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 Dynasty Falls.

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Cavash
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PostSubject: Dynasty Falls.   Sun Feb 10 2013, 18:35

Dynasty Falls.


His blood wept the claret distilled in millennia of pain and suffering. It matted in his hair, coursed its way down his porcelain white face in a cascading waterfall of horrid ink and stained deeply into the night-blue formal robes that clung tightly to his body. The high arms of his chair held onto his limp limbs and the length of the great throne supported him as his body became bereft of life.

The screams kicked out from all around. Down on the lower levels the peasantry had no idea as to what had happened, their knowledge limited to what vivid rumours were circulating. The nobility in the other balconies wailed in terror and disbelief, few managing to raise their eyes and look at the mess before them.

His wife cried out for help from the guards but she was silenced, too. A shot from the assassin’s Blast Pistol vaporised her vocal cords and sent her reeling to the floor. She had never been a good enough wife for the target. Not that any of this mattered now that their souls would slip into the abyss.

The opera stopped imminently, the crescendo of the performers matched with two explosions of acrid black flame. The performers were engulfed, and so were most of the crowd.

This night, the night the Dynasty would topple, had only just begun.

Coming soon.

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PostSubject: Re: Dynasty Falls.   Sun Feb 10 2013, 18:48

...:O

Drama! Excitement! Explosions! Cavash you're a story tease! Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Dynasty Falls.   Sun Feb 10 2013, 19:00

Well, that's what I was aiming for! Very Happy

I have enjoyed writing this so far and I should have it posted on Tuesday.

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Kinnay
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PostSubject: Re: Dynasty Falls.   Sun Feb 10 2013, 19:18

Loving it so far! Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Dynasty Falls.   Sun Feb 10 2013, 21:01

Thank you, Kinnay! I am sure that you shall enjoy it when I get around to posting the finished story! Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Dynasty Falls.   Tue Feb 12 2013, 14:55

Part I


Earlier.
“Up there, the one standing beneath the banners.”

Tillious Vyrell looked up from his position on the first floor to where the Commorrite had pointed. One man stood upon the floating balcony assessing the guests while his men lined the two staircases that spiralled down to the atrium’s floor. The entire high-vaulted chamber was pristinely decorated. Great swathes of purple and red silk ribbons hung from the ceiling, intertwining and weaving in a grandiose web. Around the walls, from high bladed arches, banners and flags of the Pierced Heart hung down, almost as if to claim all those who stared upon them.

The hand railings along the staircases were a shimmering bronze with braziers exuding warming blue soul-light at regular intervals. They made cold yet reassuring shadows that the natives found so welcoming.

“That’s him?” his direction of sight was blatantly obvious. His blue irises clashed terribly with his dark, foreign flesh, making them the first thing that anybody noticed about him.

“Don’t look him in the eyes, fool.” He snatched Tillious’s arm, being careful of the blades that lined it. “If he catches you staring you will have the fate of every man that has ever wronged him.”

“What’s that?”

“You shall be scalped,” he pointed to his topknot of dyed green hair, “your tongue shall be split,” he moved an elegantly thin finger towards his lips, “your limbs shall be snapped” he shook the arm in his grip for emphasis, “and your blood shall be spilled. Oh yes, and then your heart might be pierced. You might be burned and branded, flayed and peeled for your dark hide and you might even be beaten a little first. This, of course, would take part over several nights. The days would be spent nursing you back to health.”

Vyrell felt sick. Back home the worst that they came across were the gangs of youths that only managed to stab somebody occasionally, and even they could be fought off with ease. It quickly became apparent that he was dealing with something far worse.

“So, his name is Tr… Tr…”

“Veshmelikanth Tr’anrik, Captain of the Janissaries. He is in command of the Grand Archon’s personal guard. They are tough. They are more than tough; they are elite to the extreme. Something about them, I don’t know what, makes them completely loyal to their master.”

Vyrell looked confused for a moment before remembering that he was amongst Commorrites now.

“It is rumoured that they were all raised by the Archon himself, that they were created from scraps of darkness and evil. Some say that they are depravity given flesh.”

“And what do you believe?” He raised an eyebrow after realising that all he was being provided with was rumour and hushed whisper.

“I think that they’re paid enough not to turn their weapons. Nobody in this damned city is loyal, and I refuse to believe that allegiances can be indoctrinated into somebody.” The Commorrite looked across the room. “This way.” He gestured, causing him to follow.

Through the crowd of gathered Eldar, Kabalite citizens and nobles alike, they traversed; careful of dresses with long trains and courteous to the men that they passed. Everybody’s eyes were shiftily on each other. For Vyrell it felt as if he was being pried open with the long, deceitful claws of their sight. He could have sworn he was itchy, or that his skin was being burnt from him.

“H-hang on.” He slouched on a railing and raised his hands to his face. Removing his Orkhide gloves he noticed the most vicious of rashes.

“Ha.” The Commorrite laughed, sticking a needle into his arm.

“What-what was that?” He asked, vision starting to blur.

“The antivenom. You were poisoned, Exodite. Be careful, we are not back in your blasted village. We have a purpose here. How many fingers am I holding up?”

He raised his hand as Vyrell closed his eyes to fall into slumber.

“How many fingers!” He screamed, thrashing the Exodite’s cheek to awaken him. “I do apologise,” he spoke to passers by that shot him with judging glances, “my companion is being gravely impertinent.”

“Hmm, quite.” A woman remarked snidely. Who cared what she thought? Her face was past rejuvenation, anyway.

“How many fingers, Tillious?” He used his first name to try and comfort him… something that made the Commorrite feel dirty.

“Four?”

“Yes. You’ll be fine.” He helped the Exodite off of the polished rail and moved with him towards a pristinely dressed man. Around him a crowd had gathered to admire his long black hair and military decorations. The heads hanging at his belt were held in stasis fields, keeping them in the perfect condition. An aura clung to him accompanied by the slightest of scents, something the Exodite had not picked out. He had a Shadow Field… or two.

His knife-laced armour kept everybody at bay, as did the four armed Trueborn around him.

“Who is he?” Tillious asked in a whisper as they joined the back of the crowd. Everybody was pretending to smile and raising their crystal glasses in a toast to him, but it was clear that their affection was false.

“He is a Prince of the Cavash Dynasty. There were three, originally. Yriinad Cavash; his is a sad story.” The Commorrite grinned maliciously. “Best to save it for another day, however, when we are rolling in riches and less likely to be lynched for the dishonour of telling his tale. The other Prince… you already know of him. This one… he’s a waste of perfectly good skin.” He spat before looking around, realising that his voice had been raised by his emotion.

“He’s our target?”

“No, Tillious. He’s my target. The Janissary Captain is who you must deal with.”

“What? Why?”

“The Janissary is arrogant. He will travel by himself to investigate whatever has caught his eye. The Prince will remain guarded. Having spent centuries here I know ways of getting to people, even if they are heavily guarded.”

“Why do I have no aid for my mission? Why can’t the Craftworlder come with me?”

“He is busy, Exodite. He is in the opera, after all. His absence would raise suspicion.”

“And what of the Harpy? Fellrahn? Was that her name?” His voice whimpered a little, his distress becoming apparent.

“Fellrahn is in the crowd. I didn’t think that you’d want to be alone with her? I thought that she scared you?”

“Scared? Of course not.” He tried to be assertive, standing tall and painting his face with the brush of deception. He failed. “I just think that it is rude for one to never talk… and that bird mask…”

“What is it about birds that you do not like?” He laughed with contempt, stepping away from his companion to create the smallest distance between them.

“It’s my people’s beliefs. The bird is a symbol of Khaine, with it only destruction is brought.”

“Yes, and tonight we are the birds. We bring the destruction and let the whole of T’llionoch know who we are.”

The Commorrite stepped back with the crowd, dragging the Exodite with him as the Prince made his way out of the spotlight and into a side room. Their eyes turned skyward as they noticed the Janissary moving into the corridor that led to the upper floors of the Black Opera Hall.

“Go, follow him.” He pushed the Exodite away towards the stairs, carefully handing him a thin phial the length of his smallest finger. “Don’t knock into anybody and stand your ground. Try to… look mean.” He encouraged as he turned to follow the prince.

“What’s this?”

“An alternative to your knife. Stab him, dart him, pour it into his drink; I don’t care what you do. He’ll die. I promise.”

Carefully Tillious slipped the capsule into his pocket and nervously moved up the stairs, holding his gaze away from the faces of the Janissaries that stood in vermillion clad exuding their hateful aura.
-----------------

“Excuse me, madam, but would you mind removing your mask?” A well groomed usher asked as she reached the doors of the seating hall.

Looking up at him with a quizzical tilt of the head she placed one hand upon his chest and forced him away with no more acknowledgement than staring straight through him.

“Madame! Stop!” He pleaded, a small crowd gathering behind him at the doors. As she moved towards her allocated seat she weaved through the masses, gracefully side-stepping the trip hazards of the formal dresses and the bladed items of jewellery that seemed to dangle excessively from every guest. Through each member of the public attempted to stand out they all looked the same in her eyes… which might not have been such a hindrance considering the lack of any single target.

Having intermingled with the citizens adequately she noticed a bustle ahead of her, the disgruntled murmuring of guests being forced aside making the advancing Kabalites obvious.

No doubt they had been called to take her away and get ‘compliance’ from her, but she had little to fear.

A hand was planted firmly upon her shoulder. “Come with us, citizen.” The Kabalite’s voice was distinctive beneath his helm. His voice was rasping, obviously due to the air-toxins of the failed raid of Ternavar Secundus. She had researched it extensively, like any other movement of the Kabal. It was, to say the least, a massacre.

Looking up, she answered in the only way she could, by stepping into the main walkway and following them at gunpoint into a soundproof room away from the onlookers.

They escorted her in; the room contained a single chair at its centre that they obviously wanted her to sit in. They would have no such luck.

The tallest, a Kabalite with a sword at his belt, removed his helmet to look face to face with the bird-masked woman, but in the brief moment that his vision was restricted she had claimed the lives of the rest of his patrol.

In her hand, gripped fearsomely tight, was a punch-dagger that slashed the jugular of the first Kabalite and punched into the chest of the second.

By the time his eyes grew accustomed to the world she had vaulted with one foot from the seat and was bearing down on him, punch-dagger plummeting towards his left eye.
---------------

“Twenty minutes until the first performers are on stage.” The director shouted above those participating in the opera, the whip in his hand grabbing their attention. The performers were frantically organised. Many ran to get props and equipment where others flipped overhead with special grav-harnesses similar to flip-belts that allowed them freer movement.

He was calm, but for how long? Back on the Craftworld he had one of the finest singing voices, but would it be enough to keep the Archon pleased for long enough to enact his mission?

He was the lead vocalist and blood-orchestrator for the headlining piece, a piece written specifically to commemorate the victory of the Dynasty over countless agents of the Ordo Xenos and their Imperial pawns. The piece was called Dynasty Falls.

He didn’t understand most of the meaning behind what he was performing, his Craftworld mind causing him to lack the understanding a lifetime in Commorragh had bred into the original lead vocalist, but he understood most of it.

What he could not grasp was the emotion.

The joy of killing for killing’s sake was utterly alien to him and if he could not portray the glee then he would surely be executed on stage. All he had to do was captivate the audience for long enough.

Naturally he wanted them to enjoy it for it was his trade. It was his passion. What was the point in assassinating the whole Dynasty if his talents couldn’t be appreciated?
“You, are you ready?”

“Yes.” He told the director calmly after warming his vocal chords. “Why did the last vocalist drop out?” He inquired.

“He didn’t drop out, he disappeared. Nobody knows where he is, he hasn’t been seen or heard from for weeks.”

“Oh… do you think he could have been taken by the Pierced Heart?”

“Don’t speculate. Perform.” His bitterness was certainly understandable to the Craftworlder. In the director’s position the lack of adequate opera singers could result in an excrutiating death. Little did he know that his former vocalist had been fed to the Mandrakes for a reasonable fee.
--------------

He stepped into the atrium like any other guest, unannounced yet with an air of arrogance that was undeserved of the Kabalite citizens.

He hadn’t held himself in this posture for a long time, not since before he left the black streets of the cankerous city. He had not missed this place. His dark purple formal clothing lined with spun silks of gold and inlaid with the red dust of shattered gems was enough to make it so that he was noticed by others, but not too much.

He was the only person there entitled to walk with such confidence. He would be their new Grand Archon by the morning; something he would achieve by the mourning of the masses. Through severe loss to the lives of his subordinates he would establish his dominance. He knew what he had to do, it was simple. Over elaborate plans had a higher chance of getting found out in his past experience, so he would only need to be around for a matter of minutes. It would be grand to stay and watch the opera but he could not allow himself such an indulgence, yet.

He looked around at the guests, many of whom had stopped to inspect him. His face was covered by an ornate mask of polished obsidian that was fashioned into a harrowing smile, but, more peculiarly, he was all by himself.

Everybody else present was accompaniedby family, a lover or a courtesan; it was a rare occasion to see a man of no particular stature visit an orchestral house by himself.

He was not alone, no matter what they thought. Throughout the theatre four of his most capable lieutenants, ranging from across the entirety of the Eldar race, were making preparations for something spectacular.

His eyes, hidden by the black abyssal lenses that helped disguise him, locked with that of a man stood resplendent amidst a crowd of civilians showering him in adoration. He didn’t need to see his radiant armour to recognise him, however; his face was familiar enough.

“Prince Cavash.” He whispered to himself as the regal figure walked through the parting crowd that was forced aside by his guards.

His stare lingered for a moment as the Prince passed until he noticed the Commorrite following close behind.
Good, he would be taken care of.

Now he just had to wait for the pieces to fall into place, then he would begin his usurpation

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Lady Malys
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PostSubject: Re: Dynasty Falls.   Tue Feb 12 2013, 15:20

Intriguing, and some very engaging scene-setting for what is to come! I shall PM you with my suspicions. I think i know what might be going on, but one can never be sure in Commorragh ... Very Happy

I enjoyed the descriptions of the formality of the opera and high society. Also

Quote :
“How many fingers, Tillious?” He used his first name to try and comfort him… something that made the Commorrite feel dirty.

I heard too that if you're nice to a Commorrite, it burns Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Dynasty Falls.   Tue Feb 12 2013, 21:21

Thank you, Malys!

I ended up finishing this part, reading through it and being slightly irked by the lack of scenery in it, so I added in some more. I quite like the Black Hall.

What did you think of the Exodite? Did you think that he was diffreent enough from the Commorrite to show just how alien they are to each other, or does he still need some work? Smile

Cheers, and thanks for the feedback!

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PostSubject: Re: Dynasty Falls.   Wed Feb 13 2013, 13:41

Great read. I was actually disappointed when Part I ended! Smile

One thing though: of course I can be wrong, but I feel that the Exodite feels a little Craftworldish to me. Kind of, uhm, weak. I missed a little of their grim resolution. Where Craftworlders are controlled monks and Commorrites are psychopathic murderers, I imagine Exodites to be grim soldiers with a true cause and little care for others. When you wrote that back in Vyrell's village the most dangerous thing he'd encounter were youth gangs, he lost a bit of his credibility. Then again, maybe it's just me. Razz

I'm looking forward to learning how the Exodite and Craftworlder got to find themselves as agents for an Archon in Commorragh! Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Dynasty Falls.   Wed Feb 13 2013, 14:08

Thank you, Kinnay.

Thanks for the feedback on the Exodite, I didn't really know how to present him. I do see your point of view on them, but I have always thought of them as being more focussed on what they do and being one with nature to stay sane instead of warriors. Yeah, they'll fight ferociously to defend their home, but I don't usually think of them as a group of people that train many warriors constantly.
I guess it all depends on which world they're from. Dynasty Falls is a character building exericise, by the way... how this odd crew got together could be explained in so many stories... 40k doesn't have to be linear, afterall. Very Happy

I shall take your feedback into account, though, and there will be some short parts coming up explaining how they got into the head assassin's service. Smile

Cheers, and thanks for the feedback!

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PostSubject: Re: Dynasty Falls.   Tue Apr 16 2013, 11:18

Again, great work Cavash. As always, an enjoyable read. Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Dynasty Falls.   Thu Apr 18 2013, 14:43

Thank you, Mush! I have written about half of the next part, but then I got lazy, as always. Razz

More shall hopefully be coming soon.

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