    Fhanados Well-Known Member

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    Made a few minor edits.

    Essentially I wanted to convey the attitude of a traitor Space Marine that wasn't "Evil for the Evil Gods!" and cast a bit of ambiguity about the mysterious Green Astartes, which are the next fellows on my work bench after the Knights are completed.

    I've been playing as Word Bearers for years now and I have always felt a bit detached from them, like they weren't MY army. I just find it difficult to relate to the zealotry and get into that mindset when writing background for them which has resulted in a very disjointed approach to the army. I've found myself trying to justify why my Word Bearers behave in a certain way contrary to established background in order to field a semi-competitive army (for those who aren't 40kers Chaos Space Marines is a fairly weak army by itself and has a very small pool of competitive units). So it's time for a shift in direction.

    My new Chaos Marines are still traitors and still make use of all the "classic" Chaos units, but they're more pragmatic about their approach. They still worship the Gods, but they maintain their own endgame. They bitterly loathe the Imperium and seek to destroy it, but for their own reasons not for the sake of Chaos. There's enough spoilers in that story to reveal my chosen warband, so have a guess if you feel like it! There will be more to come. Eventually...
     
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  10. thedarkfourth
    Chameleon Skink

    thedarkfourth Well-Known Member

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    ya but where the lizards at tho
     
  11. Fhanados
    Terradon

    Fhanados Well-Known Member

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  12. Fhanados
    Terradon

    Fhanados Well-Known Member

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    Double post! I've decided that until I have something coherant to string together I'm going to just use this thread as a dumping ground for anything 40k I put together and have adjusted the topic title accordingly.

    While sorting out some old work documents I found this old gem. It was written up as some background for a Necromunda "living story" type thread on another forum that went under a few years back. I only got through two posts before the topic went silent, but I'm pretty happy with how they went. I'm even considering continuing this story to bring the character into the wider Imperium.

    Unseen. Unheard. Undetected. The shadow slipped silently past another security node completely invisible to the high-end device. Only someone wealthy in the mid-hive could afford such things. Someone with credits. Someone important. Someone worth killing.

    With a quiet hiss of frying electronics and a soft click the door slid open. Without a sound the black figure darted quickly inside and closed the door behind it. Inside was the second level balcony overlooking a wide lobby. The space below was filled with valuables. A plush red carpet ran the entire length of the lower floor, from the extravagant double doors of the main entry to the wide spiral staircase at the far end leading up to the balcony. Either side of the carpet was littered in all kinds of mismatched wealth. Golden busts stood upon marble plinths, exotic furs laid out in front of flickering artificial fireplaces encircled by various lounges, stools and seats all made from rare horns, leathers, metals and synthetics. A burned-out plasma pistol of unknown design was propped up in a plexglass display cabinet along with what appeared to be a certificate of authenticity. Art of various forms covered the walls. Paintings, pic-captures, tapestries and carvings depicted everything from the radiant God-Emperor of Mankind, the infinite void of space and the stars, biology sketches of foreign fauna and flora, family portraits, great battlegrounds and even a depiction of the hive itself.

    With an agility that seemed almost unnatural the shadow crossed the breadth of the lobby to the balcony on the opposite side, breaking through another electronic lock to enter a network of narrow corridors. The halls were bedecked in a similar manner to the lobby, rare silken materials with gold and silver weave draped on the walls, skulls of hunted creatures mounted on shields of expensive hardwood, and yet more portraits and artwork. The entire complex reeked of the flamboyant expenditure of someone who had come from nothing and suddenly had everything. To a truly rich upper-hive dweller this would seem tacky and excessive in the extreme, with no finesse or grace. Here in the mid-hive it was a boast of power and influence, a testament to the riches one could claim if only they had the drive to. And it was this power and influence that the shadow had come to put an end to.


    Every minute seemed like hours of slowly stalking the arterial hallways of the complex. Finally, after so much silence the shadow heard the sounds of human occupants. His quarry was near. With a series of thought commands he adjusted his facemask's sensory input configuration. He was able to narrow the spectrum of his hearing, change the brightness and contrast of optical input and became more aware of the temperature and humidity. He performed a series of blinks to test the alternate-spectrum optic sensors, and after finding he could fluidly switch between standard optics, infa-red, thermal and ultraviolet he moved forward.

    As he passed the first room in the dormitory chambers his augmented hearing picked up two separate individuals. Heavy breathing, gasping and the occasional muffled word. Narrowing and broadening the input done nothing to identify the sounds further, but a quick thermal optics analysis confirmed his suspicions. This couple were not the target. Even with the intermingled thermal signatures he could quite clearly identify neither was who he was looking for. Another hiss and click ensured the door would not open in the event of a disturbance. The fewer individuals involved, the easier the job would be.

    Most of the remaining rooms contained no occupants, and those that did were either locked or had their tenants incapacitated by various means, some permanently so. Either way, nobody awake or alive was aware of the shadow.

    He found his target at the furthest end of the corridor. The door was closed but a quick cycle through the visual modes of his advanced optics revealed all he needed to know. A soft high-pitched whirring noise was emitted by his exosuit, artificial muscle fibre bundles powering up. The time for subtlety was over. Solidifying flexmetal armour plates clicked rigidly into place. The target must be made an example of. The activation of supplementary systems and augmentations finalised the process. He was prepared. This is what he was here for.

    The door to the luxury apartment burst into a twisted mass of warped and broken metal. Through the smoke strode the shadow, no longer a lithe, athletic figure shrouded in a shimmering distortion field. It was now a hulking incarnation of death. Solid. Powerful. Unstoppable.

    Both guards raised their rifles but no sooner had the elaborately decorated lasguns been levelled at their target they dropped from the dead hands of their owners. Only two people remained now – the target and another.


    A big man in extravagant officer-style clothing stood from behind his finely carved bone desk, pistol in hand.

    “You dare come in mah place?!”

    He was sweating.

    “You dare kill MAH people?”

    He was shaking.

    “This plasma fool,” the man raised the crude yet ornate weapon squarely at the shadow’s chest. “This burn a hole in yah, right throo. Then ah gotta fix the hole in mah wall. All cuzza YOO!”

    He was irrelevant.


    The shadow raised his hand and there was a brief flash or red. The man screamed, his smouldering arm making a soft thud as it hit the ground, cut clean off at the shoulder. Another red flash cut the scream short.

    “I’m surprised you came up from the lower hive,” it was a woman’s voice, soft and well spoken but clearly heard over the sound of sizzling flesh. “I thought you rich boys weren’t allowed up until you’ve proven yourself to be a real man.”

    “An exception was made. I was given a job by my House, I am honour-bound to fulfil it.”


    He looked at the finely dressed woman. She wore a tasteful yet clearly expensive dress of fine flowing material that clung to her youthful body. Target acquired.

    “Such a shame. I was hoping it was for money. The higher bidder always wins when it’s money.”

    The shadow drew a long combat knife from its scabbard and examined its edge, glinting in the artificial firelight. “This will not be pleasant for you.”

    “No, I expect not,” a single tear rolled down her cheek. “Goodbye baby brother…”


    The very next day the local ‘net ran an article – “Gang violence ravages middle hive – upper House implicated”. Nobody cared. A lesser gang had been purged from the middle hive. The upper Houses understood the event, it was written in blood and gore and bone in what seemed to be a pointlessly brutal attack. It was a warning, and it was not well received…

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The dust of his most recent encounter slowly cleared. A heavy haze of rust, chemical residue and gunpowder began to settle, uncovering the aftermath of a one sided battle. It was more akin to an execution than combat. A dozen bodies laid strewn about the inside of the disused pipeline, each bearing brutally fatal wounds. Some had suffered the clean, cauterized dismemberment of a laser cutter while others had been raked with a hail of autogun fire that had near torn them apart. More than a few had gaping holes in their skulls, brain and bone splattered on the curved concrete surface but most disturbing were the ones who had been torn apart, seemingly by bare hands. They were a message. A warning.


    Amidst the carnage was a dull metallic object - roughly egg shaped and large enough to hatch a fully-grown human. It seemed out of place in the grime and death and ruin within the pipeline, but in truth it was right at home. Thick cables sprouted from the bottom, fanning out in different directions. From these cables more grew, like roots forming a spider’s web across the floor. Some of the corpses had become entangled and were being broken down into chemical sustenance. Smaller pods had seemingly sprouted from the ground, forming a perimeter around the main egg like planets orbiting a star. Within, the Shadow rested. Within he remembered.


    “You have attended your task dutifully my son. Our House will remember this debt it owes to you”

    “One can hardly refuse the order of the Patriarch father. You know this. You know I had no choice” the Shadow addressed a tall man garbed in an elegant silver robe that flowed like satin. He knew it was not such a mundane cloth though; it was something far more expensive. Far more advanced. “Besides, the House will not remember me. It cannot even acknowledge the circumstances that led to the task being necessary. By Terra I won’t even be paid for it now that the banker has decided that it would be too suspicious should someone notice the funds being reallocated. ‘Too much to give a Spryer, not enough to wrap in silk’ he says!”

    “Calm yourself Zenith! You know it is necessary to be discrete with such matters. Should any of the other Houses learn of what truly transpired we could lose more than just business and wealth,” his father turned to face him, his sunken crimson eyes glaring at his son’s emotionless faceplate. “We could lose EVERYTHING!”

    The silver man’s words echoed across the marble and glass chamber. It was empty aside from the occasional plaque or portrait, and scantly furnished with a few hi-tech looking chairs and lounges, the newest toys of the rich. There was a long silence before Zenith spoke again.

    “I am returning to my trials father,” Zenith turned away from him. He could barely look at the bald, withered old man anymore. “I may only be your youngest son but I will not be used as a tool for the politicking of our House. Should you have need of me, short of the Patriarch himself addressing me personally I shall not return. Find one of my other siblings to suit your needs for familicide.”

    ***Biological Nutrient levels optimal – ceasing sustenance acquisition protocol
    ***Imminent threats detected: NONE
    ***Retracting orbital support nodes – Sensor system temporarily offline
    ***Disengaging stasis cell


    The egg crumbled into a grey dust. The spider web of cords retracted, bringing with them the orbital nodes. Everything was gradually broken down, the fine particles seemingly magnetised, attracted to the human shape emerging from the pod, clinging to his frame. In less than a Terran standard minute there was no trace of any of the alien devices. All that remained was the Shadow. Awake. Aware. Armed.

    Zenith ran a quick Auspex scan of the pipeline’s interior. There were a few makeshift refuges, not uncommon in such a well-sheltered structure, but no life forms. No threats. Further scans formed a detailed map of the pipe and Zenith began his journey through the labyrinthine network of tunnels, corridors and crawlspaces. His journey deeper into the lower Hive. His hunt would begin anew…
     
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  13. Bowser
    Slann

    Bowser Third Spawning

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    Intrigue, suspense excitement. Great read so far. Definitely keep this going.
     
  14. Fhanados
    Terradon

    Fhanados Well-Known Member

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    FATE OF KONOR - WEEK 1, INVASION OF ASTRAMIS
    The Dark Tusks warband had made planetfall on the blighted wastes outside Astramas' sprawling hives. The open terrain was a killing field, only the truely heroic or insane would set foot there. The Black Tusks were the latter. Formerly renegade mercenaries, now fully embraced by their pestilent patron they had mustered for the invasion of the Konor system alongside thousands of other traitors and were eager to slick their blades with Loyalist blood. But they were not mindless maniacs like many others. They were not so consumed by their hatred to be blind of their shortcomings. Their numbers were few, the Hives were well defended and word of Guilliman's approach had spread. Brute force was not their strength but they had a plan, one that would hopefully tip the scales in the favour of Chaos.
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    Not wishing to clutter things with a new 40k thread, I'll just keep it all in here. Just some brief blurbs about my games as part of the Fate of Konor campaign, and a few little narrative bits to go alongside my crushing defeats! Spoiler, I know, but my Death Guard suffered two pretty catastrophic losses, but it was two victories for Chaos!

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    Amid the sprawling cemeteries and mass graves in the wastelands there was a patch of eery tranquility. A small patch of greenery, untouched by war. The Imperium counted it as a holy place, a sacred grove where Saints and Priests were to be buried. The fact that none of the artillery, virus bombs, or orbital strikes that blanketed no-mans land had left this place unscathed was surely proof of its divinity? The truth was far darker, for it in fact was the resting place of a Necron Overlord and its unliving legion. A tomb ship, buried in past millennia long before humankind gazed at the stars above, was what was keeping this region in tact. Invisible shielding protected it from the war beyond, inadvertently crafting a verdant and lush micro-climate. And they rested no longer. Anrakyr the Traveler has woken the sleeping soldiers, intending to add them to his own growing force and leave Astramis behind. The Dark Tusks saw an opportunity that could not be missed. They would strike out at the waking Xenos, antagonising them into action.

    Game 1
    was against Necrons using the Invasion mission. I took huge casualties early on but ended up killing everything except his vehicles. My Plaguecaster suffered Perils in the last turn killing himself - Anrakyr the Traveller and my Bloat Drone. MVP was definitely the drone, wiping out the Warriors and doing a lot of shoot-and-run. It was INCREDIBLY durable and put out a decent amount of damage. I don't think I'll use it to assault things unless it's just to tie stuff up though, it's attacks are spectacularly underwhelming. Speaking of underwhelming, the Lord of Contagion did next to nothing. I got frustrated at whiffing rolls vs a Tomb Stalker so wiped out a unit of Scarabs with him instead. I can see why people just take Typhus. I will say this though, he is VERY durable.

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    The Noxious Blightbringer staggered to his feet. The carnage of the Necron counter offence was nothing less than total. The entire Poxwalker infestation had been ruthlessly purged, every bacterium and virus cell atomised completely by the thorough application of gauss blasts. The Dark Tusks themselves had suffered considerable damage, their corroded armour scorched and warped by the intensity of Telsa weaponry, their tainted flesh blackened and charred. Greenery was shredded and churned, as though long buried corpses had clawed their way free to reap terrible vengeance on the living. The truth was not far removed, the slumbering Xenos had awoken and now deprived of their commanders, slain in combat, the massed legions of skeletal mechanoids marched on the nearest identifiable threat - the Imperial garrisons. Under his grilled helm he smiled. This was a success shrouded in the guise of failure. He rang his cursed plague bell, the Toll of Cursed Rebirth hastening the regeneration of his fallen kin. The outer defenses were weakened, it was time to march on the Hive.

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    Hordes of Poxwalkers flooded the streets amid bombardments or anti-infantry artillery. Plague was rife, tensions were high, and the morale of the defenders held barely in check by their stern and unforgiving officers. The Dark Tusk had been approached by an unusual employer, a cloaked Astartes in black armour. The mysterious Space Marine's goals furthered their own, so the Warband accepted the contract without need for negotiation. Now, as they launched their assault on the dockyard's artillery strongpoint more shadowy Astartes ghosted them through the ruins. So long as they kept their distance and did not hinder the Warband's progress they were of no consequence, their employer's mistrust would be dealt with after the threat of bombardment had passed.

    Game 2 was against Astra Militarum. This was doomed to be a loss from the beginning. His list had 40 conscripts and associated commissar and commander, 4 wyverns, 4 Scion command squads and a few other bits and bobs. Poxwalkers got nuked by stormshard mortars, but held out a lot longer than I expected. Poor deployment on my part saw the Plaguecaster take wounds early, but a good bunch of rolls saw him survive with a few wounds until late game. Plaguewind ANNIHILATED the conscripts, taking close to 30 off in 2 turns of casting. Combined with the Drone and bolters from the Plague Marines the conscripts did very next to nothing. The Fallen got in a shootout with some Scions in a large ruined building and won, turning their plasma guns to plink wounds off a Wyvern. Lord of Contagion wailed on a Wyvern, dropping it to 2 wounds before promptly cutting a Master of Ordinance in half. Then I basically got wiped out. When the dust settled I had my Plague Marine champion, 4 Fallen and the guy with the bell. He still had 4 Wyverns and 3 units of scions. We called it there. That particular AM player had signed up on the side of Chaos to even the local imbalance, so it was a win for us anyway even though it was a terrible, terrible failure for me.

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    From his position overseeing the battle in the streets below, the shadowy employer watched events unfold. For now the waves of Poxwalkers had been held back, and the battered remains of the Dark Tusk warband had retreated in the face of overwhelming defensive bombardment and the Imperial deployment of drop-troop re-enforcements. If it was not for their putrescent durability granted by their God the entire warband would be dead. But it was not a loss by any means. His compatriots stepped forward through the haze of smoke that had engulfed the upper levels of the district, all members of his own secretive warband. One was leaning heavily on an other, his armour warped and melted by a plasma blast. He was lucky to live.

    "It's a rout," he rasped through the vox grille of his helm. "Those Nurgle-worshipping dogs failed."

    His thoughts were interrupted by a violent explosion and shouting from below. Peering over the building's ledge they saw anarchy unfold below.

    The robed leader's voice was barely a whisper, heard only on account of the sensitive audio receptors and superhuman hearing of his peers.

    "The command structure of the defense contingency is dead. Fear and despair takes hold. Without order, without structure. In their paranoia they take the sword to their own," the corner of his mouth turned upwards in a smile. "The Voice of The Emperor will return to lead his wayward flock. Stick to the shadows brothers, you will be needed."

    With his last words he stepped off the ledge and plummeted into the swirling maelstrom of smoke and debris below.
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    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017
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  15. Fhanados
    Terradon

    Fhanados Well-Known Member

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    FATE OF KONOR - WEEK 3, DEFILEMENT OF NETHAMUS
    After the devastating losses on Astramis, the Dark Tusks avoided involving themselves in the ill-fated strike against Konor itself. There was nothing for the renegades to earn assaulting a heavily defended Forgeworld, and surely no glory to be had at dying as one of the thousands who had been rooted out of the blasted manufactorums by the Imperial counter-offensive. Nethamus on the other hand was ripe for defilement. Lacking the heavy fortifications of the Hiveworld Astramis and Forgeworld Konor there were easy pickings to be had on the agri-world. Defiling the fields and food sources of Nethamus would cripple the supplies to the rest of the system. Seeing the opportunity for slaughter and glory, and to spread the contagion of their Patron, the Dark Tusks set out to poison the wells which sustained the Imperium.
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    I didn't get the opportunity to play the campaign scenario, but I did play a few games on suitably green boards against (mostly) suitably Imperial opponents so I figured I'd just slot it in to my warband's narrative. I had some last minute disaster when it came to models, so I didn't play the list I intended to but I did get to test run a few units I intend on making use of later on down the track as well as some of the new Chaos Space Marines stratagems so it worked out ok.

    Battalion Detachment (total 6CP)
    Faction: Heretic Astartes
    HQ - Lord of Contagion (Plaguereaper)
    HQ - Lord of Contagion (Plaguereaper)
    HQ - Malignant Plaguecaster (Corrupt Staff, Bolt Pistol)
    ELITE - Noxious Blightbringer (Cursed Plaguebell, Plasma Pistol)
    TROOP - Poxwalkers x15 (Improvised Weapons)
    TROOP - Poxwalkers x15 (Improvised Weapons)
    TROOP - Cultists x20 (8 Autoguns, 1 Heavy Stubber, 1 Flamer, 1 Shotgun, 9 Autopistol & Brutal Combat Weapon)
    TROOP - Plague Marines x10 (2x Plasma Gun, 8x Boltgun, 9x Plague Knife, 1x Plague Sword, 1x Power Fist)
    FAST - Foetid Bloat Drone (2x Plaguespitter, Plague Probe)
    FAST - Foetid Bloat Drone (2x Plaguespitter, Plague Probe)
    FLYER - Heldrake (Baleflamer, Heldrake Claws)
    HEAVY - Forgefiend (2x Hades Autocannon, Daemon Jaws)
    Enough re-enforcement points leftover to summon 15 Plaguepearers including 1 Instrument and 1 Icon. I only had enough models for 10 at a time, so re-summoned as needed

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    Planetfall and the first strikes against the Imperium went smoothly and without incident. Entire townships of agri-workers had either been infested with plagues and become Poxwalkers, turned their weapons upon their former masters in a hysteria of madness and despair, or simply been killed - their corpses left to rot among the grain stores they worked so hard to produce. Imperial vox chatter was buzzing with reports of Chaos attacks and daemonic incursions. The leader of Dark Tusks chuckled to himself, reveling in thoughts of unopposed victory. But it was not to last. The air took on a red tinge and even their own ranks became prone to violent rage-filled outbursts. They soon came upon the cause - charging directly at them across the vast grainfields was Skarbrand, and caught up in his maddening aura of fury was none other than an Imperial Warhound Titan....

    GAME 1 - His army was simple: Skarbrand, 10 Bloodletters, and a Warhound Titan. This is my first time facing a titan EVER in more than a decade of gaming. I was not prepared... I quickly learned my army lacked the ability to hit anything from any reasonable distance, and while Plague Drones and the Heldrake are excellent against infantry they to squat to high-wound monsters. I also deployed far too aggressively and the Plague Marines got hit by a turn 1 charge by Skarbrand. With my Plague Marines almost dead, and the Forgefiend killed by the Titan by the end of his turn 1 I decided to play the objective game. Alas my tactical objective cards were not in my favour and even with some summoning to hold up Skarbrand, clever deepstrikes with my Lords and some late game Heldrake shenanigans I still lost by a hefty margain.

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    A significant portion of the Warband's strength had been lost to Skarbrand's onslaught. The Macro-weapons of the Titan had reaped a terrible toll on the Warbands Daemon-engines and had forced their leaders to activate the teleportation devices in their Cataphractii armour and escape to safety. What was left of the force withdrew, leaving plagued farmers and a host of summoned Daemons to delay the mighty Bloodthister and distract the kill-hungry Titan. Despite the crushing defeat the Imperial-held farmlands now burned with the flames ignited by the Titan's onslaught of plasma fire, fueled by the unholy tempest of the hot dry winds from Khorne's domain that followed the Greater Daemon wherever he marched.
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    In the wooded lowlands what was left of the Dark Tusks had come across a considerable store of supplies defended by Imperial PDF forces. The augmented warriors of the warband overcame their defenses quickly and raised a new horde of Poxwalkers and Cultists from the beaten humans. They took great joy in defiling the food warehouses until in the dead of night the thundering noise of treads and engines grew near. Emerging from the rocky outcrops bordering the storage facilities was an armoured column escorted by a platoon of infantry. At it's heart an Ordo Malleus Inquisitor and her warband directed the Imperial forces. The Inquisition had followed the spoor of Chaos from the farmlands and now sought to purge this warband from existence.

    GAME 2 - This was a very rough game. All the shortcomings that saw me fail against the Titan and Skarbrand were amplified tenfold here. I expected the tanks to sit at the back and be screened by the infantry, but the opposite happened. His infantry sat in the backfield while the tanks moved forwards and blew me apart. I failed a lot of much needed armour saves and even more charges. The Forgefiend took a lot of damage early from deepstriking Scions and its shooting was rendered ineffective all game. I think I would have been tabled, but my opponent had some truely terrible rolls. It was still fun, and my Plague Marines took a lot more damage than they probably should have survived through. The Lords of Contagion did nothing and the summoned Daemons didn't have the chance to make it to combat before the game ended.

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    In the cover of night Imperial re-enforcements had approached unnoticed. Under heavy bombardment the Dark Tusk were on the defensive and forced to retreat yet again. A campaign that had begun with so much promise was now close to a complete rout. Fearing further intervention from the Imperium, the Warband had to secure itself a new foothold on Nethamus. They could not afford another devastating loss.
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    The Inquisition knew of them now. They know the Warband was weakened by their prior engagements. Seeing the opportunity to permanently eliminate one of the myriad of threats the Imperium faced the Inquisitor had ordered the creation of a combined force specifically to destroy the Dark Tusks. The taskforce found the warband securing a small rural spaceport - an outpost used to ferry light machinery and the moderately wealthy in some semblance of luxury to the gigantic ships in orbit. If the mercenaries captured this outpost then the forces of Chaos would have another secure route to the planet surface. That could not be tolerated.

    GAME 3 - This was against the same opponent from GAME 2 in week 1. His army was fairly similar, replacing the Conscripts and associated characters with Seraphim and Grey Knights. While not optimised this army showcased the flexibility of "Imperial Soup" and made use of the new Grey Knights codex. Although not a Codex: Chaos Space Marines army (mine's "Heretic Astartes" as per the index) he let me test run some of the stratagems. I like them a lot! The game had a fairly predictable outcome though - I couldn't sit back and objective camp (I drew 3 cards to kill his warlord) while he had the model count and the speed to push me while keeping control of his own half of the table. The Heldrake was truely unimpressive, and while the Forgefiend done an impressive 10 wounds to a Wyvern in one round of shooting, it was blown up by a combination of Grey Knights Strike Squads and Scion Command Squads that dropped in nearby. I killed maybe 3 or 4 squads worth of units but conceded the game at the end of his turn 3. There was no way for me to even scratch him and the next hour would have just been me taking models off the board. Normally I wouldn't quit until the game ends, but the event was running overtime and I should have been home an hour ago at that point.

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    Imperial artillery ruthlessly bombarded the small starport with stormshard mortars. The shrapnel-based weapon would reap a heavy butcher's bill without damaging vital infrastructure. From the safety of the gunline, the field commander watched as Tempestus Scions descended behind enemy lines and unleashed a furious barrage of plasma fire into the enemy, cutting down twisted mutants and destroying one of their blasted war machines. Grey Knights appeared as if from nowhere, glorious silver angels purifying the unclean filth with psychic flame, holy bolter and blessed blade. Swift-moving Seraphim of the Order Militant claimed critical locations, their unyeilding faith in the God-Emperor lending them an unmatched stubbornness perfect for their role against such horrific enemies. The sound of gunfire became more and more infrequent, and what was left of the mindless mutants and traitors were herded into the open and slaughtered. With their task done the Grey Knights vanished without a word and the Scions called for extraction. The rest of this filth was gruntwork, the warrior elite had done their part.
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    For anyone interested in the tactical takeaway of this all, I'll cram my afterthoughts into a spoiler.
    So this was a learning experience. In truth, I made a bad list and I was punished for it. Looking at the other armies at the event I realised I simply don't have the tools to deal with anything that isn't basic infantry.
    The Heldrake underperformed, but I think that was because of a combination of poor tactical decisions by me and lack of optimal targets. It's a good MEQ killer, but against trash or big monsters/tanks it doesn't really do much.
    The Forgefiend just died. I think to use them I'll need 2. The move and shoot penalty was an issue, so I doubt I'll ever use the ectoplasma variant.
    Poxwalkers are VERY slow. Might drop them to 10 man units for camping - 15 was overkill
    Plague Marines are good, but just don't have any damage output in large units. I'll try multiple 5 man units in future so I can max out on special weapons.
    Summoning was just not very useful due to the range restrictions. Maybe it would be better if I had more mobile characters, but everything I had was on foot and low movement.
    Drones are awesome for soaking damage, but they're pretty terrible at killing non-infantry models.
    Grey Knights really really hurt Daemons. A lot.
    The new Chaos Space Marine stratagems are quite good. A lot are situational (and there's some terrible ones!) but Daemonforge was amazing for 1CP.
     

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