Tag Archives: Heresy-Online

The Heretic Ezine – Issue 2

Well folks! After much waiting and patience on your part, The Heretic issue 2 has finally arrived. The Heretic is Heresy-Online’s own, professionally edited Fanfiction and Art e-magazine.  Edited by me, Commissar Ploss, and filled to the brim with stories from you, the members! Heresy-Online and TheFoundingFields.com have teamed up to give you another rousing installment of the magazine that will last for ages. lol

You can view and/or download the new issue HERE.

I would suggest you download a copy for yourself, that way you can put it on your various eReader devices and take it on the go with you. Or you can simply view it at that link. Also, downloading it makes the art look sooooo much better.

Please take the time to visit the Heretic Ezine section of the forum here at Heresy and comment on all the wonderful stories you’ve read and beautiful artwork you’ve seen.

Enjoy!

Commissar Ploss

Embedded Giveaway is done!

Two winners have been selected and i’m happy to say it was a good turnout!

Doelago Karukka and Mia Dalsgaard are your winners for Heresy-Online and TFF respectively! Congratulations you two, your books are on the way!

CP

for those of you who didn’t win, you can buy it here!

Heresy-Online & The Founding Fields "Embedded" Giveaway

Heresy-Online and The Founding Fields have teamed up to give away two copies of Dan Abnett’s new book, Embedded! Find out how you can enter!

Hey There folks! Commissar Ploss here to bring you another wonderful something for the readers of The Founding Fields!

Heresy-Online (the best forum in the land) has partnered with TheFoundingFields.com (the premier Black Library book review and fiction news website) to give away two copies of Dan Abnett’s new book, EmbeddedAngry Robot Books has generously supplied us with the two copies to help spread the word of Mr. Abnett’s latest literary achievement.

The stunning military science fiction novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Prospero Burns.

We’re here to spread the nice goodies on to you, our loyal readers and forumites.  All you have to do, to enter, is answer two simple questions.  You didn’t think we were just going to throw them at you, did you?

Two available copies means two questions.  One that can be found here, and on that can be found over at www.Heresy-Online.net.

Here is the question for The Founding Field’s copy:

What is the name of the Jounalist who is featured in this book?

If you can answer this question correctly, you’ll be entered into the giveaway to win the copy from The Founding Fields. Now you can head on over to Heresy-Online for a chance to win their copy!

Send you answers to embeddedgiveaway@gmail.com

Be sure to mention which site’s question you are answering and include your forum handle in the subject line.
The Giveaway will run through Friday, June 10th.

or, If you’re a baby, and can’t wait to see if you’ve won, you can order the book below:

Heresy News Network returns with new blog editor and new lineup

Heresy-Online returns to the wargaming news scene with a new editor and new outlook.  Long time Heresy-Online member Bubblematrix has stepped up to the plate and been raised to the level of blog editor! 
Since site owner/administrator and former blog editor/creator Jezlad began his acting career, there has been a lack of content from the HNN scene, and the Blog Network, of which TFF was one of the first sites to join.  However, this doesn’t mean that the HNN was to be counted out. A search was ongoing from those early days to land another editor for the blog, one who would have more time to spend and be able to draw more content for posting.  As stated above, Bubblematrix stepped up and has taken over the reigns.  He’s provided us on staff with a great itinerary as to the content that will be provided on a weekly basis.  Here is a copy, courtesy of the HNN blog:

Monday:
Weekly events, if there is a weekly theme or we are covering event Monday will be the day to read about it, it will also include any weekly challenges or details of upcoming articles which you wouldn’t want to miss.
Tuesday:
Tuesday is modelling day, expect to see peoples best modelling projects showcased for all to see, enter your own works for a chance to have your model on the front page of Heresy.
Wednesday:
For those wanting the latest on modelling techniques, equipment and kits. Tuesday will include tutorials from beginner to expert level and reviews of new releases.
Thursday:
Flufftastic Thursday – expect all your story, fluff and background needs to be met by the army of Heresy original writers and those with encyclopedic knowledge of the 40k universe
Friday:
Friday night is games night, taking the hobby in a broader sense, so expect some non-table top wargames, standalone and classics mixed in with a healthy dose of off topic
Saturday:
For those wanting tactical aids either to beat their oldest enemies or take on new foes Saturday will include articles based around the tactics of GW games
Sunday:
Like all good Sundays HNN’s will be a day of reflection, the week past and bringing to a close any weekly events and just to keep you all reading (or help with sleep) the HNN editorial will bring you the best (or worst) of the weeks events at Heresy.

 Look forward to the Flufftastic Thursday posts, as you will see periodic posts by yours truly, and from other wonderful fluffmeisters/writers from Heresy-Online. You’ll be hardpressed to find a more dedicated crowd than the Heretics at Heresy-Online, save perhaps BL itself. haha.  Why don’t you head on over to HNN and have a look around.

http://www.heresy-online.net/news-network-blog/

CP

Featured Fiction – Triple Feature! [Commissar Ploss]

For the third and last piece in our Featured Fiction “Triple Feature!”, i’ve selected a piece of 40k fiction that i wrote two years ago for Heresy-Online’s first ever fanfic competition.  This piece subsequently won me the title of the Heresy-Online Fan Fiction King. I was humbled to say the least. enjoy!

CP

At the End of All Things
Commissar Ploss

Waking from the daemon-grip of death’s hands is never a welcome instance. Being the only one to do so, is even less.

Gazing through the cracked lenses of his helmet, brother Vicarus viewed the world as a grey haze. A faint rasp emitted from his augmetic voice box as he realized he had just tried to chuckle. Viewing the sky above him from the bottom of an impact crater all too ironically displayed the gravity of the situation. The air was acrid with the smell of burning promethium and the stench of boiled flesh, and his auditory sensors picked up the faint crackle of a fire not fifty meters off. Upon waking just moments before, his brain had been flooded with strong signals from pain receptors all throughout his body. He laid still, eyes closed, as his bodies advanced chemistry coped with the initial rush. He felt not the usual instinct to move, just the overwhelming feeling that this probably was not the best place to be. Not only was it quite uncomfortable, but he needed to rejoin the fight.

Sitting up would have to be the first step. Using his arms, he attempted to hoist himself up into a sitting position, but noticed quite frustratingly that he could not gain any purchase. With blurred vision he looked down, noting the stump that used to be his right hand. Even though it had already healed to the point of what looked like an Ork’s anus, he realized that any similar injury could turn this little crater into his final resting place. Wearily he glanced at all his other major limbs and allowed himself a chuckle at the fact that only his right hand, the ‘Right hand of Angarius,’ the most feared hand in all his home world—second only to that of their primarch— ‘the hand that smote one thousand Orks,’ was gone. Gone and never to be seen again. Sure, an augmetic replacement would be fitted the moment he returned, but only to serve as an artificial reminder of its former glory, and the shame he carried with it’s loss. Just considering what his battle brothers would say was enough to start him laughing maniacally. That was if any of them were still alive.

There was no use reminiscing. Right now he needed to get to the surface and reestablish contact with the rest of his unit and if need be, rejoin his battle brothers without his right hand. Or his sidearm for that matter. A quick glance to either side showed that his holy plasma weapon was nowhere to be seen. He took great pride in his weapon, as so many of his brethren did. And to see that it was gone, just as simply as his hand, infuriated him. He would die for the Emperor at the wave of a hand, but without his weapons his life felt meaningless. Brother Vicarus reminded himself that if he was not removed from his tranquil little hole, his now meaningless life would be all that much shorter. That did not sit well at all. He swore that he would see out his remaining days in service to the Emperor.

With his remaining helmet lens, brother Vicarus queued his com-link. The signal strength read zero. He hoped it was due in part to his subterranean nature, that the com-link in his helmet was not receiving a signal from the main vox towers. However, as close to the surface as he was… The growing sense of dread welling inside, told him he knew otherwise. He sat back to catch his breath before continuing and only now smelled the metallic tang of iron wafting from the fluid surrounding his body. He knew right away that the liquid was not just fluid from his powered armor systems but something much more important.

With the threat of an unfulfilling death clear in his mind, he mustered up all the strength in his remaining three limbs and began his climb to the surface. Climbing in the soil, and Emperor knows what else, is difficult with only one arm to steady yourself. And having vital signs flirting on and around the verge of death made it even more difficult. It took all of twelve minutes for him to make it to the rim of his crater. To brother Vicarus it seemed as if hours had passed. He paused before breaking the surface to take a moment and steady himself against the onrush of sensory perception that he would receive upon gazing at the surrounding battlefield. Down in the hole, Emperor be praised, there was nothing more than dirt, green Ork flesh and small metal fragments. But across the vastness of the surface battlefield there were many more things to see. He braced himself for what the silence told him would not be a welcome sight.

With a sigh, brother Vicarus stepped out of his crater – and into hell.

The scene that greeted his already weary eyes destroyed him. He fell to his knees and wept. All around lay the remnants of a world destroyed by war. Mangled corpses, charred metal, and the smoldering wrecks of war machines lay broken forever in all directions. Friend and foe alike lay as if battles were still raging wherever their spirits had ascended. With cracked lips and through streaming tears, brother Vicarus let out a roar so seething with rage and desperation, it would have made Emperor himself cower in fear. Removing his helmet, he stood. As if in defiance to his survival, the wind howled and the rain began to fall as if to wash away the death that consumed its planet. At this he laughed, and then said with a sigh, almost inaudible against the rain and wind, “It seems i have been left behind, and my brothers march without me.” With rain mixing with the tears down his cheeks, brother Vicarus somehow knew he was the last of his chapter. The Iron Diamond Space Marines would be no more. Their name would be forgotten, and their history untold.

Whistling an old Imperial hymn, and accompanied by only the wind and pelting rain, he felt minuscule and insignificant. The work had been done. Lives had been payed in full. Oaths had been fulfilled and creeds had been upheld. But for what? “For the Emperor,” he said to himself, hoping beyond hope that that was justification enough.

Turning around, he spotted his crater. As if in thanks, he bowed to it, and said, “You have saved me. By the Emperor, you have saved me. Please refrain from doing it again.”

And with that, brother Vicarus turned away. And with a deep breath, he began to walk. There at the end of all things. He walked for a lost cause, across a forgotten field, on a nameless world. For none would know, save the Emperor himself, how he longed for peace.

 ———————-

I hope you enjoyed the piece. This story was a bit of Iron Diamond Space Marine short fiction.  Just a little something to introduce an important character in my work with the Iron Diamonds.  Lucian Vicarus features in other works dedicated to the Iron Diamond SM’s. Here’s a link to the original posting of the story at Heresy: http://www.heresy-online.net/forums/showthread.php?t=9995

CP

HOFC 2010 – Submission Window Closed

Hello everyone. Just a short update, but i wanted to inform you all that the Submission Window for the “Heresy-Online Fiction Competition 2010” is now closed. We’ve rounded off this years comp with 25 entries! It’s a wonderful turnout.  I’d like to say it’s just because Heresy-Online is such an awesome forum and that i’m the coolest moderator in history! But i’d imagine the prizes had something to do with it. lol  If you want to have a read of the stories that were submitted for the competition, just follow this link to the Submission Thread, scroll down a little bit into the first post, and you will see a list of Official Contest Entries.  They are all linked, so have a read and leave your comments.  If you haven’t signed up for the Heresy-Online forums, do so through this link: Join Heresy-Online here!

To see the submission thread, just click HERE.

cheers!

CP

Featured Fiction – Triple Feature! [Void_Dragon]

As promised, here is the second entry to our Featured Fiction Triple Feature.  A stellar story by Heresy-Online member Void_Dragon.  I call it stellar because it was a finalist in the 2009 Heresy-Online Fiction Competition.  Enjoy!

CP

 
Untitled
Void_Dragon

The small man, dressed in a well-tailored black suit, walked under the metal detector. As expected, it bleeped, but a quick flash of his pass told the guards that he carried a pacemaker. It was nearing the end of the night shift, and both guards were tired, so they let him through without a search. They both trusted that the psy-scanner operating across the entire building would tell them if the man actually had a weapon.

The man walked across the lobby, and slid his ident-card against the panel next to the elevator. The runes running across the panel’s surface turned green, and the elegantly panelled wooden doors of the elevator slid open quietly. The man stepped inside, and pressed the button for floor 12. As the doors slid shut, he smiled to the guards. As soon as the two panels had connected, the lift began it’s journey upwards. Before it had passed the first floor, the man had moved into action. By floor 3 the lift was rigged with a remote-control override, which would prevent the lift being locked out if the operation went to hell. By floor 6, the man had cut away one of the wall panels, throwing the thin wooden sheet down the outside of the lift. The lift shaft went all the way to a third basement, so the noise would never alert the guards. By floor 10, a small projector was fitted in it’s place, sending a hologramatic replica of the panel across the hole. The man straightened his jacket, and tucked his data-slate under his arm. He quickly ran his hand through his slicked back hair, making sure it wasn’t out of place. The door slid open.

The man walked out of the lift, heading purposefully down the corridor. The few people who walked past looked tired and harried, working overnight because of the mysterious order that the trade-cartel was attempting to fulfil, the very reason that Aldo was here. None spared him a second glance – it was a big company, and he could very well be an employee from a different floor, or a different office entirely. They were too tired and too over-worked to care.

He reached the end of the corridor, and turned into the final office. In the corner was a cogitator, which he powered up. He knew he would have trouble hacking it without his master’s Seal, but they couldn’t risk being flagged on the Inquisition’s systems, when it was almost certain that the cartel had eyes inside the Ordos. However, Aldo was little short of a genius, having spent his childhood alienated from the rest of the population because he was so different, reading and learning anything he could to take his mind off his depression. It was understandable that he would be depressed: if he stayed in a room with anyone for too long his psychic nullification excited an irrational rage in them. He had lived his life a loner, the outsider, the freak. Until Alexandros had found him, and given him a job, a life, and a purpose.

Within a few minutes he was inside the system, downloading everything to his personal data-slate via the mechadendrite concealed within his arm. This was where the risks came in. The electric current through his body activated the blunt limiter implanted in his head, and his psychic nullification power ceased to function. It would only be a matter of time until the psy-scans of the building picked up his hacking, and detected the gun concealed within his jacket pocket.

The download read 43% when the scanner caught him. Alarms went off across the whole building, and every entrance and access way locked down. That didn’t bother Aldo; he had his way out planned. What bothered him was that similar alarms would currently be going off at the local law-enforcement agency headquarters, and a strike team of crooked cops would be here within minutes, armed and ready to protect their less-than-legal investment.

71%, and his vox chimed. “Multiple weapon-sigs on the stairs, moving up to your level, Aldo. Get ready.” Came the voice of Chai, the promising young accolyte who was his backup on this mission.

Aldo deplored violence. He had bonded with Chai despite the age gap, because they held a very different view of the Imperium, and of their work, than the rest of Alxeandros’ team. They both hated the killing of innocents, and as often as possible attempted to complete missions without drawing blood. But both of them were still Inquisition operatives, and they were trained to kill if the need arose. Aldo slipped his hand inside his jacket, pulling out the Hecuter 8 Autopistol that Alexandros insisted he carry on all missions. The weapon had an extended mag’, protruding an extra 6 centimetres from the base of the grip, carrying an extra few rounds. 14 rounds; more than enough to kill anything that moved.

The download completed as the strike team reached the 11th floor. Aldo was out of the office, his blunt limiter deactivated again, as they ran up the final flight of stairs, and half way down the corridor before they reached level 12. They paused behind the door, believing the stairs to be the only way out. Aldo fired blindly through the wooden panel walls, and heard a few grunts as the rounds connected with the men’s body armour. The lift door opened, controlled by Chai remotely. Aldo dashed down the last ten metres of hallway, and into the elevator. He hit the ground floor button, just as the soldiers burst through the stairwell door. He shot the first one through the visor of his helmet, and loosed off another shot as the doors closed. He didn’t see whether the next shot hit anything, and it didn’t matter. He was home free now.

“Aldo, I’ve got vox chatter, badly encrypted. There seem to be more of them in the lobby, they know the lift is coming. Go to plan B. I’ll be in position in approximately 40 seconds.” Aldo swore to himself as he heard the message, and moved to the side of the elevator where he had broken away the panel earlier. He climbed into the gap, the hologram flickering as his body disturbed it. He leapt from the ledge, grabbing the thick girders supporting the shaft. He climbed down to the nearest exit, and pried it open. He slipped through, and checked the chart on the wall. “Level4, Human Resources” it read.

“I am on level 4, I shall meet you at the west corner of the building. Pray, be quick, it won’t be long until they find me, even with my limiter off again.”

As Aldo walked into the western corner office of the floor, the window in front of him was hit by a projectile about the size of a human fist. The micro-bot stuck to the window, and immediately extended a thin mechanical arm. The arm rotated around the bot, cutting through the glass of the window. As it completed it’s rotation, the bot’s thrusters activated, making it float there, holding the circle of glass. Chai pulled it backwards slightly, allowing Aldo enough room to climb out onto the ledge. The building’s psy-scanner wouldn’t detect the damage until Aldo moved a few metres away, and when that happened it would be too late. The micro-bot placed the piece of glass on the window ledge, and hovered round in front of Aldo. He pulled a wire from it’s body, and hooked it to his belt.

“Okay Chai, bring me in.” He said over the Vox, trying not to look down. He wasn’t built for these sort of stunts – he was the brains of the pair, organising the operations that Alexandros set them, and doing the undercover work. Throwing himself from the 4th story window was not his idea of a safe way to exit a building. But it was safer than walking through a lobby filled with armed soldiers.

“The Emperor protects Aldo, the Emperor protects.” Chai muttered into his vox, knowing that Aldo would be nervous about jumping.

Aldo closed his eyes and stepped off the ledge. The bot’s thrusters pulled upwards as hard as they could, but they were not made to support a grown man, even a small one like Aldo. It slowed his decent however, and as he hit the floor a few seconds later, he wasn’t travelling fast enough to hurt himself. He rolled to the side, and detached the clamp on his belt. The bot returned to Chai, who was crouched down on the roof of a different building.

Aldo stood up, dusting off his suit. He changed his hair style to cover part of his face, using a nearby transporter’s mirrors. He quickly removed his coloured contact lenses, returning his eyes to their natural grey-blue. The data-slate went inside his trousers, and his jacket ended up in a nearby bin. He untucked his shirt, which was just dressy enough to pass for a casual shirt, whist looking smart when he wore the jacket. His tie went in the bin last, and then he set off down the street, away from the enforcers’ vans. If anyone stopped him, he would never be recognisable from the quick glimpse that the strike team got of him as he entered the elevator.

“Mission accomplished,” he muttered into his vox with a sigh of relief.

Well! I hope you have enjoyed this story, i know i sure did. :-)  Swing on back soon to check out the third feature.  A story by yours truly! A little shameless self promotion once and a while can be fun.  lol

Featured Fiction – Triple Feature! [Dirge Eterna]

So i’ve been a little behind lately with the Featured Fiction posts.  Missed the last three entries i believe… ah well, my bad.  I’ll make up for it with a triple feature. A set of fanfic authors you should really get to know. have a read. :-)  Here’s the first one.

CP

We’re starting things off with Heresy-Online member, Dirge Eterna.  He was always a quality fanfiction writer while he was active on Heresy all those years back.  And it was sad when he slowly went away. But i always looked forward to reading his stories when he would post them.  And i think he should be proud to count himself among Heresy’s great writers.

Lets give you a taste of one of his best stories. Only in Death.

Only in Death.
Dirge Eterna

Private Journal of Brother-Apothecary Altair, Aegis VII, 998.M41

The first thought.

I can’t see.

Blackness surrounds my sight. I can hear. Gunfire..mostly. Explosions. A low rumbling noise. A tank, I think.

My left arm refuses to move. I can feel dirt beneath my fingers. An arm hauls me upright. My vision clears. A blackened form swins into view. Arbalan’s plasma gun is smoking gently as he lends his strength to me. My armor squeals in protest as I move.

“Brother Apothecary, we are needed elsewhere.” says Arbalan.

“But…Melenius.” I say weakly, still trying to regain my senses.

“Dead. You were almost lost as well. That blast was of some magnitude.”

I turn, taking in the sight of the war-torn fields of Aegis VII, the newest war in a long tide of wars. Fought in the Emepror’s name, of course.

Melenius’ body makes itself known as a black form against the dull brown of the soil. his armor is cracked open where I had breached it, trying to save him. A shard of metal is lodged in his neck seal, blood drying into a reddish stain on his armor and the ground.

I check my own suit of armor. There are some spots where the black paint has been chipped off, and my left arm hangs limply from my side. Dislocation. I grasp it and pull, popping the joint into place. My narthicium hums as it connects back to my neural interfaces. My left shoulderpad, the one with an Apothercarium symbol on it, has Melenius’ blood staining it. I sadly wipe it away, only succeeding in smearing it.

Arbalan nudges me.

“We have to go, now, Apothecary. Brother-Captain Dacius is making a stand on the far side of the ridge.”

I nod. “Then we go.”

Arbalan shoulders his plasma gun. “You might need this, brother.”

He offers my Bolter. I take it one-handed, and check the ammo levels. Fourteen shells left, plus eight clips on my bandoliers. My Reductor is secured against my belt, and three frag grenades are clipped to my belt loops. A melta bomb is hung from my backpack.

“Of course, Brother Arbalan. Thank you. Now, we go to Captain Dacius?”

Arbalan nods. “Follow me, Brother-Apothecary.”

I hope you enjoyed this sneek peek.  If you want to read the rest of this story, head on over to Heresy-Online and check it out.  Here’s the link: http://www.heresy-online.net/forums/showthread.php?t=3699

Next up, a story by Heresy-Online member, Void_Dragon.

Oathbreaker – Featured Fiction

For the latest segment in the Featured Fiction line, i bring you a rousing story by one Dirge Eterna. He is himself a fanfiction writer, and Heresy-Online veteran.  I’ve enjoyed his works greatly, as i’m sure you will as well.  Here it is, his story, Oathbreaker.

 Oathbreaker – Dirge Eterna

Althalos moved nearly silently. His sword was padded with worn cloth to keep it from moving.

He stooped down, his gloved fingers brushing the ground.

These tracks. They split off from the main group..

To where?

He paused, glancing down the thickly forested trail.

Can’t tell exactly…somewhere near the village to the north.

A low rumbling echoed through the trees as they were pushed aside by the huge black dragon edging it’s way through the trees.

Sydney moved from the treeline, scanning the woods with her striking violet eyes.

Althalos never actually found out why he could speak to Sydney in such a way, without making any noise. Like they could hear each other, but no one could hear them. He eventually dismissed the thought. It was just the way things were.

Do you think they went to the village itself? Or just passing by?

Althalos frowned, concentrating.

I’m not sure…the main group passed the town. Maybe raiders.

Sydney snorted.

Don’t assume.

Althalos nodded.

It’s all well and good. Fine. Don’t fly, keep low. I’m going to scout ahead.

Sydney nodded her huge head, turning one eye to stare at Althalos.

Very well. Don’t stray too far ahead.

He set off down the trail.

————————–

After ten minutes, the village of Reikstahg came into view. Two hundred miles east of Kislev, the town was the last stop for many passing over the Middle Mountains to Middenheim or Altdorf.

Althalos stared blankly down the small incline into the village.

Dozens of Empire soldiers were marching down the main avenue, divesting weeping civilians of husbands and sons.

“By order of the Count Elector, a state of emergency is declared for the town of Reikstahg. All able-bodied men must report to camps for armarment and training. All women must assist in the fortification of the city. Once again, a state of emergency is declared. Reikstahg is now under martial law of the Count’s army.”

Men kissed crying wives. Sons were pulled from weeping mothers. The soldiers did their grim work with a look of sadness and fear in their eyes.

What’s going on?

Sydney’s voice rang through his head.

Althalos chewed his lip. The Empire’s conscripting the civilians. Looks like trouble may have found us.

As it always does.

——————————————————————————

Will you help them?

Althalos considered her words. No. I don’t owe the Empire anything. They left me…us, for dead.

Does one life you left behind justify these people dying?

He sighed. Sydney always disagreed with him, usually to make him prove a point.

Althalos nodded and turned back into the forest surrounding the town. Empire troops were busily hacking down trees to clear lines of fire. A single blazing Wizard stood among them, flashing trees to ash.

He walked for a half-hour, thinking.

Sydney followed him, occasionally letting out a plume of smoke in her distaste.

This is taking too long..that village is running out of time!

“Brother of Khaine! Have you some to join us against the foul Men?”

A tall warrior clad in black armor stepped lightly from the treeline.

Althalos quickly disguised his confusion.

“No, but I will if you have need.”

The warrior hefted his spear.

“Yes, we do, my friend. Many raiders were lost crossing from Naggaroth, we are searching for renegades or survivors.”

Althalos thought about the elf’s words. He obviously thinks I’m one of his kin..but how?

Sydney replied Your armor, your helmet, myself. You must seem like a noble of his house.

Althalos turned to the elf. “Yes, I will join you to fight with the Druchii.”

The warrior bowed slightly before beckoning him to the shoreline, only five minutes away.

Althalos!

We can do much more damage if we strike from the rear.

Sydney let off a plume of smoke. The elf edged away from her.

————————————————————

The Dark Elven encampment wasn’t much more then a quick and simple fort Empire troops sometimes built. Bolt Throwers lined the wooden stake walls and several Tents bore horrific stains. Screams echoed from these tents.

Althalos cringed.

The elf noticed. “You feel the power of Khaine himself? He has blessed us with a Wych cult to take the fight to the humans!”

They walked through the small camp, passing elves sharpening weapons or fletching arrows. Some bowed as he passed.

“What house are you of, noble?” asked the elf conversationaly.

Althalos quickly (and fearfully) searched his memories for a name.

“House Aeidael,” he said, “I left to pursue a broader aspect.”

The elf nodded. “Your house continues to do service in the name of Khaine, my noble. They returned from Ulthuan with the bones of their fallen and many slaves.”

Althalos breathed a sigh of relief under his helmet.
—————————————————————–

An agonizing half-hour later, the Druchii formed up a short distance from the village. One of the Lords of the elves noticed his plain sword.

“Here, nobleman. This is much more proficient for fighting from dragonback.”

He handed Althalos a huge halberd, it’s surface an odd purplish shade, while horrific jagged teeth lined it’s blade. The Dark Elves obviously only cared about the maximum pain inflicted on an enemy.

He hefted the halberd in one hand, sitting calmly on Sydney’s back. “Thank you, lord. This will help me to deliever judgement to the prey.”

“As you will, Noble.”

A massively armored Elf stomped to the front of his host, attended to by a thinner elf with a large burlap sack in his hands.

“Surrender and we shall take you as slaves! Fight, and all of you will die! Choose, or suffer the doom of your herald!”

The elf opened the sack and brandished a severed head. He stretched his arm back and flung the head into the ranks of Empire troops and conscripts.

Nothing moved for a long moment.

The Bright Wizard Althalos had seen earlier called back.

“Go back to the abyss, creature! We will not bow before your foul master!”

The elf shook his head.

He turned to his attendant.

“Sound the charge. Take as many alive as you can!”

The elves roared their approval.

A low horn blew from somewhere in the army, and suddenly they were moving. The elves stamped alongside Sydney, brandishing weapons and shouting in eldritch tongues.

Get airborne. We’ll circle around the front of their army.

Excellent.

She opened her wings, and launched into the sky. Althalos saw just how deep the Empire was in. They were outnumbered. Not by many, but given the quality of conscripted troops…

The Wizard saw her and spoke one word to an archer nearby. The man raised a bow and fired.

The arrow burst into white flames, obviously sustained by magic. Althalos raised his shield. The arrow burst through the thick wood and struck him on the arm, drawing a grunt of pain from him. A flash of worry crossed his mind.

It’s fine…keep going. Can’t let them win.

Syndey flew to the front line of the elven force, nearing Reikstahg. She opened her jaws, and a ravening blast of black fire roared into the elves, cooking dozens instantly.

The wizard’s mouth dropped open in surprise.

Sydney kept the fire going as long as she was able, eventually closing her jaws. The Empire had whittled down the remaining raiders. Free Companies chased Corsairs away from the barricades, while Handgunners fired merciless volleys into the Druchii ranks. The elves were on the verge of breaking, their fight with the Empire and the sudden immolation of their brethren putting their morale on the edge.

The Dark Elven Lord Althalos had seen at the head of the army pointed at him. “See! See the traitor in our midst! Flay their hides and bring me his skull!”

Althalos flipped the halberd in his grip.

He removed his helmet.

He dropped his shield.

And hurled the halberd with all his strength, directly at the Lord.

It burst into radiant flames halfway down it’s path. Althalos looked at the Wizard, who smiled.

The Lord was almost fast enough. The spear caught his left breast, and drove almost completely through him, the barbed teeth shredding his organs and leaving him gasping on the scorched, bloody field.

The elves took one look at their leader’s corpse, and broke.

——————————————————————————–

Sydney strode through the piles of dead elves and Empire. Although it was only a small, very quick battle, small heaps of corpses still littered the battlefield.

Althalos pulled an arrow from a standard bearer’s stomach. The man grimaced as the recurve head slid from his flesh. He instantly began to bleed. Althalos cursed.

He leaned close to the man so no one else could see, and removed his glove. He pressed the bare hand against the wound, and spoke two words. The wound glistened, then wove back together. The man clutched at the unbroken skin, then looked up at Althalos.

“You’re…a wizard?”

Althalos cringed. “No. I’m not. OK?”

The man looked confused. “OK..Thank you.”

Althalos gave the man his waterskin, and the standard bearer ran to join his surviving companions.

The Bright wizard walked among the men, directing them to pile the Empire dead into graves. The Dark Elves were burned.

“You’re sneaky,” said the Wizard, “But not sneaky enough.”

The wizard reached into his robes, producing a tome.

“Aqshy.” he said.

Althalos smiled without humour. “Ghyran, Shyish, and one without name.”

“Life and Death?” asked the Wizard, aghast.

“Life from the Jade Academy, Death on my own.” said Althalos.

“And the third?”

“I’ll keep that to myself, if you don’t mind.”

The wizard gestured with his arms to the battlefield around him. He pointed in particular to a scorched and bloody patch where the Elves had been incinerated by Althalos’ deceit.

“Not after that, I won’t mind. Keep your secrets, lad. Would you like to stay here, at least for the night? We’ve not seen your like in many years.”

Althalos removed his bladed helmet. He reached to his side and removed the halberd from the Dark Elven Lord’s body. The blade had sucked the blood from the creature, making his corpse pure white and withered.

“I’d like that. Does Reikstahg’s tavern still stand?”

————————————————————————————-

Althalos clashed a stein of ale with a man in the colors of a Kislev knight. The man’s comrades laughed. Sydney was outside, chewing noisily on a deer carcass. Several State Troops were drinking, or playing dice on the tables. The brewer looked tired from hauling barrels upon barrels up from the cellars.

After soundly beating the knight in a drinking game, the Bright Wizard sat down across from Althalos at the table.

“What I really want to know is why you’re here.” said the Wizard, stroking his smoldering beard.

Althalos had his boots on the table, and was sharpening a dagger with his whetstone.

“That…is a very long story.” he said.

The dagger made an uncomfortable rasp on the stone. The wizard grabbed the blade, and melted the edge to a near-translucent sharpness.

“Thank you.” said Althalos, retrieving the knife.

“We have all night, and I’m certainly not going anywhere. Kislev’s forces are still scattered, trying to regroup from the Storm.”

Althalos set his helmet on the table. It was cylindrical, with a cruel visor and small breathing holes punched into it’s front. A crown of blades rose to a nest of points aboive his head.

“Well..,” he said. “It all started with this.”

———————————————————————-

Althalos had been six years old when his father left to fight the Beastmen in the northern wastes. He left four times, each time coming back with armfuls of fresh bread and sausages. He also seemed to become more and more decorated, his armor grew more elaborate, his weapons more ornate. Then, he never returned. His helmet and sword, along with a note of condolence, was given to Althalos’ mother. She had died ten years later, after being sick for many weeks. Althalos was then shuttled to the Jade Academy, after his uncle had noticed him healing a dead tree in front of his brewery.

Four years after his mother died, he left the Jade Academy for good. The wizards were old and for the most part, boring. Only his mentor, Ulrik, ever interested Althalos. He learned from the Lore of Death in his solitude, and there, he met Sydney.

He had originally thought the black egg to be a large rock. Althalos had picked it up out of curiousity, and brought it to the next town he stopped at. There, it was recognized as a dragon egg. The Empire conscripted him, and attempted to take the egg for one of it’s counts (or dignitaries. Althalos had little patience for earls of something).

He escaped with Sydney, and fled to Kislev. There, Sydney hatched and grew, while he hunted phesant and rabbits to eat. Two months after Sydney had hatched, she was old enough to ride, and Althalos had begun to travel, selling himself as a mercenary.

He had grown tired of fighting inbred duke’s wars for them, and simply left, occupying himself with staying alive. He had been tracking a group of Empire soldiers when the Reikstahg party split off and engaged the Dark Elves.

————————————————

The wizard nodded.

“Well then, would you continue to fight for money?”

Althalos’ violet eyes gleamed.

“Of course. Who’s the target?”

————————————————-

Althalos shivered.

“Why, why did it have to be cold?” he said.

“Why der yer think it’s called der Chaos wastes, laddie? Der ain’t not’in out ‘ere.”

Althalos hugged himself, trying to stay warm. Sydney huddled closer to him, and suddenly he was much warmer. The small fire wasn’t doing much besides melting a puddle of snow around it. A knot of swordsmen had gathered around him, as Sydney was the only real source of heat there was.

The oldest of the swordsmen, a gnarled old man with an eyepatch and several missing fingers, had befriended Althalos almost immediately. His name was Hadrian.

Hadrian was sitting next to Althalos, chewing noisily on a small bone of some kind.

The opposing army was visible as a mottled line about a half-mile from where Althalos was lying against Sydney’s belly.

Black standards were raised among them. Hulking figures in red-black armor. A wide-mouthed cannon of some kind was tended to by hateful-looking Dwarves.

The Bright Wizard moved through his men, encouraging them, handing out bread, and occasionally asking them about families or children.

After an hour, a cry was heard.

“Alarm! Alarm!”

Hadrian pulled his sword from it’s worn scabbard.

“Best be off, lad. The Enemy isn’t known for his patience.”

———————————————————————–

Althalos sat atop a pile of dead enemies, the sickly purple glow of the Druchii halberd making their red armor appear darker then it was. His armor was rent in a dozen places, small, weak strikes that the Chaos worshippers had managed to land on him. His greatest worry was a suppering wound in his side. A grime-encrusted Champion had somehow danced a rusted sword past Althalos’ guard, and struck him just below his ribs.

Sydney had immolated the man, and the majority of his equally grime-encrusted followers, in a single blast of dragonfire.

Hadrian and his remaining Swordsmen were laying around the pile, catching their breath or taking a drink. The main engagement was to the east now, most of the Marauders had fled after Sydney’s blazing charge into their lines. The few Chaos Warriors remaining had fought to the death, taking many Imperial lives. The mortuary wagons were still rolling through the battlefield, picking up the obviously dead, and marking the wounded for the stretchers. The Chaos warriors they burned in a heap at the edge of the field.

————————————————————–

“Erh…Sigmar! It hurts!”

“Hold still, lad. You’ve still got a piece stuck in you…”

Gregor maneuvered the forceps into the ragged wound in Althalos’ side. He pinched something. Althalos bit down hard on the stick Hadrian had given him. A smaller man, looking a bit green for a battlefield surgeon, was watching Gregor pull pieces of the Plague Knife out.

Althalos quickly figured out why. The wound was an awful green splotch, with pus seeping from the dead areas of his flesh. A shard of the knife, roughly four inches long, was leaking rust into the cut. Small boils were springing up around the injury.

Gregor moved into the way of his vision.

“It’ll be OK, lad. These eyes have seen worse.”

Sydney’s thoughts touched his.

I doubt it.

Althalos whimpered as Gregor tightened his grip on the shard.

If you die under his knife I will personally hunt him down and turn him to ash.

Er….It’s not his…ah…fault.

None the less. My anger will be sated on a scapegoat if need be. That heretic didn’t suffer enough before he died.

You’re starting to…eh…sound like a Druchii…

Outside the surgery tent, Sydney snorted fire and glared at the nearest guard. The man edged away from her.

Gregor tensed. Althalos winced as the forceps tightened to their maximum.

The old surgeon placed both hands on the tool, and yanked the rusted shard out of Althalos’ side. He screamed as the full pain of the wound struck him. The younger orderly’s eyes rolled back into his head and he passed out.

Gregor pulled a length of twine and a red-hot needle from a brazier, and stitched the wound closed with powdered Mandrake root in it, to prevent the Chaos spawned infection from spreading. Althalos winced each time his skin burned from the needle, but compared to the plague, the pain was nothing. He allowed himself to fall into the abyss of unconciousness. He smiled at Sydney’s restrained wrath a second before everything went black, and there was peace.

——————————————————————–

Althalos groaned. He heard voices.

I think he’s coming to.

You know what happened last time we had a Everta here.

I know. This one’s different.

No, he’s not. You’re just getting attached to him. He lied about the Jade Academy. He’s not a Wizard.

I saw him heal a trooper.

He’s a sorcerer, idiot! Haven’t you seen that creature?

The dragon? That doesn’t prove anything.

Not the dragon! I think it’s a familiar…a demon!

Althalos squeezed his eyes shut, and gripped Haze tightly to his chest under the sheet.

—————————————————————

The Wizard brushed the tent flap aside as he walked briskly inside. Althalos smiled weakly.

“Feeling better?” asked the Wizard. Small embers detatched from his beard and smoldered on the ground.

“An overstatement to say better, but yes. I’m getting there.” said Althalos.

The Wizard smiled, then pulled the rough blanket off in one motion. Althalos rolled over.

“Turn over.”

Althalos didn’t move.

The Wizard grabbed him by the collar of his shirt and wrenched him over. Haze flopped out and fell onto the bed. The small familiar cringed in terror as the Wizard loomed over it.

“You lied about the Academy.”

Althalos lowered his gaze. “Yes.”

“You lied about your parents as well?”

“Not entirely. My father did die fighting the beastmen, and my armor and weapons are his, but my mother is not dead. In fact, she is what I ran from.”

The Wizard stooped low over the bed. “I am a great many things, young Althalos. I have seen a great many wonders and terrors. But I will not be lied to. You know freelance Sorcery is punishable by death.”

Althalos didn’t waver. “I cannot help what I am. Seperation from Haze would be akin to losing my soul.”

“And your dragon?”

“She already knows. We are very alike, Sydney and I. But I will not face the gallows because of the Empire’s intolerance. Your Emperor attempted to kill me once. It shall not happen again.”

The Wizard stroked his beard. Althalos got off of the simple straw bed and began to strap on his armor. Boots, greaves, gauntlets, cuirass, pauldrons, and finally his bladed helm. He strapped his sword to his side and slung the halberd across his back.

“Young Althalos, I do not know what it is like to be hunted. Truthfully, I came from a wealthy family. I never knew hardship. But, unfortunately, the law is the law.”

Outside, Sydney growled. Betrayal! Oathbreakers!

The Wizard pulled a burning sword from it’s scabbard. “Althalos, son of none, I hereby name you traitor in service to the Emperor of Altdorf. You are stripped of all rank and will submit to a full tribunal, at which time the extent fo your crimes will be made known.”

Sydney opened her mouth, and a ravening blast of black fire consumed the man, along with the front half of the tent. Haze ran up Althalos’ arm and into a chink in his armor. Althalos placed his boot into the iron step and vaulted onto Sydney’s back, pulled the halberd from it’s sling. A young Swordsman ran at them, screaming. Sydney roared, and the man dropped his sword, and then fell to his knees. The great dragon crouched, and then shot into the sky, a plume of smoke trailing behind her.

The Bright Wizard picked himself up from the ashes, and brushed a bit of singed fabric from his robes.

An Engineer with a long rifle began to draw a bead on the retreating dragon. The wizard placed his staff on the barrel of the gun.

“He may be a sorcerer, but by the Gods, he knows how to make an exit. I think he’s perfect for what the Tribunal has in mind. Fetch me Golrik. He’ll know how to track one such as he.”

——————————————————-

Sydney flew long and hard, passing well over the Middle Mountains. She saw the city there, it’s magnificent Palace seeming small and incomprehensible to one such as she.

Her vision, as always, was tinted a slight violet color by her eyes. Humans scurried to and fro as she entered their field of vision. Archers fired small darts, which pinged harmlessly off her armored hide. Eventually the archers were berated by a tired-looking knight, who shook a sword at her until she left his field of vision.

When they finally reached the western side of the Middle Mountains, Althalos fell asleep on her back, his arms and legs tied to the saddle, so he would not fall. Sydney wriggled in the air as a cloud covered her with small droplets. She turned her head, making sure that the slight weight of Althalos’ body was still there. She nudged his dreams.

Little one.
Yes?
We have passed the spine-in-the-earth. Many leagues seperate us from the shoreline, but we will be there before tomorrow, if the winds remain true.

Thank you.

Althalos’ mind fell back into the dream, and Sydney chuckled a low rumble.

It was six hours later that it happened.

A dozen or so Dwarven Gyrocopters swung out of a cloud, armed with large netguns and spear throwers. Bearded pilots and gunner swore curses and drank from aleskins.

Sydney dove through them, shredding one of the machines with the downdraft of her passage.

The clouds parted. Land lay just a hundred feet below.

Sydney’s wings snapped open.

The dwarves began to sing a slurred song. Nets ensnared her legs and tail. More pinned her wings. Althalos managed to cut one of them in twane before a second pinned him to Sydney’s back. The black dragon hit the rocky soil, driving the breath from her lungs. She attempted to stand. The Dwarves fired the weighted spears. They struck the ground, holding Sydney’s frame against the earth.

An odd gyrocopter flew above them, a large tank slung underneath it. A strange mist drifted toward the ground.

Sydney gasped as her lungs finally found air.

Her vision dulled. Her belly lost it’s fire, her feeble attempts to down the copter met with only wisps of smoke. Sydney sank back down to the ground as her vision blurred, and the world went black.

She heard onle one thing before she slipped away.

“We’ve got em’, we’re slingin’ em’ between three of the copters’. That oughta’ do.”

“Excellent work, Golrik. Bring them to Aeyri Peak immediately. We have some things to talk about.”

———————————————————————

Sydney jerked awake, her long neck twisting this way and that, searching for enemies. Althalos was next to her, his eyes fluttering open.

She bent and licked him, her rough tongue brushing against his helmet and face.

Little one.

Uh…where are we?

I know not. The Dwarf drugged us. I was only just concious. Did your familiar survive?

Haze is fine. As far as I know, he is immune to the pains of the flesh.

A stout dwarf entered the chamber. Sydney reared up and roared, showing her vast maw. The dwarf didn’t even look up. Instead, he tugged at a fat brass lever, and the wall he was at clanked into the ceiling and out of sight.

A vast golden statue remained. It’s body was polished until even Sydney’s black scales were reflected as gold. It’s eyes shone with gold-shot rubies. Althalos and Sydney both felt the intelligence that spoke.

Young ones. It has been many years since your kind set foot amongst my halls.

Sydney’s eyes widened. Althalos sat up.

“Our kind? Who are you?”

I have no name that can be spoken in this tongue.

A series of images and ideas flashed through Sydney and Althalos’ shared conciousness. Long tooth, broken claw, damp cave, burned bone, one-hundred-five eggs sired, and thirty offspring grown to full dragons.

Rather, I am known as Aurum, as a result of my present form. I have a task set aside for you, hatchlings. But for that, it will have to wait. You ask what your kind is. You tell me, young one. What do you have that makes you so different?

Althalos’ eyes flashed to Sydney.

“We are one…in all but body.”

Althalos thought he saw Aurum’s ruby eyes flash.

Exactly. You are among the last of the Ihn Draconir, the “One with Dragons”. It was a talent many possessed before the last Chaos War. Many were lost, most before their time. But now is not the time to mourn, for we have found our target for revenge.

The dwarf, who had remained silent through the exchange, cursed and spat on the stone floor as Aurum said “target”.

Sydney looked at him.

“That traitorous cretin, Jakob Vernier. He is regent of most of the lands to the northwest of the Middle Mountains. It was his troops that failed to hold back the Storm.”

Vernier and five of his closest companions hold my sons and daughters hostage, each for their own reason. None of them are pleasurable, all of them are dark and terrible, benefitting only the oathbreaker responsible for such acts.

“Your sons and daughters?”

I am old, youngling. Very old. I was ancient before Sigmar first swung a hammer, and will quite possibly endure until the end of all things. But I consider myself to be the father and protector of all those dragons not twisted by undeath or Chaos.

The Bright Wizard entered at the head of a small band of dwarves and humans.

“The dwarves found Aurum decades ago, and we agreed to help them in his quest. In return, he gives us the use of Aeyri Peak and the Whispering Caves to use as a base, fortress, and safehaven. Nothing that can’t fly is getting up the mountains, and nothing that can fly flies without Aurum’s permission in the peaks.”

Althalos stabbed an accusing finger at the wizard.

“In Reikstahg, you tried to kill me. You tried to kill Sydney.”

The wizard nodded slowly. “I had to make sure you were not too expressly loyal to Karl Franz’s regime. For all his pomp and ceremony, many of his dukes and regents are not so savory after all.”

“Like this Jakob Vernier.”

Precisely. Will you help me, Althalos Half-Elven and Sydney Darkscales? I require your skills to free my children. Only they can help you defeat Vernier.

Althalos looked at Sydney.

Aurum, we accept your offer, but many years have made us quite…paranoid. We require proof of your claims.

I expected no less. Go to the forests north of the spine-in-the-earth. There you will find your first target. The elf Kilf. She has enslaved my daughter, Adurna, to use as a hunting beast. Go now, and may the wind lift under your wings.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

And that is where i will end the story, at least that which is posted here on TFF.  If you would like to continue reading this story, you can do so here. http://www.heresy-online.net/forums/showthread.php?t=7563&highlight=Oathbreaker&page=3  It begins at the top of page three, and continues with each posting by Dirge Eterna.  Please enjoy and comment if you would.
cheers everyone…
CP 

Heresy-Online Fiction Competition 2010 – Submission window opens!

The Submission window for the Heresy-Online Fiction Competition 2010 has opened! It will continue through August and then close on the 31st of the month.  Make sure you get your entries in before the deadline!  Click the following link for more details on how to submit your story.

http://www.heresy-online.net/forums/showthread.php?t=67795

In that thread is a link to the prize list where you can see what I am giving away this year.  cheers!

CP