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Title: Yvraith's Yarns of 'Days of Yore.'
Description: A place for my Great Crusade Ramblings.

Yvraith - April 27, 2010 01:25 AM (GMT)
I know it's not really clear from the title, but as I often have a lot of down time at work and access to my laptop. I tend to occasionally get flashes of inspiration to write.
If only it would inspire me to finish the damn novel I've been working on for over 15 years. :rolleyes:

Anyway I thought maybe I should share these with you here, instead of hoarding them all to myself.
Now some of these are inspired from things I've read recently or more often, a piece of music seeds a visual in my mind that I have to put to paper.

These are those stories.........

First cab off the rank is
When White Crows Fall.

Garius desperately tried to calm his breathing, his heart was hammering away so furiously in his chest that it hurt. Adrenaline was pumping through his body, never had he felt so terrified. It had begun so innocuously only yesterday.....

Planetary defence sensors had detected ships entering the system.
The arriving fleet hailed them, requesting a meeting with Governor Barkine. He agreed and took an orbital shuttle up to meet them. As Barkine’s Regimental General, Garius was part of the Governors escort. What greeted them as they disembarked was something that would stay with Garius for his entire life. Humans claiming they were from fabled Terra, most were of similar size to themselves, but others were immense figures in bulky and apparently cumbersome, armour plate. Their armour was a black so dark, that it drank the light from around it. A pale white, stylised crow or raven was displayed on one shoulder pad.

Garius felt a chill run down his spine. “When white crows fall from the heavens, your life shall near its end.” The prophetic terms of his wyrd, spoken by the local wise woman at his birth, many years ago, echoed through his mind. He had thought it the crazy talk of an old woman, who had ever heard of a white crow.

What followed next was nearly as profound, a very tall, lean, noble featured man stepped forward as if from nowhere, how Garius had over looked him was unthinkable. He introduced himself as Corax. He spoke in a measured and calm manner, but his words that shocked them all the most. He demanded that the entire system join with them and swear allegiance to “The Emperor” who was forging a Galactic Empire of undreamed of proportions. He wanted us to join our fighting strength to his fleet and join in “The Great Crusade.”

Governor Barkine’s response was the only sensible reply there was, an apologetic but emphatic no.
“We’re happy with the planetary system we have here, we trade with a handful of neighbouring ones, but never would dream of conquest, our military is a defence against the occasional raid by Orks or the “Devils in the dark”, not an invading force. Sorry, but our answer must be no.”
“I strongly urge you to reconsider, Sir. I have no leeway to negotiate on the subject. You must swear allegiance willingly or be forced into compliance. You would not wish to face my men if you force us to take the field against you.” His eyes betrayed the honest feelings behind his words.
“I’m sorry, Sir. But I cannot reach the decision that you want us to make. If that puts us into conflict, I assure you, my people are not defenceless.” Governor Barkine replied.
“I respect you decision, I give you 12 hours to prepare, then may “The Emperor” protect your souls.” Corax replied sorrowfully.
With that he turned and walked away into the depths of the hanger deck.
“We’re leaving. Garius prepare you plans to defend our world.” Governor Barkine stated and turned and reboarded the shuttle.

Eleven and a half hours later, Garius was walking among his men, chatting with those he knew and had trained. His chest swelled with pride, these were some of the finest men in his command. Unlike some commanders, he liked to be on the front, seeing with his own eyes what was unfolding, allowing himself to make decisions, on the fluid and fickle nature of battle. He glanced at his watch. ‘Not long now.’ He thought to himself.

How they began their assault was not how he had expected it, no orbital barrage, just what appeared to be fiery contrails of what appeared to be landing craft. He issued orders into the com-net and the nights’ sky was laced with twisting snakes of tracer fire, as anti-aircraft batteries opened fire on the invaders. The landing craft didn’t land but skimmed over head at tree top level and then banked away climbing for orbit once more.
Garius frowned. ‘Surely the invaders couldn’t have been deterred that easily.’
The barking of weapons fire erupted from overhead, spraying Garius’ position with a lethal hail of projectiles. Men were physically torn apart as the projectiles found targets and erupted in their chests. Garius took cover and rolled on to his back, searching the darkness for targets, he fired at multiple muzzle flashes, more than he could hope to defeat, his position was already over run!

Thinking quickly on his feet he issued orders to execute a baited ambush, a tactic that worked time and time again against the greenskins. What was left of his command, reacted instantly, falling into well rehearsed drills designed to lure the enemy into the killing field.
Garius managed to break off successfully from the invaders and took his position in the ambushing forces location, ready to initiate the trap.
His baiting forces were close now, the sound of poorly aimed projectiles snapped closely overhead.

His men entered the killing field at a run. It wasn’t a disciplined fall back it was a rout. The enemy had torn them apart, only a handful of his men had survived to make it this far. The enemy reached his designated point and he opened fire, Lasfire jumped across the clearing from established ambush positions, but it was mostly ineffectual against their heavy armour. Their counter ambush drill was superb they calmly advanced into the tide of Lasfire, their weapons spitting death amongst his men. It was like watching men against untrained boys. Garius signalled the retreat and ran for his life, hoping to escape deeper into the forest.

.......... Garius paused to grab his breath.
‘Well fought, Sir. It’s a shame you chose not to join us.’
Garius spun, his weapon pointing at the speaker. Before he could fire, it was torn from his hands.
The speaker, Garius realised, was Corax!
‘But my orders are inflexible.’
The sad eyes of the Primarch were the last thing that Garius ever saw.

Iron Corsair - April 27, 2010 02:28 AM (GMT)
A very, very nice work there, Yvraith. I especially like how you used the Raven Guard considering that they are a rather under-used Legion. Was this a burst of random inspiration, or was it inspired from something else?

If only it would inspire me to finish the damn novel I've been working on for over 15 years. :rolleyes:
Don't give up yet! It might get published before the end of the century....:P In all seriousness, though don't give up yet. The best authors always suffer from writer's block.

Yvraith - April 27, 2010 11:43 PM (GMT)
Thanks Iron Corsair. I wrote this a little over a month ago, I'm not sure where the inspiration came from for this one. I know I was at work and it was a rather slow afternoon however. :D

As for the Novel, I'm not panicking about it. I know where it has to go plot wise and everything. It's just I tend to go through phases for doing things, be it reading, writing, painting, modelling and Gaming. I have revisited it from time to time, it won't be too long before I play with it again.

Anyway here's one I bashed together last week. I hope you all like it.

Recollections of Ignorance

He recalled the morning so vividly. The musky scent of intermingled human sweat hung in the still air of the room. Local birds could be heard singing softly, disturbing the serenity of the pre-dawn stillness. His eyes lingered on the naked form of his lover as she rose from the bed and slowly, stealthily began to dress. Trying her best not to disturb him, he allowed her the illusion by not stirring, enjoying the play of the soft light on her skin.

Geraint woke, something had disturbed him, a glance at his bedside chronometer showed that an hour had passed since she left. He had never had sensed something so profoundly wrong before and it worried him. He rose swiftly and dressed, pausing to strap his pistol belt around his waist. He checked the pistol’s magazine and racked the slide, chambering a round, before sliding it home in the holster. He wanted to be prepared today.

Something else occurred to him as he neared the door, the birds had stopped singing outside. Something had spooked them. He took a cautious look out of the living room window as he approached his front door. The short open space, between his house and the tree line appeared clear, but it was slightly obscured by the regular morning mist. His sense of wrongness had not diminished, if anything it had intensified. His hunters instincts took over and he drew his pistol and approached the door. He squashed his slowly rising fear and opened it just a crack. Placing his eye to the gap he carefully scanned the front yard, he could see nothing out of place and opened the door just wide enough for him to slip outside. His habit of dressing in drab colours served him well, allowing him to blend into the light mist and make it to the edge of the tree line without incident.

Once he had found a place of concealment he waited, allowing himself to synchronise with the forest. It didn’t take long, he had done this so many times now he had lost count, Geraint felt more at peace in the forest than in the nearby city of Coirbula. He heard it then, a distant sound, something he never thought he would hear this close to his home, gunfire. Not the single shot of a hunter making his kill, but intermittent and constant gunfire, the sounds of battle. He warred within himself, whether to investigate or to gather some supplies and head off into the depths of the forest, removing himself from the area for a while. His curiosity won out, he turned to go and retrieve his rifle from the weapon locker inside, when something extraordinary happened, his house imploded.

As the airborne debris settled, Geraint could see that something had landed on his roof, collapsing the sturdy structure that was once his home. As he tried to determine what it was exactly, when what appeared to be doors, opened like the petals of a flower warming to the sun’s rays in the morning. Ten blue-green armoured, gigantic bi-pedal forms emerged with military precision, fearsome looking weapons traversing as they scanned their arcs of responsibility. Geraint willed them not to sense him in his hiding place. At first Geraint took them to be automatons, but once they were happy that the area was secure, one of them removed their helmet, revealing them to be human. Geraint’s mind struggled to deal with it all. Using the scale of what was left of his home as a reference, these humans must be at least seven feet tall. He decided he had seen enough, he wanted nothing to do with any of this at all. He resolved to get as far away from here as possible. He turned and made to head deeper into the woods, in the process nearly walking straight into the path of another of the armoured warriors, in a darker shade of armour. The warrior before him, quickly and firmly but not overly rough, picked him up.
‘What do we have here? Where do you think you’re off to, little man?’
His voice came across with a slightly metallic sound, from the vocaliser in the helmet.
Geraint had no response, his mind astounded at how somebody this big had gotten so close to him without him sensing it. As he was pondering everything, he was frog marched across the small clearing to the secure perimeter, that was slowly expanding, as more armoured warriors emerged from the surrounding trees.

He was brought before the figure that had removed his helmet earlier.
‘What have you got there?’ he asked, directing his question to Geraint’s captor.
‘I found him hiding in the edges of the tree line, observing our deployment. He was trying to leave when I captured him.’
‘Any other signs our landing was observed?’
‘Good, we’ll proceed as planned. Carry on.’

Geraint was left alone with the man who appeared to be in command of the operation.
They hadn’t disarmed him, but he realised that to draw his pistol here would resolve in a swift death. He gathered his courage.
‘What are you doing on our world?’
‘We are determining on whether your world is worthy of joining us or needs to be suppressed. Why are you all the way out here?’
‘I live here, you landed on my house, and it was only through a sense that something was wrong, that I happened to not be inside when you did.’ Geraint replied.
‘A sense that something was wrong, how long before we landed did you get this feeling?’
‘About ten to fifteen minutes, I suppose.’
‘Interesting, I would talk further with you about many things and I’m sure you have questions too. You will remain here with us.’
Geraint knew there would be no refusing, so he found somewhere to sit out of the way and waited.

That was five years ago now, the day he first met Alpharius.

Yvraith - January 20, 2011 11:20 AM (GMT)
Well a piece of music inspired this one, and no this is not my comp entry. ;)
Consider this one a bonus.

I give you.

Life as it is

‘I can’t believe it has come to this.’ Lucan thought to himself.
His mind was awash with confusing thoughts, emotions that Marines are supposed to be immune to, washed through him like a violent sea.
‘Why has the Warmaster done this? Why does he want us dead?’
Lucan thought it ironic that they had used to joke, that the only match for a Space Marine in the theatre of war, was another Marine. Now it was happening.

Today would be a day that ruptured the faith of mankind.
Repercussions would be felt across the entire galaxy, all caused by this betrayal, on the surface of Istvaan III.

Lucan was originally elated they had crushed the Istvaan Defences with precision strikes.
Elements of four Legions had each taken their objectives.
Then the sky began to rain Orbital Bombardments, only a slightly garbled vox transmission from an Emperor’s Children Captain, had given him and the rest of his squad time to take cover, in a nearby enviro bunker.

‘Life Eater Virus’.
He had watched frustrated and helpless, as comrades who didn’t reach the bunker in time, succumbed to the horrendous effects of the warheads. Liquefied flesh & organs, sloughed out of holes in their battle damaged armour. A mortal man would have been nauseous at the sight, as it was Lucan felt ill.

Then the atmosphere was turned to flame as incendiary weapons were turned on the surface, the mix of chemicals from the putrefying corpses, ignited with such fury that the autosenses built into his helmet took a full minute to recover.

Shortly after, communications had revealed that other members of his legion had survived. Co-ordinating Rendezvous points to gather their strength, for what they all knew would inevitably come, a ground assault.

That was a full week ago now; the few that remained were the lucky and the best. They had taken to scrounging ammunition from the dead, often it came down to brutal hand to hand combat. They had only held on, due to the grim satisfaction that the longer they held, the more they messed with their betrayer’s plans.

Most of the survivors had scratched out their legion symbol, their sea green armour was nearly black, covered in the smoke, mud and dried blood. One of the Sergeants from the Tenth Company, led the few “Luna Wolves” that were still alive.

Lucan’s mind warred with itself, desperately trying to restore a level of sanity.
He had seen comrades blown apart, butchered without mercy by men they had only recently been proud to call brother. Most disconcerting was the reports that the World Eaters Primarch, Angron, had delighted in the slaughter of men that would of followed him into the mouth of Hell itself if he led them.
Each further report added to the weight of slowly encroaching doom, which would have overwhelmed a sane man.

“Life as it is” slowly threatened to break his mind. His wildest nightmares had become reality.
This would reduce most men to a gibbering wreck.
Not Lucan, he was too enraged to succumb to such weakness. His eyes had taken a dull gleam, only to blaze with a terrifying light when the traitors attacked. He had taken refuge in the thrill of battle, spending every last ounce of his energy in each engagement. Once the traitors fell back, he would basically collapse, totally spent. Until the next assault came and he would force himself back to his feet with a hatred that no mortal should harbour. The rest of his former comrades would at times drag him back within their perimeter, knowing that some how this warrior would once again, rise to take his vengeance out on the foe.

This was the only way to stop the troublesome thoughts. Push himself to exhaustion, only then would the nagging thoughts and teasing voice, be silent.

A roar sounded nearby, they were coming again.
His twin hearts pounded, filling his weary muscles with adrenaline. He pushed himself to his feet, his filth encrusted power armour, groaning with protest.
He cast around himself and took up his scrounged power blade, its energy cell spent only that morning, Lucan no longer cared, it still had an edge and it was all he needed.

They were on their position swiftly, the few defenders who still had ammunition fired, but it had little to no effect on the onrushing force. They fired as they came, bolt rounds punching loyalist marines from their feet.
Lucan could not restrain himself any further. He roared his hatred and leapt forward to kill them once more. His powerless blade, clanged off armour. He didn’t care, he continued to batter at anyone who came with in reach. Occasionally he would strike a vulnerable point and his opponent would fall, thick Astartes blood, pumping from the wound. His armour was rent and torn, affording him scant protection. He didn’t care, he was bleeding from at least a dozen wounds he couldn’t feel.

This time the traitors did not fall back, they had decided that this outpost must fall, Lucan’s blade had snapped, he fought on with the shattered remains. He hardly noticed when his left hand was removed neatly by a power axe. He fought on, raging at the black armoured figure before him. It was over quickly, his new opponent was very skilled and the axe took him high in the chest.
Lucan stumbled and fell, he could feel again. Blood welled from the ghastly rent in his chest.

Lucan looked up and finally clarity returned to his confused mind. The black armoured figure loomed over him, and arrogantly removed his helmet.
“Ekkaddon.” Lucan rasped, blood spilling down his chin, making his words come out as a slurred gurgle.
“Lucan” Ekkaddon acknowledged, before striding away.

As his vision started to cloud over, Lucan was pleasantly surprised.
His tormented thoughts and the nagging voice had stopped.
Lucan sighed in relief and allowed himself to embrace the peace of the grave.

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