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5Dec/220

Necromunda Campaign Finale – The Crucible

In the finale of our narrative campaign, the gangs are keyed into a bounty against invading Orks! Smelling a fortune to be made for whoever kills the Warboss, the gangs ambush the Orks as they try to establish a camp!

The Orks are surrounded!
Petra's Ash Waste Gangers are mobile and heavily armed!
Thad's Van Saar, the Field Testers, are the only main house Outlaw gang.
Josh controls Grog's Skullcrushers
Zach's Palanite Enforcers are the infamous Helghast squad
Dan brought the Cawdor gang known as Cicero's Alley
Finally, Matt had J.D. and the Power Associates

Gangs got victory points for slaying Orks. The Fighting was rough until Petra's Ash Waste gangers shot the Warboss in the back with a missile!

Suddenly, the Gang Leaders were swallowed with white light! They were teleported to an arena!

Last one standing wins!

The fighting was fast and fierce, and the last two opponents were both limping around with flesh wounds!

Finally, Syn Decote, leader of the Field Testers, was triumphant!

***

Syn Decote wrapped his cloak around his wounds. Only his armoured undersuit had saved him from being blown apart by the Palanite Captain's lucky bolt rounds. He slammed a painkiller and took a deep breath.

A white column of light appeared in the center of the arena. With no other options, Syn readied his plasma pistol and stepped into the light.

He appeared before the Eldar Farseer that had helped the gangers before, when they had been ambushed by the Imperial Fists. Beside him were the other two Eldar with the slim meltaguns and the fire motif on their armour. Syn narrowed his eyes, but didn't flinch.

“Greetings, champion of Man.” the Farseer said. “I am Yrthrian Mardawn, Farseer of the Aeldari. Long have I searched for one as you. I beg you, before you leave, hear my plea. I offer a lifetime of glory, luxury, and freedom.”

Syn figured that this alien could have slagged him at any time. He could have also set him rot in that sealed off room. Despite the drills from childhood about how aliens were scum, Syn decided to give the weirdo in the tall hat a chance.

"I'll listen." he spat.

The Farseer motioned to the Fire Dragons: “Leave us.” Even behind their tall helmets, Syn could sense thet were confused. They left after a moment, with Syn face to face with the Farseer. He removed his tall helmet, revealing pale skin, delicate features, and pointed ears. He spoke.

“Before I ask of your skills in combat, I must explain why I have searched for you so long. The Aeldari live on ships known as Craftworlds. My Craftworld, Saim-Hann, is ruled by the most dominant family. Many years ago, I received a vision of the future. In this vision, the galaxy was rent in two and the Great Enemy you know as Chaos tore the Human Imperium apart. The Craftworlds of the Aeldari were not spared this wrath. However, under the leadership of my family, Craftworld Saim-Hann survived, and aided the humans to hold back the night.

“My family was not in a position of leadership. Therefore, I challenged the ruling family. It was decided that in ten years’ time, we would choose a champion, and these champions would duel. The winner would bring glory to the family that chose them, and that family would rule.

“I scryed the future once again, and saw this place, this Hive. Within it, I knew I would find a champion capable of the victory I needed. I searched for years, ultimately deciding on the Human known as Bull Gorg. I spirited him away from the Human authorities that hunted him, and they presumed him dead. He accompanied me to Saim-Hann. However, something happened that no one foresaw:

“Bull Gorg and the champion of the opposing family slew each other at the exact same moment. No victor could be decided. So, both families agreed to another competition in ten more years.

“This time, however, I did not search at random. I contacted Rangers who ply the webways to manipulate events. I gave aid to House Ty and fueled their ambitions for dominance. I worked with the Human Inquisitor Von Styr, pitting him against his enemies. I gave false leads to the Astartes, who came in search of their fallen brethren, only to find you. Finally, I used all the resources at my disposal to re-direct an Ork WAAAAGH, but to weaken it so that it could not destroy this place.

“All this, I have done, to turn this Hive into a crucible. To burn away the impurities and find perfection. I believe you are the champion I need to save my world.

“For your services, I will extricate you from this hellish place. I will shower you with riches, and allow you to live on my Craftworld, or on any other planet in the galaxy, barring those belonging to the Exodites. I will even pledge my Craftworld to defend your Imperium from the coming darkness.

“For this, I require you fight for me. It will not be easy. But I believe you are destined to prevail.

“What say you, Champion of man?”

Syn was in awe. This guy had so much power, and all he wanted was a fight?

Syn could fight a guy. He did it all the time.

"You got a deal." he said, holstering his pistol and extending his hand. The Eldar looked at the hand as if it were a rat three days dead, but then seemed to steel himself and shook Syn's hand.

"Then, you shall come with us. It is a weeklong trek in the Ash Wastes to the Webway Portal."

"Whatever." Syn said.

It was the last word he would speak aloud on Necromunda. He was alright with that.

29Oct/220

Big Necromunda Update

It's been a while since I've updated due to the hectic life of a Necromunda Arbitrator. Here's a huge dump of awesome stuff!

First, I finished Wendy and Sandy, my Champion and Specialist, with Needle Rifles.

Wendy and Sandy are, as previous characters, based on characters from Maniac Mansion:

Next, the second of the major narrative events happened for my Necromunda Campaign: Diamonds in the Sump! The leaders of the player gangs and their trusted seconds were ambushed by an Inquisitor who was an enemy of the Inquisitor that hired them for the first event! Luckily, Kal Jerico himself was there to provide an opening. The leader of the Field Testers, Syn Ducote (Van Saar) fragged the Inquisitor and made his escape! The rest of the gangs ran down a huge hallway from the Inquisitor's private Enforcer Squad!

Finally, a shipment came in from Forge World, and I have a pair of brand new Phyrr Cats to add to battles for Razor and the Scumettes!

Next: more Necromunda including the next narrative event which will prove to be a shocker!

5Sep/220

Necromunda Downtime Multiplayer Game and Squad Batarian, IVth squad, VIIth Company of the Imperial Fists

This weekend was a blast! Five players (not including myself) participated in a narrative six way multiplayer battle! An Inquisitor bullied the gangs into attacking an underground prison compound. Here was the board setup:

Each player got one of the 5 tiles on the top of this picture, and their goal was to kill a specific model and open the doors in the cells at the bottom. Things began cordially, and then Dan's Cawdor smoked one of Josh's Goliath's with a Krak Grenade arrow and it went downhill from there. Petra's ash waste bug monster rampages through the halls, killing at will. Zach's Palanite Enforcers went up the right side, smashing as they went.

All through this, odd things happened. The "Traitors" that the gangs were supposedly fighting had oddly accurate weaponry, and Matt's gang leader, an unsanctioned psyker, found himself trying to undo warpcraft from somewhere! Further, the target was eliminated by his own plasma pistol exploding and Dan's Cherub found something interesting on the body...

Finally, after two gangs bottled and most fighters were down, the cells were opened, to find the prisoners executed! Oh well, three players got special inquisitorial sanctions for not bottling.

After this, I managed to finish the special antagonists I've been working on: Squad Batarian, IVth Squad, VIIth Company of the Imperial Fists, stationed in the Necromunda Fortress Monastery.

In truth they've been done for a while, but I was waiting on decals. No regular Space Marine sets have black tactical arrows! I had to special order two sheets of Imperial Fist ones.

As you can see above, I did two decals, one over the other. I also added some nifty battle damage and tried to get poses to be as dynamic as I could without repeating.

Marines were sprayed Wraithbone, coated Iyanden Yellow Contrast, and then brought up with yellow and highlighted light yellow. Reds are Blood Angels Contrast. Metals are Boltgun washed with Nuln Oil. I did the bases with black spray, Boltgun, and rust pigment, stippled in places with orange. Cursive names were freehand.

Soon: more gangers and more Necromunda goodness!

31Dec/200

Big Game VI – The Omega War is complete! Farewell 2020!

2020 is over and as a parting gift, Big Game VI - The Omega War is COMPLETE! This behemoth is as long as most Black Library stand alone novels, at 55,013 words, over 46 chapters plus the Introduction and Epilogue.

For contrast, Big Game V - The Battle of Iperin was 50,267 words with 71 chapters. This was because BGV was a post-by-post continuity on the old Big Game V forums maintained by Brian. There were a lot more authors, and a lot less planning making for some short snippets.

It's been a hard year, but it goes out with a bang. Farewell 2020. Farewell Omega Station. Farewell pre-Gathering Storm continuity for the Azure Flames.

It's with this post that I am officially beginning work on Home Fires: an Azure Flames novel, which will detail the fate of the Azure Flames after the Psychic Awakening.

Stay tuned for more updates, including a new Blood Bowl post!

19Sep/200

Indominus Bladeguard as Lightguard Reborn, and Sniper Scout Decals

The next part of my Indominus project is complete! The Lightguard are reborn as Bladeguard Veterans!

Formerly the Honor Guard of Chapter Master Perseus, the Lightguard sought permission to cross the Rubicon Primaris en route to the besieged world of Altea, where Captain Antonius, Scion of Atrus, held with the remaining Primaris recruits from the Indominus Crusade. Arriving just in time to save Antonius, the Lightguard pledged loyalty to him, and officially joined the 4th Company (shoehorned into the 20th squad slot).

Also, as part of the ongoing decal project, I added decals to my old pewter sniper scouts. They required almost no touch ups! I've been using them pretty regularly for all of 8th, so they've really toughed it out!

Note that the kneeling version of this model has its right shoulder covered, and didn't need decals.

Next: a bevy of Scout Sergeants to round out Scout Sergeant weapon options, and some close combat scouts get some TLC and decals!

18May/180

Big Game VI Fluff Overload!

We've been backed up, but Brian and I have finally finished Chapter five of Big Game VI, and this allows chapters six and seven to be published as well!

Big Game VI - Chapter Five: A Dark Reunion

Big Game VI - Chapter Six: Opening Gambit

Big Game VI - Chapter Seven: Desperate Measures

Enjoy!

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23Jun/160

A day of mourning, a day of hope

The first week must be the hardest, though Antonius as Captain Dakota of the Azure Flames 6th company briefed him on the resupply schedule of the Strike Cruiser Honor.

“The Munitorum just now has sorted out all of the requests from Imperial Navy vessels that have stayed behind to mop up the Ork forces in the Julius system.  We can finally resupply, and I can see that the Honor has the most stores of any ship in the fleet.  I need to be able to swap out supplies to refresh the stocks of His Hammer II, which saw the most action of any ship during the entire Chasma Spica conflict.”

“Sir…” Antonius began before Dakota interrupted him with a chortle.

“Sir?  You haven’t called me that in a long time.” Dakota said with a smile.

“You have quite a short memory, it was two months ago.”  Antonius retorted.

Dakota dismissively waved his hand.  “That was when you were a mere Battle Brother, Captain Antonius.  Besides, it has been a long two months.”

“That’s an understatement.  Feel free to take anything we have, Captain.  We are all brothers here.”

“Thank you, Antonius.  I’m sure that once we have a more complete survey of all the planets in…” Dakota cut off as a faint noise emanated from his earpiece.  He touched it, and a microphone deployed.  “Dakota.  Yes.  Understood.  I’m on my way.”  He turned his gaze back to Antonius.  “Come, Captain, we have a Thunderhawk flight to charter.  There is a meeting of the full Senior Staff aboard His Hammer II in the main conference room.”

“A full meeting?  But we have just secured Iperin as our homeworld!  We have not even begun pouring foundations for the Fortress Monastery.  We can’t be going on another crusade.”

“If the Emperor has need of us, then we go.” Dakota replied in a dour tone.  “Let us hope that no Imperial power wishes to challenge our right of conquest to Iperin.”

Antonius suppressed a shudder.  Without help from Inquisitor Voltman Kalmsan, The Azure Flames may well have come to blows with the Adeptus Mechanicus over the quarantine of the Menelaus during the Chasma Spica conflict.  If those delicate assurances had crumbled…

“Let’s go.” Antonius said.  Dakota nodded.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Antonius and Dakota strode into a darkened hallway, lit only by candles.  The faint aroma of incense wafted from censers on either side of the hall.  Near the end was a door with several bands of plasteel securing it.  Next to the door, a servo skull hovered above an autoscrivener with a roll of aged parchment that rolled up from the floor.  As Antonius and Dakota approached the skull scanned them with a red laser.

“Who comes?  Who comes?  Who comes?” The skull croaked in a mechanically augmented voice.

“Zeraf Antonius, Master of the Marches, Captain of the Strike Cruiser Honor.” Antonius replied as tradition said he should.

“Come in remembrance, and leave with purpose.” The skull intoned as the doors slid open.

“What?” Antonius exclaimed.  The skull did not answer.  “That isn’t the normal greeting.”

“No, it’s not.” answered Dakota.  “Go inside, I’ll be there in a moment.”

Antonius went through the door into a small antechamber.  He knelt before a small statue of Vulkan and offered a short prayer of devotion.  As he rose, Dakota came in behind him and repeated the ritual.  Antonius picked up a small padded mallet and rang a small gong hanging by the door into the main chamber three times.

“Enter.” A voice called.  Antonius carefully opened the door and went into the conference room.  A large table with data displays inlaid stretched from one end of the long room to the other.  Around the table were fourteen large steel benches, built to accommodate power armour.  At the far end, a larger, more ornate throne held the bulky frame of Perseus, the new Chapter Master, clad in his Terminator Armour, armed for war.  Around the table, most of the spaces were taken by the other captains of the ten companies of the Azure Flames.  To Perseus’ right was Chaplain Alexsandr, the Master of Sanctity in his black armour.  To his left, Ory-Hara, the Chief Librarian, clad in a blue hood and a mask that hid all but his eyes.  At the opposite end of the table sat Senior Apothecary Luiz and Jelnac, Master of the Forge.  Several of the other captains were seated in the places they took by tradition, but many seats were still empty.  Antonius took his, nodding to Perseus.  Perseus did not acknowledge the gesture.

He knows Antoinus thought.   Only someone who knew Antonius’ secret would give him that look of both trepidation and admiration.  Antonius turned to Apothecary Luiz who gave him the same look.  One week ago, on the day of his promotion to Captain, Luiz had told Antonius that he was the only gene-son of Atrus, the former Chapter Master and the man who saved the Azure Flames.  Atrus’ visions from the Emperor gave the chapter a new purpose.  Now, with Atrus gone, Antonius felt that he had lost a father.  Again.

Dakota entered quickly after Antonius, and the room was silent again.  Other Captains eventually filled the room until all fifteen members of the Senior Staff were present.  Perseus stood and spoke in a loud, clear voice.

“Let all who have come here speak not outside these walls of our counsel, save for the one voice in which we all speak.  Let loose words not in hatred, save for the alien, the mutant, the heretic.  Fear not your own voice, for here it is all you are armed with.  Do you so swear?”

The room answered as a chorus.  “On our honor, and by the teachings of Vulkan, we so swear.”

As soon as the echo of the group’s reply faded, Perseus sat. “We are not going to war.” he said.  Puzzled looks came from all but a few.

“Then what did you call us here for, old man?” shouted Leonidas, Captian of the first company.  His green gauntleted fist pounded the countertop.  Antonius briefly reflected on Leonidas’ livery; he was a living reminder that the Azure Flames had once been the Sons of the Salamander, and he took the duty of being that reminder very seriously.

“I have called you all here because we have all lost something.” Perseus answered.

“Yes.” the monotone mechanical voice of Edgard of the 3rd Company spoke up. “I have my revenge against the successors of Victor Kalan.  I slew dozens of aliens and heretics for each of my brothers that were taken from us by the Alliance.  Yet now there is only emptiness.  We have no purpose.”  Edgard was slouched over in sorrow, and Antonius heard the servos in his torso actuate as he corrected himself and sat up properly.  Edgard had survived the worst injuries imaginable, but he seemed to be in real pain now.

“We have a purpose.” Khalil of the 8th company retorted.  “Atrus told me just before he died.  He said that a true hero fights until his dying breath, knowing only what is in his heart.”

Jelnac, Master of the Forge, muttered “I still cannot believe that Atrus did not let his Techmarine bodyguard go with him.”  Though he was almost too quiet to hear, the anger in his voice was palpable.

“No one doubts the resolve of any of our brothers, Khalil.” Perseus said as if Jelnac had not spoken.  “We will live up to the memory of the man who shaped our chapter.  However, without his vision and drive, we must re-assess the purpose of the Azure Flames.  We sought to banish the darkness in the vision that Atrus had so long ago, and we did so with honor.  But now we must find a new purpose.”

“What is the purpose of any Space Marine chapter?” mused Zhuang of the 2nd company.  “We fight the enemies of the Imperium, and vanquish foes that give ordinary men pause.  We must simply adapt to this new role.”

A memory floated up, unbidden in Antonius’ mind.  It was pervasive; he could not dismiss it.

***Antonius looked out through someone else’s eyes.  He looked on as a younger version of Zhuang in Scout Armour lay broken and bleeding on the floor of a dark room.  Apothecaries came in to tend him, but he righted himself, pushed off of his knee, and stood.  Bright crimson blood ran from his mouth, nose, ears, and eyes.  He walked out of the room and the vision faded.***

As Antonius looked around the room, the rest of the council seemed to refocus their eyes, recovering from experiencing the same memory.  All but Ory-Hara, who stared daggers at Zhuang.

“Is this why you stood after the Final Trial of Brotherhood, Zhuang?” Perseus’ tone was almost accusatory.  “To join ‘just another chapter?’  No.  You are the only member of the Azure Flames since Atrus created that trial to walk out of the Black Room on your own two feet.  Are you content with mediocrity, Zhuang?”

“No, my lord.” Zhuang answered.

“Nor should any of you be.” Perseus continued.   “Atrus is gone.  We will all mourn him in our own way.  But he did not leave us only to have us turn our backs on all that we have built.”

“I have taught all of you, save Perseus and Alexsandr.” The rough, gravelly voice of Daniel, captain of the 10th company, was so nostalgic to Antonius that his Power Armour seemed far too big for him.  “With those two exceptions, I watched you all fire your first Boltgun.  I saw you go into battle for the first time.  I watched you grow, and I personally made the recommendation to Atrus, and before him Chapter Master Logain, to promote you all to full Brotherhood.” He turned to Perseus. “My lord, you are my oldest friend.  Know that I mean no disrespect, but you know as well as I that no one in this room would ever turn their backs on Atrus, the Chapter, or any of our history.”

Perseus sighed. “You are right, Daniel.  Zhuang, I apologize.”

“No, the fault is my own.” Zhuang replied. “I was avoiding thinking about the future, because I do not know what we are to do.”  He paused for a moment before adding: “Atrus always knew what to do.”

“Indeed, but we are bereft of his advice.” Valerien, captain of the 9th company answered. “We shall always remember the past, but it is our duty now to look to the future.”

“There’s always a choice…” Antonius surprised himself as those words left his mouth.  Everyone turned to him, and he felt the closest thing to fear that he had felt in a long time.

“A choice, Antonius?  We have no choice.  We must carry on, as we always have.” Valerien said.

“That’s not what I meant, but I can’t…” Antonius trailed off.  He knew what was right in his heart, but the words would not come.  Suddenly, he felt inspiration flow through his mind like a bolt of lightning.  “Ory-Hara, I need to share a memory with everyone.  Can you help me?”

Ory Hara nodded slowly, and stood.  He walked behind Perseus, and came down Antonius’ side of the table.  Antonius leaned his head back.  Ory-Hara’s gauntleted hand hovered above him.  With a click, a rectangular compartment opened in Ory-Hara’s palm.  As the armour opened, Antoinus saw the rubbery surface of the Black Carapace.  In the middle, was a small, circular hole about 2.5 centimeters across, exposing the pale flesh of a human palm.  Ory-Hara lowered his hand to Antonius’ head, and Antonius quickly went through the meditation techniques he learned to empty his mind of all thought.  A candle appeared in his mind, sporting a bright, blue flame.  Into this flame, Antonius pushed his hesitation, his excitement, and his pride.  He floated in nothingness for a fraction of a second, and then let himself remember.

***Antonius walked into the chapel of the Strike Cruiser Honor.  All of the sergeants were there, as well as Antonius’ predecessor, Captain Ganendra and Chaplain Hakan.  Captain Ganendra formally ordered him to take command of the 5th Tactical Sqaud.  Chaplain Hakan distributed devotional wine, and everyone drank.

Except Gehn.  Gehn stared.***

As the room once again shook off the effects of Ory-Hara’s memory sharing, he heard someone spit.  A small plume of acrid smoke emanated from the plasteel countertop in front of Leonidas.

“GAAAAH!  Antonius, you dare to soil our council devoted to the memory of a great man by remembering that… TRAITOR?” Leonidas shouted.

“We have to remember Gehn.” Antonius answered.  “You see, Gehn had a choice.  He could have let his jealousy and anger go.  He could have remembered that his oaths to the Emperor were stronger than his own ego.  Instead, he chose to let that jealousy and anger consume him, and turned to the Ruinous Powers.”  Antonius stood as he gained momentum. “We can choose to fade into the background.  We can take this system and build a fortress that rivals The Fang, and forever cut ourselves off from an uncaring galaxy.  We can be just like every other chapter that squats in their Fortress Monasteries and deigns to bless the battlefields with their presence.  Or…”

Antonius looked around, suddenly a bit self conscious.  Chaplain Alexsandr’s harsh Valhallan accent split the room. “FINISH, boy!” Antonius suddenly felt himself full of confidence.

“Or,” Antonius continued “we can make Iperin our home.  We can turn this world into a bright candle that banishes the darkness.  We can share our home with those who have had their homes and families taken from them, like mine was.  Like Ory-Hara.  Like Edgard.  Like so many of our brothers. Even Atrus himself.”

“Seek not to put yourself above mankind, for from whence you came, so you must serve.” Chaplain Alexsander intoned.

“The words of Vulkan.”  Everyone around the table said as a chorus.

“Atrus gave us a quest.” Antonius continued.  “He led us on a crusade, never settling in any one place, so that we would be ready to face the darkness he saw.  Our quest is over.  Now we have a choice.  Do we let our grief consume us, or do we let it drive us?  We should start a new quest.  To defend those who cannot protect themselves.  To avenge what cannot be protected.  And to bring light to those plunged into darkness and despair.”

Another memory rushed into Antonius’ mind.

***Once more, Antonius saw through the eyes of another.  The huge bulk of Atrus in his Dreadnought body was standing next to him as they gazed upon the smoking but intact silhouette of Tenkath Hive.  “A great victory.” a voice from behind Antonius’ eyes said.  “The shields held, and the traitors have been purged.”

Atrus sighed. “Yes, it is a great victory.”  His tone, even through speakers, was grandfatherly and regal, but tinged with sadness.  “But so many will be trapped in this dark place.  You fought along its streets, Ory-Hara.  You saw the living conditions these poor souls endure.  This place is no Releeshahn.”

“What does that mean, my lord?” the voice that was Ory-Hara’s inquired.

“Ah, yes.” Atrus turned to face Ory-Hara.  “Releeshahn is a legend from my old homeworld.  It means ‘city of light’ in our old tongue.    Releeshahn was a fictional city where none suffered, and there was light and music and happiness.”  Atrus turned to Tenkath Hive again.  “Every human life is worth saving.  I just wish we could give them better than… this.”***

Perseus stood.  “All of you know that I took the mantle of Chapter Master reluctantly.  I felt that I could not do justice to the legacy of Atrus.  That reluctance is now gone.  We have a new quest that will drive us.  For every world that we save, we will offer asylum to those whose lives have been destroyed by war.  For every world we lose, we will salvage what can be saved.  Our Fortress Monastery will be the capital of a shining city of hope.  And we will call it Releeshahn.”

Everyone rose and cheered.  Except Ory-Hara, who remained silent.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jelen awoke to darkness, as she had several times before.  Her throat was raw and dry from shouting.  She shifted from the jagged piece of plascrete that was her bed and once again began to feel around the ruined chamber she was trapped in.  Nothing.  Again.  She began to sob.

“I want my daddy…” she repeated again and again.

Suddenly, from outside the rubble, noise.  The bad bugs had come back to kill her.  All sound in her throat died.  Her chest tightened, and she began to shake.

“STAND BACK!” came a voice, loud despite being muffled by the debris.  The words snapped Jelen out of her shock.  She scooted back away from where the voice had come.  A brilliantly shining blue axe head appeared.  It disappeared and returned faster than Jelen had ever seen something move.  As it widened a hole in the wall, Jelen heard shouting with each stroke.  Dark blue gauntlets reached through either side of the newly formed hole and ripped the wall asunder.  Standing in the light was an Angel.

“Are you all right?” the Angel said.

The events of the past weeks all flooded into her at once.  The sirens.  The war.  Her daddy running out to draw the spores away.  That awful sound.  The collapse.  Being trapped for days in the ruins.  She ran towards the Angel and held on to his greave.  Horrible sobs wracked her chest.

“Majeed?  Antonius.” The Angel spoke in hushed tones.  “Bring me some water and a blanket from the emergency supplies.”  He paused. “Yes, I know.  Hurry.”  The Angel gently patted her filthy hair with his dark blue gauntlet.  “It’s alright, you’re safe now.  We will not let the aliens come for you.”

“My…” Jelen hiccupped incoherently.  “My… My… daddy… is… he…”

“What is your name child?” the Angel asked.

“J… Jel... Jel… Jelen.”

“Hello Jelen.  I am Antonius.  The Emperor sent me and my brothers to protect you.”  As the Angel said this, a vehicle appeared from behind a ruined building.  It plowed rubble out of its way with a forked blade on its prow.  It was the same deep blue of the Angel’s armour.  It was boxy with a sloped font, clean lines, and a wicked looking turret with a long barreled cannon and two smaller glowing guns flanking it.  As it approached, it slowed.  Another Angel disembarked through a rectangular hatch on the side, emblazoned with a bright blue flame symbol.

“You had to drive here?” Antonius said.

The other Angel smiled.  “You said to hurry, my lord.”  He handed Antonius a blanket, which Antonius wrapped around Jelen.  He lifted her and took her into the vehicle. The inside was cramped, and full of other Angels.  Counting Antonius, there were six total.  All blue except one which was white.  She sipped water from a canteen the other Angel gave her.

“Brothers, this is Jelen.  She is the only one we’ve found.  We must fall back and relieve Captain Edgard and the remaining defence force of Ifan III.  Make this girl’s safety your first priority.”  Jelen’s howl of grief managed to drown out the growl of the engine as the vehicle jerked into motion.

“I… I… lost my daddy.” she sobbed.

“I lost my father, just like you did.”  Antonius said.  Jelen was so shocked her crying immediately ceased.

“But, you’re an Angel.” she said.

“Before I was an Angel, I was little, just like you.  How did he die?  It’s alright if you don’t want to remember.”

“Daddy was carrying me down the street.  We saw those spore things.  There were lots and lots.  Daddy put me in the storage room, and told me not to come out.  I heard him run away.  Then there was a big boom.  The wall and ceiling fell down.  I couldn’t get out…”  She trailed off.

“Your father was very brave.”  Antonius said.

“How did your daddy die?”  Jelen asked.

Antonius looked down at the floor.

“It’s alright if you don’t wanna remember.”  She said, patting him on the greave.

“Tell her, my lord.”  The white Angel said.  Antonius looked up at him for what seemed like a long time.  His face, taut with anguish, softened slightly.

“Alright.  I’ll tell you how he died, saving me and all my brothers.”  He turned to her.  “His name was Atrus, and he was a great man.”

26Mar/160

A Typical Day

“It’s so good to have someone who will just listen.” Poindexta Smartyskull said to Loudmouf Sneakilla.  Loudmouf nodded in reply, as his loudener speakers were switched off.  Loudmouf gestured towards some black smoke coming from the Gargant known as Da Gentul Teddy Bear, and shrugged his shoulders.

“Ah,” Smartyskull answered “Manik must be hard at work again.  It’s good to know that he keeps my Gargant in good condition.  I hope that during this maintenance that no one steals his bike again.  Last time I lost two perfectly good trukks and…”

*K-ponk*

Smartyskull was interrupted by an object striking him in the side of the head.  It bounced harmlessly off the rusty steel of his mega-armour, and hit the ground with a squelching noise.  Reluctantly, Smartyskull looked down to see what had struck him and to his amazement, found that it was an Ork head wearing a Stormboy’s helmet.  Smartyskull struggled the right arm out of the sheath that held his Big Shoota, and reached down to pick up the head.  It was Jobba.  Surprisingly, the still form of the head jerked to life as Smartyskull looked into Jobba’s eyes.  Jobba’s lips formed the words “Hiya Boss!” though no sound came out.  Jobba’s eyes then darkened and he stopped moving.  Smartyskull flung the head behind him, put his arm back in his armour, and turned to Loudmouf.

“Loudmouf, if you would, please get me Rukkstud.”  Loudmouf beamed, and turned on his speakers.  Before Smartyskull could stop him, he bellowed

“RUKKSTUD!”

The wave of Loudmouf’s shout hit Smartyskull like a Wreckin’ Ball.  His Ork instincts made him try to reach out and smash Loudmouf across the jaw.  Being dazed, he missed, and fell over.  As Loudmouf helped him to his feet, he began to regain his senses.  Just in time for another loud boom followed by the hiss of pistons.

“Yer wanted ta see me Boss?” Rukkstud shouted.  Smartyskull opened his eyes, blinked several times, and was finally able to make out the form of Rukkstud, awkwardly saluting with one of his gigantic adamantium piston arms, and awkwardly balancing on the other arm, and his choppa.  The choppa was being held at a ridiculous angle by a hand protruding from Rukkstud’s pant leg.  Smartyskull sighed.

“Rukkstud, you know that I approve of your leadership style.  You are one of the few in this camp that appreciates military structure and discipline.”

“Sir!  Yessir!  Boss!  Sir!” Rukkstud shouted.

“However, if I am pelted by another piece of your soldiers, I will conclude that you cannot keep proper discipline, or that your aim is too poor, and I will assign you to being a Deffdread.  Do I make myself clear?”

“Sir!  Yessir!  Boss!  Sir!  Sir!  Boss!”

“Dismissed.” Smartyskull make a waving action with his power klaw, and with that, Rukkstud bounded into the air on a column of acrid gray smoke.  Smartyskull held his breath and walked away from the site, followed closely by Loudmouf.  “One day.” He muttered under his breath so that Loudmouf would not hear.  “One day without… this.  Is that too much to ask, Mork?”

25Mar/160

Belated Highland Deathwatch Camapign: Round 1 – MST3K Name Ripoff Extravaganza!

Ian, manager of the brand new Games Workshop store in Ann Arbor, MI put on a Deathwatch campaign for us.

I decided to join in at least for the first round, using proxies from my own list.  The rules for creating a kill team are from the internet.  Here's mine, in all its copycatted glory:

Kill Team Roll Fizzlebeef

-Bob Johnson, Ultramarines Chaplain: Terminator Armour, Bolter-Melta, Crozius Arcanum, Rosarius, Combat Doctrines, Zealot, Rampage, Hammer of Wrath

-Buff Drinklots, Space Wolf Rune Priest: Plasma Pistol, Force Axe, Rune Armour, Frag Grenades, Krak Grenades, Counter Attack, Acute Senses, Night Vision, Hit-and-run, Stealth

-Gristle McThornbody, Blood Angels Apothecary: Power Sword, Narthecium, Melta Bombs, Frag Grenades, Krak Grenades, Furious Charge, Feel No Pain (5+), Rampage

-Smoke Manmuscle, Salamanders Sternguard Heavy: Heavy Flamer, Master Crafted Bolt Pistol, Frag Grenades, Krak Grenades, Special Issue Ammunition, 4+ Feel No Pain vs. Flamer Wounds, Flamer Weapons gain Shred, Tank Hunter

-Reef Blastbody, Dark Angel Sternguard Heavy: Lascannon, Bolt Pistol, Frag Grenades, Krak Grenades, Special Issue Ammunition, Stubborn, Overwatch at BS2, Night Vision, Stealth

-------------------------------------------------------

Together with other Deathwatch Kill Teams, they blast heretics and aliens at the behest of an insane inquisitor!

Below, our first battle, in which a planetary governor and a Tau commander's meeting is disrupted and the leaders captured and brought to the Inquisitor for torture!

DSCF1366

Next, Daemons are summoned to protect the traitorous governor's plans!  Will the Deathwatch come out on top?  NO.  We were beaten badly.  One character even got killed PERMANENTLY which isn't supposed to happen often.

DSCF1367Next: More Gothic batreps and possibly more Deathwatch!  Stay tuned!

24Aug/150

Blood Bowl Custom End Zones by Lexington

A long time ago I met a wonderful man.  He's not important; what's important is I met Lexington a little less than 15 years ago.  He's been my constant companion through model wargaming, and occasional rival.  Friendval?  (Editors note: think of something more clever later)  Regardless, Lexington just gave me my Xmas present and if you think that it's four months early, you'd be wrong.  Marvel in their awesomeness:

BLOOD BOWL CUSTOM END ZONES!  These end zones are designed for the 2nd edition Astrogranite board.  I designed the basic concepts for the logos for the Konquata Monitors and the Grimfang Scrappaz, but Lexington brought them to life, and formatted them for the correct size of the end zone. (Blood Bowl fans take note: these end zones are two squares deep, unlike the ones on a modern Blood Bowl board)

These custom end zones were then printed in full color on a laser printer and laminated with 10 mil laminate.  They were then cut to size.  This breaks the seal and eventually they will need to be replaced, but it looks better without a margin.  Incidentally, you can find the files here:

Konquata Monitors Custom End Zone by Lexington

Grimfang Scrappaz Custom End Zone by Lexington

Of course, these are useless to anyone but me.  However, if you want to make your own, use these as templates.  The final size of the Astrogranite 2nd edition end zone is 14.5" wide by 1.75" deep.  These files are larger than that in order to give you bleed to cut off.  Print them, laminate them, and trim carefully to size.  Make your own!

Next: Grimfang Scrappaz support staff!

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