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 Piercing Dark.

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Cavash
Lord of the Chat
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Posts : 3196
Join date : 2012-04-15
Location : Stuck in an air vent spying on plotters

PostSubject: Piercing Dark.   Wed Apr 18 2012, 22:14

Dramatis Personae.
Cavash Dynasty:
Grand Archon Dernia Cavash (Male): Head of the Cavash Dynasty and master of the Kabal of the Pierced Heart.
Prince Talludesh Ayr’kell Cavash (Male): Son of Dernia Cavash and rightful heir to the Cavash throne.
Prince Luckr’yth Cavash (Male): Son of Dernia Cavash.
Princess Althianesh Cavash (Female): Trueborn daughter of Dernia Cavash.
Koroth’risse Cavash (Female): Granddaughter of Dernia Cavash, daughter to a deceased mother. Archon of the Pierced Heart Kabal.

Pierced Heart Kabal:
Na’ttyin Reltoss (Female): Courtesan of Dernia Cavash. Archon of the Pierced Heart Kabal.
Relliach Korvesh (Male): Dracon of the Kabal of the Pierced Heart. Overseer of Recruits (Master of the Blood Halls) and bodyguard to Prince Talludesh Ayr'kell Cavash.

Twisted Flesh Coven:
Haughraskaivaach (Haemie don't have gender!!!) : Haemonculus Ancient of the Twisted Flesh Coven.
Valex: Haemonculus of the Twisted Flesh Coven.
Handread: Haemonculus of the Twisted Flesh Coven.

Wych Cult of Massacre:
Faroughk (Female): Succubus of the Wych Cult of Massacre.
Hellu’desh (Female): Hekatrix of the Wych Cult of Massacre.
Dayl'akrin (Male): Hekitari of the Wych cult of Massacre.
Reltri’sk Bloodhand (Male): Hekatari of the Wych Cult of Massacre.

Shrine of the Blessed Tear Drop:

Incubus Hierarch (Male): Xi’lygaroth.
Incubus-Thera (Male): Terrar.



This is only a draft, so i apologise for any spelling errors. I will eventually go over it all when i am finished and improve it.
Feedback is welcome.



Chapter I

In the Dark City, where the poor and sickly flocked towards the coliseum, there was no time for boredom or tiredness. Awaiting the call of the arena master, he sat with his head in his hands, attempting to get as much rest as possible before the next fight. The coliseum’s daily spectacle of bloodshed laced anguish had progressed into a tri-daily orgy of peasant slaughter within the polished, black, obelisk walls that kept him locked inside.

He had no freedom, not anymore, and he never thought he would see the day where his arms would grow tired of cutting down the weak and vulnerable. But alas, he was growing weary of the slaughter. His mind was in a drug abused haze that had clouded his joyous malice and he had not slept in over four days. Even if he were to sleep he was certain that his rival, Reltri’sk Bloodhand, would murder, poison, or burn him alive just to put an end to his thriving success.

For the last fifty six years he had walked into the arena everyday and put down a variety of foe and beasts just to survive, but now he was fighting the innocent, those who had no right in such a place and proved no challenge to his skilled prowess. Thanks to a local civil war, food supplies were running shorter than ever, and the poor, from both Archon Cavash’s and Archon Keltariel’s territories had flocked to the arena with the aspiration of earning fame and food.

The Succubi had gladly let them in by the thousands and let them claw each others eyes out and tear open chests, bite at limbs and disembowel, just for a little false hope. For what these people did not realise was that they were putting the Wych Cult in business. The Wych Cult of Massacre was proud to have he Grand Archon Dernia Cavash visit it every week, and while his soldiers were stationed there the new spectacle had proved more popular than the red light districts and the drug houses for the Warriors during what little free time they had. Times had never been better for the Wych Cult, even though less than a mile away, thousands stood starving, reduced to skin and bone; many too soul starved and maddened to ever return to sanity. He shook off the thought and stood up, stretching his shoulders before front flipping a number of times to warm himself up. His mind was trembling, and he could feel himself shake.

It was time, he thought. Dextrously, he placed a nimble finger upon a red jewel at his chest, activating a bright glowing rune. Suddenly he felt more alive, his veins became warm, his thoughts became clear and he once again realised that he couldn’t care less about the starving masses, as long as Archon Keltariel did not prevail and enslave his Cult.

Smiling, he began to juggle his knives in the vast, hollowed out holding cell that the other nine wyches also resided in. each one of them was warming up or training, each just as tired as he was. He looked around them, examining them each individually, assessing their strength and their psychical appearance.

Eight of the Wyches were women, but after living here for a number of years he had learnt to control his primal, animalistic lust. He looked around, until he met the stare of Reltri’sk Bloodhand. In his arrogance, he was the only one not preparing himself. He thought himself better than the others, but the Wych knew that Bloodhand was wrong. He began to throw the knives higher and with more force, gaining attention quickly from the women, before back flipping, catching four of the airborne blades, and kicking the last shining monomolecular razor at Reltri’sk’s tattooed skull. He landed perfectly, legs wide, left hand on the ground while the other clutched carefully onto the knives. He stood, not caring for the attention provided by his Blade-Sisters who swooned as he walked past them, and walked gracefully over to his rival, stopping with a hand’s length between each other.

“Am I supposed to be impressed?” He asked condescendingly, a contemptuous, curled smile sat upon his face. “I am the one the people want to see here, not you.” He continued, taunting the Wych. “Your skills are neither impressive nor skilful.”

“If you are so sure of yourself then why don’t you prove how great you are?”

“All in good time, Brother. Just like Khaine’s hand weeps with the claret of Eldanesh, my hands shall be stained to remind me of your merciless death.”

“You dare compare yourself to the Lord of Murder?” He spat on the ground, disgusted by Reltri’sk’s disrespect to the mighty war god.

“No, you mistake my words. I am comparing you to Eldanesh. Weak, fragile and feeble.”

Their daggers scrapped for a moment as he attempted to slice his foes throat, but as the blades met again and the War Gate rolled open, revealing the dusty arena ahead. His anger was not quelled however, as his rival laughed and walked away into the pit, unsheathing his sword as he did so.

He had heard the crowd roar as Reltri’sk stepped out and showed off for the masses. He knew that they wanted the famed Bloodhand, but as he raised his glaive he couldn’t help but smile. For a moment he unclasped the armour of his left arm and looked at what his desperation had driven him too. Placing the blade against his bicep he made a deep gash and prayed for Khaine to hear him before he fastened his armour once more and ran out at the end of the procession.
__________________

The crowd showered them with cheers. Thousands must have gathered to see the performance, but the numbers never put him off. The pressure invigorated him. He raised his glaive high and joined the circle formed by the others to begin the ritual slaying that always took place before the main event. The first fifty wretched slaves were released and the Wyches stood in their circle, bare and armoured shoulders touched sensualy together in a carnival of shimmers and skin while they staved off the relentless attack of the street dwelling scum.

He thrust through the chest of the first man and decapitated the head of another. The top of his skull slid off cleanly before he tumbled to the floor. Every droplet of blood spilt was absorbed by the ancient sand that had lived through more pain and suffering than any of the Wyches could ever hope to experience. Countless displays had been shown upon it, and as it grew thick and wet with the spilt fluids the crowd began to scream out in blazing torrent of approval. Within moments those unwise, pain starved and foolish enough to ignore self preservation attacked directly and were slain without notice from the gladiators. By now, the others had turned to flee, some falling over bodies while others scrambled over the sand.

Laughing, he vaulted over a body and cleanly dislodged the skull of a single peasant with the blade on his heel. The head rolled away and the Wych’s face was covered with cool specks of blood. With a smile he took in his first taste of the death and instantly grew excited. His heart pounded. All logic had gone. The hunt had begun.

He broke into a sprint and launched the glaive into the back of a fleeing coward. He went down with a scream, causing the man beside him to turn to look back, scarred. After seeing the male Wych charging he was not able to take another lungful of pain filled air before his pursuer had thrown one of knives from the harnesses upon his left shoulder blade into the man’s neck, paralysing him. He began to slow as he approached the fallen man, and opened his arm wide, asking the opinion of the audience. Everybody simultaneously booed, making the Wych kneel down and tear the man’s head from his shoulders and raise it high into the air.

His senses were alight. The audience cheered for him while his deceased prey’s mangled remains dripped tangy blood into his mouth. After consuming the fluids he released a primal scream, planted one foot upon the back of the impaled corpse and tore out his glaive before throwing the head into the audience, making them scream for more.

The opening ritual, the ode to the Dark Muse Qa’leh, had been completed. The time for true bloodshed would soon be at hand.
Slowly the noise faded into nothingness as the Wyches bowed towards a slowly opening gate. Shadows slowly rolled up her wychsuit, caressing her perfect curves as she waltzed out from the darkness. Her beauty was breath taking and had the crowd entranced. They were enthralled by her perfection, and with every step the crowd seemed even more enticed. Her long, ebony hair dangled down, stroking her soft, scar-less, ghostlike skin. It swayed from side to side, mesmerising all those that stared for too long. Everything about her was too perfect.

There had to be some secret to her unnatural glory, as she was over three thousand years of age but was still as magnificent as she has always been. She placed each step precisely, adding a feline grace to her every move. On her hip sat two short swords, Ysgriitrud and Ysmriitrud. Ysgriitrud was longer than its sibling blade, and shone an odd white light in complete contrast to Ysmriitrud, which seemed to cause a complete absence of colour wherever it moved. The two blades were certainly menacing as they jangled together like the chiming of the bell signalling the executioner’s hour before she halted at the centre of the arena.

“Welcome, Commorrites, welcome Pierced Heart Kabal.” Her black lined eyes darted through the audience as she observed the military force present. From what she had counted there were at least three armed battalions, each lead by a separate Dracon “You are all honoured to have been permitted access to my playground. This seductive carnival of death shall not just excite, no, it shall make you feel things you have never dreamt of. Tonight, twenty thousand Mon-keigh, eight hundred peasants, and eleven Wyches, including myself, take to the ground, for this is a special occasion. Tonight I have spotted a very special person in the audience, and a very good friend of mine. High Archon Dernia Cavash.”

He stood in his box, the entire audience unnerved by his presence. He was known for his rapid and uncalled for psychotic mass murders and changes of heart. Once, in such a stadium, he had ordered a flotilla of Ravagers to murder everybody inside after he grew bored of the warring Astartes. Faroughk, too, was aware of this and loathed the thought of anything happening to her precious home.

“Archite Faroughk, it is my honour to be here, witnessing your martial skill once more.”

“Who is this beautiful young woman you have with you?” She asked, knowing full well he had brought his daughter along for a publicity stunt. He revelled in pride, either pride in himself or his possessions.

“Princess Althianesh Cavash.” The princess, who sat beside her farther, had the glow of a newly regenerated Eldar. Her eyes sparkled with a cruel darkness and she held an unholy aura that made her so much more alluring.

“It this her first time here, Archon?”

“Indeed it is.”

“Then I dedicate this performance to your daughter. May her body stay young and her blade stay sharp.”

With a final bow, menacing blade lined gates rolled open from every angle, releasing the crazed Mon-keigh she spoke of.
_______________________________

In the space of fifteen minutes the stocks of humans had been finely whittled down to the point where only the most devious and brutal remained. The air was sweet with the essence of life, and the audience had slowly grown healthier throughout the act. It was as if their lives were reversing. The wrinkle adorned were now youthful and the injured Kabalite Warriors were now energy filled once more. Even through the battle, he couldn’t help but take his eyes off of the Princess.

He had his choice of any female Wych within the Cult, but he wanted nothing more than to make the Princess his to own forever. He hadn’t felt like this before. His heart burnt with desire, yet whenever she looked away from him desire turned into an all consuming rage that took control of his mind and flesh until his body was glistening with the blood of others. With a shout of rage he slit the throat of a weak human, swung the glaive around his head and elaborately removed the craniums of another two who came too close. He hadn’t realised it through his berserk fury, but the Commorrite citizens had entered a matter of minutes ago, and he had slain a good deal of them. Once again, he looked up to the Princess and saw her starring down at the actions of Reltri’sk. For a moment he began to bite into his lip with his artificial sharpened fangs, and as the taste of his own blood overwhelmed everything he was feeling he took three great steps and launched his glaive.

The spinning blades cut down six contestants and narrowly missed the spine of his show off rival. The crowd still cheered, however, inspired and excited more by his attempted assassination than by the actual spectacle that they had gathered to see. He began to run, his head tilted forward with only Reltri’sk in his sight. To the Wych it felt like everybody else had vanished, they had fallen out of significance. He span and flipped to avoid incoming blades, slid along the ground and performed a marvellous spin kick that made an arc of blood through the air before he withdrew two knives that glinted in the bright purple lights with murderous intent. A whispered prayer to Khaine fell from his lips as he forced all of his strength into one of the knives.

The blade spun rapidly through the air, moving at such a speed that even to the Eldar, with eyes that could allow them to dodge bullets, the blade left residual streaks in the air, making it seem circular. He thought it was all over, that the blade would cleave Bloodhand’s skull brutally asunder, and his cerebral matter would pour upon the sand in a moment he would forever remember as his finest. How wrong he was.

The ground shook and the stadium moved. Everybody; the Wyches, the contestants, the audience, all except the Archite hit the floor as the coliseum quaked.

He forced himself back up at once, thinking his foe had played some cruel trick. What was happening was far worse. From perpetual twilight blood began to rain and great amber flames ripped the sky open. Thousands of craft descended, beams of darkness raining down into the crowd and into the sub realm.

They obviously knew that the Archon would be present; otherwise they would not have waged war upon a neutral realm, the only four access routes of which were through Cavash’s own territory. The craft flickered with dark energies, and the crew that dangled from the sides of each one opened fire across the city. Those loyal to the High Archon lifted their rifles skyward and decimated the Raider squads with their high velocity toxic splinter rounds. Many of the rival Warriors fell from their craft, the rounds causing great spurts of blood to be released from their night grey armour before the nerve toxins caused them to fall to their deaths. He turned his eyes to the Archon. The crowd were fleeing and screaming as they were cut down, both by the rival Kabal and by the Archon’s own Janissaries.

He pushed his daughter aside as a Raider attempted to dive nose first into his dais. He showed no sign of fear and unfastened his Blaster faster than eldritch lightning could streak across the sky. He held the blaster with one hand and aimed down the sight, as he was famous for, before placing a single dark beam through the throat of the pilot. Even with his life at stake he was sowing off. The pilot slumped forward onto the controls, causing the skiff to fall in an arc into the arena, the initial flames from the wreckage consuming over five hundred contestant and two Wyches. For an explosion that size it must have been lined with explosives.

Moments later, his red armoured Janissaries surrounded him, removing any clear line of sight from a sniper while they attempted to move him to his personal craft. Annoyed, he pushed through them and commanded them to remove his daughter from the carnage. When they began to question his safety he withdrew his Huskblade, the twisted surface leaving black streaks through the air, and stabbed the youngest of his guards with it. He dropped to the floor, armour filled with nothing but dust that formed a cloud from the impact. Refusing to leave, Princess Althianesh stepped forward, her cloak of bristles trailing behind her.

Smiling, she looked at her father with her bottomless black eyes and drew two blades that had been hidden beneath her spiked cloak. He knew that she had been trained by the Archite herself, but he did not realise that she was proficient enough to defend herself from an assault of that magnitude. She had only just reached adolescence and was still regarded as a child by most Eldar’s standards. The High Archon nodded at her, placed his helmet upon his head and ran out onto a small balcony overlooking the city. The Wych lost track of them after that, but as another Raider came low over the arena and began to open fire he started to run. Every time shots were aimed at him he dived into a pile of corpses of behind peaces of a wreckage. Four Raiders had crash landed, each of them exploded horribly. This one, however, was manned. As it dropped low, the survivors departed and eight more of the craft followed its lead.

The men gathered at the centre, forming a ring like the Wyches had one with their ritual dance, but now they opened fire at the Pierced Heart Kabal’s battalions who took cover in the stands. The Pierced Heart and the Dying Scream’s feud was relatively new compared to some of the wars the Pierced heart was taking part in at present. It had started less than a cycle ago when spies from the Dying Scream had been located within Dernia’s palace, and in retaliation he gathered a war host and laid waste to a major port within the Dying Scream’s territory, cutting off their negotiations and trade routes with other Kabals. It had escalated from there, and now they had attacked a relatively neutral faction, causing them to get involved.

He lifted his head up and looked over the grav-plate that he had taken refuge behind. Angry, he snarled. He felt trapped. If he moved then he would surely be cut down. The only weapons he had were his knives and his glaive was just out of reach. The other Wyches were in the same situation, until Archite Faroughk strolled easily towards the circle, deflecting shots with her blades and dodging them like quicksilver. Her calm composure was what inspired the other Wyches to charge. Instantly, two were cut to ribbons, but as shots began to fly over his head, he slid, picked up his glaive and rose from his slide, spinning his favoured weapon in one hand, the splinter shots ricocheting from the handle. He advanced quickly with the others, all attacking from different angles.

He withdrew more knives and timed his throws perfectly, eliminating four of the Warriors before he had even reached them. The combat drugs pulsed through him. Combined with the pain he had caused he was able to leap eleven foot high, and brought down his glaive furiously, killing another two before he impacted the ground on the other side of the circle. He laughed as he rose from the roll he had landed and spun once more. Relentlessly he stabbed at the Warriors who had dared invade his home. They attempted to fight back with their bayonets, but the Wyches were all over them. They placed clean incisions between armour plates and manipulated pressure points for quick, easy deaths. One Warrior lunged for the Wych with a bewildered look, as after he blinked the Wych had evaded the blow almost pre-emptively. He barely had time to notice this before the glaive was lodged in his heart, the weapon in the Wyches left hand while he was balanced extravagantly on one foot. The hooked back of the glaive caused the dying body to be torn from the circle, letting the Wyches inside their defence to drive them out into the volleys of splinter fire. Over the screams of the dying he heard the laughter of the Archite, who was taking great pleasure beheading them as they dropped to their knees.

The Wyches were panting where their mistress hadn’t even broken a sweat. He pulled down the scarf that covered the bottom half of his face. He had stitched it into his Wychsuit to avoid it from slipping during combat.

“Succubus, what are your orders?” he asked, silver armour stained with the blood of the weak.

“Gather the others and take to the streets. I want every invader beheaded.”

“Should we protect the Archon?”

“No.” he soft voice turned firm. “If it were not for his petty political squabbles my realm would not be tarnished by such crude violence, would it?”

“No ma’am.”



[b]Chapter II

The realm was in turmoil. Carnage spread throughout the rioting warzone, leaving only ruin in its wake. The sky was ablaze. Spires burnt and people wailed as liquid flame stuck to their flesh. Within minutes all two hundred of the Wyches had taken to the streets. All of the armouries had been emptied. They carried as much as they were able. Many carried their favoured weapons and had Splinter Rifles slung at their sides while they charged down the entrenched enemy positions.

A deep rage burnt within every Wych’s soul, a hatred that felt like it could never be satiated. The Malign Blade Coliseum was all that many of the Wyches had ever known, and now, thanks to the petty political struggles of others, their once proud arena had been reduced to rubble. Dark Lances had ravaged the grand structure until it could stand no longer and toppled from grace.

Seeing as the Wych had lost his birth name when he joined the Cult, and the Cult’s showground had fallen, he saw no point on clinging to the name given to him. He had not been able to remember is birth name for years as he had fallen into obsession with the Cult.

All of his previous life that he had spent as an aspiring artist had vanished from his mind over time, and all that he remembered was that he had taken his stage name from his most grand exhibition. He had been called Remonstrating Darkness, and he felt like this name suited him now better than ever as he slinked through the darkness, tracking a group of five Kabalite Warriors who were dragging along barbed nets filled with the Cult’s citizens. He hid behind his face scarf and held his armoured side to the wall as he edged towards them. They had dragged the people around the corner, laughing while they did so. They loomed above the bodies, glowing eyes at the peak of their blade adorned, and elegant suits. The bodies writhed at their feet while the Warriors dug their boots into the bodies.

As silently as possible, he tip toed toward them, body flat to the wall. Quickly he had to make for the shadows of a doorway as one of the warriors turned, thinking he had heard something.

His heart pounded. In the arena he had taken on more deadly opponents, but he was just under fifty metres away and, at that range, their rifles would easily overwhelm him. Carefully, he wrapped his nimble fingers around a small ornament mounted on the wall beside the door, and with no concern for the owner, he struggled it free. Slowly, he eased himself into position and then, with one act of great skill, he launched it overhead, meaning for it to slam form one building into another, until; finally, it collided with one of the Warriors. Instantly, the Warrior turned and raised his rifle while his comrades laughed at his paranoia. Laughing, one pushed him slightly, mocking how jumpy he was. He couldn’t hear what the Warriors were saying but he breathed a sigh of relief as four of them dismissed the paranoid Warrior’s thoughts and continued to drag the nets. After the fifth looked away he made his move. He bolted through the darkness and into the light of the street where he got a clear shot on two of the Warriors who had failed to wear their helmets. His blades easily dispatched these two, decimating their skulls and leaving a faint red mist lingering. He was able to div into darkness while the other three turned.

“Show yourself.” They commanded.

“Show yourself!” The Sybarite shouted now before firing randomly into the darkness.

The shards implanted themselves into the walls, the glowing purple splinters protruding like fine gems within a deep, dank cave. The Sybarite grabbed one of his men by the shoulder and punched him in the back after a slight hesitation, causing him to take the Sybarite’s place while the other two dragged the captured citizens around the corner. The Warrior was nervous. The Wych could tell from the random firing and how he trembled slightly that fear was his only friend.

In Commorragh, the Wych could have been anything. He could have been a soul freezing Mandrake or a petrifying Medusae that had escaped from its master. He allowed the Warrior’s imagination to do the work for him, and, after his squad had fled, he too turned his back on the Wych. A fatal mistake. The Wych cackled as he charged down the Warrior, who was weighed down by his armour and numerous skulls hanging from his waist. Readjusting his grip on the glaive he leapt wildly through the air like a great carrion bird, swooping in to execute its wounded prey. His feet landed upon the Warrior’s back and he was soon bathed in fresh blood as the blade pierced his spine. His Splinter Rifle clattered away, and his head hit the ground hard.

“Why are you here?” the Wych demanded, turning the body over and tearing the helmet from the Warrior’s head.

“To pillage. To burn. To slaughter. Why do we ever do anything?” he coughed up blood while he laughed.

“Is this your Archon’s doing? Is he the one responsible for the annihilation of my temple?”

“Temple? Ha.” He spat more blood. “You Wyches prize your arenas highly, don’t you? Strange, seeing as you die so easil-”

“For Khaine!” the blade he plunge into the Warrior’s throat silenced his mockery and his blood quickly lined the street. Rising from the corpse, he gathered his weapons and charged once more.

The raining blood had thinned over an hour ago, but the odd outbreak remained. Now, however, when an outbreak was serious enough to coat every spire with a thick red gloss, great forks of black lightning arced across the sky, trembling everything within the realm and causing the widespread skirmishes to halt in their intensity as every soldier lost their footing. This recent nuisance did not stop his fury, though, as when a huge blast in the sky occurred he had the sense to grab hold of the nearest building, hoping that it would not topple and become his tomb. It also failed to slow him, as he clambered onto the walls and dragged himself along them, using his supreme balance to keep moving.

After he turned the corner he found that the Sybarite and the Warrior had not made it far. They were on the floor as he approached, their armour providing them with no traction upon the blood slick ground once they had fallen. Laughing, he strolled towards them, slowing from his furious sprint. He obtained a joyous high from watching his defenceless prey squirm hopelessly in an attempt to escape.

“How does it feel to be hunted by your prey?” he smiled, kicking away the Splinter rifle that sat mere centimetres out of the Warrior’s grasp who proceeded to withdraw a dagger fastened at his hip. He was soon put down by the glaive that shattered through his eye lens. The body slumped to the floor as he tugged on the glaive, all the while staring at the Sybarite who scrambled at the bloody ground.

“My death will not solve anything, Wych.”

“No, but it will mean one less politically obsessed coward that can come back to ruin my home.”

“You Wyches are beasts.” He snarled, his voice renewed with aggression. “You murder for the payment of the masses.”

“We are the beasts? You hide in your palaces and torture those who have done nothing to harm you, and you call us beasts?” his shouting echoed throughout the streets like the rage of a rampant daemon. “You need to learn manners, Sybarite.” He kicked his floored opponent in the head before tearing off his helm and taking a knife to his face.

The screams of the Sybarite were too grisly and horrifying for most of the captured civilians to bear. Unlike those who fought, the average civilian in Commorragh never had access to as much of the mind altering stimuli that the higher classes relentlessly indulged in. They never experienced the pleasure one could gain from torture or the satisfaction one got from poisoning his arch-nemesis. Many of the civilians started to scream and squirm at the actions they watched, before they were finally set free by the Wych who had now got a new mask.


It had only taken a few hours, but the invaders had fled after taking heavy casualties. Numerous battalions of their bravery-lacking Warriors were pushed back to the central square of the Flexed Blade District before having hundreds of vicious Khymera released upon them. The hellish beasts of weeping muscles and polished bone slammed into the wall of bayonets, thinking nothing of the minor wounds they sustained before crushing every last Warrior within their skull cracking mandibles. The High Archon and his daughter were both safe, despite leading the Pierced Heart Kabal personally.

The Archon had taken his own blade to confront the trio of Dracons who were leading the assault and dispatched them with contemptuous roars while his daughter watched and smiled from the ranks of the Janissaries who had been ordered to stand by and watch. This was why everybody feared Lord Dernia Cavash. Unlike other Archons, who supped their wine from the warmth of their palaces and in the comfort of their thrones, Cavash always displayed his great skill and always overcame the odds.

This tactic spread terror through the foe and managed to quell any rebellious thoughts amongst his ranks, especially during the famed Talon Wars. During this time he drove four separate Kabals to genocide against one another before strolling into the contested Tower of Tears, where the four Archons had gathered to discuss the situation, and beheading each one without any hesitance or flicker of emotion upon his ancient, ghost white face. He then mocked the shattered Kabals by leading his forces into the tallest fortresses of the different territories, striking down any who opposed him, and planting a banner depicting his personal heraldry upon the back skin of the fallen Archons. Since then few had even dared to trade with his forces as he had become so hated throughout the Dark City that he was venerated by some to be amongst the likes of Supreme Overlord Asdrubael Vect himself. Of course, these thoughts were spread by his Janissary police force, who executed without hesitance anybody who spoke otherwise.

Vect was a man that Dernia Cavash felt nothing but indifference for. He had only come across him four times in his life, and each time their forces had sparred as they attempted to outdo each other as military tractions and genii of whit. After being driven out of Vect’s palace neither of them had bothered to hunt down the other in some mutual admiration of talent, at least, this is what Dernia’s ego forced him to believe.


The river of blood always calmed him. The trickling sounds soothed his soul as he knelt on the corpse lined banks. This artificial waterway had been constructed from those who fell during the displays at the arena, and even where he sat meditating, many miles away from the arena, the bodies still washed up. Great trees loomed over him, hiding him from the twilight sky that had now repaired itself. The true nature of these trees was unknown to him. They weren’t actually plants as they were made from the very same material that the Webway had been constructed from, although these trees were dark and twisted compared to the original, pure material. They bore no leaves, but at their bases the ground was made from nothing but old bone made by the Cult.

“Do not sorrow over your father, Dayl’akrin.”

“That is not my name.” he hissed at the woman that approached him.

“He would not want you to be subject to such a weakness.”

“How did you find me?” She stood in her black robe simply staring at him from beneath the hood that shaded her face from the mouth upward.

“I remember when you were a child, Dayl. Your father cared more for your well being than his own. Remember him for that, not what he did.”

“What do you want from me?”

“What is that in your hand?” she ignored his demand, staring at the amulet depicting Khaine’s own symbol. “Mourning will not take away the sting of bereavement.”

“What do you want from me?” he screamed, pointing the glaive at her head, the tip resting inches from her hood.

“We need a favour, child.”

“I am not a mercenary, look elsewhere, wench.”

He knelt down back beside the river and began to pray once more for his soul to be released from its anguish.

“Khaine worship is outlawed in these parts Dayl.”

“You’re blackmailing me?”

“No. I am working with you.”

“Who are you.” He took in a deep breath to refrain from murdering the woman. In form of an answer she extended her right arm and allowed a small amulet to bounce back from its chain. It was almost identical to his.

“We will pay you well for any inconvenience caused to your life.”

“I told you, I am not a mercenary.” He rose and walked off, shadows covering his eyes as he tilted his head to scan the way like a predatory beast.

“Would your father have walked away like this?”

“My father brought shame upon my house.” He turned furiously and approached her. “He was a coward and deserves nothing but unrestrained loathing.”

“And yet you still mourn his death.”

“You talk as if you knew him, tell me what you know.”

“He nearly achieved something so great that he would have forever been remembered as a hero of Commorragh.”

“He was a member of Khaine’s Murder Cult. There is nothing heroic about a fight with no challenge.

“And yet you spend every day training so you can easily dodge the blows of an enemy. Where is the challenge in your life?” She had him caught out. His mind split in two for a moment as he contemplated the situation. He could continue talking with the woman or he could strike her and incur the wrath of the War God.

“What do you want from me?”

“You are bored of your life, you feel as if it has no purpose. If you want to achieve something then I suggest you sleep. We will find you.” Laughing, she melted away into the dark, her physical form leeching away into the shadows until thin air remained.

Ignoring the robed woman, as he had seen many of them before, he walked into the cool, congealing blood until it reached his waste. He began to pray.
_________________________________

The inner sanctum of the Archite’s palace had been left unscathed. Like most of her private estate her personal militia had defended the grand crystal palace with their lives. The hundreds of Dark lance that bristled from her home’s parapets acted more like a deterrent than a defence mechanism, as the amount of firepower prevented even the bravest pilot from flying near her grounds. The inner sanctum was a gloriously decorate, artistic, circular room with grand murals that depicted some of the bloodiest moments of the Cult’s history. Dayl’akrin’s personal favourite was the segment depicting Faroughk’s triumph over the Adeptus Astartes Adamantine Guard’s Chapter Master. The mural couldn’t have lived up to the glory of the real moment, but the realistic blood work certainly made it moving. On the picture she stood on her right leg, her left flexed out like a scorpion’s tail behind her while she looked into the sky, bemused as her impailer struck into his throat. Even now, some five thousand years after his death, the Marine’s skull rested at the top of a chandelier erected from skulls, purple soul light vomiting from the hollow eye sockets. The light shone down, casting a deep anguished light onto those that gathered within. It twinkled dimly from the armour of the Kabalite Trueborn that had followed their Dracon, and it made the flesh of the Hekatrix Bloodbrides seem cold and lifeless. This is where the argument had spawned; foul exchanges of words echoing down the halls between Prince Talludesh Ayr’kell Cavash and Mistress Khay’layiish, Syren of Massacre.

The fierce debate had started a only a couple of minutes ago, but already over half the Cult had gathered at the doorway and in the hall, each Wych staring down a Kabalite with fierce eyes.

“You can hardly blame this on us.” Khay’layiish said, feigning distress. She was good at playing on the emotions of men with acts of beauty and innocence, but Talludesh sat forward in his chair and looked straight through the charade, dismissing it where his men would have fallen.

“I think that it is rather convenient that at a time when my father, the most important figure in all of the Scorned Spire Alliance, and my dearest sister were at their most vulnerable inside your territory, the enemy attacked from hidden routes with the knowledge of my father’s position.”

“While we risked our lives fighting to protect the Archon, where were you? I recall you hiding in your prized Reserves, hoping that you were not hunted.”

“This is preposterous.” He screamed, red in the face. He had never expected such disrespect from a lowly Wych.
“Calm yourself, Kabalite. You might find yourself falling upon a blade if your anger becomes out of hand.”

“You disease ridden whore.” He exploded from his seat in an attempt to intimidate her, but she just sat there, smiling. “I shall see your realm burn. You believe yourselves greater than the Archon and his authority. Your head will roll at my feet and-”

“Try it, ‘Prince’, and I shall castrate you with your own crown.” Her remark was met with the applause and laughter of the Wyches, all of whom despised the Prince. This Prince was not brave like his brother or a weathered veteran leader like his father. Nobody, not even the street vendors who spent their lives spat at and starving, respected him.

The first shot was blasted through a Bloodbride’s toned stomach, the virulent toxin causing her body to convulse and foam before she finally stopped moving. Then all hell broke loose. The Wyches moved through the air like maddened beasts of the Immaterium. One slapped away the barrel of a Shardcarbine and ran her delicate blade across the Kabalite’s throat in a glorious display of wanton hatred. The others followed suit, each picking off the Kabalites easily, like maggots on an open wound. Even though they were outnumbered five to one, the Bloodbrides quickly evened the odds with wailing laughter.
The Prince had drawn his Power Sword, the crackling surface making easy work of two of the twelve before he finally became disarmed by the Syren’s sword, the beautifully designed surface stopping upon the surface of his exposed neck.

“Stop this madness.” A voice rang effortlessly down through the hallway and into the chamber, ceasing all activity in the red aired room. Many of the Wyches that lined the hall gasped and all averted their eyes while they crouched, making a clear pathway for the Succubus. Her hair swayed mesmerisingly from side to side as she tip-toed softly towards her chamber.

“What is the meaning of this?” her venom laced voice still soft and lined with the disarming innocence of a vulnerable child.

“A slight disagreement, Mistress.” Khay’layiish answered, refusing to release her death hold upon the Prince. “He blames us, on behalf of the Archon, for the attempted assassination that took place.”

“If he suspects betrayal then why does he not confront us himself, degenerate?

“Order her to let me free, woman!” He seemed to be the only person that did not realise that was a mistake. Her false smile dropped into a malicious frown as she coaxed her black, shine-less blade from her hip.

“Who are you to order me what to do? You are at the mercy of my protégé here, and after all, she does need practice. What do you think?” she turned to the anxious Wyches, engrossed in her performance. “Should I send his cold, stiff body to his father?”

The Wyches cheered in approval. Even many of the Trueborn wanted to see the arrogant fool mutilated.

“No. Please no!” he begged, helplessly.

“Give me one good reason why not.” She looked from side to side and smiled. “That’s what I thought. Khay’layiish, kill-”

“My Lady, stop.” A Dracon stepped forward and placed his weapons on the floor before removing his helmet and bowing before her. She recognised him, but wasn’t fully sure who he was.

“Chose your words carefully, Dracon, or you’ll be next.”

“My Lady, I do not see why this meat grinder needed to occur between my Kabalites and your fine Cult, but I assure you that this is not what we had intended. I implore you; spare the Prince his head, even though it is rarely good for anything.”

“How dare you!” he exclaimed before remembering his current situation.

“He had spoken rashly and out of turn with your Syren, and I guarantee that he does not speak on behalf of the Archon; he was just failing to intimidate your people into compliance.”

“You are much wiser than this waste of skin. Who are you?” She asked with a raised eyebrow, astounded by the respect and lack of fear shown to her.

“I am Dracon Relliach Korvesh master of the Blood Halls and Overseer of Recruits. I watch over the young and the promising, and my ability to keep a level head unlike the Archon’s dim witted son is why I am accompanying him.”

“Have I met you before?” she spat, patience thinning.

“I saved you from attempt upon your life by one of your treacherous former Syrens.”

“Oh yes.” She reminisced with a thoughtful glaze in her eyes. “Your hair was white then, and your face was wrinkled.”

“Your treacherous student helped to prolong my life. I was almost willing to accept death. I had not witnessed pain for many a month until that dreadful assassination attempt.”

“Then I owe you this, at least. Release the Prince.” Khay’layiish was overcome with sadness and reluctantly let him free.
“You have disrespected me, Dracon.” The Prince spoke, stroking his dark blue silk plaid flat.

“I saved your life you ungrateful wretch. Without me you would be in cubes. I am sure that the Syren wouldn’t mind decimating you if allowed. Would you like that?” he was shouting in the Prince’s face now, which had become a portrait of disbelief and terror.

“Nobody talks to me like that. My father shall hear of this moment.”

“Don’t lie to yourself, even if you gathered the courage to approach him he would still side with me, for he has sense, unlike you.” The laughing of the Succubus broke the argument, causing both the Kablites to look her way.

“I love the turmoil of politics, but I prefer beheading my foe rather than attempting to disarm them with words. What business brings you two into my palace?”

“Assistance.” The Prince rudely barked before the Dracon took his place.

“We are looking to hire the services of your Cult to aid our raid efforts.”

“My Cult is in ruins and I only have one hundred and forty six of the two hundred Wyches I had this morning. Why not ask some other Cult with more lives to spare?”

“We only want the most talented and proficient, sweet Lady. That is why we dare not ask anybody else.”

“ Your flattery is amusing,” she took her seat at the head of the Bloodbrides, her blades jangling at her hip. “But it does not convince me. What is in it for me?”

I knew that this is what it would come down to.” He smiled coldly and unfastened a pendant that he wore beneath his armour. Only after he pulled out the snaking golden thread did she smile.

“I haven’t seen one of those for years.” She gazed into the reflection on the twinkling mauve gem. It was a perfect specimen, rounded and perfectly clear, an entire lifetime of sorrow trapped within. It had once been a deep red, but through the relentless torture of its owner it had become corrupt and resented the very air around it, chilling it immensely.

“I can promise you hundreds, thousands if you so desire, all we want in return is your expertise at our side. You may send your entire Cult or you many go alone, but we need you.”

“The Archon is planning something, isn’t he?”

“I do not know or pretend to understand why the High Archon has extended this invitation, but he ordered me to tell you that G’ost is returning.” Her body chilled at the thought of the damn psyker. The pain she had caused was unbearable and almost ruined the Succubus. Her mind raged with thoughts of feeding the psyker to the Warp and laughing as her soul was consumed by the Thirster.

“I accept. We leave now. Round up my Cult, Bloodbrides. I wish for all to see this.”





I do haveplenty more writing to come, but i don't know when i will get around to writing it.
Feedback is welcome.

Editted slightly.

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Last edited by Cavash on Mon Sep 24 2012, 22:46; edited 15 times in total
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Lady Malys
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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Thu Apr 19 2012, 01:17

Firstly, congratulations on making another addition to your Pierced Heart lore Smile

I have some points to suggest, if I may?

Technical:

I would suggest a line break between paragraphs, and speech; this will make it easier to read, and publishers always want clear spaces (often double, but one will do online I think). I would also put only one chapter in a post, as they are proper book length.

There are a some cases of what one might call non-spell-checkable typos - where words are correctly spelled, but the wrong word - only proofreading will catch those, but you did say it was a draft Smile


Grammatical:

You have a sound grasp of grammar and a good flow to your sentences. I would just try to avoid repeating a word too often; for example,

Quote :
The High Archon and his daughter were both safe, despite leading the Pierced Heart Kabal personally. The Archon had personally confronted the trio of Dracons who were leading the assault and dispatched them with contemptuous roars while his daughter watched and smiled from the ranks of the Janissaries who had been ordered to stand by and watch.

It's not that this is bad technically, but the style can look more elegant if you avoid repetition too often. (I recall one Black Library book where a light illuminated a room with light.) For example you could substitute 'observe' for the second watch/watching.


Style:

You have an excellent grasp of the flow of action and a spatial awareness of what is happening - one can picture the action working in three dimensions. You also make good use of the multi-level nature of the Dark City.

Your characters are believable, and they interact with each other in realistic ways. Dark Eldar ways Wink


Commorragh:

I have no problems with how you depicted the Dark City Very Happy

I would say though that due to their slower growth rate in pregnancy, it is reasonable to suggest that Eldar of all flavours mature a little more slowly, so you may want to make your Princess more than 17. I'd suggest more like 57, but I have no fluff guidance for this after-birth aging process, though.

Male Wyches do exist, but they don't usually have seniority or that much kudos within a Cult, so I would not find it likely that all the girl Wyches were drooling over your protagonist - I'm not saying some can't, mind you, but I would adjust that down a notch or two. I actually don't like the official fluff imbalance in the Wych Cults as it makes no sense to me, but such is the fluff.

Rivers of blood, corrupted wraithbone trees, sand soaked in aeons of pain ... there are some very striking images within your story, that I found very fitting and really helped to set the mood. I also liked the way you conveyed the capricious nature of the Dark Eldar, and their tendency to attack each other on a hair-trigger, or, conversely, to plan meticulously for decades, sometimes both in the same person.

All in all I want to read more! Very Happy


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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Thu Apr 19 2012, 01:54

Thank you for the feedback, Lady Malys.
I shall get onto fixing these issues, and generally improving this entry before I add the third Chapter.



I have editted it slightly to make it flow faster and just sound better. I see what you mean about the repetition, it became irritating, I found. The strange part is that i didn't even remember repeating that.

I am reaching the end of the Third Chapter, so I might update later or sometime during the weekend.

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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Sat Apr 21 2012, 21:32

Once again, this is a draft and will be editted once I review it, but critique and feedback are welcome.

Chapter III

Raiders descend like swarming hornets, the deadly stings of their Dark Lances and Disintegrator Cannons cutting down the Imperial foot soldiers without any challenge. The Imperial Guard had not noticed the knife sleek crafts until it was too late.

While they had been fighting a prolonged trench war with the damned Militia that attempted to topple Imperial rule, the Raiders had crept with silent grace from temporary emerald-fire gates before descending upon the weary. The planet of Equiosa had been, for many decades, gripped in a desperate struggle with local heretical insurgencies that had weakened its defences and depleted the ammo stocks.

Usually the Archon was too proud to lead his forces against such a vulnerable and unsuspecting force, but when Prince Talludesh relentlessly hassled him with a newfound bravery about how he would be pleasantly surprised by what they would find he reluctantly accepted, only hoping to silence his least favourite child.

The Archon led from the frontline, his Raider at the head of the spear formation that cut through the material world. Five raiders flanked him on either side, each carrying a squad of his ruthlessly cunning Trueborns. Usually he would have brought his famed Coven of Wanton Massacre, or the Janissaries, as they were called by the slave class. He found no reason to bring them, however, as he was more than capable of protecting himself and he needed some defence in his palace in case the Dying Scream attempted to raze his home.

The Trueborns were heavily laden with Dark Lances and Shredders and began to salivate like starving feral beasts as they moved towards Hive Pentalons.

Behind the first ten Raiders followed thirty two weapon bristling Ravagers that would reduce any foe’s prized vehicle to a smouldering scrap heap. The Ravagers were followed by the anxious whooping Hellion Gangs of the Night Hydras. They filled the sky like a plague of locusts, their Skyboards spitting out hot blue flames that streaked through the air. Then came the rest of the war host. The Raiders flocked in their thousands, each carrying a cargo of disdain for life. The Kabalite Warriors were all faceless and bland to the Wych, their true appearances shrouded by such unnecessary inventions like helmets and gauntlets.

The four Wych Raiders were at the front of the main force, but the Wyches did not care for large obvious assaults. Apparently, the Archon believed that the sheer weight of their firepower would overwhelm the humans and force them to flee, where they could easily be captured, but Dayl didn’t agree. Of course, he wasn’t going to argue with the Archon, for he rarely looked at his own leader out of fear of upsetting her, but he knew that it was a bad idea.

It was only when the Ravagers opened fire with unholy firepower that the humans realised they were being attacked.
The humans on patrol and guard duty on the Hive’s walls began to fire wildly before the howling Hellions swooped in and plucked them from their posts like unopened buds from a dormant thorn bush before discarding them onto the flagpoles that hung high from the spires; once noble standards dangling still in the night. The screams of the lacerated and maimed cut through the darkness waking the citizens of the lower rungs of society who slept in the freezing conditions of the under-hive. Then the Raiders descended.

He landed softly upon the frosted ground with the kind of soft landing that the Kabalites failed to imitate. His squad mates joined him, each spiralling off with heightened elegance unachievable by the Kabal’s standards that made them so highly prized for such a raid. With a nod from Hekatrix Vorshulth to the Raider-pilot the humble craft arced off into the dark before she took her place with her Wyches. The Hekatrix followed the Succubus, naturally, attempting to get noticed by her Bloodbrides; but all in vain. Her squad, however, attempted to imitate her. The way she extended her crackling weapon into an opponent’s neck was flawless, her balance was perfect and how she managed to achieve this superior quality of art without breaking a sweat to ruin her goddess visage was unbelievable.
Of course, this was just to the average Wyches, as her peers all viewed the honoured Bloodbrides in the same light, and in turn they saw the Succubus as a superior being, one to sit amongst the ancient shattered pantheon.

He paid no attention to the first Mon-keigh that he dissected as he landed and avoided the fountain of blood the fragile creature let off. Most of the Guardsmen had already been cut down by Splinter rifle volleys, making the street much more tolerable.

The others quickly gathered around and the sky darkened immensely. The moonlight was stolen away by insect-like Skyboards and Jetbikes that shot through the air like out of control bullets, an arcane light radiating in streaks from their bladed rears. As the Kabalites charged up the street the Wych Squad gathered around their Hekatrix, their pallid faces etched with a more serious demeanour than the maniacal, marauding snarls of those under the Archon’s reign. The main assault had been divided into two forces, those under the banner of the warrior-lord, Dernia Cavash, and those who followed the enraged shouting of the young and inexperienced Prince Talludesh Ayr’kell Cavash. Much to Dayl’s displeasure, the Wyches were with Prince Talludesh.

Two of the females were the first to join him; the twins Ya’dgaul and Borrith’tal wielded their daggers along with their Splinter Pistols, the shinning metal cast with a blue hue, just like all of the other Wyches’ polished grey armour. They both smiled at him as they took their place at his flanks. They had been the first to meet him upon his initiation into the Cult of Massacre and were the first to ever have any faith in him. Also they were the first women he had ever had an affair with inside of the cult. He felt no emotional attachment to the pair, but they were always useful as stress relief for him. All of the other women glared harshly at him as he had, in one way or another, upset and scorned each individually, forcing them to take sides with Reltri’sk.

All of these Wyches, except Reltri’sk, were not the ones he served aside inside the arena as they had all been maimed or disposed of during the assault upon their home. They had all huddled around him, the group of seven staring down the others with no effect.

“I don’t know why we were dragged out here, and quite frankly I don’t want to be on this miserable rock. These Mon-keigh are the least of our worries, yet we have been dragged from our sanctuary without a reason. Don’t die; our numbers are too few already.” She flicked her hair back, her cold eyes devoid of a sparkle.

“I do not intend to die, Hakatrix. I am too valuable to fall.”

“Why don’t you silence your words and prove your worth, Reltri’sk?”

“I will Hekatrix, unlike some of your squad I will not fall this day.”

“Oh,” she exclaimed, walking threateningly towards him, “who shall fall this day?”

“Hekatrix,” his voice overflowed with arrogance and false innocence so much that it was sickening to hear. “I never intended my words to raise suspicion. All I meant was that you cannot expect a half-blood orphan” He nodded maliciously ant Dayl, “to achieve as well as I do.”

“Hold your tongue lest I cut it out for you!” Dayl’s Impailer silenced the forced laughter of those who had sided with his rival.
“What could you possibly do? Any street dweller with a week of training could slit your throat in combat.”

“Fine.” Dayl restrained his anger by biting into his lip, the deep metallic taste of his blood calming him. He stepped forward slowly, unfastening his left sided armour, allowing it to fall to the floor. His Wychsuit clung to his muscular arm, hiding his sacrificial scars from sight.

“If you believe yourself to be so great then spill my guts! Run me through!”

Reltri’sk didn’t realise it, but the women surrounding him had all stepped away, leaving him out in the open with no other option but to accept the challenge. He looked from left to right and took a quick moment to think before he also shed his armour plates.

Reltri’sk raised his sword like a scorpion’s sting, the surface shinning in the soul-lights as much as his polished head as he anticipated his opponent’s move. Smiling, Vorshulth stepped away from the duo as Dayl’akrin prepared himself in a stubborn stance, long handle at his torso, blade aimed at his foe’s sternum.

Their feet scraped at the solid human road as the two bolted furiously at one another, weapons waving ferociously. Rain began to slam down as the two made first contact, Bloodhand’s sword sparking off of Darkness’s Impailer-Glaive before he swung it around his body at a blinding pace in an attempt to intimidate the other Wych. With a half smile, Bloodhand launched himself into the air like a wolf, his short blade knocking away the sharp end of the glaive before he rolled past his foe.

Dayl knew that he was being toyed with, but he had always found that allowing the enemy to show off before being put down stung his pride so much more.

Fiercely he snarled from behind his scarf, lowering his body with his glaive skyward before the Wych made another pass. He expertly deflected, managing to make Bloodhand stumble slightly as he went past.

Dayl took his chance while his foe’s back was turned and struck out for his spine. Bloodhand span unexpectedly, sword knocking away glaive before opening up with an aggressive number of strikes and blows. Their feet moved like those of an expert dancing couple as they carefully stepped from side to side before ducking and dipping under another death shot.
Only through thrusting and through making Bloodhand stumble was he able to buy himself time.

Bloodhand grabbed the glaive beneath his sword, thinking his opponent trapped like a fly in an arachnid’s web, but acting week was just what Dayl needed. Before he could bring the sword around to make his signature mutilation, Dayl pulled with all the strength his sober form could muster. His much lighter opponent was lifted from the ground, his blade tumbling aside as Dayl flipped him onto his back, the twin end of his Impailer-glaive digging firmly into his gullet.

One push and it would be over. One push and he would end the miserable wretch’s life.

That feeling he had missed. What was it called? It was something he longed for…

Dominance.

Dominance over a worthy adversary. The power to know that a great warrior’s life is in your hands. His veins pumped full of newly found adrenaline, and he could feel his lips involuntarily curl as bloodlust coursed through him.

In a moment of clouded mindedness, he drew back his weapon and then took the plunge.
___________________________

“This was amusing, but shouldn’t we get back to fighting the mon-keigh and not amongst ourselves?” Vorshulth’s Power Sword crackled as it made contact with the glaive, knocking it away much to the distaste of Dayl and his groupies.

“I-I apologise, Hekatrix.” He stepped back slightly; his black, hollow, contemptuous eyes condemning Reltri’sk.

“Do not apologise for strength, young one. If we were back home then I would not accept anything less than this failure’s head presented to me upon a platter of his polished ribcage.” By spitting on her floored former top student she made it perfectly clear that he had fallen from grace. The rain ran down their bare bodies as they stood there, staring at Reltri’sk, who flipped up in an eccentric manner, hoping that respect still existed for him. As he looked from angered face to angered face, he realised that it did not.

“We are not home, however. We are here, and late for the fight. For Massacre!”
________________________________

He slammed through the door of the Human habitat, his Splinter Pistol cracking wildly, executing each one of its residents. Each shot hit one of the four men in either the chest or the shoulder, causing them to drop through the stale smoke filled air. Those who wriggled got shot again, this time in the stomach and were left to die or be collected by the slavers. He didn’t know what they were smoking, but the acrid smoke made him splutter. From the looks of the place they had been under the influence of this recreational plant for some time as many empty cans and wrappers lay scattered around the room. It was fitting, he thought, that such a cattle race would live in such squalor and filth.

He made his way outside and shaded his eyes from the blinding fires that rose high like the great columns of corpses that the Archon’s Janissaries erected on the borders of a conquered foe’s territory, serving as a perfect warning to any other Kabals considering rebellion or uprising. The Fires and columns of smoke had not been caused by the efficient, clean weaponry of the Dark Eldar, but the heavy, fuel consuming, lumbering and monstrous guns of the Imperium.

Within minutes of the initial attack the alarms had been raised and all four regiments of Imperial Guard stationed among the spires were dispatched. The Humans filled the squares and cut off streets with their Hydra Flak Cannons and their Leman Russ Battle Tanks. The quantity of punishment the Leman Russ’s could give out when ordered was terrifying, even to the Dark Eldar pilots. Although they were terribly inaccurate, entire mobs of Hellions and Reaver gangs had already been torn brutally asunder, the number of shots fired at them enough to fill every corner of the sky.

He was approaching one such street with cautious anxiety. The long road eventually came to a cross section, where three other streets met between four monumental structures. At the end of his road he could see the silhouettes of the mindless Grotesques of Haughraskaivaach’s horrific coven ripping with great claws at the tanks. They lumbered along, ripping guns and armour plates from the machines before moving on, allowing the nuisance Scourges to spread ruin with the black shots of their Dark Lances and the fizzling waves of arcane energy that emanated from their Haywire Blasters. From the sky behind him screaming blue jets called out. More Reavers swooped in low like the feared Slaughterwasps of the Depraved Reserves, blades slicing at the Humans who attempted to flee. Their officers seemed well experienced at shooting their own men in the back, much to Dayl’s amusement. Dark Eldar shot their masters; Mon-keigh shot their servants. It was strange, he mused, that true strength is demonstrated by the lowest ranks, for no sane Human would ever shoot their master.

How could anybody venerate a ‘Holy’ carcass?

As the numbers of fleeing targets grew he smiled and joined the hunt. He could taste the pain in the air as hyper-stimulants caressed his mind with their screaming tendrils that slowed time for him. The cold air chilled his pale face as he flipped from a tank and lanced a Sergeant with his blade. Calmly, he span on one foot, kicking the man aside and continuing to dance forward. One thing the Cult of Massacre was famed for was the refined movement of its Wyches as they stalked the weak. He flowed like fluid through the night; cutting between the spotlights of the Leman Russ’s and tore the head from a soldier’s broken neck. After the crack of his spine echoed, the four others in his squad turned and fired off into empty space, their pitiful weapons failing to threaten the Wych.

Startled, one shouted something in the bestial Imperial tongue and the others turned to run. For a short while he stood with his gun, barrel aimed into the shadows. He couldn’t see anything, but he was sure he had heard something.

His eyes were fixed on the same spot, searching for the unseen in the shroud of darkness. Carefully, the human stepped forward. He placed one foot calmly after the other and exhaled shakily, obviously disturbed by the events. Kabalite Warriors were advancing down the street over a mile away, cutting through the defences. No whole squad had caught up with him, but he would swear to his Emperor that he had heard something. Finally, he lunged.

Bayonet met air.

He chuckled in relief. If he hadn’t he was sure that he would lose his sanity.

Shaking his head, he turned his back on the night.

He spat up blood almost instantly. The monomolecular blade slipped through his carapace armour with ease, puncturing both of his lungs with searing pain and severing his spine before piercing through his ribcage. He dropped his gun and began to struggle, but in vain his feet only met air. After a brief moment of clasping at the weapon that would inevitably cause his death, a tear rolled down his face and his limbs fell loose. This soldier was different from the basic masses he had already slaughtered. His armour was higher in quality, he had a distinctly scarred face that contradicted his years of service and his chest was adorned with medals of valour and heroism. Gently, he set the veteran down before pursuing the others.
____________________________

The tear was warm upon his finger tip. The bitterness of fear and pain thrilling once again. He wondered why this was, for he had outgrown the basic pleasures of the simple pain of lesser creatures. Maybe it was because this human was young and most likely talented with numerous years ahead of him. He didn’t care what it was, he just wanted more.


Laughing as he charged, the shards from his Pistol shredded the head of another veteran, his body falling limp and lifeless while the others turned around. He distinctly recognised the rank of the black capped leader as he shouted some crude battle cry and raised his Bolt Pistol. He was a Commissar.

The Bolt Pistol was never something to be overconfident against. The explosive rounds would be fatal if they made contact, and they all knew it. What made his situation worse was that his left hand was a great shining metal fist that sparked blue with immense energy. It was quite clearly a Power Fist.

Even though it would be easy enough to evade and strike back between blows, if he were to luckily catch the Wych then his soul would be as good as gone.

Three shots met the hull of one of the primitive tanks, stripping the paint with a fiery flash of light. After a short pause he stood staring curiously at the space the Wych had stood in, baffled by the speed with which he had moved. Light glinted dimly from his metallic face as he turned to the others, ordering them to flee before he slowly began to walk forwards with a great sense of purpose, inspecting every corner and dark crevice. His eyes shone a cruel, sterile red, implants replacing his originals. His face was constructed mostly of metal and poor mechanisms that in the extensive war with heretical forces had begun to rust. His long coat was not the usual leather coat the Dayl had seen on other Commissars, this one was more morbid. The leather was old, dry and dirt engrossed; mud and large brown trails of blood dried out into flakes that tumbled off while he walked like rotting flesh. His chest plate was reminiscent of a Human’s skeletal system. Ridges of armour painted white that had faded, and chipped, over time formed his ribcage. From four separate gunshot wounds on his left shoulder a thick viscous fluid soaked into his clothes, staining them black.

That was strange, Dayl thought, as most Mon-keigh blood that he had seen in his time was deep red, not black.

He had no time to contemplate it as the glowing red eyes shot towards him, the stern face showing no expression.
Then he smiled.

He raised his pistol and shot into the dark above a tank where the Wych was hiding, forcing him to throw himself to the ground. He landed with a far from majestic thud, making the Commissar turn to the source of the sound and fire two more shots, the quick bursts of light giving away the Wych’s position.

Dayl had never felt so vulnerable. He felt pathetic.

Shaking away his shame he sprung himself into the air and nimbly stepped aside a huge blow from the fist before discharging his Splinter Pistol into the Human’s leg. He expected the Mon-keigh to suffer, but he showed no sign of pain and displayed none of the symptoms caused by the toxins he utilised. Within a second the Commissar attacked again. He spun and swung for the Wych’s chest, a hit that Dayl had only narrowly evaded. Dayl attempted to make as much room between them as possible, but the Human was never far behind. Even when he weaved between the bulky, identical metal constructs to set up an ambush, he found that his target was not where he had expected him to be. Another attempted blow was barely ducked under before the Wych span behind his opponent and embedded the Impaler deep into where his heart should have been.

The duel stopped as the Commissar began to laugh, sparks flying from both the entry and exit wound. He was smug, too smug. Dayl attempted to drive his weapon fully through the Human, but he grabbed the end with his Power Fist and turned, Bolt Pistol spitting out the last of its shots that wildly missed.

Dayl accurately kicked the pistol from the cold hand of his foe, the sound of metal tumbling into the shadows filling his pointed ears before he reached for a knife from his belt. The two stood staring for a moment. Forces from both sides were making their way down the streets, using the tide of disabled Leman Russ’s as cover.

From one side the street flashed red as thousands of Lasguns shot up at the screaming Hellions who wildly swooped down and decapitated the Imperial Guard limb by limb. Occasionally a bright blue flash of an unmanned Skyboard combusting as it made contact with a wall would pierce the vermillion aura that slowly approached.

An explosion lit the sky and the two met in combat once more.

Dayl’s knife delved into the exposed armpit of the Commissar while his other hand kept his right arm away.

With too much resistance against his knife he left it in the wound and reached for another. It was only after he withdrew the fresh knife that he felt the cold fingers of the Power Fist grab him.

Helplessly he was torn out of his hold upon the Commissar and looked down on his opponent from the air and the Commissar looked back, eyes brimming with disgust for the Wych, a cold smile painted upon his face.

With a hydraulic hiss Dayl felt the air be forced from his lungs, and with no luck he attempted to struggle free.

He could feel his chest become tighter. His ribs began to creak and his legs flailed with little effect.

The cruel metallic laughter of the Imperial rang though his mind, thoughts of his inevitable death torturing him internally.

Panic struck him and his head shot in all directions searching for a way out.

Screaming out in pain he launched his knife through the power cable that linked the Fist to the Power Pack upon his hip.
Finally he dropped free, the Commissar’s entire arm dropping limp as if his tendons had snapped from immense pressure.
The Wych struggled for breath as he knelt down, panting heavily while he picked up the knife on the floor beside him.

This was his chance.

Smiling, he stood, still forcing deep breaths as he stepped towards the Commissar, brandishing his blade with malevolent eyes that cut into the Human’s soul. He must have had some idea of the pain that would ensue.

The Wych’s mistake, however, was stepping too close, as with an iron head butt the Wych fell out of consciousness, allowing his enemy to return to safety, unarmed but severely wounded.



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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Fri Apr 27 2012, 17:32

It took me a while (on and off) to read through this, but i feel is was certainly worth it in the end. The story is good and it gives me the feeling that there is still plenty more to come. I like your characters too, which always makes a story much more enjoyable!

My one major criticism would be that you occasionally go a bit over the top with your adjectives... sometimes it's fine but others it does interrupt the flow a touch.

With all your complaining that you don't like writing about IG, i think you pulled it off nicely. The third chapter does feel a little more rushed than the other two though, probably as a consequence of how dull you think those pesky, paper armoured, flashlight wielding bandits are. It just needs a spot more refinement is all

Still, there is a lot of potential here and i look forward to future instalments Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Fri Apr 27 2012, 18:43

Ha. I didn't know that you were on here.

I will be sure to edit the third chapter and write more soon, but I have been busy recently.

Thank you for the feedback.

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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Sat Apr 28 2012, 00:42

This was such an awesome read so far!!! I hope it continues!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Tue May 01 2012, 18:55

Thank you very much, Zehra. I will be posting more as I have the entire story mapped out in my head. I just need to get motivated and put pen to papper, or finger to key as it is at the moment.

The next two chapters should be out this month.

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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Tue May 01 2012, 20:14

Quote :
Their officers seemed well experienced at shooting their own men in the back, much to Dayl’s amusement. Dark Eldar shot their masters; mon-keigh shot their servants.

Very Happy Nicely put.

I enjoyed the sparring between the DE as they geared up for war, and the last fight was very dramatic. I look forward to more Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Tue May 01 2012, 20:39

Thank you, Malys.

I'm glad people like my work, especially the last chapter as I was a little uncertain about it.

Thank you. I am sure that much more combat is to come. Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Wed May 02 2012, 14:04

Yeah Malys lovely sentence. Great story thus far, love how fluid it is.
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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Mon May 28 2012, 00:51

Chapter IV

The scent of his own blood and the sounds of the dying Mon-keigh were the first things he noticed upon awakening.
He forced himself to open his eyes, the bright flames burning in his vision. He had not been on this world for long but he already knew that he hated it.

It had once been dark and silent apart from the Manufactorums off in the distance, but now it was loud and brutal. No true art of war could be found in the streets there as the two sides relentlessly marched towards each other. Missiles gone astray rocketed into buildings, causing vast amounts of rubble to pile in mounds upon the abandoned tanks in places, as for the Commissar…

Well, he was no place to be seen.

He rubbed his face carefully, avoiding his broken nose and the agony it was causing him. He could feel his pulse in his wound as he rose from the ground and searched around for his Impailer. He kicked bodies aside and mutilated the dead to find his weapon. He lay flat to he ground to get a view beneath the crude Imperial vehicles, but alas he screamed out in burning rage as he gave up all hope of finding his favoured glaive.


High Archon Dernia Cavash allowed his enemy the ultimate reward and ultimate mercy before their inevitable deaths, allowing them to gaze upon his form. He was certain that his unholy glory must have maddened the Humans as it caused many of his most hardened Kabalites jitter and tremble whenever he entered the room. Of course, after his mercy came the extreme persecution that he was so fond of.

Without the slightest flicker of emotion across his pallid face, he fired a darklight shot down the barrel of a Plasma Cannon entrenched behind sandbags. He did not bother to cherish the looks of realisation of impending death upon the pathetic Mon-keighs’ face’s, but closed his eyes as the burning blue ball of incendiary beauty blinded those who looked directly into it.
As his ancient eyes softly slid shut his mind drifted off into memories. Nobody could see this, however, as his face was covered by his pristinely clean, smooth helmet, its front wrapped with the stretched face of a man he had once sought to forget. In a weak moment, he allowed himself to succumb to his mad visions of the past.

The perpetual twilight above the Dark City had once been penetrated by a searing blue flash akin to the burning ball that he now saw. He remembered that night all too vividly as it was the last time he saw either of his parents alive, at least.

He rested his head softly upon his silk pillow and poked his head out of the finest sheets within Commorragh, his beady, hollow eyes eagerly looking out to the door, awaiting his mother’s arrival. He smiled to nobody in particular as the intoxicating narcotic fragrances of the Telkonian incense at his bedside softly massaged his eyes and made him feel overwhelmed with prosperity and enlightenment.

The shadows of the two Incubi at his door made him feel at ease, and, for a moment he nodded off. In his sleep he felt a great number of things, peace, pain and revulsion at the atrocities he had seen. His mind had been young, less exposed to the City’s madness and even the sight of his father shooting a servant just for looking at him made him scared. The horrors he had seen in the previous days would be nothing compared to what he would eventually lead, but to a child, even of the Ynneas Eldarith, it was something difficult to stomach.

“Dernia… Dernia!”

His mother’s soft hands shook him into consciousness, the once kind expression he had grown to know replaced with concern and anxiety.

“Mother.” He grinned heavily in his drugged state, unaware of her urgency.

“Dernia, you need to find safety. You are under great threat and cannot stay here.”

“Why must I leave?”

“Dernia… you wouldn’t understand.” A single tear rolled down her face and onto the tip of her softly pointed nose. Sitting up, her son wiped it from her face and wrapped his arms around her corset, ignoring the blood that stained his sheets from his delicate forearms upon her razor threaded clothing.

“Don’t patronise me.”

Much to his shock, her kindness turned to rage and the brutal love of her firm backhand struck him.

“Do not tell me what to do, Dernia! I am you mother. If I say leave, you leave. Understood?” Even now, in his later life, he did not once think to resent his mother for her violent displays of power against him and his twin. It had distilled toughness in them that he surely would have thanked her for, if she had lived long enough.

“Fine.” He said through a split lip weeping crimson as he forced himself from the bed and walked past his mother, not paying her another glance. He didn’t know where to go, so he decided to go where it would be safest.


Explosions cut apart the central spire of the Cavash Dynasty’s palace, killing millions within minutes. He had known that the war between his father and the Solar Cult of the Rancid Wave had been approaching its peak, but he did not know that the Cavash Dynasty were on the loosing side of the conflict.

The Cult’s attack had not been completely unexpected, but the force and the brutality with which it had hit had been shocking to citizen and Warrior alike. Entire battalions ran through the halls and arching balconies, armour ablaze as they emerged with new life from the embers of destruction. In places they had taken refuge behind the scorched piles of civilians who had attempted to flee, others crouched behind fallen pillars and plinths. The pain fuelled ran straight out into the open, cherishing the new pains that pulsated through their bodies, while the outright crazy grabbed the inexperienced and used them as fleshy meat shields, their bodies contorting and recoiling with every new shot that gouged out new, fatal wounds.

Raiders flew free, constantly rearranging themselves in the sky vast blocking flotillas in which they hugged the Commorrite skyline, annihilating any potential threat with violent repercussion. Reavers and Hellions swooped upon the battlements of the fortress, picking up anybody vulnerable enough to be thrown into the endless drop that the palace arose from. The Reavers and Hellions fought for no side in particular. They fought each other, the Cultists and the Dynasty just to taste the replenishing joys of suffering.

In the gardens far below that floated upon shifting platforms, Warriors and snipers took refuge, picking at the pilots of the Cult crafts. Burning ships plummeted in unrestrained chaos, impacting with the lower rungs of the palace and erupting in intense bouts of blue and red flames that mirrored the peaceful gardens from which their execution had sprung.

In all of this carnage Dernia had, for the first time in his life, felt at home.

“Master Cavash, find refuge.” Sybarite Ten’garrln respectfully suggested as the boy made his way to the Docking Port.

“Sybarite, the Cult is not showing any signs of weakening in their assault. I must find my father.”

“Master Cavash, I do not recommend…” the pointed ram of a Raider slicing through the Sybarite’s face was enough to silence him.

“Breach! Secure the breach!” Men shouted urgently as they surrounded the five hundred metre scar in the face of the wall. The Cult had done this in many other places. They concentrated fire in one area before sending a Raider to suicide dive itself through, tearing most of the wall with it. They then, deployed relentless swathes of troops.

“Find Prince Cavash!” The Dracon commanded as the first assailants entered, the muzzles of their Splinter Rifles spewing out clouds of needle thin shots. Their Rifles were different to the Dynasty’s. The Cult’s vomited out clouds of needles, allowing them to be less accurate but just as lethal, whereas the Dynasty favoured precise shots to conserve ammunition.
From beneath the wreckage Prince Dernia could see which one was more efficient is those confined quarters.

Eighty attackers were able to gun down over two hundred men within seconds before the four other battalions stationed hundreds of metres away were able to render the immediate threat obsolete.

The sudden strength of the suffering that wafted by the Prince renewed his vigour and replenished his will, granting him the strength to force the bulky armour plating and bodies from atop of him. He crawled from the growing flames along the hall running west and was instantly grabbed by two Warriors. He hadn’t noted their allegiance, and before he had time to realise his mistake he slit the throat of one and forced his knife through the visor of the other, causing him to claw at his helmet and pin his hand upon the eye in an attempt to stop the bleeding.

“Prince, what are you doing?” A Sybarite asked, astounded.

“Where is my father?” He asked, dismissing his subordinate’s question.

“He is in his throne room, Master Cavash. I must ask you to find safety at once!”

“That is what I am doing. He will protect me.”

“And what of the Cultists? Surely they shall attack you upon your travels.”

“Follow me, if you wish, Sybarite. I do not care what you do, but I am going to find safety.”


The cries of billions resonated through the spire. Shots and bombardments rocked the very foundations. Statues toppled and occasionally the smallest flicker of starlight shone down through the war that raged on far above. The great blue ball’s heat that once beated down was now lost, frost beginning to coat the towers and blood beginning to curdle and freeze.
Cavash had prised a Blaster from the frozen fingers of a corpse in the only way he could, stomp on the body until it shattered like glass. The weapon was the perfect size for him to carry. A Splinter Rifle was too long and a Dark Lance was too heavy for his short arms to hold. The Blaster was perfectly light and was effective enough, he found out quickly.

They ran hurried down the halls, Dernia and his entourage of twelve Warriors and a Sybarite. Urgency filled their minds for a reason unaware to all of them. Maybe they shared a sense of impending doom, that this was their last stand against the Solar Cults. Maybe, they thought, Lord Tyrr’antillian Cavash had already fallen, and any attempt to find safety for the Prince was futile. It was a thought that was not worth dwelling on. Even though nobody liked Lord Tyrr’antillian and all wished to see his head fall to the dirt, everybody had been so indoctrinated into loving him that even the thought of harming him brought tear’s to his citizen’s eyes.

The Sybarite shot a clenched fist up in the air, commanding everybody to stop. They were approaching a Blood Hall, a perfect place for an ambush.

The internal walls were lined with weapons for the new recruits to train with. High balconies decorated the walls and columns sprouted thick from the polished marble ground. If they walked out into the open then they would surely be cut down.

“Do you hear that?” Dernia asked, forcing the others to strain their ears.

Clashing weapons and death screams emanated from the hall. A woman’s enraged grunting came from the centre of the bloodbath. Her screams cut through the barrage of clashing swords and the thud of blood soaked bodies. It was after a short struggle that they were able to hear the woman be brought down with a jangle of what sounded like a Shardnet.
“Master Cavash.” The Sybarite lowered his head, appalled by what he saw. A part of him wanted to keep Dernia away, but he knew that this was necessary.

His eyes began to water as he saw his mother dragged up to her feet by her flowing black locks of hair, her eyes bleeding and her body torn open. She had been too seriously injured to even stand by herself. Seeing his mother in this weak, vulnerable form was not what had upset him. The Splinter Pistol forced into her spine was what had caused him the most pain.

“Master, do you wish for me to deal with this?” The Sybarite tried his best to hold back the glee from anticipated murder from his face, but with no prevail.

“No.” He answered, wiping tears from his eyes. “I know what I must do.” He let his emotional droplets fall freely to the floor. This was a woman that everybody loved, and all her subordinates would die for. To see her, his idol of hope, fallen in such a way was to kill him without consideration. Bravely, he stepped around the corner and stood at the top of an archaic banister crafted from the bones of fallen recruits. He heard a distant thunder.

“Bow down to the will of the Solar Cults, surrender all you hold dear.”

He looked at the ramshackle raiders. Eight were scattered along the balconies, each tracking him intently. Two stood at the base of the staircase, rifles aiming for his heart while two stood either side of their leader, who used his mother as protection.

“Why should I, a man of purest blood and traditions, kneel to you, a second class ball of scum that does not deserve to polish my armour?” It was odd as while he spoke his tears rolled down his shining chest plate, wiping away the blood in streaks.

“You don’t seem to understand the situation you are in, child.”

“I understand full well what is happening. You wish to rule this city; you wish to rule this realm. As long as a single Cavash breaths you shall not be triumphant.”

“You don’t see what is happening here, do you, child?” His guards laughed as if on cue, mocking the Prince. “Times are changing,” He continued, “The rule of the Noble Houses is not wanted, nor is it welcome.”

“You speak of what is not welcome as if you are permitted to do so. You intrude upon my home, kill millions and cause damage that will take cycles to repair. You have showed the utmost disrespect here and yet you think that you are qualified to talk about what is not welcome.”

“Ha, you know a lot of words for such a small child.”

Dernia continued, ignoring him, “Worst of all, you have come here and placed a gun against my mother’s back. You have no honour.”

“Honour!? What outdated notions have these people been teaching you?” with a grunt of exasperation he kicked Dernia’s mother to the ground and spat upon her broken form.

“Did you see what she did to my men? Quite frankly, this whore deserves all the torment she gets.” He looked up at Dernia, his Blaster drawn and aimed in his direction. “Put down your weapon boy, and surrender. At least then you can be with her.”

“I shall not have the Cavash name sullied with torture and insults.”

He was able snort back his tears and prevent his hands from trembling briefly, long enough for him to pull down on the trigger, and pray for his mother’s soul.



When her body was found, no face, no soul and no replenish-able life remained.




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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Mon May 28 2012, 01:56

I have finally read through this story, and I must say, what a story it is! Rivalry, intrigue, political struggles and massive battles, all depicted in great detail. Great job, can't wait for more chapters!

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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Mon May 28 2012, 03:48

It's good to see more of the history of the Pierced Heart Smile

I could picture the chaos of the battle and the massed three-dimensional nature of the conflict; the way Dernia revisited it in a flashback was logical and nicely dramatic.

I really enjoyed the characterisation of Dernia and his mother. The dynamic between them was very effectively shown, as was the sheer scale of the sense of privilege and entitlement felt by people of their station. When he shot her ... I was thinking as I read "he's going to shoot her ... no he's not - wait, no he really is-" It seemed absolutely authentic that there would be no conflict between loving one's son and backhanding him for not showing the proper deference. DE are creatures of extremes, and I always think of the nobility / Kabal leaders as being at the top end of this range. Rich Trueborn kids might get indulged, but the expectations on them are the highest of all.

On another, still characterful note,

Quote :
High Archon Dernia Cavash allowed his enemy the ultimate reward and ultimate mercy before their inevitable deaths, allowing them to gaze upon his form. He was certain that his unholy glory must have maddened the humans, as it caused many of his most hardened Kabalites jitter and tremble whenever he entered the room.

this is a perfect example of the god-level arrogance Dark Eldar have raised to an art form Very Happy It's good to see it brought out so well.

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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Mon May 28 2012, 06:34

Wow. Thank you both for the feedback. I never expected it to be so... positive! Very Happy
My surprise is mainly because I wrote over three quarters of this chapter while I was very, very, very, very, very, very. very tired, yet I think I was able to avoid stagnation and repetition. If not, please tell me so I can go bacl and cleanse it in holy fire!

I took a risk by including the angle of people loving the noble houses, yet holdin them in fear and awe. I wasn't sure if it would work at first, but it came out well.

Hmm, I was going to ask for an opinion on how to angle the story next, but just putting everything into consideration has got my brain juices flowing.

I definately shall be writing more, although when I fet around to it is another matter completely.
This is going to be a very busy few weeks.

I am glad that you both liked it. Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Mon May 28 2012, 10:35

Wow off with her head gets a new meaning here. And so sentimental as well.
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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Mon May 28 2012, 14:00

The people love their Archon in the same way that Kim Jong Il's people loved him. Or possibly the same way Stalin was loved. Don't even think disloyal thoughts ... that's how I see it Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Mon May 28 2012, 16:55

Thanks Beaviz.

Malys: Yeah, that was what I was attempting to portray.

I'll be doing more writing soon, and it should come out much quicker. I got a bit stuck with that chapter, but now I know roughly what is going to happen.

Hopefuly you shall enjoy the new elements that I will include.

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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Wed May 30 2012, 20:29

Chapter V

“What happened to you?” The Hekatrix hounded Dayl, turning away from his shattered perfection.

He hung his head low. Even though he had stopped the bleeding, shame filled his every thought and the damage to his pride significantly outweighed the hurt caused by his physical wounds. “This…” she gestured to his broken nose, “was this caused by a… Human?” She made no attempt to hold back her laughter. The squad soon broke into raucous mocking, his accursed rival leading the ridicule.

“What’s wrong, Dayl? Did he tickle you with the butt of his gun?” Dayl looked up at Reltri’sk, his gloating smile showing no signs of halting. He had attempted to hold it back, but sheer hatred overcame him. His fists hit his foe with the force of the brazen war god, his strikes precise and perfectly guided. Bloodhand attempted to fight back, but he was far too slow to fend off the fearless barrage of deadly lunges.

Four hits met his chest with bone breaking force, and two made contact with his stomach, rupturing his internal organs. Blood and sickly fluids oozed from his face, and in defence he raised an arm in submission.
Submission is a weakness.

Faster than expected, Dayl twisted the arm over his shoulder, sending the other Wych skyward only to be driven brutally to the ground before his arm could be twisted further, dislocating it at the shoulder and snapping several vital tendons with a mighty ‘crack’.

He could feel the hands of his squad mates attempt to drag him off of the beaten soon-to-be carcass, and with lightning precision he shunted back each individual, clinging to pressure points and manipulating his squad to strike against each other.

He felt no exhaustion as pure anger pulsed through his iced heart, thawing it with the flames of bloodlust. He tripped up his opponents and guided their knives into the fleshy, vulnerable spaces of others, before dilapidating bones within their skin receptacles and jabbing some in the throat, immobilising them temporarily.

One slashed with her knife, but he grabbed her forearm and punched into her delicate armpit before spinning her with her own arm and using body as a bag to absorb the hacks and stabs his squad.

He cared little for her screams, or the fact that it was one of the twins that he had grown fond of. Her sister attacked along with two others. He disarmed one and dissected his jugular with the hook upon his heel. His body reeled away, forcing another to the ground, leaving only the other twin and Vorshulth left to put an end to his madness.

A knife drove through the shield-twin’s sternum, splitting her rib cage open. He did not weep over her death, as the Power Sword of the Hekatrix granted her a truly speedy demise.

The sparking blade cut diagonally through her torso, leaving Dayl narrowly unscathed. In defiance, and as to serve a final disrespect, he broke the surviving twin’s skull with his elbow as he flung the upper body of his shield into the face of the Hekatrix.

She was not as foolish as the others however, and was already prepared. Her sword sent the body flying either side of her in quarters, showering her in the warm fluids of glory.

He waited, eagerly for the sword to drop down out of his way before he made a feral leap, accompanied by a blood curdling cry.

Her sword tumbled beneath a tank, and together they dropped to the floor, locked in brutal death-grips.


His first punch came as a great surprise to Vorshulth, who, in return, gouged deep chasms into his forehead with her sharpened talons. As his blood rose from around her nails he grabbed her by the hair and busted her face with his forehead.

This was not the finesse the Cult of Massacre practiced. He was a wild beast, one that needed to be put down.
Enraged, she lifted him into the air and launched him like a grumpy child discarding a doll. Naturally, he landed in a roll and arose from the ground before turning to face his mentor.

“What is this!?” She demanded, drawing a knife before moving into a position perfect for this sort of combat.

“This is the meaning of Massacre, Hekatrix.” His words conveyed no respect for her rank, only an unexplainable scorned hatred. “The tormented rising from weak to prove his divinity.” He mimicked her stance as he nimbly plucked a monomolecular blade from the back of a deceased Wych.

“No. This is not what it means to be a son or daughter of the Cult. Slaying your blade-kin in lieu of battle? This is ridiculous!” they began to circle each other, knives twinkling beneath the streaking beams of Retrofire Jets.

“Really? Well, if you think so then I doubt that you are dedicated to the concept of Massacre.” He lunged at her chest, hoping to split open her skin and watch her muscle leap out, but she was just as fast as he was. She rocketed back and parried before swinging for his jaw, a wide blow that he narrowly avoided.

“I follow Massacre. How is the slaughter of your kin better than my contributions?”

“First, I am thinning out our stocks-”

“At a time when we have no Wyches to spare.” She interrupted while spinning towards him in a blur, blade flashing before his throat.

He was lucky to have timed it right, but his back flip was enough to disturb her assault, his foot scraping her cheek.
“Having excess Wyches leads to stagnation of talent. If these younglings cannot survive my simple assault then they are not elite enough to bear our colours.”

“What has caused this, Dayl? Your behaviour is extremely out of the ordinary.”

Vorshulth had not realised it, but above their heads softly lay a Raider. Upon its deck stood the Princess. He had been the only one to see its approach.

Even though he was attempting to impress the Princess with this display of treachery, he couldn’t help but feel a strange attraction towards the Hekatrix.

He hadn’t realised her beauty until he had seen her bathed in blood and fighting for her life.

The distraction of the Princess was his weakness, however, as in the slight moment his concentrations wavered, Vorshulth struck.

She knocked the knife from his hand and launched him onto his spine with agonising whiplash. She crouched above him, the knife between her hands, struggling to fight against his own strength.

The sparkling point wobbled as the two fought for control. Vorshulth was pressing down as hard as was possible, but Dayl was stronger. Even the pink tinged liquids that dropped from her hair onto his face didn’t seem to irritate him.

Something told her that he was enjoying this to much.

With a harrowing smile, he tore the weapon from her grasp and pulled her down on top of him before latching his hands around her throat and clamping down with a stern expression that betrayed the depraved joy he was obtaining.

“Do you see? Do you see now, Vorshulth? You are weak!” She gasped and struggled, thrashed and squirmed, but her soft hands were too weak to prise open the weathered fists of her student.

She hated to admit it, but she had been defeated. As her head fell loose upon her shoulders she could feel consciousness begin to elude her, and in her limp state, Dayl felt even more inclined to grasp tight and perform unspeakable acts that had ruined his former prey far more than any physical pain he could cause.

But then he looked up. The angelic gaze of the High Archon’s daughter radiated upon him, and for a moment he felt both cursed and blessed. He had her attention now, but surely having the attention of High Archon Dernia Cavash’s daughter could lead to excruciating results.

He allowed his nerves to get the better of him, and he discarded the Hekatrix before rising and bowing to the Princess. With rude disregard, her interest moved from the Wych and the craft flew off into the warzone.


Inside, in some emotional region he never knew existed, a part of him broke.


Dayl couldn’t believe his luck. He had been reunited with his favourite Impailer. The black razor edges inspired pure joy in the Wych, it was just a shame that he was on the wrong side of the weapon.

“So, what happens now?” He asked, surprisingly calm when facing death.

“You… you…” Reltri’sk was too wounded to speak with any fluidity, and his right hand trembled as it grasped limply at the Impailer while his other hand nursed his stomach. He could feel the internal damage and knew that he needed medical attention and fast.

“Bloodhand, you are hardly in a position to be threatening me.” Dayl held eye contact and brushed his hair back between his fingers.

“Wi-with you gone…” He gasped, “I can fi-finally get my… rightful fame.”

“Just lower the weapon. It would serve you well.”

“How-” he gritted his teeth and attempted to savour his foe’s misfortune. “How could I t-trust you after all of this.”

“You can’t, but you can understand logic.” He starred at his wounded rival intently, making him eager to hear his words.

“Go on.” He forced more pressure onto the handle, causing the two points to sit either side of Dayl’s larynx.

“If you were to kill me” he began, “then you would have these crimes pinned on you. The Archite would certainly not be pleased with you killing so many blade kin, without good reason. With me dead, you will be all the evidence that they have. You are beaten so badly that it looks like you challenged the entire squad, and narrowly escaped. So, it is in your best interests that I continue to breathe.”

“I, however, heard everything.” An authoritative voice caught their attention as Dracon Relliach Korvesh slinked out from his vantage point and dropped three stories to the ground, rolling over his shoulder before standing with a straight posture and his hands locked behind his back.

“Such treasons are enough to have you handed over to that revolting ‘scientist’.” His voice oozed with vanity that was easily highlighted by his pristine armour. This, however, was deceptive, as within his scabbard his sword sat stewing in the blood of the cattle they had come to slaughter.

“Yes, Haughraskaivaach has such a talent within his craft. Have you heard the rumours?” He asked, expecting an answer when the Wyches had mistaken it for an act of rhetoric’s

“I’ve heard that he can blend with the very shadows around him. That he can change his own temperature to the point where he combusts of freezes solid. That he broke the barrier between energy and matter before Vect had crawled out of slavery.” His smile was not apparent behind his helm, glowing yellow eyes piercing through the black.

“If he can do all of this without feeling any pain, imagine the wonders that he could inflict upon you.” He scuttled forward, his dashes raising dust as he drew his sword in an elaborate display of martial merit. Dayl didn’t care about Bloodhand anymore and knocked him unconscious with the spiked handle of his weapon, his eye becoming a crowning jewel upon the base of its shaft.

“Ha! What do you intend to do with that?”

“Leave me be, Dracon.” He spat, preparing himself for further treason.

“Tarrar! Kal’bayn! Kill!”

How had he not seen them? How had he not seen the towering Incubi power up their Klaives and attack without warning?
He was only able to dodge two strikes before being forced to roll aside to save his head. He couldn’t block the onslaught that the two Incubi dealt, and his only option was to move back.

He climbed upon a tank, two feet upon the barrel while the bulky Incubi cut clean through the armour, leaving him with less and less room to hide.

Eventually, he flipped and landed before breaking into a sprint. One of the Incubi, Kal’bayn ran after him while the other, more cautious of the two, stayed a few paces behind, anticipating a struggle.

The Wych weaved through the steel and ceramite maze, clambered over mountains of corpse strewn rubble and placed every step with complete consideration, as to avoid slicing open his foot on the bayonet of a Splinter rifle. His speed had been useful, but he was injured and the Incubi had, too, feasted that day, inspiring them to leave no recognisable remains.
He looked over his shoulder before turning down an alleyway and saw the Kal’bayn had pursued him with relentless vigour, and had closed the gap a startling amount.

Panicking, Dayl crouched low while he spun, swung a Splinter Rifle up from the ground and sprayed the Incubus with needles as his mighty two handed weapon was raised many feet above him.

Feeling his life draw to a close, he did what he usually did and lashed out.

Streams of blood flowed from the Incubus’s pierced eyes, the red rivers meandering down his bone white helm, staining the surface with defeat. He couldn’t believe it. The Klaive didn’t roll out of his armoured hand as he kicked the body away, jolting hard to withdraw his Impailer, speckled filthy with brain matter.

Tarrar turned the corner and faced the Wych, his shadow cast long by the moon that was finally beginning to poke through the clouds.

This revealed a new threat, one which caused the Dracon to order the Incubus to stand down. Together they all looked to the sky, curious and shocked by what they saw.

Great tear drops of raw inferno arced through the sky, deployed from a mass of twinkling up above. How would the Astartes be so prepared and informed to be able to deploy in under an hour of the Dark Eldar entering real space?


“Lord, please understand-” Relliach’s attempt at reasoning with Lord Cavash over his helm’s communication link was silenced by Dernia’s calm anger. The Dracon’s sword cut down eight Imperial Guardsmen in a gleaming flurry before he received his orders from the High Archon.

“Yes, master. It shall be so.” He closed the link before snarling and kicking another Mon-keigh in the jaw, sending him down with a crack.

“Battalions nine through sixteen, seize your enslavement and close in on the central square. There is much blood to be spilt!” He ordered before preparing himself for the collaborative screams of over five thousand warriors. It was truly magnificent. The Wych that followed the Dracon, however, could not hear the mind splitting shouts.

“You.” The Dracon suddenly turned and pointed to Dayl, Tarrar stood behind the Wych with his Klaive prepared to behead him. “Your mistress, the Archite, she resides in the Archon’s Court, yes?”

“Indeed, she is following him. I think he-”

“I do not care.” He said with a preoccupied voice. “Can you guarantee that she will be following him?”

“Not for certain, but she would probably be near by.” He was curious now. Was there some issue between him and the Succubus? Even if there were it would be idiotic to attempt to blackmail a Dracon while an Incubus stood nearby.

“Hmm… this could be… interesting at the very least.” He raised his head and looked around. At the end of every street his forces made great advancements. They ran in a forced organisation, knowing that the Sybarites would not hesitate to whip any man to death who ruined the reputation of Relliach’s twenty battalions.

“Master, are you sure that all will play out as expected?” Tarrar’s voice boomed from behind his bleached bone mask, his great razor edged horns whistling through the air as the wind began to speed up.

“I am certain, Tarrar. It is worth more than that psyker’s life than to cross me. If I find he lied, then not even his curse shall save him.”

Dayl’s eyes shot to the Dracon, great suspicion and paranoia becoming the ruler of the moment.

“You consort with psykers?” Subconsciously he tightened his grip upon his Impailer and the foraged Splinter Rifle, which he was holding like a pistol.

“Don’t get any ideas, Wych. It was during battle that I came face to face with a Craftworld Seer. He was strong of mind, but my hatred overcame his trickery. He promised recompense on this very world, at this exact date.”

“You made us raid this world just for a challenge? What if his vengeance comes in the form of the Astartes slaying the Archon?” He gritted his teeth, anger rising.

“No!” He shouted. “They shall be here. Trust in my superior experience, it would serve you well.” He began to walk off, Tarrar following closely behind.

“Tarrar, I have a task for you. Do not fail me.”

“Anything, as long as I get paid.”

Relliach cackled, loving how the Incubi were so bound by their ancient codes and contracts, a stark contrast to the rest of their twisted race.



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Beaviz81
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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Wed May 30 2012, 20:42

For me the Dark Eldar should never use the term human except when they really respect the human they are fighting, mon-kiegh is their term. Also it's the two fingers of submission, not the arm.

Of course I must say it's an excellent read as I love the fluidness and description, especially the teeth-thingy was lovely to read.
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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Wed May 30 2012, 20:48

Thanks.

When I wrote about the arm I forgot that I hadn't explained Massacre's tennets. One of the Attacks that they attempt to master is piercing through the armpit, or striking it, as it can paralyse a foe, so raising an arm is an act of submission within the cult.
I also used 'human' as repeating Mon-keigh over and over can become dull, although I do see your point.

I am looking forward to the next chapter.

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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Wed May 30 2012, 21:01

Me as well Cavash, and yeah that makes sense.
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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Thu May 31 2012, 20:53

Chapter VI

“So, how are the Depraved Reserves this time of year?” Farougk asked, seeking to pass the time as she stood beside Dernia Cavash, seated on his thrown upon the Chariot of Grandeur. The throne had been crafted from over four hundred blades, eached positioned as to cut heighten his senses. This had worked many centuries ago, but such minute stimuli failed to entertain him in his advanced age.

He rolled his head from right to left and looked up to his oldest of acquaintances.

“The victims have been released. Those fallen since the last cycle have been hung upon the trees, their arteries emptied into my soothing reservoirs.” He didn’t even smile when thinking about his most highly regarded territory any more. “I had a new shipment of beasts eight days ago, so the wretched ‘Tau’ I released should be enjoying themselves right about now.”

The court forced out laughs, not wishing to offend their master. Dernia looked around those he had gathered out of generosity, to allow them to bathe in the wonder that was the grand idolised Cavash. He had considered setting up a church devoted to himself, but he already knew that in the quarters of every Warrior in his service there lay a shrine, devoted to venerating their merciful lord. He didn’t want to enforce this religion as, after all, he was benevolent.

The Depraved Reserves were managed and run by his favoured son, Prince Luckr’yth Cavash. His son crouched beside Faroughk, tending to his antique Agoniser.

His Agoniser was a family heirloom, and a relic from before the Solar Cults. The great bladed fingers could disembowel the toughest foe with the lightest of swipes.

It was a strange feeling that ran through Dernia’s heart at this point. He couldn’t quite remember its name. He felt it for himself, and all the time, but never had he suffered from this emotion when it concerned another life.
He was very similar to how his father had been in younger life. He was solely devoted to perfecting everything he did and showed no interest in distractions such as women and intoxicants. He was extremely focussed for a man of only two centuries, but Dernia knew where he had inherited this trait.

Little did Prince Luckr’yth know, he had not been born of Eldarith Ynneas, but had been grown as an experiment by Haughraskaivaach, another member of the Court, in the womb of a torture Aspect Warrior.
It was an experiment fuelled purely by curiosity, and Dernia had no intention of keeping the child, but as it began to grow within the woman he realised the potential for a perfect warrior. The cruelty of the true kin and the discipline of the foolish Craftworlders. It would take rigorous training to mould him into shape, however, as discipline was not passed down through genetics, only the potential for discipline.

At the bow, clad in ornate red armour that had grown to be rightfully feared within the Pierced Heart, stood Janissary Master Tr’anrik. His arms were crossed as he gazed out across the apocalypse his men had caused. Even though he was not part of the standard military structure that Kabal abode by, he was responsible for the constant protection of the Archon.

Incubi were loyal bodyguards, as long as nobody else paid them to pluck your head like a fresh bud. The Janisaries had been raised personally from birth by Dernia Cavash. They had been brainwashed into devoting their lives willingly to serve him. Although, to say that they chose this fate would be incorrect. They had all been picked from the children of conquered Archons if they were fresh with life. From here they were indoctrinated with a combination of propaganda and chemical therapy that had been handled by Haughraskaivaach.

They had grown to be feared after one terrifying night.

On the day of their release into the world, the original Janissaries had been allowed to display their superiority by conquering the fourteen thousand Kabalites of the Venom Teardrop with no help from other military forces. They had acted with such efficiency that it had impressed Lord Cavash, a marvellous feat that had only been achieved once before by the coldest hearted, most malicious woman ever to set foot in his palace.

Tr’anrik had never been seen to smile in the one hundred and forty nine he had served within the Janissary Elite, even when he ordered the release of the ‘cleansing’ disease that disfigured any citizens of the Pierced Heart that held any undesirable genes. This mass genocide of his own people, ordered by Lord Cavash, had lead to all Pierced Heart Kabalites being obscenely pale and tall, with shining black hair, perfectly pointed eyes and extremely toned musculature. This was the pure breed Dernia had hoped for.

Only three others were allowed to ride upon the Chariot with the Archon. At the Stern resided Haughraskaivaach, who at first glance seemed just like any other youthful Eldar. This, however, was a grave mistake to make. People had approached him, thinking him weak and easy to prey upon. Soon, they wished they had not.

He gleefully stripped flesh from bones as he spat a mist of acid upon his attackers. He could fire a variety of toxin polluted needles at his foe from hidden implants across his body and watch as the varying effects resulted in hilarious results. He had managed all of this through self experimentation, and, in his current incarnation, the only noticeable modification was that in place of hands he had nothing but bare, polished bones that spread death to whatever he touched. He was fond of this ability, as it had taken him two millennia to perfect.

His true age, and his true form, was a secret that he held forever by his side. Rumours had arisen, but only he knew the absolute truth.

The other two present were two more of Dernia Cavash’s children. He had summoned Prince Talludesh Ayr’kell to join him in confronting the Imperial Command of Hive Pentalons as the raid had been his idea. He hadn’t known why his son wanted to enslave this world, but it had proved to become a pleasant family outing.
Finally his daughter, Princess Althianesh Cavash. Her hair flowed back as the hot night’s wind brushed against her. She had been attempting to get Master Tr’anrik to speak to her for the last couple of minutes, but with no results. She was young and reckless, and had caused four wars in her short life. She had quickly become the centre of Dernia’s world yet he couldn’t show it. Even though it was common for Archons to show kindness to their children occasionally, he suffered severely from emotional ineptitude.

“Look, this is boring now. If your not going to talk at least look me in the eyes before I throw you overboard.” Althianesh proceeded to pester Tr’anrik, leaning against the hand rail provocatively beside him. He cared not for her attempts at seduction. She was young and susceptible to her basal urges. He continued to look forward, calculating the outcome of every skirmish far below inside his complex mind.

“Althianesh, you are not a daughter of Shaimesh, nor are you in the Sisterhood of Lhilitu. Stop trying to sell yourself like one of those blasted Lhamaeans.” Talludesh snarled with hatred, believing her to give the Cavash Dynasty a bad name.

“Stay out of this, coward. You have no place ordering what I do when you cannot command fear amongst your own men.”

“Cease this, lest I cut out your tongue!” He rose sharply causing his sister to draw one of her elegant blades.
“You quite clearly excel in the language of hypocrisy.”

The prince couldn’t back down from the insult and punched his sister with pure brute force. She squealed and fell back onto the Janissary, causing him to turn and grab the Prince by the throat, knowing how much Althianesh meant to his master.

The Prince choked and begged to be freed, his sudden dominance forgotten instantly. Almost robotically the Janissary looked over to Lord Cavash and awaited his order.
“Free him.”

With a nod he relinquished his grasp and resumed his position with a statuesque stillness. Luckr’yth assisted his sister from the floor before shooting a venomous glance to the other Prince.

“I have no time for petty quarrels. Act civil, or depart, now!” His voice made his children tremble. They had seen one of his threats enacted before, and now, every time he raised his voice, they all remembered the echoing snap that their sister’s neck made after she had disobeyed him.

“Apologies, father.” They spoke in unison, each looking into his bottomless eyes. It was once he leaned back that they were able to breathe easily.

“Dernia, I was informed by Relliach Korvesh that my trophies would be numerous.”

“I assure you, Archite, you shall find all that you desire here.”

“But we are here to face the man leading the Imperial defence, not our cousins as I was promised.”

“Haste, Faroughk. Learn to use it.” He slowly raised his hand as he spoke, silencing her.

“Who is this mon-keigh we shall face?” She asked after a moment’s consideration. Despite his insanity Dernia was extremely wise, causing his word to be followed by all he worked with.

“Even though this may upset you, we are not here for bloodshed, Archite it is just an added bonus. While in this poor excuse for a spire, I would like to avoid any possible hostilities.”

In unison his court looked straight at him with questioning glances. Everyone, of course, other than Haughraskaivaach who was too preoccupied with his skeletal weapons, and Tr’anrik who couldn’t care less.
“Why are you doing this? Is it because ofLady Mal-?”

“Don’t say it!” He screamed at the Succubus, deafening everybody on board, including the pilot and six gunners strapped to the extremities of the Chariot. “Do not, EVER, bring that up again, do you hear me?” He hissed at his oldest friend, a great urge to run her through with his knife growing in the back of his mind.
“Archon, these implants are truly marvellous. You should consider the modification.” A voice hissed from behind him.

“Not now, Haughraskaivaach.” He sighed before applying a slight pressure upon the jewel upon his chest. The new dose of drugs coursing through his body did not help calm him.

“Some things are more important in this life than destroying it outright.” He did not wait for a reply from the terrified Succubus, as he knew that he wouldn’t get an answer.


Smiling, he rose from his seat and clasped his hands together.
“We have arrived.”
________________________________

From the weapon rack aboard his chariot he had taken an ancient agoniser, far more ornate than the one possessed by his son. He couldn’t have his son look better that him, especially upon his first meeting with these mon-keigh.

He took the first steps out onto the extended balcony, setting an example for his court. He couldn’t lose face. He needed to be seen first, otherwise his reputation would be tarnished. His Shadowfields were activated and his Blaster rested upon its clip. He caught first sight of the other side as his court dismounted. In the distant shadows he saw the shimmering of Chameleon Cloaks. This was a dishonesty that he hated. If the humans had at least been good at hiding their snipers the he wouldn’t have such a hatred already brewing inside him, waiting to erupt.

“Archon?”

A familiar lamenting voice soothed through him with absolute neutrality.

“Harlequin.” He nodded in acknowledgement. No Archon had ever shown disrespect to these enigmatic servants of Cegorach. They were shown trust and honour never seen within the Dark Eldar culture, and to deny them of their wishes would be insane, as it would incur the wrath of the Tyrant.

“Is everything in order?” Dernia asked.

“Do you underestimate me, Archon?”

“Of course not.” He bowed to her and encouraged his Court to do the same. In retaliation the Harlequin mimicked them, and beckoned for them to follow her into the atrium. The Archon waltzed carelessly into the vast circular room, the epitome of Imperial architecture. Large arches held up the tall vault roof, at the centre of which hung a blatantly expensive crystal chandelier. It wasn’t as beautiful as the skull chandelier in the Wych palace, but it was nice for something of human construction.

“Archon Cavash, I presume?” A soft, weathered voice asked in refined low gothic. A man rose from his seat dressed in a pristine, high buttoned leather great coat. He possessed short black hair and skin paler than most humans’. From the Archon’s observations, he must have sustained heavy injury at some point in his life, as a well oiled exo-skeleton ran over every bone in his body. The fact that it was slightly frosted over gave away the fact that he was a psyker.

“Indeed. And who are you?” Surprisingly, the Archon remembered a fair bit of the human tongue from when he used to hunt Space Marines.

“I am Lord Inquisitor Irvine Fathul of the Ordo Malleus.”

“Am I supposed to be impressed?” Just sharing the same air with him made his skin crawl.

“No. Scarred.”

Dernia raised an eyebrow. For some reason this human was too brave, his ego needed to be cut down to fit his body.

“Captain Rayvos, our guests have arrived.” He didn’t wait to hear from the Dark Eldar as he sat back down with a thin smile upon his face. The Archon hadn’t noticed when he had walked in, but the Adamantine Guard first captain had been spectating since the Dark Eldar had arrived. His armour was a pristine devotion to their dying Emperor. Behind his beaked helmet sat many years of anger and resentment for the entire Eldar race. He didn’t realise it at the time, but Haughraskaivaach, the man responsible for the destruction of his home world, was present.

He stood still, staring at the Archon.

“You may wish to avert your gaze. Sight is a priviledge, one that can be easily taken away.” The Archon threatened, causing the Space Marine to at each alien present. He did not speak or take a seat. He just stood, towering above the humans and the xenos.

“These are the ‘much feared Dark Eldar’?” A man sat beside the Inquisitor asked, his red eye lenses glowing. His armour was a rare variant of Carapace, and from his shoulders hung a Ghillie Cloak that served no purpose within the Imperial chamber.
“I thought that they would be taller.”

“And I thought that you would have a sense of self preservation.”

“Why are your ears so pointed? Are you overcompensating for something?”

“Your face would make a well deserved addition to my mask collection, mon-keigh.”

The human smiled before unhooking the face piece of his helmet and removing the armoured upper section, setting it down upon the table.

“Maybe, one day, we shall meet in battle, Archon.” He spoke from rugged lips that rested upon his scarred face, blue patterns stained onto the skin of the left side of his face, as tradition dictated for warriors of his world.

“A Quinosian?” The Archon asked, instantly recognising the markings from fond memories of battles long gone. So many Quinosian souls had satiated his hunger that just being near his soul made him hunger.
“Lieutenant Quel’tresk, Quinosian Thirty First.”

“Oh, how exciting.” The Archon’s face lit up with desire. He had not had such a challenging duel since he last set foot upon their backward little world and faced the Lieutenant’s superior, Colonel Quel’hun.

Quel’hun had been outmatched in intelligence, speed, skill and strength, but he was certainly cunning. It was a shame that the Archon had only been able to maim him, and not drag him back to his exquisite home.

With a carless aloofness he strode onto to table and flexed the elongated blades upon his fingers. He could taste the agony all ready that he wanted to inflict upon the Guardsman.

No matter how much force he exerted, he could not move. His armour had frosted over and the air now possessed a terrible chill.

“No.” The Inquisitor spoke, psychic prowess so great that his voice resonated through the minds of all present. He wasn’t even attempting to use his will to influence the Archon, it was just natural for him.
“No blood needs to be shed between our two cells.”

“Cell? I have a noble Court, mon-keigh. Never forget it!”

Dernia wandered why the Janissary had not attempted to free him, but by the sounds of his struggling, he had been frozen too.

“Relinquish me!” He ordered, feeling the essence of his soul start to slip away while being the subject of the Psyker’s power.

“If you take a seat, we shall begin.”
____________________________________

The only thing that had kept the Court from torturing the humans was the Harlequin that stood silently between them, overlooking their interactions. The Inquisitor was not so bad, but the Captain was useless during conversation and the Lieutenant was insufferable. He constantly made racist remarks to the clearly superior Dark Eldar, his rightful masters through power and virtue.

“As I am sure you are aware, the Inquisition does not look kindly upon the cruel invasion of an innocent world.” Fathul spoke from his seat while enjoying a cup of Bergamot tea served to him by one of the women in his retinue.

“How is it that you are able to perceive yourselves as innocent?” Haughraskaivaach spoke through his translator, intrigued by their illogical thought processes. He refused to sully his tongue with their crude language.

“We have not set foot upon a single world owned by your master. We have not showed any outward hostility, aimed directly at your Kabal, and yet you attack us, unprovoked and without reason.”
Haughraskaivaach moved his cold face into a smile that managed to unnerve the Quinosian. “It is a simple answer, the one to your concern. We have no worlds that you can strike against.”

“So, wizened Eldar, please help me to understand. Why do you raid our worlds?” This was coming from a man who once stated that to attempt to comprehend the inner workings of n alien’s mind was a treason that should have the same punishment as if outright heresy had been committed. It was amazing how much he had changed in the last sixty two years.

“Hmm… how could I get you to understand…?” The translation device spoke clearly while he thought. “It is quite comparable to your current situation.”

“How so?” He leant back and took a sip from the cup as he anticipated hearing something that he would detest.

“Ten millennia ago your Emperor crusaded through the galaxy, uniting every single planet in the name of ‘Mankind’.” He shuddered with quite visible contempt.
“Your race caused thousands of other harmless species to become extinct and your united Legions, as I recall, held the power to quell the slightest upheaval or rebellion. It was truly an admirable attempt, considering the limitations of your philosophy and physiology.
“We had once been far more powerful than anything that you could have imagined. We could extinguish stars and alter the makeup of entire worlds, and all with no discomfort or effort for our populations. Whereas you had the Horus Heresy, we had something far worse.”
It flashed before his eyes. The horrific Cults that turned upon each other and the cruelty he was forced to enact just to survive. At the time, it had changed him, but now, as he felt every moment play itself out he felt it differently. He became ecstatic from every cry and every beg for mercy. Every tear he had caused fulfilled the emptiness at his core, only to be quickly snatched away once again.

“Now, after the carnage spread by the fallen Primarchs, you seek to eradicate all belief in the powers of which you fear. You seek to control all, and why? Because you still feel the pride aching in your thoughts from when your Imperium was expansive and prosperous. Now, just like you do, we Eldarith Ynneas” For some reason the device did not translate that part. “Seek to spread pain through those who do not deserve to have inherited the galaxy from its former rulers. If you were in a position of such power, I am certain that your people would fall to the same vices.”

The room fell quiet, only the sounds of heavy artillery and persistent Splinter fire broke the void. No human had been gifted with such knowledge from the lips of a survivor of The Fall, and other than Haughraskaivaach, Dernia and the Harlequin, not even the other Dark Eldar knew of the fall. It was a secret kept silent within the Pierced Heart Kabal, as not to inspire false hope and arrogance within the Kabalites, although it rarely helped.

“I cannot, and shall not, attempt to relate to what you speak of, as it would be to hinder my duties as an Inquisitor. But I ask, on behalf of the Harlequin, cease the assault.” The Harlequin nodded before Prince Luckr’yth looked over to the humans from his position. He had been stood beside his father, looking out for a potential ambush, but he had been listening the whole time.

“What circumstances could warrant such an unusual cease fire between our two sides? Give me one good reason why this hive should not be levelled.”

“One:” the Astartes finally spoke, his voice shocking the Archon’s daughter, causing her to jump up from her seat. “I have squadrons from four Companies of Adamantine Guard located at key defensive positions throughout this Hive, ready to set up kill zones that would render any infantry of your Kabal obsolete.”
“Anything else?” The Prince asked, expecting no answer.

“This. I am sure that your Archon can inform you of the dangers that this presents, to both the Imperium of Man, and your feral raiding force.” He threw a dataslate across the polished stone table, and as the glowing green image lay in front of the Archon his eyes opened wide, a feeling of disbelief shooting through his chest.


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Beaviz81
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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Thu May 31 2012, 21:19

Hehe nice touch, a meeting for truce.

And that daughter seriously seems to be the sort of child that gives her parents endless amounts of grief. Loved how she tried to check up Tr'anrik, and his rude rebuff of her. And it was hilarious to read about the lieutenant who is racist and doesn't know his place. But I would think the Inquisitor would put him into place.
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Cavash
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Join date : 2012-04-15
Location : Stuck in an air vent spying on plotters

PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Thu May 31 2012, 21:32

Thanks.
I am glad that you like the charecters, especially Althianesh, and that Lieutenant is really, really stupid.
Don't worry about the lack of disciplinary action, however, as his little quirks are quite important.

Very Happy

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