Saturday, 26 May 2012

Assault on Antissa IV - Jarl Vandrad Gorebeard + Hauk Greyfell WIP

Jarl Vandrad Gorebeard
Part 1 

The 8th Great Company of the Rout, Jarl Vandrad Alfgeir Kollsvein’s Great Company had been making warp transit to the Antissa system in response to an arch-enemy incursion. The Thousand Sons had assaulted the system’s primary planet and the Vlka Fenryka were quick to make a response to calls for aid, their hatred of Magnus’ spawn no small factor in their decision. Somewhere along their course through the sea of souls they’d strayed too close to a warp anomaly known as the Pirices Gap. The warp was uncharacteristically calm around the Pirices Gap, the cause of this was unknown but the Navis Nobilite knew to keep a wide berth of the area. Some cruel machination of fate had seen Jarl Vandrad’s Strike Cruiser, The Wulfen’s Fang shunted into the Pirices Gap when the navigator on rotation had suffered a violent and ultimately fatal seizure whilst interfaced with the cruiser’s warp drives. Its warp drives misfiring The Wulfen’s Fang found itself becalmed in the depths of the warp. Lost and alone.

An iron discipline was maintained for the first few days in which the ship was stranded. The next few days were punctuated by a series of brutal murders on those decks reserved for the multitudes of human ship serfs and Kaerls. These were nothing in comparison to the hunts carried out by their post-human masters. An attempt to restore order perverted into cruel, violent sport wasting a great many innocent lives. Those not already caught up in the violence found their dreams haunted by it. Grey Hunter and Blood Claw alike dreamt of rage-fuelled rampages, bloody hunts and feasting on the warm flesh of their prey.

The navigators sealed themselves in their chambers, terrified of what might happen if they remained trapped much longer. The malevolent intentions of the warp were clearly pervading all aboard the ship despite the tranquillity of the warp around them. They laboured to get the warp drives to respond to their psychic coaxing to either get them underway or translate back to realspace.
On what this ships chronometers record as the first day of the 10th week since the ship was first becalmed, Jarl Vandrad took decisive action. After so many weeks of violence and bloodshed aboard The Wulfen’s Fang, Vandrad’s acts at this point seem trivial in their morality but it was the darker purpose they served that sees them held in infamy now.

Vandrad forced his way into the navigators’ chambers. The three surviving navigators were already resigned to their fate, kneeling and accepting of their deaths, by the time the bulkhead finally buckled. The horrendous peal of agonised metal being hammered repeatedly by the ceramite bulk of Vandrad’s terminator armour had been ample warning of his murderous intent.
Once he gained access, the Wolf Lord butchered the navigators – offering up their souls to Khorne, the name that had haunted his violent dreams for weeks. He feasted on their organs and made a shrine of their skulls in gory ritual.

The psychic screams issued by the navigators in the death throes caused a series of ripples within the warp. Sat at the epicentre of this warp activity Vandrad ordered the warp drives of The Wulfen’s Fang re-engaged. The ripples were enough to finally propel The Wulfen’s Fang out of the Pirices Gap. Vandrad took the very dangerous option of continuing upon the cruiser’s previous course. Sailing the sea of souls blindly without the eyes of its navigators to steer it the ship was subjected to the full ferocity of the warp’s roiling storms. Eventually an emergency translation was ordered as the Gellar Field had gotten dangerously close to being breached as it strained against the predations of the daemons swimming the warp. Despite the risks involved The Wulfen’s Fang translated relatively close to its intended target, re-emerging into realspace at the farthest edge of the Antissa system.

Vandrad pledged his loyalty to Khorne. The Imperium had spat on the Wolves for centuries, treating them with suspicion and scorn in equal measure. Vandrad had found a master that accepted them for what they were, that nurtured their urge for the hunt, that cultivated the violence blooming in their souls. It was a far from universally accepted truth that it had been Khorne that saved them being stranded in the warp but those that were vocal in their disbelief were quickly put down. The only remaining opposition were the Rune Priests aboard The Wulfen’s Fang, already ostracised from their battle brothers by their use of the Wyrd they were relatively easy prey for Vandrad and his Wolf Guard. By the time The Wulfen’s Fang came into auspex range of Antissa IV the serfs, Kaerls and the remaining Space Wolves had sworn new oaths to Jarl Vandrad and Khorne.

*

Also got a quick WIP of Hauk Greyfell.



Lots to do still, not least all the extra trophies and fetishes he'll need! But I'm very much in love with the Forge World bits, can't wait to make a start on Vandrad Gorebeard himself! But in the mean time I'm trying to get Hauk and his Wolf Guard built up for tomorrow so that they can see to clearing The Wulfen's Fang of all those pesky Blood Angels!

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