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 Post subject: Re: Knight Errant (40K) PostPosted: 2011-05-11 12:25pm
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Sith Acolyte
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God, ECR, you had me biting my hand to avoid laughing out loud in the middle of the showroom at work with that description of the Sororitas. Kung-Fu and a waterbed indeed.



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Chronological Incontinence: Time warps around the poster. The thread topic winks out of existence and reappears in 1d10 posts.

Out of Context Theatre, this week starring BKTiel.
-'Have you considered a career as a Roman emperor?'

Fiction!: The Final War (Bolo/Lovecraft) (Ch 7 9/15/11), Living (D&D, Complete)Image

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 Post subject: Re: Knight Errant (40K) PostPosted: 2011-05-14 12:45pm
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rodon wrote:
Eleventh Century Remnant wrote:
'Just Brother, will do. Brother-' for a moment he was tempted to announce himself as Brother Quixote


"Do not worry my lord, we shall find you a maiden to rescue. Perhaps a Sister of Battle, a Canoness mayby, otherwise a female Ogryn will do as she should be just slightly shorter than you." :wink:


Next story: Brother Quixote vs. The Chaos-possessed windmill-titans.

Also, vow of Kung-Fu.

Greatest. Vow. Ever.



34. If your gun is leaving scorch marks, you need a bigger gun.
35. That which does not kill you has made a grievous tactical error.
36. When the going gets tough, the tough call for close air support.
37. There is no such thing as "overkill." There is only "Open Fire," and "I need to reload."

Maxims 34-37, The Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries.

Chapter Three of Concordiat Ascendent is now up.

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 Post subject: Re: Knight Errant (40K) PostPosted: 2011-05-15 11:53am
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Right, next bit following more or less directly on. Only a little windmill. Couple of notes in advance; the whole memory wipe thing, I hate the idea. Unfortunately, it's canon, and this is as much sense as I feel up to arranging for it to make.

And do track down the tunes; worth it. If you want to imagine him sounding like that, feel free.




Just because he was going to them didn't mean it wasn't an occasion for some theatre. he decided to be quite mischievous. 'Sacred Fire command, this is this is a small mixed Astartes and Guard detachment operating to your front. We are coming in, we will release a green flare, do you acknowledge?'

The disbelief in the vox op's voice was evident. 'Say again?'

Ignatius repeated himself; there was a long pause, then 'Acknowledged.'

They weren't going to be particularly welcome, by the sounds of it. He whispered to his three followers 'Stay close and quiet,' extended himself a little; this was more power than he had intended to use, but a little active masking was probably called for- the grey veil wouldn't get them all the way.

In the Uplifting Primer issued to all the Guard, it stated, infamously, "recite the Litany of Stealth to stop yourself being heard." That was heavily, endlessly mocked. Relatively few people bothered to look it up in the list of litanies and realised there were no words for it...

Ignatius was not sure whether to be fascinated by the lateral thinking that it had taken to translate the obvious idea of making no noise when creeping up on something hostile into Guard-ese, or depressed that the authors of the manual had thought that was the only way they could get the idea into minds boggled by recruit indoctrination and conditioning.


Either way, it was working, although the sound of the three guardsmen's eyes swelling in their sockets might be a bit of a giveaway, as they ambled- Ignatius restricting his pace to that a guardsman could move silently at- up to, through, the Sororitas front line.

Past the support troops, the biological and mechanical first aid stations; more sisters out of combat with shot up power armour than actual wounds by the look of it, the armour being tended to by the sororitas equivalent of techmarines- no, less, the equivalent of chapter serfs. Trained laity all in fleur-de-lys facemasks that looked stitched on, and their heads were interestingly awkward jumbles of theologies and loyalties.

Up to the holy relic. Bohr was trying to scream under his breath, Aule was subvocalising "we're dead, we're dead, we're so dead". Pessimists. The Marine decided to play it cool; summoned up a twist of green air, glowing faintly; tossed it a little way into the air, batted it with the nemesis force halberd sending it flaring brilliant, soaring away up and over the sisters' front line. From behind.

There was a brief moment of utter panic as they scanned around for the source, then Ignatius dropped the psychic blind, let them see him standing there, grey armour with book and sword symbol clearly visible, lascannon slung over his shoulder, force weapon; confusion succeeded panic.

Halberd at the trail, he saluted the holy hand; was very surprised, and thankful he still had his helmet on, when it returned the salute. He hadn't made it do that. What? Well...


It seemed to impress the sisters, though- which was probably a good thing given they were still somewhat trigger happy. Some of them went down on one knee with guns still pointed at him, most didn't know where to look; at their sisters superior to see how they ought to be reacting, at each other, at him.

Keep the initiative, must keep the initiative. Pop off the tin hat, look to the most senior sister present; glance at the heraldry, none of it personal- what was the sense in that? Personal pride submerged in unit identity, of course. Must remember that.

Wait a beat, look to her just before she emerged from the ruined building that was serving as their headquarters, the sister palatine- past forty, looked younger though- 'Ah, Sister Palatine Rheya. There is much I need to discuss with you, concerning your clash with the xenos.'

The grey veil was not something his majesty had been born with, by all accounts, but something he had learned to hide his presence- because presence and majesty he had in abundance. A little of it came through in the geneseed, actually a little of both. Perhaps Ignatius let just a little bit show.


It so often tends to be the case, that those who are good at something are those who were obviously naturally cut out for it, that every moment of their life seemed to be pointing them towards it- but the very best, the rare and special heroes, are those in whom it was not obvious at all, who had to overcome barrier after barrier in their path, and in the effort of transcending were made more than merely natural.

Sister Rheya looked exactly the part of a warrior-angel of the Sororitas, and interestingly, it troubled her terribly. She felt guilty about how easily it had all fallen into place for her, how well she had taken to it, how she had outstripped her friends and comrades.

The outer shell Bohr had mentioned was deep and tough, the mask of command more firmly seated on her features than the fealty masks of the lay technics on theirs; inside there was relatively little- sweat and blood and rites of passage, and the dim memory of another life left behind.


There was some memory erasure involved in the process of becoming a Grey Knight- it happened fairly late on in the rites and transformations, and how the candidate reacted to being told it was to happen was actually one of the trials in itself.

The idea of it was quite terrifying, but the rationale did make a sort of ugly necessity. Nobody was born strong; everybody was weak in the cradle, panicked, frightened, dependent- vulnerable. The memories and the reflexes and reactions of everybody's youth, the period before reason, were still there- and they represented to the skilled probing mind wide, easy avenues of attack.

It was not merely necessary that postulants be reborn as Astartes, but that they be de-born as frightened children howling for their mother and lost in a terrifying adult world. That the child must not be allowed to be father to the man- that the adult warrior soul must have stronger foundations than natural life could give it.


The easiest and most direct way to fail the associated trial was, oddly, to simply accept the procedure. Anyone who had that little respect for the integrity of their own head was clearly not the right person to send up against beings of corruption and madness.

The postulant was supposed to object, to argue back, to try to come up with some kind of coherent reason why it should not be so- and equally, the chapter were confident that their reasons why it should would prevail. They had had ten thousand years of corporate experience to draw on, after all.

The first thing that each postulant was shown after the procedure was the pict-record of them being argued into agreeing to it. It reduced recidivism rates- probing for their own lost memories, friends probing for each other's- considerably.

And, when all was said and done, the memory eraser primarily actually probed for feelings and the memories associated with them, unhelpful things like fears and phobias and subconscious needs- memories of weakness. Losing that lot to a device simply saved time and energy that would otherwise have to be used to consciously suppress them.

Ignatius remembered rather more of his personal past than he suspected he was supposed to; then again, it had been a fairly strenuous childhood. Now, though, he was looking at someone who had basically self-administered the equivalent, and he was even less sure he liked the idea than he had been all those years ago. In fact, he thought she had tried to get rid of the wrong ones.


Adding up the total of the innocent dead that must lie at her door, given how many Ordo Hereticus inquisitors seemed to take the injunction that it was acceptable to punish a hundred innocents if one guilty man was taken too as a quota rather than a metaphor, and that Ignatius wasn't absolutely convinced that the sororitas' discrimination was even that good-

touching on her own memories, there were moments of doubt in there, some of them had clearly turned her stomach; literally in one case, there was a flash of one purgation action where she had been ill to the point of shaking too badly to hold her weapon and on the verge of blacking out, just after the burning crib, when he had consciously thought, how can we do this? This cannot be right. Three months old and flamered to death.

That had been her make-or-break. The turning point. She had looked to her fellow sisters, fellow rookies in their first real, live test, and thought; if I break, they might too. I can't let them down, what we are for- this is wrong, but I have to go on. What we are is right, what we do is right, told so many times- hammered into us. We do His will, how can it be- this is what we have to do.

As far as she was concerned, she had made the right choice, and never really looked back; as far as the Grey Knight was concerned, she had broken. I wonder how many of the other Sisters are in the same state, Ignatius wondered, physically brave beyond reason- but too spiritually cowardly to develop or listen to consciences of their own?


I can talk, he reminded himself. At least my enemies are about as openly evil as it's possible to get, and the closest you really get to a newborn among them (daemonettes' wild false promises notwithstanding) is a freshly made daemon prince. The sisters' are more highly stressed than mine.

But too damned many of them fail under the load.

The sister palatine paused, a tumble of half- formed thoughts fell out- I didn't let any of that show, did I?

Evidently he had, but she interpreted it differently and in her own way- 'We held them back and turned the tide of battle against them, Brother, we did not fail to protect the hand of the blessed Praxagora.'

Now that was a rare name, and it was a name from his own past that he had kept. There could hardly be very many, even in a galaxy as large as this. Could it actually have been? He looked at the relic and suddenly felt sure that it was. It would be just bloody like her.


'What, shade under average height, heavy-boned, very yellow blonde hair I bet she refused to wear in the regulation style, storm-grey eyes she had a way of looking away and thinking to herself for a moment, then turning back to pierce you with, left hook that could stop a grox, thought "homonyms" was a swearword? I knew her in life- we came to Sol on the same Black Ship together.'

The Sister Palatine narrowly avoided exploding by the looks of it, and most of the sisters- even the masked ones and the fettered ones- were reacting with angry, horrified disbelief. He hardly believed it himself- the long arm of coincidence strikes again.

'Didn't you know? As a child, she said that she could hear the Emperor's voice in her head. That sort of thing gets people's attention. Her home world's arbiters suspected her of arcane talent and packed her off to be sanctioned, and we met on the ship. Actually, we nearly escaped.'

Ignatius had always wanted to retrace that and see whether it had simply been some kind of elaborate test, or if the millennia-old ship had been that badly time-worn and decrepit that a pair of twelve year olds- granted, one of them had later gone on to become an official hero- had stood a chance of busting out. He suspected the truth would be closer to the latter than the Inquisition would like to know about.

'She did not go quietly- the last I saw of her was being carried away after being stunned into unconsciousness, for trying to club a guard and steal his power maul. I suppose the combative spirit...anyway, they tested her and found she had piety enough for three but not a psychic nerve in her body, and a segmentum from home and nobody caring enough to send her back, they just packed her off to the nearest schola progenium.

The rest is your history of her, not mine, and I see it goes from history to hagiography pretty sharply- actually, Sister Palatine, given that I've just managed to reduce half your commandery to bogglement without really getting off the small talk, perhaps we should be discussing things in private?'


She gave a tight, controlled nod, and the banner- waver and the celestian bodyguard moved off with her into the body of the bombard-blasted transtube station; to what had probably been part of the offices and behind the scenes operations rooms.

There were a few pieces of equipment, but nothing that could really qualify as a seat for even a human sized suit of power armour, never mind a Marine's. That meant that Ignatius would be left with no choice but to loom over her. Possibly necessary on principle, but not the best way to get what he wanted. Hm.

'You recognise the chapter heraldry, you should know I'm a daemonhunter- chamber militant of the ordo malleus if you want to be technical about it. You purge the corrupted, I hunt down and destroy the corruptors. I prefer to speak plainly and bluntly, because it reduces the chances of accidentally telling somebody something that would hurt them.

You are actually correct; this fight was about the hand.' He gave her a quick precis of what the Eldar had wanted it for and what they had intended to achieve by it.

'Diabolical. Fiendish. We would have been honour bound to, also, to seek to exploit our piety against us so-' Well, she had worked that much out.

'And tell me, sister palatine,' Ignatius moved to close that door, 'would the campaign of vengeance you have just conceived of not constitute exactly the kind of weakening and diversion of the Imperium's shield that they set out to achieve?'

'Oh.' she said. Seemed to accept it, though.


Time to shift back on to the forward foot. 'I was actually here for a reason, anyway. You know this world was split apart by a patchwork of cults- many of their leaders, many minor and aspiring heroes of evil, are in the city now. Squabbling with each other.'

'Decapitation, brother?' Rheya asked.

'Of their lord and master, the ethereal abomination who masterminded the corruption of this world and who is my proper prey. He'll have to turn up sooner or later if only to sort out the mess. Blast and banish him, they should fall out among themselves and leave the city ripe for the cleansing. I do have one slight technical problem.'

She reeled slightly, taking in what he had said, trying to force her brain to cope with the plain unadornedness- the starkness- of what he had just said. Trying to restate it in her own terms. Ignatius decided to short circuit the process.

'Decapitation missions are not supposed to start at the feet and work up. I need to get in at it, and to that end I need a strike team, a few peculiar souls who can stroll into the heart of darkness and keep their composure, and it was actually one of your misfits that caught my eye.'


'A penitent?'

'I'll describe her to you and you can tell me if I err. In one word, stubborn. Seriously out of step with her sisters, her own way of doing things. Willing- in fact takes the lead- in some, refuses to do others to the point of being willing to be flayed to her backbone rather than obey. Will fight, won't pray.

You had high hopes of her once, before her awkwardness became too much to bear. You assigned her penance, but she did it and then went back to behaving exactly the same way. Assigning her to the repentia was a last resort; you're still not entirely sure if she failed you or if you failed her.'

'Sister Albia.' the sister palatine realised.

'How much better would it be for her to have her stubbornness directed against the real enemy? And their mistress- I had the feeling that she would be wearing a penitent's harness herself, under her armour, if she could.' Ignatius pointed out, and noticed another flare of recognition from the palatine.

'I am not quite sure I grasp the right path in all of this. We must pray for guidance.' Rheya glanced at the leader of her bodyguard.


'Brother, would you lead us in prayer?' the celestian sister superior asked. This had all the hallmarks of a theological trap. They had obviously been conferring among themselves; she knew perfectly well that most Astartes carried a radically different form of piety than the Sisters'.

'On your terms or mine?' he said, smiling at her from half a human height further up. 'Remembering that the Astartes predate and precede the Sororitas by some six thousand years. Mine, I think. Do you have a choir?' Accept that one head on, he decided.

A few minutes later, outside again and they were arranged around him in a loose half- circle, the front rank seated. 'This will be a short field service, a hymn, a prayer, a sermon, a closing hymn. Everyone, sing as best you can.
"Ey, Ukhnem! Ey, Ukhnem! Yeschcho razik, yeschcho da Raz!"

Ignatius had a good singing voice, the Sisters were left hopelessly behind- in the form that it had come down to them through the dark ages (as it was after all from far pre- Imperial times) it was scored for a large, deep-voiced male choir, and much as he was tempted to project into their heads, he wasn't quite going to go that far. The soloist's part would do.

Even conducting, or trying to, with the force halberd didn't stop most of them from slipping into rapturous trance listening to him- what a Space Marine can do with lungs larger than most people's entire torsos had to be heard to be fully believed, and he had chosen good material to work with.

The Emperor had been a man from the past himself, after all, and had built his Empire upon and in many cases and elements out of the bones of the past, and there was a surprising amount of such survivals littering the iconography. It was usually possible to tell which they were; the good ones. The ones that made their listeners' souls shake- and if not that, then at least their skeletons, especially with a nine- foot Astartes singing basso-profundo.


As he brought the old, old song to a close- and he had been quite mischievous in choosing it, especially as it had never actually been a hymn in the first place and singing what as far as anyone knew were the original words- most of the sisters had gone expressions, lost in the sound still echoing in their heads.

He tapped the butt of the nemesis force halberd on the ground, sending a thunderclap through earth and air that jolted them back to their senses. 'As this is to be a short service, this will be a short prayer. Holy Terra is- that way.' He pointed into the sky.

He could just about work it out from the radiance of the Emperor's will through the Astronomican, but it was a much more interesting mental exercise to guesstimate it from the time of the local day, the seasons of the planet and the star system's orientation, and then check to see if he was right. About fifteen degrees out. Hmph.

"Lord, teach us to serve you as you deserve, to give and not to count the cost, to toil and not to ask for rest, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to labour and ask for no reward, save that of knowing that we do Your will." That too was a survival from the past; the last six words of the original had long since been suppressed, as had the identity of the author, which was just as well for the composure of the Grey Knight.


He looked back at them, and they looked back at him, astonished. 'Yes, sisters, that is it. How long and complicated do you think it has to be? Said with devotion behind it, it is enough- said without devotion, nothing would be.

Hm. A sermon- very well, then; the song I opened with is a very, very old one indeed, and that fits because the topic of my sermon is Time. The human past stretches far behind us- and the future should stretch ahead at least as far again if we do our jobs properly.

There are three thousand generations of recognisably human or proto-human beings preceding you, who struggled against the universe, achieved what they could, some more some less, who lived and died- and passed on the torch.

You call yourselves the order of the sacred flame, but that flame is not yours alone; some six hundred lifetimes ago there was to be found a general of old earth proclaiming it to be essential that his troops possessed the sacred fire within them. You are never alone, even in your hopes and your pieties, for you are part of the human race.

The flame came from other hands, and it will be passed on in your turn- but consider the sweat and blood and toil and tears it took to bring the sacred flame this far, and what must be done to carry it safely onward.

Space and Time are vast, but we are here, and it is now, and that now is your duty. This is your moment in the long, turbulent history of the race, your clash with the vastnesses, as it was for so many others before you and so many yet to come.

Forever is, but look closely and it consists of ten thousand trillion little glittering points of now, human souls shining in the dark- shining on each other. Brightening each other by their presence. This is your now, and your duty and mandate, not merely to be of the sacred flame, but to be it, to live it, to shine.'


It was another very old tune that he chose to end it with, a fraction younger as if it mattered this far down the line, except this one was actually a hymn (more or less), and actually appropriate- almost frighteningly so.
"Vstavai, Strana Ogromnaya," he began.

As the echoes of that died away, the first to speak was the sister palatine. 'Brother- this special task, this sacred mission?'

'Yes?' he said, aware as she should have been minutes earlier that he had seriously overdone it.

'Can the rest of the commandery come too?'

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 Post subject: Re: Knight Errant (40K) PostPosted: 2011-05-15 12:27pm
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Several nice touches there; as always, 40k is made most interesting when it's permitted to contain people who can think- strategically, not just tactically. The cultural fragments, wordless Litany of Stealth, and so on... those are little facets of that.

It is, to tell the truth, why I appreciate Ciaphas Cain more than most other Imperial characters- he's not so busy telling himself to be brave that he can't use his brain for anything else.



Eleventh Century Remnant wrote:
What is this 'favourite character' you speak of? I have walls lined with bookshelves, having a single favourite character would be like having a favourite brick.
-Story of my literary tastes.

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 Post subject: Re: Knight Errant (40K) PostPosted: 2011-05-15 06:53pm
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I agree, Simon - which is part of why I think the lunatics are running the asylum now; that's all but disappeared from the modern fluff, along with the touches of humour (especially self-deprecating humour) that broke up the GRIMDARK and made it bearable. Ah, well.

And I looked up both songs ECR, both to listen to and read the context and english lyrics, and man but they do fit. Maybe not as much the lyrics for the Song of the Volga Boatmen, but definately the feeling of almost despair paired with a stalwart determination to continue and a kind of sad pride, along with what I can gather of the original meaning. On the other hand, both the lyrics and the feeling of the Sacred War seem to fit, the lyrics almost scarily so, especially for a fight against Cultists and Daemons, or in general for a Grey Knight.

Great work, and looking forward to more.



Yes, I know my username is an oxyMORON, thankyou for pointing that out, you're very clever.

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'I don't believe in gunship diplomacy, but a couple of battleships in low orbit over my enemy's capital can't but help negotiations.'

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 Post subject: Re: Knight Errant (40K) PostPosted: 2011-05-15 10:36pm
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Fantastic



agentfisherSDnet: You're as brilliant as you are beautiful.
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 Post subject: Re: Knight Errant (40K) PostPosted: 2011-05-16 02:36am
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So he is getting a squad of zealots, each with a broken conscience. A Sister who seems to love the S&M scene, and a very stubborn Sister.

Not to mention he has won them over with his sermon, that he knew their Hand's owner when she was alive (and it saluted him), and his devotion to the Emperor. That Sisters have a almost built in annoyance at Space Marines, due to giving up their humanity to be able to smite humanity's enemies. To get over that... If he wasn't a Space Marine, I would expect the Sister Palatine to say something along the lines of 'I want to have your baby!'

If he continues on this thread... I expect some of them to not care anymore that he technically can't have kids. :angelic:

I wonder what the other Grey Knights will think.

'BWHAHAHAHAHA!'

'It's not that funny Battle Brother.'

'Yes it is! If this doesn't stop soon, I expect your little S&M Sister to think that you like to be chained up instead. Or that Canoness will declare your codpiece a holy relic! BWHAHAHAHA!'

Edit:

'...'

'Don't tell me it is. ... Seriously?'

'...banished a Keeper of Secrets with it.'

'...so it is... BWHAHAHAHAHA!!!'

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 Post subject: Re: Knight Errant (40K) PostPosted: 2011-05-17 06:51am
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Rodon; cold shower. Quickly, before your brain (or something, anyway) melts.



"I beseech thee, In the bowels of God, think it possible that you might be wrong."
-Oliver Cromwell to Parliament, 1647
"It is good to keep an open mind; but not so open that your brains fall out." Attributed to James Oberg

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 Post subject: Re: Knight Errant (40K) PostPosted: 2011-05-17 10:26am
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No worries...

The scene I scribbled out, just makes me think of what the hell do you do to a Keeper that it doesn't find erotic when banishing one... :? :?: I've got no idea, but I expect it to have been done in 40K... somehow... :|

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 Post subject: Re: Knight Errant (40K) PostPosted: 2011-05-17 11:59am
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What, you don't know the secret to torturing too-kinky-to-torture Slaaneshi? It's quite simple. It can be described in three words:

Sensory deprivation tank.



Eleventh Century Remnant wrote:
What is this 'favourite character' you speak of? I have walls lined with bookshelves, having a single favourite character would be like having a favourite brick.
-Story of my literary tastes.

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 Post subject: Re: Knight Errant (40K) PostPosted: 2011-05-17 12:39pm
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Torturing is easy, banishing one although... or getting it into the sensory deprivation tank is another matter. Especially in a way that makes a armor piece a holy relic...

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 Post subject: Re: Knight Errant (40K) PostPosted: 2011-05-18 01:48am
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Quote:
In the Uplifting Primer issued to all the Guard, it stated, infamously, "recite the Litany of Stealth to stop yourself being heard." That was heavily, endlessly mocked. Relatively few people bothered to look it up in the list of litanies and realised there were no words for it...

It's truly depressing that the actual Uplifting Primer GW printed does have a Prayer of Invisibility that does have words. Although it recommends whispering them.

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 Post subject: Re: Knight Errant (40K) PostPosted: 2011-05-18 03:10am
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??? *shuffles around in his book case* Imperial Munitorum Manual? No. *Shuffles around a bit more* Ah, the Imperial Infantryman's Uplifting Primer [Damocles Gulf Edition].

Payer of Invisibility:

To be whispered when remaining
hidden from the eyes of the
enemy:
I am the darkness that surrounds me,
I am the air that surrounds me,
I am the land that hides me,
I wait to strike,
From the darkness,
I wait to kill,
From out of thin air,
I am invisible,
And I am silent death.


On a more humorous note, there is the Litany of the Vacuum to be recited when in open space travel.

Edit: I'm still not quite sure what direction to take when the Munitorum Manual talks about body bags. That some officers take to having their soldiers dig mass graves 'before' a battle, and the books says that such preparedness is welcomed, it is generally bad for morale, thus body bags are supplied. That many soldiers refuse to be operated on when lying on top of a empty bodybag, which tends to lead to more deaths than would have been the case. ...

Edit2: They are supposed to keep as many body bags as people in their units, they are also supposed to keep them out of sight as they also tend to be bad for morale.

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 Post subject: Re: Knight Errant (40K) PostPosted: 2011-05-18 07:14am
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Next segment up, and, well, 'bwhahahah' is a really bad introduction to it as it dives almost straight into the dark.




Well, there was only one really appropriate response, and it was 'oh, crap', so it would have been exceedingly undiplomatic to say it out loud. 'Starting with the feet and working up?' Was what he actually said.

She connected it to the earlier reference- her brain ran in grooves, but within those it moved quickly enough- and looked seriously disappointed. As did they all. As much as the idea of disappointing them appeals to the grumpy side, Ignatius thought, after that it would hardly be appropriate- and then a plan B popped into his head.

'No, not directly with- but there is something you can do, foremost in all the army yet, and strangely it involves a prayer service. Gird your souls before I tell you this, sisters; the powers of darkness would react with insane, venomous fury to a sudden outburst of the Emperor's light in their midst- and that may be made to serve.

There were shrines and cathedra in the city, of course. All profaned and desecrated now, it is what they do- but I very much doubt they are beyond your power to cleanse, am I not right? If we time this properly, then the spiritual blow you could deliver, by appearing suddenly within their lines, seizing and reconsecrating one of the fouled shrines-

That could be the weak point, the tipping point that turns a disorderly gaggle of would be warlords of the ruinous powers against each other, makes it viable for the city to be retaken and purged in full. Sister Palatine, you know what I mean to do; if you could repurify the profaned and raise high the beacon of the Emperor's light minutes, seconds, immediately after my part in this, I believe it would break them.'


Well, it might put their fanaticism and tendency to drone on for hours at the drop of a rosary bead to good use at least- but more than that, there was a very good chance it would work. This was exactly the sort of thing the sisters weren't supposed to do, in theory, but it was actually what they were best at- by his definitions anyway.

Stubborn, emperor-bothering fanaticism might have it's place after all; and in the meantime it would be interesting to watch the sister palatine's head- see where the sudden blaze of devotional fervour tapered off into the practical considerations of how they were going to get in.

It actually took some time before it occurred to her- but to her credit, it did, shortly before she was about to commit her commandery to charging straight through the turreted, shielded city wall. Unfortunately, she then proceeded to look to him for the answer.

Fortunately, he had one. 'It was a transit station, was it not? The ground's been shaken up badly, not least by me, but the line of the tunnels should be there and you have melta weapons for a reason.'

'Of course, brother. It can be done, and it shall.' Rheya agreed- eager for the fight. 'The timing?'

Ignatius looked to the sky again- for the rather more mundane business of local sunset. 'This has to be done with a certain mythic appropriateness about it. Sunset, midnight, dawn, hm- not enough left in today. Take one of their moments and ram it down their throat- local midnight tomorrow, I think that would make the best zero time. Be in position by then.'


'Ah, the mistress of the repentia.'

The armoured woman turned to him, the glittering red lens- eyes in her half mask for a moment fixing him with the sort of inhuman glare they were supposed to, but he had spent more time than most looking at and facing down the inhuman. She looked at him for a moment thus, then took off the mask-helmet. Found it hard to meet his eyes without it in fact- brownish green, he thought.

'I was doubly right. Not only are you wearing a chirurgic device to aid healing and hold your insides in that resembles a penitent's corset closely, but you did wear the fetters yourself- one of the tiny handful of penitents who touched Grace and lived to tell of it.

You chose this role in charge of the doomed, demanded it, fought for it because you thought you knew your way through the dark valleys of the soul, could help the others who found themselves in a similar state.'

And sincerely, too, he noted. Didn't even cross her mind that this was on one level about torturer and tortured, pain and vengeance. Honestly did not occur to her, to begin with- although she might have got a little obsessive on the subject since then.

She did, of course, have to be quite an actress. 'Past tense, Brother?' she said, puffing herself up to the angry, demanding mistress; but he met her glare calmly, and it was she who winced and looked away first.


He skipped over her titles, and meant it- 'Yes, Laure. You know why.'

'Am I-' she bowed her head as if for the executioner's stroke- 'Am I tainted, brother?'

'Not yet.' Ignatius said after a moment's thought and judgement. 'You have been pounded by one of the more terrible truths of the universe, but it is how you bear it that matters. You are staggering, under the stress- but you have not fallen yet.'

'Truths!' she said, horrified- and staggering indeed.

'Is the universe the way it should be?' he asked the obvious rhetorical question. 'I'd rather like to see His Majesty up and walking around, myself. You saw yourself in a distorted mirror, mocked, parodied, copied by the forces of chaos; saw their total abandonment to the dark powers; saw that they were once human- and wondered what sufficient walls there were between their devotion and your own.'

'There are walls there, are there not? There have to be.' she asked, demanded, pleaded.


She was stronger than this, but it was a brittle, sharp- edged strength; how to reinforce that- or worse, or do the very worst, carry it through and grind her down to a serviceable blade? Hm.

'There is a wall, but not where you would have it, and not what you would think. What do you think He on Earth believes in? Not himself as a god, surely! That would be monstrous, that would be madness...that would be exactly what the dark powers do, which is chiefly why they are dark.

No, if you look at the actual records of the reconquest of the galaxy and the reunification of man, of what survives from the Great Crusade, he believed in us. In humanity and the future of the human race. Some of my brothers believe that to be the essential story of the Heresy- that he had more faith in us than we deserved.' Ignatius said.

By...well, it hardly seemed entirely right to swear by the Emperor at this point, but by Something he was being selective with the evidence. He had known there was something like this lurking in her head, but now that he was face to face and the details were coming burbling up to the surface, he certainly didn't feel the contempt for her he had expected to.

There was definitely an inner life under the hard shell, and a more possible one than he had expected. Of course, the chances of Mistress Laure not getting herself killed were dropping rapidly in proportion. She dealt with her doubts in the same way the rest of them did.


'We fought a duel, she and I;' Laure said, either deliberately keeping it abstract or knowing that Ignatius would know exactly what she meant- and she was right. 'and it was the most intimate- I don't think I have ever been so totally focused on another being, and they on me. It was like myself, my dark self, my other self- if I had not repented. And yet we were so alike.

Every thought and every motion seemed to spiral further into blackness; it could not have been chance, she had obviously been warped, changed, tormented into shape as a sinful double of me- but then, had I not been changed and tormented into shape as me?

She bullied and browbeat and shoved and lashed her minions to a state of frenzy- and every bruise and whipmark on my penitents seemed to say that I did the same; and if she enjoyed the blood and the screams, what did I do? If I could come from being purified and hardened in the sacred flame and she from the spawn of the warp, and end in the same place-'

And I have often thought exactly the same or worse, the Grey Knight thought- that the Ecclesiarchy's way of doing things that set man at nothing before his god may well be the same kind of misapplied worship that let the fourth dark power tear the Eldar apart from the inside.

That we could be doing the same to ourselves, that over the real and existing Emperor enduring for us in the Golden Throne and the shape he wished the galaxy to be, the faith has been hijacked by what amounts to a false god- and possibly the fifth great dark power waiting to be born from the ruins of the human race, the Lord of Tyranny?

My, I am being pessimistic today. Well, I have been busy. No weakness. Tell her that and it would probably kill her. Damn, I already said ugly truth. Certainly not the whole truth, or worse the ravings of a man fifty years from home. Right. A lie that conduces towards a state of grace is still the moral equivalent of the truth, isn't it?


'You didn't. She's dead, and you are alive, and that is a good start-' Ignatius took a deep breath, and decided to sail close to the wind on this one. '-but in principle you are unfortunately right. Devotion is devotion, and it can be towards foul causes as well as good; as a wise man said, not long after the invention of writing, the difference between a good man and a bad one is the choice of cause.

The wall or dividing line really is not so much in what you do as in why, and who you do it for. There can be no question whether that is enough of a difference; even if it isn't, it has to be.' Even a lie that conduces towards a state of grace still has to be a credible lie, and this- the fact as he understood it was that her doubts were well founded.

'The terrible truth I mentioned earlier is that people are plastic; or at least resin and pewter.' he said. 'Drive them hard enough and shout in their ears long enough and they can be made to hew to any cause, however so foul. Mutilate them and they are mutilated; twist and shape them and they are twisted and shaped.

Oh, there is a strength there, and a resistance, but of what order? Enough? Depends on what you're up against. On the pressures applied. The final resistance to the abominable, the wall you're looking for is not in you, or in the penitents, but in the cause.'

She did not like having to hear that at all, not at all, but took the bad news that one of the foundations of her soul was missing well, with resistance and defiance- actually of a fairly high order. How much pressure had it already taken to get her to this state?


'I could tell you that the daemon is a liar, and nothing the dark powers say or signify is to be trusted, only what they do- and then invite you to look to the results of chaos and see how alike you and they really come out of the balance. You've already tried that on yourself. Why wasn't it enough?' he decided to ask her.

'A lot of the time, most of the time, it is enough.' She said, thankful to be able to say or make anything positive at all. 'My responsibilities, though- as well as their trainer and proctor and leader, and torturer, I am also ex officio their confessor. Most of them are here through some state of spiritual crisis.'

And that was it- she referred to the errant sisters sent to die reverently under her charge as her responsibilities. 'You have strength enough to cope with seeing yourself parodied in evil, but taking tortured others' troubles on yourself, managing their crises of faith,-' it would be good for here to say this herself, for it to come out of her own mouth.

'Having stood in the ranks of the damned myself makes it harder, not that I would-' she made a major breakthrough- '-ever dare admit especially to myself that I wanted it to be easier, but I know the touch of the whip. Feel it myself, still, especially when I have to-

some of my girls come to me wanting to be driven mad, do you realise that? Wanting to be shattered and agonised until their wits leave their body, to be emptied until they are no longer capable of any spiritual thought at all, wanting me to judge and measure their extinction as sentient beings, be with them as the light of life leaves their eyes until there is just enough left to make the remains of the body move and swing a blade.

That's the worst form of it, but all the others- I can't do that. Now I tell them that they are imperilling their chances of salvation, that it ought to be something close to one sane being that is left of them when they go to the throne- but what is a mistress repentia for, if not to do exactly that?'

'I came here for a reason, sister, and now I see why.' Ignatius said, carefully examining his motives before giving the pitch and realising he meant it. 'I mentioned my part- well, I am going hunting. For warlords. I want you to come as part of my spearhead team- because I think that on the way you will see and meet such things as will give you the bones of an answer.'

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 Post subject: Re: Knight Errant (40K) PostPosted: 2011-05-18 11:04am
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Again, 40k is at its most interesting when it contains people who "begin truly to think," and you'll probably recognize the reference, ECR.

The awareness of inherent contradictions, the ability to look at what is being done and say "is this helping?" which is so very absent from most of the Imperial hierarchy as portrayed- to the point where the most obvious example I can think of is a Tzeentchian mockery of the Imperial order, seen in Grey Hunter... well, I think it's important because it's the only thing that can make an intelligent biped in this setting truly human.

Also, "the Lord of Tyranny-" that reminds me chillingly of a speculative "what would the 51st millenium look like" fic I once read... where exactly that happened, for all intents and purposes, after a devastating crisis of the faith was 'solved' by applying more faith.



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 Post subject: Re: Knight Errant (40K) PostPosted: 2011-05-18 12:53pm
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Quote:
'The terrible truth I mentioned earlier is that people are plastic; or at least resin and pewter.'

*giggles madly* Oh you magnificent bastard, that had me laughing again in the middle of the showroom. So smoothly woven in context, and so very, very horribly appropriate in a 40k setting story. :lol:



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 Post subject: Re: Knight Errant (40K) PostPosted: 2011-05-19 04:09am
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White Haven wrote:
Quote:
'The terrible truth I mentioned earlier is that people are plastic; or at least resin and pewter.'

*giggles madly* Oh you magnificent bastard, that had me laughing again in the middle of the showroom. So smoothly woven in context, and so very, very horribly appropriate in a 40k setting story. :lol:

Specially since GW are going from Pewter to Resin at the end of the month.

This is the only Space Marine fiction that I've found interesting. Can't wait for more.

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 Post subject: Re: Knight Errant (40K) PostPosted: 2011-05-19 09:41am
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Dig up some of Academia Nut's older stuff if you want some other good Space Marine shenanigans. Promethium in Paradise, in particular, was one I've got fond memories of. It was never finished, but there's still a good amount of meat to it.



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 Post subject: Re: Knight Errant (40K) PostPosted: 2011-05-22 05:20pm
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Elheru Aran's stuff was good also, I think- anyway, this is more of a linking segment than anything else. Bit unsure about this one, actually.




Mistress Laure had no deputy, which raised a problem- but one quickly overcome, as the assistant squad leader of the celestian strike unit was assigned to fill the role for her. Penitent Albia was to come too, and once a little away from the main body of the sisters, Ignatius stopped to address his strike team.

'Six of us now; well, numerology be damned. Orderly- Apothecary Aule, Guardsman Private Hasek, Commissar- Cadet Bohr; Mistress Repentia Laure, Penitent Sister Albia.' He did the introductions, watched them watching each other. All of them had masks, to a degree; the apothecary and the penitent the least, the mistress the most and most literally.

Albia had arrived, following her mistress a rigid two steps behind and two steps to the right, stretching her stride out to keep up with her armoured leader, chain-blade at the slope. Didn't look like someone who had been driven mad; almost exactly the opposite, in fact.

Most of them were here because of some crisis of faith, Laure had said; so what had Albia thought, what had she done because of that, to land her in rags and chains in the ranks of the doomed? Ignatius decided that it would probably be unwise for him to know. Probability was that he would end up agreeing with her.

Perhaps if they were still alive when all was done, a discreet unleashing and pointing in the direction of life...for both of them. Or pass them on to the retinue of a sane Malleus inquisitor if such a being could be found.


There was a flash of minds as first impressions were given and taken that the Grey Knight managed to follow more or less, and wanted more of; rigorous training had given him an extremely retentive memory- but nothing slid out of memory as easily as a fleeting psychic impression.

First glance, two bonds of unrequited lust had definitely formed- Aule practically suffering a myoclonic jerk of the libido as he caught sight of and tried to meet the eyes of the penitent Albia, and worse, Bohr locking on to Mistress Laure.

The mistress' reaction was interesting- she had looked him over, thought 'when I was young and stupid, maybe' and proceeded to ignore him. A flash of her own interest in Hasek, but quickly reduced by harsh self control to no more than that- strangled down to a cold and domineering glare before he could really react to it.

Albia, unfortunately, did exactly the wrong thing- she glared at Aule, and she was clearly thinking that he was an utter fool, that she had one shackled foot already out the door of Life and was hoping to grab at least a little glory on the way, she had no time for men and no interest left in them, certainly not a boggle-eyed idiot like him. That only made things worse.


The Grey Knight considered half the strictures in the Codex Astartes to be obsolescent, because things had changed so much. The idea that Space Marines should not take command of conventional forces because they could so easily lead them into error through their own personal leadership and charisma would be laughable if it wasn't tragic; the average modern marine had no more interest in and facility with man- management problems than he had in hoverslug farming.

In fact it was possible to argue that things had swung too far the other way, and they had become dangerously bad at it, some chapters poor to the point of ineffectiveness at cooperating with the fighting forces of the rest of the Imperium. Ignatius' psychic perceptions gave him a real edge in that, but even he thought that man and woman management problems were a sigma more awkward than either alone.

Well, he had let himself in for it and had to make the best of it. Stern and silent and demanding wouldn't do- it had become painfully clear over the last fifty years that the best form of communications was a shared doctrine that obviated the need to communicate. When everyone knew what everyone else could and would do.

When they flowed around each other with the speed and certainty of trained and sharpened instinct. Not much chance of that happening naturally here, not fast enough- he had a great deal that it was necessary to communicate, and this would have to be extremely talky.

'One gunman- healer, one gunman- demo tech, one gunman- assaulter, one assaulter, one armoured assaulter; not too unbalanced. You can all fight as individuals, none of you are fragile enough to lose it in the face of what we will be fighting, learning to work as a team though- I can distort time a little, but not enough to give us what we need.

That will simply have to be on the job, and we are not short of enemies to begin on.


'Specifically, hm. This is the bit I personally hated- the mission briefing.' he said to them all, to varying expressions of surprise. 'Mainly because it was never accurate, and couldn't be; Chaos would not be Chaos if it wasn't full of unpleasant surprises. Past "horrible things", I just tended to tune out. Make it up as we went along anyway.' An outright lie; he had been trained better than that. Good for them to hear, though- another falsehood pointing towards grace.

'In fact, I never really understood why the Justiciars and Captains took it all so seriously; until I started giving them myself, and realised how desperately important it is to give your people the best chance possible, with the best information possible- even if it is all skung and all the grunts want to hear is "horrible things, go kill."

You can take that part for granted, yes? Bohr- how many great powers of darkness are there?'

Bohr's brain practically popped out of its' socket. What a question. He was still boggling over a member of the Astartes referring to himself as a grunt, actually. 'What, Brother? Um, I, ah, ehr there are- are you sure?'

'I wouldn't have chosen you- any of you- if you were fragile enough that the mere mention of such things was enough to imperil your souls. There may eventually be a point of peril, and I can see it much more clearly than you at the moment- the question.'

'Seven.' he said, guessing.


'Interesting- who are you counting as the other three?' Ignatius said. 'Better not answer that, actually. The usual answer, except from a few bold iconoclasts, is four- and the key thing here is that evil isn't just undifferentiated, straightforward evil. Each of the powers feeds on and encourages its cultists to a different flavour of sin and madness.

In that is as much predictability and as much idea of what to expect and how to counter it as you can really get from Chaos.' Without going into far more detail than you really ought to know anyway, he didn't add.

'It's also about as much as any veteran guardsman could tell you, and most of them are as sane as twenty-odd years of army life and being shot at leaves a man anyway.' Ignatius, who was coming up worryingly rapidly on his third full century of being shot at, reassured them. Well, tried to.

'I'd far rather face a force of the servants of two of the dark powers combined than of one, and all four best of all, because their brands of doom are usually mutually contradictory and the job of destroying them all gets a lot easier when they start falling out with and refusing to support- or better yet turning on- each other. Which we are going to make happen.'


'Are they so much like people?' Hasek asked, slowly and carefully. He could just about see that happening in a gang, in a workplace riven by clique, in a tribal or a town council, but to practise divide and conquer on chaos itself- or perhaps he just remembered the earlier comments.

'The ones I mean to start you off on will be. Later on not so much, but by then you should have had a little practise. By the time my marked prey emerges, they are not very much like humans at all any more, and I'll deal with that when we come to it.

The most difficult part for you ,' he said to the two battle sisters, 'is going to be not charging headlong at everything you see. Think of yourself as the tip of your own blade, and look at the way it moves, curving, sweeping, backwards, forwards, this way and that, darting, probing, seeking. Flickering this way and that, looking for the opportunity to deliver the killing stroke. Not always the attack.

You are a weapon in your own hands, and must wield yourself as such- fluidity, dexterity. And choose targets worth striking at. In there you will see many acts and individuals that demand cleansing with fire, but which we will be unable to attend to because of the greater objective. Do not get sidetracked, however much they seem to deserve it- because they will be dealt with, in time, if we first make it possible.


I said there were four great powers, each with it's own- well. I'll give you the heads of proposals, at least. In order of prevalence within the walls and in no other sequence, then, the least of our problems at the moment is Nurgle. Basically the dark god of the ill and the fouled, his servants look like walking pustules or plague victims, usually because they are.

Nurgle is dangerous because he feeds on the broken men of the Imperium, those poisoned and contaminated we seem to make more of than we do finished product on some manufactorium worlds- doesn't make them well again, of course not, but prolongs them in their endurance of illness, teaches them to enjoy it or at least bear it, makes them contagious.

We have lost worlds to his minions, important ones- at least one forge world that I could name if it were wise to do so, the Mechanicus being more indifferent to the health of the flesh than most and more easily exploitable. There is an agonisingly small degree of care and wit that could close that gap of vulnerability, but they never will- man's indifference to man gives the foul one his chance.

There are few within the walls because it was the heart-city, there were few mutants and poisoned to begin with. They spread quickly, though, and for that reason those there are should be the first the rest will turn on. I mean to encourage that.


Second least common before us are the warriors of the dark god Khorne, who is drawn by and gives violence- his servants call him the blood god. No secret about that, they tend to shout it extremely loudly in fact so it's hard to avoid knowing it. There are a great many jokes possible at their expense because of the cereal like name of their patron and they tend to have no sense of humour at all on the subject.

You've met them before, you know why they're dangerous.' He added specifically to Laure. She nodded, before realising he expected her to contribute- looked at him with well disguised anxiety, was rewarded with a small shake of the head. No details necessary.

'We have destroyed tainted planetary defence and guard forces,' she said, 'and now that you describe it to me- is such detail wise, brother?- I recognise the signs. He is dangerous because he can- he is most readily able to corrupt the defenders of the Imperium.'


'Now that I describe it to you, you recognise the signs.' Ignatius quoted her, making the point. 'Detail is less dangerous than letting you meet them unforewarned and letting imaginations and fears run riot on a mass of dark experience. And also, specifically you. Go into even this with your comrades in the regiment,' to Bohr, Hasek and Aule, and I would expect out of every hundred, three would fall there and then and perhaps another twenty eventually, it would chew on their minds.

I chose you all because, temporary difficulties aside, your souls are healthier than that, and this knowledge is where you start looking out for them and actively guarding yourself against them. You will of course be expected to justify my confidence in action.' Another cloud passed across the mistress' mind- if one of her penitents, one of her damned, was worthy of a seal of approval then...that would have to be dealt with before long, too.

Back to the subject. 'The blood god feeds especially on military boredom, on le cafard- on the state of mind of troops keyed up for then denied action most of all, on barracks life to a lesser degree; on those actively doing the Emperor's work least.

Deny them usefulness, demand their service to the Imperium then block them off from any chance of doing so, and frustration can produce some strange- and quite literally damning- results. Bear this in mind for later, if you live.' he said specifically to Bohr.


The second most prevalent of the four within the walls is the power most of the mind and ideas, the lord of change. Tzeentch is the politicians' and sorcerers' evil god, and also the most elitist of the four- for the plague god you hardly need to be sentient, the other is about drowning your sentience in the animal, worshipping the blood god makes most followers less intelligent, but the changer wants your mind.

No, he tends not to give it back. His followers are so common because this was the capital city, the place of administration and judgement, and of politics which goes far to encompassing all the other sins in itself.

He is dangerous because he feeds on intellectual misery, on people who revolt against the state of things and want differently, more like their rights as a human being, something other than-' he stopped himself before he could go too far.

'I am a positivist when it comes to humanity, at least in potential- most of the citizens of the Imperium could achieve more than they are ever given the chance to, could be greater in themselves and do more for the human race if they were allowed to be better than labouring and obeying animals, and given the chance at a more fully human life; would at least be less likely to turn in rage and despair to the inhumanity of Chaos.

The changer is dangerous because he can rouse the people against their lords with false promises, and he is strong here because a capital city full of traders and politicians lives on false promises, this was fertile ground. The followers of his followers are many; the actual active devotees, the demagogues and sorcerers, tend to be the fewest in number but the most individually dangerous.

They're also the hardest to trick and the most ready to resort to tricks themselves. They will be awkward to deal with.


The fourth, the most common, and until things get spectacularly out of hand least dangerous of the great powers is Slaanesh. Least dangerous below demographic critical mass, because in the heads of this particular strain of the damned, the worship of their dark lord comes closest of any of them to being an end in itself. Beyond critical mass, they have a nasty tendency to try to warp reality to make their wildest fantasies possible.

Up until that point, though- their madness is sensuality. All forms of sensation, good and ill, fair and foul, but they trend towards sex and drugs, and the kinkier, wierder and ideally more blasphemous the better from their point of view.

Cults of that sort can go undetected, reaching up to compromise the powerful and then spreading beneath the cloak of privilege, for generations, throughout society- they simply do not do widespread enough harm to those beyond their own membership to be easily caught. Thus it was here- the governor turned out to be a cult magos. At the worst possible time, of course.

He has to die. Ideally, about half a second after he finishes calling through into the materium the daemon that corrupted him, bringing it out where I can get at it.'

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 Post subject: Re: Knight Errant (40K) PostPosted: 2011-05-22 06:43pm
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Now that is a mission briefing



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 Post subject: Re: Knight Errant (40K) PostPosted: 2011-05-23 01:38am
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ECR, you're probably already aware of this (Hell, I may have mentioned it in the Squelch thread), but there's a wonderful document about how people can fall to Chaos for different reasons, and how good intentions lead to Chaotic with a capital C results. I'm pretty sure it's derived from earlier sources that you may have seen even if you haven't seen this one, but it still may be useful.

It's actually a Battlefleet Gothic document, the one that introduces the Plaguefleets of Nurgle, but it has general information on all the major powers - Slaanesh, for instance, gets a lot of their converts from perfectionists and those who aspire to be among the greatest in their chosen fields. Apparently, the god draws many soldiers, almost as many as Khorne, and a fair amount of strategists and planners (Tzeentch gets the bulk of these, but by no means all). Nurgle also draws a fair amount of soldiers, those dying of various ailments on the battlefield - almost anyone who doesn't want to die from [insert cause here] goes to Nurgle, even those whose cause is a sucking chest wound. Tzeentch gets the bulk of the strategists and planners, along with a fair number of gifted tactical leaders. At the same time, Khorne doesn't just get the KillKillKill soldiers, courage, martial pride, revenge for a buddy's death, evena leader trying to preserve their forces for later strikes can fall to Khorne.

The loonies who charge emplaced positions with chainaxes and nothing else are generally those that have been substantially corrupted, whether due to time or just being weak-minded to begin with. Before then, devotees of all the gods show a surprising amount of strategic and tactical awareness. It's just unfortunate for them (and fortunate for the Imperium) that the highly positioned in these forces are usually more corrupt - and therefore insane - than the junior leaders, and their lunacy pushes through on all levels.

Although, all that said, the briefing covers the major points, the retinue will probably learn more of the subtleties by doing than they could by being lectured, as long as they don't assume they were told all they should know.

Eagerly looking forward to more!



Yes, I know my username is an oxyMORON, thankyou for pointing that out, you're very clever.

MEMBER: Evil Autistic Conspiracy. Working everyday to get as many kids immunized as possible to grow our numbers.

'I don't believe in gunship diplomacy, but a couple of battleships in low orbit over my enemy's capital can't but help negotiations.'

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 Post subject: Re: Knight Errant (40K) PostPosted: 2011-05-23 03:04pm
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Yes, Prudence- but the subtleties aren't really what's needed here.

For one, there is a very real need when dealing with Chaos to think of it as "the other;" you cannot afford to permit yourself to imagine it as something you might have wound up doing- which is why the Mistress Repentia here is in such difficulty; she seems to have wound up crossing swords (or whips) with her Khornate opposite number, and found that they had far, far more in common than was good for her soul to know about.

For another, subtlety and tactical competence are expected by the Guard and the Sisters- they are normally fighting those low-ranking minions of the enemy (or failing that outright enemies), most of whom have enough common sense to take cover when shot at, call for artillery support, and so on. Think about the Gaunt's Ghosts novels for examples of this: practically everyone they fight serves Chaos, but most of them are militarily competent and sane enough to pose a threat, rather than being mindless chainaxe-swingers.

But in spite of that, one should not, cannot, afford to dwell too long on how rational the Chaotic powers are capable of being. Not to fight them for any extended period, not if there's any risk of that infiltrating your head and your starting to see them as a legitimate rival, because they are dangerous in that mode and are capable of fighting and winning a mind war with you on that plane. You can't afford to think of them as if they were normal, rather than something that needs to be... hmm. What's a good phrase? Ah yes.

Something that needs to be "sponged and purged and, if need be, blasted from the surface of the earth."



Eleventh Century Remnant wrote:
What is this 'favourite character' you speak of? I have walls lined with bookshelves, having a single favourite character would be like having a favourite brick.
-Story of my literary tastes.

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 Post subject: Re: Knight Errant (40K) PostPosted: 2011-05-23 09:15pm
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Ah, a perfect blend of humor and drama and action. Well done.

Quote:
Piety, Obedience, Poverty, Chastity and Kung-Fu.


Hilarious. Also, sigged.



"Any plan which requires the direct intervention of any deity to work can be assumed to be a very poor one."- Newbiespud

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 Post subject: Re: Knight Errant (40K) PostPosted: 2011-05-24 04:40am
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Joined: 2006-11-20 07:52am
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Location: Scotland
When it comes to Chaos, the take on it I prefer is the original; the two hardbacks "suggested for mature readers" (you may snigger now- it was mainly the sidebar illustrations that did that though) that came out 89-91, putting them waaay back in the original Rogue Trader era; GW reused the titles relatively recently, trying to bury the memory of the earlier books- Realms of Chaos; Slaves to Darkness and The Lost and the Damned.

Find the originals, it's worth it to see how much of the backstory still fits, and how much they have gone very very quiet about. They lay down a lot of the mechanics of the warp that have never really been contradicted,
[Reveal] Spoiler:
amongst other things the fact that the body of the Emperor in the Golden Throne is flat- out dead, it's just the machinery keeping the astronomican and the soul-bonding process going, and his soul is wandering the immaterium looking for somewhere to be reborn, and incidentally has the equivalent of cultists and champions of its own- no, I'm not going with this but it's a fascinating thought
there's a lot to describe but that Gothic document is only a pale precis of the earlier fluff- something along the lines of Khorne also representing courage and comradeship, Nurgle unconditional tolerance, love and acceptance, the others likewise;
Chaos not only has an intellectual but also a humanly, emotionally positive side that, looking to some of the worst of things under the Imperium in the hives and poisoned manufactoria, represents a very long step up in terms of quality of life.

Whether it is better than the empire triumphant that emerged from the great crusade is the question, better than the balanced life of free possibilities that was supposed to happen- generally speaking I do come down on the "no" side of that, but compared to the de facto fascist state of the Imperium?

There was a question, in the chapter before the most recent, Ignatius and Laure talking, that he was careful to head off before it could be asked.
What sort of cause treats it's followers like this?
He didn't want her to get as far as forming the thought, because psychically sensitive as he is, he knows perfectly well that a loyal soldier of the Imperium and an honest human being would give different answers to that question. Couches it in an acceptable fashion, of course- man's indifference to man gives the foul one his chance- but the idea that the Imperium of Man does not contain nearly as much humanity as it should, so little that for people in some times and places Chaos seems like a good option, he's painfully aware of that.

Fights against it still, because he believes in the human race that could and should be and must be given the chance to become, and is certainly not averse to taking the odd swipe at the structure of the Imperium as it is along the way.

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 Post subject: Re: Knight Errant (40K) PostPosted: 2011-05-24 08:59am
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Location: Largest Island, Sol III - invasion not recommended, terrain and wildlife extremely hostile.
Good points Simon, thank-you. I guess I'm just a bit tired of so many authors (both official and less so) saying that as soon as you turn, you become a raving loony of some stripe or another. I should have known better from ECR, especially given how much he's stressed that the only reason the ...Bellators? Mandators? The big heavy Imperial ships in Squelch ended up like that was because they were pushed so hard, so fast. It makes sense that you wouldn't need to tell these people that, just like you wouldn't want to tell them how easy it can be to take that first step on the slope.

And yeah, ECR, I've read PDFs of some of the older stuff that I *ahem* ...acquired, and I was aware of some of that, but that Battlefleet Gothic pdf is one of the few readily-available places that it pokes that sort of stuff pokes its head up in the modern fluff. I wish the older stuff was utilised more, that sort of Chaotic corruption was a lot more insidious and harder to fight, while at the same time more realistic as to how a loyal person could fall. There's some missteps in the older fluff, but nowhere near as many as I felt I was seeing just before I got out.

Now my pewter crack of choice is the Iron Kingdoms universe, and I've been sucked just as deep.



Yes, I know my username is an oxyMORON, thankyou for pointing that out, you're very clever.

MEMBER: Evil Autistic Conspiracy. Working everyday to get as many kids immunized as possible to grow our numbers.

'I don't believe in gunship diplomacy, but a couple of battleships in low orbit over my enemy's capital can't but help negotiations.'

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