Monday, January 14, 2019

Jornath: Thine Gleaming Spear Doth Thrust

+++ Bridge of System Monitor Vessel "Saran's Farewell" +++
+++ High Anchor Above Ankou +++

Lugon gripped tightly to the railing encircling his command dias at the center of the ship's bridge as another barrage of ork fire hammered into the hull. Sparks showered out from some vital system above him, the rain of fire accompanied by the flickering of cogitator screens and the distant screaming of ratings.

"STATUS" he bellowed to Defense Officer Hadris.

"Crash Teams deployed to Decks 20-24, sections open to vacuum along Enginarium 1 and 3, Ignatius Fury is listing hard and burning, Mortis Nobilum reports they are moving to engage." reported the thickly bearded officer in the clipped cadence of the navy.

"Damnable Greenskins" Lugon hissed under his breath, the fleet had slammed into the aliens' cursory forces above Ankou's capital, Linces Hive and as was to be expected the xenos had returned the engagement with gusto, but what gusto it was. He had fought pirates in the rim worlds with the System fleet, tenacious and cutthroat men, gripped with desperation and a wealth of ill-gotten weaponry. They had been close run times, but this was something new altogether, pirates had a quantifiable boundary for violence and would surrender given enough void torpedos and lance battery strikes, but orks?  Of the three dozen vessels above Linces Hive, only 4 still remained, outnumbered ten to one by the massed ships of the Imperial Navy, Adeptus Astartes, and Ark Mechanicus, the ork juggernaughts had blazed away in all directions with a blizzard of fire of such magnitude that it was nearly impossible to tell where the spotting fires of damage ended and the white glow of gun batteries began. He furrowed his brow, and stared at the flickering hololithic display on his dias, many of the system fleet vessels, which had been in the vanguard, were already limping out of the immediate danger posed by the alien ships. The Mortis Nobilum a strike cruiser from the Imperial Dragoons chapter had moved to their support and was hammering the Ork Kroozer currently firing upon the ship. He closed his eyes and slowly breathed in the smoke-stained air, before making the most difficult decision of his life.

"Bring us around again, prepare the gun crews for another run in!" He declared to the bridge crew sternly. The three dozen officers sat in shocked silence, their terrified, wide-eyed faces, soaked with sweat and ash, looked like a sardonic parroting of the Ork's themselves in the green glow of their screens. After a short pause, the Helmsman, Tenric Cessaire, got to his feet, straightened his jacket and in a shaky voice addressed Lugon.

"Sire, prow shielding is faltering, we are venting atmosphere in multiple places, We may not endure another attack run. I urge you, please for the good of the crew, allow us to return to the second line, allow us to preserve the ship!" finished Cessaire.  The ship rocked again, more gently this time, as a torrent of small bore missiles glanced off the hull, only serving to strengthen the helmsman's argument as far as the rest of the bridge crew was concerned.

"The Emperor's Angels are present on the field, and whats more have come directly to our aid. I will not embarrass the system fleet by abandoning them. Nor will I turn tail and run while an alien vessel still sits polluting Jornathii Space. We will go forward, my decision is final Cessaire.  Full speed ahead." He stated, as calmly and in as commanding a voice as he could manage as he suppressed the fear rising inside him.

"Aye Sir." Cessaire replied raggedly, sitting back down at his station, he engaged what power could still be nursed from the surviving engines and the Sarans Farewell began its approach to firing range once more. As the ship powered its way forward, Lugon watched as the final few layers of prow shielding were torn away by the weight of the alien's fire. He barely heard Hadris' panicked reports of hull integrity,  he continued to stare intensely at his hololithic display, the Mortis Nobilum was just entering into its broadside sweep. The Ork vessel had taken a beating, regardless of its ferocious lashing out, it was close to death, its crude flickering void shield cast a crackling net of orange light across its hull. But the many guttering fires across its breadth were evidence enough that it was beginning to falter. If Lugon had estimated things properly, and he was bargaining everything that he had, the combined broadside of both his ship and that of the Mortis Nobilum would be just the thing to overwhelm the Ork shielding and crack the berzerk kroozer once and for all.  He watched transfixed at the display, as the icon of the ship moved closer, and closer to the pale yellow circle surrounding the marker for the alien ship. Never in all his life had he thought that a handful of holographic polygons could absorb him so completely, harnessing an impossible potential for hope and dread in equal parts. When finally they fell within the encompassment of that yellow circle, he screamed out his order.


He had yelled the words with such a great strain that he could feel the faint wet tang of blood and mucus in his throat, even with that effort though, they had almost been drowned out by the sure cacophony of the bridge as the ship groaned like some great dying beast, its frame melting from the heat of massed laser weapons fire and cascades of torpedo hits buckling across the whole of the ships starboard side. Power failed totally on the bridge then, only emergency life support still functioned, and even that was stammering. The sound and light and violence were at once replaced by an eerie tomb-like silence for a moment before the crackling sound of fires and the groaning choir of wounded men drifted in.

Seconds past, filled only by piteous cries and the dancing light of electric fires. Seconds gave way to minutes, filled with more of the same. The creeping dawn of excited hope began to claw its way up through Lugon's stomach and scratchy throat. The power flickered back for an instant, before dying once more, but it had been enough for him to see what he needed. The yellow circle was gone, gone because there was no more need to measure proximity to a target that did not exist.

He was beside himself with relief, he slumped down to the deck next to the hololith displayer and smiled.

"Jornathii Vendratus, you green bastards" he rasped to no one in particular.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Hobby: Ankouvian Berzerkers

All is not well on the surface of Ankou, its population infected by a psychic scrap code leading vast tracts of its enslaved augmetic population to revolt against their masters. 

A painted example of an Equites Redempto

A painted example of a Renegade Ankouvian Miner 

A squad of corrupted Ankouvian miners 

The traitorous hordes of Jornath's mining moon grow larger. I hope you have enjoyed the look at them.

-Your Favorite Madman-

Friday, November 30, 2018

AoS: The Unmooring of County Ledzuit

 The County Ledzuit was watched over by the family Henrich for over two centuries, in that time the county has seen a great deal, in 2084 beast tribes fleeing the scouring of the Sun Knights reaved through the coutryside, and in 2131 the lesser necromancer Yertari Ov had her occult rituals thwarted by an assembled party of Ledzuit militia and footmen of House Henrich. 

Nothing in its history would prepare the county for the strange event, recalled by later historians as the Unmooring. 

Investigation of Coll's Manor

It would begin with an unexplained forest blaze coming from the direction of Coll's Manor, a secluded estate, its Lord Barthe was singularly known as especially peculiar and reclusive, living for many years without incoming revenue off the bequeathed wealth of his deceased father. He had only a handful of working farmers and a pitiful assortment of roving livestock. Which is all to say that he was a recluse, and not well liked. Regardless, it was the responsibility of the Henrich's guard to look after all the people of the land and Barthe is nobility after all. 

The footmen, upon treading through the blackened and smoke wreathed remains of the fallen tree trunks came upon the blasted open shell of the Manor house.  A singular figure stood silhouetted by the still burning fires of the interior. Perhaps once it was the eponymous Lord Barthe,  now what stood before the handful of footmen was a malformed ghoul of weeping flesh and dripping muscle, crowned with a blasphemous helm of bone. Spotting the footmen the creature shambled forth, clutching an unnatural mace, which pained the eye to look upon for its otherworldly origin.  Unsheathing their weapons, the footmen moved to defend themselves, as the monster lumbered into striking range.  In a burst of impossible vigor, the thing lunged at them, bringing its mace below the guard of Jerik, smashing into his torso.  As the flesh began to sag and drip from the screaming footmen his comrades descended upon the thing, hacking, and stabbing with terrified abandon.  

Even with the creature lying in a pulpy mulch of gore, a rasping wet breathing could still be heard. The two remaining footmen breathed frantically with the rush of adrenaline that terror had brought them. Before the high could leave them they saw the other shapes in the trees, dozens, or possibly more smoke veiled figures limped silently towards the manor.  The footmen fled back to their masters in House Henrich, to bring word of what they had encountered. 

Battle of Fannhollow

As the might of House Henrich gathered, reports filtered in from around the county. Gibbering bands of the unquiet dead and maddening shoggoths of hateful flesh stalked the land as the impossible harbingers of a nightmare invasion.

With greater numbers and the lords roused, the guardians of sanity lent themselves to the defense of the land. The footmen and militia under Lord Henrich himself found battle within the still burning ruins of Fannhollow village, a particularly grotesque monster and his retinue of fleshy pus weeping knights met the men of house Henrich along the stream on the southern edge of the ville. 

With immense effort the creatures were battered down, each flesh thing taking dozens of grievous wounds to succumb to the damage. The unnatural leader of the force, in particular, was seemingly immune to harm, while using a blade of fused spinal vertebrae to scythe down any that stood against it. 

At the height of the fighting, as one, the creatures turned and simply withdrew from the field, as if called as one by a greater will to another more pressing concern. Lord Henrich marshaled his surviving men, and taking his most trusted personal guard with him, gave chase to the fleeing monsters, sending the rest of his retinue to gather as many additional fighting men as could be found. 

Ascent to the Ebon Pyramid

For hours the men of Henrich's household guard tracked the creatures through the woodland. Though night should have long since fallen, the woods were lit by a persistent baleful twilight. The origin of this light and indeed the source of the creatures themselves was at last revealed to the men of County Ledzuit.  A sinister obsidian pyramid stood at the center of a clearing surrounded by esoteric statuary, a ragged portal shone above the structure, weeping corposant and ichor, the doorway spat forth more of the horrors.  A pitched battle was already raging around the nightmare portal, barbaric knights of an unknown alignment hacked into the throng of creatures, each one of the armored warriors chanted a hymnal that burned the ears and made the skin itch with the sound of the un-words.   

Resolute to bring an end to the situation, Henrich and his footmen move into the pitched fighting. Banking on sword and shield to subdue the portal's unholy influence. 

In moments, the outcome of the fighting would be moved into certainty, the men of Ledzuit laid low a half dozen of the revenant creatures and came within reach of the chanting knights who were still crowded by a throng of the monstrous entities. As the Lord Henrich ordered his forces to support the strange men, an overwhelming stench of ozone flooded out from the weeping portal. Several of the men around the Lord suddenly dropped their weaponry and clutched their heads or fell to the ground screaming in total agony. In horror Lord Henrich watched as his men's skin melted away revealing a bloody goosepimpled hide, twisting spurs of bone reached forth from the skulls of the dying men.  Still screaming in agonized death, towering bloodsoaked monstrosities stood up from a pile of flayed skin.

In desperation, the surviving men crowded around their lord, resolved to die standing against the horrors. To their surprise, the bloody creatures turned away from them descending upon the twisted flesh monsters besieging the strange knights. In short order, the blood monsters defeated the revenants, and after a guttural order from one of the strange knights, they bounded up the black pyramid and into the portal. Silence fell across the clearing, the only warriors still standing on the grisly field were humans. The largest of the knights turned towards the huddled knot of Henrich's footmen, and held up his sword in salute. Before he and his attendant warriors followed the blood creatures into the portal.  

After the last of the knights had entered the portal, the tear in reality snapped shut with a wet sucking noise, that made all in the vicinity dizzy and nauseous. None of the creatures have been seen since, nor any of the knights despite through investigations by members of the Collogia Aracanis. The only clue was found by investigators in the charred remnants of the Coll Manor, an aged leather bound book untouched by the flames, with an odd tri-lobed symbol embroidered on its cover. The interior filled with barely conceivable word forms, only one word was discernable to those that viewed it, a phlegmy unpleasant word...