View Full Version : Apostolos: Arete's Call

Col. Tartleton
05-11-2010, 21:47
The poets sing of the dusty plains of Delos. A barren land naught but scrub grasses and shifting sands where dangerous men struggle to endure. Crumbling pillars and the cracked marble of timeless halls lay worn and broken by the eons and the choking dust. Date palms and fig trees line the banks of the meandering rivers that weave across the plain that lies between the coast and the craggy mountains of the west. It was in this plain, that a once mighty river had hewn out a gully where nomads took refuge from the grit choking winds.

In this depression a young woman took what rest she could, for she was hunted. Kybele she was named, the hetaera of local nobility. While her master's betrothed, a proud lady of an even more powerful family, had tolerated (like any good Macraggean woman) his ownership of the girl, she would not tolerate her future children to be second in line to the bastard offspring of a whore. And so Kybele now clutched the taught skin of her belly where she knew she carried the seed of her master. The laws of Macragge were ancient ones, said to be handed down from Two Horned Guilliman the Great over nine thousand years before. To this day, the laws of Macragge concerning inheritance were clear. The first born, regardless of status, was chief among inheritors.

And thus Kybele held a stolen Sagitta-las against her breast and cradled her legs in the cold of night. She could not sleep that night, the cold sand, unnatural darkness of the desert, and the voices of her hunters and the wraith-light of their torches dancing between outcrops and standing stones. When dawn came she found herself utterly alone, exhausted, and doomed to starve in this barren land. She could not return to anywhere she had known. She was dead of course. Either they would never find her body out here or she would make her way back to a city only to find herself guilty of some terrible crime so that her son would not inherit that which the law decreed was rightfully his. She spent twelve more nights and days in this place, not knowing her fate. On the morning of the thirteenth day she awoke to find her body in shadow. She lifted her eyes and beheld a miracle:

"Daughter of Khepaeta, these are wild lands for a woman who carries a precious gift." It spoke.

She took in the towering figure slowly. His entire form appeared as if hewn from Lapis Lazuli. These were contrasted by marble white markings that took the form of strange symbols and unearthly runes which set recessed into skin she now recognized as armor. The entire mass was inscribed with intricate carvings to mimic the form of a male figure. Chains of bronze hung across the massive male form, which draped an enormous blood colored cloak of velvet. The face, or helmet in truth was akin to that of a leering monster. The dark eyes were garnets set into the white marble face. A band of crimson bisected his brow and bright gold laurels rested upon his head. Behind him horns of light glinted in a radiant halo.

An angel.

"Child dry your eyes, the time for despair is over. You are in the protection of the Lord now. By the Emperor of Mankind and the Lord of Ultramar, take comfort." he said to her.

The angel lowered itself into a kneel and with a click and hiss removed the grim helmet. The face beneath did move her, for where she expected a visage even more terrible and mighty she found the face of a well worn Adonis. Dark eyes squinted from sun brazen skin crisscrossed with a spider's web of old scars. The face itself was handsome and shapely, though marred by an eternity of violence. The dark eyes were utterly cold she realized, inhumanly so. She marveled for a moment taking in darkened locks and a well trimmed beard but she could not remove her attention from his killers stare. She summoned her courage and spoke to him.

"Lord," she paused. "I ask but one thing of you. Why me?"

The Angel did smile. And took her in his arms and he he whispered in her ear of grim portents and divine auspices. Of a "Tarot" and of the college of the flamens. Of those boldest among his order whom traveled into the realm of Khaos and returned with sanity intact. Of signs great and small which had showed the will of the fates which even the gods were subject too. He whispered that among these signs one was clear and he had been ordered to find her. He told her that it was a rare practice, though not unheard of, for Astartes to be chosen before birth. He explained that it was normally the case that the chosen youth would seek out the Temple of Hera and take part in the Heraklean games. He told her that the life inside her would one day join in the games, but for now she must come with him. There were things that must be learned.

Son of Sanguinius
05-11-2010, 22:03
How very...religious. ;)

Nice work, Colonel.

Col. Tartleton
05-11-2010, 22:56
Well if someone needs to write a story about the Ultramarines :D it may as well read like its supposed to emulate actual mythology. That's my largest qualm with BL. The setting (as far as Astartes are concerned) is clearly supposed to be a Gothic Sci Fi take on the classics and they tend to forget what they're emulating. I'm setting up a marine's life story if you couldn't tell. A hero for the Grim Darkness of the 39th millenium...

Before there was Ventris.
Before Macragge was Battled For.
Before there was Calgar.
Before there was Guilli...

After there was Guilliman.
There was Apostolos.