Part 2.. and we're done with Salamanders for now!
He could see it, feel it, his senses were as alive as they always were but it moved in a way that was alien to him. It did things, performed acts he had not told it to. It was as if his neural synapses had been re-routed and Tsu’gan was no longer in full command of them. His limbs moved now as if of their own volition. He had become like a puppet, dangling helplessly on Nihilan’s strings.
Tsu’gan had heard of some psykers that could inhabit the bodies of others,
using their will to impel their actions, effectively wearing them like a suit of battle-plate. Nihilan’s mind shackle was not like that. Tsu’gan could only liken it to the command protocols given to a servitor via their doctrina wafers. It was as if he’d been given a series of pre-set routines and was now bound to follow them.
The "mind shackle" influence. Rather interesting, if it is necron tech.
Turning his full attention on the other one, Tsu’gan pushed the muzzle of his bolter into the Scout’s chest and pulled the trigger. The close-range burst scorched his armour, turning it black from the discharge flare, but ripped open the neophyte’s torso.
Tsu’gan let him crumple in a bloody heap...
Bolter barrage vs Scout, and scout carapace.
A third took a bracing stance and swung around a heavy bolter to rake the gap between them.
Tsu’gan reached back and seized Rennard. The Marine Malevolent wasn’t expecting the move and by the time he fought it he was being used as a meat shield and struck by mass-reactive shells.
The dense impacts rocked the warrior’s body and Tsu’gan pushed forwards behind it all the way to his opponent, causing horrendous damage to Rennard in the process. At almost point blank the sheer force of the heavy salvo knocked them both off their feet.
Tsu’gan landed hard on his back but was quick to roll the groaning Marine Malevolent off him as he led with his chainsword.
Leaving Rennard to bleed out...
Heavy bolter seems to mortally wound Marine Malevolent. Imapct has enough force to knock down Tsu'gan and Marine both. Whehter by impact or explosion or both...
He, the low-born of the prophecy, fated as saviour or destroyer, was still the source of Tsu’gan’s distemper. He used it, fashioned his wrath into a spear and thrust its tip through the barrier between his mind and body.
He struck at the mind shackle, hacking into it with his gladius and cleaving it
down the middle. But as soon as the blade was withdrawn, the damage was undone. The device had repaired itself.
Tsu’gan sagged in defeat, feeling the numbness in his head again as the tendrils of bondage were remade. His brief rebellion was over. The mind shackle had reasserted its influence.
..he thrust again recklessly with his gladius this time and impaled the device. Already the blade was being pushed out, the split it had carved reknitting as living metal flowed over it like sentient mercury.
Tsu'gan manages to get angry (focuseD?) enough to break the mindshackle's control, but when the damage is destroyed it self repairs and reasserts control so long as it is attached. It even repair sagainst the thrust, whjch just goes to show how durable the buggers are and how hard they are to remove... but they can be beaten.
Nocturne screamed. The earth cracked and like a beast with its flank skewered by the hunter’s spear its blood poured forth.
...the sound of tectonic plates breaking and grinding.
Presaged by the runnels of lava spilling out into the plains like fiery arteries, a cavalcade of massive earthquakes wracked the surface of Nocturne. Mount Deathfire bellowed, spewing up a vast pyroclastic cloud that fashioned night from day in a matter of seconds. The air thickened with ash as the red world fought to tear itself apart, thrashing and shouting with the pain of her wounding.
Crimson lightning split the smoke-drenched sky; the deep lava glow of the erupting mountain chains was like a firmament of hot amber stars in the blackness.
Chasms opened in the lands beyond the Sanctuary Cities. Entire settlements, the tented outposts of nomads, the subterranean domains of cave-dwellers were extinguished in moments. Those not smothered by ash were boiled with intense heat; the few that survived those trials were swallowed by the gaping earth or drowned in hellish lava.
A jagging line in the ground fed all the way to the gate-wall of Hesiod, thick enough to devour a gunship whole without it touching the sides. It struck the void shield first, which shimmered in a few seconds of valiant resistence before capitulating and collapsing. Then it roared on, smashing into the wall itself and sharpening its craggy teeth on the foundation stone of Nocturne. This was the planet’s bedrock, one of the seven places discovered by the earth shamans of old and where the tribal-kings had founded the Sanctuaries that would later become city-bastions.
A fissure rode up the dark obsidian of Hesiod’s boundary. It became a crack, widening farther as each second passed, tearing open the city’s defences like they were naught but clay.
Seismic cannon on Nocturne. It's honestly hard to calc this, and we dont know if its brute force or technobabble or what and to what degre.. the quakes and the planet shaking suggest significant energies, but its hard to estimate really. It's most definitely not instantaneously fatal (no global firestorms, no massive amounts of ejecta, etc.) but given the name of the weapon that may not be the intended effect despite the highly visible beam. It could go either way, and its not really easy to measure the effects of the weapon on any target or what it should be desgned tos top.
The only thing we can really note is how the void shields briefly resist a quake/fissure opening... indicating that voids perhaps provide some measure of structural reinforcement as well as a physical barrier.
the interetsing thing is that its implied this isn't just a temporary thing.. the quaking is the primary and consistent effect.. whether it is just the geological nature or setup of the planet or what... we dont know.
The 'crack" is more than 30 m wide, given a Thunderhawk's wingspan (or length, not much difference iether way).
Tsu’gan, not the mind shackle, was governing his actions again. He reached
up to touch the alien thing clinging tenuously to his cheek. The skin where it was pinioned was raw, down to the bone; the lava had dissolved it, but it had also severely damaged the mind shackle.
He ripped it off his face and took what followed with gritted teeth.
Agony already wracked his entire body, what did a little more matter.
Tsu’gan crushed the broken silver beetle and scattered its remains.
Yeah, it seems like is Necron tech.
Several took up crouching positions and shouldered cannons that blazed with a pellucid light. As the bright beams touched Engel’saak’s skin they burned, they actually hurt it.
It spewed a stream of corrupting fire from its beak-like maw, engulfing the summit of the dune and the mortals who were first to crest it. Despite their armour they burned, groping and writhing in the ash of their own immolated bodies.
Daemon seems to be harmed by shoulder-fired lascannons (Bazookas) at least to some small degree.. but in turn paritally incinerates another group in their armor (MJ to GJ range at least, depending on how deep/severe and the number.)
A squadron of Predator battle tanks, Destructor and Annihilator variants, rumbled along in its wake. Autocannon turrets and side-mounted lascannons riddled the static enemy artillery with armour-busting fire.
A missile battery went up in a blaze of fire and shrapnel. The explosion spread to a heavier ground-to-air Bombard, killing its crew and scuppering the war engine.
Ponderous ordnance tanks, the Whirlwinds and Vindicators of Master Kor’hadron’s
Armoury, laid down suppressing fire from a distance. Rocket bursts chewed up the earth in front of the enemy tanks and split their tracks, slowing their response to Tu’Shan’s flanking column. Fat shells spat from the mouths of Demolisher cannons tipped entire vehicles onto their sides where the escaping crew were lit up like burning torches from Tu’Shan’s flamestorm side-mounts.
Tu’Shan rolled over the mechanised outriders, smashing the wrecks from his path and grinding foot troops to paste beneath his iron-shod tracks.
In a few short minutes, the artillery was almost totally destroyed and the Dragon Warriors were in retreat.
Armor battle. Of note are:
- autocannon spenetrating along with lascannon fire. Also seem to have simialr range (at least 2 km or so, perhaps.)
Vindicators and Devastators used as artillery fro extended range.. greater than 2 km? Demolisher rounds (rocket assisted I believe) can tip vehicles over (tanks and artillery).. considering we're tlaking tanks that must mass tens of tons.. this is rather impressive, especially since the tanks are still more or less intact enough for crews to get out. To get an idea of the impact involved consider this link
which says the following:
For a point of reference, 36 kN-s of momentum imparted to an 18-tonne FCS vehicle through its center of mass by a FOOB gun would endow it with 2 m/s of velocity. The kinetic energy of the vehicle would be 36 kJ, sufficient to raise the vehicle about 20 cm off the ground. It should be understood the moment arm between the center of mass of the vehicle and gun trunnions would result in substantial rotational energy imparted to the vehicle as well.
At least 2 m/s x vehicel mass would lift the tank up 20 cm,which might risk flipping it. There is also the Ogorkiwicz limit of 900 n*s/to mentioend elsewhere to consider. No matter how you consider it, it suggests the tanks are pretty damn durable.
The fact they pass over the force within "a fe wminutes" suggests an engagement range between 1.7 and 2.5 km (assuming ~50 kph travel speed for the tanks, and they were moving at top speed, which isn't unreasonable) which meshes with what we know from such vehicles.
Forged by the fury of the seismic cannon, the bore hole was also wide. It walls were ridged, and descended in molten rings. In the manner of a colossal drill, the energy lance had pierced the many layers of rock and earth between the surface and the magma halls beneath it. Laid open like a wound, Nihilan had but to turn the enemy’s eye away and he could walk into this realm unmolested.
Effect of Seismic cannon. It seems that Nihilan wanted to punch a hole into the surface of the planet to infiltrate the Salamanders homeworld for his own purposes, rather than purely to demolish the world (at least not right off and used his proposed conflict as a diversion.
We don't know how big a hole is put through, but Nihilan is able to use a jump pack to make his passage.. assuming between 20-200 meter diameter for the hole, melted through the crust of the planet (it says it went to the "heart" but I'm assuming it means down to magma - later evidence confirms this and a dpeth of around 40-100 km. For a 20 diameter hole melted.. 13 megatons to 3.2 gigatons for a 200 m diameter hole given the above assumtpions. This does not neccesarily mean much, given that a.) I'm assuming arbitrary hole widths and b.) we dont know if it was all melted or some was vaporized or simply ejected molten, and c.) at least some if not most of the energy was lost in subsidary effects (creating the quakes, disrupting the entire planet, etc.) For all we know this is how the weapon is mean tot work.. it punches a hole straight in while unleashing its effects as seismic tremors throughout the thickness of the crust., or something. Or maybe it is meant to disrupt or agitate the mantle/core to cause the shaking/shock effects. Or it could be purely technobabble.
Auto-slaved weapon systems cycled into violent action as secondary holding tubes split apart as if spring-loaded. Droves of missiles sped into the gun decks, ripping into the makeshift barricades erected by the defenders and tearing apart the grisly torture chains draped across its vaults.
Dense explosions chewed up weapon teams and hastily scrambled shield-carriers.
Static Rapier turrets added to the carnage of the Deathwind missile arrays, shredding the packed ranks of canoneers who’d hauled tracked multilasers and wheeled heavy stubbers into firing positions.
Salmaanders automated boarding weapons.. boarding torpedo version of deathwind drop pods. Also more static Rapier weapons. Also note the boarding crews are using man portable (tracked/wheeled) multilasers and heavy stubbers, as well as having some sort of boarding shields (full body perhaps) by shield carriers.
Solid shot pattered off the Terminators like metal-cased rain. It turned the deck into a quagmire of spent ammunition and impotent brass shells. A round smacked against Praetor’s left retinal lens and he scowled..
Terminator armor durability.
Scanning the perimeter, cycling through several light spectra until he found one that provided the cleanest visual feed, he isolated cell leaders that were shouting frantic orders for more men.
Lighting these individuals up on the group tac-display was swift; their deaths to the combined fire of several key Firedrake squads were quicker still
Multi-spectral optical systems, as well as some sort of datalink allowing them to share data and targeting information for coordinating fire.
The way ahead was clogged with the grubby remains of bonded-slaves. It chafed to raise arms against once-loyal servants to the Throne but madness and hell had rendered them beyond redemption. Execution was a mercy. "Fire to cleanse the fore." he added.
Vo’kar and the other heavy flamers unleashed a furious blaze that turned the sundered corpses into ash.
Slowly, but with purpose, the Firedrakes drove over it and expanded their cordon. Superheated bone cruched to powder underfoot.
Heavy flamers (unknown number) cremate unknown number of corpses.. enough that it can block the path for terminator armor, at least, and cremation is VERY energetic.
Entire battalions of armsmen had fallen to his spear and gauntlet.
Many battalions of armsmen on board the flagship (Battleship/cruiser grade.)
A narthecium medical kit came with the armour. It carried various
items, coagulant gels, counterseptic, rapid-ossifying sprays, a bio-scanner, chem-ampoules with liquid nitrogen and phials of anaesthetic. Of much higher grade and concentration than human compounds, his medi-kit was designed to prolong and preserve life; none of it was particularly useful in the art of killing.
During his tenure as part of the
apothecarion, Emek had done extensive research into the myriad alien races that plagued mankind and knew the thing that was stalking him.
Xeno-taxonomers would classify the creature: mandrake.
Xenos research and Xeno-taxonomy. That seems to suggest ignorance is not quite as widespread as it is thought. Information is controlled and restricted, without a doubt, but that doesn't mean people are completely stupid and ignorant. I mean fuck, Even guardsmen can be taught to read and write.
There, he had augur arrays and visual-spectra devices
that could detect the mandrake. He also had a cohort of battle-servitors that could be tasked with its execution or at the very least deter or delay it.
Apothecary defense systems. Emek is confident they could cope with a Mandrake's stealth.
The reductor was a drilling implement attached to his gauntlet. It was noisy but sharp enough to cut
through ossmodula-hardened bone.
... he slid out the surgical knife instead. The shuck it made slipping from its sheath sounded loud in the gloom. It was a broad-bladed, saw-edged thing forged of mono-molecular steel that could cut toughened Space Marine flesh with ease.
More surgical gear. It really shows you what is needed to get through a Space Marines' body to his organs.
Attached to the neck was a small atomiser that Emek
triggered like a sidearm. The liquid contents coned out in a fine spray, vaporising instantly on contact with the air into a pellucid white gas which then crystallised.
The mandrake shrieked and recoiled as the liquid nitrogen compound reacted with its skin. Parts of its body started to freeze solid as it sought the succour of its shadow realm, anchoring it in reality.
Interesting means of neutralising a Mandrake's abilities.. if you can catch him off guard close in.
A thunderous retort, made louder in the narrow corridor, deafened him and the mandrake disappeared in a welter of flesh, bone and shadowed strips.
Shard rounds, alien and venomous, impacted against the rosarius
field the Chaplain arrayed around him. Like blind insects striking armaglas, the barbs from the dark eldar’s chattering rifles fell dead at his armoured feet.
The Rosarius seems to provide a slowing effect to stop the rounds completely, rather than simply deflecting, destroying or displacing them.
Elysius spied the hulking form of Master Argos at the foremost barricade. They were automated shields, a little over waist height. There were several Tarantula and Rapier emplacements slaved to the defence too.
"There are another five hundred metres of shielding I can activate down this ventral corridor"
500 meters thick, wide.. what?
The mighty forge-ship he referred to
was one of Vulkan’s artefacts, restored to the Chapter in an elder age. Without it, the Salamanders’ capacity to fashion artificered armour and weapons would be greatly reduced.
The Chalice of Fire artifact seems to be the explanation why there is so much high end gear for the Salamanders and why they can afford to destroy (rather than recycle) power armor with their dead, as well as outfit their officers/heroes and their Veterans with such high end gear (artificer armor, melta pistols, etc.)
One would think that this would provide a useful industrial resource. The Salamanders could make quite a profit they can use to support their world if they supplied other Chapters.
"Amongst other relics, like the Nocturne’s Hammer"
Reference to the oldest rhino in the Imperium. Crusade/HEresy era.
"You’re bleeding to death. Even your Larraman cells cannot regenerate fast enough whilst your body is being exerted like this."
Unsurprisingly, limits to Marine endurance.
"It’s a massive dose of adrenaline. Enough to kill a lesser being, but just the right amount to keep you
conscious long enough so you can help me kill these bastards."
"in a few minutes it will overload your nervous system and send you into anaphylactic shock. Your body will then compensate for this trauma by putting you into suspended animation coma."
To be fair, Ba'ken is still recovering from the massive amount of injury he suffered in the last book, so he's not quite up to full strength, and exerting himself now is leaving him vulnerable.
A raking bolter shot from Ba’ken cut down another of the abominations. Its bloated torso ruptured with multiple detonations, spearing its closest brethren with bone shrapnel as its chest cavity exploded.
Emek decapitated a third with a headshot, painting the walls either side of it with gore and brain matter.
Bolter and bolt pistol vs DE grotesques.
Without the compensators built into his power amour, he had to brace himself as he racked an alternator slide and switched to full auto.
This burst would likely expend all of his ammunition in a single stroke. With one hand under the barrel to steady it, he triggered his bolter and engulfed the corridor in a storm of exploding shellfire. Midway through the salvo, he roared in concert with his weapon and for a few glorious seconds they were of one voice, one purpse. A split second before the hard chank of metal announced the chamber was empty, he lifted the barrel.
Given a 20-30 shot magazine for a boltgun and assuming it is full (it isn't but we don't know how full/empty it is) it takes 2-3 seconds to empty it. Meaning 10-15 rounds per second ROF is the upper limit for this bolter, and it could be lower.
Also Marine bolters are designed to be wielded in power armor, due to the built in compensators and such (which would seem to be in full armour, as earlier it is noted Ba'ken is only wearing his arm and leg stuff.
Another fired a heavy bolter attachment but a bright flare of actinic energy arrested
the salvo before it could hit him.
Elysius was shielded by his rosarius and had interceded between servitor and Salamander.
Rosarius stops a heavy bolter salvo.
A burst of bolter fire deflected off the archon’s blade, dismissed like an insect.
DE Archon can deflect bolt fire with his sword like a JEdi.
A plasma bolt struck the skull boss of his shield and rocked him. Servos protesting in his leg armour, he pounded into the shell storm being unleashed by the renegades.
Terminator storm shield takes plasma gun blast, Terminator armour shrugs off sustained bolter fire.
I'll note that through much of the series, the Salamanders use their storm shields as a weapon -apparently either the edges are sharpened or the powerfield/force field enhancements give them a cutting edge.
Brother Or’vo took a lascannon beam in the chest, which felled him.
Lascannon hit manages to fell Terminator.
The room was immense, a vast octagonal chamber set with massive
spinning fans that pushed ice-laced air into a web of generatoria far above. Halfway up the long tunnel, industrial jets squirted gouts of liquid nitrogen into the manufactured atmosphere. Upon contact with the air, the jet streams vaporised and veneered the lower sections of the generatoria in a chemical frost.
Praetor could think of only one thing that would require such excessive methods to cool it. Above them was the apocalypse weapon.
The reactor cooling systems for the seismic cannon.
The edges of the octagonal chamber were largely flat and made of metal. There was maybe just over a hundred metres to the mesh underfloor of the chamber above.
By mag-locking their boots to the walls, they could march all the way to the top.
Interesting that Terminators can walk up the side of a battleship for 100 metres, against the pull of gravity. Later they mention suspensors which no doubt can help, but this is still a damn impressive feat.
It was immense, easily the size of a Land Raider, possibly bigger. The lower half
of its body consisted of six insectoid limbs, engineered by some insane techpriest. Mechanised parts met daemon flesh in an unholy fusion where its abdomen and torso joined. Here it was red as blood-fire, sinous and over-muscled. It was not unlike a grim, daemonic centaur, only more horrific, an engine merged with the physical essence of a warp-fiend.
jutting from its back vented hell-smoke in sympathetic empathy of its tangible anger.
The shells seemed to ripple against its skin as if striking a molten barrier that was robbing them of all potency.
"Use your blades and hammers."
He’stan unleashed a burst from his storm bolter. Like all of the Forgefather’s trappings, this was no ordinary weapon. It was blessed by the hand of Vulkan and fashioned to smite the denizens of eternal hellrealms.
"It is a creature from the Soul Forge." he said. The hallowed shells from his first salvo detonated brightly against the monster’s daemonic torso. The wounds were white against its hell-red flesh and flared with a righteous flame, but did little to slow let alone kill the thing. "It is a Soul Grinder."
It lashed out, snapping a warrior in two before it seized upon another with a hideous
mechanised claw and butchered him. Heavy rounds thundered from a cannon fused into one of its arms, chewing up another of the indomitable First.
Soul Grinder. SEems to be alot like a Defiler. Claw and arm mounted gun, skin enhanced/resistant to bolter fire (akin to some sort of shielding), but more vulnerable to blades.
Also He'Stan Vulkan has a special Vulkan-descended storm bolter - perhaps one of the Primarch's old weapons, but not one of the Nine itself. It has a tangilbe (sanctified) effect on the enemy. I'd guess either the rounds are specially blessed by a Chaplain or something, or the collective Nocturne/Salamander faith in the wepaon being from Vulkan is so great that it conveys automatic sanctity (Another human version of the "Red ones go faster" effect)
He’stan helped return him to his feet. The Forgefather was immensely strong but it was only for the fact of the Tactical Dreadnought Armour’s suspensors that he was able to lift the prone sergeant at all.
Terminator armour has suspensors, helping to offset the mass/weight of armor.
They’d reached just over fifty metres, when three more ancillary hatches opened.
Height of the Termiantor forces over He'stan and the soul grinder. Important shortly.
Earlier it was mentioned they were 100 metres below their target, but we know for sure they are 50 metres.
He’stan saw one of the climbing Firedrakes fall. His brother hit the ground thunderously like a comet, hurt but not dead.
50 (maybe 100) meter fall seems to injure Terminator, but he survives. Possibly due to suspensors (mentioned later)
A stream of warp flame burst from the Soul Grinder’s mouth, forcing He’stan to dive aside or be immolated by it. He barely had time to spring to his feet when a second burst engulfed the deck behind him.
The metal squealed and spat as it was malformed under the warp fire’s terrible influence.
Soul Grinder warpflame attack.
She grasped the pyramidal object An’scur had given her and hurriedly activated the runes.
As the dark light burned Lyythe’s wretched hands into skeletal claws she enjoyed a final, tragic moment of absolute agony before the concealed void mine exploded and her soul was cast to the feet of ravening daemons.
DE versoin of vortex weaponry. Assumign they can still make them, they're unsurprisingly more sophisticated than Imperial equivalents.
A reaper canon spat out from the shadowy throng, catching the veteran sergeant in the chest and hurling him down.
Before he hit the ground, Praetor knew it was over.
It was numbing and he barely felt the jolt as he smashed into the deckplate,
With a tenacious death grip, Praetor held on to his shield and hammer.
Praetor survives a fall from a similar height. Again suspensors may play a role.
Unwilling to pause in his manic fusillade, he didn’t see the vaulted ceiling
glowing red and the burning line etched in the kilometres-thick metal.
Da'kir as the Ferro Ignis arrives. I'm not really sure how to take the "kilometres thick" metal thing. On one hand that seriously seems to imply the ship is so massive it has several km of armor plating and yet... no ship in 40K except maybe fortress monasteries could have that. I'm guessing it references to how far to the external hull there is, with all the systems, walls, armor plating/structural reinforcement, bulkheads, etc. between that point and this. I'd guess maybe 10% of that is armor, which is still alot (hundreds of metres) but also recall it was noted that the armor plating on this ship was "several times" greater so its not dramatically different from other ships (and we know extenral hull plating from the Rogue trader RPG and Black cRusde that hull armor is tens of metres thick easily.) Hell ven assuming 1% armor that's still 20 metres thick, which suggests something like 8-10 meter thick armor is normal. However you look at it, 40K hull armor is more than just a couple metres thick despite what some people say (unsurprising when Titans, which are nothing compared to starships, also have metres thick armor)
The other interesting detial is that this puts some lower limits on ship size. We know the ship is at least 2-3 km across or tall, and given usual Navy ship length/width ratios (assume length is 4-5x width) you might get anywhere from 4 to 15 km in length. It seems to suggest from "top to bottom." Given the seismic cannon is implied to be placed in a way similar to other prow weapons (EG nova cannon) the ship is probably about 2-3 km "tall", plus or minus the few hundred metres below they may have had to cross (anothe reason I'm loathe to assume we're talking solid kilometres thick hull..)
This means the ship could be 2-3 km "tall" at the prow, but easily several times that in width given strike cruiser/battle barge design typically (It is mentioned interchangably that the ship could be a strike cruiser or battle barge, I am guessing more towards the latter since it is noted to be bigger/more powerful than even the Salamanders battle barges.) Given the "height/length" ratios of a Barge
here, my earlier estimate is off by quite a bit.. I'd guess Length is ~8x the height, so we're talking more like 16-25 km length. Width of the ship is maybe 2-3 times the height.
"All crew, as we are flung headlong into the yawning darkness, heed my words. That sound you hear, the chiming of metal upon metal, the shriek of adamantium steel and the lofty thunder beyond our walls is the anvil."
Starship made of 'Adamantium steel' - so I guess you can alloy with adamintium or other materials.
He consulted the tacticarium display but the readings were indecipherable. The sheer speed of the flame spear was incredible. It was like no spacefaring vessel he’d ever seen, but then this wasn’t a ship; it wasn’t a ship at all.
The flaming spear widened at its tip, spreading into a fiery blade that burned in the void despite the lack of oxygen. Brighter than the sun, it struck the Hell-stalker with the force of a god and sheared it in half.
First Praetor felt an overwhelming sensation of heat and then he saw a crackling wall of flame. It passed through the hull of the enemy warship, cleaved through it like a welding torch cutting through metal
Depressurisation came in the fire’s wake, the chill of the void rushing into the shaft as the Hell-stalker’s prow simply fell away and
parted from the rest of the ship.
Super-psyker Da'Kir just sliced through the ship's prow (from the ceiling to bottom I'd guess)
It was a jagged spike of broken ship’s spine, naked struts jutting
from the wound like broken ribs. It had been severed, and molten edges of the metal superstructure suggested it was something phenomenally hot that had done it.
Seems like Da'kir melted his way through the hull. Shows what a high end super-psyker can do (although one that is, IMHO probably even more than alpha-class.. meaning it is even more uncommon. This is far and above beyond what a mere Librarian can do.)
We also learn (and confirmed later) Da'kir's action prett ymuch decimated a good chunk of the enemy escort fleet, either directly or indirectly (from the Hell-stalker blowing up for example).
Then he saw the wrecks. Ship after enemy ship littered the void, burned and blackened by incendiary fire, broken and bleeding. They’d emerged into utter carnage. It had swung the favour of the battle to Dac’tyr’s fleet and the Salamanders.
Fugis didn’t need to see it to know the spear of flame he’d caught a glimpse of earlier had done this, had reduced an enemy flotilla to rags.
As I said, Da'Kir pretty much decimated the entire fleet singlehanded.
Nihilan cycled through his optical spectra until he found a filter that provided the cleanest visual acuity.
More multi-spectral autosenses.
One scrape could puncture a vent, disable his jump pack and send him falling to oblivion in the fuliginous depths below.
The seismic cannon had cut a wound into the molten core of Nocturne, close to its heart.
He increased the burn in his engines, thumbing just a little more power into the vents. Then he waited silently in the shadows, jump pack eating fuel with a dulcet burr, keeping its wearer aloft and relatively still.
Nihilan is using a jump pack to traverse the way to his destination. The Seismic cannon (true intention) cut a hole to the "molten heart" of Nocturne - again which suggests to the mantle rather than the core, to my thinking.
Soon, it would swell and burst. Mount
Deathfire would crack and open. She would bleed to death and drown the world in hellfire.
Nihilan ponders on the fate of the world.
‘Slay him!’ Nihilan snapped, backing off to protect the book.
Ramlek broke into a loping run, power axe swinging. Pyriel threw the hulking warrior aside with a burning column that spiralled with the heads of chasing serpents and crashed the Dragon Warrior into the chamber wall. He tried to get up but Pyriel hit him again with a blazing hammer that left Ramlek’s armour cracked and trailing smoke. Out cold, the Dragon Warrior didn’t rise again.
Pyriel disables Ramlek. Assuming a 500-1000 kg Astartes in armour (Ramlek seemed kind of large and hulking really) we're talking thousands of kg*m/s worth of momentum exerted, at least. Probably several times that if not more given Ramlek must have been sent flying and struck hard enough to get knocked out (a'la spear throwing scene for ST armor.)
One of the black darts had bitten through his armour. Pyriel imagined it moving
parasitically through his body, intent on his heart. It wasn’t real, though, just a psychic manifestation. His mind made it real. His will alone could excise it like a splinter from the wound. Gasping another knife-edged breath, he pushed the dart out.
Interesting telepathic/illusion based attack.
Though he tried to deny it, the ‘sending’ from Prometheus had weakened him.
Possible limits on the Gate of Infinity. Seems to suggest hundreds if not thousands of km range limit.
"I liked the psy-hammer, by the way. It’s not easy to put Ramlek down."
The psychic/TK attack mentioned above.
Gunning their engines, a pair of Predators went to engage it, turrets booming. Autocannon shells exploded harmlessly off the daemon’s scaled hide. In retaliation, it spewed a torrent of warp fire that reduced the tanks to molten slag and their crew to ash.
2 Predators melted down to slag, crews ash (a couple GJ per crew, maybe 4-6 crew total for both?) and to 30-40 ton predators melted (assuming iron is ) 60-80 GJ.. so call it maybe 60-100 GJ at least from an incrnated Daemon's (in dragon form) warp attack.
..an armoured Rhino strayed too close to the daemon and was immolated. Another, slewing on its tracks to drive clear, was smacked aside with a sweep of the creature’s tail. It rolled, spitting fire and frag before crashing to a halt on its roof.
Sending an armoured 30 ton rhino flying with a tail sweep form the daemon.
Tu’Shan grimaced as the daemon-dragon smacked into the Land Raider’s hull. He got off a desultory burst from the pintle-mounted storm bolter before the battle tank pitched onto its nose and the Chapter Master was thrown clear of its negligible protection.
The dragon-daemon had crushed the front of the Promethean, squeezed its armour in its talons like it was parchment and left it buring
Daemon lifts up on its nose and crushes LAnd Raider. A comment on its size and strength.
Vel’cona’s lightning shield saved the Chapter Master’s life. It flickered and spat as the creature’s warp essence touched it, reacting like a refractor field does when exposed to rain. There was a hiss of static then the stink of ozone and the shield collapsed.
Not waiting for a riposte, the Master Librarian threw a psychic storm against the daemon, feeding arcs of jagged, azure lightning into its neck and torso. It was badly burned. Fat slabs of scale hung off the daemon by immaterial threads and an ugly, black scar marred the bloody shimmer of its hell-skin..
Vel’cona thrust his open hand towards the ground. As
he brought his hand back up, stiffened into a grasping claw, the surface of Nocturne was wrenched up with it.
Tendrils of dust and debris trailed off a vast, metres-thick wall of earth. For a few seconds even the daemon-dragon was obscured from sight. The clatter of crumbling stone presaged its return as the creature crashed through the elemental barricade.
Vel’cona dug deeper, dredged up the bedrock Hesiod had been founded on. With a psychic sculptor’s hand he fashioned a prison of sanctuary stone around the creature, encasing it within the fortified heart-rock
It barely held.
Chief Librarian Vel'Cona's powers. The shield is interesting, and the storm suggests severe burns but.. its hard to calc because we don't know the daemon's exact height. It's much taller than a Space Marine (2-3 metres), and probably taller than either a Predator or a Land Raider, but its not massive (EG not titan scale) maybe 5-10 meters.
Assuming 5 meters and 4th or so degree flash burns (lets say 100-400 j sq cm given the effect on its skin. Given a 5x2 m daemon we migth e talking 10-40 MJ at least.. not impossible given some of the cremations in other sources.
Also its abilitiy to raise "metres" thick" barriers to encase daemon. Assuming 5 m tall, 2 m thick walls 2 m wide.. Vel-cona amassed some 180 tonnes of earth around the daemon in a matter of seconds. to imprison it. Not neccesarily a direct sort of TK, but it is still impressive in the ability to exert force.
"Give it a volley of the broadside laser batteries."
A few minutes later and the already damaged enemy frigate was no more.
A already damaged frigate survives several minutes of broadside fire from a Battle barge.
Despite Dac’tyr’s best efforts, the Salamander fleet had been facing certain defeat, outnumbered and outgunned by a superior foe.
A trailing torch of fire had intervened. Everything changed in the space of a few heartbeats. It had torn the enemy flagship into pieces and crippled several others.
Confirmation of what happened earlier. we also learn that some of the enemy ships actually fled.
"Have the gunners power the prow-lances." he said, wiping a line of blood from his mouth, "and prepare a firing solution to the surface."
"That’s an orbital strike, my lord."
A miniature sun was born in the bloody sky above them, magnesium white and growing by the second.
Static electricity crackled the air, presaging a flurry of dry lightning strikes. Vel’cona fended off one with his outstretched palm; another he earthed to his force staff.
Together they reached the wreckage of the Land Raider as a tiny targeting beam pierced the oily clouds above.
In less than a minute the lance strike would hit the surface.
Preparations for the orbital lance strike. Apparently its quite visible, and involves a visible targeting beam (for precision) but takes a minute or more to prepare. Tu'Shan intends to use a Land Raider for protection.
Lorkar shouted for his warriors to take cover as the orbital lance strike came down. It hit the earth with an ear-splitting boom, the shock wave billowing out as far as the ravine where the Marines Malevolent sheltered. It was bright, incredibly bright and the after-flare was slow to recede from the sergeant’s retinal lenses.
"Ordnance, fired from deep space." he asserted.
"Cursory wreckage analysis suggests he was thrown by the blast. Currently, he is trapped beneath a section of a battle tank that has flipped onto its side."
"The lance strike has isolated him from the rest of the fighting. I can detect no heat signatures or electronic returns within five hundred metres."
Effects of the lance strike. It probably didn't lsat (fireball wise) for more than a few seconds or less, and its implied the blast radius (nonlethal) was not much greater than 500 m or so. That would point to low megaton at best, and probably not much more than single kiloton range. Especially since Tu'Shan wasn't that far from the point of impact yet didn't get engulfed in a fireball. This did not do much to the daemon, sadly.
From a prone position, the warrior was upside down and had drawn
a short combat blade.
Lorkar thumbed the activation stud on his grip and the
combat blade buzzed into motion.
An unpleasant musk escaped into the air as this second layer of plate was revealed. It was pitted, rusted at the edges and fused into Lorkar’s flesh.
Tu’Shan had seen the tainted armour of traitors before. He knew how it could mould to the wearer, become a symbiotic part of them.
Mutation and corruption being an obvious, tangible thing any blunt Space Marine can recognize. Unless you're a Soul Drinker, then its a holy blessing.
Lorkar rammed his vibro-blade into the Chapter Master’s armour,
between the pectoral and shoulder guard. Tu’Shan cried out as the churning teeth met flesh.
Vibro-blade seems to have chainsword-like qualities here, depending on what oyu take "churning" to mean.
feeding a jolt of power into the hammer and severely
electrocuting the Techmarine who was flung back several metres and landed in a quivering, smouldering
Tu'Shan's hammer seems to be a powerweapon. In adition to the blast effect it seems to inflict severe electrical burns... high kj to low MJ maybe? That'd be roughly consistent with similar weapons like the Gauntlet sof Macragge (1-8 MW there)
Emerging from the fading darkness, Vel’cona fed a lightning arc through his palm that struck Nihilan in the shoulder. The Master Librarian called down a second strike that cracked his chestplate then a third, hammering the Dragon Warrior as he tried to rise.
Nihilan earthed a fourth bolt with his staff, using it like a lightning rod. He was halfway to his feet when Vel’cona clenched a fist to split the ground beneath him. Foundering in the cracks, Nihilan threw a wayward spit of hell-flame that the Master Librarian repelled easily with a dismissive gesture.
Lightning and earthquake attacks from Vel'Cona.
Nihilan summoned a lance of darkness that would strip his old master’s soul from his flesh and leave the rotting husk in its wake.
Vel’cona threw up a spear of his own, an arcing line of flame that met the blackness of Nihilan’s warp sorcery and held it.
The vying psychic conjurations expanded as more power was fed into them
by their wielders, becoming a miniature event horizon that slowly filled the vault and everything in it.
Within the boiling morass of warp energy, Vel’cona percieved his avatar as a roaring drake, thick-scaled and tusked; whereas Nihilan had fashioned one of the dragon-kind, a blood-red, winged beast scarred by old wounds. The monsters clashed, gouging and clawing, tearing hunks of scale and flesh with their fangs, giving physical form to the mental struggle.
Slowly, the drake began to assert its dominance. It grew larger even as the dragon diminished.
Psychic duel. It takes on interesting connotations with the "Avatars" forming, reminsiicent of the psychic duel ravenor engaged in in his series.
There was a gaping chasm in Pyriel’s torso from where the soul lance had gutted him. Though the hell-fire had cauterised the wound, it had left it black with taint and destroyed the majority of his organs.
Nihilan's soul lance attack that defeated Pyriel. Cauterisation, but it totally defeated a (weakened) PYriel's attacks. Destroying most fo the organs and cauterisation suggests severe large scale burning, thorugh the torso.. easily tens if not hundreds of kj for those effects alone. I'm really not sure it has to be super powerful either beyond a few tens or a few hundreds of kj... it's not just raw power that always helps a psychic duel, it can also be skill (The speed. precision or focus with which attacks are delivered.. the difference between a thrown dagger or a fired arrow and a hammer or a wrecking ball.)
More than a hundred sentiences crowded inside him. Their animae and subsumed memories were fuelling him. He knew he was no Unbound Flame, whatever that even was. He was not a relic given the form of flesh. He was a conduit.
Upon the throne of Scoria, Gravius had held onto the psyches of his former brothers and it had driven him to insanity, burned him from the inside out. But Gravius was no psyker, his mind was untrained and unready for the burden of legacy he placed upon it. He was merely a vessel, a means of harbouring that power until the right host came along. Dak’ir was the Ferro Ignis, the Fire Sword, and he had emerged from the ashes of war to smite Nocturne’s enemies.
Honestly, I'm not surprised if he really wasn't one of the Nine, but I find it hard to figure out exactly what he is, and if this was intentional, or what part the eating of Gravius' gene-seed had to do with it. Is it some pecularity of Salamander physiology? Some sort of secret link to Vulkan? Tapping some sort of psychic gestalt to enhance his own abilities? Hard to say. It's also hard to say whether this was intentional, or if it ties into the prophecies. Perhaps Vulkan, for example, was aware of the dangers of this sort of thing and the prophecies were meant as some sort of (lousy) warning.
The "conduit" comment, I suspect, is important, but what he is a conduit for I don't know. Since he's a psyker, this makes me think that perhaps he is subject to some sort of possession, but not one where he is actually "taken control" of... more a kind of soul-binding or "sorcerous" tap. Given the fears of Vel'cona (and Tsu'gans reactions) this seems quite possible.
One idea is that Vulkan is dead and Da'kir is a conduit/avatar for his soul, although Vulkan was never a psyker. Alternately (and more liekly) this is a variation of the tapping of the 'human god" powers.. a miracle of sorts, akin to what the Sororitas do perhaps brought on by the manifest belief in prohpecies among the inhabitants of Noctrune.
Another interesting thing lies in Gravius consuming the geneseed of his fellow astartes.. it all seemed to congregate in his own gene-seed, which included "soul" and memories - eg the mental/psychic aspects - of Gravius' battle brothers. IOt tends to lend an interesting psychic angle to Space Marine's capabilities, and an interesting spin on the "genetic legacy" beliefs towards gene-seed (eg a Space Marine lives on in his gene-seed.) It may even suggest some sort of evolutionary aspect - the abilities/traits of prior Astartes passes itself on (in some measure) to a successor. That would be a sort of mutation, and we know gene seed invariably mutates, but this may not be wholly bad.
The fire that had coursed through him was dying out. Just a few stray
embers remained. His time as the conduit for whatever power had infused him was ending.
Dak’ir was about to rise when he felt a surge of heat within him. A fiery core of something he had thought extinguished was suddenly reignited. Despite his injuries, he struggled to his feet.
Life, despite everything, would continue on this hell-world.
Dak’ir tried to harness the flame, to bring it under his control, but it was beyond him now.
He needed to sever the conduit at its source. He was that source.
He wanted to call out even as the fire around him began to grow. First it
would infuse his fingertips, then it would wrap around his body, then burn the desert, burn so hot the sand would turn to glass. The fire would expand, more destructive than a payload of atomics. It would burn and consume, overwhelming the cities until all that remained was ash.
Da'kir's powers are growing manifest again, and this time (it seems) he cannot control it. This puts some interesting connoations on his destruction of the Hell-stalker and some of the fleet, since it is reasonable to assume what he pulled off before was a maximum power feat - EG the same power that has the potential to devastate nocturne is of the same magnitude as the power that destroyed the flagship and escorts. evne if it was only a fraction of that (1/10 or 1/100th) it is still damn impressive (it didnt totally vaporize the ship after all, it only punched a hole through the hull.)
On the other hand, it is a psychic attack, and despite the brute force references to it earlier it's hard to totally dismiss the technobabble nature. Or to pin down exact yield (Nocturne is a Death world, after all) - I suspect if I tried some would object anyhow, but I still think its potentially teraton level events at least to demolish the prow of a battle barge and take out some portion of the fleet. That's not unreasonable given what we know form other sources, either (EG millions of tons worth of ordnance exchanged in opening salvos in Daemon hunter.)
That aside, we get more comment on the "conduit" nature.. it seems that the gestalt-thing of Gravius' gene-seed (genetic legacy?) - which may suggest Da'Kir has consumed something of the souls of other Salamanders - a vaguely daemonic angle to things, but it would explain his greatly expanded abilities and his acting as a "conduit" in a way, especially if he's drawing on the knowlege/souls of all those past Salamanders - perhaps through them the psychic gestalt/essence of all the salamanders before him, or something like that.
Either way it's quite clear that Da'Kir is merely the portal (albeit a powreful one) for something much greater. Not unlike the Thorian belief in finding a suitable host for the Emperor, or the super-psyker from Ian Watson's short story "warped Stars".
He aimed the bolter’s muzzle at the pilot’s head and removed it with a single explosive shot.
Astartes decapitation, bolter-style.