When I first started out with Necrons, I decided to write a bit of fluff for the burgeoning army. Originally they were lead by a blood-thirsty Lord who dipped his cloak in the blood of his enemies to keep it fresh. Since the update, I had to start from scratch again. This is the result of a few days work, though it's still subject to change. Let me know what you think.
The six-planet system of Alhantis was nothing to note, save for the famed Alhantis Jewel, the sixth-planet of the system. A tech-world that prospered since the advent of Old Night, the planet’s arid surface was completely blanketed by cities of lights. So bright was the collective power of these lights, it could almost be mistaken as another star during its night cycles. Along with the Jewel were two sister planets, the third planet, a Pleasure World converted from an ancient Eldar Exodite world, and the fifth planet, a mining world rich in mineral resources used for both planets’ construction needs. The first and second planets were desert worlds, incapable of supporting large populations, only small tribes dotted nearby meager sources of water. The fourth once had a sizeable population, but had suddenly disappeared for reasons not obvious to anyone. In some cases, the people of the Alhantis system were fortunate, as the few alien incursions were quickly dealt with. In a galaxy full of war, they were at peace. None of that mattered, of course, in light of events which were about to take place.
By sheer coincidence or a cruel stroke of fate, the Alhantis Jewel was home not only to twelve billion humans, but also to a Necron Tomb World, hidden deep below the surface. The regent of the world went by the name of Lord Judicator Valdrakh, an Overlord of the Atun Dynasty.
In another life, Valdrakh was one of the greatest generals the Atun Dynasty had at its command. An aggressive commander, he could orchestrate campaigns on at least five separate planets simultaneously and still produce results that pleased the Great Phaeron. However, as other nobles took note, Valdrakh was also an ambitious Overlord who continually overstepped his boundaries if it would give him more influence. Such a renegade factor could not be tolerated for long. On one particular occasion, the self-stylized Lord Judicator crossed the line, challenging the rule of one of the Phaeron’s favored subjects. The Phaeron threatened to imprison the upstart within a Tesseract Labyrinth if he continued this behavior. Grudgingly, Valdrakh obeyed, secretly vowing to one day challenge the Phaeron for complete dominance of the Dynasty. The advent of the War in Heaven and the Great Sleep granted Valdrakh a great opportunity, as many interfering Overlords and nobles were either killed or were still slumbering the eons away.
When his consciousness was fully revived from slumber, he scanned the surface of his beloved Coreworld, only to be disgusted at what he saw. Billions of scurrying, mortal beings, unaware of the sacred ground they were treading, or who its original owner was. These inferior xenos filth deserved nothing more than total annihilation for their transgressions.
Slowly but surely, the engines of the ancient Tomb World rumbled into life, and the Overlord’s legions of coal-black minions stirred to life once more. Without warning, they struck. The humans on the surface went into frenzied panic, hurriedly gathering their planetary defenses to face this unforeseen threat. Alas, it was a mobilization that was too little, too late. As the last pockets of humanity were extinguished, the Alhantis Jewel went dark. One by one, its myriad power and energy systems were destroyed, or redirected to feed the power systems of the Tomb World. The fabled Tech-World of Lights blackened out, and then began to emanate a sickly green glow from below.
“…Skin of the blackest hue, all marching toward us. An army of the damned, indeed, their soulless gazes were unflinching, uncompromising, and merciless. Emperor, save us all…”
News of the extermination quickly spread throughout the system and beyond. Calls for aid went out by the Astra Telepathica from Alhantis V, the mining world. However, their calls went unanswered; the nearest Imperial Guard Regiment was three sectors away, currently entrenched against a brutal Ork invasion, and beyond that, it would take up to a year or more before another Imperial force could arrive to deal with this new problem. For the time, being, they were alone, and would have to fend off the coming attacks as best they could.
Unfortunately, Valdrakh was able to reinstate a sizeable amount of his forces to launch simultaneous assaults on both Alhantis III and V, both for the resources and the pool of manpower which could be utilized as slaves. Though the PDF of both worlds fought valiantly, it was only a matter of time before they were overwhelmed and scattered. In the aftermath, the miners were soon put back to work under the supervision of their new masters, and those hailing from the pleasure world joined their ranks to increase output of raw
materials for the hungering Necron war machine. Any who dared to rebel were abducted and converted into Pariahs, soulless automaton versions of their own kind, to keep sentinel for further rebellion and to maintain mining operations at a suitable level of output.
Valdrakh would ignore the first two planets in the system, as they held populations too small to be bothered. Though these, too, would be visited when resources ran low, the Lord Judicator had other matters to attend to: he needed more subjects, more soldiers to advance his plans. The astro-mancer Crypteks consulted their star maps of the region and found that there was another Tomb world within the system. However, since close to sixty-million years had gone by, it was possible that the maps were not as accurate as they had been. Still, it was worth investigating, and seeing if the regent Overlord would provide aid to Valdrakh in his campaigns, willingly or not. So, he took a flight of Night Scythes with a personal escort to see if his Royal court was correct in their estimates.
“Surface scans have been completed, my Lord. There is not a single, living soul there. This, of course, does support the notion that there is, indeed, one of our own beneath the surface,” Perzsakh reported.
Valdrakh nodded. “So it would seem. Anything else?”
There was some hesitation on the Cryptek’s part. “What is it?” he insisted, feeling slight irritation.
“…the matter in which the population was exterminated was… unusual.”
If Valdrakh still had an eyebrow, it would have been raised in curiosity. “How is it unusual? The Tomb was obviously aroused, and the maggots were killed.”
“But not by the telltale signs of gauss or tesla. And there is no evidence of our kin ever setting foot from their places of rest.”
This new information caused the Lord Judicator to pause and think for a moment. The Necrons didn’t awake from their tomb, but the population was annihilated? What happened?
“Have you found the entrance yet?”
When they entered the Tomb entrance, they were met with insane screaming that echoed throughout the hallways. Immediately, the Overlord and his retinue shut off their audio-receptors, and continued, though they could steel feel the vibrations of the sounds through their metallic bodies. Undaunted, they continued. It wasn’t long until they encountered a Cryptek of the regent Tomb World, calling himself the Song Master. Enveloping the party in a protective bubble of soundlessness, he explained the situation to them. Ever since the Overlord of this Tomb World had awoken, he began to scream and howl and shriek in apparent stasis-induced madness. The other Crypteks in the royal court used their techno-mastery to spare the rest of the Tomb World from the disparaging sounds, but could not extend that protection to themselves. Thus, some of them began to go mad as well, running rampant and attempting sabotage of the Tomb World or self-destructing themselves over and over again until their Reanimation Protocols were overloaded, effectively committing suicide. One in particular, still thinking he was still made of flesh and blood, released a deadly toxin which flooded not only the entire tomb, but also escaped onto the surface, which killed the entire population in a single night. Only a handful of stalwart characters remained, including the Song Master, though they did not escape unscathed. Little quirks and idiosyncrasies began to form in their behavioral patterns. For example, there were times where the psycho-mancer Crypteks would all gather together and cackle with insane glee, then suddenly stop at once. The Song Master, too, was affected, for he would stop at odd places in his sentences, look off into the distance as if remembering something, then continued as if nothing happened.
When asked how he had managed to survive this auditory onslaught, the strange Cryptek tilted his head, as if to grin, and said, “Because the screaming amuses me.” None dared to ask for an explanation.
At last, the odd-mannered Cryptek took the Lord Judicator to his master, still howling in oblivious madness. When informed of his guests, the screaming suddenly stopped, and the Overlord turned to face them. It was then that Valdrakh had realized he was staring at the infamous Screaming King.
If the insane Overlord remembered his name, none could say. For now, The Screaming King would suffice, for that was all he would emit from mechanical vocal cords: mindless, endless, maddening screaming. After the bio-transference process, the once-sane Overlord had recognized, like all the other Necontyr nobles that immortality came at a damning price. Though he no longer had to worry about the frailties of weak flesh, the C’tan had taken his soul in exchange. Food for the gods.
The sudden horror and despair the Overlord felt was overwhelming, and it ate away at his consciousness bit by bit. At first, he believed there was a way to bargain for the return of his soul and secretly tried to do just that with his masters. However, the War in Heaven was concluded, and the Silent King ordered the revolt against their masters. As the last of the C’tan were shattered or driven away, something within the Necron noble snapped, and he began to scream.
There were blessed moments when he was aware of whom he was, and he could speak in coherent sentences, before he resumed. It was one of these rare moments when the crazed Overlord told Valdrakh of his plan. It was the Nightbringer who drank of his biological essence, and of his soul. If he could gather all of the missing shards and bargain for his soul back, he could then end his personal madness and be forever free. Though this was merely an impossible pipe dream, Valdrakh said nothing.
As this Tomb World would be a great boon to the ambitious Overlord, Valdrakh offered to help the Screaming King in his quest to find the missing Nightbringer shards together. In return, the mad noble would join his forces with the Lord Judicator’s, effectively doubling his resources. In reality, this deal would render the Screaming King’s role to a mere puppet, with Valdrakh and his Court holding the strings. Should a particular planet prove difficult to conquer, he would “inform” his charge of a missing shard within the area, and leave the mad Overlord to his bloody work.
However, this continual baiting technique soon became a double-edged sword. In his fervent search for his prize, the Screaming King will employ every tactic and search pattern to make a complete scouring of a planet’s surface. Herein lay a few problems. For one, this thorough search often involves the complete extermination of the population, thereby taking away a potential source of manual labor for Valdrakh. For the most part, Valdrakh cannot do much to restrain his puppet’s genocidal tendencies, and he must vent his frustrations elsewhere. The other problem is that the Screaming King will discover there is no shard, at which point he would fly into a rage. Naturally, Valdrakh, or one of his own Royal Court will make up an excuse as to why the shard had “gone missing”, but this state of affairs will not last for long.
A third, more subtle problem comes with the off-chance a shard is found. Discovery and releasing a being of pure destructive energy would take valuable time to place within a pocket dimension which can be accessed easily during battle. Due to their chaotic nature, they may try to influence the other members of Valdrakh’s court, or even the Screaming King to possibly turn against him. However, disposing of them is to take away a potentially useful tool against the Lord Judicator’s growing number of enemies, a fact which doesn’t sit very well with the methodical Overlord.
Already, this partnership has caused Valdrakh several setbacks, including an on-going war with an Eldar Craftworld. This conflict alone has set back his plans, as he must divert his forces to keep the Eldar at bay. The growing number of planets where all humans were exterminated have caught the eye of the Inquisition. This, too, must be dealt with through military might. And out in the void, a Hive Fleet Tendril slowly makes its way ever closer to the Alhantis system, eager to feed on any living thing. Should the Necrons of the Atun Dynasty interefere with their gains, the Hive Mind will take measures to destroy them.
The galaxy is a large place full of belligerent races and numerous armies, and only time will tell if Valdrakh can overcome these obstacles and achieve his nefarious goals.