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 Piercing Dark.

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Lady Malys
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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Fri Jun 01 2012, 00:44

Ah, now that is an epic level of arrogance and megalomania! I enjoy seeing Dernia's character unfold. Not to mention his twisted family picnic Very Happy I'm interested to find out more about Luckr'yth most of all, but I like the way the others interact with each other, and the instant obedience (it's what every Ynneas Eladrith wants from their kids).

And under no circumstances do we ever, ever use the M-word.

Quote :
"You may wish to avert your gaze. Sight is a priviledge, one that can be easily taken away."

See that you do visit a suitable level of excruciation upon your upstart lessers. Just how impertinent would the Inquisitor be without his pet psyker, I wonder ...? Very Happy Good characterisation, even though I did rather long for them to die in a hail of splinter fire. I'm feeling very Ynneacentric* tonight :p


*if I don't have a word handy, I make one.

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Cavash
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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Fri Jun 01 2012, 17:42

Thanks Lady Malys.

I am planning to include Dernia Cavash much more, so you shall definately see more of his charecter, and the things that have inspired his great hatred and arrogance for all other creatures. He is a very paranoid man, one that I am very fond of.

Prince Luckr'yth Cavash. He is a lovely man once you get to know him... Very Happy

Anyway, It is pleasing to see that you like the charecters.
More to come soon, I'm sure.

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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Wed Jun 06 2012, 23:21

Chapter VII

Tarrar had not said anything since they had left the company of the Dracon, and Dayl was starting to feel threatened by the towering monastic warrior. His armour was by far superior to that of any armour utilised by Kabals or any other mercenaries within the Dark City. It was jet black with a slight green hue, and the Wych suspected that the armour itself could be just an effective weapon as his mighty Klaive could. Every overlapping panel’s edge was so sharp that they had dismembered fingers and sliced open the hands of anybody who attempted to attack them.

This aggression had been expected from the moment they learnt that they were returning to Commorragh. Due to the current economy within the High Archon’s territories the citizens who had once been able to afford homes were forced out onto the streets before being recruited into the Kabal, with only the old and mad being left behind.

Those who thirsted enough had quickly turned upon one another, leaving the streets littered with bodies, there bones exposed to the freezing air as their flesh had been ripped from bones between the needle teeth of the starving. Those who were too proud to murder the weak died. It was simple.

Together they walked through the Bone Alleys, a market complex that only the brave or stupid came to. Dayl wondered whether the Incubus even noticed the masses of people who stepped from their path just to stare and sharpen their knives.

Uneasily he took the Splinter rifle from the sling upon his back and held it to hi chest, anticipating another attack as the crowds began to follow them.
_______________________________

His blade moved too quickly for the Wych to see. In one swipe Terrar had cut four aggressors in twain, and with a deafening shout he drove into the crowd, slicing open the torsos of many more causing the others to flee. Terrar hated the state of the streets in recent decades. Thanks to this needless war that the Pierced Heart could have won with ease, the markets had started to sell a more exotic variety of drugs and weapons, imported from further afield, an act that had been named illegal by Grand Cavash. The new crowds of poor citizens stole, killed and robbed just to purchase the new highly addictive substances that altered their minds and drove them to pure, unrestricted barbarity.

This new threat had given his shrine a name as cruel and merciless as they set recruits upon the riots and warring street gangs, just in an attempt to keep order in the region surrounding their home. Naturally, the hostility shown by the two hundred and ninety eight fully fledged Incubi had caused any who wore their armour our wielded the loathed Klaive had casued civilians to attack them with no real reason.

The Shrine of the Blessed Blood Drop had no physical outer walls to keep upstarts and trouble makers at bay, but the psychological terror that they spread through false rumours of eating the hearts of new born children, and through their wonderful sculptures, kept most away. At the end of the Bone Alleys lay a waste that only hunters and the Incubi dared to venture. Shadows were cast through the area, shrouding the alien predators that had taken the place as their home, feasting upon those cast out from the Shrine. Sometime, the recruits, or Incubi-Samanera, as they were called by their superiors, were sent out into these badlands to prove themselves before their initiation into the Shrine. Like other Shrines, the recruit needed to challenge and slay a full ranking Incubus, locate and kill an Aspect Warrior in single combat, and then craft a terrible device from the Soulstone of the fallen Craftworlder. With other Shrines, this was the end, but to the Blessed Blood Drop, this was only the beginning.

As recruits, before challenging an Incubus, they were sent out here to meditate. They were given nothing more than a black loincloth and a piece of metal, with which to craft a knife that would stay with them forever. This knife was considered more valuable to these Incubi than their reputation.

Usually the knife would take over two cycles to make, draining any unworthy recruit of his spirit and determination as the ever sharpening edge caused innumerable scars upon their hands and arms. The scarring they suffered was considered the mark of a true craftsman, as before tasting the blood of any other creature they can only guarantee its legendary quality by feeling the pain for themselves.

While attempting to forge it in the ruins of the badlands, they must fight off exiles, Ur-guls, bounty hunters and even Kabalite scouting patrols with their bare hands, in order to survive.

After climbing the eight thousand and twelve steps upon their arrival back at the Shrine, they must then cut the throat of another recruit in silence, lest they be thrown back down the stairs and be left to be feasted upon by the horrors far below. Killing another in silence shows that from the Shrine they have not just learnt how to fight effectively in combat, but they have also learnt to eliminate a threat before it grows too great.
After this stage is completed they are personally welcomed home by the Incubus Hierarch. He then informs him of the next challenge.

First, on the spot, they must claim by name the Incubus that they wish to duel in five days time. Then, the two warriors are taken off into separate chambers where for five days they meditate and rest after feasting upon the most delectable food provided by their employers. They brush their bodies in oil and breathe in the smoke of mid caressing incense that clears their minds before being taken into the Hall of Prevail. At its head stands a mighty cast iron statue of the murder lord, Kaela Mensha Khaine. He stands tall and fierce, left arm outstretched above a great flaming cauldron. In his hand he clasps a shocked head by its wavy hair. Flames engross the head whenever a defeated warrior is thrown in. All around the hall sit the fully ledged Incubi-Sohei, dressed fully in their armour as tradition dictates. No Incubus Samanera is permitted to enter, as to maintain the secrets of the shrine.

Once the two have entered and been stripped bare, their bodies are brushed with irritant chemicals, as to open up previous wounds and cause their bodies to ooze uncontrollably, causing the weak hearted to tremble and faint in pain. If either one utters a single word as to the hell they are suffering, or betrays their calm with a curl of their lip, they are cut down by the members of the audience.

It is after of five minutes of agonising bleeding that they are washed and permitted to fight.

Terrar could remember his admission to the Shrine’s monks over six hundred years ago, and as they lurked through the Badlands it brought back all of his scarring memories.
______________________________________

“This is the location?”

“Yes, Archon.” Inquisitor Fathul answered, not intimidated at all by the presence of the nimble alien. This was a rare truce, one that would possibly need the population of the world to be purged, just in case word got out.

“What happens now? I have aided you, and your Imperium, but what do I get in return.”

“Hmm…” he pondered “I trust that you shall get your reward in time, when this is all over.”

“When what is all over, mon-keigh?” Dernia asked, suspicion rising.

They continued to walk through the base of the canyon, the Inquisitor feeling the earth with his mind, as to find the perfect location.

The Archon’s Warriors surrounded them on all sides and stood on the lookout, for a reason unknown to everyone except the Inquisitor. The Kabalites were quite clearly bored. Yesterday they had been pillaging and feasting, but now they were left to stand on guard while a human was aloud to walk among them, free along with his pet Space Marine.

“Here.” He whispered with a shiver at the energies that lay below.

“Archon, I do not wish to deceive you, so I shall be honest. The Harlequin required my aide in the destruction of a crypt.”

“A crypt?” The Archon smirked, wishing to behead the human and return to his palace. “Your race is so incompetent that it calls on my help to open the resting place of the deceased? No wonder you god is just a rotting effigy.” He had intended to mock the Inquisitor, but the fact that the man ignored the insult only managed to make the Archon infuriated.

++ Lord.++ a voice echoed through his mind. He recognised it as that of Inquisitor Helix, his none too willing assistant.

++ That Xeno, you can not trust him.++

++ I understand that, Inquisitor,++ He sent back, leaving the Dark Eldar unaware of his telepathic communications, ++ but rest assured that I have taken note from your Ordo Xenos, and I have not intention of relying on these aliens for any length of time. To do so would be to hand my soul to corruption.++

++ Action?++

++ Alert the Adamantine Guard. Have them ready to strike imminently. I want the Quinosian Regiments to close in on our position to lock in any survivors. If anything escapes I want this area demolished.++

++ That’s drastic, Lord.++ Helix’s psychic power was dwarfed by that of Fathul, and over the long distance that they were communicating his mind was beginning to ache.

++ What is drastic about wanting to rid the Imperium of the Emperor’s foes, Inquisitor? Such doubt is akin to heresy. Are you a heretic, Helix?++

++ No, my Lord.++

++Then have the Melta Torpedoes armed. I expect you to repent for your laxity. It is better to condemn a few souls than to consign a billion to the abyss.++

++Understood. The Emperor protects.++
_____________________________________________

From the moment they set foot upon the steps leading to the Shrine, they knew that they were being watched. The darkness seemed to swirl around them, and Dayl’s skin itched at the sensation of a thousand eyes fixated upon him. Hate was a common feeling for him, but here he felt it stronger than ever. He was not the one exuding it for once. It burnt at him like a thousand scolding needles being dug into his skin. He thrived from it.

He attempted not to show his exhaustion as Terrar walked effortlessly up the last of the stairs aided by his black Warsuit. Dayl didn’t dare question him or ask for assistance knowing that he would end up in two pieces at the base of the stairway.

The edge of the polished stairs had no hand rails, only trophy racks and braziers where the remains of slain foes and failed recruits were hung after being offered up to Khaine.

For a moment, just as he reached the top and breathed a sigh of relief, he felt that Terrar was going to execute him for taking too long. It was difficult to tell what the Incubus was thinking behind his bleached bone skull mask. He only ever spoke to members of his Shrine and his employer, leaving what he was thinking a mystery to the Wych. Without seeing his face there was also no physical clue as to what he was feeling. Eldar of all kinds communicate through body language as primarily as they do through spoken word, but this Incubus had bee trained to never show anything through movement. All he knew was how to kill; a fact that Dayl was fond of.

To his surprise the Incubus turned without any other response a headed over the polished black stone floor. All around weapons clashed as recruits in black loincloths sparred with poor quality versions of the Klaive. In some areas an Incubus took on up to eight recruits at once, seriously injuring those he deemed worthy while carelessly disembowelling the weak with the curved tips of their brutal weapons.

Fine grooves had been cut into the ground, perfectly carved into the rock as to lead to the towering shrine at the centre of the plateau. The groves housed the blood of fallen warriors, and in time every droplet of the pain laced elixir of life ran into the central beacon within the hall of prevail, to fuel the mighty flames that illuminate the sky above the dark temple.

Unlike the high rising spire and physics defying structures of the Dark City, this citadel was simple and logical. It was covered in arches and huge blade lined balconies, each rising tower was connected by winding bridges that shot through the night. Every detail was illuminated from below by the raging brazier.

It was perfect and made purely for defence. It seemed that the Incubi had no intention of attacking passing fleets from their home, only protecting themselves from passing pirates and corsairs.

If you could see high enough, the mass of towers eventually thinned out to become three great pointed feats of architecture.

It was a truly magnificent sight to behold.

The iron doors swung wide and the duo marched into the hallway. The room bustled with life. Incubi-Sohei led their pupils while mentoring them on the arts of war and thousands of loyal servants ran after them, bearing their master’s weapons and polished armour. Many servants carried great tomes of ancient knowledge, and others followed their master with calming incense that burnt within dangling mauls that had been sown surgically attached onto their bones. It was strange that all of these tormented servants had volunteered to do their job with only the promise of food and shelter.

It was when they had stepped in that the hall fell silent. All movement stopped as the Sohei looked to the Incubus-Thera and knelt, gazes averted. In turn the Samanera did the same, as did the servants, fearing for their lives.

“Hail Tarrar!” they all shouted in a choral unison that shook the foundations of the Shrine, before they all rose as one and slammed their left arms across their bare chests with a thunderous boom before raising their right fists in salutation. In return the Incubus raised his fist and looked across the crowd. It seemed that in the twenty two cycles he had been away their numbers had grown. Before he had left his mentoring duties due the dull life he was leading as the Hierarch’s advisor he had known each Incubus-Sohei by name, but now he did not recognise over half of them. This begged the question, how did they know of him? Of course, he was famed for his ice hearted slaying of any foe who faced him or turned their back to flee, but was he truly that much of a legend?

Now, he had heard from his brothers, the Shrine’s Sohei numbered two hundred and eighty six, whereas when he had departed to serve the Pierced Heart there were little more than sixty of them.

He overrode his curiosity and walked through the hall, basking in the attention given to him by the other Incubi. It had been a long time since he had allowed such vices as pride to get in the way of his work, but he cared little, for the joy he felt from it soon got rid of the shame. He would meditate on it later, he assured himself.
“Terrar.” An Incubus bowed before him as the Incubus walked past. He remembered this one as a former student. He now wore the topknot of an Incubus, telling Terrar that he had now left the ranks of the Samanera. “It is good to see your return, master.”

Terrar nodded and looked at the man. His hair was short, meaning that he had not been a Sohei for long.

“Who is this pitiful excuse for a warrior?” Tel’garyn asked, rolling his knife between his fingers, and, amazingly, not shedding blood.

“Don’t get so big headed, coward. You forget that you are without your precious armour. You can not hide from me.”

“Oh, and who might you be to teach me of combat?”

“I trained under Massacre. I know how to fight without the reassurance of Warsuits.”

“Interesting,” The Incubus said, beginning to circle his way around the Wych. “Yet you still have not answered my question. Who are you?” As he spoke the last sentence his knife drove towards the Wych’s throat, but the threat was swiftly immobilised by Dayl’akrin grabbing his wrist and twisting his arm in a way that caused him to drop the knife and flip over onto his back. With grin of ease, Dayl dug his Impaler into the Incubus’ chest.

“Don’t try it. You may be the masters of big swords, but we Wyches do not need to use weapons to force you to submission.”

“Yet you do not watch your back.”

On his shoulder Dayl felt the cold tapping of a Klaive. He knew it would be Terrar’s, so he let go of the Incubus and stepped back, dreading death.

With a smile he walked away, staring at the floored Incubus. His reputation was now tarnished, and the respect he had gained from others would be tarnished. Dayl so loved doing that.

Displeased he was dragged away by Terrar in one hand up more stairs towards the Hierarch’s chamber.
_____________________________

“Be assured, we have been watching you, Xi’lygaroth Hierarch, and your precious Shrine.” Her words would not have been so intimidating if they had not been coming from behind the golden red mask of the Janissaries.

“Uillikj’allath-”

“Janissary to you.”

“My apologies.” He gritted his teeth, wishing to strike down the wench and be done. The power and influence that came just when Lord Cavash’s name was mentioned was astounding. Here two servants of the Dynasty stood bullying an Incubus Hierarch in front of fourteen other Incubi, and yet through fear they were forced to watch and do nothing. “Janissary, I promise that we have not done anything to cause harm or displeasure to your Lord-”

“My Lord? I though that he was the Lord and Master of anybody within the reaches of the Pierced Heart Kabal, or am I mistaken?”

“No, you are not mistaken. He is our Lord, but if we have displeased him in any way then I promise that it was inadvertent.”

“I think the fact that you have been aiding the war efforts of Archon Keltariel renders that moot. Do you wish to see our master fall?”

In the Hierarch’s mind a million possibilities flashed through his mind. He could happily kill them both and burn the bodies, hoping that his Incubi could defend the shrine from angered Janisarries, or he could just give in. Quite frankly, he thought, even though the second option was less fun it would save him a lot of time and energy.

“No.” He sighed, hand twitching for his Klaive.

“I am glad to here it. Cancel all contracts you hold currently with that traitor-Archon, or we shall be forced to pursue further action.” Her tone of voice was much more of a warning than her words. Finally she bowed and ordered the other Janissary to follow her as she left. Together they crossed paths with Dayl and Terrar, both of which had a deep fuelled hatred for the red armour. Every Incubus glared as they left, but as the doors closed Xi’lygaroth looked over to the Incubus.

“Terrar, you have returned.”

“Hail Terrar!” the others saluted with a roar, as they stood to leave.

“Where is the Hierarch?” He asked, refusing to remove his helmet.
____________________________________

“Terrar, I am the Hierarch now.” This was bad news. Xi’lygaroth had always been far too reckless with little thought for pride or the honour of the Shrine. “Why are you here? Your contract runs for another four cycles in service of Dracon Relliach Korvesh. Has he been slain?”

“He is breathing. He has a new request, however. Dracon Relliach Korvesh requests the assistance of one hundred and twelve Incubi to bolster his forces in upcoming matters.”

In disbelief the Hierarch’s eyes widened. “Are you being serious, Terrar?”

“Yes, Master.” He forced the recognition of Xi’lygaroth’s rank out, wishing not to offend him.

“What is he willing to pay?” His voice was quiet now as he thought over the situation.

From a hidden crevasse he pulled a snaking gold chain until it snapped out into the air and dangled in front of him.

The Eldar Soulstone sparkled in the half-light.

“At least four thousand Soulstone shall be available, Lord.”

A wide smile was plastered upon the Hierarch’s face and immediately he ordered for his forces to prepare themselves.

“Who is this?” He gestured to the Wych after his excitement died down.

“Oh, he should not be a problem. Just make sure he has a place to rest.”

Those were the last words he heard before a fist slammed into his face, causing him to spiral out of consciousness.
__________________________________________

The excavation crews dug at five times the normal rate under the watchful eyes of their reluctant Dark Eldar protectors. Much to their disappointment, they had been forbidden to interact with these humans and were not allowed to use their own methods of motivation to speed up the process.
It had not taken long for the tomb to be uncovered, and the results were underwhelming to say the most. Prince Talludesh had been left to manage the operation, and when what they had been searching for was found he was gravely let down. He had attempted to cut down anybody near him, but the Inquisitor was enough to quell his rage.

Urgently he scrambled at the jet black cuboid they dragged from the ground in a futile attempt to open it. An unknown script was scrawled over every surface, bewildering and draining the energies of those who stared too long. It was quite clearly dangerous, whatever it contained, but the fact that the Inquisitor wished to launch it into the nearest star in the name of the Imperium.

It was the moment that they began to argue that from all directions the pitiful sound of Shuriken Catapults rang out. Within moments the Kabalites entrenched themselves in the rock faces and took position to open fire upon their Craftworld kin.

Only seconds passed before they were surrounded.

“What is this betrayal?” Prince Talludesh demanded, but his concerns were dismissed as Fathul drew his Daemon Sword from his hip and began to run to a slight peak where he could see the charging Eldar.
“No, not this. Not again.” He spoke to himself, fury filling his heart.

Without any thought involved, psychic lightning began to ark between the fingers of his left hand before he unleashed a hellish cry carried through the warp. For a brief moment the advancing Craftworlders stopped their advance while their minds seethed despair.

The Inquisitor recognised these Eldar as the servants of Farseer G’ost and Autarch Beltaan, two creatures who he had never wished to meet again. He had met them through his years in service to the Emperor, and vowed to bring about their destruction, but never had he seen their forces mustered against him.
Shurikens whipped by causing Fathul to fearlessly charge towards two Howling Banshees while the Kabalites moved up to cover him. The Banshee’s swords were fast, but the Inquisitor’s sword was guided by the bloodlust of daemon. His sword danced effortlessly within his hand, countering each hit with its own sentience. Every time it met a Power Sword it screamed horribly, until it finally met flesh. Mercilessly it dissected the stomach of one Aspect Warrior, causing her to fall down and her blood to fall towards the twisted weapon, against all physics and reason.

The other died the moment the corrupt sword penetrated her helm, igniting her skull and consuming her life with glee.

Finally the Kabalites charged, bayonets rose as they kicked up dust while sprinting. Cries from both sides filled the air. Monomolecular blades delved with ease into the chests and throats of Guardians, who were flung aside and trampled on, left to bleed out.

Quickly Fathul moved, assisted by telekinesis to increase his speed. His Psychic wrath arced across the faces of the Craftworlders that dared look at him, scarring their bodies and souls. He knocked a large number aside and looked over to a Warlock who had just executed a Kabalite and kicked the body away. He knew instantly that this was a challenge.

Neither one waited for the other to move, as in war there is no time to spare.

The Warlock opened up with a psychokinetic blast that the Inquisitor easily dissipated before he forced his hand into a rock-like density and dented the Xeno’s helm. Quickly he removed the faulty armour and ducked below the swooping Daemon blade. In turn he swung his Force Sword, which scraped across the tainted sword, causing it to squeal and belch flames. Eighteen times their swords met in rapid succession, great flashes of red and blue illuminating them at the centre of the chaos. Their minds met in a desperate struggle as they knew on the physical plain they were evenly matched.

Fathul clawed at the Warlock’s mental defences, hoping for a weakness only to find his relentless offence to slide away, causing little more than a scratch.

This left his guard down, enabling the Eldar to drive a psychic spike through the Inquisitor’s soul, causing him more pain than he imagined losing a leg would.

He was desperate, and as he felt his power weakening he put all of his metal strength into one blunt hit that struck the Warlock, shattering his thoughts and sending him reeling back.

Exhausted, Fathul allowed himself a brief smile as the warm bodily fluids of the alien, accompanied by his soothing death cry, flecked upon his face.

This moment of peace was soon cut short when he realised that he had not slain the beast, but an Incubus stepping from a jade-fire portal had, accompanied by at least one hundred of his darkness clad brothers.
________________________________________

Xi’lygaroth crept through the shadows of his Shrine and stood outside the Wych’s room. He needed to be dispatched.

Knowing the inquisitive and questioning nature of these ‘fighters’, it would be too much of a risk to let him live.
Smiling, he pushed the door open and stepped in, Klaive deactivated but still sharp enough to kill him silently.

If he discovered what the Hierarch had done in recent Cycles to get where he was, or about the oath he had taken to serve Dracon Relliach Korvesh, his reputation and his life would be at stake.

Solemnly he lifted the sword and took one final look at the sleeping Wych.

It was amazing that Dayl’s head rolling upon the floor made more noise than the Klaive slicing through the air.


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Beaviz81
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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Thu Jun 07 2012, 11:20

Interesting to read about the Dark kin's Incubi Shrines. Hehe Tarrar seems like a likeable fellow.

Liked the Psychic Wrath power. That was interesting to say the least.

Too bad with poor Dayl. Hopefully you ain't going for the old bed-trick there. Razz
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Siticus the Ancient
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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Thu Jun 07 2012, 18:41

I really like the way you describe the Incubi shrine, their proceedings and their inner hierarchy, I like the take you are going with. I've been wondering for a long time how other people would imagine an incubi shrine to look like.

Keep up the great work!

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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Thu Jun 07 2012, 18:56

Thanks to you both! Very Happy

I admit that this is a quite odd chapter fluff-wise, but I assure you that more oddities shall follow.
I'm glad you like my Incubi. I put quite a bit of thought into them and you shall be seeing plenty more of them, in large numbers, although I don't wish to give anything else away.

Hehehe, my mind is oozing with anticipation. What a Face
clown clown clown clown clown clown clown clown clown clown clown clown clown clown clown clown clown clown clown clown clown clown clown clown clown clown clown clown clown clown clown clown clown clown clown clown clown
(They're my Incubi, by the way. Either that or my mind has melted.)

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Lady Malys
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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Thu Jun 07 2012, 19:46

Nice work on the shrine. The descriptions of the architecture really brought across the sense of vastness and lofty, temple-like scale.

Hmm, Dayl is dead, but is he gone? Only time will tell ....

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Enfernux
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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Thu Jun 07 2012, 20:00

Cant imagen him being own a debt by a haem, and i dont think he has meny friends so...possibly? Very Happy

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Cavash
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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Thu Jun 07 2012, 20:18

Hehehe, my plots are getting you thinking I see. Don't worry, it shall make sense soon enough.

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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Thu Jun 07 2012, 20:30

Yay, another awesome update!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Thu Jun 07 2012, 21:56

@Zehra wrote:
Yay, another awesome update!!!
Rejoice! My work is appreciated! *Bows*

Thanks Zehra. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Mon Jun 11 2012, 20:50

Just a quick update, I probably will not be able to write the next chapter for a couple of weeks, maybe even a month, as I am currently in the process of examinations and the next month looks very busy for me.

I will still try to write, as it keeps my mind in working order, although I doubt I will be able to add anything else for a while, but I may do some short stories if I write anything that I deem to be of an acceptable standard.

I'll see what I can do.

Cavash.

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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Mon Jun 11 2012, 22:42

Hurrying Up! Very Happy

Joke aside, good luck on those exams. Smile

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Cavash
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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Mon Jun 11 2012, 22:44

@Enfernux wrote:
Hurrying Up! Very Happy

Joke aside, good luck on those exams. Smile

Cheers.

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Zehra
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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Mon Jun 11 2012, 23:36

Good luck on your exams may you get nothing but good grades!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Mon Jun 18 2012, 13:03

Seeing as I'm coming up to the end of Exam season 2012 now I'll see if I can update this sometime at the end of this week or the beggining of the next week. Yay! Very Happy

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Zehra
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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Mon Jun 18 2012, 13:29

Woohoo!!! We're all looking forward to it!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Mon Jun 18 2012, 13:48

Thanks Zehra.
Your optimism and enthusiasm are encouraging.

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Zehra
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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Mon Jun 18 2012, 13:57

You're welcome. Smile
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Lady Malys
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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Mon Jun 18 2012, 15:57

Good news. Consider me to be encouraging you in a low-key, reservedly British way, old chap.

Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Mon Jun 18 2012, 16:20

@Lady Malys wrote:
Good news. Consider me to be encouraging you in a low-key, reservedly British way, old chap.

Very Happy

How splendid Ma'am. Your graciousness is appreciated.

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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Mon Jun 25 2012, 12:02

Chapter VIII

Something big was coming. Dernia felt it. He had seen cataclysm befall his territories before, but never had he ever been this anxious. He didn’t trust the Inquisitor he was being forced to co-operate with; oh how it made his blood boil, being so enraged yet he, the Grand Archon of the Pierced Heart, had been restricted from striking the Mon-keigh down. He had seen Archons bend to the will of the tyrant, but who ever heard of an Archon work with a Human?

Now, to make him flip over the edge into complete soul devouring rage, the Craftworlders had attacked and his failure of a son had been captured, along with the black sarcophagus, by an unknown side. Another thing did not add up in his mind. Why and how had so many Incubi appeared in his field of operations just at the right moment? None of it made sense.

He had no idea if the Inquisition had the artefact, or the Craftworlders had snatched it away upon retreat, but he was sure that he would find out eventually.

Strangely, Relliach Korvesh had disappeared in recent hours. Many had presumed him dead, but Dernia Cavash was not convinced. He knew the pain of paranoia in his mind, this new found caution, suspicion and concern for his own wellbeing was not it. Dernia knew Relliach personally as he was one of the only Dracons who he actually considered valuable. He was the Overseer of the Halls of Blood, responsible for training new recruits. All of his years in service to the Kabal had granted him great skill in combat had made Lord Cavash give the Dracon the personal honour of looking after his disappointment of a son. If the Dracon had died then somebody would have seen something, he would have gone down in a thunderous flash of light, but no. He had gone silently, something that perturbed Lord Cavash more than the thought of the Black Heart finally deciding to take an ‘interest’ in his affairs.

He had his forces move back into the Webway following the theft of the sarcophagus, preventing any more damage to his Kabal. He had instantly spread rumours that the Harlequins had ordered that the artefact uncovered must be let go, as to fulfil their wishes. It was, of course, lies; but they were necessary lies to make sure that he maintained his reputation.

Two of his four Archons slid into his throne room. Dernia had been the only person there before his chosen had arrived. He had dismissed his bodyguards as he required time to think. He had not realised that he had stood, gazing over his domain for half a day before they had been summoned.

Individually they had slid into his Throne room, waiting in the circular dome, waiting for the others before proceeding through the next set of doors to the balcony. They were his chosen, four that had proven worthy of the title Archon and allowed to lead his forces in his name. Even though they knew that he would not strike them down without good reason, and they believed that no such reason existed, they were still fearful and would only approach him together.

One of them Dernia had raised himself after the untimely death of her mother by his hands. Her mother had been Dernia’s ‘daughter’, if such a name could be given to the abomination. He had snapped her neck with wanton joy before extracting the fully developed child and raising it himself. She was one hundred and fourteen years old, but he still had faith that eventually she could be moulded into a tactical genius. She had lead his Kabal with great success, but she occasionally lost rational thoughts and started needless wars that had attracted the attention of many powerful Kabals.

They had all watched the Pierced Heart as she conquered new lands against all odds and forged a new name for herself. Dernia had named her Koroth’risse Cavash, but she had become known as the ‘Empty Soul’. This had been down to her affinity for slaughter and how she had been able to get so engrossed in battle that she cared not whose forces she killed. No number of souls could satiate her thirst and her murderlust was unrivalled.

The other three were not of noble blood and had fought savagely every day of their lives to gain the Grand Archon’s favour. Na’ttyin Reltoss, another woman, walked into the throne room and stood beside Koroth’risse, her emerald cloak trailing majestically behind her. She did not remove her helmet but did bow to the Trueborn, knowing her place within society. Na’ttyin was famed for her scouting expertise and it was rumoured that even without the aid of a crystalline Camouflage Suit she could blend herself in with any environment, making her the perfect hunter. Whether or not these rumours were true was purely down to speculation.
Whenever a raid was considered she would be sent out to investigate the target and evaluate it before the main force was sent to take slaves and plunder, or whatever Lord Cavash desired. Dernia did not rely on her, and could easily get on without the services that she provided as both associate and courtesan to the Grand Archon, but while she scouted out locations it was one less job that he needed to worry about.
She carried with her a stylised rifle, modified from the Craftworld variant to carry payloads of highly corrosive pollen from the Terpar rosettes in her master’s private gardens.

“Do you have word on the location of Prince?” Koroth’risse asked, standing perfectly straight and still, bewildering Na’ttyin with her serenity.

“I am sorry, my liege, but my scouts bear no word. I have had many hung above the crowds of my men and flayed alive to spread the word, the word that I shall not accept failure, but it seems to have not gotten through. Maybe a good old decimation may get them in line.” Her voice echoed through the chamber like a soft gust of wind, reaching every corner of the room, its source lost.

“Decimation?” the Trueborn asked with a quizzical smirk.

“Yes, the act of having a Kabalite’s kin beat them to death with little more than their fists and teeth.”

“Do not patronise me, low-blood. But don’t you see the flaw in your punishment?” She waited for a reply, but got none. “Decimation only instils fear for a minute moment. Once the victim is chosen then fear is replaced by glee, and they revel in the murder.”

“Not if performed correctly.” She nodded, as if about to lecture Koroth’risse. “If made aware that the man who is responsible for the Kabalite’s death shall be punished as if they had committed mutiny, before being regrown to rejoin their squad, it detracts the fun. Their animalistic side is ordering them to kill, while their own self preservation wants them to hide from persecution. This internal conflict is delectable.” She smiled behind her close faced helm, the razor edged blue arcs and angles shimmering where the light met them.

“So, you allow them to flee from persecution by refusing to partake in the butchery?”

“Oh, of course not. I leave the squad stripped of their clothing and freezing out in the wastes, watched over by Dracons to ensure that they do not escape. You see, their own physical pain, and the feeling of their life slipping away out there, is enough to drive them against one another. More often than not it results in me loosing four or five times more than anticipated, but it ensures their obedience for a while longer.” It was easy to forget that behind the quiet demeanour of the woman was the same beast that lurked at the centre of ever Ynneas Eldarith’s soul. She lusted; she needed the pain of others to sustain her.

“Well, that may be effective for you, but I do not wish to waste pawns for my battlefield.”

“It is understandable.” Na’ttyin’s response almost came as a surprise to the young Trueborn. She was out to provoke the other Archon, as she always liked a good duel of words, but she had not got the reaction she had wished for. “You pride yourself in overwhelming the enemy with numbers, by sending so many Kabalites that their flak shall not be enough to hinder progress. I am more discreet. While it may take longer, we both get the job done, with a different number of casualties and different tactics.”

“You may be right, stealth has its merits, but I save it for hunting the poor through the Depraved Reserves. Consider this, when facing the brunt of one of those crude Ork assaults, or when up against a million rifles that will annihilate you upon detection, numbers prove to be more valuable.”

“Who ever said that I get detected?” Her confidence caught Koroth’risse off guard, leaving the two staring at each other in silence for a moment. Surely, nobody could be that stealthy.

“If you two have finished discussing the arts of war, we have more pressing matters.” Neither of them had noticed Dernia watching them from the steps beyond his throne that led out onto the extended needle balcony.

“Sire.” They both bowed, averting their gaze. One of the eight moons captured by the Pierced Heart floated high above the realm; the glowing blue ball outlined his head perfectly, creating a halo for their master. It was amazing how he planned everything that he did, just to make thoughts of his godhood feasible. “Lord, should we not wait for the other Archons?”

“Silence, Koroth’risse.” He raised a hand, causing them both to flinch. “Join me.”

____________________________

“What now?” The hooded figure asked, his face, like everyone else’s, enveloped by shadows. Together, the twelve stood around the polished alter stained with the blood of a dying Aspect Warrior. He was chained down and barely conscious. The burning cold chains gnawed at his flesh, the torture they had performed had made him lose the will to live and the will to fight back. He had no energy to hate them any more. All he wanted was a quick death, but he knew that was an impossibility while in their hands.

“He lays weak, spirit fading at the bottom of despair and without hope.” The ringleader, quite obviously a woman from the Aspect Warrior’s observations, spoke while waving around a black dagger made from a stone of some sort. With little emotion, she began to peel away the skin f the Aspect Warrior’s thigh before holding up the thin sheet to the light.
The concentration on her face shocked the others as she gazed at the patterns the blood had made. Finally, she smiled and placed the skin down beside the Craftworlder.

“He is stronger than we had anticipated. His body is broken but his discipline has kept his spirit pure.”
If he could have mustered the energy, maybe, the Aspect Warrior thought, he would have smiled.
“What do we do?” One of the hooded men asked, needing their leader’s guidance.

“All things in this harsh universe need pain and suffering. Many species of plant require the combustion of their parent before they can germinate. Poor Mon-keigh labour for the rich to have easy lives; they suffer for their enjoyment. We have the same occurrence, but much more literally. This city feeds from the nightmares of the weak, yet those who feed continue to suffer. Our suffering fuels the creature that makes us need the lives of others. If he is left for too long he will wither away into a husk.”

The Aspect Warrior shuddered for a moment and strained at his binds, only to be silenced by the soft hand of the hooded woman on his forehead.

“So it must be done now?”

“Yes. It cannot wait any longer.” The twisted smiles of his captors shone down on him, bathing him in malice. He closed his eyes, expecting the worst.

The words ‘a hero shall be made’ reverberated through the subterranean lair.

It was only when he finally opened his eyes that he realised that they were not talking about him.
_____________________________________

“Master Cavash, it appears that you have had company.” Archon Na’ttyin Reltoss mused, making her way around body parts and piles of gore that adorned the floor in a tapestry of wonderful bloodshed.

“Wow, aren’t you a genius?” His sarcasm cut straight through her. It was dry, malicious and conveyed no ill tone, making it easy to look over. That made it hurt more than he could have intended.

“Sire, I have no word on the other Archons.” His granddaughter spoke, hoping not to incur his wrath for delivering the bad news.

“Do not worry about them, child. They have been informed of everything necessary, and they have no room in this conversation.” He didn’t bother looking to the ground as he walked, but easily retraced his last steps through the maze of corpses.

“Grand Archon, are you angry about something?” Koroth’risse asked. She had seen his mood flick rapidly from ecstatic to genocidal in seconds and did not wish to be on the bad side of it.

“Oh, because of this?” He gestured around him at the carnage he had orchestrated. “No. This was to clear my mind. These were all Kabalites convicted of treason. They were due to be tortured anyway, and I needed to regain my focus.”

“How many of these upstarts were there?”

“Two hundred and twelve. Each one broke quicker than the last, oh, other than the final two.” He walked over to an exquisite statuette of heads that he had sculpted and grabbed two from near the base. He wrapped their long black heir around his hands before lifting them, final droplets of bone marrow shifting to empty themselves across the ground.
Na’ttyin gasped with an expression of grief scrawled across her hidden face, much to the contrary of Koroth’risse whose eyes had lit up with the news of the other Archons’ deaths. Na’ttyin was weakened by her job. She spent much time around Outcasts from the Craftworlds and had become a slave bound in the same shackles of emotion that the Outcasts gave in to. Koroth’risse, however, cared little for their demise. With them dead her route to glory now had only two obstacles. The other Archon, and her grandfather. Of course, once Dernia had been slain, the entire Dynasty would start to war with each other, and the Dracons of the Kabal who knew little of the Cavash Dynasty’s heritage. If a Dracon of the Kabal of the Pierced Heart were to become an Archon then the forces of the Dynasty would halt their feud long enough to eliminate the foul blooded scum that had claimed Dernia’s place.

For a moment, her mind was in turmoil. Even if she were to kill Dernia now, throw him from the balcony to die miles below or be plucked apart by the Scourge instrumentalists playing at his organs, she would still need power to enforce control. If she murdered the Lord Cavash and Na’ttyin Reltoss there and then, then surely he strength would win the respect of the Kabal, and she would end up with the largest force following her. But then, what if she were to be assassinated before she could use her brutal politics? Power would surely fall into Prince Luckr’yth’s of Princess Althianesh’s lap. Althianesh was young and foolish, but Luckr’yth was scheming and more dishonest than an thief being brought to justice.

She stopped for a moment. What of Prince Talludesh? His disappearance can’t be coincidental. He could have set this up, he could have planned this. He was too idiotic and too reckless, she thought. He was not patient or cunning enough to spread such anarchy, so what was happening? Surely an opportunity like this couldn’t just be coincidental.

“Master Cavash, what did these men do to deserve such a fate?” Reltoss asked, slowly approaching the High Archon.

“They were just another brick in the wall attempting to slow my progress. They were as disloyal as could be expected. With the power of my Kabal divided up between myself and my four favoured, I knew that there would be chance of high treason. I have taken their military forces and I shall pursue the Craftworlders that interfered with our operation. Na’ttyin, Koroth’risse, I have requirements of you both.”

“Anything for you, Lord.” Reltoss said, stepping closer to him with an air of determination.

The Dark Eldar don’t have a term that translates into ‘suck up’, or even one that has the same connotation, but if they did Koroth’risse would have used it.

“While I am warring with the Craftworlders, I need my enemies taken care of. Luckr’yth shall look after my domain, but that Inquisitor is still out there. Na’ttyin, you shall take care of him. Learn everything you can about their knowledge of us and then dispose of him. Koroth’risse, you find my failure son and bring him back to me, dead or alive.”



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Lady Malys
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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Mon Jun 25 2012, 16:11

Quote :
One of the eight moons captured by the Pierced Heart floated high above the realm; the glowing blue ball outlined his head perfectly, creating a halo for their master.

This needs to be a painting. Very atmospheric! I shall await the rest with some impatience Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Mon Jun 25 2012, 16:17

@Cavash wrote:
@Lady Malys wrote:
Good news. Consider me to be encouraging you in a low-key, reservedly British way, old chap.

Very Happy

How splendid Ma'am. Your graciousness is appreciated.

cheers
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Zehra
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PostSubject: Re: Piercing Dark.   Mon Jun 25 2012, 16:54

This was awesome!!! Well done!!!
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Piercing Dark.
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