Welcome to the Flaming Faggot

Callovia is called "the boundless empire" yet you have managed to find its northern border - a notorious roadhouse deep within the Madrasan Marches on the edge of the wilds of Llanvirnesse. The sign above the door reads "Flaming Faggot," which would suggest a cozy, homey inn with fresh biscuits served at teatime if not for the severed troll heads mounted on pikes at the gate.

As you cross the threshold the raucous din quiets momentarily as all eyes dart to the door and calloused hands drop instinctively to well-worn sword hilts. The threat, instantly assessed, is dismissed and roadhouse patrons go about their business hardly missing a beat.

Grim, hard-eyed men huddle around tables in close conversation thick with conspiracy; caravan guards gamble away their earnings; Caemric rangers sit close to the fireplace cooking the damp of the Black Annis from their clothes as they warm their innards with Red Dragon Ale; minstrels play and buxom wenches dance for the pleasure of men who pay them little attention - until they need a companion to warm their bed.

As you approach the bar, a huge, bald barman with a greatsword slung across his back slides a mug of freshly-pulled ale towards you, its frothy head dripping over the rim.

"Pull up a seat, lad," he says, "and let me tell you a tale of high adventure."

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Assault on Angelis: 1st Interlude

Dark Angel Transport Ship Redemption inbound to Angelis Prime, 1420 Galactic Standard Time
Belial, commander of the Dark Angels 1st company - the Deathwings - studied the grim-faced soldiers arrayed before him in the briefing room.  How many would survive the crucible they were about to enter and how many would die honouring their oaths to the Emperor like so many of their battle-brothers before them?

"We caught a break this time.  A Rogue Trader surveying the galactic eastern fringe was about to enter the warp when the Tyranid hive fleet entered the Angelis sector.  The trader was able to escape and bring word of the invasion before the bugs masked the region with their warp shadow."

"We are the only chapter with a ship near enough to inderdict and try to prevent Angelis from being scoured clean, like Tyran.  Our mission is to drop into the capital city, link up with the imperial garrison and, once we get a briefing from the planetary governor, hold the line until Imperial Guard reinforcements can be sent.  Questions?"

There were none, and Belial noted with satisfaction that his men remained imperturbable and maintained stoic discipline in the face of the upcoming trial.

"Right, prep for action.  Equipment check in thirty minutes."

Governor's Palace, Corona City, Angelis Prime, 1505 GST
Lord Azrael tossed the Governor's corpse aside with contempt and wondered, not for the first time this day, if one of the Chaos Gods was against him.  For more than fifty years he had been searching the galaxy for the long lost Golden Eye of Tzeentch.  It was the most damnable luck to have finally traced it to Angelis, only to find the planet infested with a Tyranid swarm.  He had managed to get to Corona City ahead of the advancing brood and interrogate the governor, but the groveling fool had never even heard of the Golden Eye.

One of his men entered the chamber and saluted, "My Lord, the Ork raiding party from the Kill  Cruiser Black Tooth is on planet.  As you predicted, they were lured by the rumours we spread about a 'hidden Imperial weapons cache,' and they've landed on the coordinates we sent them - right in the thick of the Tyranid swarm."

Azrael smiled.  Finally, something was going right.  With luck the savage brutes would slow the Tyranid advance long enough for him and his men to find the Eye of Tzeentch and escape.

"My Lord," called out his man on the sensor array,"long range scanners have detected Imperial drop ships entering the upper atmosphere.  IFF signature reads Dark Angels."

By all the demons of the warp, what else could go wrong?  Azrael strode angrily to the balconey and searched the sky.  Already the dropships' tell-tail contrails were visibile and converging on Corona City.

"Assemble the men and prepare for battle," Azrael commanded his lieutenant, "let us welcome our former brethren to Angelis."

Plains of Gagarin, NE of Corona City, 1510 GST
Warlord Ghazbag's irritation was piqued as he watched the Tyranid horde swarm towards his landing craft.  There was no weapons cache, and no swag meant no pay.

"Well, boyz, looks like dem Chaos lads was pulling our teef," he growled.

"Mebbe, boss," said his chief mek, Lugnutz, "but them shootas da Chaos boyz has got are dead killy and dos spiky tanks dey drive, I bet I could make 'em go even fasta.  What say we go find da Chaos bunch, bash der heads and take der stuff?"  

"Aye, but first we got a nice little scrap brewin' to warm us up." Ghazbag watched a gigantic Carnifex in the distance tearing apart a refinery with its crab-like appendages.  The thought of killing such a monster in hand-to-hand combat excited him so much he absent-mindedly snapped his prosthetic power claw, cutting off the hand of the grot that was oiling it, which elicited gales of laughter from  his personal guards.

"Awright boyz!" Ghazbag roared, "Time for some fun.  Let's kill some bugs!"

No comments: