Shifting Loyalties.   Posted by God-Emperor.Group: 0
 GM, 15 posts
 Blessed Be His Name
 He Who Tells The Story
Mon 11 Jul 2016
at 01:14
Shifting Loyalties
(This thread is not intended for roleplaying, but instead as a more cinematic introduction to three of the factions, and revealing a little bit more about what's happening in a more organic fashion.)

"Lord Commander, Lord Admiral- Captain Bastille has arrived in orbit for you," the aide muttered. While he and the two Lords all had the same base uniform of powder blue with white underneath, the aide's was unlike the other two in that it lacked the heaps of badges, medals, and sashes the others bore. Lord Militant Commander Antasa and Lord Admiral Orpheus nodded to the aide and then to one another before rising from the table at which they sat. Each of the Lords had in front of them stacks of papers and a few dataslates, and above them the sector map was displayed as a hologram, with arrows of fleet and troop movements crisscrossing all directions. Damaris sat south-east of the center, with the most blue arrows stemming from and heading towards it.

The planet had been chosen to headquarter the legitimate government representatives due not only to its strategic location, but also its abundance of resources and hardy populace. Dozens of Guard regiments had worked alongside the PDF, under the guidance of a Space Marine detachment, to fortify the planet and her void defenses; the Lords could see the results coming to fruition as their shuttle took off. What had once been emptiness with a single, small moon was now a network of batteries, hangars, and a miniature star fort, with said moon at its heart. "Fort Antasa," as it had been unofficially named, bristled with its own fearsome array of lance and macrobatteries, past which the shuttle flew, landing in one of the smaller hangars towards the top. Three small patrol groups of a Dauntless-class light cruiser and two Sword-class frigates were in sight of the fort, and a separate group of ships had moored further from the fort. Painted in red and blue with gold trims, they signaled the presence of Lord Bastille the Seventh, his Mars-class battlecruiser The Gryphon looming large in the center of the group.

The two Lords debarked the shuttle, and were led through Fort Antasa's corridors to a plain metal door matching the rest of the fort's interior. Within, however, the decor was exquisite; dark-stained hardwood furniture were featured in the center, with luxurious appointments all around. At the far end of the table sat a man in a red overcoat, flanked on one side by a massive brute of a woman, and the other a short, squat man with beady eyes magnified by thick glasses. Bastille rose from his seat and spoke.

"General Antasa, Admiral Orpheus!" Bastille's smile and cheery demeanor masked the plain insults to their rank, but the Lords let it slide for now. "The Fort has come along beautifully, and the delicious food is exceeded only by the woman staffing here!"

Two of the fort's attending maids shifted uncomfortably in the corner as the Rogue Trader rambled. He was cut off by Lord Antasa.

"What news do you bring of recruitment efforts? We can hold Damarsis, but we need more if we are to reach out and secure the sector."

"Ah," Bastille began, "not as well. Pholys and Harran have pledged support, but have to attend their own realms, though they may contribute finances and resources. The Chapter Masters of the Red Wolves and Skull Bearers have further given you their blessings, and are working to mobilize more Marines for you."

The following silence lasted for an agonizing number of seconds as the two Lords waited for Bastille to add more names and numbers. He did not. The Lord Admiral spoke next.

"Eleven months- eleven months- of travel, and all you bring us is 'financial' support from two of the weakest Rogue Traders left in the Expanse, and two chapters of genocidal freaks? Lord Bastille, we expected better of you than-"

"How much is the Arch-Cardinal paying you?" Lord Antasa's question interrupted Orpheus' tirade pointedly and with little emotion behind it. The accusation hung in the air before Bastille responded.

"Well, ah... I mean, I'm not taking his money- I make plenty on my own!- but we have very little to offer as bargaining chips, and..."

"And being branded traitors is not enough to motivate them?"

"Well... Not everyone sees it that way. The Arch-Cardinal, he-"

"Stands as a pontificating heretic who defies the official Imperium and seeks to take advantage of the chaos."

"Yes, my Lords, I agree, but few see it as such-"

"Then it is your job to inform them that the Administratum will record all of them as heretics." Lord Antasa wheeled on his boot and left the room, Orpheus following behind, Bastille and his companions left mildly stunned. As the two Lords embarked their shuttle, they looked at one another and shook their heads.

"Is this really the best we can do?" asked Lord Militant Commander Antasa.

Love the Emperor
for He is the salvation of mankind;
Obey His words
for He will lead you into the light of the future;
Heed His wisdom
for He will protect you from evil;
Whisper His prayers with devotion,
for they will save your soul;
Honour His servants,
for they speak in His voice;
Tremble before His majesty,
for we all walk in His immortal shadow.

Arch-Cardinal Dagmar Roft finished the morning's prayer session with this venerable hymn, echoed by all behind him in the Grand Chapel. Port Wander's primary religious center was an old structure, but had been overhauled in the recent years to accommodate all denizens of the void station, plus guests. In this moment it looked even grander, as only a dozen and a half of the inhabitants accompanied the Arch-Cardinal for these prayers. They were almost exclusively made up of the Astartes command retinue chosen by Roft- Reclusiarch Kahnt, a Howling Griffon; Warden Steiger, a Dark Angel; and Watch Captain Melchor, a Salamander. Each had brought their four-man honor guard with them. Dwarfed by the Space Marines, Commander Vance Lockley of the Gothic Sector knelt alongside them, with a single Stormtrooper by his side. All of them, however, repeated the hymn back with the Arch-Cardinal, who then rose from the altar and turned to address them.

"Brothers, today is an auspicious day; The Feast of Beneficta is celebrated today. We will unfortunately be busied with other work today, but I ask all of you to keep the old Redeemer in your hearts and minds. Captain Melchor, I believe you have updates?"

The Salamander stood, his skin nearly as black as his power armor, blacked out for Deathwatch service save his Chapter pauldron and silver Inquisition pauldron.

"Reports from our Raptor scouts show heavy fighting in 'Undred-'Undred-Teef, with high casualties on both sides. Some of the Orks have grown two stories tall, and the unending tide of blood has served as a beacon for a Khornate incursion. Neither side shows fatigue nor depleting numbers- the virus warheads en route may be our only hope to stopping that. Captured cultists claim that Melíkarírahh has made several pacts with Daemon Princes, though these are yet unverified. Regardless, his war machine shows little sign of diminishing. Kill Team Javelin successfully extracted Governor Skadi from the Dark Eldar on Aurin, but we lost Brother Eldon in the process, honor his name."

"Honor his name," the other Astartes echoed. Melchor continued.

"The Imperial pretenders on Damaris have heightened their recruitment efforts- the Red Wolves and Skull Bearers have thrown themselves in with that lot. Though we are all aware of their reputation, and should not be surprised by this turn."

The human Commander piped up, summoning all the bravery in his small, single heart.

"Excuse me my lord, but... what is their reputation? Or their reputations?"

Melchor eyed the Guard officer. "Both are chapters known to be reckless and violent, prioritizing slaughter over service to the Emperor. While they have so far targeted only His enemies, they walk a dangerous path. Should it come to it, they will be a fierce enemy to fight, if we cannot avoid it." Melchor spoke as if Vance was an equal to the Marines, and while he may well have been to the Salamanders, Melchor knew that other chapters did not see the Guard in such favorable lights. He would have to lead by example if they were to stand a chance at success.

"And how go our own consolidation efforts?" the Arch-Cardinal asked softly.

"Each Chapter representative we have contacted has agreed to come to us," the Reclusiarch stated with pride. "We have Dark Angels, Imperial Fists, Ultramarines, and several more successor chapters. I see no reason they would shirk their duties to the Emperor and cast their lot with traitors."

"And yet, several chapters already have- the Adminstratum has the power to brand us all traitors, and the Damaris forces will have an easier time getting to them," noted Warden Steiger. The Dark Angel's dour attitude seeped from each word, contempt practically dripping from his mouth as he spoke about the false leaders.

"And our fleet is in shambles still," noted Melchor. "They may not have as many Marines or Guardsmen available, but reports indicate that they can at least move them all together, and their bombardment capabilities outclass us threefold. It will not be an easy battle."

"It should not be a battle at all," sighed the Arch-Cardinal. "We do not seek to pulverize them into submission, but to unite with them to fight the Chaos threat to our West. I would rather submit to them and focus on protecting our citizens, but..."

"We will not surrender you to them, especially as long as they promise your execution," the Howling Griffon promised. "By our honor and bolters, we stand by you and the Emperor."

"I fear we may need more," the Watch Captain exhaled.

On his throne, Melíkarírahh the Blind listened to the Champion in front of him. The Warlord was clearly bored, and shifted the hand in which he rested his head back and forth several times. His head perked as something finally caught his attention.

"Possessed, you say?" Melíkarírahh's voice rasped through his helmet's vox system.

The Traitor Marine in front of him- a new Night Lord, formerly of the Black Legion, judging from his armor's paint- laughed. "You will only get them if you agree to the rest of my demands."

"Demands? You come to me for my power, and have the gall to make demands?!"

The Night Lord rolled his helmet and his eyes. "Fine then, terms. You know them by now- a cruiser, slaves, and autonomy. In return, my power- my Possessed, my Marines and I, and my hereteks- will fight in your name, and coordinate with you. We may even stop raiding your stations." The Night Lord laughed once at the last bit, the inherent insult obvious.

Mel'kar'rahh shifted in the command throne of his Battle Barge.

"I accept. You and your 'power' will have a cruiser to operate from, but you will not have sole control of it. And if you dare attack me again, I will personally slaughter you all." The Night Lord's silence was a tacit agreement. "Do not disturb the Bloodthirster at the ship's heart- more powerful Marines than you have been killed for less." The Night Lord left, guided away by two other Word Bearers, their crimson armor matching the Blind Warlord's own, albeit with fewer fetishes hanging. Filling the Night Lord's space, a towering form of Chaos Terminator armor (most recognizable by the massive spikes jutting from the shoulder) approached and lowered himself, in what passed for a kneel.

"My lord, Mel'kar'rahh the Blind, Reaver of Souls, Burner of Stars, Destroyer of-"

"Spit it out, Brother-Slaughterer." Mel'kar'rahh rolled his fingers to spur the Terminator on.

"Yes, my Lord. I apologize for the grievous insult of wasting your time, my Lord, but-"


"The virus bombs! The Imperial's lapdogs have virus bombs heading to the holy battles of 'Undred-'Undred Teef! The planets will be wiped, my Lord, and our projects have gone too far to allow this!"

Mel'kar'rahh smirked. "Go find Sevatar, our new Night Lord friend. Take him and the Fading Sun. Get me those bombs. We will put them to good use."

Dr. Aleks Kubrik Vos-Skagerakk III
 player, 19 posts
Sat 23 Jul 2016
at 01:09
Shifting Loyalties
In reply to God-Emperor (msg # 1):

goddamn, those Unred Teef. Everybody got your name in they mouth.

Lol'd at the traitor marines saying it. Like actually dignifying the ork rabble with a name.

So there's a union of marines in the area. Are most Deathwatch? And who all commands them?
 GM, 21 posts
 Blessed Be His Name
 He Who Tells The Story
Sat 23 Jul 2016
at 01:48
Shifting Loyalties
In reply to Dr. Aleks Kubrik Vos-Skagerakk III (msg # 2):

There are a good number of chapters with at least a strike cruiser and accompanying company in the Expanse, hard to confirm who all are still in the area. There is a strong Deathwatch presence, and at least the command retinue of the Arch-Cardinal overlaps with the Deathwatch's own command structure, but it remains to be seen where each individual killteam and Marine lines up.

Mostly I just really like Space Marines, though.
Dr. Aleks Kubrik Vos-Skagerakk III
 player, 20 posts
Sat 23 Jul 2016
at 12:20
Shifting Loyalties
In reply to God-Emperor (msg # 3):

So we have an economic power house, a faith based leader with some implicit space marine backing, chaos all over, and some orks.

Is that right? Did I miss anyone?
 GM, 22 posts
 Blessed Be His Name
 He Who Tells The Story
Sat 23 Jul 2016
at 21:48
Shifting Loyalties
In reply to Dr. Aleks Kubrik Vos-Skagerakk III (msg # 4):

A Tau cruiser was spotted at some point, but they lack Warp travel and haven't been seen since. Rumors of an Eldar Craftworld exist, they may have escaped, or are biding their time. Dark Eldar raid all around, even form loose alliances with other pirates and Chaos reavers. The lack of strong, central authority has made the Deldar more brazen than usual. No reports of Tyranids, but then they always choose the best times to appear, don't they?