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Son of Sanguinius
31-07-2010, 06:23
Part 1.


Thunder and fire.

“My lord…” a voice said, even in its tone but unable to mask the desperate need for leadership behind it.

Blinking rapidly, Dante snapped out of a reverie that only his mind could fathom. Around him, the highest ranking sons of Sanguinius were gathered to decide how best to prosecute the increasingly dangerous conflict that embroiled them all. Baal was bending under the blood-stained hoof of Kabandha, favored of Khorne and most ancient enemy of the Blood Angels. Over a dozen Chapters that could trace their lineage back to Sanguinius were gathered in defense of the Primarch’s homeworld alongside millions of valiant and loyal Imperial Guardsmen, but there was no end to the horde. The foul sorceries that fueled the footsoldiers of the Blood God were as potent as they were inextinguishable. Millions upon millions of demonic foes had been crushed and kicked screaming back into the hell that spawned them, but their ranks were replenished without fail. As if such trials of blood and hate were not enough, the horrid xenos known as Tyranids had entered the system and engaged the combined battlefleets of the Astartes. Rabid swarms of the abominations claimed a toll of ancient vessels that grew with every passing day. Contact with the stricken craft was sparse at the best of times, and Dante had been denied perhaps his most valuable asset against the primarily ground-based demon armies.

As the war dragged on for months and months, the Blood Angels and their successors began to realize the awful truth: unless Kabandha’s power was broken, Baal was doomed.

Behind his death mask, Dante exhaled an inaudible sigh. How had it come to this? What base treachery let the demon legions manifest so far from the Eye and with such unlimited power? What force drew the ravenous xenos to such a barren system? Had all of his visions been for nothing? Was the fate of the Blood Angels to be one of annihilation?

“Dante,” Seth said, “the fortress is surrounded.” Several Blood Angels officers rankled at hearing their lord referred to so informally, but they held their tongues out of desire to hear the answer.

“What word from Bellerophon?” Dante asked, ignoring his fellow Chapter Master.

“The Blade of Vengeance was lost with all hands,” Captain Zedrenael reported, eliciting looks of horror from his fellows. “Bloodcaller is badly wounded. The wretched xenos seem determined to destroy her, and were it not for the actions of our brother-fleets and the Navy, they would have. However, last contact with Lord Bellerophon was over twenty standard Terran hours ago, and we have officially lost all contact. The combined presence of the demons and the xenos has rendered astropathic relay useless.”

“And our Librarius? Can they not pierce this storm?” Dante asked.

“Lord Mephiston refuses all requests for assistance,” Astorath answered. “He will not leave his seclusion, my lord, and the Brother-Librarians will not leave his side.”

“It is the same for the rest of us,” Seth interjected. “Something has afflicted our Librarians. I fear the powers of the warp seek to corrupt them.”

“We must break this demonic horde before the aliens make planetfall,” Dante said. “We cannot fight against these two foes at once.”

“Can we not turn this to our advantage?” Zargo asked. “The xenos have a stagnating effect on the warp tides, which the demon legions depend on.”

“Such was my hope, but the shadow in the warp is already here and it has not yet snuffed out the power of the demons,” Dante responded. “Whatever conspiracy brought these damnable beasts to our door has seen to it that they focus on us before each other. Regardless, we cannot afford to carry on with this siege any longer. We will take the fight to them, as the Primarch’s honor demands.”

“Their horde is functionally limitless, my lord. Can an assault truly break them?” Corbulo asked.

“We have fought these things before. Victory strengthens their arms and their will to fight. Defeat makes them weak and craven. Defeat them soundly enough, and they cannot maintain their grip on this plane. Now is the time to rob them of their spirits, as they seek to tighten the noose,” Dante said.

“This will be an attack the likes of which we have never known,” Seth said with no small hint of relish. “The Flesh Tearers are with you until the end, Dante.”

Astorath hefted his weapon onto his should and said “I will awaken Lemartes and the Forsaken. Gather your Death Companies, for they will find their final battle here.”

“This is the moment of reckoning, brothers,” Dante said, his tone distant and strangely aloof. “If we fail, be prepared to withdraw and evacuated on what ships we have.”

“Evacuate?” Seth said, aghast. “Abandon Baal in her hour of need?”

“Need I remind you that you are a servant of the Emperor first and a son of Sanguinius second, Seth?” Dante spat, thoroughly irritated. “Failure does not relieve us of our duties- it demands we see them through. I hate the thought of this planet-my homeworld–falling to such despicable foes more than you can ever know. But we are honor bound to defend the Imperium and I will not allow those who can still do so to seek death as a relief from that charge.”

“You dare impugn my honor?” Seth roared. Zargo’s hand on his breastplate was the only this that stopped him from storming toward Dante.

“Brother!” Zargo said forcefully, causing Seth to get a hold of his anger. Zargo looked back to Dante and said “I ask that you calm yourself as well, Lord Dante. No warrior here is or shall be derelict in his duties, but we have enough enemies trying to tear us apart. We need not help them with the old rivalries.”

Dante stood straight and remained unreadable behind his mask.

“If the attack falters, be prepared to evacuate. We will regroup with the larger part of the fleet on the other side of the system. Brother Incarael, you have leave to ready the Chapter armory and what resources we have for possible emergency evacuation. Brother Adanicio, I want the Guard Generals to take responsibility for primary defense while we launch the attack and be prepared for any eventualities. Brother Astorath, see to it that Chapter relics are delivered to the care of Brother Incarael.”

The Lord of Baal paused and bent his neck, carefully considering his next words.

“I know now that I ask too much of you. Many of us will not survive this, and the fallen cannot be retrieved should we fail. But we fight now for something greater than glory and valor. We fight because our greater service to the Emperor and Sanguinius is not yet done, and because we will suffer no enemy to deny us that service. I count each of you,” Dante said, looking particularly at Seth, “as my brothers. May the Angel watch over you all.”

As one, the present Astartes made the sign of the Aquila and left to tend to their charges.

Dante sat down in his command-throne and slowly disengaged his fabled death mask. He removed the artifact and placed it on the console in front of him. His long black hair poured down his regal and strained face. He ran his gauntleted hands through it, feeling the leather and ceramite against his scalp.

“Fine speech.”

Dante’s gaze shot up to a figure he had not previously noticed in the least. The figure’s long blonde hair framed a face of disturbing intensity. The smile that now adorned it made his appearance unsettling, even for an Astartes. The warrior’s armor was a thing of meticulous beauty, like many suits belonging to the Blood Angels, but the coloring, markings, and adornments belonged to one only: Mephiston, Lord of Death. Dante straightened in his throne but made no effort to conceal his surprise.

“What are you doing here?” the Chapter Master asked.

“Am I not privy to these discussions anymore?” Mephiston asked playfully. Such a levied tone made Dante even more unnerved.

“I was told you were in seclusion with your subordinates,” Dante said. “Why did you conceal yourself?”

“There is no need to worry about me, my lord,” Mephiston said. “I simply kept myself hidden to gauge the insights and comments of our Captains and our fellow Chapters.”

“That is not your responsibility or your place, Callistus,” Dante said. The usage of Mephiston’s old name gave the Librarian pause. “I have enough damned threats to worry about without subterfuge and deception in my own halls.”

“Do not be so quick to lecture on deception, my lord,” Mephiston said. “The Captains and our successors look up to you. You are the closest to beloved Sanguinius since the Primarch’s death. It has blinded them from the fact that you know this attack will fail.”

Dante glared at Mephiston and crossed the room in an instant. “Excuse me?”

“Don’t play coy, my lord,” Mephiston said. “I’m not going to inform them. But you cannot hide your intentions from me. They are so apparent that I need not enter your mind to know them. You seek to use this attack to create a window to evacuate our forces. By giving the Commanders a feigned chance at victory, you quiet any objections. Brilliant, if I may be so bold.”

“What in the nine circles of hell has gotten into you, Mephiston?” Dante asked. “You skulk in your quarters, you hide from your brothers, and now treat the hardest decision of my life as if it were a game? I should exile you here and now for such dishonors. Consider yourself fortunate that our brothers should not be made to suffer the confusion and doubts such a punishment would force upon them.”

“As I said, Lord Dante, there is no need to worry about me,” Mephiston answered as he stepped past the Chapter Master, toward the door. “The Librarians and I will be at the forefront of the attack. Any misgivings you have will be reconciled on the battlefield, my friend.”

With that, the Chief Librarian left the command chamber.

+ + + + + +

As the door to the Chief Librarian’s quarters shut, he fell to his knees. Sweat poured from his brow, his eyes were sunken and pale, and his body felt as if it had been through the most rigorous torture.

How could this be happening? After all of this time? He had managed to control it for so long.

Mephiston’s mind had blacked out over the last hour, and only then, as he regained a measure of control over his body, did the events of that hour unfold. Such disrespect to the warrior who was his commander, his brother, and his friend made Mephiston sick.

The spirit within him was emerging. It had not yet taken full control, but its power meant it was only a matter of time. He hoped the proximity to the sorcery-despising demons or the suffocating xenos would quell it. For it to have manifested as it did, even for a comparative moment, meant that things were getting incredibly dangerous.

“Help me, father,” Mephiston whispered into the darkness.

Brother Alexos
02-08-2010, 03:10
A nice start.

I do have small problems, though. You need to define the characters a little bit. Mainly the subordinate ones, such as Zargo. Also, have you read the Blood Angel book, Red Fury? In that book, Seth is protrayed as someone who has to constantly **** off everyone in the room, to fight with everyone's opinions. He does this to test his brohters, and it gives him a certain flare when talking.

The way you have the dialogue set, it makes this seem as if a few IG generals were sitting down to some tea, and discussing the weather. The Astartes should come off as spiteful towards the enemy, especially the Blood Angels and their successors. Dante shouldn't seem as if he is doubting what is to come, but should be the steely backbone of the chapter masters. He should talk with an oratory that will lay low the doubts of his bretheren, and ignite a fire towards the destruction of their enemy.

Zargo, as is read from the codex, can't function normally without a blade in hand and a curse on his lips. He is constantly putting his chapter through campaigns that are becoming ever more violent. He should be protrayed as someone who has trouble controlling himself, and should be the one to suggest launching an attack at the enemy, a reckless, and foolhardy one. Dante will then cut in and quell his request with the fact that they WILL take the fight to the enemy, but it will be on their terms.

Those are just my thoughts, I'm not trying to write your story for you, its just my understanding of the Blood Angels. As for Mephiston, I like the angle you're going at. You should try and include moments where he is fighting with the voices of the Hivemind, trying to stave off their incessant ramblings.

Son of Sanguinius
02-08-2010, 03:34
A nice start.

Why thank you. :D


I do have small problems, though. You need to define the characters a little bit. Mainly the subordinate ones, such as Zargo. Also, have you read the Blood Angel book, Red Fury? In that book, Seth is protrayed as someone who has to constantly **** off everyone in the room, to fight with everyone's opinions. He does this to test his brohters, and it gives him a certain flare when talking.


Zargo, as is read from the codex, can't function normally without a blade in hand and a curse on his lips. He is constantly putting his chapter through campaigns that are becoming ever more violent. He should be protrayed as someone who has trouble controlling himself, and should be the one to suggest launching an attack at the enemy, a reckless, and foolhardy one. Dante will then cut in and quell his request with the fact that they WILL take the fight to the enemy, but it will be on their terms.

I have yet to read any Blood Angels books, mostly because I'm being warned away from them. However, I'm enjoying Nemesis at the moment, so I might indulge in a little bit of James Swallow's work. Thanks for the pointers on established characters. I'll change it a bit to be more accurate.

EDIT: The characters will be expanded upon in the next two parts. The minimal introduction was intentional.


The way you have the dialogue set, it makes this seem as if a few IG generals were sitting down to some tea, and discussing the weather. The Astartes should come off as spiteful towards the enemy, especially the Blood Angels and their successors. Dante shouldn't seem as if he is doubting what is to come, but should be the steely backbone of the chapter masters. He should talk with an oratory that will lay low the doubts of his bretheren, and ignite a fire towards the destruction of their enemy.

Even before this conflict begins, Dante is described as growing increasingly dispassionate about his situation. I'm trying to show despair in an Astartes, which is a rare thing in 40k fiction. That said, Dante will have quite the moments of inspirational heroism.

As for the IG generals, this is going to be an Astartes-exclusive story, save for references to their actions as part of the ongoing battle. Their exclusion from the conference was intentional to reflect that in the battle for their homeworld, the Astartes are not going to go through the motions with what they see as inferior generals. Arrogance, in other words.


Those are just my thoughts, I'm not trying to write your story for you, its just my understanding of the Blood Angels. As for Mephiston, I like the angle you're going at. You should try and include moments where he is fighting with the voices of the Hivemind, trying to stave off their incessant ramblings.

Your comments and criticisms are more than welcome. This forum section needs more action in any case. And I have a personal theory about the nature of Mephiston that is going to be the biggest twist in the story.

hawo0313
04-08-2010, 10:48
Yes!!!

Another story by son of Sanguinius should be epic espeachially as its about Blood Angels my favourite chapter. Also any other chapters coming to help maybe or are the Blood Angels Isolated. Cant wait to see what happens

jdunn
05-08-2010, 16:11
Very good intro.

Being a short story writer for my school, i have a constructive comment.

I feel you'll want to start giving the tyranid swarm and Kabandha's army a "personality". Where the tactics used by each (the hive mind and Kabandha) are reflective of their own tastes. The main reason i suggest this is because i've seen it used countless times in Graham McNeil's Ultramarines books. And hey, he's got books published so he must be doing something right.

I love how your writing Mephiston's character. There's nothing more I can say about that.

All in All, your doing a fabulous job here. keep up the good work!