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Dread Lords


The XIV's bombardment had gouged vicious scars upon the firmament and earth, veteran scars that would mark the world for millennia to come. And into the aftermath of destruction had the angels of death flown. Their Dreadclaws had ripped apart the intoxicated clouds in streaks of fiery titian. Once an adequate altitude was attained, archaic rockets paved their malevolent descent. 4 thousand sons of Asura stepped foot on a landscape of vague reminiscence but overall, wholly devoid of certain familiarity to a man.

The Astartes were in the ruins of a vast fortress-city, crudely akin to barbarically ramshackle cities of Ursh from the Age of Strife, framed by the shadow of a mountain range of burnt sienna that rivalled the great volcano plains of Baigok in immensity, the largest of its monstrous kind in the hemisphere. The rot of nucleonic fire was evident on the masses of corrugated metal structures around them. The millions of foul denizens that had called this distasteful place home had been reduced to billions of ashes infesting the stale air of the alien world, the stench of manmade doom fresh and unadulterated. They were surrounded by the remnants of alien civilisation. Only moments after insertion did the xenos make themselves known though it had been in a manner no one, maybe not even Asura himself, had foreseen.

The mountains had erupted in a roaring avalanche of green.

Sunsu woke up beside Death.

His lenses were wet with the ooze-like blood of his enemy, his armour coated in viscera. His enemies blown or torn apart into mincemeat, the First Captain forced his way out of concrete and metal, trampling the ground of green corpses strewn around the missile-hollowed edifice he'd emerged from. He revved his chainaxe thrice, the engines struggling to dispel the chunks of gooey meat clogging the crevices between each fanged blade.

“Sunsu to the First. Sunsu to the First.”

Static replied. Interference from the Orks was isolating his men but the Legionaries had planned beforehand to regroup after each squad had achieved their tactical purview. The whole place had gone to hell after the Orks had launched salvos of long-range ballistic missiles from the mountains onto their former city. Separated from his company after the most recent salvo, the Astartes officer was alone for now. He had to pick up the pace. His armour hummed louder than a pair of data storage servitors at full power. The Astartes warrior marched through ravaged “streets”, the word generously used, concrete and metal debris connoting an abstract depiction of his Primarch’s vision for xenos kind; utter annihilation.

Guttural snarls were issued from the corners of his vision. More greenskins and much more of their lesser sized but no less detestable brethren. From the dark interstices between broken buildings they came. These were the survivors the Astartes had come for, survivors of the XIV’s bombardment. All were bearing scars or missing limbs but the greenskin species were a hardy species and injured or not, the beasts were intent on killing the lone Astartes before them.

Responding with a growl of his own, the First Captain of the XIV leaned into a battle-stance. His chainaxe clogged up, Sunsu instead bludgeoned the first of the many xenos that charged him. He moved with impossible grace for one so large, weaving through the foe, chainaxe in one hand and combat knife in the other. He sliced their thick throats. He mutilated their thick arms. Darting excruciating inches away from filthy xeno blades, he’d riposte with a brutal crushing of their skulls, turning alien bone to alien powder. The arrogance of the aliens betrayed them and within moments their numbers had been reduced to the digit. The last of them was no different from the first and its end was no different from the first either.

A trail of corpses left strewn behind him, Sunsu stomped further through the ruined world. When contact was finally established, it was established on the remains of the fortress-city’s walls. Standing atop a valley of wreckage, he awaited the reparations of his weapons from his personal serfs. His Sergeant had been prompt to attend to his Captain.

“The company's objectives have been achieved sir," Sergeant Fao reported.

Sunsu glanced at his battle-brother then turned his gaze on the sandstorm coalescing on dry red desert plain beyond, “As expected. Any casualties?”

"A few were killed from the retaliating bombardments. The Apothecary has recovered the fallen's seed."

“Acknowledged. Status on the other companies.”

“The 2nd is positioned to our eastern flank, the 3rd to our west. The 4th is still regrouping, they suffered heavily from the missile attacks.”

Sunsu spat out his anger, the glob of acid expelled from his mouth disintegrating the metal beneath him. “Those xenos scum will pay for this!”

“That they will, my son.”

Both Astartes spun around to face their gene-sire. Though he was coated in a sheen of grime and xenos viscera, the gruesome stains somehow made him appear more resplendent. He was a war god in the flesh.

Bending the knee, Sunsu said, “I have failed you, my lord!"

Asura raised an eyebrow, "Is that so?"

"My company has suffered because of my inability to perceive the threat in the mountains. My incompetence has cost the Legion and I offer my life in recompense!"

The Primarch laughed, a rough but warm sound. He beckoned his First Captain up, "The burden of your brothers deaths lies on my shoulders, Sunsu. It is a weight I must carry for the rest of my life. I gave the order to make planetfall and in my bloodlust-ridden haste to purge the xenos remnants, I became blind to other threat vectors. Perhaps redemption may be found in the battle to come."

The Captain looked up, "Do you intend to assault the enemy's mountain strongholds, milord?"

"Why come to them when they come to us? Look beyond, my sons."

In the plains beyond, the Captain and Sergeant saw an encroaching sandstorm, albeit a massive one. Sunsu frowned and enhanced his photolenses. Now able to see clearly past the wall of dust particles, he found himself instinctively unsheathing his combat knife at the sight before him. There was not an inch of land not covered by the outlines of beast or machine. It was a horde so large that their movement had created the sandstorm around them. Sunsu's transhuman mind estimated the size of the enemy army. It was easily in the hundreds of thousands, perhaps even a million-strong!

"We must signal for reinforcements!" Sergeant Fao exclaimed.

Asura nodded. "That would be a wise decision. But from who? We cannot recall the companies engaging in boarding action so quick nor will the fleet be much help for the void war continues still."

"Perhaps your brothers and sisters may lend us strength, lord?"

"Hmph." Asura took a moment to retrieve twin sheathed swords from one of his honour guard. Fang and Edge they were named and aptly so. Even sheathed, the twin power swords exuded an aura of vicious martial potency. There were few power weapons in the Imperium of the same class.

"Much of my siblings are preoccupied with either trying to impress Father or prosecuting their own wars. It will prove fruitless contacting them. And there are even fewer who will lend their sons and daughters to the XIV once they hear of my intentions."

"My lord?" Sunsu asked.

In a single motion that was a blur even to the enhanced eyes of the Astartes, Asura unsheathed Fang and thrust the tip of the power scimitar toward the rapidly encroaching Ork horde. Opening the vox channel, the Primarch spoke to all his sons.

"We are the Dread Lords. We shall strike swiftly into the heart of the enemy in a single thrust. Recall the Dreadclaws and prepare to for reinsertion. Danger-close conditions. We will decapitate the head of this horde and present it to the Emperor!"

Turning to Sunsu, Asura commanded his Captain, "Send out a system-wide distress call. The XIV shall request aid from its brothers and sisters and it is by their coming that this battle will be won. Yet, let it be known the Legion did not shame itself in front of them by awaiting their arrival. We will engage this mass of xenos filth in open battle my sons and we will fight our way to their warboss whose head shall be cleaved off its hideous body by the end of this solar cycle. In the name of the Emperor it shall be done!"

The companies would begin reassembling into the Dreadclaws. Unlike ordinary droppods, the Dreadclaws were vicious assault boats that could fight the enemy post insertion. Hundreds of Dreadclaws would lift off into the brown skies of Ullanor, disappearing into the murky clouds.

Like lightning they struck, waves of Dreadclaws descending down onto the vast Ork horde, the assault boats unleashing their arsenal of incendiary rockets that seared green flesh from bone and armour-piercing autogun fire shredding Gorkonauts and Deff Dreads. The Legionaries of the XIV emerged from their Dreadclaws in assault formations, bolters barking ferociously, chainswords and chainaxes roaring a roar of doom. Even in the chaos, there was a precision to the Dread Lord's attack. Reckless as it may be, the thousands of Astartes that were ripping their way from within the vast Ork horde were operating in tandem. They were a blade plunging deep into a great filth of green flesh. And the tip was their Primarch.

Asura was a maelstrom within the storm. His twin swords sang in alien blood, the blades wreathed in auras of lightning and swung with supernatural speed. The Primarch was a juggernaut of battle and he massacred the Orks before him without so much as a bead of sweat staining his bloody beauty. His honour guard followed the path their lord cleaved, the elite warriors proving their worth in a mounting tally of Ork skulls. They were the tip of the Dread Lord's assault, their flanks covered by the First Company.

"For Asura!" Sunsu bellowed as he slammed the running teeth of his chainaxe into the head of an Ork before swerving about to jam the barrel of his bolter-pistol into the mouth of another. "Tolerate not the xenos!" He raged, alien viscera coating his helm from the resultant explosion.

Overhead, the Dreadclaws washed whole swathes of alien in chemical fire while simultaneously engaging duelling Ork Fightas. Covered by their assault boats, the heavily outnumbered and outgunned Dread Lords went berserk within the Ork lines. Their prowess judged by the deathcounter, an archaic technology that tallied the number of kills each warrior amassed, the Astartes vigorously partook in an organized slaughter of xenos. The Dread Lords advanced forth as a juggernaut, deeper and deeper until the first of the Nobs appeared.

The creatures were massive, some dwarfed even an Astartes in Terminator armour, and they charged out of their own lines, a stampede of the strongest Orks in the horde that trampled their lesser brethren as they rushed at the Astartes. Already engaged in the grind of close combat, the Dread Lords were unable to meet the charge with a charge of their own nor were most of the frontline able to even brace for it. Sunsu was hurled back by the brunt of a Nob, crashing into his brothers behind. He barely had a millisecond to react as the Nob swung a massive, spiked mace, the force of which would have lopped even his helmed head clean off. Ducking under, the First Captain sliced thrice against the Ork's stomach then expended his remaining bolter-pistol clips into the beast's chin. The Nob stumbled backward but it did not fall, even with its guts spilling out and his lower face turned into mincemeat. It's eyes glinted at Sunsu and it lunged forward once more. Sunsu parried away its mace while a battle-brother came up from the side to decapitate the thing's head. The Nob's body kept swinging until the two legionaries proceeded to mutilate it further.

Sergeant Fao's voice cried out within his helm, "Captain! Our lines have halted!"

Sunsu grimaced. The Legion could not lose momentum. Not in the position they were in. The rear, being held by the 3rd and 4th companies, was already holding back Orks in the tens of thousands. If they stagnated then his battle-brothers there would soon be ripped apart.

"Push back brothers! Push back!" He shouted into the vox while his vox-emitter amplified his voice tenfold in the immediate vicinity. "Kill them for the Emperor! Kill them all for Asura!"

The desperation in his voice was evident. He had lost sight of the Primarch and the Honour Guard. Battle-brothers were beginning to die all around him, death-runes blinking repeatedly in his helm's interface. He was Astartes. He knew no fear. But a Dread Lord knew dread.

Dread Lords


The void was ablaze.

Battleships the size of cities clashed with scrap-metal monstrosities in an apocalyptic maelstrom of hellfire and etheric lightning. The stars were but a humble backdrop to the titanic void war encompassing the breadth of the Ullanor system. Lance fire streaked across the void, spears of raw energy that impaled the hulls of enemy ships. In their thousands the macro shells were unleashed, sowing the seeds of destruction amongst the crude formations of the xenos vessels. The ships of the XIV advanced toward the enemy, bloodlust oozing from their attack formations. The Orks responded in kind, no doubt bellowing cries to their primitive twin gods as they charged at the Legion brazen enough to challenge them. Both fleets hammered one another in volleys of munitions that would sunder a continent, microlasers slamming against crackling void shields as vast swarms of Legion interceptors duelled equally as numerous hordes of Ork Fightas like armies of mortals amidst the clash of their patron gods. Though the ships of Man were undoubtedly superior voidcraft in every perceivable manner, the Orks were maddeningly tenacious and the tide initially favoured neither the XIV nor the greenskins. And it would remain so until the first of the harpoons launched from the Dread Lord ships.

The Ursus Claws were barbaric weapons, their very existence rejecting the methodical nature of war that was the essence of modern naval doctrine. Ensnaring the Ork Kroozers, these gigantic harpoons slowly reeled in their prey and soon the Orks found themselves engaged in brutal broadside engagements against the Dread Lords. Daggers of plasma sliced through the scrap hulls of the enemy ships while the greenskins themselves loosed their caches of makeshift torpedoes though most of the improvised projectiles were blown apart by formidable arrays of point-defense turrets. The Ursus Claws had never ceased reeling in their prey however, the massive high-tension chains having been in grinding motion since locking into the enemy's ship. It was only when the Orkish craft were within a proximity of 10,000 kilometres to their captors did the XIV truly live up to their bloody-handed reputation. The insides of the Ursus Claws were hollow. Mostly. Klaxons in every XIV ship whose dozen Ursus Claws had found purchase blared, signalling the commencement of ship-to-ship boarding actions. Boarding torpedoes fired off inside each Claw, hundreds of Astartes rushing through the hollow insides, soon to be disgorged deep within the insides of an enemy ship.

First Captain Sunsu watched his brothers bring the wrath of the Emperor upon the Orks. The Astartes officer felt a spark of pride, and a prick of jealousy, at the sight though the experience was far removed from what it could have been had it been witnessed in the flesh instead of the scrawling data feeds of a holo display. He was not alone in his observations, the disciplined murmurs of a few hundred ship personnel below him a muted wave of sound slightly above that of the insistent humming emitted by the machines they operated. The bridge of the XIV Legion's flagship, the Gloriana-class battleship aptly named the Wrath, was an immensely cavernous chamber of moonlight blue, constantly flush from the maliciously dazzling, sometimes blinding, light of voidfire beyond the wide window encircling the front of the bridge. The Captain was present in the upper section of the bridge, the strategium, while the floor below him was the principal command level of the ship and where commissioned Navy personnel operated. Secondary level sub-decks lay on either side of the primary decks like miniature hivecity hab-blocks that touched the roof of the chamber and were filled with more ship personnel from cogitation officers to astropaths. Seated behind him were the captains of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th assault companies, their conversations occurring in vox. Behind them was the strategium door and it was flanked on either side by a Cataphractii-pattern Terminator in the dark maroon-blue, white-streaked colours of their Legion. The veteran Astartes within the heavy power armour serving as sentinels of the undisputed master of the XIV.

Of the myriad foes that the Captain of the XIV's 1st Company had faced in over a century of warfare, none had been more distasteful to face than the zealots. Blind faith had always been a cancerous blight upon the Emperor's Imperium. Fanatical humans in their droves, to each their own cult, all united in their rejection of the Imperial Truth. All united in their defiance of the Emperor's will. The worst of these pitiful creatures would always be those who worship the Emperor as a god. They proclaimed the divinity of the Master of the Mankind even as Sunsu and his brothers had cleaved their heads from their bodies, their lips still curved in madness. But in the pure absurdity of their fanatical sermons lay a proclamation the Captain could not help but find rather empirical; that the Primarchs were demigods incarnate. And the most glorious of all the great Primarchs in Sunsu's eyes was the one commanding the might of the XIV Legion.

The lord of the Dread Lords stood upon an elevated dais on the centre of the strategeium. Encircling the dais were numerous tactical holo displays, each scrawling with constantly updating troves of information on the ongoing void battle as well as the greater Ullanor Crusade itself. His eyes, ever so fierce like the hunting flesh-falcons of his homeworld, roamed the arrayed screens. A giant to the Astartes and an even greater giant to mere mortals, Asura Fong, Primarch of the XIV, immersed himself completely in a war of ambiguous data and symbols as his dark, majestic artificer armour hummed a soft tune. Great twin scabbards gilded silver hung strapped from his waist, the blades sheathed within responsible for the doom of billions.

"Status update on the bombardment," the Primarch spoke, his bass-deep voice harsh like the tides of a raging sea and powerful like the thunderstorm above the sea.

"Designated ordnance payloads are expended at a quarter below half, my lord," voxed the Master Ordinatum.

“Cease bombardment.”

“As you wish, my lord.”

Seated in a minor throne before the Primarch, Sunsu watched his gene-father casually summon a pict-screen of the ordnance munitions assigned to the orbital bombardment he'd commanded a hour ago on the massive Gargant yards littering the southern hemisphere of Ullanor Prime. Confirming the competency of the human in the position of Master Ordinatum all the while skimming through a dozen other holo displays, the Primarch's fingers danced across brass keyboards, continuously inputting data through interfaces at such a pace even Sunsu's transhuman eyes had to focus to keep up.

"Give me vision of Ket-9561," ordered Asura.

"Yes, my lord," vox-answered the Master Augurum.

“Adjusting for atmospheric interference,” an augury specialist said.

“Climate conditions compensated for,” intoned a naval transmechanic.

A few seconds later, a spherical tacticaria shimmered into being in front of the Primarch. Taking the form of Ullanor Prime, it rotated then presented a live geographical pict-image of the southern-hemisphere region designated Ket-9561.

"Enhance view," ordered the Master Augurum to his subordinates on the principal command deck. The holo display reduced the pict-image until it was as if the viewers were on groundlevel, minute traces of static crackling on the edges. The area shown had been a city-sized junkyard rife with greenskins and other smaller but just as nasty xenoforms. The vile creatures had been surrounding scrap monstrosities that served as crude parodies of the Emperor's Titans. Those weapons of war were arguably just as destructive too and would have seriously impeded a planetary assault by the Imperium. The resultant bombardment by the Dread Lords flagship however had caused a drastic change in scenery. Sunsu thought the place looked much better as a desert of alien ashes.

The Primarch glanced at the void battle occurring beyond the strategium's window. Sunsu followed his sire’s eyes. The Captain was no savant of naval warfare but even he could see the tide had turned in their favour. He flexed his fingers unconsciously, anticipating the inevitable ground war that came after naval superiority was established over a target world.

"Bring up tactical. Region Ket-9800," Asura commanded. This time new pict-images coalesced within the tacticaria to display an overhead view of another landscape also in ruins and rubble from the Dread Lord’s orbital bombardment. Tactical data feeds that appeared alongside the images told Sunsu that he was looking at the remains of a massive Ork fortress-city. Asura extended a hand toward the hololith and manually magnified the tactical display with the actuator sensors inside his gauntlets. Movement caught Sunsu's eyes. The Orks were known to be a particularly durable pest but to know that there had been survivors amongst the xenos made his choler swell. Like roaches from dark corners, many Orks emerged from the rubble until it became clear they were looking at enough numbers to constitute a horde.

"Xenos filth..."

Sunsu didn't need to guess who'd muttered that one. 3rd Captain Fubei had always been a brazen-mouthed one. The sons of Asura abhorred the alien and Fubei's sentiment was shared by every battle-brother in the strategium. The First Captain focused on his Primarch whose regally fierce eyes remained fixed on the hololith. They could bombard the xenos again but if the first had been ineffective then the second would be the same. The Orks were hardy beyond belief.

"How long has it been?"

"My lord?" Sunsu asked.

The bronze ironwork dais rotated around until the Primarch faced his Equerry. The Astartes captain met the eyes of his genefather. Even after innumerable battlefields together, sweating and bleeding alongside him, Sunsu was still awed by the sight of his Primarch. Asura's face was a sculpture above all sculptures, bareheaded and cleanshaven, a jawline sharper than the fangs of a Baigokian mane-wolf, lightly tanned skin gleaming with bottomless vitality and lips that hid teeth that could rip out the jugular of a battle automaton. That would rip out the jugular of a battle automaton. Sunsu had seen it happen. More than once too.

"How long has it been since we've tasted blood, my son? Do your two hearts ache for the beat of glory? Or have they been numbed by the coldness of the void?"

The First Captain pushed himself off his throne to stand before Asura. "My hunt is as eternal as yours, my lord! Even now I salivate at the prospect of blood to be spilled in your name and in the name of the Emperor."

His Primarch frowned, "Aye, I can sense your lust for battle Sunsu. The knife of jealousy you must have felt beneath your ribs watching your brothers be spat out to battle in the Claws. You wish to join them in battle. To claim your glory. But instead you are imprisoned aboard the Wrath, more useless than a bottom-deck munitions loader as you are forced to witness void war from the comfort of your officer throne."

"It pains me to be a witness instead of a warrior. But if my place is to be with you then I shall gladly endure," Sunsu said.

Asura bared his fangs in a grin, "As it should be, my son. As it should be." The Primarch stepped to the edge of the strategium's deck and looked down at the principal command deck. "Captain Shiva!"

A lithe young woman in a Navy officer's uniform adorned by medals looked up, "Yes, my lord?"

"I shall be undertaking an incursion. Ensure the Wrath is not infested with greenskins while I'm away."

She smirked, "You have my assurance that I'll do my best, my lord."

The Primarch marched off the dais he'd stood on for hours, Sunsu following closely behind. Passing out of the command bridge with the Terminator sentinels behind them, they marched through a maze of narrow, winding corridors. The human personnel they passed by acknowledged their lords with a nod though it was visible many wished to bow before the Primarch. It was only out of explicit order from Asura not to that they did not.

"Status of the assault force," Asura said.

"The 1st, 2nd and 3rd assault companies have been on standby since we dropped into the system, my lord," Sunsu said, his enhanced mind effortlessly recalling the details. "The 4th assault company has also been on standby, held for reserve."

"Prepare the 4th as well," the Primarch growled, "We will require them against the xenos."

"As you wish, my lord."



Navy personnel scrambled to attention as the Primarch entered the 1st embarkation deck. It was a deck reserved for the XIV's master and his honour guard. Along the stretching length of the deck were dozens of drop-pods fixed to their launch racks. Anvillus-pattern Dreadclaws they were and these weaponized transports were a mainstay of the Dread Lord’s arsenal.

His honour guard locked themselves into their designated drop-pods as electromagnetic railguns sheathing the transports began to heat up, the scent of oil and ozone wafting pervasively over the deck.

“Any updates on the landing zone?” Asura asked, locking himself in a Dreadclaw customized for Primarch-sized occupants. The lid doors slammed shut. The sound of magazine-checks was a tune for his transhuman ears.

“None, my lord. Climate readings remain within acceptable parameters,” voxed back the Master Augurum.

“Excellent. For the Emperor then.”

“For the Emperor, my lord.”

The Primarch switched to a fleet-wide vox frequency. His helm’s lenses glared blood red as he spoke, “My sons. The hour is upon us once more. We ride to war against xenos scum and we shall sate ourselves with their blood. Our brothers and sisters of the Legions watch us.The Emperor watches us. The Master of Mankind and our brethren Legions will witness the glory of the Dread Lords this day. We shall cleanse this world of greenskin filth. We shall cleanse by the blade! To pieces my sons!”

The XIV roared, “TO PIECES! CUT THEM TO PIECES!”

Alarm klaxons blared throughout the deck as navy personnel rushed to safety behind blast doors. Void shields opened across the fleet. Pressure rose to extreme levels. The rail launchers screamed at maximum acceleration.

“Launch.”

Like a ceremonial firing sequence, drop-pods were fired off consecutively from the 1st embarkation deck, joining their brothers from other decks in the void. The first wave of drop-pods from the Wrath were soon joined by the first wave of drop-pods from other ships in the fleet. And so it was that the bloody sons of Asura came down from the void in great tidal waves of steel and fire.
<Snipped quote by Machine Gun Rex>

I don't believe there is, unfortunately. I'm sorry about that.


Ah, its all good thank you for answering Starmie!


Heyo, if a spots still available, I'd be down to to roleplay Peter either as a young adult or as a hs senior. I'm thinking the greater Marvel universe could still exist but in the background instead with events influencing the narrative with lots of action-packed conflict involved, subtle and obvious.

I haven't written any fiction in a while but Im confident I can improve quickly x]
Welcome.


Welcome to the guild!


Thank you thank you x3
Hey, welcome to the guild! I'm sure you'll find a place for you amongst our threads. People are nice, so feel free to ask any questions you may have. We also have a discord server where we hang out, so feel free to join us.


Thanks Starmie, much appreciated. Id like to ask if there's a way to change the color theme of the forum to something lighter?
Hey guys, its a pleasure to be here.

I've been in textbased roleplay games since my early teens but took a long break from any writing due to work and the ending of a group roleplay I was involved in. I'm passionate about scifi, high fantasy and superheroes.

Irl Im a software developer and my hobbies include boxing, playing football, playing and making utube vids of my fav FPS shooter.

Im hopin to bring my and others ideas to life here x] Thanks for reading!
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