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 The Fall of Thandrom - Secrets of the Black Library (2nd Annual Fiction Competition)

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Haagrum
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PostSubject: The Fall of Thandrom - Secrets of the Black Library (2nd Annual Fiction Competition)   Sat May 03 2014, 18:03

Too easy, Archon Torael thought.

His kabal’s raid on Fordis III had been meticulously planned.  Its capital, Thandrom, was a fortress, too resilient for direct assault – a lesson other Archons had learned the hard way.  Whispered rumours of forgotten technologies and wealth beyond avarice in the archeovaults of the long-abandoned neighbouring world of Fordis IV had enticed the planetary governor to betray his own rulers and claim its riches for his own.  

Chief among the plunder from Fordis IV was a jewel the size of a mon-keigh’s face, beguiling colours emanating from within.  For the sake of verisimilitude, Torael had sacrificed the more seditious members of his kabal against the tech-priests and their clumsy cybernetic servants.  Convinced of the item’s power and uniqueness, the governor had the surviving members of the tech-priests’ expedition killed and took the scintillating bauble for his prize.  The man’s greed had left his planet ripe for the slaughter.  

The jewel had been planted months earlier by Torael’s lieutenant, Lyssal.  It contained a two-stage timed warhead.  The first had disabled every power generator, force field and automated weapon system in Thandrom.  The second had torn open a cavernous webway portal within the governor’s private museum, through which Torael’s kabal had surged like a murderous tide.

From the balcony of the governor’s palace, Torael surveyed the destruction of Thandrom with exultant pride.  He had made a point of capturing every moment of the governor’s excruciating demise.  The Wych-cultists Torael had employed to accompany the raid had made a fine (if one-sided) display out of the governor’s guards and servants.  Chased through halls he had thought inviolable, terrified and tormented, the man merely begged for his life when Torael cornered him.  It was not until he saw the Cronos engine approaching that the governor realised a quick death would have been preferable.

Too easy, but perfectly executed.  Tales will spread.  Torael would enjoy reviewing the vid-captures with Lyssal.  Watching the Cronos’s work always excited her more depraved lusts.

He was still chuckling when the impaler’s blade slipped through his spine to emerge from his chest.

---

Through an intoxicating delirium of pain, Torael forced open his remaining eye.  From prior resurrections, he recognised the Haemonculus Hierolakh’s chambers.  Two shapes resolved themselves into recognisable forms – the Haemonculus that had thrice previously restored Torael to life, and Lyssal.  Still flushed with youth and vigour from the raid, Lyssal’s beauty contrasted sharply with the hideous flesh-crafter.  Lyssal smiled as she noticed Torael’s awareness of his surroundings.  

“Ah, my lord awakes.  Have no fear for your survival, Torael.  I have paid our mutual friend very well to ensure your longevity."
 
Her smile shifted, becoming a mocking grin.  “Substantially more than I paid the Bloodbrides to deliver you.”

Lyssal turned to Hierolakh.

“Do invite me back when you’ll be working on him.  His last death was far too swift to be properly enjoyed.”  

Inside his amnio-chamber, filling with terror and rage, Torael began to scream.


Last edited by Haagrum on Sun May 04 2014, 01:42; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Better expression.)
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Jimsolo
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PostSubject: Re: The Fall of Thandrom - Secrets of the Black Library (2nd Annual Fiction Competition)   Wed May 14 2014, 23:55

I was a little unclear about what was happening at the end. It all played out a little confusingly. I wasn't sure why she'd had him resurrected if she wanted him dead. Is she just torturing him before he gets out? Or was the haemonculus planning on turning Torael into some wrack/grotesque/unnamed thing?
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Cakeaunoob
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PostSubject: Re: The Fall of Thandrom - Secrets of the Black Library (2nd Annual Fiction Competition)   Thu May 15 2014, 08:40

Jim: If someone has wronged you and you have the capability to kill them over and over, why not do it?
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Jimsolo
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PostSubject: Re: The Fall of Thandrom - Secrets of the Black Library (2nd Annual Fiction Competition)   Fri May 16 2014, 04:54

Hahaha, no! They'd only just break out of their tube and come after me! I'm a 'better safe than sorry' kind of bloke.  Very Happy 

But I get the whole 'excessive revenge' thing. It just didn't seem like there had been any motivation set up for Lyssal harboring that level of hate for her boss.
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Lady Malys
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PostSubject: Re: The Fall of Thandrom - Secrets of the Black Library (2nd Annual Fiction Competition)   Fri May 16 2014, 21:02

Sometimes being a Dark Eldar is all the reason to hate you need Twisted Evil 

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Jimsolo
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PostSubject: Re: The Fall of Thandrom - Secrets of the Black Library (2nd Annual Fiction Competition)   Fri May 16 2014, 22:41

Okie doke.  Laughing  If everyone else thinks it's fine, then rock on! Forget I said anything.  Very Happy 
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Haagrum
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PostSubject: Re: The Fall of Thandrom - Secrets of the Black Library (2nd Annual Fiction Competition)   Sat May 17 2014, 10:41

Thanks for the feedback, everyone.

@Jimsolo: I tend to write fairly minimalist stuff.  Usually, the detailed images and ideas/conclusions that people can come up with in their own heads are more satisfying than anything I try to describe.  I agree that I've left it a bit vague, but that's part of the point - no matter what fate is in store for Torael, it will be awful, probably ironic, and it will certainly not be quick.  He might end up as a Grotesque, he might be discarded after being used to create a new cloning template, or maybe he'll just be a crippled plaything entirely aware of his fate that Hierolakh keeps around because it amuses him.  Whatever the outcome, he knows that he's there because his pride blinded him to Lyssal's plans and that left him open to the assassin's strike.

As for Lyssal's reasoning... well, see the first sentence of the previous paragraph.  I didn't have room to provide a reason in full, but I tend to think she did it (1) because she saw an opening in Torael's defences, (2) because he acted like he owned her, and (3) because he was weak enough for her to manipulate by playing the role of a dedicated subordinate and lover.  Any reason that seems to make sense to the reader will do, though - as Lady Malys noted, Dark Eldar will do anything purely for the evulz, and whatever explanation works for the reader is good enough for me.
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Thor665
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PostSubject: Re: The Fall of Thandrom - Secrets of the Black Library (2nd Annual Fiction Competition)   Wed Jun 25 2014, 04:49

I like the regeneration for constant revenge idea though, that’s a cool thought.  I also liked the double pride and fall worked into the story.

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