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Thread: Songs For The Dead; A Lament Of The Whispering Fleet

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    Veteran Sergeant Ex Libris Scribe's Avatar
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    Songs For The Dead; A Lament Of The Whispering Fleet



    “We are but the ghosts of ourselves, weeping unseen in the ruins of what was once ours.”
    Apt Silann’est Hiron Ishal, once Seeing Dreamer, now Denier.


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    Veteran Sergeant Ex Libris Scribe's Avatar
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    Re: Songs For The Dead; A Lament Of The Whispering Fleet



    “Our losses define us. We are seen as broken, an echo of what we used to be. A race of ghosts walking the long-dead ashes of our empire, usurped and overthrown by our own excesses. The younger races do not speak of our glories, only of our stubborn haunting of their epoch. We are lost ghosts, wandering a house that is no longer ours, wailing our melancholic defiance. And no one cares.”
    The poet-philosopher Essila’narem.

    ~

    The black water lay as far as the eye could see, perfectly still and unbroken, a liquid mirror reflecting nothing but emptiness. The scrying lake was silent, the un-noise of its existence almost painful. This was a place of nothingness, of perfect untouched clarity, of the utter absence of all the distractions of the material plane. Few could withstand the awful clarity of this place, the few that could now only a memory of a more prosperous time.

    After the Fall, there had come the time of the Long Wandering; that epochal diaspora of a race and people desperate not to allow themselves the fate of the majority of their kin. Paths had been found, world-ships launched into the Eversea and the webway, and the dangers of the Undersea learnt. Excess had been cut away, from all things, and a colder harder life had been forged. Prosperity is relative, but for many of those long aeons, they had survived and in others they had flourished to the extent that they could.

    And then after the Long Wandering came the Shattering. The second death of a people, this time on a far smaller but far more personal scale. Tragedy is more painful when it occurs at home, and this was the most painful of all. From a galaxy spanning civilization, to a scattered diaspora ofworld-sized vessels, to a ragged fleet clustered around the broken shards they once called home.

    A deafening chorus, to a defiant solo, to a hushed whisper.

    This lake of nothingness, the perfect mirror and window of the void, this black water that stretched for ever, now held only one visitor in its cold liquid embrace.

    Painfully, beautifully pale and slender, at once vulnerable and ethereal in his nakedness, the seer sat cross-legged on the surface of the black water without causing a single ripple. A shifting fall of runes traced themselves along the pale skin of his body, twisting and re-writing themselves in a flow of obscure meanings and allegorical references that only the divinely-gifted or hopelessly mad could ever claim to understand. Hunched forward, ash-grey hair hanging like curtains of silk over his face, the seer stared into the black void of the water and into the labyrinthine echoes of futures that had yet to happen.

    War. Peace. Life. Death. Joy. Anguish. Loss. Renewal. Acceptance. Defiance.

    He saw all of these, and none of them. He felt all of them and felt nothing. And then a pulse, like the heartbeat of some immense being in the deep dark, that you felt more than heard. The sharp taste of copper in the mouth. The feeling of tears on the cheek. The emptiness in the heart that was once filled by someone.

    So, it was to be war. Again.

    With a thought, the seer rose from the black lake without disturbing a drop of its mirror surface, thin arms wrapped around his slender torso as he straightened with unthinking grace. A flicker of telekinesis and he began to glide across the scrying lake, summoning robes of bone and ochre that wrapped around him and a long bladed sword that followed like a faithful pet.

    Behind him lay the black void of the lake, its perfect emptiness marred only by the single drop of blood that had fallen into it.

    ~



    Apt Silann’est Hiron Ishal of the Whispering Fleet, Seeing Dreamer and Denier. Keeper of histories and paths, Griefling of the Shattered World.



    Blind but sighted of the Undersea; wielder of “Cuts-like-the-falling-leaf-in-the-winds-of-the-autumn-of-youth”. Long-travelled on the path of the Witch-marked.



    Clad in ritual shiftmask and wraith-armour, marked with runes of Sight and Unsight and warded against the deeps of the Undersea.

    ~

  3. #3
    Chapter Master nitromors's Avatar
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    Re: Songs For The Dead; A Lament Of The Whispering Fleet

    Off to a good start

  4. #4
    Veteran Sergeant Ex Libris Scribe's Avatar
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    Re: Songs For The Dead; A Lament Of The Whispering Fleet



    “We can look at them with shame, with horror, with disgust for the joy they take in the acts they perform, but the truth is this; we need them. We need them, and in our darkest hours, we envy them for their freedom to embrace that which we must turn away from.”
    The poet-philosopher Essila’narem.


    ~

    It was a taste in the mouth, on the lips. A quickening of the heart, a heating of the blood. A sharpening edge to every movement and the ache in the palms of the hand where they yearned to grip familiar hilts. The Heart of War may have been broken into shards during the Shattering, but its legacy lived still. Iron in the soul, carved there long ago and burnt into the scars. For those amongst the Whispering Fleet wedded to war, the Exarchos of the surviving shrines scattered throughout the shoal of vessels, it was something more. This was the echo of war yet to come, the sweet anticipation of being of purpose again.

    Across the fleet, some would begin to hear the song that would call them to war. Gentle at first, but insistent. A whisper that would grow to a hum to a chorus. Songs for the dead already passed. Songs of the dead yet to come. They would hear it and they would find the scattered shrines according to the harmony in their head.

    Each of the souls within Sar Elinesh remembered the first time they heard the song. Each remembered the last time they heard it as their hearts slowly stopped beating. Like all their kin, Sar Elinesh was both the dead and the living, a one who was many. The embodiment of their Shrine and the distillation of its purpose into total purity.

    They remembered their first hesitant steps into the Shrine, the first time they held the unfamiliar tuelean before it became as much a part of themselves as their own arm. The kinship with the other adepts of their Shrine, how close they grew. They remembered the righteousness of the purpose of the Shrine of the Cleansing Rain, the purity of the Aspect of the Avenger.

    Others already felt that same purity, that same purpose. The Shrine’s adepts already numbered five iron-wed souls, but Sar Elinesh could feel the new souls that would find their home here, even if they themselves did not know it yet.

    Four more shuriken lay on the mirrorwood block, each distinct and individual in minute ways. Four more souls would come to the Cleansing Rain and would choose their razored drop of rain, and would know the hidden joy of the iron in their hearts.
    ~




    Iron-wed of the Shrine of the Cleansing Rain, Aspects of the Avenger.



    Sar Elinesh, Exarchos; wielder of “Tears-fall-like-razors-to-cut-all”, Wrathling of the Shattered World.





    Purity of purpose, bound in warplate and mourned as already dead. War-bound and wrath-hearted as only children of the Shattered World can be.

    ~

  5. #5
    Inquisitor Captain Brown's Avatar
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    Re: Songs For The Dead; A Lament Of The Whispering Fleet

    Some great storytelling there Ex Libris Scribe.

    Cheers,

    CB
    Please follow the rules and respect the opinions of others
    Interested in buying OOP metal Sisters of Battle with Standards and metal Eldar Dire Avenger Exarchs - Selling Metal Bretonnians, Painted Elysian and Tau Armies, plus loads of painted WFB Empire Units/Heroes and other bits for 40K and terrain

  6. #6
    Chapter Master Inquisitor Engel's Avatar
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    Re: Songs For The Dead; A Lament Of The Whispering Fleet

    Some deeply cool stuff here! Very nice!

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