This is a story I am writing to fill in the fluff of my armies. The path of the stories will be influenced by the battles I play with them, but it is mostly a matter of making sense of why those particular forces are battling in that particular place of the glalaxy.
Aboard the inquisition cruiser Dawn of Judgement
“M’lady? What should I tell them?
-Hmm?… What should you tell to whom?
-I’m sorry, M’lady?
-To whom? What are you talking about?
-I’m sorry, I thought that you had heard…
The inquisitor was close to losing the last sliver of patience that was still lingering in her psyche, of course she hadn’t heard the report, she had been in prayer… She stood up from her kneeling stool facing the shrineof the saint, closed her eyes to regain her composure, and stepped towards the young woman in the black and red robe of an initiate-servant. To her credit, the servant stood her ground, although she seemed to shrink as the Lady Inquisitor’s steps drew closer on the stone floor.
“What is your name, acolyte?
-Leori, M’lady, said the young girl, bowing down her head.
-Wern’t you told to not disturb me when I was in prayer?
The head of the acolyte sank a little lower.
-Yes, M’lady, I know, the Lady of sorrows told me…
-Yes, she did, little daughter, and so you know that I could not have possibly heard your report, so you will kindly repeat it.
The young woman’s shoulders sank further. Her voice was down to a whisper.
Mother Mary reached out a gloved hand to raise the acolyte’s chin. She tried to be as gentle as she could muster, under the circumstance.
-You look at me and speak up, Acolyte.
-And you will adress me as ‘Mother’.
The young woman gained some assurance under the good natured eyes of the mother superior.
-So, tell me, what is the matter?
-It’s the troops under Lady Gremika, mother, they encountered some heavy resistance on the third planet, and they are requesting backup.
-What kind of resistance?
-Unclear, m’la… Mother… they are facing armored opposition and bolter fire. They reckon it’s a warband out of the Eye.
-They should be able to deal with it, don’t they have the 198th bataillon?
-They… did, mother, the 198th has been decimated, m’lady…
-The third planet is heavily bastioned, Mother, our forces have not been able to break through…
-Couldn’t she see that she was outgunned? She threw a bataillion away to learn that? I knew she wasn’t ready for het own command. Where is she now?
-Down on Jeku Tertiae, they have secured a stronghold on the northern continent.
-Foolish, foolish daughter…
The great mother was boiling. Punishing the heretic was one thing – no, it was the only thing. But now that her pupil had made planetfall the new inquisitor and her troop had to be extracted, they couldn’t simply exterminate the planet. Exterminatus had always been a useful tool in her arsenal, the best way to ensure the complete purge of an heretics’ nest. A tool that was now denied to her, at least until it became clear that the Lady Gemika was willing to become a martyr for the greater cause of the Truth of the Emperor.
Mother Magda took a deep breath. She turned around to give a glance to the imperial shrine to the martyed lady, the great Saint who was the living proof of the Emperor’s grace, of the justness of their path. Faith was their greatest weapon against the foes of the imperium, this is what she had kept from the old days with the ecclesiarchy. Now that she served an even greater truth, the only truth that was worth defending, faith was her only rampart against heresy.
The fire of conviction was burning in her breast. She was feeling her old body gearing up for a fight, for yet another purge.
-Thank you, acolyte, that will be all.
-what should we tell them?
-I will go up to the Priory, I will tell them myself, thank you.
And with a thought she summoned her servitor cherubs and stormed out of the room. The cherubs followed her, cheerfully carrying her armor and her holy bolt pistol, a relic of the old days of the imperium, blessed by the Emperor himself on old Terra. When she reached the priory, the command center of her little world, they finally caught up with her and proceeded to arm her.
Her faith was her greatest protection, but armored ceramite was always a good assurance to have.
“Get me Lady Gemika on the Vox.
-Yes, m’lady, said an acolyte and the comms station.
-What is the tactical situation down there?
Sub-Commander Gleinhorn, who headed the Militarum contingent attached to the inquisitorial fleet stepped up to the inquisitor.
-M’lady, the 198th is gone, the 245th is on the way to take up the slack. The Ordo forces have suffered heavy casualties but they have managed to secure a bastion on the northern continent.
-Who sent the 245th?
-I did, M’lady.
-And you think that throwing more bodies in the grinder is going to get things done?
-The 245th has heavier armor, M’lady, we will bomb them out before we land…
-That foolish girl has taken our most effective weapon out of our hands by landing there.
-M’lady? Said the comms acolyte. I have the lady Gemika on vox.
-Daughter? What were you thinking? The inquisitor’s voice was on the edge of losing its ever present composure.
The vox crackled.
… surround… can’t hold… we are losing… please don’t…
-Too much interference, the 245th is coming in for a bombing strike, then the fleet will come as reinforcement…
… no…. Repreat… surrounded, we can’t…. the enemy… losing ground… no reinforcement…
-Daughter, please confirm, you do not request reinforcement?
… correct… no… forcement…. Extermina…. Send extermin… in the name of the blessed lady, exterminatus!
Something in the mother’s heart sank, and something bloomed. She would bring the emperor’s cleansing fire to another world. The heretics would burn, and that filled her with immense joy, with the ecstasy of righteous extermination.
-Blessed may you be, daughter, the Lady will remember your sacrifice.
The inquisitor turned to the Sub-Commander.
-How long until the 245th get there?
-They should be there within two hours at most.
-Give the order. Exterminatus. I want nothing but molten slag on that world by the end of the cycle.
With a click of heels and a salute, the sub-commander nodded.
-Yes, m’am, right away, m’am…
The last piece of armor was getting attached to her right arm.
The golden ornate armor was polished to a blinding sheen by the tender ministrations of the cherubs. She stepped up the dais that led to the command chair. The thought of the charred corpses of the heretics filled her with a fervor that flooded her body with endorphines. I felt good to be the rightful hand of the Emperor, to fulfill the will of the great and blessed Lady. She sat on the command throne. Captain Narn, at her station on her right gave her a respectful nod which was also the passing over of the command of the ship to the Lady Inquisitor.
-Helm, take us to the third planet, full speed ahead, shields at maximum capacity. Have the broadside batteries charged up, and relay the command to the rest of the fleet. Prepare to engage any forces that would come to the aid of the heretics. They will not prevail, the will of the Emperor will light up the way, and those who have strayed from his will will burn.
She could feel the hum of the Nova cannon powering up. It was her proudest achievement, the installation of the plasma lance on the Dawn of Judgement, it was the most powerful fire that the Mechanicus could provide, and she needed fire, she would light the galaxy aflame to purge the heresy.
-Yes? She turned to the voice on the left, to a young acolyte dressed in the same black and red robes than the one that had come for her in the sanctuary.
-Our visitor, M’lady, he is still waiting.
-So he is, little one, so he is, said the inquisitor, her eyes on the command console, and her heart on the fire ahead.
-He has sent this for you, m’lady.
And she held out a piece of parchment with a red wax seal. The seal was the inquisitorial I.
Mother Mary was intrigued.
-Wasn’t I told that our guest was Astartes?
-No M’lady, although he and his men are armoured in black.
-And he hasn’t told us his name yet?
-I believe he is waiting for you for that, m’lady.
Mary took the roll, broke the seal and read the scroll.
It was a quote from the Lectitio Divinitatus:
“And the heavens will burn with great revel,
The joy of salvation on the heretics lips,
The taste of the righteous word of the Emperor,
In the flesh of the just.”
She looked at the acolyte.
“When did he give this to you?
-An hour ago, after you retired to the sanctuary.
-Thank you. Where is he now?
-Still in the docking bay with his frigate, M’lady.
She though that it could wait until after the purge of the Tertiae, but clearly their guest either had a knack with lucky passages of scripture, or knew more than he should.
-Send word that I’m going down there to have a talk. He better have a good story…
The frigate was anchored outside of the lower portside cargo bay. It was dwarfed by the Dawn of Judgement, but seemed to carry a large complement of the transhuman warriors of the Adeptus Astartes.
The Captain commanding the group was in the cargo bay, overseeing some sparring exercises that his warriors were conducting in the vast cargo bay.
He turned around when she entered the space. He was not wearing his helmet, and, at a distance, he bowed his head slightly in aknowledgement, and walked towards her. She always felt uneasy around Space Marines, there was something in their inhumanity that made her skin crawl. Their impossible bulk, especially when they were wearing their oversized armors and weapons, marked them as other. Just like the oversized oaf of an Ogryn that that the Commander insisted on using as a bodyguard.
“Inquisitor, thank you for your welcome, he said, extending a hand. My men are always happy to stretch their legs, the Beast of Caliban can get cramped at times.
He was wearing black and red robes over a black armor trimmed in red. The insignia on his robe and armor, as on the armor of his companions, marked him at first glance as a Dark Angel, as was the reference to Caliban, but the colors were wrong.
The lady inquisitor ignored the outstretched hand.
-Captain, she said, what brings you to this theater? I have my hands full at the moment, I don’t have time for pleasantries. What are the Dark Angels doing in my warzone?
-With all due respect we are not Dark Angels, said the man, his brow furrowing. We are Sons of Caliban. And we are here to assist you.
She handed him the scroll with the passage of scripture.
-Assist us? Under whose authority? I have not requested Astartes assistance. My daughters of the Adepta Sororitas with be able to handle the situation.
-I have come under the autority of Inquisitor Terriax, of the Ordo Xenos, to provide heavier firepower.
-And why exactly had this Inquisitor Terriax judged opportune to his nose in my business?
A female voice came from behind her, tainted with the electonic tones of a power armor vox unit.
-Because she still follows your teachings, holy mother.
Mother Magda turned around to face the newcomer, who was wearing a black and gold old pattern power armor. Her face was hidden under her helm.
-Do I know you? She asked, he lips pursed in an annoyed smirk. I don’t have time for charades.
The woman reached up to undo her helm.
-You knew me once, Mother, but maybe you have forgotten.
She revealed a chiseled face with short-cropped blonde hair. It was her deep blue eyes that struck the older woman.
With a slight smile on her thin lips, she nodded.
-It is Inquisitor Terriax, now. When you left the monastery I found myself drawn to the same destiny. If you remember I was always deep in the study of texts on the other races of the glaxy, those not blessed by the light of the emperor, and when a small group of us had to deal with a greenskin incursion on one of the moons of Andericus, I got in touch with the Ordo Xenos. And so here I am…
-With Space Marines?
Terriax looked up to the gruff features of the Space Marine captain.
-They are all that could be spared. I wish I could have come with a Deathwatch team, but, the Sons of Caliban will have to do.
The Captain’s eyebrow rose.
-You know, inquisitor, he said, it will take more than petty insults to get under my skin.
He smiled slightly.
-I know, but I enjoy it too much to stop.
Mother Magda was getting annoyed at the pleasantries.
-And so, dear daughter, what are you doing in my warzone?
-Helping out. I have reason to believe that an Eldar craftworld is nearby, and that this system was one of theirs in the past.
-Yes, we have found some eldar artifacts, but it’s hardly relevant, since the main problem of this system is with heretics. I am handling the situation.
-I am sure that you are, mother, and I will not engage my troops unless you ask me to. I will investigate the other worlds of the system while you deal with the situation on Tertiae.
-Do not presume to tell me what to do, young one, I still am the commanding officer in this system. Keep your wardogs on a short leash, and get off of my ship.
And with a flourish of rustling robes and the clang of armored feet, she turned and walked away.