October 22, 2013 at 9:53 pm #3141
The lights on the bridge of the Hades Class war ship were dim, the flickering candles and half powered lumin globes casting flickering shadows across the vast, domed ceiling. The daemonic imagery and blasphemous runes inscribed across the curved surface seemed to writhe in the half light and shrouded gloom of incense smoke. The atmosphere matched the mood of the woman sitting upon the carved bone throne at the center of the chamber. Blood pooled at the foot of the obsidian steps before the throne, dripping from the still twitching body of Archon Vorlin, suspended two meters off the deck by several lengths of barbed chains mysteriously emanating from the inky darkness overhead.
Hulking figures in black powered armor knelt in a semi circle in front of the steps of the throne, a stark contrast to the lithe form seated upon it before which they prostrated themselves. A nervous energy filled the chamber, the anger of the Daemotrix, Zyrana Haarlock, a tangible thing that could be tasted by the acrid tang of warp energy saturating the air.
Archon Falq had never seen his mistress this enraged. The drop zone for the assault on the southern manufactories of Thrax Primaris had been poorly chosen; leaving the Unchained forces badly exposed and vulnerable to the enemy guns entrenched in the outer hab blocks of the district. A mistake paid for dearly by the now deceased Vorlin, the Archon charged with planning the assault. For over three hours Falq had knelt here, beside his brother Archons, in silence as the Daemotrix slowly flayed Vorlin’s skin from his body, his gene enhanced form struggling to repair the horrific damage being done to him by Zyrana’s claw and the sorcerous chains but only succeeding in prolonging his agony. Falq wasn’t positive the man was dead yet. Tremors still wracked his bloody form and Falq surmised that his mistress may be keeping the unfortunate officer alive with her formidable psychic abilities in order to wrest every drop of torturous pain from the disgraced archon.
The opening salvos had gone the way of the chaos forces, the charging rhino’s of the 18th legion stalled by a barrage of heavy weapons fire, but the main force of the Unchained advance was left badly exposed in a kill zone obviously cleared and prepared by the imperium forces ahead of the attack. Searing blasts of plasma cannon fire ripped through the ranks of the Unchained legionnaires, stunting their advance and splitting their forces in two. The Salamanders were dug in too deeply to oust from their make shift bunkers and continued to pore relentless sheets of fire into the chaos advance. This left the main assault force of the Unchained too depleted to match the Salamanders counter attack.
Falq remembered vividly the image of his mistress disappearing in the melee with the Salamanders commander as the green armored astartes charged from the flames of their burning land raider, the scorching heat of slagged metal from the wreckage only lending added fury to the sons of Vulkan as they smashed into their foes. Even though it was but one of her many daemonic simulacra, and not the true Daemotrix of the Unchained, that fell to the Salamander’s thunder hammer, the effect of her destruction was no less disheartening to the chaos forces. The Unchained legionnaires reaped a deadly toll on the Salamanders but they were unprepared for the mass of armored resistance standing between them and their objective. Falq recalled watching in anger as both flanks collapsed and was forced to order the withdrawal as the few remaining legionnaires of the assault squad retreated behind the battle line.
It was a telling defeat and a failure certainly not lost on their Death Guard allies or the Ork hordes of the Red Tide fighting in their employ, both of whom had succeeded in capturing their objectives. Vital ammunition and weaponry would continue to flow from the manufactories to resupply the enemy entrenched within Thrax Primaris, putting their ultimate goal in jeopardy and the Daemotrix was not pleased.
“You have failed me.” She said.
Her voice was soft, barely a whisper emanating from her perfectly formed lips, but the words struck each of the gathered archons like a hammer blow. They revered and adored their dark mistress, bound to her will through dark rites and blood rituals, and the mere thought of displeasing her brought physical pain and mental anguish to those who served her.
“You have failed me and you have failed the gods we serve. The tortures inflicted on this fool by my hand are nothing next to the eternity of torment he will now suffer for failing them.” She explained, motioning toward the twitching form of Vorlin.
The anger in her voice was like a dagger shoved into Falq’s ears. He could feel blood trickling down the sides of his neck and dripping from his nose. His stomach heaved and he fought to keep from retching as the Daemotrix rose from her throne, her displeasure emanating from her like a psychic barrage. Her feet bare and her seductive form obscured only by the wispy raiment of the Shroud of Apsilion, she made no sound as she descended the steps to walk among her kneeling warrior lords. Falq felt a familiar sense of euphoria as the dark lady drew near to him and the shame he felt for failing her intensified. He vowed to purge his shame with 999 lashes from the scourge if he survived this.
Her hand touched his chin. Vorlin’s blood was still slick on her fingers but gone was the vicious daemon lightning claw that he knew she could manifest with a thought. She raised Falq’s bowed head and stared into his eyes. Her features were perfect and beautiful, her skin the color of ivory that made the dark orbs of her eyes even more striking. Silently Falq begged for her to slay him for his failure, his grief now complete as he saw the disappointment in her eyes.
“No my dear Falq, you will not die this day. Your life is mine and I will decide when it is ended.” She spoke as if reading his thoughts, and in all likelihood she was, thought the Archon. The knife edge of her voice was gone and the suffocating force of her anger was receding like the tide. Falq felt renewed vigor and devotion as her touch burned his skin like purging fire.
She turned away, removing her hand from Falq’s chin and bringing pangs of loss and longing to the hulking warrior as she moved to stand before each of the kneeling archons in turn, raising their bowed heads to look upon her before ascending once more to her throne. Falq could feel his eyes burning, a mixture of tears and blood streaming forth from them as he gazed at her, unable and unwilling to so much as blink. It was the same for his brothers as the gathered captains stared with worshipful devotion at their queen, relishing the pain her dark radiance inflicted upon them.
“You are my beloved, my dark knights and my chosen champions, but I will flay the skin from your bones and feed your souls to the daemon forges if you ever fail me again. Now go from my sight and endeavor to erase the setbacks this defeat has brought about.”
The archons rose as one, loath to tear their gaze from her but unable to disobey her command. Falq wiped the blood from his face as he exited the throne room with his brother archons. They would avenge this defeat and see the 18th legion broken before this war was done. Thrax Primaris would burn and the souls of its people would feed the rebirth of the daemon lord, he would not fail the Daemotrix again.
- This topic was modified 8 years, 9 months ago by Sol.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.