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Mushkilla
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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Thu Oct 04 2012, 22:29

@Cavash wrote:
Just, for self advertisement's sake, I will shortly be starting a story named 'Night Hydra'. It will be a story about how an enraged Hellion stands up to Kabals in an attempt to fight for what he owns.
I shall be releasing the first Chapter in the near future.

(Obviosuly, saying a fight for those he loved would be more appealing, but he this is Dark Eldar. What he loves is what he owns!)

Can't wait! Keep up the great work. Very Happy

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Cavash
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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Thu Oct 04 2012, 22:37

Thank, Mush. Also, my apologies for not having the first chapter of Night Hydra posted yet. I assure you that I am working on it, and as a reward for the patience that you have continued to show I have a gift for you in the form of a small (very muach a draft) extract:

Naturally the celebration consisted of intoxication, light murdering and much, much bathing in the pains of pleasure and the pleasures of pain. His hair had been dishevelled when he awoke from the filth of the Officer’s Hall surrounded by empty syringes and countless bodies in different degrees of nudity, some he could not tell whether they were recovering from minor trauma due to the reckless rejoicing or were lying with iced veins, souls slipped into the Thirster’s grasp. Large dark rings circled his sparkling black eyes, but as he attempted to stand he felt that his strength was wavering. His legs wobbled helplessly as he dragged himself up, pale body clinging desperately to the shattered antique table. His back was in agony, his muscles throbbed, and as he looked around he noticed that there were more officers unconscious than asleep. These were all telltale signs that he had been so ecstatic that he had initiated a widespread brawl to heighten his euphoria.

Carefully he stepped over a dead woman after claiming the knife in her spine. After a moment’s more searching he looted the sheath from the hip of a man and stole the hat from his head. The man’s eye’s opened and he looked as if he was going to start a fight. Luckily the Dracon’s bare foot choked the Sybarite to death before he could start shouting. The Dracon stumbled through the clutter while brushing his hair back away from his face. He had not noticed at first, but in the hat’s decorative band resided a stimm-inhaler, most likely Dezh-renn, a popular narcotic used amongst the men of the Kabal. It was half empty, but he wasn’t bothered about the risk of drug-sharing infections as long as it would relieve his headache.

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Lady Malys
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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Fri Oct 05 2012, 02:07

Well, you know I am looking forward to more Piercing Dark (are my Scourges still delivering my daily reminders? Very Happy)! Your characterisation is good as always. Though I don't envy the Commorrite cleaners ...

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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Fri Oct 05 2012, 07:15

That was priceless Cavash:

The Hangover in Commorragh

Great work as always, very immersive. If the writing is going to be at that high standard, then I can easily wait as long as it takes. Looking forward to the rest. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Fri Oct 05 2012, 11:45

Quote :
Well, you know I am looking forward to more Piercing Dark (are my Scourges still delivering my daily reminders? Very Happy )! Your characterisation is good as always. Though I don't envy the Commorrite cleaners ...
Well, Malys, I do have today ad tomorrow off... so let's see what the weekend brings! Very Happy Although, could you maybe send some Pheasant Scourges next time, these Bat Scourges are starting to taste a bit leathery. Razz

Quote :
That was priceless Cavash:

The Hangover in Commorragh

Great work as always, very immersive. If the writing is going to be at that high standard, then I can easily wait as long as it takes. Looking forward to the rest. Smile
Thank you very much, Mushkilla. I t was rather fun to write, as well was the rest of that Chapter (that I am clinging onto and editting!).

I am glad that it was enjoyed!

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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Sat Oct 06 2012, 13:04

Chapter XII

The celebrations spread throughout T’llionoch with no real reason. No major war had been won and no prolonged siege of the Pierced Heart’s home had been fended off, but any who would not praise the Lord Cavash as he arrived from realspace would find torment and torture worse than anything that they could imagine.

Flagpoles were raised high with the tattooed and flayed skin of the Kabal’s enemies adorning the skyline. On pikes held aloft from balconies slaves were impaled and raised to bleed dry, the pike tips missing any major organs or circulatory pathways as to increase the suffering. In the vast parks, hunting reserves and Murder Gardens that were scattered throughout the territory hundreds of thousands of slave-warriors were released, gifted with the most basic of weapons, where they would fight for survival as the nobles chased them down upon their sleek chariots. Of course, commoners could pay to join the widespread hunts, but they would not be allowed to grace the skies and risked decapitation by their superiors. It proved to provide the Kabalites with spare time, too, allowing them the luxuriate in the red light districts and drug dens of varying quality that were commonplace within the lower rungs of the realm.

Even though casualties would be high this act of kindness cunningly cemented the Dernia Cavash in power and in favour with his citizens. It was understood that all Kabals needed a narcissistic ruler that would not hesitate to slay his own population, but the citizens would definitely prefer a master who gifted them with spare time than a master who constantly took advantage of them. They saw it as a way for the Grand Archon to say ‘thank you loyal servants’, but Dernia saw it as a way to say ‘look what I give you; who else could equal this?’

“Why am I here, Archon?” The Farseer sat herself in the seat shown to her by Tr’anrik who was quickly dismissed by Dernia. The Grand Archon was sat in his mobile anti-gravitic throne, the dim lights set into the rim of the seat illuminating the Lord in all of his terrible magnificence. For the first time in centuries he was not wearing his hair tied back in a topknot but had it dangling long and perfectly straight over his shoulders. Dernia Cavash did not care for the latest trends of fashion and style within Commorragh. His Kabal had endorsed and supported so many minor factions that if anybody, save the largest Kabals within the main city, dared to judge him, their leadership structure would tumble due to assassination, their citizens would starve due to ransacking and their contracts with the factories would be boycotted. He had set up so many mutual agreements with both large Kabals and small street gangs that it was difficult to know who he had not dealt with in the past. It was certainly an effective tactic, one that kept the majority of his foes quiet. Of course, when an enemy did rear his face and was brave enough to confront his forces directly he would command all of his allies to stand down as he felt a great sense of pride and honour in showing how he did not need others to wreak havoc. This was how it had been in countless wars before; this was what had led to his single notable defeat at the hands of the Poisoned Tongue. Too bitter and stubborn to request help he made his men stand down while the damned Archon marched into his palace to duel, only to find her not bound by the same pride he possessed. After his heart was pierced within his chest the insane machinations of Haughraskaivaach were all that were left to drive the invading force back. The Kabal quickly recovered and the war abated as Vect declared that Dernia was too important to suffer true death. Ever since his iced veins had pumped with pure hate for his fellow inhabitants of Commorragh.

His fist slammed against the arm of the chair causing the Farseer to jump in fright which made him aware once more of her presence. He only just realised that his mind had wandered off.

“My apologies. What were you saying?”

Shuffling uneasily she looked the Archon in the eyes, conveying no fear at all. “I asked ‘why I am here?’ Why not take me into the palace and parade me around like a trophy?” Her voice was broken slightly. The crown made her ever so uncomfortable.

“I keep you here, on my flagship, in my quarters, because you are no slave, G’ost. We both know that you are as big a part in this as I am.”

“How so?” G’ost asked in deep thought.

“You did not think that we could put the sarcophagus to rest and be done with it, did you?”

“Of course not. The rising of damnation had been seen, but I doubted that it would ever occur in my lifetime.”

“Yet it has.” Dernia lamented, also displeased at its early awakening. The Harlequins had told them that it would only resurface after the death of the ‘Alliance’, as they had been dubbed. “Do you understand now why I have brought you here?”

“The casket is meant for neither of us to protect alone. It was sealed by us both, yet I have held it in my protection. You wish to assist me?” She was hopeful but found her thoughts easily cut down.

“No.” He chuckled. “Three of us sealed it. Three of us laid it to rest, yet only two of us remain. We have no hope of pre-emptively halting the carnage. We can, however, hope to fight it.”

“Fight it how? Once it is opened it will chose a host and then summon death itself into our hearts. We must get the third member back to stop this completely.”

“The third member of the Alliance is dead, Farseer. One could not expect him to live as long as our noble kind. He did fight valiantly, however, for his rotting Emperor.”

“What if” the Farseer continued, starting a proposal that would certainly inspire anger in the Grand Archon, “we brought in his intellectual descendant as the third member?”

“Inquisitor Fathul? No!” He stepped from his throne and started to pace back and forth. “Do you know how corrupt that man’s soul is? He does not deserve to be called an Inquisitor. No!” He yelled, driving his fist through the metal desk the Farseer was sat behind. Dernia would need to visit his Haemonculi to get his hand fixed but his surging emotion prevented him from realising his injury.

“He is also powerful enough to aid our cause. I doubt that he would let a single Imperial world face destruction at the hands of the Great Enemy.”

“The Great Enemy is not in realspace, however. The Great Enemy is here, in my territory.”

“Then I propose that we hand the casket over to the Inquisition and wait for the time to come.”

“Did you know that he consorts with Daemons, G’ost? Did you know that he uses them as tools of war? I do not want those abominations to be brought against me.”

“Either way Chaos will be unleashed. You must decide whether you want to stop it or not, even at the risk of death.”
_________________________________

He had dressed as finely as he could that evening. A finely woven red silk garb decorated with muted gold embroidery of leaves dancing in the wind along the collar was subtle enough as not to declare flamboyance but it was serious enough to show the formality of the occasion. On top of his fine clothing lay a long flowing coat of black leather, Inquisitorial rosette pinned at his lapel as to remind the Tech Priests of whom they were visiting.

A Servo-skull whirred and whined beside him, its weathered case betraying the pristine systems that lay within. The Inquisitor had requested for the Tech Priest Magos Biologis and his servant to visit his research lab; leaving his Servo-skull in poor condition would be a slap in the Priesthood’s face.

He had attempted to be a perfect host, but what can one offer a Tech Priest? Sure, they do require nutrients and fluids, but would they accept them? The Inquisitor had faced many of these nagging issues after inviting the Magos Biologis, Crulious Rren, and they had caused more stress than was good. Not for the Inquisitor, but for those in his employ. Inquisitor Irvine Fathul rarely felt stress and maintained his polite and respectful manner in front of his guests. Offending them could make his work more difficult. Of course, he was an Inquisitor, and the Adepts could not oppose him, but he would like to have them on his side for the distribution and further research of this knowledge. After they had respectfully declined joining a fest in their honour, stating that it was an excess that they felt honoured by but did not consider was needed. As a way of thanking his servants Fathul stopped the Servitors from clearing away the food and allowed those he considered to be friends to dine.

“The ramifications of this research, Magos, are quite extraordinary. It will bring grand improvements to the functionality of Psykers throughout Imperial battle lines on countless worlds. We will see our enemies whither as we grow ever stronger.”

“That is what you briefed us with, Inquisitor. I am intrigued, please, enlighten us.” Rren’s wheezing voice spoke. His mechanical voice box had been well looked after but was in dire need of replacement. Until he returned to Eckrith Forge World no such luxury could be had.

“As I a sure you are aware a common wound can prove fatal when out in the field of battle. Take a gunshot wound. It may not pierce any major organs yet it can become horribly infected if not treated quickly. It can remain open for days and the warrior may fight; his mental strength driving him forward. The body is not as strong as the mind, however. The mind continues due to faith in the Emperor, but what does the body have?” He asked as he stopped outside the doors leading his to experimentation labs where he knew Inquisitor Helix would be working.

“The body has the mind, not the Emperor.” The Magos answered, not a fan of the drawn out explanations.

“Correct.” The Inquisitor turned to face the Priests. “The body relies on the mind for support, but why not for healing? The mind of a Psyker is a complex thing. It can be driven forward through faith, but even if the slightest of doubts encroaches in the pure domain the entire being, both mind and body, can become weak and fall. This is why I only propose this for the most stalwart and stubborn of Imperial Psykers.”

He smiled, rather pleased with his research. “I have found a way that the mind can heal the body as it can heal itself. When the body is wounded the mind of a Psyker thrashes in shock, looking out into the Immaterium itself as it loses its grasp on reality. There is a boundary where it can see both the Warp and the material universe. Here it can gaze into the souls of others. Through deep meditation and training a Psyker can perform this at will. They can see into another creature’s life and steal it away to shrug off fatal wounds to live for a bit longer or spend more energy on nurturing the wound, so that they may fight again.”

The Magos, despite his bland half mechanical face, looked both interested and reserved.

“How may a Psyker achieve this… biomancy?”

“It had been theorised long ago that there was a breed of xenos scum that could consume the essence of other beings, or needed to, to survive. I presume that you know of the Eldar?”

“I know of these aliens, yes.”

“Well, Magos, my sources tell me that they are more diverse than we once thought. Through my study of Imperial records I have concluded that the so called ‘Eldar Corsairs’ are not just those who fly free of their Craftworlds, but an entirely separate faction. Through dissections and vivisections of those designated as ‘Corsairs’ I have found that these theories bare some weight. By studying these aliens I now know how to extract the life of other beings to aid myself and those around me.”

“How?” The Magos grumbled. The Imperium did not tend to look kindly upon, and only allowed the Priesthood of Mars and the Inquisition to perform, the study alien races. It was unusual that an Inquisitor could make revelations about an alien species without the aid of the Priesthood. What if the Inquisitor knew more and was keeping the knowledge to himself.

“Call it a Psyker’s trick if you wish.

Through the entire conversation none of the Humans had realised that they were being watched.
______________________________

Limp. His entire body was limp. His mind was weak and now, when rudely awoken from peace, he could feel the eyes of hooded figures scrutinising him. They would surely be judging him with silent laughter, prodding at him about every minor imperfection.

He had once been perfect.

His flesh was freezing on the iced floor; that would be just one more thing to add to his long list of blemished flaws. Never before had he ever felt more like a stain on the Wych Cult of Massacre’s name as he did right now.

“W-who are you?” He tried with absolute futility to slide himself away from them and into a corner, the amniotic fluid preventing him from gaining any grip on the ground. He had seen the recently murdered Aspect Warrior bound by his chains on the tablet at the centre of the room, but he doubted that anybody would go to the hassle of torturing and sacrificing a Craftworlder to bring him back.

He was just Dayl’akrin. He was just a failure. He was just like his father.

“Calm, child.”

“Get back!” He screeched with a clawing hand at the woman who attempted to approach him. Her robes were blood stained and her face was hidden.

“Calm yourself, Wych.”

“Who are you!”

His voice echoed through the chamber, the anger within becoming lost within every blood caked crack in the room.

“I am not important in the grand scheme of what will come, Dayl’akrin.”

“That’s not my name.”

“Oh, okay then. If you preferred your Wych name I would be happy to oblige, no matter how flimsy I believed it to be. Remonstrating Darkness,” the woman sighed, the name’s lack of fluidity going somewhat towards causing her grief, “you are the only one that needs to be asked questions here.”

“What happened to me?” He ignored. As he raised his hands up to cover his face the realisation that he had been branded set in. He had not just been brought back from whatever fate he had met but now he was owned. His arms had been ritually scarred in places where his blood would flow free and fast. He had been burned with symbols that made his entire being itch and his mind unusually sharp. This aggression, it needed out.

“Silence!”

The strike from the hooded woman left him stunned and defenceless with only the option to listen to whatever her demands may be.

Looking up after hiding away for a moment he waited momentarily for her to speak.

“Y’lris, come.” Her command was met by a small robed hunchback limping his way into the room to kneel down in front of his master, holding an ornate and terrible scroll wide open for her to read from.

“Do you know of Khaela Mensha Khaine, Wych? The Lord of Murder and the master of merciless violence?”
Inspecting his surroundings the Wych chose his words carefully.

“A Craftworld myth the last I heard.” He sat perfectly still, hiding all body language until the woman was pleased enough to look down at the scroll.

“How I pity the lack of education you gladiators get. Surely you know of the Incubi Shrines, Wych?”

After a short pause Dayl answered. “I have heard of them in my travels.”

“Of course you have. Your body was found at rest there, tossed down the stairs with your bones broken and your head severed.”

“W-what?” He raised himself from the ground, struggling against the stone wall for support.

“The Incubi venerate Khaine as the Lord of War and Murder. He is their patron and through his teachings of destruction they seek to kill as much as physically possible. They may seem civilised but they are just as brutal as the rest of our cancerous society.”

“Woman, what happened to me?” She raised a hand to beat him back down, but he cut in and gained her attention. “If you would permit me to ask such a question.”

Smiling, the woman lowered her hand. “You were killed, Wych. The Hierarch of the Blessed Tear Drop beheaded you for interfering in his twisted affairs.”

“What?” He hissed, the anger present in his soul making him feel alive again. “How had I interfered in anything?”

“The Hierarch has many secrets. Who doesn’t? He obviously did not want you to find them out.”

“What are these secrets?” Dayl started to walk wearily around, stretching his fatigued body. The burns and scars that he bore only heightened his alertness as he started to feel real once more. The cloudy haze of rebirth was starting to fade away, but he knew that he would not be as limber, stealthy or fast as he had once been for a short while.

“We do not know, Wych. That, however, is the reason why we brought you back.”

Dayl did not speak now. His facial expression told them everything that they needed to know.

“We need you to find out these secrets. We need you to serve us.”

“Really? And whom might you be?”

“I am the Warrior-Priestess of the Cult of Khaine. We know much of what will happen if you do not serve us. A cataclysm that you could not imagine. A rift that would cause more pain than you believed was ever possible. If you do serve us, on the other hand, you will be a hero. You will be remembered, unlike that father of yours.”

Her comment drove Dayl to lash out, his hands blurring through the air in a flurry of consecutive strikes. Each hit was deflected effortlessly by the Priestess of Khaine before she landed a single blow on his chest, winding him.

“Do you remember, Dayl’akrin, what seemed like a century ago in Massaccre’s wraithbone forest that you told me your father was a coward that brought shame upon your house? I do not believe that somebody who felt that way would fight to defend the mere memory of the deceased.”

His entire mind twitched as the memory came back to him. She had been the woman in the forest. She had been the one to see him mourn.

“I do not worship Khaine, Priestess. I will not serve you.”

“You do not serve Khaine yet you find thrill in the murder and only feel whole when in war? You knelt beside the river of blood that day and prayed, prayed that your father be remembered. You hold onto his image, you held onto Khaine’s emblem and remembered one of his servants for his heroism. You broke laws punishable by death simply by holding that emblem. If the Grand Archon or his men had discovered that upon your possession you would have been tortured for all eternity and suffered pain without end. Even in the face of persecution you continued your acts. Your defence and your lies of hating your father and the Murder Cult are not very substantial, are they?”

She turned her back and started to walk off, the other priests following her lead. “These are long, dark corridors, Dayl. Leave if you wish or gain vengeance in your father’s memory. Avenge him for what he could not do and honour him by doing what he should have. I don’t care. If you chose to leave we will find somebody else.” The robes trailed behind her, dusting the floor where she had trodden. Her last word shattered through Dayl causing all of the repressed sorrow throughout his life to well up.

“Coward.”
____________________

Deep within Luckr’yth’s mind the murk of the aeons cleared as he descended brutally into his dreams. They had irritated him throughout his life, but this night he felt that they would be particularly bad. He had killed many slaves before retreating to his chamber leaving his mind peaceful and still. Inside, though, in the darkest regions of his imagination, something was stirring, and he could feel it.

Nevertheless, he had taken twice as much relaxants than usual, sealed his door and checked numerous times and ordered three times as many guards to protect his chamber.

He had trusted the Relliach Korvesh and the Incubus that followed him everywhere to protect his brother now that the Kabalite fleet had returned. He also knew that Haughraskaivaach would be forced to regenerate his sister and niece, lest Dernia get involved and find himself a new Haemonculus after an accidental liquidation of his current Coven.

He could rest easily now. Just as he made it to his bed the relaxants kicked in, dropping his body down onto the soft furniture, unable to climb under the covers before rendered unconscious.

On his face he lay, troubles failing to worry him in his sleep state… until the dreams kicked in.

Through lightning and screams his mind dragged his unwilling form. To use the term ‘unwilling form’ is not entirely correct as in this dream, like in most of the nightmares he suffered; he was disembodied and staring at potential events. The stalagmite and stalactite silhouettes of T’llionoch flashed with beams of dark light, plagues of Hellions scorched through the air to wage war with their airborne peers. Millions were hanging, limp and lifeless, from the spires that dangled from the ceiling of the webway. Likewise, the spires that appeared to jump up from the ground held onto the hanged criminals and innocents, their bodies’ too jumping into the chasm of free space in the centre of the realm. That was the physics of Commorragh. A land so twisted that the dead even rose from the ground to show others the pain that they had suffered.

Past slave pens, munitions factories, drug processing stations, pleasure houses, drug dens, vampire houses, black zones, Scourge eyries and docking spires bristling with bladed craft his body shot, bathing in every drop of the terrible pain and horror that the city threw at him. The horror made him feel like he was choking, asphyxiating in the torment he loved to issue and adored to watch. In his dreams he never appreciated agony like he did in reality. He was almost… what was the word?

He had felt it when lesser races had touched him or when potential mates attempted relentlessly to grab his attention, but he had always struggled to think of what the defining word was.



Repulsed!

His mind was repulsed by pain and the nature of his people!

“She’s dying! She won’t last much longer.” A voice broke through the haze and reached his ears. It was nowhere yet everywhere at once. High above, yet low below, the starscape of Commorragh the voice of urgency was hollow and empty. Deep inside, however, it was all too familiar. He did not remember it but he recognised the emotion that was spoke.

“Do you think that I care for her wellbeing, Valex?” Now the fresh voice of Luckr’yth’s father, Dernia Cavash, broke out in a resentful tone overlapped only by the screams of a woman. As vertigo finally set in and the Prince felt as if he was falling tendrils and claws hacked out and latched around him from all angles, constricting him as he plummeted into a black walled chamber. He stopped inches from the floor but even now the claustrophobia did not give in and he gnarled and clawed to get free from the eldritch tendrils. Unfortunately, he was doomed to be constricted and forced to watch the events before him.

The room was cold beyond reason, ice sheets climbing up the walls while steam came from the open body of the woman tied to a slab in the centre. Around her stood three figures and a variety of anti-grav suspended surgical devices. The first he barely recognised as his father. His face was a much squarer shape than it was in the present day and his eyes lacked the sparkled craze of his drug-lust. He wore his ancient armour inherited from his father, the large, monomolecular edged shoulder pads making it impractical for anybody to walk near him. The other two were certainly Haemonculi, but he did not recognise either of them.

Judging by what his father had said, the Haemonculus cutting open the woman to extract the child from within was named Valex, a Haemonculus who the Prince had met twice before in his life. Both of those times had rendered him horribly nervous.

The second did not speak, nor did he move. He just stood in the shadows in a vantage point from where the woman could not see him, watching.

“Archon-”

“Grand Archon!”

“Apologies, my liege.” Valex had to physically stop his hands from trembling. “Grand-Archon, if she dies before the experiment is extracted it will endanger the child’s life.”

“What’s your point? I can always repeat this experiment.”

“That will be the eighteenth time, master. These women need not the kindness of your beatings. They need to be nurtured and traumatised. Broken in the mind, not in the body.”

“Really, that’s what you think?” Dernia started to walk around the slab before stopping beside the woman’s head. Carefully he brushed the dishevelled, matted hair from out of her eyes and leant close to face her. When she would not look at him his hand easily overpowered her weak form.

“Do you think me cruel, Cseveshth‘ren? Do you find this agony unnecessary?”

Cseveshth’ren; that was a Craftworld name.

“Do you think that all of this, and all of my experiments, are pointless? If so then you have not truly seen this galaxy. You have not lived. I am letting you feel what it is to be one of the lesser races so you can truly appreciate what it is to be Eldarith!” at that point he struck the Craftworlder with the back of his hand, splitting open the skin above her cheek.

Walking back around to join Valex and the view of the child being cut out Dernia smiled.

“This was never meant to be for enjoyment. This was scientific research and psychological programming. We have only just begun yet I feel that I have achieved great things already. I never meant to enjoy harming you, Howling Banshee, but that is just how life goes.” He was captivated by the newborn boy but refused to hold him when presented with him.

With a shrug Valex placed him down in an incubation pod and had his minions take it away.

“Sow up the woman, Valex. If she dies then revive her, if she lives heal her. I may have… uses for her in future.”

“What of the boy? You spent so long on this project yet it has only just begun. Would you like me to begin the process now?”

“No. First he needs a name…”

Valex looked over to the other Haemonculus. At this point the Prince could feel tears coming to his eyes. Never before had he been susceptible to such a weakness.

“I will get the torture chamber prepared for when you have decided.”

Valex followed the hovering pod out of the room leaving Dernia and the other Haemonculus with the body.
“I will revive her, my Lord.” The shadow dwelling servant spoke.

“Do you know what this could mean? The perfect weapon for the infiltration and annihilation of our lesser kin.”

“I am aware.”

“I feel like this woman has played such a big part in my life, it would be wrong to allow her to suffer without homage.”

“What do you propose?” The Haemonculus started sowing the woman up, his head pointed down preventing the Prince from viewing his face.

“I should name the child after her ruined home.”

Dernia smiled.

“Luckr’yth.”
________________________

Haughraskaivaach’s face stared straight at the Prince and from his dream state he recoiled, body in absolute shock, mind torn open.


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Lady Malys
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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Sat Oct 06 2012, 15:55

The more we learn of your dynasty, the more twisted, politically enmeshed and deviant it is shown to be. You have a very good grasp of the Archonic* mind. Like the Roman Emperors, the Cavash family are not people to be dismissed easily as murderous monsters, and this makes the story that much more interesting to me Smile

Of course, I'm not saying they are not murderous monsters ... The very idea :p

You've been promising me some of Luckr'yth's history for a long time and I am not disappointed Very Happy


*this may not be a word Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Sat Oct 06 2012, 16:21

Quote :
The more we learn of your dynasty, the more twisted, politically enmeshed and deviant it is shown to be. You have a very good grasp of the Archonic* mind.
Thank you very much, Malys. I do aim to please! When I started writing Piecing Dark I had not intended on putting in this much backstory even though I already had it written out in other places or inside of my mind. I guess adding it in just felt right.

Quote :
You've been promising me some of Luckr'yth's history for a long time and I am not disappointed
If this has pleased you then the next chapter (and a secret project to come after that) will render you ecstatic! Very Happy

I am very glad that you have enjoyed it. It has been a pleasure to write.

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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Sun Nov 11 2012, 12:13

Get your old Codex at the ready for the next Chapter, folks! I am going all nostalgic!

Look forward to war, Punishers, Destructors, war, Hell Masks, Vexanthropes, Terrorfexes, war, the Goblet of Spite, war and so much more!

Anyhow, this was just to say that the next chapter is coming soon, so keep your beady Yneas Eldarith eyes open!

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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Sun Nov 11 2012, 14:24

Consider my beady eyes alertly scanning the darkness! And my dark heart fervently hoping that you meant to type Goblet of Spite.

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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Sun Nov 11 2012, 14:26

Hahahaha, I did!

Never would any Dark Eldar want to tarnish themselves with a Goblet of Spit! I will edit it now!

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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Wed Nov 21 2012, 17:31

Just a small question to those of you who do not share in my colour blindness, does the white writing on a black background hurt your eyes? If it isn't too great then I will change it with the next installment to make the story more readable.

Cheers, Cavash.

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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Wed Nov 21 2012, 17:46

I find the white writing on black to be fine so long as it is not too small; that is just my personal experience, however. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Sat Nov 24 2012, 19:14

Okay, cheers Malys.

Now, for the next chapter!
___________________________________________________________
Chapter XIII


A tremor shook through T’llionoch. Many spires crumbled or combusted instantaneously and even the citizens took up arms against the invaders. The Kabal of the Dying Scream had arrived. An entire flotilla of murderous Kabalites had been birthed from howling emerald flames, black silhouettes of despair in the glorious skyline of the glorious sub-realm. The full force of their Kabal had hit all at once and all in one place. Even though the Kabal was far smaller than the Pierced Heart they had arrived unseen and equipped for a brutal assassination. They would maim and hack at the unprepared Pierced Heart forces until they found Lord Cavash, and then they would have him ruthlessly murdered… if they could ever get that far.

Dernia’s palace had become the focus of a relentless meat grinder. Striking from above and below the Dying Scream moved with swift agility in regimented teams while only two hundred Janissaries held them back from the Grand Archon’s throne room.

“The chaos… it’s here.” The Farseer’s broken murmering made the Archon chuckle as she clambered from the floor. The crown had done more than just nullify her soul, it was starting to cause physical fatigue that would quickly drain her will to leave and resolve to argue.

“No, the chaos has not been unleashed. This is comparable to what you Craftworlders call ‘friendship’. Two Archons spending time together. How fun this will be!” His eyes flashed with a joy completely new to the Farseer. She had seen it once before, but she had ever been on this side of it.

“Now, there is only the question of what to wear.” Dernia muttered while perusing one of his many weapon wracks, the shimmering blue field dissipating with his touch. “One cannot stand to be outdone when looking one’s best for a gathering.”

He picked up numerous ancient artefacts and relics which emitted a darkness that chilled the Farseer, but each of them seemed to bore the Grand Archon. He picked up a Venom Blade, admired its orange translucent crystalline blade in the soul-lit half-light and placed it back down, thinking of it just like an item of jewellery. He had so many; he could only take the best.

The snarl of a Djin blade as his hand moved over it made him decide against using that particular weapon, and his focus moved to his Huskblade. He had used this so many times to annihilate the most fearsome of foe and the most crazed of berserkers, but this didn’t allow his enemy to savour the pain he would be gifting them with. Hmm… what if I took my Punisher, he thought to himself.

“Archon, please hurry.” The Farseer’s shrill whining would get on his nerves, he could feel, but it did force him to make a decision. He Fastened the two handed Punisher to his back and knelt down to complete the glowing runic puzzle of an elongated blade adorned chest. With a small bleep the top sprung up and folded aside, presenting Dernia with numerous trophies and trinkets to take with him into war. He chose an item he had not seen used for years and decided it would be best to bring it back into fashion. The Terrorfex fixed onto his right wrist with a familiarity that he had missed. It had been so long since he had used this arcane device that he had started to forget the screams it had caused.

Deciding that it was time to leave he picked his favourite weapon in his possession, other than his long bladed Agoniser gauntlet. His hand grasped the handle, the hooks and barbs latching into his forearm to ensure optimal functionality. The long barrelled weapon terrified the Farseer, and quite rightly so. This weapon, the Destructor, was famed for the pure suffering it administered. It contained rapid acting acids and a toxin that could eat through any known armour and burn the flesh. Once the toxin finds its way inside the target’s system it can cause blood vessel explosion or implosion; pharyngeal contraction; extensive haemolysis; skeletal disintegration; sclerotic corrosion; intercostal spasms; hyper-reacted thermoreceptors and chemoreceptors; Eustachian damage; retinal scarring; cardiac and respiratory atrophy. Only if you were really, really, lucky, would you die instantly.

“Such cruel devices… are they really necessary?” The Farseer ducked as the Archon turned with a condescending stare, his Destructor waving towards her face.

His eyes and awe consuming silence answered her for him.

“Come.” He ordered, walking slowly towards the door. “Let us play in these grounds this day, Farseer. Let me see the prowess you wield cut down those who would see the same happen to me.”

“I am not your personal guard, Dernia. My uses are not in war, but in diving that which wishes to be seen.”

“Bah, you are of no use to me. Fight and save yourself or stay here and wait to be captured. I care not for your own decisions, I am sure that I can find a new member to take your place in the Alliance.”

“If war calls who am I to ignore its pleads?”

Dernia smiled, loving the power he held over lesser creatures. “Good, Farseer. Now, join me. There is much blood to be shed!”
____________________

Her eyes focussed on the Inquisitor. He was doomed now… as soon as he finished his lecture so she could relay the information back to her master his innards would be spilt and used to decorate her armour.
Yes, speak, Mon-keigh. I want to hear you.

From her obscene vantage point she looked down upon the Inquisitor and the gathered Adepts. She could easily take down the Inquisitor with a simple stab to his gullet; an elegant slash to his throat would do nicely, too. These were sufficient forms of murder, but they weren’t elaborate enough for her.

Even if she did land upon him, her blade piercing through delicate flesh that betrayed the true nature of the servant of the Ordo Malleus, the Magos Biologis could prove somewhat difficult to deal with. These kinds liked to replace their organs with mechanical parts which would severely diminish the possibility of a single, lethal wound. That would make her lose style points in her own eyes.

She had abandoned Inquisitor Helix in his newly unconscious position suspended in the claws of a stone gargoyle high up in a gothic atrium where the ceiling and the sky blended, making it difficult for anybody to spot him. She could have killed him, but once she found out where it was she wanted to go she found no use of him. He was defenceless. He was a Psyker that had been bound and incapacitated. His soul would have tasted grand, but she had more important issues to concentrate on.

The smugness of Fathul was irritating. How could a human think himself better than any Eldar. Even the Craftworlders and Exodites put the round eared parasites to shame. His research could not have been that impressive.

She didn’t care to dwell on it. If this Human was able to reproduce the effects of feeding upon another creature’s soul then he had come close to making Mankind far more threatening.

Unsheathing her monomolecular blade she pounced.

From the Gothic arch where she was crouched she moved through the air without a sound. She was the true epitome of an assassin. Confusion and darkness enshrouded her and quickly havoc ensued.

Her left foot landed on the chest of the Magos while she cut the head from his assistant with a boot mounted blade.

His head started to spin away from his body, but before the other humans could react she already had her feet locked in place around the Priest’s neck. Throwing herself into a full spin, a loud crack heralded his demise.

She rolled away, past a volley of shots from the Inquisitor’s newly drawn Autopistol. Four shots boomed down the hallway, the barrel of the gun belching flames coupled with deafening cracks.

The Archon’s helmet blunted the sound, but Lord Inquisitor Fathul was completely unprotected. He had extensive training in weaponry, and when he was younger he might have easily overcome the sound and the recoil, but he was becoming old and frail now. This left him open for the killing blow.

The half-metre of metal pierced through his clothing with no resistance and sliced between the ribs with laughable ease.

His lung had been lacerated and no doubt his heart had suffered tremendously. He fell down as she landed on her feet and stepped past him where he fell. She was feeling indifferent about this kill. She had heard stories of how dangerous Lord Fathul was, how he spoke with Daemons and through sheer will overpowered them. He had damned worlds and slain creatures that even the Archon would find challenging, so why had he not been a good challenge?

The more she thought about it the more downhearted she had felt. Did Dernia send her to see him dead because it was a fool’s errand? How could she have fallen out of his graces this much.

The rush of euphoria to have achieved her goal was instantly engulfed by despair, and in no time at all she had given up on caring.

A chime in her ear.

“What is it?” She asked, not really wanting to know what she was being contacted for.

“New orders, Archon. Return to T’llionoch and leave the Inquisitor alive.”

Her heart stopped in her chest.

She coughed up stale tasting blood.

Five loud cracks had seen an end to her; now she could not care about her life.

She dropped to her knees and turned her head to face the dying Human.

He didn’t smile at her. A Xenos did not deserve to be graced with the smile of a holy servant of the Emperor. All she saw was the flesh of his wound knitting back together with an electric blue glow. The corridor became unwelcoming, the air froze Fathul’s skin and covered the Archon’s armour in a film of frost.

She fell down on her face before she got the chance to see the Inquisitor rise again. He placed a single shot in the rear of her cranium with a whisper upon his lips.

“The Emperor protects.”
______________________

He had not eaten since he had been birthed from the amniotic chamber. He didn’t know how long it had been, the passage of time had been broken in his mind. The door had been left open and many times he had approached to inspect it. It was not a trap, and in the hallways that led off from it he could see no ambushes or spies to follow him.

What the priestess had told him sounded genuine. He could leave if he wanted to, but the question was how long would he survive by himself?

He didn’t know which way to go or how long it would take to reach the exit. Even then he would be defenceless and foodless.

They were blackmailing him into aiding them with a sense of security.

Well, they could be doing much worse. Torture would have been his first guess at what they wanted to do; killing him repeatedly would be the second.

It did seem logical to stay with them. They would protect him, give him food and weapons, and then he could slay them and take their wealth.

It was a good plan in Dayl’s eyes.

“Dayl.” The Priestess made him aware of her presence. Carfeully he crawled into a position where he could view her from behind one of the raised stone surfaces.

“What?” He threw his voice in an attempt to make her feel uneasy.

“I thought you would like some food and clothing.” She smiled a maternal smile that frightened him. He hated the thought of anybody looking out for him.

“No. I am fine.”

“Well, is there anything that I can get for you? Is there anything that would make you more comfortable?”

“No.”

“Not even your armour and Impaler? Fine. I guess that I’ll have them disposed of.” She turned to depart, knowing that he would scramble out into the open to stop her. He was a Wych. He was predictable.

“You got my belongings?” He asked, answered with a patronising nod. “How did you obtain these? Where were they?”

“They were left inside the Blessed Tear Drop’s Shrine. When we recovered your body I sent the most devout servant of Khaine inside to obtain information on the Hierarch. He stumbled across what appeared to be your possessions and recovered them.

“Who is this man? I must thank him.”

“Oh, you’ll meet him soon enough.”

“I want to meet him, Priestess.”

She turned and looked at him with eyes that hinted at hysterical laughter ensuing. “Nobody wants to meet him.”

“At least tell me his name.”

“He goes by an alias, Wych, for he is an Assassin. He has no real name anymore. It has faded out of memory with time. He can go by any number of names, but the one sure title that will stick with him is ‘Shadow’s Repentance’.”

The Wych’s face twitched and he gave into his curiosity. “Why is he called ‘Shadow’s Repentance’?”
“That…” She spoke in a hushed whisper, “is something you must never ask again.”

Dayl was going to laugh until the woman lingered, close to the ear which she whispered in, her face a portrait of all things serious.

“I will send for your belongings.” She announced as she started to walk away. “I suppose this means that you’ll be staying with us?”

“Yes.” In truth he had not thought much about it. He had nowhere else to go, however, and he had nothing else to do. He was being presented with an opportunity to murder until his heart’s desires were satiated. He would not let it pass.

“Good. Then I have an assignment for you, Wych. It’s nothing too difficult, I just want you to speak with a man for me.”

“Who?”

“He is an Incubus-Thera named Tarrar. He will recognise you when he sees you.”

“Yes, I am acquainted with this man.”

“Good. I need you to speak with him. Well, actually, you will not say anything. You will be watching and learning on this outing.”

“What? Why?”

“Because you do not know how we operate. You will be paired up with an older student of mine. He will know what to do. Do everything he says and do not question him.”

Dayl gritted his teeth but didn’t want to refuse. This would be fun, he thought.

First, though, before he could leave drugs and food were needed. His body craved them.
_______________________

Her palace still smouldered. Dead Kabalites and citizens that once cried out in appreciation for the war that raged in her arenas were now silent after the war had been presented to them uncontained. Her Wyches were impaled in gruesome positions to make art work that made her sick. Everything that she had fought to achieve was in ruins.

The rubble that coated the ground was stained red. In some places limbs shot up above the surface, in other places bodies lay burnt and lifeless. She doubted that anybody had escaped alive.

Even though everything that she cherished had been taken from her she had never felt more alive. She now had a reason to live. She made a vow to herself, and to her blades, that she would spill Dernia’s blood and ensure that he never came back to life. Faroughk would kill him herself, to show how personal her feelings were.

She dextrously moved small rocks and grit away from the bodies of the intact Wyches and inspected each one she found individually. Some had armour that was still in a redeemable state but others were completely useless. Piece by piece she covered her porcelain skin before finally fashioning a hooded cloak out of the deep crimson flag of Massacre. Dernia’s war had caused this. Dernia had caused every bad thing that had happened to her, and now he had snatched away her Farseer. He had taken away her rightful vengeance, and that stung more than if he had personally led the assault against her Cult instead of luring in another Kabal to do it for him.

The sorrow of her thoughts was broken momentarily as she knelt down and brushed away the dust from a trinket that was certainly dear to her. The shine-less black surface of a chalice, inscribed with runes that were cold to the touch, did not hold onto the abrasive dust, and with a small gust of wind it was clean as she raised it from its resting place. It was a Goblet of Spite. It was one of the few artefacts that she had truly loved within the Wych Cult’s vaults of and armouries. She had never been allowed free access to it, as it was watched over by another Succubus, but it was hers now. She had rightfully inherited it.

The sky had grown far darker in recent days. It was clouded by smog and manifest misery that had failed to be absorbed by her cruel kin. The air was polluted with the emotion. It was so strong that looking around at her crushed empire drove her to tears.

No, don’t be so weak, she ordered herself. She knew that now her realm had been ruined all sorts of ghastly creatures would move in to feast upon the dead. Other groups of Ynneas Eldarith had already attempted to muscle in on the territory, and she had let them.

She was one Succubus.

Yes, in a single night she could probably take out the leadership and the majority of the heirs to the contending groups, but that would not prevent more groups from invading in the future.

Her home was lost for now, but she had Ysgriitrud and Ysmriitrud and an entire lifetime of scheming and plots ahead of her. The loss of power dealt her a severe blow, but now only one thing mattered, and that was getting back at Dernia Cavash and his whole foetid dynasty.
_____________________

He tumbled from his bed with a fright, head laden in sweat. The world was shaking around him and Haughraskaivaach wanted him dead… or something far worse. Now, as the door to his chamber was breached and cut a Wrack aside with his Power Sword, he knew that the Haemonculus was far more knowledgeable and deadly than he once thought.

What had he gotten himself into?

He wasn’t dressed and his eyes had not been able to acclimatise to the light that now flooded into his chamber. All he could do was aim for silhouettes and hope that no poisoned blow landed upon his bare body.
His blade crackled and screamed as a flurry of slices cut open four more Wracks, their acidic fluids eating away at the furniture.

A drop of blood landed upon his cheek and made him wince, but he paid no attention to the pain and wiped it aside in what would cause a long, thin scar.

Quickly he dived to his right, avoiding the lumbering thrash of another Wrack’s maul before cutting the metal mask away from its face.

The head spiralled away while the body slumped forward, the acidic blood eating through the Prince’s bed.
He did not know where he would go, but he could not stay here.

Not even thinking to clothe himself, he ran out into the open, Power Sword and Splinter Pistol for protection, in search of refuge.
______________________

“I heard you coming.” The man crouched at the altar of Khaine spoke, his voice flowing in an odd rising and falling of pitch that rendered Dayl curious.

The altar itself was a circular disk of stone with many groves carved into its surface. At its head stood a statue of the outlawed war god, his grimace both mighty and menacing. His bronze surface flickered gently in the light provided by the few braziers that had been lit, the grooves of his figure encrusted in grime.

Judging by the state of this place, and how large the entire facility was, this place once housed hundreds more than the dozen he had seen tending to it now.

“Tellious Ta’rryl?”

“It’s your armour and how you carry your feet. How do you expect to infiltrate an enemy’s location while making such a racket?”

“Are you Tellious Ta’rryl?” Dayl stressed, stepping further into the shrine. A hood lay at his neck, ready to hide him from sight, but he wore his face scarf as always. His armour did not possess the polished sheen that it once had. The Priestess had demanded that it be muddied as to assist him.

“I might be. Are you the new student?”

“I am no student.”

“Oh, you have not been informed?” The man laughed gently to himself while he freshened the wound on his arm, wishing it to scar more horribly.

“Informed of what?” Dayl’s patience was slipping as the man did not finish his own statement.

“You are a new recruit, Dayl’akrin. Another loyal servant of Khaine, seeking to slay in his name.”

Dayl stopped. He had a question, but almost felt stupid to ask it. After a short pause he gave in to his thirst for knowledge. “Who are you?”

“I am Tellious Ta’rryl, your new mentor.”

“No, not you individually. Who are you, and the Priestess and the other followers of Khaine?”

“Surely you have your own speculations?”

He had, but thought of them only as myths and bedtime tales to set restless children into slumber through fear.

“Are you… Harlequins?”

“Ha! No! Of course not. Do I look like a jester?” He laughed rather manically while he flicked his blood upon the base of the statue. “Seriously? Is that what you thought? Oh, much work will be required for you.”

There was something wrong with this man, Dayl was sure of it. Either that or he possessed a severe dislike for him.

“No, I had another, more potent idea.”

“Then why guess with something you speculate to be wrong?”

“So much here is wrong that the incorrect seems logical.”

“…” For the first time Tellious turned to look Dayl in the eyes. The Wych noticed that this man had fiery orange eyes with old rings around the edges. It shocked him at first, for nobody in the reaches of the Pierced Heart had any other hair or eye colour than black. This man was either supremely old or not from around the local territories. “What kind of grandiose ‘philosopher’ spouted that rubbish at you?” He opened one eye wide and inspected the Wych. “You certainly won’t be needing that Impaler, Wych. It is far too conspicuous for where we are going.”

“No. This weapon is my spirit. I am an Yraqnae, the Impaler is my lethal sting.”

“And where is your net? What do you intend on doing when eighteen guards with Power Mauls close in on you, intent on leaving nothing in tact? You can take them out one lethal blow at a time, or you could be like us.”

“Yet again that raises the question; who are you?”

“We are the Death Cult of Khaine, Wych. We are here to make sure that anarchy reigns in the streets.”

“The Death Cult?” Dayl’s blood ran cold. He had heard tales of them before, of what they did and how they did it. Where the Kabal would rule through oppression and mass murder, the Death Cult were said to only slay and offer up those who were of importance to society. They were manipulators of politics. Whereas Kabals liked to believe their word was final the Death Cults were truly in charge when they were at the peak of their power.

Only three of these cults ever existed. Each was an amalgamation of Eldar from all backgrounds and walks of life, all united to ensure that blood is spilt and war is waged for Khaine. It was said that these Cults were lost long ago, but every decade a rumour would start about their activity.

This Cult, a branch of what was known as the Kell’rgyr Descendents, moved into T’llionoch three millennia ago, before the chaotic wars between the Pierced Heart and the Poisoned Tongue. The Cult maintained eternal warfare in the streets, making sure that any arrangement for peaceful agreement between gangs was sabotaged. This was light work, enough to establish a foothold at the time and earn a name for themselves before they turned their gaze upwards towards the Cavash Dynasty.

Nobody really knew what happened to the Cult, not for sure, anyway, but they seemed to vanish over night with Dernia Cavash announcing the abolition of Khaine worship.

“Yes. The Death Cult.”

“What? Why? How are you still alive? What happened to the Cult?”

“So many questions.” Ta’rryl shook his head while he wrapped a self adhesive band around the wound. “Let us perform our task, Wych. That will open the way for more answers.”

Dayl felt like staying an riddling his mentor and others in the underground establishment, but if he was actually a student of the Death Cult then he did not feel like disobeying orders.

Making a prayer to Khaine to preserve his safety he thought of his father and how he had too served in Khaine’s name.
________________________

The corridor outside of his chamber was silent, but off in the distance the loud rumbling engines of war broke the peace. The pooling blood of his guards had the surface ripples of a vast ocean, and as he carefully stepped around it he realised that the palace was shaking.

What sought of vengeance was the Haemonculus planning?

He could hear distant waging war, but he never stopped to pay attention, not even for a moment. He just ran, bare-skinned, through the halls of his home in an attempt to escape the wrath of the madman. No guards protected the halls, no servants or slaves ran to and thro to enact their masters’ orders. Outside Fighter craft and Jetbikes duelled and intermingled in an attempt to outdo each other in both showmanship and in the lethal arts of war. After a moment he came to a halt and looked out of a grand crystal window. Many times he had stopped here to look out over what would one day be his domain and enjoyed the numerous skirmishes that would rise up and fizzle out in rapid succession like spontaneous flames across a cloth of needles and night. Now, however, the whole realm was writhing in agony.

Many spires had been toppled; millions ran through the streets to escape persecution.

Why would Haughraskaivaach do this to his master’s realm? How had Haughraskaivaach done this?

Prince Luckr’yth placed his hand upon the crystal pane and looked into his reflection. If all this had been caused because of him then there was only one logical thing for him to do.

Carrying on in the direction he was heading he slipped into a side room and looked towards the guard lying tired in his bed, sheets stained red with the life fluids of his throat.

Luckr’yth sheathed his blade and stole the man’s clothes. It was not majestic in the slightest, a Prince stealing the clothes and armour of a deceased commoner, but these were not times in which he could be picky, and these were not times in which he deserved the title of ‘Prince’.

A Prince was supposed to watch over his people and one day lead them. A Prince was supposed to inspire and go to war.

He did not deserve the title, but as long as he remained in the Dark City the scum from all levels of society would still bow to his name. He couldn’t allow it.

It was decided.

He would flee into realspace and start a new life where none would know of his past.
________________________

The screams of the enemy Kabalites didn’t even make Dernia slow down in the massacre he was orchestrating. The sheer horror, however, had made the Farseer’s heart waver.

She had watched him, this mind of utter genius and brilliance, a man of sophistication and culture, stroll into the ranks of nothing less than thirty men and put each and every one of them down. They had see the Kabalites come around the corner and stop to form a gun line in the hopes of capturing the Grand Archon. The fact that not a single one of them opened fire when he continued to walk with full determination towards them was idiotic.

His Destructor was just a lithe extension of his arm, like one great finger of death that damned ever soul that it’s foul concoctions were sprayed upon. Once, when Dernia was younger, she had seen him revel in the death of the masses like this. Now, however, not even an amused sparkle remained in his charismatic eyes.
“Are you coming?” He declared as he walked around the corner, cloak of faces swaying behind him. In all of his eccentricity and oddities it was easy to forget just how deadly Dernia Cavash could be. Many thought of him as a man of words, for his hyperbolic tales and tangential prose, along with his famed psychotic soliloquies, were famed throughout Commorragh. A great spinner of yarns, Dernia Cavash was, but his interest in politics was more than skin deep.

To dominate lesser creatures was his purpose. He liked using politics to shatter their hearts and using the sharp end of a blade to execute them truly.

“Y-yes.” The Farseer spoke dimly. There was no way that he could have heard her, but she didn’t feel like speaking much as she stepped past the bodies.

Some of the corpses had clawed at their own eyes, others had corroded faces and exposed bone.

A couple had even been drove into extreme fits of rage before the Archon had ended them. For the first time she thanked Dernia, under her breath, for gifting her with this Pariah Crown. She knew that the true reason for cursing her with it was so that her soul would be silenced and undetectable with the sensors used for screening the psychic ‘gifts’ of slaves, but this curse was turning into a blessing. The Farseer was an extreme empath, and now, if she was exposed to the pain and emotion of the dead Kabalites she was sure that she would be driven insane.

Dernia had halted when she had turned the corner. He was stood fifteen metres ahead of her as if he had caught the scent of something.

“What is it?” She dared to ask while his black eyes flicked back and forth from beneath his Hell Mask.

He did not answer.

“Dernia?”

“Lord Cavash.” He stressed his title.

“Lord Cavash?”

“Yes, Farseer?” He turned to face her, seemingly out of the trance that had claimed his concentration.

“What was that?”

“What was what?” He started to walk, expecting her to follow at a respectable distance.

“You seemed distracted to some extent. What was it that had caught your attention?”

“Have I ever told you the story of Count Bhak’ar the Eyeless?”

“No…” She answered with a reserved air that did not go unnoticed by Dernia. “I cannot say that the name is familiar to me.”

“Then listen closely, for this is a tale whispered only to a select few upon their arrival in my city. Our cousins, the Harlequins, share knowledge of this tale and it has kept them calm and rested on many a terror filled night.” He exhaled deeply, remembering the minute details. He did love this story, but he was telling it for a purpose. “Once a Kabal resided in my lands, actually; many Kabals once resided in my lands. They respected me and followed my word as their patron. Most of these factions were not officially Kabals, only large gangs that I could easily have crushed and stolen the wealth of. They posed no threat to me, and they knew that I would always have the upper hand.

“I was generous to these ‘Kabals’, Farseer. I let them govern their own people and I let them wage wars with one another when they were unavoidable. All that I ever wanted in return was for them to provide me with tithes. Strange artefacts, objects of interest, knowledge of rare and deadly toxins to be raided. Each was hapy to comply, of course, for if they ignored my demands they would be crushed.

“One of these Kabals, the Kabal of the Flaming Gaze had stood out time and time again. Their leader was one Count Bhak’ar.”

“Was he in possession of his eyes, or is his title purely honorary?” The Farseer’s question made Dernia laugh to himself slightly. He always enjoyed having new people to tell his stories to.

“He was in possession of his eyes at the time. But, like many things, sight can be easily revoked. This man was my favoured of the Kabalite leaders. He had brought me many regular tithes, he had slain many other Kabalite leaders in his short life and he was rapidly expanding his territory. There was one small problem with this, however. As he grew in influence the lesser groups thought that they could flock to him for protection from me. None can hide from me in my own home.” Raising his Destructor as if he had a sixth sense the Archon dissolved five more aggressors and left them to die slowly or be harvested later.

“One day, the Count was feeling brave. I knew that he was pesky and a weaver of mediocre schemes, but this attempt at my life did amuse me. He had been planning it for many cycles, but he had finally found a toxin that I had not assimilated into my system. It was a paralysis toxin. Now, in my life I have taken many of these tinctures to attempt to build up my immunity, but this one was special. It didn’t just cause paralysis, it caused its victim to loose all grasp on reality. The senses would be numbed to the point of none existence and life would become eternal blackness. He had managed to place the toxin in my food.”

The Farseer, even though she didn’t care much for this story, was captivated.

“Luckily the heat from the newborn Grox heart had damaged the molecular bonds, causing its effect to change. It didn’t kill me, or trap me inside my own body, but it flowed carefully through my bloodstream and itched away at my mind. I could feel myself becoming progressively ill over the evening and so I ordered my guests, various nobles from high influence families, to return to their homes. I, of course, had eyes and ears everywhere around them to see who had been responsible.

“At this time I only had one child. A daughter by the name of Klaugh’ryth, bless her hideously black heart. She tended to my illness while she sent my guards to investigate what had happened. It was many hours into a deep, almost comatose, sleep that Count Bhak’ar came to visit me. When I was able to mumble a greeting to him his disgust and confusion betrayed his deceitfulness. In the ensuing moments my daughter, the harlot, slew his retinue and stole away his eyes.”

“That’s why he is called The Eyeless?”

“You catch on quick.” His voice rasped as he suddenly flicked into an angered sarcasm. Watching her with narrowed eyes he continued the tale. “The Count escaped, unfortunately, and somehow made it down into the slums. Two cycles later he personally confronted me and challenged me to a duel. This I could not decline. I slit his gut, spilt his organs, ripped out his lungs and made him drown in his own blood. I flayed him, while he lay in front of me, thrashing like a helpless serpent, cut apart his limbs and removed his tongue. His body parts adorned my palace battlements for many days after that. He was no challenge at all.”

“Why do you tell me this, Archon?”

“I tell you of this coward because of how it can help you. We Dark Eldar are useless in the night without our eyes. You Craftworlders are useless constantly without your psychic guidance. Here, unfortunately, you have lost a valuable sense. Do not let your guard down.”

“Why have you informed me of something that I already knew?”

“Because, Farseer, if I had not kept you distracted then you would have had time to think about the horror of what you are without.” She couldn’t tell if he was grinning or not as he snapped into action as more men turned the corner. Dernia assaulted them, but fighting came at their rear as if from nowhere. In seconds the squads of Warriors were annihilated and the Archon stood facing a man that only came up to his nose.
“Grand Archon, you must find safety.”

“I am not a child, Relliach Korvesh. If I do not see to my enemy’s destruction personally then I will look a fool. Now come, Dracon, let us find our foe.”


Director's cut.

In little under an hour they had fought their way to the centre of the palace, where the throne room had descended into carnage. Windows in all corridors were shattered, the millions of mirrors that lined the Halls of Avarice, where Dernia liked to admire himself holding his new trophies, had been cracked and torn from the walls. Splintered bone and decapitated bodies from both Kabals littered the floor, making footing treacherous due to the shattered crystal and slick blood. A couple of the Warriors under Dracon Korvesh’s command had lost their toes due to monomolecular blades lying beneath debris and rigid bodies while others had fallen from the thin ledges that in many points they had to traverse. Parts of the glorious palace had sheered away, leaving only small footholds over a lethal drop.

Many more Warriors had died due to sporadic fire fights, and even the Dracon had almost suffered a fatal wound. A burst from a Splinter Cannon shredded the air around him and impaled his ornate Ghostplate Armour in many places. His skin had just been caught by the lethal barrage, giving him slight intoxication from the brutal venoms that the enemy Kabal was using.

He had been saved, however, but it had been close. It was when he dropped to the floor along with a handful of his men that they realised the force that they were now facing. What seemed like half a battalion had gathered to hunt them. The survivors of the initial attack had to take refuge behind the chiselled columns that held the glorious roof aloft and fire blind around the corners in a hope that they could make a kill. To look around the corner would mean death for certain, and now, for the first time, Dernia handed a weapon over to the Farseer.

Earlier on she had leaned down to prise a Splinter Rifle from the fingers of a newly decapitated body but soon let it go as Dernia struck her with the back of his hand. He could trust her, being a member of the Alliance, but he had learnt from a lifetime in Commorragh that those you think you can trust are those that you should be most weary of. With a slight tremble in her hands she accepted the weapon, not knowing whether this was just another cruel trick, a reason for another beating.

To her surprise, no violence was issued.

The Splinter Rifle’s grip was painful to the touch, almost like the sensation of a million burning needles being rammed into the palm of her hand. It was a light and highly mobile weapon, and she quickly discovered that the array of blades and spikes mounted upon it were not purely for aesthetic value. These were some of the sharpest unpowered blades that she had ever used.

The sound of it firing was detestable, though. When used to the refined smoothness of a Shuriken weapon the violent crack of a Splinter Rifle can come as a shock.

She was okay at shooting, but she was not impressive in the slightest. Dernia couldn’t help but roll his eyes slightly as she missed a single target twice.

In all fairness, this wasn’t that disappointing given the circumstances. She was doing as well as the Kabalite Warriors, but to Dernia a leader should be able to lead by example, and this Farseer was a joke.

Nevertheless, he kept his thoughts to himself. The Farseer was not here to fight, she was a guest. She was supposed to enjoy the mayhem, not be forced to take part in it. With a few well timed strikes from Dernia’s Terrorfex the Kabalites had enough time to drag the Dracon from out in the open, prise off his Ghostplate and administer an anti-venom.

This fight was pointless. The enemy outnumbered them greatly and it would not be long until the Dracon’s men were depleted. Making a series of hand signals to his men, Dernia got ready, took a deep breath, leant around the corner and sprayed the acidic mist from his destructor over the base of on of the columns.

The floor quaked as the roof started to collapse. The ground around the column had melted and now it was free falling onto the floor below, dragging a section of the roof with it, down upon their own heads.

Quickly the Pierced Heart force withdrew, leaving the enemy blocked from them and confused with the sudden shock of what would happen.

The Pierced Heart would have to find another way to the throne room.
__________________

“G-Grand Archon?”

“What is it?” Dernia snapped at the Dracon, sick of his deathly wheezing.

“I-” The Dracon lost his footing and dropped to the floor. With what little strength remained Relliach tried to support himself on the wall, but found himself having to take the supported arm of an ordered Kabalite to stay stable.

“Your body is reacting with the venom, Dracon. In normal circumstances you would be guaranteed your life. I would have you healed by the Coven of the Twisted Flesh and you would be grateful for my mercy, for you are my favourite lapdog. Now, however, is an unfortunate time for you to fall ill.” The Dracon felt nervous. He was slowing down the Pierced Heart Kabalites. When a man fell victim to a plague in his army he had him put down.

“If we were closer to the correct facilities I could have you placed in stasis. If we were closer to my chamber then I could supply you with the perfect remedy for your ailment, and if we were closer to my gardens I could make a concoction to heal you. Hmm… what to do?”
Dernia mumbled to himself as he paced slowly past the Dracon.

“Sir, I will only slow you down… leave me here, revive me when victory is claimed.”

“No.” He stopped and looked at his subordinate. “I have no time for men who will not serve. Either you come with us or you get thrown from the battlements.

“In the name of the Muses,” Dernia looked worried as something caught his eye outside of the windows, “what is that?”

The Dracon turned and only found surprise awaiting him. A needle pierced straight into a blood vessel in his chest, releasing a foul burning fluid into his body. He looked to the Archon in amazement at the momentary deceit.

“You’ve killed me? After everything I’ve done, you’ve killed me?!” He exclaimed with newfound rage.

“Not yet, Dracon. Soon, yes. You will have perished a horrible death from an overdose of this wonderful combat drug. In the meantime, you should start to feel more alive. This drug, Serethesh as it is called, will increase your heart rate, your concentration and your strength, countering the venom. It will overbalance, however, for I am not one for equilibriums.”

“Why? Why not just save me?”

“You might prove amusing in this state.” Dernia’s eyes flashed with happiness from behind the Hell Mask, a sight that was truly quite unnerving. “Now, shall we progress onwards or just wait for death to claim you?”

Relliach was stunned as the Archon turned and walked off down another one of the endless labyrinthine halls.

For the first time, and probably the last, in his entire life serving for the Archon, he was going to outwardly demonstrate truly how annoyed he was. His Power Sword crackled with the fresh scent of ozone and as he started to limp forward, through the parting crowd of Kabalites, he reached the corner and turned to challenge Dernia. He wanted blood for the death sentence he had been given.

This sudden braveness could have been caused by the drugs or the fact that he was fed up of Dernia’s constant abuse.

His cloak flowed behind him, the sewn in blades swirling at his back as he spat at the ground.

“Archon, taste my blade this day or flee a coward.” He had spoken to thin air.

The hall in front of him wound up towards the central chambers of the palace, where the oubliettes of torment and wrath stood silent and unwavering. The weird thing about this hall was the complete lack of any life.

It had not been more than a couple of seconds, but the Archon was gone, and with him the Dracon’s rage.

“W-where did he go?” A tired Sybarite asked, perplexed.

“He has gone to settle a score, Dark Kin.” The Farseer spoke, grabbing the attention of Korvesh.

“Silence, you.” He tore the Rifle from her hands and discarded it, not trusting her. “Dernia may have been lenient enough to allow a mere Craftworlder to breath in his home, but I share not in his kindnesses. One more word and I shall have your head struck from your body. Am I understood?”

The Farseer stood in silence, blue eyes staring into the black depths of the Dracon’s. If she had a sword then she would have taken up the Commorrite custom of duelling to teach the arrogant whelp a lesson, but she found herself in no such position. Also, this was a Dracon, a man able to inherit and lead a Kabal if anything unfortunate were to happen to his master. She may have been a capable swordswoman but she hadn’t seen the Dracon in action.

She remained silent, not giving any affirmation her dark hearted cousin. After a moment the Dracon snatched his eyes away and led the men down the hall in the direction the Archon had gone.

“Where could he possibly have gone to?” The Dracon asked aloud, both rhetorically and expecting an answer.

“Maybe he used one of the navigation platforms.” Spoke the Sybarite, earning himself a slit throat for his troubles.

“Clever of him. Unwise, though. The navigation platforms only run in set directions, if the pipes have been severed then he will find himself stranded.”

“Where could he have gone?”

“His throne room, of course.” The Dracon sheathed his blade and broke into a sprint, hoping to reach the throne room as soon as possible.
These Yneas Eldarith were so slow to come to easy conclusions, thought the Farseer. Her only chance of survival was to stay with them, though, unfortunately for her.
_______________

“What’s that noise?” A warrior asked, raising his weapon as the Dracon came to a stop and unsheathed his sword. Up ahead a scuffle was quite blatantly occurring. This was not the kind of trained Kabalite warfare, and there was only light arms fire, suggesting civilians with personal defensive weapons. Every so often through the grunting and angered shouts of what had to be somewhere in the region of twenty separate people a scream would come shattering through the air, wracking the Dracon’s mind in unimaginable pain.

“Ready your weapons.” He snarled before leading them towards the combat.

“What did I tell you?” A maniacal laugh came though the air, echoing from the walls and corpses that lay at the figure’s feet. A number of Wracks lay wounded or deceased too, but in the middle of the mêlée hovered the godlike figure of Haughraskaivaach. His depravity flowed like a blizzard from him, his disdain for other creatures apparent in the air. “Do not touch my robes!” He lifted one woman from the ground by her throat and placed a skeletal finger upon her forehead. The choked screaming stopped quickly as the dust of her remains scattered.
“And who are you?” He demanded from one of the few survivors. He had suffered a deep wound from the blade of a Wrack and had little time to live.

The man coughed up a name with his blood but the Haemonculus did not listen. It was not the information that he wanted, but he had always liked to keep his manners.

“Who do you serve?” He asked, digging a thin knife into his bicep, taking a lump of flesh away. The man cried out in pain, begging for mercy as his blood ran thick through his robes.

“Who, wretch? Inform me as to your master.”

“Archon Koroth’risse Cavash!”

“Oh.” His voice dropped into disappointment. “Well, your services are needed no longer.” He executed the servant with not effort and no struggling.

The Dracon was bewildered, and, as the Haemonculus wiped his blades cleaned and tended to them with the correct cleaning agents he wondered why a Haemonculus would be in the middle of a small bloodbath such as the one he had just observed. Waving his hand to make his men lower their weapons Korvesh greeted the ancient man.

“Master Haemonculus. How fares you?”

Looking up with surprise to see anybody else around the Haemonculus forced a smile. “Well enough, Dracon. What brings you here?”
“The enemy’s blood.”

“How heroic.” Haughraskaivaach chuckled to himself, always finding the ‘bravery’ and arrogance of younger beings misplaced and laughable.

“We are heading to the throne room, Haemonculus. Master Cavash has departed in that direction and we must aid him. Will you serve with us? We could always use your knowledge.”

The Haemonculus pretended to look like he was considering it before coming out with a contemptuous “No, of course not. I have other matters to which I must attend. You haven’t happened to see Prince Luckr’yth around, have you?”

He moved forward, looking into the visors of a few of the Warriors, inspecting them for exceptional levels of fear.

“No, I have not.”

“Ah, okay then. I must be off! Time is not mine to spare!”

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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Sat Nov 24 2012, 22:11

Good to see more Piercing Dark!

So ... Dayl' wants in, Luckr'yth wants out and H... erwatisname* is on the warpath! Very Happy

I do have something I would like to discuss. The Farseer seems ... well, an easy victory. Weak, easily cowed, spineless, no spirit at all, no hidden plans to escape - nothing. She's a Farseer, she's the best a Craftworld has got, and she looks ... like a total wet lettuce. I understand that she hasn't got her psychic skills, but ... there's no trace of a spine!

While this effectively shows someone dominated, which might well be what you want to do, don't get me wrong Smile, it comes across as just a bit too easy to me. I know that Dernia has a great and jaded sense of ennui; but away from his perspective I do have some problems with scale. It's not on the lines of "Dernia took a walk and killed ten Titans just with his eyebrows" but I hope that what I'm trying to say makes sense Smile It's not what you're doing, it's who you're doing it to and how much!

Maybe ... if she had a bit more of a hint of something ... it would be a slightly better contrast to Dernia's victory?

There may be things I am unaware of that explain this, of course, or something I've missed, but that's how it seems to me and I would welcome being put straight Smile

I still have a working theory as to whom Dayl'akrin is, but that will have to wait. I now know more about what he does, which ... doesn't help the theory but adds more information to it. I would stroke my beard thoughtfully if I had one! Very Happy

One last note: Gather round, children, and Dernia will tell you a bedtime story ... You will sleep. Very Happy



* Never, ever annoy a Haemonculus. Especially one you cannot pronounce. HappyHerbertwest is not to be trifled with.

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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Sat Nov 24 2012, 22:34

Thank you very much, Malys. I certainly do enjoy feedback.

Now, to discussion of the poxy Craftworlder!

Quote :
I do have something I would like to discuss. The Farseer seems ... well, an easy victory. Weak, easily cowed, spineless, no spirit at all, no hidden plans to escape - nothing. She's a Farseer, she's the best a Craftworld has got, and she looks ... like a total wet lettuce. I understand that she hasn't got her psychic skills, but ... there's no trace of a spine!
This Farseer, she is certainly an odd one. One thing that I will say now, and leave at this answer so that none of the story becomes ruined, even though she may not be in Commorragh by free choice she certainly has no incentive to leave... yet. She is a member of the Alliance, which for now is restricted to Dernia Cavash and the Farseer. They need a third member for the Alliance to function properly and contain whatever might be within that box.
A special cookie if you can guess who they might be wanting to recuit to be the other member of the alliance. Razz
This Farseer also is not the warlike type. Yes, she is on the Path of the Seer, and has become lost upon it, but she is only brought to war through necessity. She does know how to shoot straight and how to swing a sword, but for the moment she does not have much use in combat.

Quote :
I know that Dernia has a great and jaded sense of ennui; but away from his perspective I do have some problems with scale. It's not on the lines of "Dernia took a walk and killed ten Titans just with his eyebrows" but I hope that what I'm trying to say makes sense Smile It's not what you're doing, it's who you're doing it to and how much!

Never fear, Malys! I completely understand what you are having to say, but for now parts of the story will not be making sense. I did actually have to shorten this chapter by clipping some key parts, but I felt that it was needed to keep it the right length.

Quote :
There may be things I am unaware of that explain this, of course, or something I've missed, but that's how it seems to me and I would welcome being put straight
Short answer, she has to work with Dernia so she doesn't want to leave. She is a Farseer, afterall, though. Who ever said that the cogs of her mind had frozen up? Very Happy

Quote :
I still have a working theory as to whom Dayl'akrin is, but that will have to wait. I now know more about what he does, which ... doesn't help the theory but adds more information to it. I would stroke my beard thoughtfully if I had one!
Well, if your theory has changed from the last time we discussed it feel free to PM me and I will be interested to see what you think.

Thaks for the feedback, Malys. Ihope that this may have helped any queries that you may have been having, if not then feel free to throw a Haywire Grenade in my general direction. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Sun Nov 25 2012, 14:34

No haywire grenade, this time! Wink Thanks for the information and explanations, they do make it clearer why she is so silent on the matter of trying to get away. If you feel it would not spoil the flow of the narrative, perhaps a little hint of the Alliance in the story would make this clearer; some private thought of hers perhaps, telling how she endures for its sake? Just a suggestion Smile

I'm glad I got my point across as intended. As for my theory, it is still developing, so I'll have to mull it over some more ...

Perhaps we will see those deleted scenes in some kind of director's cut? Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Sun Nov 25 2012, 20:02

Quote :
No haywire grenade, this time! Wink Thanks for the information and explanations, they do make it clearer why she is so silent on the matter of trying to get away. If you feel it would not spoil the flow of the narrative, perhaps a little hint of the Alliance in the story would make this clearer; some private thought of hers perhaps, telling how she endures for its sake? Just a suggestion Smile
No worries, I am always happy to clear things up.
Cheers for the suggestion, I will make sure to include it not in the next chapter,but in the chapter after that, for the next chapter is pretty much written out. (It will be an tweaked version of the stuff that I left out. I wrote far too much for this chapter so I left out a big skirmish, so that will be the next chapter.)

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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Sun Nov 25 2012, 22:14

In that case I look forward to seeing what comes next! Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Mon Nov 26 2012, 19:33

For now I have taken your suggestion of a director's cut, Malys, and have extended the previous chapter slightly so that it will tie in better with the next.

Lots of editting and rearanging is to be done before the next chapter is available.

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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Sun Dec 23 2012, 22:28

Just a quick update for the loyal denizens of TDC: More is being conjoured up on MS Word as we speak. You can expect to see more from Dracon Relliach Korvesh, the silly Fleeing of Prince Luckr'yth and the dark dealings of the Murder/Death Cult of Khaine!

Also, merry Candlemass/Christmas! Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Mon Dec 24 2012, 14:57

Good news and Happy Saturnalia! Very Happy

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