Towering ArroganceThree Sslyth was just enough - of course.
A wirey bald Archon stepped over the twisted serpent corpses and passed the wreckage of their venom as he thought.Keeping the ravagers hidden until the vermin had launched first volley - as always.
Venoms awaiting the pink weaklings pouring out of the wreckage - as always.
Scourges were on time, and eager! Ass kissers, all the same - as always.
He crested the western face of a hilly ridge. The vantage point portrayed a river delta with it's back to a mountain. Half of which now lies on top of Hive City Murnin, the perimeter defenses firing their last staccato bursts of futility. Most of his warriors had taken to foot by now and it seemed the scourges were just heckling from the sky. Smoke clung to the ground everywhere but moved enough to offer glimpses of the entire valley, pushed by a southerly wind.Can see why my trueborn refrained to honor this place with a visit. How many suns are in this system anyway?
He disdained the atmosphere and longed for the near vacuum of his courtyard in Commorough. He scoffed loudly.Not known for heavy planning, but this required next to none. Such simpleton affairs, these kill raids. No glory in the webway. Now even the Cult of the Mark forces me to share.
Their reavers were lapping around the landslide perimeter, making good sport of stragglers.Eyes open. We're just about done here and still no third attempt. These kill raids never have the same motive. Those tower dwellers stay sleek and sheen off of our slave raids, but have forgotten how much more fun the live capture is. We're the ones plowing through these banal atmospheres...however, the kill raid payment of souls upon return... Here it is-!
A raider filled with Wyches of the Mark hovered methodically parrallel to the river. It turned 90 degrees and moved up his hill.How dare they approach one direct. They mustn't know my exact wreck.
Surely enough, every one of the raider's seething witches was hanging aboard the hull, scanning their surroundings. This ensured their deaths when the raider would undoubtedly expload, and the archon has dropped many a raider with a single blaster shot.
The archon holstered his blaster and cracked his neck, satisfied.Done. All those souls. Mine.
He debated on entering the rubble of the city just to glare at his succubus, before returning through the warp.
No, this atmosphere is mocking me. Time to get back, she is beneath my contempt.
As the archon reached to his belt for the webway portal device, his nostrils flared.Ozone. Burnt Metal. Dark Light!
His hand deftly moved past the portal device and flicked on a pristine shadowfield generator. As fast as it hummed to life, it cracked and fizzled away, enveloped in a dark purple light beam.From the north. On my ridge. My men? Of course my men. All my men had better want to be me
The archon stood defiantly and prepared to remove his left arm at the shoulder.I could reach my venom wreck with an easy throw from here. Kheradruakh's shadows would surely find a whole arm. With my new soul count I can que rather well in the vats
He faced down a second shot - near miss. Dirt flew up all around him.Those pricks stayed far away.
No third shot.
The archon stood tall and firm, straining to see his assailants.No fourth shot.
Three reavers were barreling straight for him. The third still dragging one of his kabalites.A fourth attempt? No, it has been too long since my court has miscalculated assassinations. Hmm, they're dark red. Or is that black? Black and red? No matter- they are not Cult of the Mark. Whoever it is seeks my favor. Perhaps they had access to call a kill raid, and foresaw these murder attempts- only to foil one and claim favor
He managed a slow blink as he opened his mouth to address the would be heroes, however those were his last thoughts.
Pale blue light of a holodisk illuminates the perfectly formed face of Yppir Xoelanth, newest Trueborn of the Dying Sun. He watches intently. The Kabal's hired scout, an arena champion, was palming the tattooed head of an archon on the screen. As the champion mounted the fresh head on his reaver he finished the report.
"...real cocky prick though. He blinked right at me."
Yppir turned to address Archon Lord Vorl Xoelanth where he sat, elevated in the center of an enclosed pleasure skimmer. The webway twisted all around them, hurtling them towards the now molehill of a mountain. He spoke to his lord.
"Apparently a Kabal of the New Blade is already at our destination. They were attacking the land city by force, killing to drink here it seems. First engagement was with the archon, who-"
"The archon has been killed"
"Yess." Vorl hissed.
"I suppose it shows why we never had to plan for-"
The voice boomed hollow, but he remained still, statuesque. The entire craft breathed with his voice. He continued, not shouting now but steady and quick.
"Refuse to plan about petty Kabals. Would you plan to scrach an itch? Crack your neck? Would you plan to wick away the blood of some rancid air breather from your face?"
Yppir stared straight ahead. Vorl sniffed the air and continued.
"These Kabals have clammored and fought hastily only since Vect put an end to our royal heirarchy. Not that it wasn't overdue - Just that these masses were originaly sustained by the glories and reaping of my past prestige. Our prestige. The patricians of my house - my very sanctum that has now held suns from five score systems - were there when She was born unto the galaxy. They basked in the glow of the very first sun to be brought to the webway - and promptly gutted- from the buttresses we just departed."
He continuted. "These Kabals are our fingernails. Our nostrils. There will never be a day when this house is put in a position to consider some kabal's presence."
The true kin's arms were like stone being woken to life. Even Yddir's ears flinched backward slightly as he recovered full understanding that this force of will was bound to physical space.
"Bottom filth. Scabs."
He spat on the floor as he removed a slender blade from an in-built scabard on his gauntlet.
"Vect." Vorl Xoelanth shouted, then calmly again for the follow up. "The grissle from some twenty odd generations of slack jawed, illiterate orphans in vats.
Vorl turned slightly and met eyes with a completely enamored Yppir. He looked through Yppir and held his blade flat accross an open palm.
"To so thoroughly sully the concept of prestige."
He paused, as if to somehow add more weight to his diatribe. Yppir also pulled out a blade and held it flat. Vorl Xoelanth then snarled.
"May She Who Thirsts find him first."
They both slashed straight across their left palms and sheathed their blades in one regretful swipe. The cuts heal in unison, after dark maroon sprays onto the floor. Vorl sat back in his throne and a light flashed on its cold clear surface. He pressed it and spoke.
"Now then my son, look and you shal see. A rare delight of this unpolished galaxy."
The space around them coalesced into its proper physical shape. They were within the only chamber of a round pleasure skimmer. It was fully capable of invisibility, primarily for the occupants enjoyment, gazing outward. This massive skimmer could hold every Trueborn in his stable plus 5 slaves each. For this moment it held only the two. A section of the enclosed skimmer's hull and ceiling became transparent as the two stepped towards it.
The saucer hovered over a hill noislessly and stopped to perch, facing west. It's lowest central thrusters are charring the scales off of three stinking Sslyth corpses. A strange crimson shimmer lit the valley. It seemed to cast shadows in all directions, for 6 suns hung in the sky, all of varying sizes and brightness. They were all aligned to set together. The valley was eerie with off-reds and oranges, as well as varying hughes of shadow. The biggest orb's lower edge was about to slip past the horizon.
The Cult of the First Shadows suddenly appears from behind the saucer, out of the shadow cast by the archon's hill, spilling into the valley.
"We raised this ridge to watch, my son..." The taller of the kin trailed off. As scores of Reavers powered by, Vorl perked up, somehow gaining more height from his sinewy frame. Now venoms and raiders teaming with witches whizzed by the domed skimmer.
"I was about to tell of the last time this event occured." Vorl continued, "I correctly predicted the tectonic activity on this husk of a planet- to raise this mountain up too high for proper viewing of this milenia's event. It'd skew our basking. But this is more interesting. My Succubus has set a trap on another cult here it seems. Those are true kin she is charging down- correct?"
"Yes Lord, combined kabal and cult kill rai-"
"Mmm." Vorl Xoelanth interupted. "Morwynae better not seek to claim novelty in this endeavor. I told her to stay this time. We both know she was running out of races to theme for this event."
A light blinked on the transparent wall as it's lucidity widened. Vorl pressed it and a slew of transparent holodisc feed projected onto the wall as to be perused. All were live feeds from various members of the fully mustered floatilla.
"Mmm. Enjoy for now my son. I have not missed this event in many milenia. Almost since our cousins walked with us in Commorough. The current hunt adds a spicy flavoring. Seeing our lesser brethren's realization and panic in the sheer numbers Morwynae has mustered; the idea of dying on this ball of dirt- all during the rarest sunset on offer."
The archon cracked his neck and Yppir continued to take in the carnage he was seeing. Finally Yppir spoke.
"It may be interesting to find some of their breaking points back home, but I doubt it."