The Life of a Slayer

For the past, well who knows how long it’s been thanks to covid, a group of us have been playing Warhammer Fantasy RPG monthly on a Sunday evening. The game is certainly very different than D&D, living a more basic life with little to no magic and death can be moments away.

My character is a slayer, with the goal of finding a suitable death. This should be fairly easy but I’ve come accustomed to surviving and slaying, even if that means stealing the kill with the final blow.

I love playing in character and always think, what would the dwarf do in every situation. This does mean that I will start a fight when I’m reality this is the worst possible scenario, or I’ll plough in to things without really thinking. The hard part however is trying to fit with the character but not to the point it ruins other peoples game.

Slayer

Recently we’ve been at a market where there was a fighting ring. The champion, named Crusher, was a tough old character but being a slayer he had to dive in and give him a fight. The match however whilst fun, ended in defeat and a badly wounded dwarf. Now obviously a slayer isn’t going to leave it at that and so over the next few sessions he planned his return. Richard the DM putting in delays so it couldn’t happen immediately.

In between this we ventured into sewers and as usual I dived right in being the first to walk over wooden planks only to find they are unstable and I fell right into the filthy sewer water below. This comedic act certainly tickled my fellow adventurers but also felt fitting for my thoughtless moves.

My dirty dwarf thanks to Nicole Bates

Last night I returned to battle with Crusher. Somehow I managed to roll low on the majority of my dice. It still took a while of rolling however with a huge final uppercut, a cross between Ken from Streetfighter and Daniel from Karate Kid (as I’d got a sprained ankle) I knocked him out winning a fair bit of gold. This was of course followed by a drinking session with Pauls naked pit fighter and a return to the sewers hungover… which this time saw the pit fighter fall in.

Crusher Goes Down by Nicole Bates

Who knows what’s next for my dwarf. I know I’ll continue to play the character as I have been. The whole group really gets into their characters which makes RPGs so much fun. Our DM does a wonderful job of bringing the NCPs to life and pushing the story on. If you haven’t tried this game it’s worth a go for sure. Now… to the bar!

Ian

Covid Club Update December 2021

We have been keeping track of the latest Government Covid rules and as of next Thursday, until further notice we will all need to wear face coverings whilst at the Levens Hall Venue (further info via the Gov link).

It also means that we will delay our Christmas Party so please don’t bring food as planned this Thursday (16/12/21). We do however have a little gift for all active members.

On the upside this will provide a fantastic opportunity for members to try and source novel, Warhammmer related face coverings

If anyone has any questions or concerns, please let a committee member know.

It’s Like Christmas 🎄

Thanks to everyone that’s supported the club so far, we’ve managed to buy a load of scenery and gaming mats. We got our first load yesterday however there is more on the way.

Video filmed on 9/12/21

The night was another smashing night of gaming with most focus being 40K and Kill Team. There was however a couple of games of Malifaux which seems to be sneaking it’s way onto the tables.

Thanks again to everyone who has supported us so far, and here’s to more fun & games.

Reduce Podgy Guts (RPG)

I recently popped up a post on the D&B Facebook group to see if anyone was interested in joining me in loosing some weight during 2022. As I type 5 others are joining myself as a group to loose some podge.

I’ve been larger for most of my life. I remember as a kid always have legs like tree trunks when compared to friends of mine. I don’t know why back then I was like that as my parents didn’t give me food treats or I don’t remember overeating.

RPG

Later life however I know I over ate. Having money at high school allowed me to enjoy chocolate too much, and moving out from my parents and buying my own food meant pizzas and beer were simple solutions.

I have been through various weight loss classes and groups and some worked. I have lost a fair bit and built up a lot of muscle during a period of time, however this was just to win a competition, which I did. It didn’t however lead to a life style change and my bad habits soon returned.

The last few years have been challenging for us all and it’s made me realise I fall back on food. Food makes me happy when times are hard or the stress creeps in. My mind has lived with this for many years and reverts to food if a day is stressful or I’m bored. The choice of food is usually high in sugar (even if I don’t realise it) and this is what I need to change.

So I have put forward for this weight loss group to kick off in 2022. The group will hopefully help support each other, give advice on what they’re doing and achieve pre set goals. I will be setting goals for those involved and if they hit those goals they can then treat themselves.

If you want to get involved I need the following by Sunday December 18th.

1) Your target weight loss total in pounds

2) Three treats which can be as cheap or as expensive as you want, but it has to be something you want such as new models or a nice tipple. These will be gained as you loose certain % of your target.

3) DRIVE… drive to help yourself and support the others. There’s going to be a group challenge as well as individual so everyone has to work together.

If your interested and want to chat speak to Ian. Thank you.

Newbie Nicole’s RPG Adventures in the Dungeons #2- Battle of the Boiler

With brand new dice and a sort of understanding of what I need to roll, we finally entered the sunless citadel, after managing not (by sheer fluke) to step on the false bottom of the floor, was our luck in the group high? Will we breeze through fighting things blind folded, one handed and win? No….no we wouldn’t! After an extensive discussion on if we should try and long rest in this courtyard we decided no…onwards through the rotten door….here we were presented with 3 dead goblins….ok this is no biggie…they’re dead, doors all round one locked. One unlocked, we opened that then slowly closed it again….here was where we would rest! Our dragon born wasn’t that up for it wanting to bludgeon things to death! Anyway both tieflings were badly nibbled by those giant rats from before so sleep was needed! First 3 watches go fine…..then it was my watch….so of course my new dice let me down….a diseased giant rat attacks my tiefling sister…..and kills her…..again…..I’m thinking rat ptsd is a thing now!! We kill it, I stabilise our friend and we continue on….to the unlocked door which leads to a corridor….one side is a locked door….our Dragonborn decides we need to break this door down, surely there’s gold rings behind it! This starts probably one of the bloodiest, longest and most watchable fight ever….our barbarian dragon born vs wooden door……it put up one hell of a fight!!

Finally getting in we see an incredibly small room …..and a barrel with pipes coming off it!! Around the walls carvings of mermaids, sea creatures and the occasional fish!
Of course there’s a bung in the barrel
Of course we pulled it out
Of course the room filled with steam and a steam monster
Of course I ran away to another room
Though I did try and cast chill touch….it didn’t work!!
Finally….slightly steamed , even our frozen rat defrosted a little. We beat the steam elemental….we were then told this was basically the central heating system….we had beaten up a boiler…..
Slightly shrunk in the steam we headed through an open door where we come across a little kobold weeping as he had had his dragon stolen by goblins…of course we would help!! Off he trots to gain us audience with his Queen…..left alone we poke about….our ranger opens a door….on hundreds and hundreds of…..rats……of course they break out….panicking we cast sleep on them…this works but now we only have a minute before they wake up…we can’t push them back…we can’t throw them…..20 seconds pass….they are going to wake up…I jump on a table….Griss runs out of a door and closes it behind her….the other get on the dragons cage….ultimately though we split up and hide behind doors when the rats wake up they thunder down the very corridor our friendly kobold went…that’ll be ok yes??? YES?????
Silence…..
We go back in the room and collectively decide that we did nothing.
Little kobold comes back…where we r relieved of our weapons and blindfolded as the leader is a very private dragon thing….we get lead 50 ft to another room….a room where de hooded we see 3 hooded chained goblins……

Nicole

Crusade Campaign- The Red Scorpions (Space Marines)

The Veraxus crusade, launched centuries ago as a continuation of Guilliman’s Indomitus crusade, drew in many notable Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes, but unceasing war has taken its toll and now only a few remain, whole and complete. Most notably are the Red Scorpions.

The Red Scorpions Chapter of Space Marines is known to be composed of conservative Imperial purists who are famed for their complete and utter devotion to the Imperial military and religious doctrine, past the point where pragmatism or even reason would seem to require otherwise. The Chapter is most renowned among other Astartes for its absolute adherence to every line of the Codex Astarte’s, which is unheard of in any other Chapter, including the Ultramarines. Its recorded history extends across five Terran millennia, but there are numerous indications that it may extend further than that.

The 1st and 3rd companies make up the majority of the Red Scorpion strike force with a powerful arsenal at their disposal. The commander of the fleet Irian Tibus, considered a zealot even by his own Orders standards, was thought dead by the Chapter after going missing during a conflict against a Genestealer incursion. Whilst he suffered grievous wounds at the hand of these mutants, slaughtering them in the hundreds, he survived beyond all hope. Found by his loyal guard, and returned back to the fleet he was only able to survive by going through the Rubicon Primaris. Now reborn Irian, stronger and more determined, has vowed that he will bring glory to the chapter and his company, slaughtering the enemies of the Imperium and the chapter. Be it the alien, heretic or the mutant all shall know no mercy and will crumble under the wrath of the Red Scorpions!

Battle Station: ‘Vigil’ [Orbital]
Sector: Segmentum Obscurus
System: Ordon Rift
Planet: ‘Zaebus Minoris’
Date: 08.06.04.797.M41
Record: Meeting – Subject: [Redacted], Present: Captain (Irian Tibus), Lieutenant (Serro), Librarian (Danzio)

Irian Tibus slammed his fist on the desk, his rage clear for all to see.
[Tibus] – “Belisarius has gone too far this time, I do not deny his many achievements, but too long has he meddled with Xenos forces beyond our comprehension. He has become obsessed, blinded to the danger, he covets their power, but has no comprehension of how to master it, it will be his undoing, and all of us with him. This heretical quest of his for Blackstone must be stopped before we’re all damned!”
Librarian Danzio frowned,
[Danzio] – “What are you suggesting Irian?”
[Tibus] – “I am not suggesting anything Danzio. We will act, destroy this abomination before it destroys us, and we will do so by all means necessary, at all costs! Serro, what is our strength in that sector?”
[Serro] – “Sir, Auel’s Bane is already in the Sector, with the 1st and 3rd Companies, the men are ready. The Bane could make orbit in a matter of days, and we could send a smaller strike force ahead in the Arx Fidelis to secure a drop zone and scout forward.”

[Tibus] – “Good Serro; I have no doubt your men are ready, but are they prepared? We will doubtless encounter foul Xenos threats; that we can deal with, but it is no small thing to pitch battle brother against battle brother. There is no room for doubt…”
Tibus paused to allow his words to truly sink in.
“I will not deceive you; it will not be the first or last time the Red Scorpions have had to wield the blade against our brethren, but tell yourself this, our brothers may not be impure in body, but while they continue to pursue this blasphemous cause, they are impure in mind, and you know well our sacred Doctrines, the impure have no identity, they are less than nothing to us.”
It is necessary, for the greater good of the Empire, it is the Emperors will and we serve that will unflinchingly…”
[Serro] – “The men know their duty sir, it will be done, in the name of the Emperor.”
[Tibus] – “Make it so Lieutenant, dismissed.”
Serro, saluting smartly, marched from the room to make ready, but Danzio remained seated.
[Tibus] – “You doubt this course of action, you doubt the purity and justness of our cause my old friend?
[Danzio] – “No Irian, no, you are right, Belisarius must be stopped, but I fear the taint of chaos at work here, pitching brother against brother, chapter against chapter, it’s insidious designs seeking to divide, to sunder, ever weakening the Imperium, weakening us…”
[Tibus] – “I fear it too, but I fear this ancient evil more, no good can come of it. Remember, ours is not to question the will of God the Emperor, the scriptures are clear, we are not the thought, we are but his right hand, we are the blade. This blasphemy cannot be permitted, it must be destroyed! I will not stay my hand nor flinch from this!”
Danzio new his old Battle Brother all too well, while he could not stay his hand, he would do all he could to direct the blade when it struck.
[Danzio] – “Peace my friend, I will not gain-say you on this, it will be done, but Serro is young and hot headed, competent and loyal to our cause yes, but he lacks perspective. Belisarius will be stopped, but our path to redemption is not clear to me, if we are to win through we may need to find allies in strange places before this is done – think on that…”

Prepare for the new Warhammer 40k Crusade Campaign coming soon to Dice & Bolter. More stories to followthe full collection can be found under the #tag 40k Crusade Campaign.

Crusade Campaign- The Denian Guard (Astra Milatarum)

For the Emperor!

Col. Erwin scrutinised the data-slate the Inquisitors acolyte had handed him, knowing all too well it was unwise to offer any unsolicited opinion in the Inquisitors presence. Thankfully, he didn’t have to wait long, Inquisitor Julius, who’s reputation for bluntness was legendary, was clearly in no mood to stand on ceremony.
“That damned tech-priest Cawl has been dabbling with Xenos tech-heresy Colonel! As you can see this is the latest in a long line of his reckless endeavours, meddling in the arcane technologies of the cursed Necrons. Has he so easily forgotten Cadia, his dangerous experiments with Blackstone will be our undoing”, barely constrained anger was clearly evident in Inquisitor Julius’s voice.

“I don’t disagree Inquisitor, it is certainly, ‘concerning’, although I make a point of not meddling in the affairs of the Adeptus Mechanicus; but if you don’t mind me asking, why have you summoned me here, what exactly would you have me and my men do about it?
Erwin had been more than a little perplexed as to why the Inquisition was interested in conscripting a battalion of the Imperium’s finest battle-hardened troops, when they had such significant ‘resources’ at their disposal, but any curiosity he may have initially had regarding the summons was rapidly dwindling, replaced by a creeping apprehension that he didn’t actually want to find out…
The Inquisitor didn’t answer straight away, pensively staring out into the void beyond his office window. “Let me speak plainly Colonel, I, that is ‘we’ want Cawl stopped, we want him brought to heel, brought here, to answer to the Inquisition.” That got Erwin’s attention, only his years on the parade ground enabling him to hide his surprise. “I see Inquisitor, and you believe that my Denian Guardsmen are most suited to performing this task for you, bringing Imperial justice to this heretic?”
The Inquisitor frowned, and looked out of the portal again, “Yes Colonel, that is precisely why I have summoned you here”. Erwin was more than a little irked by the reference to a summons, in theory, the Imperial Guard did not answer directly to the Inquisition, but he kept his tone painfully civil, he knew where he stood. “While I am flattered Sir, this is not, how can I put it, our usual line of work…”.
“Ah but you do not yet fully understand the task at hand Colonel,” Inquisitor Julius responded. “Your men have a certain ‘reputation’, the 322nd Denian Regiment has ever been a capable force, its insertion and extraction missions behind enemy lines are well known, and your battalion in particular has a penchant for the covert, often succeeding against seemingly insurmountable odds. While we could no doubt send in a Space Marine unit to perform this duty, Cawls actions have already attracted the attention of our battle brothers, not to mention numerous Xenos races in the locality, we have detected signatures from Tau, Necron and Eldar vessels converging on Veridian VII, so rather than enflame matters further I believe that a more ‘subtle’ approach is needed.
With growing apprehension, although he showed none of it outwardly, Erwin was beginning to realise why only he and his battalion of the 322nd Denian Regiment was being requisitioned and not the whole regiment. “In other words, you want a force that, among the madness of multiple invasions of this one planet, would slip in and out unnoticed because we’ll be too small to be a direct threat?” Erwin inquired.
Julius smiled, which sent shivers down Erwin’s spin. “Exactly Colonel, I’ve requisitioned you to slip past the numerous enemies there, find out what Cawl is doing, detain him and his lackies and return him here… alive”. Erwin frowned at the Inquisitor, processing what had just been said. However, the Inquisitor chose to dress it up, he and his men had just been recruited for a suicide mission. A suicide mission to disrupt the plans of a high-ranking Arch Magus he had never heard of, on a planet no-one knew of, for an Inquisitor who clearly had a personal vendetta against the Adeptus Mechanicus… and the day had started so well…
Whatever his misgivings about the mission, Erwin was abundantly aware that he was in no position to refuse, this was not a debate, it was an order. Steeling himself for what lay ahead, he responded. “Very well Inquisitor, I shall rally my men for this endeavour, and proceed with all haste and caution to Veridian VII. We will capture Explorator Delphan Gruss and his team, I promise you that, extract them and bring them to justice, and by the Emperor, we will defeat all comers who threaten our mission!” Saluting the Inquisitor, he turned smartly and marched out of the office, down to the bowls of the transport ship where his crack squad awaited, to inform them of the mission the Emperor’s most loyal agents had provided them. Back in the chamber Inquisitor Julius sighed and prayed to the Emperor that he was doing the right thing in taking on Arch-Magus Cawl and his plans, or at least finding out what the Adeptus Mechanicus were truly up to on Veridian VII.

Planet Fall
In a low orbit, stood in the main hanger of their drop ship the Xenos bane, surrounded by their tanks and munitions, Col. Erwin and his officers scanned the maps of Veridian VII. They had been debating the best place to land and construct their base of operations from which they could strike out, resupply and if needs be, hide out if the other forces, particularly the Adeptus Mechanicus, got wind of their mission.

“There” Erwin pointed on the display. “We can build our base of operations in this wooded valley”. The men looked at the display, it featured a steep, heavily wooded valley, surrounded by high, inaccessible peaks on three sides, bar the southern end which was approached through a narrow cut between boulder fields. “Sir”, it was Erwin’s trusted second in command, Cpt Stern. “With all due respect, is it wise to build a base in such an isolated spot? Our infantry may be able to traverse that route, but our tanks would have a nightmare trying to get back and forth, the logistics alone could cripple us and while the entrance is very defensible, we would be trapped if outnumbered”. This caused a stir amongst the other officers, who all clearly shared Sterns view but were reluctant to say as much. “Precisely” Erwin stated, not bothering to look away from the display to meet Stern’s perplexed expression. “It’s the most illogical base to build a base, with little infrastructure, poor chance of aerial support, logistically taxing, and questionably defensible. That is why it is the best place”. Stern’s face expressed his bafflement with this response; but Erwin, now looking at him with a degree of impatience rolled his eyes. “It’s the best place precisely because it isn’t, no-one in their right mind would believe any force would establish themselves in such a difficult position, the Mechanicus would never consider such a place even if it was the last possible location on the planet. The Tau would follow similar logic. While the marines would seek the ruined cities and derelict manufactoriums or would constantly be on the move. The Necron’s would no doubt cut straight to the point and attack the Mechanicus position and then turn their attention to the other factions. The Tyranids would be the only major issue, their ‘tactics’ if they have any are beyond our reckoning, but with our psykers, we should detect them before they launch an attack on us. If the dread enemy is here…” Erwin, Stern and all the men surrounding the display made the sign of the Aquila upon such a thought. “It is my hope that the traitor forces may simply ignore such a small force and go straight for greater threat in the larger Xenos forces and other Imperial factions”.
Captain Stern nodded, supressing his misgivings, he turned to his officers. “Right you lot, you heard the Colonel, once we arrive, our first objective is to secure this valley, Sergeant Rone!” A young man, no older then 23, saluted, “Sir!” awaiting Erwin’s command. “Once we land, take your squad and set up obs on the southern entrance to the valley, if a mouse dares to come through there I want to know about it! Understood?” Stern turned back to the map, but then shouted over his shoulder. “Oh and Rone”… “Yes, Sir?”… “When you’re done, mine the hell out of the route in, and map it out so our boys avoid getting caught out there, if we do get pinned down, I want our guests to have a nice warm welcome, you know the drill.” Rone marched smartly out, barking orders as he went.

See the source image

“Sergeant Cullen!” A second man stepped forward saluting sharply, an older man, probably in his mid 40’s, hair streaked with grey and battle scars from years of conflict covering his face, “Sir!”. “You will take your squad, and set up camp in the woods, and build a supply and munitions depot here, and find any local resources we can use, food and water and check out any of the nearby abandoned settlements, we may be here for some time.”
Finally; “Sergeant Burk!”. Another older soldier stood to attention, of a similar age to Cullen, with the build of a jungle fighter, but with less battle scars. “Sir!”. “Take your squad and scout outwards from the landing zone through the forest and over the mountains. Our scans reveal nothing we didn’t expect on the surface, so my bet is everyone’s been looking in the wrong place. If there is something here, it’s under our feet. Find any signs of the Mechanicus presence, but look for passages natural or man-made, I have a hunch they may lead us to what we’re looking for… Those are your orders”.
Erwin glanced at Stern who was still looking at the display map intensely. “Captain…Once we’ve landed, we’ll be on our own here, we will have no comms, limited supplies, minimal support and we’ll be facing forces well beyond our capabilities to take down in a straight fight. Even if we do everything right out there, there are a lot of powers at play and unknowns, I’ll be honest, we may not survive”
The reality of the situation was starkly apparent to both men, but they were seasoned veterans. Erwin sighed, “We have a job to do, find out what the Mechanicus are doing, capture a few of their senior staff and then get the hell out of dodge, the Inquisition can take it from there, and while we’re at it, if we can put some of those Xenos scum and our smug battle brothers in their place all the better!” Stern looked at Erwin, smiled and saluted his commanding officer. “For the Emperor!” a cheer arose from Stern and the other men as they prepared for the onslaught.

Prepare for the new Warhammer 40k Crusade Campaign coming soon to Dice & Bolter. More stories to followthe full collection can be found under the #tag 40k Crusade Campaign.

Crusade Campaign- The Brothers of Medusa (Iron Hands)

Iron Captain Cavious Cordanus sat watching the terminal generate a huge amount of data. His warriors, the Brothers of Medusa had been positioned in space and told to hold by the Iron Council and be ready for action when required. This had been many months ago now and he was getting twitchy doing nothing. His warriors where a strong and loyal group and used the time well to train and continue to augment themselves to be the best they can be. Flesh is weak, and they all knew it. They would not allow themselves to be overcome by emotions, they would be ready at all times to do what the Emperor required.
The screen jumped to life…

Cavious turned in his seat and looked at Ironwrought Sirus, the Techmarine to the Brothers of Medusa. Sirus was deep in thought looking at the same information.

“It’s Aajz, the traitor is alive! roared Cavious, shock and rage written in equal measure across his scarred face. Sirus frowned, “The Raven Guard, they are a strong force in mind and body, do you truly believe what was said, what was supposedly done?”
Cavious glowered, “Have you forgotten Isstvan V so quickly brother? I for one have not, were it not for their weakness then, Ferrus Manus would not be lost to us! The flesh is weak, but I say all of Corax’s get are weaker, their seed is tainted, it would have been better were they all cut down that day. Aajz brings shame upon us all, I care not what purpose he asks for aid, I will hunt him down and end him, this I swear to the Emperor.”

Sirus was troubled, his Captain was allowing emotion to overrule his judgement, that was not the Iron Hands way, but he dared not gain say Cavious in this fell mood.
“Ready the men” said Cavious, as he turned to look out of the vessels window.
Sirus stood and marched quickly out of the room towards the docking bay. “The Emperor forgive us for what we are about to do…” he whispered, as Cavious continued to stare fixedly at the message.
Sirus knew the sergeants would be training down there. As he wandered onto the galley, he looked out proudly at the Brothers training. The chapter was so strong full of Primaris marines augmented to the highest standard all ready to fight. Dreadnought Ixeosis had been with the chapter for thousands of years and had recently been upgraded to a Redemptor model chassis. His battle urge and drive was intense yet his mind was still so strong. He stayed awake at all times and was never put in hibernation. His skills were too strong and tactical nuance too useful to not have him around.
Sirus bellowed out across the vast hall. “Brothers we have been called upon. A fellow Space Marine unit has gone rogue and we must stop them and destroy them, they bring shame upon our orders. Are we all ready?” A huge roar greeted him and the Brothers immediately stepped into action preparing their weapons. A buzz filled the star ship as a rumble took over every wall. Within minutes they were in hyperspace making their way to where they believed the traitors were…

Prepare for the new Warhammer 40k Crusade Campaign coming soon to Dice & Bolter. More stories to followthe full collection can be found under the #tag 40k Crusade Campaign.

Crusade Campaign- The Thokt Dynasty (Necrons)

TRANSFERENCE
Ramtut looked down at his hands, the grey skin scarred, withered, and cracked, joints stiff and painful; hands ravaged by time, hands pitted by radiation, but his hands nonetheless, hands that could touch, feel, hurt; hands that told a story, his story…. Soon all that would be gone, his corporeal form lost to all but memory, burned away for ever in the cyclopean bio-furnace, replaced by cold, hard, immutable metal and circuitry.
He looked up, staring through his cold, blue eyes; unlike his body, they had yet to fail him, he could see what lay before him well enough and seeing his fate, for the first time he wondered at the wisdom of the course they had set out on. He shook his head, what was he thinking, even his eyes would soon be replaced, his vision augmented, enhanced beyond all biological capacity.
He looked around him now. Zarathusa, his old friend and ally, who had fought shoulder to shoulder with him across countless worlds, had already entered the chamber, as had all his people before him, he was the next, and the last; last of the Thokt Dynasty. Soon he would be summoned forward.
Doubt assailed him at the last, hollow fear sweeping him up, taking him back to a memory of his youth on his home world Meghoshta.
He was standing poised on the cliff edge, naked all but his loin cloth, shivering from cold, or was it fear, staring down at the cold, deep pool below him. He looked across at his friends, Zara foremost amongst them as ever, shouting encouragement – he took a deep breath, stepping forward into the void, falling, falling, air rushing past him, a roaring in his ears, still falling, breath catching in his throat as his body tensed for the impact. He hit the water hard, feet first, punching through the surface, plunging down into the ice cold beneath, down, down, into the dark, down until all sights, sounds and sensations were utterly gone. For a moment, he hung there, in space, his body shutting down, only his mind remained, his thoughts sharp and clear, and then he kicked, hard, was rising, up, up, towards the light…
He snapped back into the present, the heat of the furnace hitting him like a wave, the fumes enveloping him, the noise of the machines deafening him. Zara was gone, they were all gone now, no one to shout encouragement, no one to stem his fears, he stood there, alone. Would that be what it was like? he wondered, was it that easy, just let go, take the leap, plunge into the unknown and resurface made anew?

Ramtut shook his head, what foolish sentiment, after all they had been through, and what matter, there was no going back, nothing and no one to go back for… with a last breath through his own lungs, he stepped forward into the chamber….

DELIVERANCE
Ramtut stood on the battlefield, surrounded by the bodies of his vanquished foes. He looked down at his hands. They were strong hands now, hands impervious to harm, free of any blemish or scar, free of pain. Hands capable of more than he could have ever dreamed, hands that could snatch an insect from the air, lift unimaginable weight, or crush armour, flesh and bone, hands capable of killing, hands steeped in blood…
A memory, starkly clear, perhaps a gift of his new mind, a memory of a time long past, a memory reaching back millennia beyond count…
He staggered out of the bio-transference chamber, falling to his knees, unused as he was to controlling his new body, bombarded with sensations from his newly heightened senses of sight, smell and hearing, but through the fog of confusion he knew something was wrong, terribly wrong. Looking up, the skies were ablaze with light, explosions ripped through the complex around him and debris rained down, metallic bodies littered the floor before him. The C’Tan, who had previously swooped in their ethereal forms above the transference chambers, were gone, either to combat the unknown attackers, or otherwise fled, he knew not which nor did he care.
Gathering himself, and focusing on the more immediate issue, he stood, shakily at first, but soon, mastering control of his metallic form, he strode forward, marvelling at how energised and powerful he felt, and yet dismayed at the loss of his corporeal form and revolted by the thought of what he had become; but such thoughts would have to wait.
Around him lay his people, the Thokt, once amongst the greatest and most influential of Necrontyr Dynasties. No longer, already diminished much by war and strife before the great transference, many more had now been lost in this attack; their new forms lying still, torn asunder, parts scattered across the complex before him, grief and shock assailing him, he looked up once more.

The attack was clearly being driven off now, explosions still lit the sky, but they were distant and more infrequent. Doubtless it had been orcastrated by one of the vassal races of the Old Ones, a desperate, last ditch attempt to curb the might of the Necron empire and their C’Tan masters before they asserted their full power through transference, but despite the damage done here, Ramtut knew they were too late, far too late….
As the memory faded, and the ravaged landscape before him came back into focus, Ramtut laughed inwardly, how naïve and foolish he had been then; of course his brethren had not been lost in the attack, far from it, in their new forms, damaged as they had been, they had simply phased out, their shattered bodies, minds still intact returning to the stasis-crypt in the planet below, where they would inexorably rise anew, to continue the fight; no longer a weak and short lived race, constrained by their bodies physical limitations, they were unstoppable now, they were immortal!
But Ramtut had learnt all too rapidly that the price the Necrontyr had paid for that immortality was high, far too high. For the C’Tan had deceived the Necrontyr. Remaining true to their word, the Necrons, as they had become, were indeed now impervious to nearly all harm, and even when utterly destroyed, still their consciousness remained, reborn in another body; but the bio-transference process came at a grave cost, purging them of so much of what had made them unique individuals in life, stripping them of their very souls. Only a few of the most strong-willed Necrontyr retained their intellect, personality and self-awareness at all, and even they were but shadows of their former selves. The Necrontyr were gone, but Ramtut soon came to realise that he had perhaps paid an even greater price…
Alone, or so he first thought, amongst his kind, he had retained his soul. Why he did not know, he could only surmise that it resulted from the interruption of the bio-transference process at a critical moment during the attack and the departure of the C’Tan to drive off the enemy. Whatever the cause, Ramtut was utterly alone, one soul-keeper grieving the loss of his entire race, and faced with an eternity of solitude.
With no hope for salvation, he threw himself into the war, to quench his pain and loss, he became the very symbol of all that it was to be Necron, striking fear into all before him. But through a chance meeting with Lord Rakszan, last of the fated Khansu Dynasty, Ramtut realised there were others like him, others who by some quirk of fate had retained their soul. They were few, very few from the billions that entered the forges but enough perhaps, enough for the hope of a new beginning. Together Ramtut and Rakszan vowed to dedicate themselves to seeking them out in secret.
They searched across the stars, where they found them, they recruited others to their cause and the search went on, undetected by their soulless brethren, the Clan leaders or their King. It took many thousands of our human years and they went into the great sleep with the other clans no nearer to salvation, waiting for the day when they could rise and change history.

Their plan was audacious beyond mortal reckoning, millennia in the making, an ambition so vast not even the Silent King in his wildest imaginings would have guessed Ramtut’s and Rakszan’s intentions…

They used conflict, actively sought it, when soulless Thokt Necrons fell in battle, and phased out, teleported to the stasis-crypts to be reborn, they used the opportunity to transfer the soul-keepers, the true Necrontyr as they were so called from across the clans into the new bodies; cleansing the soul dead Necron from existance and swelling the Thokt ranks with their allies. Thus, over Millennia, the Thokt Dynasty became something else, something more. Eventually, the entire Dynasty, diminished as it was, comprised true Necrontyr, no soul dead remained.
But Ramtut and Rakszan needed to cover their activities, so they created the myth of the Destroyer Cult, what better screen than a cult of insane, hate-fuelled harvesters of the living, obsessed with the eradication of all sentient beings, that threw themselves into battle with no regard for their own lives. None, even the Silent King himself, guessed the truth.
And yet, the final piece in the puzzle remained lost to Ramtut and his allies, and indeed the entire Necron race, lost but not forgotten. The Nexus, ancient hub of the vast Necron blackstone network, held the key to all, a shield against the forces of chaos, a weapon to turn against their own kind, and an archive of knowledge that would unlock the secrets of bio-trasference. One day, with a galaxy wiped clean of Necrons, shielded from the forces of Chaos, they would be free to rebuild, inhabit new bodies, start again…
As events unfolded in the 41st Millennium, in a remote system, on a long-abandoned plant, that day was now near, very near…


ABSOLUTION
Sector: Segmentum Pacificus
System: Hyrakii Deeps
Planet: ‘Meghoshta’ [Crownworld]
Date: 08.06.04.797.M41
Record: Meeting – Subject: [Unknown], Present: Lord (Rakszan) Khansu Dynasty, Lord (Ramtut Ra) Thokt Dynasty

Rakszan, Lord of the Khansu Dynasty, and last of his line, entered the Throne Room.
[Rakszan] – “So, my old friend, it is good to see you, but why call me here, here of all places; Szarekh trusts me little enough, for such a risk to our endeavours the news you bear must be great indeed?”
Ramtut stepped down from his throne, striding across the floor to greet his friend, grasping his forearm, in the custom of the ancient Necrontyr.
[Ramtut Ra] – “We have found it, Rakszan, we have found it at last!”
Lord Rakszan paused, tilting his head, inscrutable green eyes glowing in the gloom of the silent throne room, while Ramtut strode away, pacing the cavernous space impatiently.
[Rakszan] – “The Nexus, is it possible… you have identified its location?”
Ramtut nodded, ceasing his pacing, turning and opening his hand, enabling a holographic image of a solar system to float above his palm.
[Ramtut Ra] – “Indeed, we have found it at last! One of the few advantages of our immortality; to us my friend, nothing is lost for ever, but I confess I had begun to lose hope, and feared that the turmoils of the galaxy would overcome us all before we could reach our goal.”
Ramtut paused, staring into the hologram, a miniature solar system swirling before him, before casting it across the throne room, where it hovered in front of his friend.
[Ramtut Ra] – “It lies in an abandoned world, in a little travelled system of the Segmentum Obscurus. Truth be told, I cannot take the credit for its
finding, it was the humans, those they call the Mechanicus, that located it.
Long have they vied with us, scouring the galaxy in their hunger to secure Noctilith, and yet they lack the knowledge to master it, yet.
Rakszan sighed
[Rakszan] – “As did we my friend, as did we, though our enemies know it not….. The location of the Nexus was ever closely guarded during the War, and those who guarded it did not awaken from the Great Sleep”.

[Ramtut Ra} – “Yes, and no doubt the humans stumbled across it even now by mere happenstance. We have time, they cannot yet fully comprehend what they possess. The Nexus was so well guarded for a reason; it not only provides the means through which to control the Noctilith network and defy the forces of Chaos, it also housed the repository of our race’s knowledge, within its archives lies the knowledge we seek, the knowledge of bio-transference.
[Rakszan] – “If true, this is incredible news, news beyond all our hopes and dreams, but you are skipping to the end of the tale, tell me, how and when did you come to know of the human’s discovery?”
Ramtut laughed, shaking his head.
[Ramtut Ra] – “The how is easy enough, the human fools were ever too incautious, somehow they must have inadvertently activated the long dormant Nexus systems by entering the central node, the power surge across the Sector as the systems came back on line was huge, and unmistakable.”
[Rakszan] – “If that is the how, then the ‘when’ is ever more critical a question. A few foolish humans are easily dealt with, but such a surge will not have gone unnoticed by other races, they may not know its significance, but they are sure to investigate and ‘complicate’ matters considerably for us. What is our next move?”
Ramtut flicked his hand, and the hologram vanished, replaced by an image of a Necron Shroud Class Light Cruiser, docked and being provisioned.
[Ramtut Ra] – “I have already made it. I informed Szarekh of this discovery straight away.”
[Rakszan] – “What, you informed Szarekh?! Have you taken leave of your senses?”
Ramtut had anticipated his friend’s reaction; to inform their greatest enemy of such a discovery was admittedly, at least on the surface, madness; he smiled.
[Ramtut} – “Yes, of course. You of all people, who has hidden in the shadows for so long, should know how to play this game, we keep our friends close, but our enemies closer. Indeed, not only did I tell our so called Silent King of our discovery, I volunteered to dispatch a Thokt Raider party immediately to secure the location for the good of the Necron race. He agreed of course, why would he not, the Thokt and the Destroyer Cult have ever been his most loyal and fervent followers…” Ramtut bowed theatrically with this last statement.
Rakszan laughed aloud now,
[Rakszan] – “This is surely the greatest jest the galaxy has ever known, he was a trusting fool then, blinded by his hatred of the Old Ones, and our race paid dearly for that deceit at the hands of the C’Tan, and a fool it would seem he remains to this day. He suspects nothing still?
[Ramtut Ra] – “If he did suspect, I doubt very much I would be holding this conversation with you now my friend, naive he maybe, but he is without mercy when crossed…”
Rakszan nodded in heartfelt agreement, all to aware of the price those who challenge the Silent King could pay.
[Rakszan] – “At the last, his foolish trust will be his undoing, and with his demise, so will the Necrontyr finally rise again from the ashes of his defeat!”
[Ramtut Ra] – “Yes, our long labours, plots and schemes are at last coming to fruition, but we are not there yet, we must steel ourselves for the final push, if we are to win the day there is great need for haste, I will personally lead the Raider party, the Sekhem’s Shroud will depart for Veridian VII this very day!”
[Rakszan] – “What would you have me do?”
[Ramtut Ra] – “Ready our people, all of them, soon we will act, revealing plans millennia in the making, and when we do, none will anticipate our coming, nor stand in our way!”

So it came to pass in the 41st Millennium, that with infinite complacency borne from millennia of dominance, Szarekh, the Silent King, took his war across the galaxy, serene in his assurance of dominion over all beings, but quietly, in the shadows, ancient intellects equally vast, cool and unsympathetic, regarded his empire with envious eyes, and slowly and surely they drew their plans against him….

Prepare for the new Warhammer 40k Crusade Campaign coming soon to Dice & Bolter. More stories to followthe full collection can be found under the #tag 40k Crusade Campaign.