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 Iron Warriors: Heart of Iron
hushrong
Posted: Mar 3 2011, 01:51 AM


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I am taking a bit of a break from minis and decided to go back and take a crack at some fluff I was working on.

---

The hot air of his breath disappeared into the freezing cold as the snow continued to fall. Trooper Jossa’s breathing was heavy and irregular under his great coat and armor. He barely blinked as the snow whipped about him and the cold air stung his eyes. Fear and adrenaline had kept him on edge.

His gloved hand gripped the sword that had belonged to his former captain. The officer, though of noble birth, had been a true warrior. With his sword raised above his head, he had charged his enemy from the fore. A single shot from a meltagun had removed the Captains upper torso entirely during the battle. Jossa could not help but think that his captain was lucky.

The snow crunched under his boots with every step he took as he prepared to strike. The adrenaline, still pumping wildly through him, urged him to blindly rush his foe. Trooper Jossa bellowed a war cry as he leapt forward. Yet, before his blade could strike his enemy, Jossa's sword arm had been removed. He had crashed into the ground, the left side of his face buried under inches of snow. Jossa had entered shock as the stump that had been his right arm bled wildly into the snow.

He could hear the whir and hum of his foe’s armor looming over him. Then his world went black as a blade that was cold as ice pierced into the back of his neck and dug into the ground.

Resplendent in his iron armor, Jacobus withdrew his sword and looked in disgust at the fallen guardsmen’s corpse. One of the mortal slaves of the 5th Grand Company crawled like a hunchback creature to the severed arm and released its grip on the sword. Covered in furs, it then crawled before a row of guardsmen on their knees, their hands bound behind their back and to their ankles. It looked at them laughing as it planted the sword into the snow and dirt in front of the prisoners.

Behind the iron work of his helm that mimicked his legions symbol, Jacobus called out for the next opponent. He looked at the closest guardsmen, pointing with his sword.

Survive for sixty standard seconds mortal and you will be granted freedom boomed a crackling voice from the vox speakers of his helm.

Standing amidst an opened plaza strewn with corpses, Jacobus brought his sword up parallel to the ground. Another slave removed the guardsmen’s bindings and was nudged toward the sword. The trooper looked about as he massaged his wrists. Standing amidst the grey and white fog of snow were more armored warriors watching the spectacle. Fire roared from vents on their backs and the glow of their red eyes pierced the haze. The trooper stood himself up and glanced at the planted sword and the warrior awaited his next move.

Spurred on by fear the trooper ran. He could not think where to run but only to escape. The guardsmen only made it six feet before his legs were cut out from beneath him below the knees. As he slid on the snow from his fall a large hand gripped the harness attached to his combat belt and flipped him over. Jacobus would not allow his prey to leave and pinned the mortal to the ground. Applying pressure with his left arm onto the trooper’s chest, Jacobus then pierced his blade into its abdomen.

The guardsmen screamed as blood trickled from the corners of his mouth and Jacobus prepared to make his end unpleasant. With his armored hand he placed his middle and pointer finger into the mortal’s mouth and applied his thumb under the chin. Pinching down the troopers tongue and jaw, Jacobus began to pull. First the bone was torn from its place as flesh began to slowly tear. The guardsmen screamed in agony from the pain. Then, with one last pull Jacobus removed the mortal’s lower jaw and watched for several seconds as the guardsmen’s screams were rendered inaudible.

He rose to full height and withdrew his sword. Then he placed his armored foot over the dying guardsmen head. The lower half was nothing but blood and a flailing tongue trying to scream. Jacobus pressed down his weight until the skull was utterly crushed.

Jacobus turned and looked at the next guardsmen. He could taste the fear of his playthings. The blood-red gaze of his helm was fixed on his next victim. Survive for sixty standard seconds mortal and you will be granted freedom roared the booming voice of the Iron Warrior.

---

C&C always welcomed


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blackcell8
Posted: Mar 3 2011, 09:41 AM


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Very nice, shows Iron Warriors aren't just cold, calculating tacticians. We need blood too!

Suitably evil indeed demon.gif


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hushrong
Posted: Mar 4 2011, 02:27 AM


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Thanks Blackcell!

I kind of wanted to avoid the whole lets make siege batteries at perfect positions and etc and focus more on a squad of individuals. There will be some siege warfare of course but it will take a backseat.

---

Fire raged in the golden eye of Posidious. His only remaining eye of flesh, it had changed from the warp but its potency was unhindered. In the darkness of the ceremonial chamber he could see as clear as day the blasphemy upon Sophis’ shoulder guard.

The Iron Skull Mask of Death sat upon a black painted surface trimmed with gold. Such a sight was that of an Iron Warrior. Upon this warriors skull emblem was the mark of Tzeentch, the freak god, etched into the skulls forehead. Such desecration disgusted Posidious to his core. Devotion to a false god broke the loyalty one had to the Daemon Prince Perturabo, father and savior of the Iron Warriors.

Much like his War-Smith, Posidious understood that a weapon is nothing more than a tool whether it was a bolter or a sorcerer. Still he was angered that an Iron Warrior would turn to such worship. Attention from false idols and the desire of being possessed were the way of the Word Bearers and the Black Legion. For ones genetic father would bow down to anything to praise it while the other had to turn to other powers to make up for their primarch’s weakness. To Posidious they were nothing but whores.

He looked about the chamber witnessing a dark ritual that meant nothing to him. He reflected on the assault of the Mountain Keep, a lone fortress on the northern mountain chain of an unworthy world. At once, at triangulated coordinates around the planet, three strike fleets emerged from the warp. Each was at the horizon and with all three at their designated locations, could bombard the any one of the five continents with ease. Three sets of Battle Barges, accompanied by two Strike Cruisers each, rained hell upon the planet’s surface.

After an orbital bombardment, Champion Posidious the Old Breed, descended upon the planet for the Keep. A fellow Champion would lead another division of Iron Warriors to aggressively acquire any war materials the planet had to offer. All Posidious and his warriors found were one hundred guardsmen and groveling worshippers of a corpse, the false emperor. Three thunderhawks mercilessly strafed their defenses but the battle last only for a handful of minutes when his warriors set foot upon the surface.

There was no room upon their transport for slaves and it was ordered that the guardsmen be executed by blade to conserve ammo. Posidious knew Jacobus would make sport of it. The other mortals however would suffer a cruel and unusual fate that still bewildered the Champion as he watched its rituals carried out.

The Chosen of the Gods, as they were called, were part of the Sophis’ corrupted cabal and carried out blasphemous rites. The chosen were elite warriors of the Grand Company that desired power and sold their souls to the freak god in exchange for it. Posidious often wondered what foul magik allowed smoky, yellow fires to burn from their helms grill and eye sockets. Whatever it may be, he knew they traded away all that it meant to be Iron Warriors.

Posidious' eye twitched as he broke a rare smile of sharpened teeth. Soon, Sophis and his dogs would no longer serve a purpose. When a weapon has no purpose it is discarded.

---

This bit may be up for revision. I am still considering what it is that my Grand Company is doing. This faintly shadows where I want to with my IW thought, more about the conflict within.

Hope to have more soon



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Loki
Posted: Mar 4 2011, 10:45 AM


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Most delicious scraps of fluff I've devoured in a long time.. I especially loved the part were Jacobus slowly tore the lower jaw off an guardsman.. Your writing is dark and most evil, and is a welcomed break from all the cold, calculated sieges. I applaud your writing skills, hushrong.. they are a most exquisite addition to our beloved forum.


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Herald of the 4th Grand Company

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hushrong
Posted: Mar 4 2011, 11:23 PM


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Thanks Loki for your kind words! Glad that these bits have been an enjoyable read and I hope I can keep it up.

I am still trying to sort out where this story will go however.


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Rustygunz
Posted: Mar 6 2011, 11:16 PM


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Very solid, but Warsmith Kaesor is less than pleased with your condemnation of the Lord Tzeentch... Perhaps there will be a reckoning?
star-wars-smiley-023.gif

Altogether, though, it's very good fluff. It puts a lot of detail into each warrior, and I like that. Nice for our legion to have a personality. Also, it seems like Jacobus might have a bit of Slaaneshi worship in him...


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-Rustygunz-

Its not cheap, Its chaos....

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hushrong
Posted: Mar 7 2011, 01:42 AM


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Thanks Rustygunz for the comment.

Yeah, Fluff-wise my little Grand Company is more or less hesitant to worship the dark gods. Overall, their loyalty/allegiance/fealty/etc is to their Daemon Primarch Perturabo and to worship anything else is treasonous. However...some do not hesitate to think of sorcerers and the like as disposable weapons.

and the funny thing about Jacobus, he could enjoy the slaughter of foes, had the need to shed blood, or just likes making sport of it. That's the interesting thing about those who enjoy bloodshed. It can border on both Khorne and Slaanesh...but we will see what the future has in store for Jacobus.

And now to introduce you to another Iron Warrior, Gaarl:
---

Gaarl had been molded by the harsh upbringing afforded by the people of Marath. The cold northern mountains of Olympia tested the humans who dared to settle on its slopes. Those early
Olympians were more than tested when they first carved and shaped the mountain to their needs and built their mighty fortresses.

The winds of the mountain had made Gaarl cold, the walls of the fortress had made him stone, and the fight for survival had made him cruel. It had made him an Iron Warrior.

Posidious, Jacobus, Phalanir, and Gaarl himself had seen the rise and fall of the Imperium. On the mountains and in the fortresses of Olympia they were chosen for greatness. Travelling through the void they came upon countless worlds, worlds they would put to the fire. The Great Crusade, the name had made him laugh, there was nothing great in fighting a war for an emperor who would put you down when you were no longer needed.

They had suffered the hardships of war and more as they watched their legion splinter. For what felt like eons, their fellow Iron Warriors were sent throughout the fields of war during the great crusade. They broke their backs to help their fellow Astartes brothers tear down the walls of those who had rejected the Imperium of Man, the Imperial Truth, and the Emperor himself. For all their labors, it was their supposed brothers who took all the credit. The seeds of bitterness were sown.

Astartes knew no fear, but each Iron Warrior had an understanding of that purged emotion when worlds were conquered by their legion. To be ordered to garrison a world was a living death sentence to a warrior. Their purpose was to wage war, not monitor newly added servants and citizens of the Imperium. Those who received such charges would wait what felt like eternity to once again hear the orchestra of siege batteries and the chorus of screaming enemies.

Then the great tragedy, the Burning of Olympia had scarred many of his Legion brothers. Their world erupted in revolt and the Iron Warriors would make certain that the fools would pay with their lives. Descending upon their home on wings of fire and rage, Gaarl could remember the Fortress of Marath. The walls wore torn down, the battlements set ablaze, and its people put to the sword. The home that had made him all that he was had been torn down with his own hands.

When they were called away and back aboard the Battle-Barrage Iron Will, he could still see the pyres burn on the surface of their home world. The same fires they would ignite upon Terra as they broke the defenses of the Imperial Fists.

Hatred boiled his blood as he remembered such a revolting foe. They had thought themselves so great and in every way superior to the Iron Warriors and their Primarch. Gaarl laughed again as he thought of the Eternal Fortress. The bled the Imperial Fists and left their excuse of a Primarch a broken man.

He reached for the fragment of rock from the Imperial Palace hooked to a chain around his neck and thought of the countless trophies he had taken from the Imperial Fists from those days that adorned his armor. He and his brothers had seen what many whisper as legends as they had all been there.

They had been there, unlike the runt Pieter.

Gaarl snorted in disapproval at the sight of the young Iron Warrior and his vox speakers amplified his distaste.

He was sickened by the idea that such bastardized freaks were brought into the legion. They were made of flesh and bone not of Olympia but of slaves. He had seen its face, a patchwork of flensed hides sewn together. It made him sick.

Most revolting was how proudly the runt marched in its war-plate. When it first patrolled the battlements of Ifreann, Gaarl recognized the war-plate of his fallen brother. An Iron Warrior whom he had known since his young, mortal years who perished in the battle against the Black Legion with their battles for dominance. To see such a freak wear a true Iron Warriors armor led him to such heights of rage.

The runt Pieter was no true Astartes, he was no Iron Warrior, and Gaarl was insulted that the creature had been chosen to serve in the same squad. He made it known that he detested it even to the point of violence.

One day, Gaarl would be rid of Pieter along with all the others who sullied the name of the Iron Warriors.

---

So at the moment I am thinking these stories will serve as something like a Prologue and introduce the characters and their attitudes/beliefs. I just worry that too much will be revealed about them in these short-story parts. Anyways, hope you enjoy!


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hushrong
Posted: Mar 11 2011, 11:00 PM


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some more Fluff to go around!

---

The Emperor had a grand and noble dream to unite all of humanity under one banner, His. He would bring the strength of humanity under one rule and rid the galaxy of the parasitic xenos, mutants, and witches and mystical beliefs.

Now he had an eternity to continue to dream as he sat on his throne of gold. He was nothing more than a corpse that mortals erected grand cathedrals and monuments in his warped honor. Ironic, he wished to rid the galaxy of superstition and replace it with Imperial Truth but now his followers praised him like he was a god. Sophis took great joy in knowing that he was nothing but a man while his Lord was a true God of power.

The cathedral of the snowy mountain keep was one of the countless that his slaves would build to worship him and grovel at his image. Now, they were put to the blade and offered up to the ruinous powers for their foolish devotion.

A grim and droning chant from Sophis’ cabal reverberated off the walls of the chamber. They had smashed the statues of saints and warriors, burned the images of the emperor from murals, and shattered the stained glass images of him and the blind primarchs who still knelt to him. Their rituals only desecrated the chambers ever more.

It sounded unintelligible, just a continuous dissonance that only daemons would understand. The more they chanted it, the fires emitting from their helms vision slits grew ever brighter. They had taken their daggers to the slaves they rounded up from the keeps survivors.

Bound by shackles, the mortals would be dragged by chains to their deaths. Many resisted yet there was no overpowering a demi-god. There was no way for them to escape their fate. Their screams and begging made a cacophony of human suffering that pleased the dark powers.

From each, their tongue would be pulled by prying armored fingers and carved away. Then the eyes would be detached from their sockets. The gurgled screams from the lapdogs were loudest as the blades began to cut away their tearing orbs. From the emptied orifices black blood would run and staining their hands, the cabal would scrawl emblems of damned worship onto the walls, floors, and columns.

After hours of rituals and chanting, the slaves had been sacrificed and their dried husks were disposed unceremoniously by fire. Their blood, by the hands of the cabal, had been shaped into swirling and disorienting patterns that were connected throughout the cathedral. Properly defiled and ruined, the sorcerers circled their leader.

Sophis stood at the center of the macabre rituals and prayed in the tongue of the dark powers. Before him hung his offering above a tray of burning incense and smoke and he smiled. Chained by her ankles to the rafters above hung a woman whose naked flesh had been covered in runes of Tzeentch. She was hallucinating; the smoke from the censure tray was intoxicating.

He finished his prayer to his god and patron. Unsheathing a blade from his back he glided its razor edge on the surface of the woman’s neck. His follower’s scratchy yet roaring voices continued his praises. From ear to ear a deep incision followed the blades tip and blood began to flow. Drips of blood fell to the censure below and hissed as the liquid came into contact the heated incense. As she was bled dry she made no sound or showed no pain.

Dropping his dagger, Sophis clasped his large armored hands onto the sides of the woman’s head and began to pray again as his thumbs covered her eyes. As one, the cabal dropped to one knee.

The smoke, like a snake under a trance, seemed to slither its way to the now lifeless form of the woman. It began to filter into her nostrils and the opening of her neck. Sophis continued his prayer as beads of sweat ran down his face and his facial muscles tensed.

Word after word lifted from Sophis’ Tongue as he prayed to his Lord until the woman spoke. He removed his hands to see black eyes stare at him and that the cut on the woman’s neck had healed. He stepped back, trying to breathe, and focus his mind. Despite his heightened senses working to grasp reality, he was pleased that the summoning had worked.

Sophis dropped to his knee and leaned close to the daemon-thing. It whispered words and phrases rapidly. From its warp-strained voice he translated “A black sun shall rise on the world of red stone where seven towers shall fall and a prince shall rise.” It would breathe more words and Sophis listened like a student to its mentor.

---

Posidious had heard the echoed translations of Sophis. He knew everything he needed to know, the name of the next world his Grand Company would tear from the Imperium’s grasp. He and his second, Phalanir, turned and marched out of the cathedral and away from the cursed creature within its walls. On the vox network he ordered his warriors to board the gunships, their business was done here. He could hear the engines of three gunships whine and then roar into life as Iron Warriors and legion slaves filed into the holds.

How far had his legion fallen he wondered. Worshippers of the dark gods could be found amongst the ranks. They consorted with deamons when they had no need for them except to empower their weapons. And now their Warsmith sought his enemies through the guidance of a sorcerer and his pet.

In these days, one must bide their time.


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hushrong
Posted: Mar 13 2011, 07:35 PM


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HEART OF IRON

Part 1: The End So Long Ago

Despite the advances of weaponry in humanity’s history, man would always remember that his hands were his first weapons. Eyes could be gouged, necks could be broken, and an enemy’s last breath could be drawn from them by one’s own hands.

+++

Posidious would hold the breach as his brothers climbed up the rubble. He had caught the survivors of the bombardment off balance. Many were crushed under their own fortifications and the luckier ones, depending on one’s own view, were struggling to free themselves from their future mausoleum. He shouldered his boltgun and aimed for the ones who were spared that attempted to help their trapped brethren.

Only a few rounds and one enemy downed drew the full attention of his prey.

Fire exchanged back and forth. He laughed as he saw that he purchased his cover from a ruined aquila that collapsed onto the rampart. Phalanir soon crawled over the rubble followed by Vaubonos adding their fire power to the foray.

“The enemy is closing.” shouted Vaubonos, an expert in the obvious many in the squad would say.

“Aye, they want to push us back down our hole it. Let us make them know we will not be budged.” added Phalanir as he rose from cover to fire three bursts.

Posidious cared little for the conversation on the vox as he trained his sights on armored enemies. In such little time he had learned the value of the neck trap on the MK. III war-plate. Anything fired into the opened collar around the neck went into the soft armor and pierced wet flesh.

“Where are the others?” demanded Posidious. He had become sergeant of his heavy weapons team after Istvaan V after Crannum met his end by the Raven Guard cur.

“Some dead, the rubble gave way. The rest are still at the bottom” replied Phalanir, “I am finding it difficult to vox them.”

Vaubonos peered over cover to see the Imperial Fists attempting to bring their numbers to bear. Switching the function of his combi-weapon he fired a hot blast from the melta. He took delight in watching the son of the bastard Dorn drop his weapon and his scramble to remove his melting helm.

The twenty minutes for the others to arrive felt like eternity. Finally Gaarl and Hectasi came over the edge. Despite the enhanced physiology of an astartes, they breathed heavily under their iron war-plate from the climb.

“Are you the only ones left?” shouted Posidious as he loaded his last rounds into his bolter.

“Aye, your reinforcements have arrived” answered Gaarl in his breathless voice.

Posidious had not realized his squad had been reduced so much. He expected no more than maybe five to have perished. Apparently, more souls were lost and crushed under the makeshift ramp of debris. This only meant more enemies for them to slaughter.

Immediately as he thought of his hated foe a breath of flames washed over his position and brought a startling realization. The Imperial Fists would either burn them out of their cover or use it to keep them pinned down as they closed in.

There was nowhere to go but down and it was a long way. They were blocked to the rear and to their fore the Imperial Fists watched for targets.
“Grenades, any of you excuses for a warrior have any left?” voiced Phalanir.
None were offered up, it figured. Grenades had become a fine rarity on this battlefield thanks to its indirect fire. Then Gaarl offered up a krak missile from his pouch.

He could not see through the faces hidden behind the expressionless helms but he knew his brothers looked at him with concern.

Gaarl’s launcher had already been made useless as a bolter round tore through it and all he had left was the one missile. He was fortunate as the rest had fallen from his carry case during his climb up the defensive walls. He shook his head as he retrieved a bolter round and removed his helm. The fire was growing stronger and he had to move faster. The heat was searing, he felt the sweat dry and his hair being singed.

He began to drool corrosives from his mouth as his betchers gland went to work. Under fire in the most literal terms he mixed his acidic saliva with a bolter and watched the metal hiss, and then he attached welded it to the missile. He was most pleased that it did not detonate in his hands from the burning corrosives.

Gaarl looked at Posidious with his bare eyes and handed off the makeshift grenade. If any of them knew worship they would have prayed as the crude explosive was lobbed over the cover.

+

Traitors only deserved death and to be wiped away from existence. Brother Alessio of the Imperial Fists would see to it. Too many lives had been sacrificed in this defense and it would not be for nothing. He squeezed the trigger of his flamer again spraying left to right and back. He would keep the Iron Warriors pinned as his brothers would overwhelm them.

Then he saw something thrown over the rubble the attackers had been using for cover. He did not think to let off the trigger of his flamer as the bolt round detonated under the extreme heat and set off the missile.

+

The blast would have deafened them if it were not for their helms. Peering from cover Posidious was quite pleased with Gaarls idea. The blast had killed two of the Imperial Fists, the one with the flamer now burning to a crisp, and the rest were launched from their feet.

“Now!” he shouted to his squad as he leapt over the blasted, chipped, and scorched cover. Switching to the speakers of his helm he roared “IRON WITHIN!”

Following their sergeant his brothers responded “IRON WITHOUT!” as they rose from cover and began opening fire as they charged against their most hated foe. The Imperial Fists would know that this day would not be theirs.

He fired from the hip as burst of four rounds pounded and punctured enemy armor. He would see his targets stumble back as each explosive shell impacted the armor. He could even see dust that had covered the defenders be blasted off the armor from each hit. As he sprinted for the closest enemy a click signaled he had spent his last rounds. Posidious continued his charge to the closest enemy and changing the grip of his boltgun he brought it down like a battering ram.

The hit upon the Imperial Fists iron armor left a large dent on the helms grill.
He knew it wasn’t enough to kill and had let go of his weapon and grasped for a hold of the helms underside. When he found the grip he needed, Posidious turned his body as he twisted his arms with a firm hold on the helm. He smiled as he felt the dislocation in the neck and the Imperial Fist go limp.

He let the body drop at his feet as he drew his blade and sought his next target.

+

Warmaster Horus would lead us to victory and as the galaxy burned Terra would burn the brightest. The day would have been won had Horus killed the false emperor. Instead he was cut down and his legion, his Sons of Horus, fled from the Terra. Cowards!

They had torn down the walls and opened the gates of the Imperial Palace in vain. The Long War still raged after victory slipped between their fingertips.

+

Posidious mind returned to the present from his bitter reverie. He watched the planet below from the viewing gallery of the Iron Will. He had stopped keeping track of names of worlds he and his brothers put to flames.

He turned away as he heard the blast of the cyclonic torpedoes. He had seen countless words consumed by the life-eater virus and then watch the world ignite into a fireball. This world would not be the last to share the same fate.

Always, another battle awaited, more lives to end, and another world to be conquered.

Before the realm of the Imperium would lose another of its countless holds, the Grand Company would return to their fortress of Ifreann on the damned surface of Medrengard, home.


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hushrong
Posted: Mar 20 2011, 03:24 AM


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Part 2: Brothers All

In iron war-plate we are armored. The surface is burnt, scarred, and tell of our battles in the Long War. Upon our mighty frames grins the death mask of our legion. Macabre trophies hang on hooks chained to our armor. This is how our enemies will know to fear us and how my brothers shall know me as their own.

+++

The depths of Ifreann were alive with fire and iron. The manufactorums and forges roared as massive pistons and gears brought them to life once again. Weapons would be needed, ammunition would need to be bountiful, and armor will be necessary to fuel the fires of the Long War.

Carved below the walls and defenses of Ifreann were the dens of the slaves where thousands upon thousands of mortals lived in devotion and fear to their masters. They were the hands that bled on the assembly lines to make weapons for war and cannon fodder that charged from the trenches. Deeper into the crust of Medrengard was the lair of the Dark Mechanicum where the corrupt and twisted servants of the machine had claimed as their realm. They had brought their machines and worship and here the smoke and pollution of their religion would blot out the white skies of the daemon world.

Upon a massive loading deck, laid out like feast, were the latest plunders of the Iron Warriors recent foray in the Imperium. Tanks of numerous sizes and variants, artillery pieces, and aircraft of various roles were under the bionic, scanning eyes of the machine cultists and their perverse priests. Some could not describe it in adequate words how they would go over the surface of the vehicles and within them so intimately. They measured every dimension and noted every rivet and bolt. They studied the layout and appraised their performance.

Although they had been given several units of each machine, many of the machine worshippers would greedily look over to the holds where the rest of the bounty was being inventoried. Under the armed watch of the Iron Warriors, numbers were being counted and prepared for the guests of the Warsmith

+

Jacobus and Phalanir looked up to the white sky. In orbit over Ifreann floated the combined fleet of the 5th Grand Company. They had gathered like great predators of worldly oceans in the void to strike a death blow upon another world of the false emperor. Now they cast their shadows over their Legion’s home world. It had been decades since they traveled and fought as one.

The Iron Will and its escorts were always at their Warsmith’s side. Whether above Ifreann when its master sat on his throne or bombarding worlds he would conquer. For his best two War Captains, he granted each a battle barge and a third of his mighty fleet so they would continue the Long War for the legion and the honored Perturabo on a scale that no single fleet could accomplish. When the Warsmith called their names they would honor his requests.

The whole fleet anchored in orbit above the mighty bastion was an omen of grand battles and conquest that awaited the Iron Warriors.

For the battles to come Iron Warriors of the hardest mettle and utterly merciless would need to be harnessed. From the stands of the gladiatorial pits, Jacobus and Phalanir would turn their attention from above to the fighting below the spectator’s deck.

Since they had claimed the world under a black sun, many knew that bodies were needed to replace losses suffered. The attack on Terra itself shattered the backbone of many grand companies. That is where the slaves proved a valuable worth.

Millions had been chained and shackled to serve their new masters. Among them were young sons and compatible couplings to produce more. Through natural means and attempts of experimental cloning, the Legion would rebuild. From thousands only hundreds of young survived the first trials to become a demi-god. They would be beaten daily, tortured nightly, and forced to fight one another to the death with their bare hands. Under the watchful eye of Iron Warriors, the overseers, they would mold warriors worthy of iron.

Those fortunate or cruel enough to survive would accompany Iron Warriors through the harsh lands of Medrengard. Many would die of exhaustion or left to rot for their shortcomings if the freakish creatures did not carry them away. All were barely given enough to eat and to survive some killed their brothers for scraps of food and a drink of water.

For every breath they would take an Iron Warrior would remind them that they would give themselves to Perturabo’s service. There was nothing greater than to fight in his name. There was no greater honor than to sacrifice one’s self to him. This was reinforced by doses of psychotropic drugs and constant beatings from metal rods.

With time, they were once children but had become angry, remorseless brutes, who revered Perturabo as a father whose praise they would need to earn through warfare and bloodshed. In the breeding dens and gladiatorial pits the young-bloods continued their deadly fights with blades in hand. With bare eyes, their overseers would march down every rank and file and look into the eyes of each as vox-speaker carrying servo-skulls blared unintelligible sounds that aggravated those who heard it. They looked for the slightest signs of fear, regret, and weakness from each. Those who were dragged away from the formation were only remembered by the others for their screams.

Of hundreds only a fraction would be worthy of inheriting the gene-seed of an astartes. The fortunate ones would be reborn as massive hulks of skinless muscle and the others turned into freaks no longer human in form.

The newborn is what the overseers had called them. They had been called nothing as they were torn from their families to serve the legion. At least now they had a title. Over their skinless forms the stretched and bloated flesh, skinned from slaves, would be stitched onto them. It would take days for it to attach as it burned and itched relentlessly. They were close to becoming a part of the Legion.

Jacobus and Phalanir would watch the final steps on how Iron Warriors were cultivated and formed. Dressed in rags they stood at attention before their overseer. The Iron Warrior would call each out to fight him. Bare flesh fought against power armor. The fights were bloody as the skin nearly tore completely from muscle and bones were broken. Despite their wounds the newborns pressed their attack until death nearly claimed them.

When they could stand again they would be honored with war-plate, bolter, and blade. Before they would be given a name, before they were given the symbol of the Legion, before they would be known as Iron Warriors one last test awaited them. In the pit, slaves would be dragged before the newborns. Their overseer would order the death of the slaves and with blade in hand the soon-to-be Iron Warriors hacked the mortals to shreds and stained their armor with blood. All their aggressions would be let loose and they would desire to slay the enemies of Perturabo.

This was their indoctrination.

This is what the Legion would call upon to carry on the war against the false emperor and his lapdogs. They were born into slavery, raised with death ever by their side, and reborn stronger, bitter, and hateful. None had the same Olympian blood in their veins as their predecessors yet each would be christened as Iron Warriors.

The martial upbringing had been that way since Phalanir’s youth. Each city state had become fortress realms long before his birth and each were suspicious and wary of their neighbors. In many city states every child would be raised to serve or would never live to see their adulthood.

This was all they truly ever had that made them Olympian.


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Barabas
Posted: May 6 2011, 09:48 PM


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hey, i was wondering if you will do anymore this is good.


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hushrong
Posted: May 6 2011, 10:16 PM


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Glad you liked it. I may continue it later on. I have the next part ready...it's just been sitting because I have yet to go over it. So I may do that after I am done writing my last three papers before the end of the semester.



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hushrong
Posted: Dec 13 2011, 06:10 AM


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*It's been awhile and felt like dusting this off

Part 3: Legion Lost

Once, we held our heads high. We marched into battle proudly bearing our heraldry on the winds. To our enemies we offered mercy or death. World after world we brought truth, unity, and glory in the name of Imperium. We brought illumination to the darkness of the galaxy. Our legion had sacrificed so much for naught. Now we march with blood on hands, curses on our lips, and the desire to watch the galaxy burn.

We were noble once.

+++

Stones were crushed into dust under the daunting treads of the massive armored beasts. There were no roads or safe passages on the world of Medrengard. One had to carve their path through the rocky landscapes through sheer force with weapons at the ready. From their own fortress, the forces of the Grand Company of Warmsith Minatos made way for Ifreann.

Their brothers had called them and he was honor bound to answer.
Bearing the banners of its lord, the land raider of Warsmith Minatos led the way of the convoy. He would not dare to be seen at the rear for he would even see it as cowardice. A brave warrior led from the front for that was where glory had laid. In a formation resembling the oval shape of an eye, the land raiders plowed their way through the terrain. Five land raiders formed a forward wedge and in the rear four covered their advance. Targeting sensors primed and scanning for any would be ambushers. One could never be unprepared in the dead-lands.

Cranin surveyed the landscape and the formation of the nine land raiders. Satisfied with the convoy he turned his attention to the landscape. As Prime War-Captain, he would see to it that his forces did not appear lacking as they approached closer to Ifreann. He could already see it from such a great distance, the towers of Ifreann. If he could see it then its sentries could see him. He had heard the stories of the great towers. Massive works of iron and stone. Several tiers containing artillery of various calibers, each placed on a ring that could rotate to maximize the rate of fire. The added height even gave a great advantage to their power and range.

He was in awe of their structures despite having seen them in the past. The towers could sustain several tiers of guns on their rotating rings, their crews, and conveyors to supply munitions even when several would fire at once. It was the work of a true siege artesian. Many would try to mimic these creations but never close to the same scale and many others would be buried under their attempts. Uncounted scores of others would be pulverized by the massive works when they entered its murder zones. With the towers in sight, Cranin ducked back into the belly of the land raider and sealed the hatch.

Soon they will be at the Hades Gates and he would learn what could have called his Lord and Warsmith so far from his own fortress.

+

The Grand Gallery had once been the ribbed hull of an Imperial vessel from the days of legend. None remembered the name of the ancient vessel that had once hung over Terra when the Great Crusade had commenced and when it returned for the siege. Its ventures and glory had been shadowed by the countless Astartes warships that gained any honors bestowed to the expeditionary fleet. When the Iron Warriors made its home on Medrengard it was sacrificed along with other warships of mortals to form the dread fortress of Ifreann.

They had been stripped of valuable war materials before set on a calculated trajectory course on the daemon world’s surface. The rest of Ifreann had been forged from quarried stone, mortar, and blood. Its massive towers, endless halls, and ramparts reinforced with iron, artillery, and the Astartes who claimed it as their realm.

+

In the depths of the Grand Gallery sat the Black King on his throne. His title had come from his armor, much like his throne, it that had been cut from the mountain quarries of Olympia. That is how his warriors knew him, their Warsmith. His armor was plates of black iron and stone that had been furbished to replace his armor when it was utterly ruined from the fighting at the Siege of Terra.

He, his name no longer spoken, had been a warrior of great esteem. The Primarch himself had honored him greatly when he single handedly cut swathes through the warriors of the Eldar not even weeks after ascending to an Astartes. He had been destined for great things. Yet his entire honor would be lost and given to another, the Imperial Fist Hanu Falill. If not for the Legion colors of their armor, many would mistake them for brothers. In the trenches they had formed what would have been eternal bonds of brotherhood.

They had led their respective forces in the Siege of Vellenzi. The Emperor’s Children, despite all their self proclaimed perfection, could not break a wall without sacrificing half their numbers. Responding to their “offer” to share the glory of conquest, detachments of the Iron Warriors and Imperial Fists were sent to their aid. This was the stage for the young Warsmith after rising through the ranks to stake his claim in history. It had taken less than three days for the Iron Warriors and their accompanying Imperial Army regiment to dig their trenches. In four more days to make their enemy’s guns useless with their own gun’s superior range. Then a week of bombardment and the defenses of the besieged began to crack.

It was the Warsmith’s guns that had broken the enemy’s walls after all his planning and its precise execution. They had broken their backs, spent their munitions, and finally were on the verge of receiving their due glory. Yet that Imperial Fist cur deployed his forces into the breach before the dust had even settled from the walls destruction. All that time they waited in reserve, barely lifting a finger to support the siege. They waited like vultures seeking advantages to exploit. They would be honored for the compliance of the world once its greatest stronghold of resistance was set ablaze.

This would be the first time Hanu Falill and the Imperial Fists would steal from him his glory and it was a spit in the face. Later the glory-craving Dorn would later insult the revered Primarch of the Iron Warriors, Perturabo. Their kind sought the constant approval of the Emperor and when gained they would flaunt it like a spoiled youth.

At the gates of the Imperial Palace he would end the life of Hanu Falill. Blade would spark upon blade until the Imperial Fist was beheaded. The Warsmiths armor had been shredded from the duel and he would return to his artificers that night along with his trophy of the slain warrior.

Now he had waited at the end of the Grand Gallery, in his fortress of Ifreann, on the world of Medrengard that his Primarch had claimed for his own. To his back was the stained glass image of the Imperial Palace burning yet intact, a reminder of why he and his warriors continued the Long War. To his left and right, at the foot of his throne were the massive forms of the ‘Brothers’ Laabos and Rienth. They were the double edged axe of the Warsmith now entombed within the frames of Dreadnoughts. At their feet standing small in comparison was the War-Captains.

At the opposite end of the gallery the Iron Gates opened and marching between the rows of assembled Iron Warriors strode the Warsmith Minatos, his War Captain Canin, and his personal guard of forty-two terminator-clad warriors. On each side they stood at attention, immobile, with bolters held at the ready across their chests. This was a show of force much like the titans at the Hades Gates and the tanks that patrolled the inner walls. It was unnecessary but protocol had called for it.

Before Minatos came within considerable distance of the Throne, the Black King had rose to his armored feet and descended down the steps to greet his brother in arms. As the Warsmiths came within a blades distance of one another the assembled Astartes, with parade ground precision, snapped toward the direction of the throne with the sound of thunder. With a warriors grasp, the two Warsmiths took one another’s wrist. This was as ceremonial as any gathering within their Legion would ever be.

Iron Warriors were neither bureaucrats like the pompous Ultramarines nor flamboyant like the Emperor’s Children with their affluent taste for art. They were like predators, honed for the craft of bloodshed. There was no need to waste their energy on crafts that deterred from their war making. Know your armor and your blade and use them wisely upon the enemy.

The words were short between the two mighty warriors. With his own ears Minatos learned why the Black King had called him. They would ravage a world so rich and abundant that its spoils would better be shared. It was an offering to entice his commitment, much like his offering of the newly plundered armor resting in the loading bays in the depths below. So much would be offered for Minatos support and he would not reject such a bounty. He would be suspicious and would watch and plan carefully but he would commit his forces.

Balling his right fist, the Warsmith Minatos slammed it against his armored breast. The Black King would nod in thanks for his brother’s support and would return the salute. Together, two Grand Companies of the Iron Warriors would march to war and wreak havoc upon the lapdogs of the false emperor.

They would bleed his citizens, crush his hive cities, and prove their martial superiority. The nostalgia of the ancient days of the Iron Warriors Legion marching as one resounded amongst the Iron Warriors. They raised their bolters high, repeatedly slammed their chests with iron fists, and howled their ancient battle cries.

IRON WITHIN, IRON WITHOUT!


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Thanatos Ares
Posted: Dec 13 2011, 08:56 PM


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truely excellent stuff brother

made my chest swell and tingle at the same time!

i salute you!

Iron Within


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"When we ascended to godhood and rose above our own mortality, we thought ourselves blessed. What fools we had been.

And now we, the Iron Warriors, still continue to fight the Long War. We bring to every world and foe tidings of fire & ash, and one day it will consume us as well. There is no doubt, that we are truly damned."
quoted from Hushrongs 'Heart of Iron'
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hushrong
Posted: Dec 14 2011, 03:01 AM


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IRON WITHOUT!

Glad you are enjoying it. I just have to get back on track where this story was going. I lost my tablet of notes sad.gif


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