Annals of the Black Company™ (Tyler's fluff)

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Post  tlc247 on Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:08 pm

Inception: (fluff, pt. 1)

Dante walked the hallway with a measured gait, his thoughts still haunted by the memory of what he had seen and heard just a few days before. His pace was deceptive, hiding the turmoil in his soul. He felt like he should be running as fast as his feet could take him, praying to the Emperor that he was not too late. He felt like he shouldn't be moving at all, or should be accompanied by his Sanguinary Guard, intent on carrying out a sentence of execution for heresy. But you do not lead the Emperor's Angels of Death for 1,000 years without learning who you can trust, and who you should be wary of.

Corbulo's loyalty and friendship could not be questioned. His visions were undoubtedly a gift from their Primarch and the undying Emperor. He had spent more years searching for a cure to the Chapter's dark flaw than most men would spend living. It was a servant of Chaos that Dante held responsible for this flaw, and while it was difficult to accept, it may be the work of a servant of Chaos that would save them from it.

Dante finished climbing the last set of stairs and stopped in front of Corbulo's door, waiting for the scanner to announce his presence, and for Corbulo's invitation to enter. There were very few people Dante would not simply walk in on. Over a millenium's worth of service to the Emperor-God gave him that right, even when entering another Chapter Master's chamber. But as he had always done, Dante showed respect for his loyal friend by affording him this small courtesy. And Corbulo returned the courtesy by never waiting to invite him in.

"I wasn't sure whether to expect you alone or not. I had feared I overstepped my bounds," Corbulo said as Dante entered the room. Corbulo's appearance and demeanor were slightly nervous, but only those who knew him well would have noticed.

"I wasn't sure myself, my friend," Dante sighed, "but I will not be charging you with heresy. Not for doing what we are all trying to do." Dante looked at the doorway leading to Corbulo's study, then looked back to Corbulo before sitting down in a nearby chair. "Your vision. You are certain of what you saw? If we go down this road, it could mean the death of both of us. Or worse... much, much worse."

Dante missed the sight of Corbulo's smile. It seemed like years since he had seen it last. But today was not going to be the day when he would see it again. Instead, the slightly nervous look on Corbulo's face was replaced by a look of fear. "I sincerely wish that I wasn't, my liege. The chapter has been fighting for millenia against the flaw, and it's only getting worse. If we don't do something soon, the consequences will be spoken of in the way we speak of the Heresy." Corbulo's distaste was apparent in the way he refused to give name to the Warmaster. "I understand your concern for my source material. I've already burned over half of what Brother Rafen gave me. But the portions that remain seem to hold the keys to our Chapter's survival. And that of the Imperium itself."

Dante hung his head. "I just got the report back from our battle-brothers on Cadia. The latest daemonic invasion has been thwarted. Devastator Squad Arkadii did not survive. While laying down a barrage of cover fire, a group of Bloodletters appeared nearby and the Red Thirst overtook them. Sergeant Arkadii was a seasoned veteran. He knows his armour is useless against their infernal weapons, but the flaw overtook them and now I'm left with the task of appointing their replacements. We can't allow the flaw to progress any further than it has."

Corbulo remained silent, neither friend looking at the other. Fabius Bile's plan to clone a new Emperor had been thwarted, but the genetic research he had performed on marines from dozens of different chapters had material that could be used to help halt or even reverse the flaw.

Dante sighed again and stood up. "I realize we don't have a lot of time, but use what caution you can. This entire system could be deemed Exterminatus if the contents of your study were discovered by the Inquisition. I'll put together a squad of veterans to assist you. Equip them as you see fit, and use them to acquire the materials you need. I'll assign you to Tycho's company, but I will not be explaining your mission to him. Whatever help you can offer him will be appreciated, but don't forget. Your task is more important than his." With that said, Dante left the room.

And so it was that ten of the Blood Angels finest veterans were called upon to remember and use the skills originally taught to them in their earliest days as Scouts. Equipped with Scout Armour and Camo Cloaks, Corbulo and an elite squad of veterans set out to acquire the primogenitor gland from several dozen Space Marine chapters in the hopes of finding a cure. Being caught would result in their immediate execution. Failing in their mission would mean the extermination of billions. In the years to follow, Corbulo often envied the rock and the hard place that other people were fortunate enough to be caught between.

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Post  tlc247 on Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:10 pm

Evolution: (fluff, pt. 2)

Dante strode across the desert at a brisk pace, anxious to get to his destination. His armour protected him from the residual radiation, and the dust storm was actually mild for this time of year, but that didn’t mean it was pleasant. Dante looked sideways to his companion.

“The area has been cleared and secured, Falkener,” Dante said. “You can put Bloodboiler away.”
Chaplain Falkener looked down at the gun he carried in his hand and chuckled. “I didn’t even realize I had it out, my liege.” Dante smiled back, and Falkener continued to walk, but did not put his combi-flamer away. An almost mechanical sounding chuckle came from the other side of Commander Dante.

“His weapon has become a part of him, Commander. It’s a good thing.” Dante could almost hear the smile coming from the marine he had never seen.

“You should talk, Epistolary,” Falkener replied, a wry grin on his face. The response drew another mechanical chuckle from the dreadnought’s sarcophagus. The librarian inside the dreadnought had once been an epistolary, but the wound that confined him to the dreadnought had also robbed him of some of his abilities. His current psychic abilities were closer to that of a Lexicanum, but such titles are given, not taken, and the dreadnought’s close combat abilities had grown considerably in the 4,000 years he had spent confined to his sarcophagus.

In those 4,000 years, the name of the marine inside the sarcophagus had somehow been lost to the Chapter records, and though polite requests had been made and not-so-polite orders given, the Epistolary had steadfastly refused to give his name. His service record afforded him some eccentricity, so his lack of a name had become a simple fact of life among the people he served with, and when a name was required, he was referred to by his title. Both Dante and Falkener suspected that the records containing his name had not been lost on accident, and anything he may have done to request such an unusual favor most certainly warranted a second favor; the favor of not pushing the issue or demanding any explanation.

The trio walked on, eventually approaching a doorway cut out of a cliff wall. As they approached the doorway, it opened and a large man stepped out, his massive wings barely clearing the doorframe. “Lord High Chaplain,” Falkener immediately acknowledged, kneeling before the Redeemer of the Lost.

Astorath the Grim looked down upon his servant. “I see you carry Bloodboiler with you again. I understand the Techmarines have had it for quite some time now.”

“Yes, my Lord,” Falkener responded simply.

“Would you care to explain to me why your gun required the attention of Techmarine Desdinova for nearly an entire month? I’ve seen Land Speeders taken apart and rebuilt in less time.”

“I apologize, my Lord. She was severely damaged during the fighting on Armageddon.”

“And how was that exactly?”

Falkener knew that Astorath was aware of what happened, and was surprised he hadn’t had to give an account of his actions already. Apparently, Astorath had been waiting for something, though Falkener couldn’t imagine what it was. “The squad I was accompanying became embattled in close combat, and I used Bloodboiler to fight them off.”

“And your Crozius Arcanum? Your badge of office? Did it malfunction?”

“No, sir. It remained at my side.” This response drew another mechanical chuckle.

Astorath ignored the dreadnought and simply held out his hand. Falkener immediately handed over his combi-flamer. “So you entered combat, leaving a more capable weapon at your side, and beat the orks over the head like an Ogryn?”

“Yes, sir," Falkener responded quietly.

Astorath knelt down and raised Falkener’s chin to look into his eyes. “Was it the thirst?” he asked simply.

“No, sir. It just felt… more comfortable to me. I can’t explain it to myself, either.”

Astorath continued to stare into Falkener’s eyes for several minutes, the windstorm the only sound. Finally, he let go of Falkener’s chin, and Falkener immediately resumed looking at the ground. Astorath glanced up at Dante, and after receiving a nod, stood up. “I do not require any of my battle-brothers to use a Crozius Arcanum. Such instruments of the Emperor’s justice are reserved for those who both honor and desire them.”
Astorath held out his hand again, and Falkener surrendered his Crozius Arcanum. “Your Rosarius,” Astorath said, and Falkener surrendered the last of the items setting him apart as a Chaplain in the Blood Angels chapter.
Astorath looked over the Crozius and then spoke to Falkener again. “Men of your rank are not allowed past this doorway.” With that said, he touched the Crozius to Falkener’s head and turned it on, the jolt of power knocking Falkener unconscious.

When Falkener awoke, the first thing he saw was Sanguinary Priest Orson looking at the medical display next to him. His armour was holding him in a standing position. “Can you stand on your own now?” Orson asked, never looking to see if he was awake. Falkener felt different somehow. He could tell he was now wearing a helmet. His head had been bare when he accompanied Dante through the desert.

“I believe so,” he replied. Orson turned off the stasis field and Falkener looked over himself. His armour was not what he expected. It was older than his previous suit. Much older. He looked at the shoulder pads. Gone were the smooth rounded pads with Blood Angel heraldry. In their place were giant, metal skulls. Falkener knew this suit of armour. To say it was an honored Chapter Relic would be an understatement. Falkener looked down at his chest again, at the Rosarius embedded in the chest piece. This was not the Rosarius of a Brother-Chaplain.

“Your Crozius Arcanum, Reclusiarch Falkener,” came a voice from behind him. Falkener turned to face Astorath who was holding Bloodboiler in his hands. Astorath handed the combi-flamer back to Falkener, who immediately sensed the difference. He glanced at the table behind Astorath and saw the remains of his old Crozius, a few key portions missing, including the power cell. “At least now when you hit someone over the head with it, it won’t be the gun that breaks. Now, Dante and Corbulo are waiting for you. That’s not a good thing,” Astorath said pointedly.

As Falkener exited the room, Astorath followed him. “You aren’t the only chaplain who doesn’t use a traditional Crozius Arcanum,” Astorath told Falkener, as if he were speaking to an equal. He then picked up the Executioner’s Axe from where it leaned against a wall, walked down the hallway and through a door leading into the desert.

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Post  tlc247 on Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:12 pm

Birth: (fluff, pt. 3)

As Falkener passed by a doorway, he was joined by an enormous figure. “New armour,” they said to each other. They both stopped walking to share a laugh.

“I’ve seen that suit in the Hall of Relics. It’s good to see it in use again,” Galen told Falkener. Falkener nodded in acknowledgement of the compliment.

“I see you’ve been promoted again, Galen,” Falkener returned. “They don’t let just anyone wear Tactical Dreadnought Armour.” Galen’s armour made him almost twice the size of Falkener and the massive Force Axe he carried was responsible for many victories in the Emperor’s name.

“It’s definitely going to take some getting used to. That’s why I’m wearing it now,” Galen responded. “Which direction were you headed?”

Falkener started walking again immediately. “Thanks for reminding me,” he said. “Dante and Corbulo are waiting for me.”

Galen’s eyes widened slightly as he matched pace with Falkener. “Me too,” he said. “It’s been a while since we fought together. Hopefully I can look forward to doing so again.” The two of them stopped talking as they entered a large room where Dante, Corbulo, and the Epistolary dreadnought waited for them.

“Let me begin by explaining why you’re here,” Dante said, pointing at the dreadnought. “For whatever reason, you have chosen to forsake your name. That can’t be an easy thing to do, and it definitely can’t be an easy secret to keep. But you can and have. I need that kind of discretion here. From all of you,” he looked around the room at the young Librarian and the newly appointed Reclusiarch. “If you have any concerns about your ability in that regard, leave now. We will not speak of it, and your position within the Chapter will remain unchanged.”

Falkener and Galen remained silent and motionless, waiting for Dante to continue. Dante turned to the dreadnought. “I asked you earlier for the names of battle-brothers who had never asked you your name. Brothers in a position of authority who had a right to ask, but had not. You listed several individuals who had neither asked your name, nor asked you to explain why you no longer use your name. Are these two among them?”

“Yes, Commander,” the dreadnought responded.

“I also asked both Astorath and Mephiston for the names of Battle-Brothers whose willpower and self-control in the face of the Red Thirst was worthy of commendation. Each of them mentioned each of you. I need all these qualities, brothers.” Dante sighed, and motioned at Corbulo to take over the meeting.

“We know, but avoid talking about the flaw in our geneseed. Well, we can no longer ignore it. It is getting more and more pronounced. Many of our successor chapters are already falling into heresy, and we have reason to believe the same fate will befall our own chapter before long. Recently, we came into possession of documents containing research that could help us halt or even reverse the flaw. We are currently experimenting with that research, and we need strong, loyal, clear-minded individuals to monitor these brothers in battle. We need to know how they handle the thirst, and we especially need to know if any other side effects are present that we didn’t detect here first.”

Corbulo looked at each of the three of them in turn. “Can we count on you?” he asked.

“Yes sir,” they responded in unison.

“Good. Here’s the short version. We are attempting to use the gene seed of other Space Marine chapters to halt or cure the flaw in our own gene seed.”

Galen’s low whistle said more than words. Each of them immediately understood the potential backlash if their efforts were discovered.

“Report?” Dante requested.

“By chapter, we have the following results: The Ultramarines, Crimson Fists, Imperial Fists, Angels of Absolution, Hawk Lords, Relictors, Steel Skulls, Howling Griffons, and Iron Hands gene seed produced results that were fatal to the subject, for reasons we have been unable to determine. The White Scars subject was mentally unstable, more susceptible to the flaw than our own gene seed. The physical and mental side effects on the Space Wolves subject were heretical in nature. The Blood Ravens subject was almost identical to our normal Scouts, possibly confirming our suspicions.”

“Those suspicions are unimportant at the moment. What about the Harbinger’s gene seed?” Dante asked.

Corbulo shuddered in response. “That subject makes the Space Wolves subject look like a complete success. Its corpse has been burned, and two of my priests are still in recovery. Whatever has happened to the gene seed of Santiago’s chapter has made it violently incompatible with ours.”

“I see,” replied Dante. “So have we had any success? I had hoped this meeting was meant to report some progress.”

“We have had some small levels of success with the Raven Guard and Doom Legion, but our most promising results have been from the Salamanders gene seed. There have been some minor physical mutations, but to expect otherwise would have been foolishly optimistic.”

“These physical mutations you mention. Was there anything more than a darkening of the skin?”

“Not that we’ve been able to tell. Other than the skin, the subject has fallen well within the normal parameters, and appears mentally stable. With your permission, I’d like to proceed with a full squad of Scouts.”

“Very well,” Dante replied, turning his attention back to the two men and dreadnought that had been standing quietly, listening to the report. “If the recruits survive, their physical and spiritual well-being will be your responsibility. For obvious reasons, I expect any concerns or problems to be reported directly to me. Dismissed.”

After everyone had left, Corbulo turned to Dante. “There’s something else,” he confided. “I have reason to believe that with some small modifications, we won’t need to limit ourselves to new recruits.”

“Before we even look down that road, Corbulo,” Dante replied, “we need to be absolutely sure where the road leads. For now, proceed with the recruits.”

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Post  tlc247 on Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:13 pm

Growing Pains: (fluff, pt. 4)

The air crackled and snapped, and Reclusiarch Falkener of the Black Company found himself held in place by a stasis field. "Damn that Ork!" he swore as the stasis field released him a few seconds later. Falkener breathed heavily for a few seconds before looking up.

"I know," replied Galen. "We're about to cleanse the area. We'll go back for them as soon as the virus bomb has taken effect." Falkener was obviously not consoled by this fact. "Dante and Corbulo await our report. You should consult with Orson before preparing it." Galen smiled a roguish smile. "He's in an equally foul mood in a room down the hall. You should probably get checked out yourself."

Falkener looked down at the holes in his armour. More than once in the past several years, the lost technology built into his armour had been the only thing to save him. Even now, the wounds that should have killed him barely registered their pain. "Perhaps you're right," he replied sourly. "How soon is Baal Prime expecting our report?"

"Two terran hours," Galen answered.

"I'll return in one and a half to deliver the report. Will you be ready by then?" the Reclusiarch asked his friend. Galen simply nodded, and Falkener worked his way to the room where the Sanguinary Priests were tending to one of their own. "I see the emergency teleporters 'saved' you as well," Falkener said to the young apothecary.

Orson scowled at Falkener. The idea of running from a fight had never sat well with either of them. The teleporters monitored their vital signs and their armour's condition, teleporting them back to their battle barge if their life was in jeopardy. Falkener's sensors were also tied into the conversion field of his Rosarius, and had saved him more than once from a blow that would have killed him otherwise. Falkener and Orson never seemed to agree with the teleporter's opinion, but the teleporters were Dante's idea and Falkener's requests to have them removed had been repeatedly denied.

"I need your team alive. Given the circumstances and nature of your mission, you are too valuable to lose to a stray bullet or an overzealous heretic, and your life is more important than the lives of your entire Company," Dante had told him.

Falkener nodded approval for his friend's scowl, and turned to look at the corner nearest Orson as the priests began their work. "I see you still carry that piece of heresy with you. Sooner or later, an Inquisitor is going to burn you alive for it."

Orson gave a short laugh. "I volunteered the sword to three different Inquisitors and a Canoness. None of them like the weapon, but their psychic tests and purifying rituals couldn't reveal any taint in its manufacture. It might annoy some people, but that Eldar sword is as effective as any sword coming from the Hive Worlds. And far more elegant." Despite Orson's reassurances, the other Sanguinary Priests still avoided going near it or looking at it. Falkener noticed that even the equipment in the room was at least several meters away, with the exception of the station Orson was being treated at. "Besides," Orson reminded him, "if the Inquisition is going to burn me alive, it will hardly be for carrying that sword."

Falkener snorted. Their argument was as old as their friendship, and had become an important part of it. "How was your squad when you last saw them?"

"Badly outnumbered. Not sure why the orks always want to pick on me first, but I'm worried about the squad," Orson responded.

"It's that sword," Falkener responded, then flashed his friend a grin that quickly disappeared. "How was their condition before that?" the Reclusiarch asked pointedly.

"They were overcome by the Red Thirst, as you suspected. My presence had nothing to do with their state of mind." Orson looked at his backpack lying on the floor. The backpack carried a small piece of an ancient artifact, and its presence could still be felt by everyone in the room. "Still... they showed an amazing level of self-control. When the time came to charge the enemy, they were nearly unstoppable. But when the Codex Astartes demanded they stand and shoot, they seemed to be channeling their bloodlust through their bolters. As we've seen in the past, the flaw is still there, and its effects are as strong as ever. But our brothers have been able to control and use it, rather than be driven by it." Orson seemed almost in awe as he spoke.

Rather than looking glad at the news, Falkener seemed saddened by it. Orson said nothing. He knew what was happening, not just to the Black Company, but across the entire chapter. In years past, the Chaplains of the Blood Angels had been able to exert a level of control over the enraged members of the Death Company. Now, the hymns, scriptures, and stories that had once directed them seemed only to inspire their rage. In close combat, they fought like Sanguinius himself. But their ability to think and act in a tactical manner was almost completely gone.

"It's not just us, Falkener." Orson stood up and put his hand on the Reclusiarch's shoulder pad. "It's happening throughout the entire bloodline, not just the Black Company or the Blood Angels. But *none* of them have seen what we have seen!" Orson paused for a moment. "How are Brother Vincent and the rest?" Orson asked curiously.

Falkener sighed again. "Still under review by Astorath. The Lord High Chaplain has been wary of keeping Lemartes alive, let alone seven battle brothers. His review process will likely take another six months, but I don't expect to see any of them again. The risk is too high and the entire situation far too unpredictable."

Orson stooped down slightly, and looked Falkener in the eyes. Even with Falkener's helmet on, he could feel Orson's eyes meeting his own. "Falkener. They came back to us! Only one other individual has EVER done that, and Calistarius was buried alive for seven days! And let's be honest," Orson confided, "most of us question whether he really came back to us at all. Vincent wasn't just sane, he was himself. He remembered the rage, but he was no longer overcome or affected by it!"

"As far as we could tell," Falkener corrected him. "That is for Astorath to decide, not us." The apothecary working on Falkener stepped back and nodded to him to let him know he was finished. Falkener stood up, and turned to walk out the door, almost bumping in to Desdinova. Even with their helmets on, the glare coming from the techmarine was evident. "I know, I know... not a suit of Scout Armour, need to be more careful, important Chapter Relic, may not be able to repair it next time. Did I leave anything out?" Falkener was obviously not in the mood for another scolding from the Techmarine.

"Three hours. My laboratory." Desdinova's voice was even more mechanical than a dreadnought's, and Falkener suspected he no longer moved his mouth to speak. Falkener had no idea what Desdinova looked like under his helmet. To his knowledge, the only people who did were around when he was sent to Mars for his training, or no longer had the capacity to think for themselves.

"Very well, brother. I'll see you then," Falkener responded, a slight tone of dismissal in his voice. He really wasn't in the mood.

Desdinova turned and walked out of the room and down the corridor towards his lab. Orson and Falkener followed him out, but turned back towards the bridge. "How goes the bombing?" Orson asked brightly as they entered the bridge.

Galen chuckled lightly while Falkener scowled. "They say there's one in every chapter. So what did I do to get stuck with two in the Black Company?" Falkener asked the two of them, drawing another laugh.

"Recovery is underway, Falkener," Galen reported. "I'll have a final casualty count in half an hour, but it looks like our brothers in the Death Company died an honourable death. Other squads appear to have heavy casualties, but very few fatalaties. Evacuation procedures have already begun."

"Very well. I'll need those numbers as soon as possible," and Falkener left the bridge, walking down the series of corridors to his quarters. He had a report to write.

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Post  tlc247 on Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:15 pm

Maturation: (fluff, pt. 5)

Falkener was worried as he left the bridge and returned to his chambers. He went back through his report, reciting it over and over again, looking for any reason for the Chapter Master to be displeased with his efforts. He had not been able to direct or control his Death Company, but as Orson had pointed out, this was occurring throughout the Chapter. Perhaps a new method for directing his doomed brethren had been determined. Falkener opened the doorway to his chambers and entered, barely noticing the sound of Galen's announcement over the intercom system. Falkener paid no heed to the announcement, already knowing what it was saying. The ship would be entering warp space in just a few short minutes. It was going to be a long trip back to the Baal system, and Falkener would be haunted by his concerns and doubts for most of the trip.


The Black Company's command unit disembarked from the Thunderhawk Gunship and made their way out of the desert sun and into the relative safety of the Blood Angels chapter base. The Master of the Forge was there to meet them, but simply stated, "Desdinova, come with me," and turned and walked away. Desdinova did as he was ordered, and the rest of the unit continued on. They made their way to the Barracks and were shown to their rooms, with no indication given of why they had been recalled to the system.

Falkener's room was exactly as he had left it, and having nothing to do but await his summons, he walked into his studio and commenced working on the life-size glass statue he had last seen over five years ago. Several days passed before the expected summons came. Falkener walked down the corridors to the designated chamber, expecting to meet the rest of his command squad along the way, but the hallways were empty.

Falkener's concerns about being recalled suddenly disappeared. He had done what he was ordered to do, and he had done it with faith, with loyalty, and with a level of discretion that was almost unknown outside the Officio Assassinorum. Falkener covered the last few steps towards the chamber with the same confidence he felt as he entered the battlefield. "My liege," he acknowledged, stepping through the doorway.

"At ease, Reclusiarch," Dante replied, and stood, offering him a chair. Falkener's body was filled with adrenaline, but he took it out of courtesy, and forced himself to calm down. "Several years ago," Dante started, "we saw additional indications that the flaw was spiralling out of control, and I had to make a decision I had hoped to wait on. We have discovered that the modifications we applied to the recruits under your command can also be made to the existing geneseed within our chapter."

"So we can apply the treatment to our existing battle-brothers?" Falkener confirmed.

"We already have," Dante answered. Dante then stood, and Falkener immediately followed suit. "Effective immediately, the Black Company is a fully recognized Battleforce of the Blood Angels Chapter, with all the responsibilities and rights that includes. Your Company will be joined by three squads of Veterans, the Baal Predators "Oblivion" and "Divinefate", the Land Speeder "Hellbat", and the Land Raider "Firestorm". Squad Mandius will be bringing the Razorback "Thunderstrike" with them, of course.

Falkener was silent for a moment. Thunderstrike was the oldest Razorback in the Blood Angels armoury, and having Squad Mandius assigned to the Black Company was an unexpected honour and responsibility. Dante turned and started walking towards the door. "Come with me," he said, and Falkener silently fell into step behind them as they walked to the armoury.

They walked in silence for several minutes, but as they entered the last corridor leading to the armoury, Dante spoke again. "I've received some unexpected requests regarding the Black Company's promotion, and they've encouraged me to make an even more unexpected decision. Dreadnoughts Kainin and Rokana have both requested assignment to the Black Company, and I've agreed. All three dreadnoughts have been outfitted with the same Emergency Teleporters The Epistolary wears, but that is no reason to use them recklessly," Dante warned.

"I'm honoured, my liege" Falkener acknowledged. Falkener paused as they reached the door into the armoury. "My liege," he asked, "you said 'all three dreadnoughts'?"

Dante reached out and touched the keypad next to the door, opening the doorway and revealing a massive figure. The dreadnought was painted black, with red and gold trim, and gold chains hung from different parts of his armour. His right shoulder mounted one of the new magna-grapples that Falkener had heard about, but Falkener barely noticed it's presence. The arms of the dreadnought ended in massive claws that looked more Orkish than human. Desdinova was working on the dreadnought's arms, and as he worked, he turned to watch the claws spin, then open and snap shut. Like Orson's sword, regardless of its origin, the effectiveness it would have on the battlefield could not be denied.

"Reclusiarch Falkener," Dante said, motioning towards the massive dreadnought, "allow me to introduce you to Brother-Captain Tycho."

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Annals of the Black Company™ (Tyler's fluff) Empty Commentary, pt. 1

Post  tlc247 on Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:16 pm

(commentary posted regarding pt. 4)

There were a couple of things I wanted to explain about this chapter. The survival and re-appearance of the independent characters, as well as some modelling quirks on my miniatures (the Eldar sword on my Sanguinary Priest) were things I wanted to have an explanation for. I also wanted to explain some of the changes that have happened to the Blood Angels from previous editions.

Death Company used to be a mandatory unit, and Chaplains were not independent characters. Chaplains came with 3 + d3 Death Company models, and the rest of the unit came from your squad, depending on a die roll. The "Rage" rule existed, but only affected the Death Company if they didn't have a Chaplain with them (the Chaplain was optional, even though the Death Company weren't).

You used to roll for Red Thirst at the beginning of every turn for every squad. If you rolled a 1, your squad would move d6 inches towards the nearest enemy. They were free to act as they wished for the rest of the turn, but were considered to have moved, even if they didn't move any further during the movement phase. (This really sucked for Devastator Squads, but was made of win for getting into close combat).

So the current rules for Death Company and Red Thirst show both an increase and a decrease in the control that players have over their squads. Since I have played under those old rules, I wanted to include it as part of the fluff for my army.

Besides the skin color and the shoulder trim, I have to acknowledge a series of fantasy books by Glen Cook. They aren't my favoritest books in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD, but the first three I read were interesting, unique, and are considered by many to be classic fantasy novels. Good books, and I couldn't think of "The Black Company" without remembering them.

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Age : 44
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Annals of the Black Company™ (Tyler's fluff) Empty Commentary, pt. 2

Post  tlc247 on Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:19 pm

Commentary posted at the end of pt. 5, edited for content:

For anyone who may be interested, the dreadnought I use for my Death Company dreadnought was purchased as a conversion kit from Games Workshop many years ago. They didn't advertise it heavily, and I haven't seen anyone else's version posted online, but it was sold as a "Tycho Dreadnought". The unofficial idea was that Tycho was still barely alive when they found him on Armageddon, and was placed inside this dreadnought. Personally, I just really liked the model, but I've also always liked the storyline, so I've decided to include it as part of my fluff.

I also own the Tycho miniature, and my painted miniatures all come from the Third Company (Tycho's Company), as indicated by the white drop on their shoulder pad. When I run Tycho, it will be the new Captain of the Third Company, who was one of Tycho's most trusted Honour Guard members, and who developed his skills fighting alongside Captain Tycho throughout multiple campaigns. Upon his promotion to Captain, he was given the honor of using equipment identical to his captain, and even wears a half-mask, made to honour the man he spent so many years fighting next to.

I have also considered writing background fluff for my Heavy Weapons Dreadnought, Rokana. I have several thoughts running around in my head about it, but I won't waste anymore forum space if there's no interest. If you would like to read some additional fluff about my dreadnought, let me know and I'll put the story together.

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