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 Rise of the Tyrantslayer

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Bhariss
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PostSubject: Rise of the Tyrantslayer   Sun Jun 12 2011, 13:05

This is the story of Ahtalia, and her subsequent rise to Archon of the Kabal of the Frozen Talon. For any discussion on this story, please visit/post in this thread: http://www.thedarkcity.net/t707-discussion-rise-of-the-tyrantslayer

***

The pitiful thing beneath the hunter screamed again as she buried her short sword into it, choosing non-fatal areas with an eye made keen through experience. Each fresh howl of pain only served to invigorate her further, driven on to sample its agony like a starving predator with a fresh kill. Almost delicately she peeled away a section of skin off her prey's forearm, shuddering in delight as waves of pain exuded from her victim.

It had not always been like this. She had once been something more, though just what was buried underneath a desperate denial of what fate had reduced her to. All she could remember was the colour red, something or someone who was associated with it and something they had done to her. Now, reduced to skulking around the ruined ports of Low Commorragh with the rest of the Parched, the predator still refused to admit she was weak. She would survive.

Turning her attention back to her prey, it was almost as suddenly captured again by the arrival of new interlopers. She froze in terror, her long white hair not obscuring enough, seeing a small group of faceless individuals armed with all manner of hideous medical apparel. Compared to any other of the True Kin, they were all hulking muscular beasts, though it was not the wracks that had her backing away in horror, it was their leader.

Seated on a floating palanquin made of heaving flesh and muscle was a gaunt, pale figure, watching her straddling the weeping mess beneath her. He was draped in a black medical coat, the flayed faces of many adorning the rich fabric while several arms twitched from a grotesque spinal hump jutting from between his shoulder blades. What scared her most was the pleasant smile he seemed to be regarding her with, an expression that bore only malice and the promise of hell. Sparing only a second, she ran, desperate to be as far from the haemonculus as she could get. Neither the haemonculus nor his attendants gave chase, the ancient creature instead alighting from his palanquin to examine the remnants of her meal, still twitching feebly.

"I do wish the younger generations would finish what they start." Zheriaq Gaunt mused to the wracks, not expecting any answer from them. "I was quite enjoying the show."


Last edited by Bhariss on Wed Jun 29 2011, 08:10; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Rise of the Tyrantslayer   Sun Jun 12 2011, 13:05

Bhariss swore as he ran through the ruined ports of Low Commorragh, cradling his shardcarbine tightly in both hands. It just wasn't fair that the archon had decided to send him as a messenger to Null City. It wasn't a job fit for one of the Trueborn, especially without an escort. He was fairly certain that one of the others had told the withered old husk that Bhariss had been planning some sort of treachery, even though it was completely untrue. He served the archon well! They were just jealous of the favour he had been regarded with!

Turning a corner, even the lightning quick reflexes of the dark eldar were useless against the blur that slammed violently into him from behind, dashing him to the ground and sending his shardcarbine skidding away. He could feel the barbs of his kabalite armour digging into his flesh even as a blade was pressed to his throat, long white hair falling across his face and violet top knot as something pressed him into the ground.

"Armoured prey..." a feminine voice hissed into his ear as a trickle of blood dripped along her blade, Bhariss starting as he realised it was from his neck. Driven into action, he used his superior weight to throw his assailant into the ruined wall, leaping to his feet and sprinting after his fallen weapon. Slight footsteps behind him told Bhariss that he was too slow, spinning around only to be tackled once more by the predator, almost losing his grip on the weapon yet again. Now he was face to face with the predator, seeing a determined and disshelved girl straddling his dark blue armoured body.

"You are no simple street trash!" he gasped, noting the exquisitely crafted blade pressed against his throat and her relatively calm demeanor. "You are Trueborn like me!"

"No talk!" she screeched, gripping his cheek with her nails and digging into the flesh, drawing more blood. "Scream!" Bhariss bucked against her, causing the predator to lose her grip as he got to his feet, though his speed was insufficient compared to hers, and he found himself pressed to the ruined wall, the blade at his throat again.

"Don't you want more than this miserable existance?!" he gasped in a bid for mercy. Eyes closed, the first he knew he had been successful was that for several seconds he didn't feel the blade bury itself in his body. Slowly he opened his eyes to see her regarding him thoughtfully, almost as though she had received a revelation.

"I was like you once." she thought aloud, more to herself than Bhariss, drawing her blade away from his neck. A faraway look was in her eyes, shattered an instant later as the blade stabbed at him again. He stiffened, though quickly realised that he was not her target. The mandrake fell out of its shadow, its featureless face having been pierced by the short sword even as Bhariss raised his shardcarbine to fire it one handed at the shadowy forms of several more of the tainted creatures that had surrounded them in their struggle. Both dark eldar disengaged from each other, the predator leaping at the closest of the mandrakes and slicing its arms off while the Trueborn laid down a suppressive hail of poisoned splinters at the others, causing them to back off from the dark eldar.

"Follow me or die." she hissed, clutching the amputated creature by its greasy white hair and staring down the rest of them. For several seconds the mandrakes regarded one another, hissing in their shadowy language, before cautiously approaching her. Deliberately they gripped their wounded kin before hacking him apart further, letting the pain of their fallen comrade energize the rest. Bhariss felt his own wounds beginning to heal, looking over at the predator as she regarded the spires of High Commorragh, a strange look on her face as she remembered what she had once been.

Perhaps now she could take her revenge, casting down the Crimson Talon and hanging her treasonous brother out for the scavengers. The Trueborn's earlier comment suddenly registered with her, and her ambitions seemed petty. Her star would rise until even the Supreme Overlord would be forced to acknowledge her, until even the mighty Asdrubael Vect knew her name.

Ahtalia.

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Rise of the Tyrantslayer - a short story about Ahtalia's rise to power
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PostSubject: Re: Rise of the Tyrantslayer   Sun Jun 12 2011, 13:06

"If they were foolish enough to leave their weapons and raiders poorly guarded, then they do not deserve to have them." Ahtalia snarled to Bhariss, while the warriors and mandrakes went about looting the kabal's hangar. Her warband had swelled to include twenty six warriors and the entirety of the Hand of Death mandrake clan, which doubled the numbers to nearly sixty altogether. All the dark eldar kabalites wore the same coloured armour, a midnight blue broken up with an icy blue on the gauntlets, shinguards and breastplates. The mandrakes were similar in colour, their hands wreathed in blue fire from the feeding they had received from the slain guards.

Ahtalia herself wore a similar suit of kabalite armour, though she bore no helmet and still carried her short sword to go with her new splinter pistol. Bhariss had repainted his own armour to match hers, though the shardcarbine still had preference even with his newly acquired pistol and agoniser. He was even now picking up a phantasm grenade launcher, slinging it onto his back to properly attach it later.

The predator was the first to hear the arrival, throwing herself behind the hull of a raider in order to escape the hail of splinters that tore through the space she was occupying. Bhariss spun with incredible speed to return fire while moving to join her, though many of her followers were not so fortunate. Poisoned crystals shredded kabalite armour and pierced tattooed skin alike as her warriors were thrown into disarray, having been caught unaware by the kabal that owned the hangar they were ransacking.

Not even a minute later the hail stopped, those warriors not slain holed up in whatever cover they could find. Ahtaila had accounted for at least four of the enemy with her pistol, but it was too little too late. She glanced over at Bhariss, seeing the sybarite grimly return her look. They both knew that their chances of survival were slim.

"Well, I'm surprised at the audacity of such a pathetic rabble." a clipped, precise voice drifted down to them, piquing her interest. "You have no true base of operations, very little numbers and no support from a stronger faction within the Dark City. Did you really expect to steal from me without consequence?"

The sound of armoured boots on the floor alerted Ahtalia to her persecutors coming into view, an armoured archon striding confidently into view flanked by the menacing forms of several incubi. Some of the pinned warriors took aim at the lord and his bodyguard, but desisted at a curt gesture from the predator. If they wanted to live through this, attacking was a foolish option when they were still expecting it.

"I am however, impressed." he drawled, looking Ahtalia straight in the eye. "You show a commendable level of bravery, something I could use. Join me, and you will at least be able to make something of yourselves." Ahtalia stared at him for a long moment, recognizing a more powerful individual than herself. Slowly, begrudgingly, she bowed her head to the archon. Kor'vin Vontahl smiled, beckoning for Ahtalia to follow him with her dead. They would need mending...

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PostSubject: Re: Rise of the Tyrantslayer   Sun Jun 12 2011, 13:06

"What is that foolish woman doing?" Vontahl asked the incubus standing next to him, watching as Ahtalia's raider sped forward to join those belonging to the Cult of the Seventh Woe as they screamed over the masses of tyranids. He had been swift to pledge his kabal to the Seventh Woe after they brought the weapon beasts to Commorragh for the first time, feeling that even to be included in the plans of the ruling Succubi was a good investment. "She's insane."

Ahtalia focussed only on one thing as her squad fired their weapons into the swarm, and that was the monstrous hive tyrant at its core. She had been willing to follow the archon's plan until catching sight of the leader beast, her blood singing at the sight. No matter what, she had decided, she would kill it.

Little time was spared for more thought as the beast lifted its symbiotic weapon at the raider, firing a salvo of jagged crystals much like the ones fired from their own weapons as the Trueborn leapt to the ground. Several of them were caught in the hail, torn to bloody chunks by the bioweapon, but she gave them no notice. Even as she ran at it, Bhariss shadowing her and keeping up a stream of shardcarbine fire, the hive tyrant swung its monstrous lash whip in a wide arc. Ahtalia threw herself flat, only dimly aware that the beast had killed the remainder of her Trueborn with its assault, even Bhariss' body thrown back in a pile of broken armour and bones.

Once more she paid her predicament no heed, resolving that whatever it took she would kill it. Ahtalia resumed her headlong dash at the beast, firing her splinter pistol at it. She nimbly dodged to one side to avoid its bonesword crashing down when she had been, leaping onto the back of its arm and running up to its head. She leapt onto its head, straddling the massive brow even as it tried to shake her clear. Screaming a wordless battle cry, she rammed her short sword into its eye and drawing a hideous scream from the hive tyrant as the blade pierced its brain. Unprepared for its violent death throes, Ahtalia was flung to the ground unceremoniously, the kabalite armour she wore absorbing the worst of the blow as she landed in a heap. The predator rolled over just in time to see the hive tyrant fall, crying out in agony as it crushed her lower body under its dead weight.


I... I killed it... she thought triumphantly as her consciousness began to fade.

Ahtalia heaved, coughing up a lungful of amniotic fluid as she staggered from the regenerative cocoon only to fall on her hands and knees, naked and dripping. She looked at the boots in front of her, craning her neck with effort to see Vontahl staring down at her with curiosity.

"It was an impressive feat you displayed." he said, before indicating several other pods around the haemonculus chambers. "The rest of your Trueborn are recovering well, including your pet Bhariss. Once you're recovered I expect you to return to the kabal, Ahtalia Tyrantslayer." Even as the archon turned to leave, she directed a venomous glare at his back.

He had seen her skill, and had spared her from death. It was the action of a fool.


Last edited by Bhariss on Sun Jun 12 2011, 13:25; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Rise of the Tyrantslayer   Sun Jun 12 2011, 13:07

The dark eldar were in disarray from the Black Legion counterattack, scattering in all directions to make themselves harder targets to track. Ahtalia swept her sword in a wide arc, finding the vulnerable neck joint in the armour of one Chaos marine, even while the few remaining Trueborn gunned down the last of the enemy squad. A single flick of her hand had the dark eldar gathering their fallen, Bhariss signalling their raider to pick them up. The craft flew close to the ground, slowing long enough to let them pile the dead of her squad onto the craft while Vontahl and his sole remaining incubus watched. Their dead were on the craft already as the predator and her Trueborn boarded, the raider screaming back towards the haven of Commorragh.

"I cannot believe they had such forces at their disposal!" Vontahl gasped, fingering his broken shadow field projector. He had recklessly thrown his squad at the Chaos lord and his terminator armoured bodyguards, and paid for it with a humiliating defeat. Ahtalia stared at his back, contempt dominating her eyes even as she thrust the short sword through his neck.

"If you had actually planned with some thought, it would have been irrelevant." she hissed into his ear, the incubus making no move to stop her as she kicked the former archon's corpse off the raider mere seconds before it flew through the portal back to the Dark City.

With the incubus and Bhariss at her side, no guard made any move to stop her. With arrogance and weapons sheathed, Ahtalia made her way to the throne room of the Kabal of Cold Fury, letting her entourage open the doors for her to stride in. She didn't slow even a fraction, swaggering up to the throne under the eyes of the warriors, who even now were still whispering about the coup. She halted before the throne, turning with deliberate slowness while Bhariss moved to her right side and the incubus to her left, before gracefully lowering herself into the rulers position.

"My lady, your incubi recover rapidly, and will be standing guard within the next twenty four hours." the incubus murmured, unsure whether or not she would reprimand him for speaking out of turn. She merely nodded, smiling.

"Very good." she replied, her gaze sweeping the room. "Bhariss, gather the warriors. I will need to address the entire Kabal of..." she paused, reluctant to say Cold Fury. She had never really liked the name anyway. "The Frozen Talon." she finished, a vindictive smile crossing her features.

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PostSubject: Re: Rise of the Tyrantslayer   Sun Jun 12 2011, 13:08

The mandrake's hissing had confirmed her suspicions, the warped creature having pulled itself out of Ahtalia's shadow even as the raider sped over the ranks of Necrontyr, dodging nimbly through the green blasts that issued from the metallic warriors. The archon grimaced, turning to Bhariss standing next to her while the incubi kept their eyes open for any sign of danger to her.

"I was right, the Moonless Night means to use our strength to bleed that of the Necrontyr before unleashing their own warriors." she told the dracon, glancing back at her opposite number's raider as it followed at a much slower pace. He had used his kabal's superior power to coerce her into joining with him, and Ahtalia had accepted in order to use his power to protect her fledgling kabal from other opportunistic archons.

Bhariss glanced at the dark purple raider before returning his gaze to Ahtalia. She had dispensed of her kabalite armour since rising to the rank of archon, wearing only a backless black dress with a slit running up her left leg up to her hip and two cut out ovals on the front, one just below her breasts and one at the top of her clevage. She had a pendant around her neck in the shape of the Frozen Talon's symbol, in reality a powerful shadow field generator. In addition to her short sword, held in her left hand, she had also armed herself with an electrocorrosive whip, wielding it expertly so that it wouldn't cut off a single strand of her long white hair during battle.


"Have your squad kill the archon of Moonless Night, any way you see fit." Bhariss rasped in the mandrakes eldritch speech, learning it as part of his responsibilities as heirarch. The creature nodded even as it dived back into his shadow, leaving them to their own task. At a signal Ahtalia leapt from the raider, Bhariss and the incubi following without hesitation to land right in the middle of the metallic horde. Weapons slashing out in every direction too fast to follow, the archon and her bodyguard carved a ruinous path through the machines, laughing as she did so.

The first she knew the Necrontyr were striking back was when the warscythe carved through her right wrist, passing through her shadow field as though it didn't even exist. The Necron Lord, standing a foot taller than her, stared down at her menacingly with its hooded blank visor even as it prepared another attack with its cruelly curved weapon. At least three of the incubi had fallen to the surprise assault of its pariah bodyguard, though the rest along with Bhariss had avoided the vengeful warscythes with some luck.

"I won't be killed by some metal monster playing at time control!" she shrieked, stabbing up with her short sword to catch the lord in the throat, the newly installed power field generator allowing it to slide freely up through the Lord's jaw and pierce what passed for a brain, frying all the circutry in its body. Her bodyguard counter attacked savagely, klaives and agoniser reaping a bloody toll on the psychic abominations. Ahtalia paid them no notice, raising her blade again to sever the Lord's own right hand, before lifting the metallic appendage and examining it with a grim smile. It would do.

Executioner's crew watched Ahtalia and her bodyguard kept up the attack, the Moonless Night ravager drifting lazily forward to pour disintegrator fire into the Necrontyr. Watching the supposedly invulnerable creatures being torn apart like they were nothing was why the crew had decided to pilot it in the first place. Even as they paused to find the next group, balefire crashed into the side armour to scorch the purple paint and draw the gunners attention. The mandrakes were already retreating by the time Executioner opened fire, the crew following their path even as they leapt up, realising too late that they had drawn the disintegrator fire onto their own archon. Now nothing left of them, the mandrakes pulling themselves into the shadows again.

"Moonless Night, this is Lady Ahtalia Tyrantslayer, your new ruler." a female voice issued over the communications array scant moments later, no shortage of arrogance in her tone.


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PostSubject: Re: Rise of the Tyrantslayer   Sun Jun 12 2011, 13:09

"My lady, I present Haemonculus Zheriaq Gaunt."

Ahtalia stopped her negotiation with Succubus Maiahvel of the Seventh Woe to glare at the warrior before letting her gaze fall on her visitor. Floating a single foot off the ground on leathery wings, the haemonculus bent at the waist in what passed for a bow. Ahtalia used the bow to get a better look at him, though her attention was drawn to a pair of defining features. Not only did the haemonculus have the head of a tyranid gargoyle to go with the wings, the most disturbing feature of all was the enormous pulsating brain growing out of his back, every now and then showing a synaptic pulse race over the grey matter. He regarded the archon and the succubus with a friendly smile, a gleaming row of needle sharp teeth flashing in their direction.

"Please forgive my interruption." he rasped, the gargoyle's tongue hissing through the sentence. "Had I known that you were entertaining, my lady, I would have arrived later, though it is still an honour to see you again." Ahtalia narrowed her eyes.

"Again?" she asked, standing to face Zheriaq. "I should hope I would remember someone with your defining features, haemonculus." He smiled apologetically, bowing again.

"My mistake. Sometimes I forget that I have not always been as I appear." he replied. "It was but for a moment we met, many years ago when you were little more than one of the Parched yourself."

"That was you?" she said, hiding her surprise carefully. "Regardless, it is neither here nor there. Surely you are here for a reason."

"It has come to my attention that both you and your friend are considered the foremost experts on tyranids." he explained, indicating Maiahvel. "It just so happens that I am very intrigued by the weapon beasts myself." Ahtalia raised an eyebrow mockingly.

"Really?" she asked sarcastically. "I hadn't noticed." Zheriaq tactfully ignored the comment.

"Yes." he said. "I would consider it a great honour to be a part of your mighty institutions, though I am afraid I bring no great coven with me. They have been redistributed amongst my peers, for they were... not tyranid enough for my tastes." Synapse waves arced over his exposed brain, and slithering into the chamber came three raveners. Each of the tyranids were collared and blinded, as well as swollen to stand at least twice as high as any other beast of their kind. "I am, however, working on a way to bend the hive fleets to my will. I should like to benefit from your expertise, and you in turn would certainly enjoy the more practical benefits."

"Intriguing." Ahtalia mused, casting a glance over at Maiahvel to see the succubus nodding thoughtfully. "The hive fleets could be used to shepherd the lesser races into our slave chambers with ease."

"Not to mention a never ending tide of beasts for my wyches to duel with." Maiahvel agreed. "What have we to lose, archon?" Ahtalia nodded, turning back to Zheriaq.

"You are welcome to aid both the Frozen Talon and the Seventh Woe." she pronounced. "You will, however, understand that you are below both of us in this partnership, as Maiahvel and myself are now equals."

"Your terms are acceptable." Zheriaq replied, bowing again. "One more thing, my lady. Would you not rather allow me to regrow your original hand?" Ahtalia raised her right hand, letting the fingers of her modified Necrontyr hand click along each other as its power field crackled.

"I see you are not aware of just how much I paid to Archon Khromys of the Obsidian Rose to have this modified." She answered, letting a cruel smirk play across her face.


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PostSubject: Re: Rise of the Tyrantslayer   Sun Jun 12 2011, 13:12



This is Lady Ahtalia Tyrantslayer at this point in time. I'll probably write some more at some point, the events getting tied together and becoming an actual story instead of flashbacks.

I didn't draw it by the way, it was a commission. If you want to know who, I'd be happy to PM you to the artists site.

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PostSubject: Re: Rise of the Tyrantslayer   Sun Jun 12 2011, 18:10

Glad to see you made it over from Warseer. I love this story.
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PostSubject: Re: Rise of the Tyrantslayer   Tue Jun 14 2011, 09:12

The moon was only just beginning to descend on the horizon of the dreary human world that Ahtalia and Maiahvel had selected as a target, for little reason other than the fact that every one of the mon-keigh had been little more than mindless servants to their corpse-lord. Sneering over the dead and desiccated remnants of what they had called a defence force, Ahtalia recalled the battle with a slight grimace.

The raid had been going precisely as planned, with her kabalite warriors and Maiahvel's wyches tearing through the woefully under equipped human soldiers, a dull people who felt that their faith in a dead person made them proof against the hideous weaponry of the dark eldar. Ahtalia had only walked towards a squad of terrified PDF grunts, the archon letting her shadow field absorb the few decently aimed shots that the mon-keigh had managed. It was only once they had finished their slaughter of the mon-keigh soldiers that things had started to go wrong.

A momentary flicker in mid air was the first Ahtalia knew of the Grey Knight counter attack, watching as an entire unit of kabalite warriors were immolated by the teleporting terminators. A brief message had the dark eldar swarming back towards humanity's finest warriors, who were finding the tactical dreadnought armour almost impossible to penetrate. Several squads of Grey Knights had appeared in the midst of the combined Kabal and Cult forces, and they were taking an unacceptably high cost to kill even one.

It had been then, even as Ahtalia ordered her raider towards the most ornamented squad and Maiahvel had mirrored her orders to her own raider, that the tables had turned once more. A hungry shriek pierced the air as Zheriaq and his enslaved pets entered the fray, the tyranids hurling themselves at the impenetrable silver wall of the astartes. Almost miraculously the massed hormagaunts and raveners, under the command of a hand picked acothyst each, were not only holding their own against the super warriors but actually winning. Soon enough the kabalite warriors and wyches had regained their nerve and charged back in, unwilling to be seen as cowards.

"It was an impressive attack." Maiahvel's voice snapped Ahtalia back to the present, the succubus and her remaining bloodbrides moving the join the archon and her depleted bodyguard. The archon bit back a response as she noticed Zheriaq moving to join them, flanked by his ravener attendants.

"The silver clad warriors are challenging indeed, but a welcome one." he hissed, the gargoyle tongue forcing the words out as he moved past them to gaze at the battlefield in rapture. Ahtalia glanced over at Maiahvel, seeing the succubus nod in response. The archon strode forward, holding herself proudly as she moved to his side.

"Zheriaq, are your facilities in Commorragh adequate?" she asked, her tone keeping its normal arrogance despite her awe at the combat prowess of his tyranids. He looked at her with a strange expression on his gargoyle face, one Ahtalia suspected was a frown.

"My personal quarters are all I want, though if you have any spare room I would appreciate being allowed to extend my laboratories." he replied, nodding. "If we may discuss this later, my lady?" Ahtalia nodded, watching the haemonculus and his bio-weapons descend into the carrion. Under a wave from Maiahvel both her bodyguard and Ahtalia's followed, though the archon kept Bhariss from leaving with a simple gesture.

"May I speak?" Bhariss asked, continuing when neither archon nor succubus stopped him. "I would suggest that perhaps your swift rise to power had caused your to overestimate your political power. May I recommend that you allow the revered haemonculus more latitude, so that he will not feel any possible resent towards you my lady."

"It is difficult to assume one is strong when they appear before you with a few beasts, but much more believable when they overcome a foe we cannot." Maiahvel added, seeing Ahtalia nod in agreement.

"You are both correct." she said. "Perhaps now is the time to take a step back and assess my own power."

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PostSubject: Re: Rise of the Tyrantslayer   Sun Jun 19 2011, 06:16

"This is Fury of Macragge, inbound. Estimated arrival in three minutes and twenty seven seconds." Brother Garius said, piloting the Thunderhawk gunship with all the finesse those of the Adeptus Astartes had in their gene enhanced psyche. "Terminator squad Beldus and Venerable Brother Harkus are embarked and ready to reinforce your position Lord Macragge." Finished with his report, Garius reached over to end the transmission when he noticed the radar blinking at him. His head snapped back up as he realised the radar was insisting that an enemy craft was flying just above them, only to see a single bright orange haired eldar perched on the windscreen attaching something to the Thunderhawk.

Maiahvel grinned at the Astartes pilot, blowing him a quick kiss before leaping up to land with perfect grace on her raider. As the clumsy looking craft exploded underneath them, she hoped dearly that he had had the time to recognise the haywire grenade.

Ahtalia and her bodyguard carved a bloody path through the Ultramarines, whips and klaives lashing out in every direction to decapitate and dismember the space marines with a skill that far surpassed their own. Spying her true prey, Ahtalia left Bhariss and the incubi to continue their fun and ran full pelt at the enemy leader, a commanding space marine clad in the bulky terminator armour so favoured by the human elites. When he caught sight of her, he stopped issuing orders to his troops and surged forward to meet her.

"Xenos scum!" Marneus Calgar shouted as he swung one gauntlet at her. "You will regret the day you attacked a world under my protection!" Ahtalia merely laughed as the blow glanced harmlessly off her shadow field, bringing her whip around to slash a wound across his thigh. Incredibly the chapter master managed to ignore the pain that would debilitate any other mortal, staying focussed on the archon.

"You would have to kill me first, but I very much doubt that will happen." she taunted him, using her speed to vault over him and deliver another lash across his back. He once again ignored the technological pain of her electrocorrosive whip, turning to unleash a salvo from his wrist mounted storm bolter, the mass reactive shells exploding harmlessly on her shadow field and leaving Ahtalia unscathed. He scowled, knowing that he had not had the chance to reload on returning from his campaign against the tyranids. Even as he charged again, he noticed that she was frowning, turning and running to the window of the ruined building rather than meeting his challenge.

"Coward!" he roared, glaring at her with hatred. She paused long enough to glance scornfully over her shoulder at the hulking Astartes.

"I wish I could stay long enough to remove your tongue, but I am afraid I must leave." she replied, leaping out the window into nothingness. He raced to the window as fast as his armour would allow, only to see her rise back into view on the back of a venom, her bodyguard already embarked. "We shall dance again, I promise!" Her laughter rang in his ears even as the dark eldar craft sped away, leaving him to count his losses.

Lady Ahtalia Tyrantslayer frowned, even as the venom bore them back to the safety of Commorragh. She knew the Astartes were fast, but their ship had simply been too far away from the planet to intervene in the time frame that the Frozen Talon attacked, yet they had been there before the dark eldar. Her test had at least confirmed her suspicions; someone was leaking her plans to her enemies, and she already knew the suspects. The only ones who had known about the target beforehand aside from herself were Maiahvel, Zheriaq and Bhariss...

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Kabal of the Frozen Talon
Rise of the Tyrantslayer - a short story about Ahtalia's rise to power
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PostSubject: Re: Rise of the Tyrantslayer   Thu Aug 04 2011, 13:08

Maiahvel watched with pride as her bloodbrides weaved and danced with the howling banshees inside the ruined mon-keigh building, even the elite aspect warriors unable to land a blow with their blades on her chosen bodyguard. She paid little attention to the rest of her wyches as they tore through the pathfinders, more interested in assessing her handmaidens and their worthiness to keep their posts. The fight lasted scant moments longer as the bloodbrides grew weary of their sport, darting in to slice at the narrowest gaps in armour or to lance wickedly sharp blades through the eye sockets of the craftworld armour. She gave them a bloodthirsty smile of appreciation as they looked for her approval, though their eager looks gave way to awestruck ones as a shadow fell over the succubus.

She didn't even bother to face the towering wraithlord as it charged towards her, save for a half-turn to bring her agoniser around in a wide arc, the powered whip slashing through the wraithbone construct's legs and forcing the bloodbrides to scatter as it's massive form crashed heavily in the space they had just vacated. Maiahvel wasted no time in leaping onto its back to bring her weapon slicing down into its head to disable the construct permanently. There hadn't been an autarch leading this force, but such a kill would suffice.

"If you are finished playing with your toy, honoured succubus, may I have a word?" Zheriaq's ragged hissing broke Maiahvel out of her reverie, the succubus turning to watch the haemonculus approach with his raveners. She leapt lightly off the wraithlord's back to land in front of him, unconcerned with the few pockets of resistance that comprised the craftworld strike force. "I must admit I was surprised with the speed Ahtalia cleared us from her search. Your thoughts on the matter?"

"I suspect she is not entirely trusting of us." Maiahvel answered, waving for her bodyguard to leave them. A few synaptic arcs had the raveners follow them, more interested in the dead than those being rounded up by the wyches. "The mind of any archon is labyrinth. Perhaps she is merely trying to exploit another angle."

"It matters not to me, I suppose." the haemonculus mused, idly examining his flesh gauntlet. "I have no reason to betray the Frozen Talon, for the strong in flow of new tyranid organisms is of great use."

"Likewise the Seventh Woe has seen an increase in influence, thanks in part to the Frozen Talon." she added. "I may long for the days where Vontahl was subservient to me, but there is no denying the dynamic force of young blood. Ahtalia is a useful ally... and this leads me to believe that she thinks our plans being leaked rests somewhere within her own kabal."

***

"Bhariss, must you leave again so soon?" The heirarch looked down at the young Trueborn that was currently sharing his quarters, seeing her light blue eyes staring back at him, her dark red hair falling gracefully along her naked form as she lightly traced a finger over his chest. "You have been going on realspace raids so often as of late that you barely have enough time for me."

"You need not worry about such things." he murmured back quietly, stroking along her face to brush some hair away. Her skin was silky to his touch, the young girl shivering delightfully. "I am sure that Ahtalia will not constantly spend her resources recklessly. There will be a reprieve soon, and we can spend more time together."

"Touching." Bhariss and his lover jerked out of each other's grasp at the sneer long enough for cold hands to grasp their limbs, the mandrakes pulling themselves out of the shadows fully as Ahtalia stood in the doorway, her arms folded under her breasts and a single eyebrow perfectly arched at the sight. Bhariss stared at the archon, shock and incomprehension warring for control of his features until his lover snapped and shock won out.

"Foolish bitch." she hissed, ignoring the angry hissing of the shadowy creatures that kept her pinned. "You are lucky to have lasted as long as you have, street trash. You think yourself powerful? Ha!" Ahtalia didn't concern herself with listening to the rest of the tirade, striding across the room to lean above the red haired eldar, before phasing out her necrontyr hand and thrusting it into the girl's lower jaw. A wordless and mutilated shriek pierced the air as the white haired archon tore her tongue out whilst leaving the rest of her mouth unscathed, examining it for a second before letting it fall to the ground. The mandrakes holding her leapt at the prize, though she made no move to escape as the pain and numbness in her limbs kept her from doing little more than thrash around impotently. Ahtalia quickly tired of her antics, plunging her hand into her chest and removing the girls heart in one fluid motion. Even as her body twitched its last, she tossed the bloody organ to Bhariss and moved to the foot of the bed, a sardonic sneer on her face once more.

"Bhariss, the next time you wish to take a woman, do make sure she is not enslaved to my brother first will you?" she sighed, using the claw once again to tear off the corpse's foot and cast it onto his bare chest. Curious, he turned the appendage over to find a stylised talon adorning it, the claw dripping with blood in a similar manner to the one that the Frozen Talon warriors had adorning the backs of their hands. As if to answer his unspoken question, Ahtalia lifted a single foot onto the bed and removed her high heel, revealing an identical tattoo. "It is a mark of the Crimson Talon. I will have to have it removed at some point, when Zheriaq has a spare moment. But for now, remember that I will have you permanently castrated if you do not check. Perhaps you will even remember that even telling someone you will be departing on a raid is giving vital information to potential enemies." With little more than a click of her fingers, she led the mandrakes and their latest meal out of the heirarch's quarters to leave him to his thoughts.

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Rise of the Tyrantslayer - a short story about Ahtalia's rise to power
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