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Qor, Playground of the Triad Dynasties

(Collab: Archetype Zero, Terminal, Ora (Orks))

Ullanor Prime

Amidst space, the Absolute and her fleet’s macrocannons laid out their most brutish of cannon rounds upon their destined foe, those who disgrace the Imperium with their joke nation, they who crave ruination under Urlakk Urg’s employ. Due to the absence of their strict overseer, those whose otherwise monotonous task consisting exclusively of the harsh labour of loading and maintaining the cannon, were given a sense of reprieve from the standard procedures; graffiti and individualization of shells becoming mainstay as the barrage simply continued, and the dominant eyes of their Primarch was destined further and further from them..

Unbeknownst to the rabble, those told nothing of neither plan nor purpose beyond service, those of the Truthlayers and their supporting Mechanicum allies were primed and readied for the coming sequence. The foremost of them, repeatedly going over their battleplans, coordination, and pre-planning with vicious efficiency. All the whilst their droppods remained eerily silent to those servicemen of the Imperial Navy unfortunate enough to remain on station to drop the pods, venturing the crosswalks.

The bombardment had began and continued to rain down upon the Spire, whatever rudimentary defenses the Orks could have mustered in response having been adequately overpowered and suppressed, if not outright obliterated. The Truthlayers who once spoke indecipherably across the comms, quickly being silenced.The weight of the shells and the punishment they would enforce upon the land sufficient to mold the landscape like a mastersmith mends their iron, were it not for their despicable shield. Certainly, however, their expulsion truly shook the ship’s interior, and echoed through its many halls.

In the foes’ favour, a single powerful make-shift reactor inconceivable to all but the most brutish minds as to its function, and the shield it somehow erected around the spire’s immediate compound; a vast, brutish civilization protected only by the momentary mercy of the fleets’ calculated bombardments.

Little did they know that the bombardment they suffered was meticulously coordinated pre-arrival, saturate the shield, and utilize whatever openings were present for orbital insertion. It was no simple task, and death a likely outcome; but Veritas knew it all too well. There were those who would die, and those who would, will be replaced. Those were his solemn thoughts as he ended his recollection from within the iron tomb he found himself strapped into; destined only to descend, alone, into the Spire’s most populated district. Forced to fend for his own, due to the machine’s inexplicable malfunction midflight. Survival demanding a miracle on his end.

A miracle, most would think, was so distant, but he saw it differently, and more as a given. From within his own drop pod which, through time, would see its use repeated time and time again. Into immemorium.

But all thoughts were silenced, even his own silent ones, as the alarm rang for the second time, and the ship shook viciously against the void. The Drop Pod’s thrusters fired off as the sling arms within the compartment propelled it kinetically into a descending orbit.

Everyone had already been told, no reason to reiterate. All that was left now was duty, and purpose. A new claim, in the Emperor’s name, would shine. An golden talon shall soon hold within its palm another great world for humanity’s destiny to be imparted.

Against the void, there was little noise. Amongst the Truthlayers, all was silent. But the Drop pods rumbled furiously, as they fought their way into their typically aggressive descent. Only periodic reports and confirmations relayed over vox-channels fought the silence of the drop - interspersed by the white noise of static. The Truthlayers knew that under the white noise, their Mechanicum allies communicated amongst each other in techna linguis, their sacred and dogmatic language, as fast as their cogitators were able to handle. During other operations, which Veritas himself did not oversee, the same devotees of the Emperor may well have insisted on a secondary vox-channel solely for the purpose of litanies performed in Cant Mechanicum for the ‘betterment’ of unenlightened Adepts who did not worship the Omnissiah, who might have had no better means of placating Machine Spirits other than parroted canticles - a practice that was abandoned here and now, with those forces having subjugated themselves to Veritas - for as a Son of the Omnissiah, not only was it expected he would be obeyed without question, but to perform BEYOND his instruction was likewise unthinkable.

More than anything else, that was perhaps the core of the common bond between the Truthlayers and the Stargazers: Both held utter, complete, and unwavering faith in the inviolate authority of the Primarch.

The bombardment from Veritas’ assembled armada hammered at the zapp-shields of Warlord Urlakk Urg’s spire in coordinated, staggered waves - precalculated to weaken and dissipate the shield layer in a predictable fashion upon the final salvo. The Ork hordes dwelling within the confines of their massive fortress city shrouded in the dome of writhing WAAAAAGH energies chortled and laughed at the pathetic Hummies’ attempts to bust up the shield - an expanse of cheer that was abruptly abolished when the sky alit with flame, the whole horizon flaring as if a new start had been borne above the city as the Primarch’s fleet unleashed its final, coordinate strike. Countless macrocannon rounds slammed into the sparking barrier, causing equally countless arcs of snapping power to surge with a blinding radiance - and then a split moment later, sections of the shield popped like a bulb breaking, faint filaments and showers of sparking power raining down atop the fortress settlement in the wake of dozens of macrocannon shells.

The bombardment strikes that had managed to penetrate the shield, either by intent or inadvertent good fortune, blossomed into fiery detonations on impact that sent entire ramshackle Orkish blocks and shacks flying through the air, disintegrating and tearing themselves into debris as they went to scatter all across the city.

Just as the glare from the bombardment strikes died down, then came the Steel Rain.

The assault was far too rapid for the already inaccurate and sluggish Ork defenses to track or attempt to intercept. The only drop pods that pierced down from the armada above that did not make contact were the few which struck the edges of the Orkish Zapp-Shield, disintegrating into concentrated hail-streams of flash-boiled metal. The vast majority of the pods, however, impacted the designated bombardment zones, cratering the already devastated fields of debris. Some, fired at on a parabolic arc, crested right beneath the lip of the weakened shield dome to arc over the length of the spire complex and touch down further out from the main cluster of pods. Only a scant handful of seconds had passed between the coordinated final salvo of Veritas’ armada and the touch-down of the pods - where previously had stood a massive, sprawling, multi-layered industrial slum of Orkish shacks, motor pools, and barracks, there was now simply mangled, jagged metal, split and sundered and buried in the earth like discarded daggers abreast the lip of the bombardment site - and elsewise, there was only swirling haze and smoke. It was as if a city-buster warhead had been dropped through every individual breach in the settlement’s overhead shield, cleansing each zone of any and every ramshackle structure and blowing away every living thing in range like dust in the wind.

There was no respite to be found between the drop pods’ fall and the disgorging of their lethal occupants. All across the spire complex, armored blast-sections slammed down into the abused earth - and like vengeful warrior angels, the Astartes of the Truthlayers and the Stargazers swept through the whirling clouds of pulverized metal and earth, immediately forming up into organized squads. Formations of cybernetic warriors clad in Martian-red robes and bearing the insignia of the 12th Legion swept out and around the Marines, guided by Tech-Priests drifting overhead by the grace of Abeyant harnesses. Maniples of towering, Martian-Red automata - Kastelan robots - surrounded the formations at regular intervals, their powerful Repulsor fields shielding the assembling Tachmata and Marine Squads from any opening salvos - of which there were few. For as irrepressible and eager to leap into the jaws of death as Orks generally were, and despite the echoing and furious cry of WAAAAAGH that filled the air from every side at each drop-site, most of the Orkish bands nearest the edges of the impact craters for the initial bombardment died the instant they ascended the ridge. For at the outermost fringes of each crater were the custom drop-pods fielded by the Skitarii of the Stargazers legion, from which had emerged their famously potent Onager Dunecrawlers, accompanied in turn by Sicarian Killclades. Their mounted eradication beamers swept thin yellow rays of power across the crest of the bombardment zone, and any material thing that entered those seething and dim yellow patches of light was atomized instantly. The few volleys of fire and munitions that managed to evade the scouring light was either deflected or incinerated by the Emanatus force shielding around each of the mighty machines - and the fewer still that passed between those fields found themselves intercepted by the stalwart Kastalan Repulsors.

A ways North of the base of the spire itself, the rapidly swirling and heated dust of the impact zone abruptly stirred as a harsh and violent crackling tone cut through the air. With a yawning crescendo, a wave of static ran from the epicenter of the crater, carrying the dust and smoke away with it like a great stormwall. At the center of the assembled forces, five squads of twenty Electro Priests each had assembled into a pentagram Maniple formation, facing in five directions and chanting litanies in Cant Mechanicum as their commanders recited Canticles of Command, Duty, and Annihilation. The whole battlefield resonated with their hymns, projected from servo skulls and auger-probes mounted with vox-speakers, their rapturous voices both stirring the faithful to action while condemning all opposition to slaughter and obliteration.

Standing at the core of the formation atop a pedestal-dais configuration Abeyant, Artisan Malagra Veneratus Prime Numilus Grirkov - agent of the Prefecture Magisterium amongst the Stargazers Legion and commander of the Corpuscarii amongst them - beheld the majesty of his assembled choir of the Omnissiah’s holiest, most peerless, and purest warriors evoked the Motive Force from the savage and beaten surface of Ullanor Prime, fields of dazzling static energies popping and sparking with cascading showers of embers and light surrounding them as their capacitors charged and their sermons grew in fervor and intensity.


As he neared the end of his declaration, the Magos leveled his oversized Voltaic Blaster southward, aiming towards the Ork Warlord’s tower.

”CHARGE!” As he uttered the imperative, he fired the weapon, its crackling energies sailing overhead and illuminating the direction of the advance.

Behind him, the misguided drop pod of the Truthlayers’ Primarch’s support element finally opened its thick doors, and slammed against the earth with weight immense enough to displace the already weakened earth around its flowery figure. From within, only two advanced from the clearly dysfunctional interior, an unfortunate shell impact the only answer as to its now stranded position. Of the two, one spoke firstly, towards the venerable servant of the Omnissiah, “Allow us to assist you in your advance.” The Malagra would no doubt be capable of immediately identifying them with the assistance of his integral cogitators - they were the master of the Third Legion’s champion and his personal apothecary, no doubt seeking a rendezvous with the distant, and isolated pod which had descended far to their front.

“Dominus Achaelon and Apothecaris Sevyristus!” The bombastic Maester called down to them before maneuvering his Abeyant dais to drift over and settle on the ground before them. “By what design are you made to have landed all the way over here? I had believed you would accompany the holy son of the Omnissiah into battle.”

All about the trio, the assembled formations had already begun to advance. The Space Marine Squads all implacably striding out to spearhead the cone of the advance, while the Skitarii Legion, supported by the Kastalen Maniples and their devastating Onagers, charged forward to immediately bring the bulk of the battle to the Orks. Three of the Electro Priest Squads from the center of the formation advanced as well, still singing litanies and prayers as they went, the air seeming to singe as their capacitors tore the motive force from it where they passed. Only two of their squads remained behind, immediately moving to provide cover around the Maester and the two displaced Marines - likely in accordance with neuro-synced orders directly from Grirkov himself. Their cants softened and lowered in volume as they approached, giving way to the exchange between the three individuals they surrounded.

“Malagra, the despicable will of Ork iron dislodged our course,” the apothecary reciprocated as his brother, Achaelon, took a more readied posture clearly intent on a hasteful advance of his own. “It is known, however.” Sevyristus added, as he raised his own power axe briefly towards the northern expanse beyond the crater. “The Lord Primarch is doubtlessly delivering death far closer to the Spire base.”

“Doubtlessly, and approaching proximity to the Omnissiah himself no doubt! It would be my privilege and honor to see you two to the side of the Primarch once more, Lord Astartes!” Grirkov announced. “Permit my Electro Priests to attend your flanks, their Voltageist fields will shield you from the foul munitions of the Xenos! Attune the frequency of your vox-systems to my channel, we will establish communications with the remainder of the third Legion!” With that, Grirkov’s Abeyant Dais rose from the ground once more and began to convey him towards the frontline - one of the squads of Electro Priests, their chants now renascent, fell into procession beneath him. The sole remaining squad bifurcated, its members forming into two columns flanking each of the Astartes - still murmuring quiet, zealous prayers. The two Marines’ sensors reported immense amounts of ambient static snapping across the surface of their armor - harmless but omnipresent.

It was not the first time that this sensation snapped across their sensors, for both of these warriors had known war along the ranks of the Mechanicum in wars long past and destinies since fulfilled. As the two stepped forwards, towards the crater’s end, they readied their armaments as the apothecary spoke his last words of acknowledgement towards the Malagra so venerably dutiful as to shift his own battlelines in their favour. “Malagra, you are wise. But I would be unwise to disturb the foresightful concentration of either the Praetor Supreme or the Lord Primarch.” His voice mellowed briefly, before it continued as he crested the crater alongside his compatriots, “Me and my brother are destined towards our Lord, but we are so in silent service.”

“As you say, Lord Astartes. If it is the will of the son of the Omnissiah, it shall be observed!” Came Grirkov’s reply through their vox-receivers. “I shall do the best I can to direct us to our fated rendezvous using only aggregate telemetry.” A statement whose reciprocation was merely a dual nod from each of the third legion’s Ancients, already in-tune with the hymns of war.

Grirkov then proceeded to lead the two Astartes across the battlefield from atop his floating Abeyant platform, and they fought their way ever closer to the base of the Ork Warlord’s spire. With the amassed vanguard of the main landing party that had already advanced ahead of them, they were left to deal with Orks and swarms of Gretchin erupting from underground tunnels to flank the forward lines, or else small packs of Orkish Deff Dreads and Killa Kans that had managed to break through. The sprawl of multilayered Orkish architecture was battered and sundered wherever the party went; towers of jagged steel collapsed upon one another, barracks ruptured from the ceiling out to create ragged labyrinths, and tangled lengths of primitive and possibly entirely nonfunctional pipework creating a shattered forest of metal.

The Electropriests accompanying Grirkov and the two Astartes continuously moved in tried and true battle patterns. The Fulgerites would stride in advance of the others, grounding their staves into the ground and amplifying their Voltagheist shielding with shouted battle-prayers and litanies, causing Ork munitions- already inaccurate to begin with - flying off in every direction, sent awry as they came into contact with the voltaic shields and were arc-shocked with electro-kinetic blasts of energy. Then the Corpuscarii, covering their faces with crossed arms in devout signage, would advance and let loose a barrage of ruinous lightning from their gauntlets that would chain between the various metal structures and Ork combatants like a crossfire hailstorm, bolts of energy often tearing straight through and leaving cauterized or glassy holes in combatants and armor alike. And then, again, the Fulgerites would step forward with softer hymns and canticles, striking the riven bodies with the ends of their staves and siphoning off the motive force of the slain xenos and their artifice.

Grirkov himself seemed to serve a trifold role of scout, bannerman, and bulwark for the group. Standing perched high above the rest of his Abeyant, he had the best view of the battlefield and served as a convenient point of convergence and networking for the multitude of servo skulls and auspex readings. Often he would call out the approach of the enemy or warn of breaches in the forward lines, or direct the Corpuscarii and the Astartes down alternate routes through the heap of ruined Orkish architecture. And then, of course, through simple dint of the fact that he in turn was visible from furthest afield, he would inevitably bear the brunt of the Orks’ opening salvos and volleys, the reinforced shielding of his Abeyant Dais and his own voltagheist field casting aside all manner of Ork projectiles, from bolts to Zapp Kannon strikes. All the while he would cry and shout in bellowing roars, his words reverberating from dozens of servo-skull mounted vox-speakers, screaming condemnations and belittlement at the enemy whilst chanting to raise the fervor and enthusiasm of the faithful.

With the aid of Grirkov’s machine-enhanced intellect, the Astartes allowed themselves to be moved and directed as the battlefield necessitated; leaving neither grunt nor displeasure in their wake. Achaelon’s silent fury rained far and encompassing, as his Reaper autocannon lay waste to anything which managed to survive even the Mechanicus’ elaborate battle strata with frigidly cold ease. Each round enough to shatter even an Ork’s enhanced physiology. All the whilst Sevyristus felled many of the Gretchin and exceedingly sneaky Orkz who would crawl between the debris left in the group’s advanced through the orderly chaos, leaving their wretched efforts null and void. Through no words of their own, the two Astartes would deal with the slow-approaching horde of the fell-green ones to the rear, whilst Grirkov would ensure their rapid, and potent, advance to continue.

The Orkish ‘hiveworld’ remained a mockery to everything mankind stood for, and prided itself in accomplishing. A maze of shack, steel, and discarded technology, some of which should never have surfaced in the system of Ullanor had proper procedure persisted.

An observation made from a single being’s perspective who, akin to the one who he is immediately subservient, saw all.

The drop pod might have seemed to derail from its designed course, but not to him. As the doors opened, and crushed beneath it a horde of gretchin trying their utmost to unearth the strange sarcophagi’s contents, a single slash was delivered from its innards. A slow slice, one who should have no expectation of letting blood, but one which did, and did so immensely. A swathe felled with a single motion, and a single step in accordance revealed the one who had yet to enter the field. The master of the Third Legion, the light which the Truthlayers followed. Truth.

As the blighted sun of this abominable system laid its own light-fleshed tendrils across his face, the Orks were met, in their stupor and surprise, by a face which lacked much. An uniconic figure, made special by only his size and immensity, and the eyes which with he sees the world which is and isn’t yet to be, but soon will be.

“I have arrived,” he spoke without tonation, without excitement nor anger, without anything but a voice. The destiny of his transmission for none to know but him, and the one who knows all. His father, the Emperor of Mankind. “The Spire festers, my Lord Emperor, and the Serpent who slithers shall soon reveal itself.”

The Orks, now rallied from the surprise of a large foe at their doorsteps, went into a ragged frenzy, directed only by those stronger than they next to them. A seemingly random assortment of hierarchy formed under Veritas’ presence, as the boltas soon ferried rounds untold upon his location submerged within a moderate crater surrounded on all sides from now encroaching berserkers.

His eye shone, as bright and as translucent as the Sun which ruled the Ullanor System. With it, he saw his path, as he walked forward, destined for something none who were here could see. The boltas’ fire and fury, as numerous as the stars, did not touch him, as he walked his steady and ponderous pace, each heavy enough to disturb the hardened earth below him. His form would seem phantasmal as each coming wave of fire would invariably miss him, as if he walked a path removed from the material. He walked through a storm, unharmed, and as the Orks closed in for their choppas, he moved his arms slowly, and callously, as he rent the hearts and innards of those who dared encroach with a slice delivered by his sword as if destiny itself demanded the Orks’ death.

But Orks were not bred equally, amongst them, there were some who realized the potency of the Primarch’s swings, and awaited the moment where he would over-extend himself, something easily done when wielding nothing but a sword, and in one hand. No matter how mighty it be, it cannot help when it cannot deliver a killing blow. Having now seen the horde’s immediate combatants slain, they bolted against the Primarch with inhuman speed, possible only due to the Orks’ enhanced physiology. With leaps and sprints, they aimed at the Primarch’s side with their varied assortment of close-combat weapons, but their vision was soon blackened.

The Primarch saw them, even if he did not look, he knew. Whilst his sword was indeed beyond the limit with which he could immediately deny them their chance, his remaining arm was not. And as such, in synchronous motion, a hand most malicious grabbed onto the first amongst the veteran Nobz by the head, and ferried him into brutal collision with his peers, their innards collapsing under the mounting force of each subsequent impact until the Primarch at last lifted his monolithic grasp, allowing the now-grown pile to fall against the dirt. He raised his foot, and brought down his imperial heel upon them, crushing them underneath the infinite weight of the future which stands upon his shoulders. Leaving their blood to pave a most crimson road towards the spire’s approaching courtyard for him to follow.

All the whilst, the hymnic command of the Praetor Ultimatum filled his ears as the forces behind his present position were orderly coordinated by both the Third and Twelfth Legions. The many dropsites had organized under a unified structure, and were now pressing forth towards him. It was a worthy song, he mused briefly, without much intent beyond his own advancement towards the Spire’s complex in mind. It was merely to be expected of the Imperium’s finest, to match his own advance, and play their roles according to the great plan of the cosmic board.

He saw them, not now, but soon, at his side, bringing death upon a most heinous foe, and the imperial aura of the most profound would fall upon the world and bring ruin unto yet another evil empire, in accordance with his own vow to the Emperor of Mankind. The Orks would crumble, but not now, soon. All he could see now, were a sea of green, and flood of red which would soon follow. Not merely by his own hand, but equal amounts those below him.

Whilst he could not defeat this army alone, he could occupy it. In accordance with the truth which had presented itself before his eye most ethereal, and he would do so under the purview of his eye most material. An eye which glowed red and consisted of machine-make most intricate, an eye which allowed him to walk in two worlds.

Continuing to advance, his personal assault far too unexpected to be expected by the Orks and warrant the deployment of any form of Orkish machination beyond what they typically carry. But they would come. It would matter little, as they who followed in his wake would link with his own stride in perfect accordance with the arrival of machinations neither profound nor sophisticated, yet given life by the cosmic will. His thoughts were neither occupied or disturbed, mere Orks could not possibly accomplish such feats, as he felled many more with each step, with sword and hand, his ambidextrous onslaught yet unimpeded, a perimeter around him formed as he laid swift death upon all foes to his every side. His steps slowed only because they were meant to be by the Truth he served. The Good Destiny demanded it, for in his slowness, the haste of the Imperial forces across the planet would link up in perfect accordance with the primordial will which grants the Imperium of Man its ultimate victory.

“Grwah! More at ‘im! More dakka! More krumpin’!”

As many of them as may have been cut down by infallible blows, the greenskins continued to pour forth from their fortress, jumping and tripping over each other in their eagerness to reach the front line. Most did not so much as ask themselves the question of whether they were doing anything useful - the thought of getting into a fight was enough. They were Orks, and they were made for fighting and winning, so what else was there to think about?

Some, however, were blessed with the occasional moment of clarity in their dim skulls.

“Oi, boss!” a squat Ork wearing a looted helmet that had been cracked open to fit on his head over a pair of filthy goggles elbowed the massive Nob near him, “Ya see that dis ain’t workin’?”

“Ghrghm? Wuzzat?” The metal-jawed brute turned his head to get the smaller smartboy, the creaking of his rusty cybork hinges almost as ominous as his annoyed growl.

“We just ain’t hittin’ dat git! How’z we gonna krump ‘im if we can’t hits ‘im?”

“Hrrm.” The Nob scratched his head with an oversized power klaw, miraculously not slicing off his one remaining ear in the process. After a few moments of contemplation, his non-mechanical eye lit up with realisation. “Then we just brings more dakka! When we can’t hit sumfin’, it’z dat we ain’t got ‘nuff dakka!”

“Dat’s right,” the smartboy continued, scrubbing the least cracked of his goggle lenses and squinting at the battlefield through it. It did not seem to occur to him that he would have had an easier time seeing without the goggles altogether. “But da boyz ain’t got ‘nuff dakka. We’z gonna need to get Boss Gharog with ‘iz real big shoota.”

“So get ‘im! Why da zog ain’t he ‘ere already, anywuyz?”

“Beats me. Ya runts, go fetch ‘im!”

The pack of gretchin clustered at the two Orks’ feet, who were doing their best to look important and avoid being sent into the battle raging below, were scattered with a kick and sent scampering into the awning door of a nearby hangar. A minute and some loud bangs later, a considerably smaller number of them crawled back out.


“‘E’z sleepin’, boss,” the lead grot jabbed a finger back at the door, “Blasted off half’a us when we poked ‘im.”

“Dat lazy git gonna sleep through half the fights he been in,” the Nob grumbled, “Ya go get ‘im, Gutrip!”

“Aye, aye, send me to do a grot’z work, will ya,” the smartboy grunted in return, but off he shuffled.

The inside of the hangar was dank, unlit, smelling of rust and spilled oil and full of assorted scrap, but none of that troubled the huge green mound that lay in a hammock at the far end of the chamber, snoring as loud as a battlewagon engine. Gutrip trudged up through the piles of garbage, cursing as he stumbled over scattered wrenches and cogs, and gave the mound a shove, reflexively ducking as he did. This saved him from the wild discharge of bullets fired by the still sleeping Ork directly over his head.

Another shove, and a huge tusked head finally rose from the bundle of rags that filled the hammock. Gharog tore his bloodshot eyes open, drops of caked grime falling from their corners, and snarled an unwelcoming “Well, wodya got?”

“Dere’s a git out dere,” Gutrip pointed over his shoulder, “we needs more dakka to get ‘im.”

“And I’z da only one of ya zogging sorry lot as gots that much, I gets it.” With a malodorous yawn, Gharog tumbled out of his hammock. When he picked himself up, his arms had disappeared under two metallic contraptions of stupendous size. They could, with a stretch of intuition, have been called guns, but that would have been as grossly inaccurate as naming an Ordinatus tank a buggy. They were impossible machines of war and death, with a dozen throats large enough to lay waste to the most imposing of tanks and a multitude of smaller barrels all around. It was not clear how Gharog even managed to stand upright under their weight, but the huge Ork loped over to the door as if lugging around these monstrosities had been the habit of a lifetime.

“Well, iz ‘e koming or wo-”

The Nob’s words were drowned out by a savage roar that rolled out of the hangar and over the field, giving momentary pause to every greenskin around. Murmurs of “Aw zog, it’s Gharog!” immediately spread through the horde, and for the first time since the battle had been joined, the Orks began to move in a direction that was not straight ahead. They were clearing a path.

Those that had scrambled first were the lucky ones. No sooner had the roar faded that a whirring and rumbling rose, and the engines built into the two gigantic shootas flared to life. The vents on top of the barrels spat tongues of flame. Gharog shouted again, and this time he did not stop as rivers of scalding lead poured out of every orifice on his guns. The heads on a couple of grots popped like ripe fruit from the sheer cacophony of howling, buzzing, burning and firing. With a superhuman effort, the Boss Shoota tightened the aim of his weapons, and an uncountable number of slugs of all shapes and sizes converged onto Veritas.

“Now ya see,” the Nob shouted into Ripgut’s ear. Both of them having dropped facefirst to the ground as the storm of fire and metal raged over them. “Dat’s wot I call real dakka!”

No sooner did the hangar flare up into a hailstorm of fangs and horrors, than did Veritas’ foresight reveal the task which needed to be accomplished. Having already tossed the upper torso of a yet-struggling Nob directing at the Boss Shootas now obvious position, its flailing and bloodthirst would at least grant him moderate reprieve whilst the gun-monster shattered its corpse to pieces. Whilst under normal gunfire he would be able to move freely and with ease to avoid the meddlesome disturbance which ammunition posed itself as, there was always one step which proved too much. But this step was also foreseen; immediately as he had tossed the flailing Ork at its soon-awoken superior, thanks solely to the gene-physique of his own equally monstrous body, Veritas had already followed the fleeing Orks in their vain attempt to make way for Gharog’s indiscriminate massacre.

It seemed a hopeless maneuver, for the now lead-excrementing Ork Boss, as Gharog shifted his stance in accordance with the Primarch’s movements, fire and fury unceasingly flying any which way in a cloud of death thicker than a Gargant’s plate. But there was yet distance between them, and mass to receive mass. Whilst one Ork could easily be penetrated by the Great Shoota’s powerful weapons, hundreds yet stood in the way between their fateful duel. Metal upon metal, all haphazard and scrapyardish, brandished across the torsos and heads of many of Gharog’s lessers, disappointingly splintered the Boss Shoota’s dakka over the many Orks it penetrated with brutish fervour. Producing clouds of red and fiery explosions at scales far more comparable to war-engines than any ordinary Ork. But naturally, Gharog was no such ordinary Ork. From the more potent heavy-cannons linked into his abominable amalgam, vast swathes of Boyz exploded into vicious infernoes of fire and flesh, the superdakkas explosive potency sending yet more of the already scattering horde aloft and agasp. Frenzy and chaos ensued, far greater than any which had preceded it during the Primarch’s solemn assault, but one which proved itself useful to Truth’s purposes.

For whilst the Ork’s cacophony of death still rang loud, it’s monstrous tunes were out of harmony, for as powerful as a gun is, it always, invariably, retains one weakness. Hundreds, thousands, perhaps even millions of rounds blared through the inferno, the dakka indisputably insurmountable to any mortal being. Their destructive potency so immense that the dust culminated and grew into clouds, and soon into a sea of disrupted vision, growing more crimson with every round unleashed from the furnaces of death adjoined to the Boss Shoota’s two arms.

“WRAAAARGH!” The Ork’s bellowing finally found a minimum of cohesion, morphing from disconnected bestial sounds to something approximating a battlecry, and then even individual words. “IZ ‘E STILL IN DA SAME PLACE? I CAN’T SEE FOR ZOG!”

After a few moments of uninterrupted gunfire, an adventurous boy poked his head out of a heap of corpses and looked around to gain his bearings. “‘Old on, I finks ‘e iz-”

A phantom presented itself from within the mist, appearing from nothingness only to deliver swift death upon yet another innumerable foe. The boy was swiftly beheaded, the helm of which he wielded soon to prove itself useful as the force from the Sword of Damocles brought it skybound. With yet another solemn grasp, the head and its adjoined helmet were tossed with immense force at the Gharog’s cannons from within the cover of the cloud, the Ork quickly redirecting his hailstorm.

But it not rapidly enough. For as the head lodged itself within the largest of Gharog’s many cannons, the collision between his shells and the still-conscious Ork head’s screeching had an explosive result. Mimicking the effects of a concentrated melta-bomb. Needless to say, Veritas now began to close some proper distance between him and the hereto greatest foe.

He had utilized an extravagant angle, from within the blinding dust, to attack the Ork beast from its side, now undergoing a most cataclysmic malfunction within Gharog’s undoubtedly handmade scrappy machination. And of course, with his eyes, Veritas was never blinded. For as he closed the distance between him and a fervently roaring Gharog, made momentarily inert by the sudden eruption of his left weapon-arm into a veritable volcano of ammunition discharge, his eyes were those of clarity of purpose, an intent supernatural in its nigh malleable texture clearly interwoven with his every step. He needed little, for as his now rapid steps carried him across a few hundred feet within moments, his sword was poised for the final stroke of the initial phase of the Spire assault.

It was an anticlimactic end to an ordinarily great enemy. Its silencing almost making mockery of what ordinarily would have held entire cadres of regular Astartes legionaries at bay. But it was an end which Veritas had seen the moment he had laid eyes upon the field. For as the Sword of Damocles finally brought down its impending doom across the pointlessly reinforced neck of the Ork Boss, his own hand was already poised to toss the soon-to-be corpse aside and to the ground. It’s vainglory at last stifled and shattered.

Another step was then taken, Veritas looking upon the now scattered Ork resistance, and before him he saw nothing but an infinite tower reaching far beyond what the eye could perceive, a great gate which soon an even greater foe would emerge. And at the same time, he saw a clear sky; void of tower nor resistance, a great calm, soon roiled into future conflicts to come.

There were some amongst the Orks who yet had fighting fervour, and as they roared at him, with his monolithic grasp, he crumpled limbs, shattered heads, and rendered death indiscriminately. With the Boss Shoota vanquished, the ramshackle and uncoordinated fire of the shootas that remained proved inconsequential.

Within his ears he heard the expected voice of the Praetor Ultimatum, equally as calm, and equally as uncaring as his own: “Approach the Courtyard.”
It is difficult to adequately describe why I continue to roleplay when, in actuality, the things that drove me before no longer mean much for me as a writer or participant. Objectively. If I were to reflect, then I would suppose that what fulfills me now is the here-to unobtained sense of nostalgia I desire; a theoretical state in which I experience a satisfaction or accomplishment much aligned with those I 'lived' when I started roleplaying.

Excellent plot or masterful linguistic artistry no longer influence my sense of 'enjoyment,' neither does character dynamics or story twists. But I roleplay because I am aimlessly seeking for those things to inspire and interest me again. Like they used to do.

Much of this, I surmise, is largely due to my personal development, or regression depending on your perspective. But I keep going because I find solace in the goal I aspire to arrive at.
(Collab: Archetype Zero, ReedeThe23rd, JB, Terminal)

Ullanor Sector
Ullanor System
Ullanor Prime

The voyage had been calm and cool across the voided expanse which encapsulate the sea of stars and its intermittent nullspaces; an endless update strolled in through the vox-networks and the astropathic channels to accompany the silent beat of the stellar oceanic voyage, producing a cacophony of order in chaos as men and women aboard the bridge howled from one end to the other in preparation for the soon-coming emergence. All had been calm for his fleet, for as he had predicted, and as the plan had clearly proven, the attention had been successfully diverted, and the core-world of this depraved system lay open for the ravaging. Ruination would be the only spell cast upon these foolish creatures who laugh at the authority and rightful rule of the universe’s true stellar masters, and their perverted carcass-ships make mockery of the serene and delicate technology housed within his own dreaded vessel, the Absolute.

For as the Absolute cut its own path through the nothingness of the endless expanse, so too did its accompaniment; a fleet numbering hundreds of capital vessels, housing tens of thousands astartes prime and readied for this sole objective for months on end. They needed not think, they needed only know. Drilled so finely that each mission objective in the coming strike against the center-most citadel were subconscious aspects of their selves.

Veritas shifted his gaze across the bridge as he saw the planet of Ullanor Prime, the core of the Orks’ decrepit empire, come into view. Before him he saw his own fleet, drift against the void, and the planet come ever-closer into view. He felt himself see in present and future, as they would enter its expanse and would be forced into gruesome orbital warfare for the prime purpose of removing the foul snake’s head and make damp its slithering form so that it could be removed. But all the same, he felt a mixture at its sight, for he knew that this plan was not his own, and thus, he knew that it could lend ill towards the future to come. Orks would flee, they would spread, and they would, inevitably return. Before him he saw not only one battle, but many, concurring shifts. What felt like eons passing, and battle ravaged the world even still.

He grew silent in his thinking, harshened his grip around the nothingness entombed within his closed palm, and quickly loosened it, allowing it to softly fall against the sides of his throne at the far end of the bridge’s deck.

They had arrived.

It was obvious to all, for with their circularization and placement in upper-atmospheric orbit instilled a serene but dreadful silence, akin to calm if not for the silent thoughts of all those men and women of the Imperial Navy manning the vast vessel’s stations. First to speak up, not Veritas, but Admiral Yberov, the last of the essential personnel which the third legion’s primarch had aboard his bridge.

“Primus Fleet in orbit! Man battlestations! Maintain full combat discipline!”

His voice rang like thunder through his hoarse throat and the silence of the bridge, but was reciprocated by the center-deck foreman, as he responded and carried the word through the gargantuan expanse emboldened by steel paths and marble-like columns all throughout. The commands were repeated hundred-fold as the many stations of the bridge connected with the rest of the fleet, and the rest of the ship. An orderly repetition, Veritas thought, as he stood up, and all became quiet.

He did not interrupt, but he waited for its conclusion. His fleet was readied, and its men hardened for war. The Truthlayers had spent many-a-hundred year fractions in anticipation for its happening, and the Imperial Navy’s officer corps had expended all efforts on morale since system-entry. They were ready.

“Vox-master, communicate our presence to my siblings.”

“Vox-master! Broadcast our presence to the planet, general command frequency!” Admiral Yberov repeated with his iconic roar, the Vox-master jittered moderately, but tensed rapidly, clearly now readied for the stresses to come. He pulled at the heavy lever, after pressing harshly at a constellation of heavy buttons, and then held it in place, nodding in the Primarch’s distant direction.

Veritas stepped forth towards the vast arched window at his immediate front and stepped through the central corridor as he passed the hundreds of terminal stations at his right and left, speaking loudly so as to be perceived over any would-be conflict the others might have entered into.

“Siblings, the Truthlayers have penetrated the Orks’ lacking defenses, but yet arrived later than some,” his monotone cloaking his intentions clearly, if there were any. After twelve steps he continued, having now passed into the grand bridge hall’s central space.

“How fare you?”

He had not wanted to come here, had not wanted to leave the majority of his own forces at all, there were still thousands of worlds out there in the Milky Way that did not accept the dominance of the Imperium and its Emperor and he was charged by that same figurehead to bring illumination and light to the furthest corners of the galaxy. From his commanding position aboard the Castrum Aeterna, arguably the most advanced spacecraft possessed by the Emperor's forces, he had been concluding the pacification of a worm-like xenos species when a call had rang out from somewhere designated the 'Ullanor Sector', appearing from all angles to be a place where a pivotal event was about to take place.

Of course he had already heard of the conflict raging there, who among the Astartes legions had not, but what he had not known of was the glory that could be gained from fighting there. It was at this point that his innate ambition made itself known, the flames stoked ever higher by the knowledge that the Emperor himself would be present in the campaign, a chance to catch his eye and demonstrate the quality of he and his legion was never one that Kaelianos could give up without first attempting it.

For any other legion such a departure – so sudden, so without warning or preparation – may well have taken many months of formulation and provisioning, but for the Eighth it was as any other day. There were few legions that could match them in logistical skill, close alliance with the Mechanicum making sure that they wanted for very little in terms of material, and it was barely three weeks before several vexillationes of the legion, just over twenty-two thousand Astartes (including the Primarchs own Praetorian Cohorts) and innumerable auxiliary formations, took to the immaterium for Ullanor Prime.

The attack force arrived several weeks later, or three months in the Warp, to find themselves already outpaced by the Twelfth and Fourth legions as well as the Emperor's own forces on the surface of the infested Orkoid world - it visibly seethed with Greenskins, the legion’s haruspices divining many things but ultimately all proclaiming a cloud of 'energy' seeping from the huge gathering of primitive aliens.

Moving with characteristic speed, or celeris as they called it in Rasenan, Kaelianos and his Praetorians were the first of his legion to make planet-fall, taking a large tribe of Orks in their stride and set about grinding them to dust at once.

“My lord Primarch,” came a voice from nearby some days later, the ever-perfect face of Kaelianos turning to regard his personal standard-bearer and equerry Modius Laevinus with an expectant look, “your brother is here, Veritas Res and the Truthlayers.”

Kaelianos watched the battlefield and the movements of his sons on a luminous screen nearby, his form and that of his retinue protected from Orkish fire by little more than an adamantium bunker constructed on first landing, able to listen to the constant stream of reports and data while paying attention to the incoming message.

“Siblings, the Truthlayers have penetrated the Orks’ lacking defenses, but yet arrived later than some, how fare you?”

It was Veritas alright, that monotone voice quite unmistakable even from orbit, the dull greeting prompting Kaelianos to split his features into a consummate smile and tap the arms of the seat he sat.

“Our brother arrives at last,” came words and a chuckle that sounded like a thousand angels singing, “Praefectus Fabrum, please engage the vox and patch into a frequency capable of reaching the Absolute.”

Aulus Vetus, his red armour and robes showing him to be the highest representative of the Omnissiah in the Eighth, ran a number of prayers from his lips as he turned various dials and pulled a number of levers.

“Channel open, my Primarch.”

Kaelianos gave an inclination of his head to the tech-priest before readying himself to speak, having spoken to neither of his brother Primarchs already here, but holding Veritas in higher esteem than either of them.

“Brother!” He began in a manner of speaking reserved for the closest of his confidants, a tone that made mortals like him and most Primarchs find him tolerable at the very least, “welcome to Ullanor Prime, though you arrive later than others you are nevertheless just as welcome.”

What the Primarch of the Eighth wished to ask was whether Veritas had foreseen anything, those questions being akin to a game in the mind of Kaelianos, but he was in the middle of a battle and it seemed somewhat superfluous at this moment in time.

“I am about to join my sons in glorious battle, but always make time to listen to my most magnetic of siblings. How goes it with the Third and their farseeing master?”

Flicking the comradely jest into the vox-channel the Primarch lithely rose from his seat and held up his arms in order to allow multiple serfs to attend him, armour plating of shining gold fixed perfectly and most exact to his oversized frame while he awaited a response.

It was a rare occasion for the battlegroups of the Fourth Legion to assemble upon a single point, only the most pressing of military engagements or honorable of ceremonies would lead to their Primarch calling upon the entirety of their might. The Ork warbands of Ullanor proved to be such a threat. Ten fleets worth of ships, each enough to transport a Chapter of one thousand battle-ready Astartes and their accompanying Imperial Army regiments.

The ships of the Imperial Star League had descended upon the system just at the heels of the initial Imperial assault, shoring up defenses in the fiery battles that lit up the void, and deploying upon the planets of the system to provide echelon and rearguard support to the forces already engaging the greenskin menace.

Heading this offensive, and engaging their foe at the core of the system, was the battlegroup that converged around the flagship of the legion, the Astra Urba. Commanded by their Primarch and father, Wolfram of Parrisan, these forces encroached upon Ullanor Prime in the shadow of those helmed by the likes of his brother, Kaelianos, or their father, the Emperor of Mankind himself.

The ground forces of the Fourth Legion directed to Ullanor Prime had already landed, and were engaged in mechanized reactionary deployments formed to ensure the Imperial forces assembled were not encircled or otherwise cut off from their growing beachhead upon the world. Wolfram himself had chosen to stay aboard his command vessel, overseeing the progress of the Legion as a whole across the system, while also offering strategic support to the allied forces assaulting the core world of the system.

The command deck of the Astra Urba was bustling with activity, members of every branch of the Imperium associated with the conflict gathered in a war council, discussing strategic and logistical plans to further the conquest of the system in a rapid and decisive manner. At the forefront of this room filled with energy stood Wolfram, a silent pillar offering but a few simple words of acknowledgement when requested of him.

Seeing the greenskin forces assembled in such a fashion as that of Ullanor was perplexing to him. Such an organized effort was not traditionally in their nature, and the idea that they could achieve something of this sort threatened to reshape all he had come to know of their militaristic lifestyle and habits. Wolfram’s plans for future strategic organization would have to be revised heavily if the Orks continued to showcase this level of acumen.

As if intentionally rousing him from such thoughts, indicators chimed and flashed to notify the many individuals present of the arrival of more Imperial forces. The Third Legion’s war vessels had arrived at the field of battle, and not a moment too soon. Hailing frequencies were exchanged, the vox-systems connected, and soon the monotone voice of Veritas Res spoke from across the void to his siblings.

“Siblings, the Truthlayers have penetrated the Orks’ lacking defenses, but yet arrived later than some, how fare you?”

The master of the Eighth, Kaelianos, responded first, sharing a rousing welcome with just the faintest hint of witticism about it. The Eighth were already engaged in battle upon the planet below, so it was no surprise that the vox-call from their Primarch came from just before his entrance into the battlefield.

“The Fourth greet you as well, brother. The arrival of you and yours is a most welcome aide, regardless of when it occurs.”

As he awaited his brother’s reply, Wolfram silently began relaying word to those fighting under him that the Truthlayers had arrived. Plans would be reorganized, fronts shifted, and calculations reworked to account for these new forces. The throng of military staff and their assistants around the command deck began to move with renewed vigor, cogs in the grand Imperial war machine ever churning.

“Yes,” responded Veritas simply to Kaelianos’ initial remarks, whilst there were some amongst the Primarchs who had communicational wit and social acumen approaching the Eighth's master, the lord of the Third was not amongst them. A brief pause was had, as he took in his two brothers’ communiqués, an equally swift reciprocation following. “The Truthlayers are readied for victory, as will always be true, brothers. I am also.”

He turned swiftly, Admiral Ybarov on the receiving end of his gaze, a quick nod followed by distant roars imperceivable from jargon as far away as Veritas stood at the helm. Right besides the vox-master’s tiring yet duty-bound body as he struggled feverishly to hold down the most important lever he would ever grace his eyes upon.

He continued.

“Kaelianos, you know what needs to be done, gain as much of the Orks’ fervour as you can and demolish them,” a quick glance was had at the hundreds of tactical visors across the bridge, portrayals of the many battlefronts of Ullanor Prime playing in unison; overlapping in his gaze. He need not influence his brother’s mind with words, silence would lead the same result as the opposite. Attention instead placed on the next monitor, a fleet statistics board. With a voice echoing cold but loud once again, he turned his attention towards the master of the League. “Wolfram, I will soon make planetfall; I will align my fleet with yours once I am surface bound. The Absolute and her escort are yours to command.”

Perhaps an odd statement beyond the orthodox of any other Primarch but himself, however he knew what he needed to do. He knew how to accomplish it. Wolfram, a competent mind in a competent position, would make good use of the fleet whilst he was away. Though Admiral Yberov had been already informed as to what actions to take.

The specifics sorted, he closed his eyes and finished, “I will notify you both once my preparations are finalized.. Ending communication.” The sweat of the vox-master having long since shown, he was finally allowed momentary rest as he let go of the device. However, as he turned, he was met with the towering stature of his lord gazing down at him. He froze, but was met only with the equal parts malicious and noble gaze of a statuesque goliath. “Hail the Lectro-Maester.”

No reprieve could be allowed, war was greater than the failing muscles of the mortal condition. A replacement would be needed once the campaign had finished.

As if knowing the thoughts of Veritas Res himself, the Vox-Master, an aged man, lowered the lever with renewed vigor, a subdued nod given towards his judge, adrenaline filling him as if he was placed along the trenches.

“Lectro-Maester, your status.”

The voice that answered was accompanied by a sharp crackling - not due to any failure or feedback from the voxcast itself, but from the writhing field of electrical power the individual at the other end of the line was doubtlessly shrouded in.
“This is Artisan Malagra Veneratus Prime Numilus Grirkov. The 8th Macroclade Fleet of the Ordo Astranoma is now dispersing in orbit and we are entering the final stages of preparation for our planetary assault operations. We are at your command, Primarch, child of the Omnissiah! Speak that your will be done!” The voice, underneath the layers of static, was deep and had a booming quality to it - laced with open reverence for Veritas.

A brief silence filled their dialogue briefly, its purpose for any and all to guess, before the Primarch laid out his plan for the Artisan to hear. “Align your fleet’s orbit with the Absolute’s. During the initiatory bombardment, we shall enter the atmosphere with ferocity. You will land in the tower complex.”

“Your will be done! The 8th Macroclade Fleet is now correcting maneuvers, we will all align with your flagship shortly, Primarch! We will tear the motive force from the enemy in your honor! For the glory of the Omnissiah!”

“Ending Communication.”

Veritas turned, looking towards the Admiral as he stepped away from the Vox-Master’s exhausted form. His feet echoed with each step. Each step was one step closer to the planet’s surface, closer to the great destiny yet far too distant. “You have the helm, Admiral. Follow the will I have written and align with the Fourth once I have departed.”

“Aye, Primarch.”

Soon the cannons would rain fire and fury upon the Ork who dares proclaim an empire within the true Imperium’s domain. The false icon, the sacrilegious idol shall be expunged, and the bells of destruction will soon toll to Urlakk Urg’s demise. As he passed the Admiral, and left the Bridge, headed towards the assembly halls which his legion had long since filled in preparation for the orbital drop, he once more affirmed his belief that only one vision may rule the galaxy. And it was that of the Emperor’s.
Waiting before the IC starts before I pursue this further.
As immature as ever, much to be expected. Dad, execute this unfortunate soul who walks the wrong path.
@Oraculum, you did.
I am the fourth and first, foundation and solidification of precedent. Those who come after are lesser yet greater, numerous but lacking. I am creation and establishment of nature and order. All who come after follow my example.
I interrupt the silence as I emerge in flames of providence's own creation. In the void I am the one light before all others, the one message before those who came after. I am the first, I am creation.


Despoiler of Heaven, Architect of Eternity

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