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Braden Campbell
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PostSubject: "Tantalus"   Mon May 12 2014, 17:08

http://www.blacklibrary.com/all-products/tantalus-ebook.html

So... I wrote this earlier in the Spring.

It's extrapolated from the unit write-up, and is the story of how the Nightspur Reaver gang took the first Tantalus away from Archon Surasis Grief.

(the black buzzards even get a mention, I believe)  Smile 

Hope you all enjoy!

- Braden
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Lady Malys
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PostSubject: Re: "Tantalus"   Mon May 12 2014, 19:17

I did, very much! Thanks for an awesome read Very Happy

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Braden Campbell
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PostSubject: Re: "Tantalus"   Sat May 17 2014, 20:00

Anyone else read it yet?
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LilLoser
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PostSubject: Re: "Tantalus"   Sun May 18 2014, 09:08

I read it. I'm always apprehensive about buying these short stories and even more so about fiction written about the dark eldar. The dark kin have a horrible habit of ending up as one dimensional maniacs with little to no identifiable characteristics.

If I may quote a section;

“…that an aetherstorm is brewing. Nitholeh, should we set out with sails compressed or unfurled?’
The young woman rolled her eyes. ‘I don’t know,’ she sighed.
‘Unfurled,’ Roteus spat. ‘For greater speed.’
‘Muses! You’ve learned nothing, either of you.’ Grief made his way to the Tantalus’s elevated steering platform with powerful strides. ‘This is an alpha-strike attack run, Roteus, with an opening volley at long range. Sails unfurled would leave us without sufficient power to the weapons.”

Excerpt From: Campbell, Braden. “Tantalus.” Black Library, 2014-05. iBooks.
This material may be protected by copyright.

This exemplifies the dark eldar spirit - speed, recklessness and savagery. The young archon to be would plough headlong into the storm with sails unfurled (an incredibly bad idea for a boat as the sail would just rip and in extreme case snap the mast). However the old archon doesn't admonish him for his lack of forethought when it came to safety, but his lack of foresight that unfurling the sails will drain energy from the weapons.

This is one of the best short stories I've read from black library - dark eldar or not. Braden you know how to spin a yarn man. It's superb. You understand the psyche of the dark eldar and you've managed to portray it well. I hope that you write more fiction about the dark eldar (and dark elves if you fancy stretching your fantasy legs). I was delighted to see the dark buzzards make an appearance.

Do you have any more plans for more dark eldar stories?


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Braden Campbell
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PostSubject: Re: "Tantalus"   Sun May 18 2014, 14:11


Quote :
"However the old archon doesn't admonish him for his lack of forethought when it came to safety, but his lack of foresight that unfurling the sails will drain energy from the weapons.

Also read: moving flat out in the first turn won't let me fire these awesome disintegrators. Wink



I'm glad you enjoyed it. As for other works by me, you could always check out "Mistress Baeda's Gift". It's a Dark Eldar love story.


Yes, you read that right.
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PostSubject: Re: "Tantalus"   Mon May 19 2014, 01:59

I enjoyed it. I really liked the end when the reaver realized that his fans would want to be him just like he wanted to be Grief.
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Cavash
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PostSubject: Re: "Tantalus"   Mon May 19 2014, 22:13

I enjoyed that much more than the DE trilogy. Very good work.

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PostSubject: Re: "Tantalus"   Sun Jun 01 2014, 18:16

You captured reavers perfectly! What a beautifully illustrated spectacle! Truly the sports stars of Commorragh, narcissists beyond compare.

I agree with Cavash the Dark Eldar trilogy pales in comparison.

Quote :
Even the Black Buzzards thought highly of him, and those maniacs were renowned for hating everyone.

Also you just made my year! Thanks for sharing the pain. Wink

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“Even the Black Buzzards thought highly of him, and those maniacs were renowned for hating everyone.” - Tantalus, by Braden Campbell
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orestes85
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PostSubject: Re: "Tantalus"   Mon Jun 02 2014, 20:45

I didn't know there were official EBooks. I was just following the DE Path trilogy. I'll definitely give this a read.
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PostSubject: Re: "Tantalus"   Mon Jun 02 2014, 20:59

Quote :
I agree with Cavash the Dark Eldar trilogy pales in comparison.
You know you're not a fan of the series if you can't get past about page 100 of Path of the Incubus. Wink

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PostSubject: Re: "Tantalus"   Mon Jun 02 2014, 21:48

Yeah, compared to the one dimensional, too human and frankly dull characters of the DE path series. Braden's stories always seem to pierce to the heart of what it means to be Dark Eldar, it's one of the reasons why I thoroughly enjoyed both Mistress Baeda's Gift and Tantalus. Very Happy

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“Even the Black Buzzards thought highly of him, and those maniacs were renowned for hating everyone.” - Tantalus, by Braden Campbell
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PostSubject: Re: "Tantalus"   Tue Jun 03 2014, 07:47

@LilLoser wrote:

This exemplifies the dark eldar spirit - speed, recklessness and savagery. The young archon to be would plough headlong into the storm with sails unfurled (an incredibly bad idea for a boat as the sail would just rip and in extreme case snap the mast). However the old archon doesn't admonish him for his lack of forethought when it came to safety, but his lack of foresight that unfurling the sails will drain energy from the weapons.

Recklessness, that is the one word I would not describe an Dark Eldar with. Any reckless archon would not live to see another day. Pure and simple. Why can Archons no longer ride a jetbike? 'Cause is to easy to kill them if they would ride one, it would be reckless.

Am I the only one that actually liked the DE path series? That being said, I read Tantalus last night and it was indeed enjoyable to read. Classic backstabbing story, interesting characters and well written.
I think the only part I didn't like and to be frankly, I guess you could call it nitpicking, that Grief is called a Dread Archon. A Dread Archon to me would raid around the real space with a much bigger ship.

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Mushkilla
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PostSubject: Re: "Tantalus"   Tue Jun 03 2014, 08:45

I have to say in my mind Dark Eldar need to be reckless, to an extent. The least reckless thing they can do is hide away in the webway where they are sheltered from the calls of she who thirsts. Yet they go into realspace and risk true death for what? Slaves, glory, pleasure and pain. Dark Eldar after all are pain junkies, they may be cold and calculating, patient and manipulative. But at the end of the day there is an ever thirsty monster in each of them. They need to keep that leaky bucket that is there soul topped up.

If anything recklessness is one of the defining characteristics that distinguish the dark eldar from their craftworld brethren who are the epitome of cautious.

Reavers and wyches all follow reckless and violent paths, so that they can bathe in their own glory and fame. Not to mention the more arrogant you are the more reckless you are likely to be because you are just that confident in your own ability.

@Crazy_Irish wrote:

I think the only part I didn't like and to be frankly, I guess you could call it nitpicking, that Grief is called a Dread Archon. A Dread Archon to me would raid around the real space with a much bigger ship.

The way I see it Dread Archon are the Dark Eldar equivalent of admirals (see battle fleet gothic). But you can't go rushing round Commorragh guns blazing on a personal vendetta with a Torture Class Cruiser, as Vect would stop you pretty quickly in your tracks, after all The Dark City must endure.

So what does a Dread Archon use to fly around Commorragh and show off to his enemies, a Tantalus. Smile

That's my take anyway.

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PostSubject: Re: "Tantalus"   Tue Jun 03 2014, 13:11

Reckless, in my opinion, is exactly the wrong word to describe an Dark Eldar. They can not afford to be reckless. Reckless would be to leave the doors to your chambers open. Orks are reckless, going into a fight that you have bad odds is reckless but I still know what you mean.

There are parts of the dark Eldar society that like to be on the edge, like reavers but I would call it daring. Yes the risk their life outside but there is one thing, and I think it is the most important thing for an Dark Eldar, power, and the would not try to get it with recklessness. Because they die first.

And I think the defining characteristic that distinguishes the DE from their cousins is not recklessness. I think it is that Eldar work to save their race and try to save every "brother". Dark Eldar are more self centric. That it's the biggest difference.

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PostSubject: Re: "Tantalus"   Tue Jun 03 2014, 14:50

I just want to say that I think that there are better ways to discuss Mr. Campbell's work than posting specifically to say how terrible you find his colleague's stories. It seems a little churlish and it distracts away from the work under discussion. I understand comparing the two, that makes sense, but to me posting just to put other work down isn't really what the spirit of the discussion is about.

Now that the story in question has been out a little longer Razz I feel I can discuss its wonderfully evocative and fast-paced action in more detail without being too afraid of spoilering the heck out of everyone Very Happy

I really enjoyed the shifting sense of hierarchy within the story, of how one is never able to rest easily at the top of any institution in the Dark City. Someone is always going to want your seat ... It reminded me of how the best gunfighter in town is the one everyone will try to beat (not so many people want the second best shot, which is why it's fractionally safer to be a Dracon).

I loved how Nitholeh and Roteus had manoeuvered themselves into the position of being, not exactly ignorable, but seen as feckless disappointments. A nice display of the Dark Eldar's subtle cunning and ability to take a temporary hit to status in order to secure something in the future.

Quote :
There are parts of the dark Eldar society that like to be on the edge, like reavers but I would call it daring. Yes the risk their life outside but there is one thing, and I think it is the most important thing for an Dark Eldar, power, and the would not try to get it with recklessness. Because they die first.

And I think the defining characteristic that distinguishes the DE from their cousins is not recklessness. I think it is that Eldar work to save their race and try to save every "brother". Dark Eldar are more self centric. That it's the biggest difference.

I agree that 'reckless'. being the opposite of 'calculating', probably isn't the word I'd use. Although I would say that there is a certain need for thrills inherent in a Dark Eldar's psyche. Some Archons become very risk-averse. Others, I would say, find that they just can't help exposing themselves to risk, partly because they love the thrill of proving that they are the best, or because they need to demonstrate how good they are (can't have people forgetting who's the best can we? Wink ). The other defining characteristic of the Dark Eldar is arrogance.

They know they are better. Other people might be putting themselves at risk by doing this, but not them. Those other losers just didn't have the skills ... and so on, call it 'rock-solid self-belief' if you prefer Wink

I think that in Grief there was a touch of the need of the serial killer who is tired of not getting a decent challenge out of their pursuers, and decides to introduce little elements that make their life harder (read: more interesting). It's not enough to have the Tantalus. The Tantalus must be seen and his mastery must be demonstrated. When he sees his young fan copying him, he knows that whatever else life holds for him now, it's not going to be dull.

All in all I really enjoy both the way Tantalus and Mistress Baeda's Gift are written and I would recommend them both for a trip to the Dark City!


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PostSubject: Re: "Tantalus"   Tue Jun 03 2014, 20:49

@Lady Malys wrote:
They know they are better. Other people might be putting themselves at risk by doing this, but not them. Those other losers just didn't have the skills ... and so on, call it 'rock-solid self-belief' if you prefer.

Yeah, that's what I was trying to get at, combined with their arrogance Dark Eldar are just so overwhelmingly confident in their ability, that to them it doesn't appear reckless, as after all when you're the best, who can possibly best you? Letting your opponent live 5 seconds longer just to kill him with more flare is somewhat reckless/risky, yet I feel Dark Eldar can't help it, they just want to show how their opponents just how superior they are. Very Happy

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Braden Campbell
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PostSubject: Re: "Tantalus"   Tue Jun 03 2014, 21:57

To me, good science fiction holds the mirror up to nature in some way. In the Dark Eldar, I see a society that, much like ours of today, is obsessed with entertainment. They are "amusing themselves to death" to borrow a phrase.

Thrill-seeking is simply how they roll, because it distracts them from the emptiness of their lives. They plot, and climb social ladders, and acquire piles of goods, and it looks like their lives are very full. But, in the end, it's all for nought, because all it does is distract them from the horror of She Who Thirsts. Slanesh is always just a few wrong steps away, and if the DE didn't busy themselves with entertainments, then the fear of Her would paralyze them.

Now, what form these entertainments take is quite varied. Some busy themselves with tests of physical skill, while others occupy their time with plots and other mental acrobatics. For Dread Archon Grief (and in my mind, he gave himself that title... who's to tell him different? Wink), it's playing at pirate. Beats sitting around...


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Lady Malys
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PostSubject: Re: "Tantalus"   Wed Jun 04 2014, 03:07

Anything to make life interesting and give it a bit of bite, aye. Usually but not always metaphorical.

Quote :
Dark Eldar can't help it, they just want to show their opponents just how superior they are.

Yup. One may not absolutely need to prove one's superiority, but that doesn't mean that demonstrating it can't be both instructive and fun ... for the Dark Eldar.

So, Mush ... does this mean there are finally enough Reavers? Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: "Tantalus"   Wed Jun 04 2014, 07:17

@Lady Malys wrote:
So, Mush ... does this mean there are finally enough Reavers? Very Happy

My work, here is done. *fades into the darkness*

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PostSubject: Re: "Tantalus"   Thu Jun 05 2014, 20:50

Finally had a chance to read this story. That was a great read! Corsairs, high-speed chases through the entirety of Commorragh, wanton destruction and the bitter realization that in the Dark City, there is but one step from adoration to poisonous envy. I really enjoyed the diversity to the Reavers - I could never think of them as a part of an organized fighting force with one colour scheme - each of them is an individual, a character with his own special flair, because how else can they stand out? Really good flow of the story that provokes very vivid images of the scenes. I'll have to keep an eye on your further works Very Happy


Also, I may be reading too much into it, perhaps, but Warp Riders album works well as a soundtrack to the story, not just one of the gang names Wink

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