Astra Militarum/Imperial Guard "Wiki"

Ave Omnissiah!

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My blog is primarily my own personal fluff in the Warhammer 40,000 universe regarding the Draconis system such as the Knight House Yato in Draconis III, the Imperial Guard...I mean, Astra Militarum regiment trained there, the Draconian Armored Defenders, and the Forge World of Draconis IV with its Adeptus Mechanicus priesthood, Cybernetica cohorts and Skitarii legions, and the Titan Legion, Legio Draconis, known as the Dark Dragons.

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Horus Heresy Janus Campaign

I had a great weekend at the Horus Heresy Weekender, which was organized by the Frozen North Horus Heresy group - thanks to all the organize...

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Knight Lance rules

You were right, Lord Adiatun Varunn! According to Warhammer Community, we have a way to refund our Command Points for Imperial Knights (and Chaos Knights too)!



We all saw this yesterday, and there was a great outcry in Facebook (rolls eyes) with people whining about how this makes Imperial Knights unplayable or any such nonsense, despite the article clearly stating that there is a way to refund the points. Gosh, some people can't read. Or they are quick to jump to conclusions and whine. Sigh. Anyway, as promised, Warhammer Community has provided the new rules for taking Knight Lances!



Yeah, this sys Traitoris Lances and Chaos Knights, but I assure you that Imperial Lances and Imperial Knights get the same rules. So if you have a single Titanic Knight as your Warlord, then your Imperial Knights Super-heavy Detachments are free! As Lord Adiatun Varunn said, we get them for free! This also applies to if you take an all-Armiger Knight army. Since non-Titanic Super-heavy Detachments cost only 3 points, if you make an Armiger your Warlord, you get those 3 points back too! Otherwise, your Titanic Knight Warlord gets you 6 points back! Yay!

Also, there might be changes to the way you play them. If you don't want to take allies, you can tailor your strategy to an all Knights list by denying your opponent objectives rather than scoring them yourself. It remains to be seen what kind of style or mission objectives (the secondary ones), so I'll wait and see. I'm definitely looking forward to it, though! My army of giant, stompy robots and their Skitarii/Storm Trooper retinue allies! Or just pure Imperial Knights! Yay!

Hmm, is there anything else I'm forgetting? I don't think so...at least I hope not! Oh, yeah. David on Bell of Lost Souls. Looks like you don't need your Loyal 32, after all!



Ouch. I'm going to have to reinforce my Loyalists to fight against those Traitor Knights!

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Faction Focus: Imperial Knights



Hello, fellow Nobles! Warhammer Community has written an article on Imperial Knights today! Woohoo!



...I love Knights. 'nuff said.



I actually have this illustration because I own the Imperial Knights: Collector's Edition. I wish they would one day incorporate the Forge World Imperial Knights army list into the actual codex, but that might be a bit too much to ask for. Knights, along with the Imperial Guard (cough, Astra Militarum, cough), have one of the most selections of Forge World units. I have 3 Cerastus Knights, 1 Acastus Knight and 2 Armiger Knights Moirax.

Anyway, we will be using the Super-heavy Detachment a lot if you're like me and Knights are your core army. Damn, that's gonna cost us 6 Command Points, though! What a massive chunk of points! There's one thing weird about it, though.



Aren't all Lords of War Titanic? Weird. Well, I think the Armiger class Knights are not Titanic, so you can bring like 3 Armigers in a Super-heavy Detachment (so that they will gain a Household Trait) for 3 Command Points. Otherwise, if you're like me and have a bunch of Questoris Knights, you can just bring the usual Super-heavy Detachment.



Or you can just bring a single Super-heavy Auxiliary Detachment for an allied Knight. I guess this is to ensure that people who bring three Baneblades pay for the cost, but most people are just going to bring one super-heavy tank anyway. They had better rewrite the rules for Regimental Doctrines - what's the point of paying 3 Command Points for a single Baneblade or Shadowsword that doesn't have any Regimental Doctrine unless you give it the Tank Ace thing? Ugh...

Speaking of which, though the cost of a Super-heavy Detachment might be hefty, it is possible for you to get those 6 points refunded if your Warlord is one of your Knights. It will probably be a codex-specific ability or something like that. Cool.

Anyway, Knights will benefit from the new blast rules! Do you still remember these weapons?





I certainly do! When firing at horde armies that field units that number more than 10, you get 12 shots from the rapid-fire battle cannon, and 6 shots from the thermal cannnon (well, it's not as useful, but you get at least 3 shots against units with 6 or more). Isn't that awesome?

I don't know how flamer weapons work, though. Do flamer weapons work the same as blast weapons, or do they still have a chance of scoring only one automatic hit on a horde of 11 or more? Even though they mentioned the conflagration cannon, they have not said anything else. Oh, well...I guess we'll find out eventually.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Brothers

"We have arrived, Brother."

Brother. That was a form of address that I hadn't been called for years now.

I hadn't always been alone. An eternity ago, I had an entire legion who I could safely call brothers. I still recalled with perfect clarity the day when the Wolves came. I had lost many brothers then. To the claws and fangs of the Wolves, and to the Talons of the Emperor - the massive men and silent women in gleaming, gold armor scything through the ranks of red and gold as a farmer would reap stalks of grain. I still remembered the flames...the deaths as they tore through the shining city of Tizca.

More of the survivors of that tragedy were lost to Ahriman's Rubric. Unlike many of the others, I did not resent my brother for it. If he had not done anything, the Legion would have been lost. The results were certainly less than satisfactory, but he had halted the Legion's slide into madness and chaos. Their physical bodies might have been destroyed, but at least they were saved from a fate worse than death. I could still remember the fear that had permeated the Legion on the Planet of Sorcerers, the tension that filled the crackling air as we waited with dread to see which of us would devolve into a writhing mass of misshapen limbs and claws.

More than death, the brothers of my Legion feared the flesh-change.

"Brother?"

"Sorry." I turned around to face Acastus. "I was reminiscing."

The Sergeant nodded, his expression concealed beneath his horned helm. He was a good man, or at least I would like to think of him as one. I had rescued him and his Chapter, once of the Sapphire Drakes, from annihilation at the hands of the Inquisition. The Ordo Hereticus had deemed their Chapter too dangerous, particularly when there was an outbreak of psykers within their ranks. Their Librarium had swelled dangerously, with at least a quarter of the Chapter burgeoning uncontrollably with empyric energies.

Then the terrifying men and silent women in gold armor came. I did not know for what purpose they came, but it seemed that they were to deliver a company of Greyshields - of the new breed of Space Marines they called "Primaris." I did not know what happened to those Primaris Marines who were supposed to reinforce the Sapphire Drakes. I did not want to know.

What mattered was that shortly after the battleship, The Emperor's Deliverance, took up orbit, the warriors of the Adeptus Custodes and the Silent Sisterhood descended to destroy the Sapphire Drakes Chapter. Led by Inquisitor Natasha Nikova, they had assaulted the monastery-fortress of the Sapphire Drakes and tore them apart.

It was like Tizca all over again.

By the time my retinue of Scarab Occult Terminators and I had arrived, there was barely a company left of Sapphire Drakes to save. Even with an army of Rubricae at my command, they were no match for the superlative skill of the Custodian Guard, and the Sisters of Silence nullifed my psychic abilities. The mute Pariahs dealt more damage to my ranks of Rubric Marines than any Adeptus Astartes strike force over three centuries.

Even now,  my allies of the Dark Mechanicum were working to restore the broken armor that housed the souls of my long-gone brothers, nursing the automatons back to life.

In exchange for the damage, I had gained about a hundred followers. A Chaplain, whose faith in the Emperor remained strong despite the betrayal his Chapter had suffered, and over three dozen Librarians, consisting of Lexicaniums, Codiciers and Epistolaries, as well as the Chief Librarian himself, Makhat.

Three dozen Librarians. Out of a hundred surviving Space Marines. A highly disproportionate number of psykers in their ranks. They might as well be the Grey Drakes or Sapphire Knights.

"Chief Librarian Makhat wants to know what your next plan is," Acastus continued as I turned and strode away from the massive hololith that depicted the planet below us.

"I plan to..." I paused for a moment, and glanced back at the hololith. "...retrieve an artifact from Ceyzane. I thought I had already told you that."

"Aye, you did. But I believe Brother Makhat meant to ask how exactly you intend to achieve that." Acastus paused and snuck a peek at the hololith I had been studying. "As you know, the Emperor's Deliverance has followed us here. We have kept our distance for now, but no doubt they will also be descending to Ceyzane. I do not think they will simply allow you to waltz out of there with the artifact."

"Fair enough." Despite the weight and bulk of my tactical dreadnought armor, I moved surprisingly swiftly across the bridge. I could see another hololith displaying the Emperor-class battleship holding orbit over the yellowish world of Ceyzane. Our enemies had somehow beat us to his place despite our desperate flight from the Draconis Sector. Fortunately, I had already accounted for that. To be more precise, I had deliberately taken a detour with Honor of Tizca so that we would arrive over Ceyzane after the Emperor's Deliverance. There was a troublesome enemy down there that I wanted to avoid, and I figured it was better to leave them to the Custodes and Silent Sisterhood to deal with. "We do not need to face them in direct combat. Our objective is only to grab the Tome of Firdaus and leave."

"If only it will be that simple."

I turned around to look at the source of the rich voice. Makhat, also clad in heavy terminator armor, proceeded toward us, accompanied by Episolitary Egnis. Chronos accompanied them, his skull-masked helm off, but he continued to carry the accursed crozius that marked his office.

"Brothers," I greeted them. "I assume you intend to accompany me down to Ceyzane?"

"Of course," Chronos replied, his eyes narrowed. "As much as I hate to admit it, we are bound to you now, Sorcerer. You saved our lives, and we are honorbound to aid you."

"There is nowhere else for us to go," Makhat continued, shooting the Chaplain a look. "We cannot return to the Imperium."

"You say you remain loyal to the Emperor," Chronos growled. His voice, normally husky underneath a vox-grille, was somehow amplified several times in my battle barge's tactical office. He had always been a great orator, or so I had heard. "Even though I do not trust you, as long as our interests coincide, we will lend you a hand."

"I cannot speak for the rest of my Legion, but I assure you, I have always been loyal."

To the Emperor, probably, but mostly my loyalties lay with my own interests. Unlike the majority of my fellow Warlocks, and especially the father from whom my gene-seed was derived from, I did not bear any grudge to the Imperium who turned its back on us and set the Wolves on our world. I had always been loyal, envisioning the Imperium once more as a place of enlightenment...of knowledge. The Crimson King would certainly tear me apart if he realized my true allegiance, as well as a good number of my brothers, but the rest of them, such as Ahzek, were apathetic. Ahzek himself was obsessed with redemption, with undoing the Rubric, than vengeance. If he could make use of the Imperium, he would.

However, I could not trust the majority of my brothers with my vision. They were too short-sighted. Over the millennia, many of them had devolved into insanity, not of the flesh but of the mind. They harbored schemes and studied magic, conducting experiments of sadistic cruelty just to satiate their twisted desires and unending greed for knowledge. I sought knowledge, yes, but in the end it was a means to an end. And unlike my brothers, I did not enjoy torturing lesser beings and mortals for sorcerous experiments. I would like to think that I still retained some semblance of honor. Of...sanity.

Sanity was in short supply in Sortiarius.

Most of my brothers did not share my vision. That was why I mostly traveled alone, accompanied only by silent ranks of Rubricae. The soulless automatons were bound to my will, their personalities faint echoes silenced by the cold husks of their armor. They would never - could never betray me. Perhaps it was because I was Terran-born, like Ahzek, and had never grown up on Tizca. The Sorcerers with whom I shared my Legion were prone to betraying me. I still remembered Iskandar Khayon. It was not enough that he turned his back on us and joined the Black Legion instead. He had sought me out, threatened me, and attacked me when I refused his offer. I had barely escaped with my life then.

Ironically enough, that very same Iskandar was bound in a dungeon somewhere on Terra right now. Given his intellect and powers, I had no doubt that he had deliberately allowed himself to get captured. At least I wouldn't be running into him again, at least not for the near future.

However, Iskandar was far from the only one to stab me in the back. There were many others - comrades I had considered brothers by virtue of sharing the same genetic father and the heritage of sorcery passed down from the times of ancient Tizca. Tizca, before it was warped into a nightmarish hell on the Planet of Sorcerers. The men I had thought brothers had plotted my death, involving me in intricate schemes designed to usurp me of my battle barge, Honor of Tizca, and the Rubricae in my charge, as well as the myriad of daemonic artifacts and sorcerous tomes I had accumulated over millennia. The knowledge from the grimoires I had collected was enough to raze several systems, if I chose to use them.

My brothers coveted my...tools and weapons more than they treasured our bond. As such, it had beeen a long time since I had anyone called me brother. Except Ahzek. However, as always, Ahzek was off on his own somewhere, bringing his own thrallband - the Prodigal Sons - to raid Commorragh. Our interests rarely coincided. Like me, Ahzek Ahriman did not possess an obsessive hatred of the Wolves - only when our father recalled us did we reunite to make war on Fenris, but with Magnus's goals achieved, the both of us split up from the Legion to carry out our agendas. Ahzek might still possess the faintest shreds of loyalty to the Imperium, but these days he was more obsessed with redemption and the reversal of the Rubric, and like me, he knew that there was no turning back.

The Imperium would never accept us again.

The Sapphire Drakes did not know that, however. They probably suspected it, which was why they had accepted my offer and joined my Legion. A Chapter with three dozen surviving Librarians. Four times nine, the number of Tzeentch. This had to be a sign. I was sure it was. Furthermore, they still retained their loyalty to the Imperium, just as I did. That made them useful, especially for my purposes.

"If you lie..." Chronos snarled, trailing off. I could hear the warning in his tone. Far from being intimidated, I smiled before locking my helm into place. For a moment, darkness prevailed, and then my vision was lit up by auspexes and visual sensors.

"I am not from the Cult of Duplicity or Scheming. I told you, I am from the Cult of Magic."

"We will believe you for now," Makhat said, placing a hand on his chaplain's pauldron. He continued to stare at me, his gray eyes inscrutable. "But if we detect even a hint of treachery..."

"You can shoot me in the back," I replied almost cavalierly, and then shrugged. Or tried to, because such a gesture was all but impossible in the bulky Terminator armor I wore. "For all the good it would do. Again, you don't have to trust me. You don't have to follow me. You can stay in my battle barge and wait. Perhaps even take it for yourselves if you see fit, but at least don't leave me stranded on Ceyzane."

Makhat relaxed slightly. He almost smiled. "We will not resort to such...despicable means."

"I'm relieved to hear that. All right, I need to hurry before the Custodes find the Tome of Firdaus. I'll see you guys later."

"As I said, we will be following." Makhat fell into step beside me. He nodded to Acastus, who was beginning to speak over the vox, organizing several squads of Space Marines. "I'm sure you can use all the help you can."

"We will be better than those...automatons of yours." I could hear the disgust in Chronos's voice as he glanced toward the silent ranks of Rubric Marines and Scarab Occult Terminators who waited outside for me. I cocked an eyebrow, but he obviously couldn't see the expression through my helm.

"The more, the merrier," I replied. "Against the elite Custodian guard, we are going to need every advantage we can get. And unlike my Rubric Marines, if you guys get killed or maimed, it's not going to be as simple as pouring the dust back into the armor and patching up the broken parts."

The four Sapphire Drakes fell silent. Were they perhaps touched by my sentiments to keep them out of harm's way as much as possible? I guess so.

I wondered how they would react if they ever found out that I was the one who triggered the recent psychic awakening among their ranks, which was calculated to drive them into the palms of my hands while they were persecuted by the Inquisition. I certainly didn't expect the Emperor's own Custodian Guard to show up, but then again, I was never from the Corvidae back in the old days. I had always been steeped within the destructive fires of the Pyrae, and closer to the Order of Ruin.

*

The Mausoleum that held the Tome of Firdaus was under heavy fire when we arrived. To my complete lack of suprise, it was under siege by a plague company of the Death Guard. I had anticipated their presence, having known that their captain, a Chaos Lord called Gustav Poostule, coveted the same tome that I did.

To the barbaric Death Guard, the Tome of Firdaus contained the secrets of mutation, to encourage the development of sicknesses and spread a festering pox that would reanimate the living dead. Unimaginative and excessively cruel, as always. Typical of Nurgle's followers. The Tome of Firdaus could be used for so much more...for healing injuries. I was sure my brothers who were formerly of the Pavoni would appreciate having such a tome in their hands. Personally, I sought to improve my arts in biomancy, so that I could heal injuries without accidentally triggering mutations and transforming my patient into those which should not be named.

If I could obtain the secrets of the tome, I could teach them to the growing ranks of mortals who gathered in Prospero. My father had been recruiting psykers from across the Imperium, providing them a haven from persecution and execution from the fanatics and tyrants of the Ecclesiarchy. My aim was to benefit Mankind, to allow them to tap into their unlimited potential while avoiding the side-effects that often came with delving into the dark arts. The gods were a nefarious and greedy bunch, often seeking to monopolize the powers of the Warp. If I could figure a way to cheat them, I would.

The powers were for all to share, not for the dark gods and followers to hoard on their own.

From the distance, I could see the reactive mass shells from the Custodes' guardian spears smashing into the bloated bodies of Plague Marines. The diseases Astartes staggered, but they were disgustingly resilient. They continued to shamble forward, laying down a heavy bombardment that smacked off the aegis armors of the Custodians. Several of the Custodian Guard smashed into the lines of the rotting Plague Marines, scything them down. As durable as their swollen bodies were, even the vaunted Death Guard couldn't move again after being hacked and sliced into pieces.

They responded by stabbing with their plague knives, which failed to penetrate the golden armor of the Custodes. A Plague Sorcerer stepped forward, cackling as he unleashed a noxious mist upon the Custodes, but a squad of Sisters of Silence flanked him from the side, their power swords lashing out. In an instant, the diseased cloud vanished, the Sorcerer stumbling as if he had been hit. Then the Sisters' glowing power swords cut through him, beheading him. The headless Poxcaster staggered for a moment, as if still not realizing that he was dead, and then toppled over.

Even so, the Death Guard were indomitable, continuing to lay down suppressive fire. One of their daemon engines, a sickening tank that spewed diseased mortars, fired. A Custode vanished, his armor buckling. Even with his genehanced physiology, there was no way he could survive a direct hit from a tank shell.

The daemon engine didn't live for long. There was a howl from above, and then a Custodian Guard atop a Dawneagle jetbike descended and drove his spear into the massive tank. There was a shudder, even as the daemon engine continued to spit plague-filled gouts at pointblank range, but the jetbike rider was gone after gouging a massive hole in the machine. Putrid fluids spilled out of its ruptured howl, but the tank continued to fire. Spinning around, the Custodian unleashed a missile, the projectile streaking into the hole and detonating. The immolated plagueburst crawler shuddered and eventually went still.

The Death Guard were being massacred. We didn't have long before the Custodes and their Silent Sister allies finally reached the Mausoleum. Well, that was one of the pitfalls of being among the first few armies in a previously new edition. Without the proper updates, the poor Death Guard had fallen to rank among the low-tier armies. At least they were organizing themselves into Plague Companies and getting new Stratagems now.

"Over there," I told my brothers from the Sapphire Drakes. They nodded and continued around the trench. As per my plan, we were moving steathily, doing our best not to attract the attention of either Imperial forces or Death Guard. It might surprise most Loyalists, but I was not one who favored combat. As I said, I was a secret Loyalist, and any deaths I was forced to inflict upon the Imperium's defenders pained me.

That didn't mean I had any qualms taking their lives, of course. If necessary, I would slay them all for my thrallband to escape safely. That included my new brothers of the Sapphire Drakes.

To our surprise, when we neared the mauloseum, we no longer saw any Death Guard forces. They had been mostly obliterated, their power armored corpses strewn alongside the Ceyzane Militia and other soldiers of its planetary defense force. There was a single body of a slain Custodian here and there, but none had been alive.

And then I saw an infantry platoon clad in the blue colors of the Ceyzane PDF uniform and a single Knight walker being assailed. A Questoris-class, Crusader pattern. The pilot noble was firing his thermal cannon into a squad of gold-armored Custodians, most of whom managed to deftly leaped away. One of them was caught in the blast, however, and melted to slag.

The rest nimbly flanked the stumbling Knight and hacked at it, severing cables and damaging servos.

"What's going on? Is that a Chaos Knight?" Sergeant Acastus sounded puzzled.

"No. I recognize those colors." Makhat studied the black and gold armor of the Imperial Knight. It sported familiar heraldry, a yellow circle that depicted the sun. I could have sworn there was a smiley face on the sun. Seemed like there was still a sense of humor in this grimdark universe of ours. "That's a Knight of House Yato. They are supposed to be Loyalist."

"Then why is the Custodian Guard attacking him?" Chronos asked, his voice filled with derision. "He must be a traitor. There is no other explanation."

"Like how you guys have been judged heretics?" I asked, somewhat snidely. Chronos fell silent, but I could feel his glare on my back.

"Let's move on," Makhat said, ignoring our banter. I raised an armored gauntlet.

"No, wait. Perhaps we should help..."

The words were barely out of my mouth before a psychic shockwave emanated from the Knight's massive suit. A few of the Custodian Guard were hurled away by the immense force, slamming into the ground with bone-crunching impact. True to their reputation, they were immediately up, their armor slightly dented and their bodies intact despite being hit with enough power to crumple a tank.

Those who hadn't been flung aside by the telekinetic blast continued to stab and thrust their guardian spears at the Knight Crusader. The noble kicked out, forcing them to scatter, and the he stomped on one who was too slow to get away. Despite his reinforced physiology and exalted armor, there was nothing that could save the Custodian from being crushed to a mess of bloody pulp and flattened armor by several dozen tons of adamantium and ceramite.

"Witch," Chronos hissed.

"Psyker," I correected softly. "Just like your Librarians"

The Chaplain glared at me. "Our Librarians are different...!"

"How so?" I countered. Before Chronos could reply, Makhat held up a hand.

"Now is not the time to debate the differences between psychic mastery and heretic witchery. Brother, if you wish to help, it has to be now."

I saw what he meant. A squad of Silent Sisters were approachinng the Knight, and while outwardly the super-heavy waler remained unmoved, I could detect subtle movements of instability. A flare of panic...of cold dread as the pilot found his mind dulled by the null-maidens' insufferable aura.

Their very presence was anathema to psykers.

"Save him. And the Guardsmen, if possible."

The Sapphire Drakes looked at me incredulously. At least I imagined them to be incredulous, under those glowing eyelenses and metallic helms. I shrugged, or tried to.

"It's our duty to save the citizens of the Imperium from tyranny, is it not?"

The Knight pilot, despite suffering from indescribable pain and terror, managed to heft the Avenger gatling cannon that made up his left hand and let loose a volley of depleted uranium rounds that pulverized three of the Sisters, their power armored bodies vanishing in blood and shrapnel. The surviving two ducked and sought cover, their null fields still active despite their reduced numbers. While the Knight continued to shake imperceptibly, the Custodes recognized the weakness and charged.

"Now!" I snapped. At my thought, my Rubricae opened fire, ensorcelled shells streaking forward in empyric fire and smacking into the Custodes' golden armor. One of them shuddered, his armor torn open by warp-filled ammunition and fell. The rest responded superlatively, rolling into cover and countering with volleys from their guardian spears.

Even though I was at the recieving end of their fire, I couldn't help but admire the godlike prowess of the Adeptus Custodes. Their precise shots hammered home into ranks of Rubricae - Marines who were Veterans of an age long past, transhuman soldiers whose resilience had been enhanced by Ahriman's Rubric - though inadvertently - and took them down. In a galaxy filled with nightmarish horrors, there existed no warrior more skillful, no soldier more dangerous than the Custodes.

They were reacting pretty rapidly to our sudden assault too. The surviving Sisters, realizing that they were attacked by a Sorcerer of the Thousand Sons, sprinted from cover to cover, accompanied by a single Custodian Guard. He ran in front of them, shielding them from shells fired from the boltguns of both Rubric Marines and Renegade Sapphire Drakes. Mass reactive shells exploded harmlessly against his golden armor while he twirled his guardian spear and cut down the ensorcelled armor-piecing shells fired from inferno boltguns. To be fair, the majority of my force was trading fire with the seven remaining Custodes, and couldn't bring the entirety of their firepower to bear upon the approaching trio. Even so, the solitary Custodian charging at us cut through a storm of shells as if they were nothing more than flower petals.

"Monster...!" Egnis cursed. He raised his hand, as if to conjure a bolt of lightning, but the warp energies gathering at his fingers sparked and blew out. He stared at his gauntlet dumbly. "How...?"

"The Sisters of Silence, you dolt!" I snapped at him. "They are Pariahs! They nullify warp-based abilities!"

"Oh...whoops."

The two Sisters and the Custodian was almost upon us now. However, before they could reach within ten paces of us, the rubble beneath their feet cracked and shifted.

A squad of automatons burst to life from under the ground, their warpflamers spewing enchanted promethium at the charging trio. The risen Rubricae bathed the three in flames before they could react, and even though the Silent Sisters' null-auras cancelled out the sorceries that enhanced the devastating effects of the flamers, their power armor was still not proof against the torrent of fire. Their exposed flesh blackened and their power armor melted into slag. To their credit, they upheld their vow of silence to the very end, not even screaming despite the sheer agony they must be suffering. Although, it was possible that their vocal chords had been removed or they cut off their tongues. Given the fanatism and extremism that the Imperium often descended to, I wouldn't be surprised if their order carried out such macabre practices.

The Custodian Guard survived for half a minute longer. He barreled into the attacking Rubricae, bowling two of them over even as they continued to spray him with mutagenic flames. Unlike the silent Sisters, he roared, a majestic bellow of rage and vengeance, and cleaved through them. One of the Rubric Marines fell, cut cleanly in half at the midriff. The other was immolated in flames, the Custodian Guard's guardian spear having ruptured the promethium tank attached to his warpflamer, and the explosion engulfed both him and his killer.

The remaining Custodes retreated, under fire not only from my Rubricae and Sapphire Drake allies, but also the combined las-fire from surviving Ceyzane Guardsmen and shots from the swaying Knight. Even their aegis armor wouldn't withstand punishing blows from the Knight Crusader's Avenger gatling cannon for long, and another Custodian disintegrated when caught in the blast of the thermal cannon mounted upon its right arm.

Then the Adeptus Custodes were gone. For a few moments, silence reigned. The Militia stared at the approaching line of blue and gold Marines, while the Knight swiveled around to face us. Its weapons were raised, the barrels - still glowing from heat - pointed in our direction.

I clamped my force stave to my back and raised both of my hands to signify that I did not mean to fight.

"Who are you?" The noble pilot demanded, his voice tense over the vox. "I do not recognize your Chapter."

"If you want me to introduce myself, it is only polite to offer your name first."

There was a pause, and then the noble pilot sighed audibly.

"Fair enough. I am Satoru Honouji of House Yato. A Knight pilot of the Imperium."

As we expected, this was no Chaos Knight nor traitor Guardsmen. The Talons of the Emperor had targeted them for termination for some reason. I had an inkling why, though. From the psychic powers that this Satoru Honouji had manifested earlier, they must have deemed him as a threat.

The Imperium did not take too kindly to unsanctioned psykers. And as far as I knew, I had never heard of an Imperal Knight pilot who was a psyker. The only Knight psykers I had heard of were those who had pledged their allegiance to Tzeentch, imbuing their Throne Mechanicum with foul sorceries. The Talons of the Emperor must not have condoned his existence.

However, that did not explain the presence of the renegade militia who were fighting alongside him. Why were they targeted as well? Were they unfortunate enough to get caught in the crossfire? No, that made no sense. The Adeptus Custodes might be cold and tyranical, but they weren't stupid. They would have simply ordered the milita to fre upon the Imperial Knight rather than massacre them alongside him.

"So...who are you?" Satoru Honouji demanded. I realized that I had been too caught up in my thoughts. I apologetically removed my helm and smiled disarmingly.

"I am Ignatius of the Thousand Sons. And I have an offer for you."

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Kasrkins and Rubric Marines

I painted my Kasrkins and Rubric Marines today! I also painted my Vendetta gunship and 2 Tauroxes Prime. It took me about 5 hours to paint them all, so I couldn't get to the Skitarii Serberys Sulphurhounds today. Oh, well. Another day then.

Anyway, the 4 Rubric Marines from yesterday have been painted!


I also painted the Kasrkins as you can see. They are basically an Inquisitorial Stormtrooper army!



Right now I have a single Vendetta gunship, 2 Tauroxes Prime and 25 Kaskins, who are basically seconded to an Ordo Maellus Inquisitor. They are accompanied by a single Primaris Psyker. The Primaris Psyker is supposed to be an Interrogator, so basically an Inquisitor-in-training. And they have their very own retinue of Inquisitorial stormtroopers! Yay!



So a normal squad of Kasrkins saddle up in this Taurox Prime here, armed with nothing but hellguns. Or hot-shot lasguns. Whatever. Eventually they will be reinforced into a full 10-men squad and I will procure them hot-shot lasguns, but for now they are just 5 guys with hellguns and their own Taurox Prime. Hopefully I can get 4 dudes armed with hot-shot volley guns and they will be dishing a lot of damage to horde armies or infantry. They are pretty much anti-infantry. The Taurox Prime itself is armed with twin Taurox gatling cannons, a storm bolter and a pair of hot-shot volley guns.



Inquisitor Tsuchimikado is of the Ordo Maellus, and he is clad in Terminator armor. He is also equipped with a psycannon and Nemesis Daemon hammer. He doesn't have any accompanying Grey Knights, but fortunately he has his own Inquisitorial stormtroopers. I use Kasrskin models, but they are all really Draconian Kamikaze Troopers. He is accompanied by Interrogator Ichijou, his apprentice. They usually ride in the Vendetta gunship with the Stormtroopers, but for some weird reason Inquisitors wearing Terminator armor are not allowed to ride in a Vendetta or Valkyrie. I wonder why.



The second Taurox Prime is filled with 2 squads. They are led by Lieutenant Kanda (or Chu-i Kanda), who is armed with a plasma pistol, and his command squad, all of whom are armed with hot-shot volley guns. They are escorted by a normal squad of Kasrkins/Kamikaze Troopers, whose Sergeant is armed with a plasma pistol, and comprise of 2 plasma gunners along with 2 hellgunners. So the 9 of them drive around in the second Taurox Prime, carrying heavy firepower. The second Taurox Prime is identical to the first, armed with twin Taurox gatling cannons, storm bolter and hot-shot volley guns. If necessary, I can swap the twin Taurox gatling cannons out for a Taurox battle cannon, especially if the enemy are packing more vehicles than infantry. If that's the case, the command squad can swap their hot-shot volley guns for meltaguns for more anti-tank firepower.



Behind Inquisitor Tsuchimikado is Colonel Toujou, who has a command rod to give 2 orders. He leads his own command squad, 4 Kamikaze Troopers - all of whom are equipped with plasma guns - and a squad of 5 Kamikaze Troopers, who again consist of a Sergeant with a plasma pistol, 2 plasma gunners and 2 hellgunners. That's 10 men in the Vendetta gunship. Usually Inquisitor Tsuchimikado rides in the gunship with them, but in the event the pilot refuses to let him onboard because of his Terminator armor, then Interrogator Ichijou will deputize for him. This drop force of plasma gunners pack heavy firepower, usually to deal with monsters, vehicles (if necessary), and other bigger targets.



The Vendetta gunship has 6 lascannnons, so that's a lot of anti-tank. Speaking of which, I tried to draw the Inquisitorial 'I' on the wings (and a bunch of other places), but I think I failed. Whoops. Hey, at least I tried. It's to sort of represent that this Vendetta gunship is permanently seconded to the Inquisition. The Kamikaze Troopers are famous for being recruited by Inquisitors for whatever missions they need, whether it's against Daemons, Heretics or Xenos. So I can swap out Inquisitor Tsuchimikado for an Ordo Xenos Inquisitor if I so desire. We'll see.



A bird's eye view of the Vendetta gunship. As you can see, I painted the vehicles to be of the same color scheme as my Kasrkins/Kamikaze Troopers. Green with red and white camouflage paint. I hope they look cooler now! I might consider repainting my Leman Russ tanks because I really like this color scheme. Anyway, we'll see.

I wonder how my Inquisitorial stormtrooper army will play out! I really want to test them out against Daemons, but...we'll never know. Depending on what happens in 9th edition, I might expand this army to include Grey Knights (I intend to start with a Crusade force, so yay) but if I can't get Tides because of Combat Doctrines requiring a mono-army, despite the new rules stating that you have to pay Command Points for allies and additional Detachments, then I might just forget it. We'll see, I guess!

For the Emperor!

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Faction Focus: Astra Militarum

Yeah, we have a Faction Focus for Astra Militarum today! Yay!



Worth mentioing the new Morale Phase. The test is the same as before - you roll a D6 and add the number of casualties to it. A 1 means that you pass automatically, so that's one change! But if the combined number exceeds your Leadership, at last one dude runs away and you roll again for the other models.





This is called Combat Attrition test. So if you have less than half of your models left, then you minus one from Combat Attrition test. Meaning that they will run away if you roll a 2 as well.

An example: let's say I lose 3 Guardsmen in an infantry squad. I roll a 6, which sucks. That means I have a 9, which exceeds my Guardsmen's leadership of 7. One guy runs away, and I roll 6 D6. If I roll a single 1, another model flees, and I lose a total of 2 dudes in the Morale phase.

Let's say I lose 5 guys and fail my morale test (I roll a 3, for a total of 8). Again, one guy flees, and I have to roll 4D6. However, this time, rolls of 1s and 2s both mean my Guardsmen flee. So if I roll a 1, 2, 3 and 4, another 2 guys run away, and I'm left with 2 Guardsmen. Ouch.



...right. No change there. Unless I roll a 1, it won't mitigate that. I wish they will chang it back to automatically passed, but then that would make Conscripts Fearless, which is stupid as hell. Oh well.

Not going to talk about the Stratagems and key units because we already know what they are and how they play. I do think I want to add a Hellhound to my armored company, though.



Yeah, the more I look at it, the more I want one...



Right now my Astra Militarum army consists of 2 types. One is armored company with Leman Russ Executioner tanks (I intend to add a Stormblade eventually) and Carnodon tanks, and one is Stormtroopers. Inquisitional Stormtroopers, perhaps, but mechanized Stormtroopers, all loaded up in a Vendetta gunship and Tauroxes Prime, escorting my tanks. This will be cool. Maybe? We'll see.



For the Emperor!

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Kasrkins, Rubric Marines and Serberys Sulphurhounds!

So I spent an afternoon assembling my new Kasrkins (not that they need much assembling, I just glued their backpacks on, and did a cloak for the Sergeant to turn him into a Lieutenant or Tempestor Prime), Rubric Marines and Serberys Sulphurhounds.



So now I have a command squad of Kasrkins, all armed with special weapons. I plan to convert them to hot-shot volley guns. Maybe I'll give another Kasrkin Sergeant a plasma pistol, while equipping two more dudes in the normal squads to plasmagunners. That will give me 2 normal squads of 1 plasma pistol plus two plasma guns, 1 command squad of 4 plasma guns and 1 command squad of hot-shot volley guns. Nice. I have ordered another 6 Kasrkins, so I will be filling up all the Tauroxes Prime and Vendetta gunship to the brim. I intend to have a 10-men squad along with the 2 normal squads with plasma guns. I don't know how it will work, but yeah. Maybe I can turn one of the Kasrkin into an Acolyte, but I doubt that. Anyway, we'll see.


There was a little screw-up with the Rubric Marines. I ordered 4 (5, but I bought the 5th one from a different buyer), and there was one missing back torso. Sent a message to the seller and he will probably provide me a new back torso soon. Unfortunately, right now I'm in limbo, so I only have an additional 4 Rubric Marines instead of 5. They were to join the warpflamer squad so that I will have 10 Rubric Marines with warpflamers. Come on, 9 warpflamers and 1 warpflame pistol? That's quite the awesome firepower!



And then I built 3 Serberys Sulphurhounds for my Skitarii. I don't care that my custom forge world dogma focuses exclusively on vehicles. I love the models so much that I want to use Serberys Sulphurhounds. That's all to it. In future I'll get a couple of Archaeopters, but right now I'm considering purchasing another box of Serberys Sulphurhounds. We'll see, I don't know how it'll work out for now. I originally planned on building a Brigade, but with 9th edition dropping, I could just cut down on my forces. Who knows? We'll see, I guess.



I have a few ideas for a narrative campaign, but I don't know how it will all come together. Ignatius will be recruiting a Renegade Chapter of Space Marines who have been severely affected by the Psychic Awakening and are being persecuted by Inquisitors of the Ordo Hereticus. Meanwhile, an Ordo Malleus Inquisitor and his Inquisitorial stormtroopers are on the heels of poor Ignatius, who ends up saving the Renegade Chapter in order to survive. The Renegades will join the Thousand Sons Legion, sort of, we will see. I kind of took the idea from Sons of Hydra, where Occam the Untrue and his Redacted are supposedly Alpha Legion, but all his members are from other Legions or Renegade Chapters (Fallen/Dark Angels, Relictors, Reclaimers, Night Lords, etc.). Pretty cool stuff. I can't wait!

Monday, June 22, 2020

Custom Forge World

With Engine War, we now have the ability to give our Adeptus Mechanicus custom forge world dogmas. Obviously I'm sinking my mechadendrites deep into this. Now the question is...which is the best or most suitable forge world dogma for my Forge World, Draconis IV?

As you probably know, Draconis IV is pretty much a hotbed of rogue, radical and ostracized Tech-priests who flee from other forge worlds to seek refuge here. As long as you don't go full-blown Dark Mechanicum or create an actual AI., all sorts of research are permissible (though we obviously wouldn't call them "innovation" lest we bring the wrath of Mars - see what I did there? - and other forge worlds down on us). We are most well known for recruiting Tech-priests from Ryza to manufacture plasma weaponry. Hence all the Leman Russ tanks produced on Draconis IV are exclusively Leman Russ Executioner variants, and the super-heavy tanks are exclusively Stormblades. Yeah, I'll get a Stormblade soon. Not sure when, but definitely sometime soon. When I have money (obviously).

What about the Skitarii themselves? Or the Mechanicus priesthood on Draconis IV? The Skitarii are armed with more specialized weaponry than the Skitarii legions of other forge worlds, so we have more arc weapons and plasma weapons. The Skitarii Vanguard have an unusually high concentration of plasma calivers while the Skitarii Rangers are always almost armed with arc rifles and arc mauls. Also, Draconis IV has an enormous Cybernetica contingent, much larger than other forge worlds. We have lots of robots. Yeah, I'm a big fan of robots, so obviously my forge world will also have a lot of them. I wish we have more variants than just the Kastelan robots, though. Forge World, please give us rules for Mechanicum battle-automata. With the aggressive recruitment of rogue Ryza Tech-priests and manufacture of so much specialized weaponry such as plasma or arc weapons as well as battle robots, it's pretty obvious that Draconis IV fits the Data-hoard forge world most. The Tech-priests of Draconis IV are always on the lookout for STCs (which is one of the narrative campaigns I hope to play out one day, the Knight STCs are waiting for my forces to claim them!), theft of personnel and Tech-priests from other forge worlds, especially Ryza, and even their lack of qualms with dealing with xenos and obtaining their technology, put them firmly in this category.

So that's the primary forge world dogma for Draconis IV. Magnabonded alloys. Our vehicles have Feel No Pain. Funnily enough, I don't have that many vehicles, only a couple of Skorpius vehicles, which I can switch between Duneriders and Disintegrators, but hey, I don't care. Oh, and Kastelan robots. I have plenty of Castellax battle-automata, which I can't use in 40K for some reason, so they are all Kastelan robots for now unless Forge World produces new rules for them in their upcoming books. Can't wait for that.

So what should be the secondary forge world dogma for my Skitarii? We have Omnitrac Impellors, which is cool...except that there are no Kataphron battle-servitors or Onager Dunecrawlers in my army. Whoops. So that one is out. It doesn't really appeal to me that much anyway.

Then you have Servo-Focused Auguries, which benefits cognis weapons. I do have plenty of cognis weapons on my Skorpius vehicles, and I plan to get the Archaeopters, which means I'll have even more cognis weapons, but...nah. I'm not a big fan of this.

Now we have Autosavant Spirits, which appeal to me the most. Funnily enough, I only have 2 Skorpius vehicles in my entire army - the rest are infantry. Well, mostly. Oh, and my Kastelan robots. Now this actually provides a lot of potential. If I plan on going the Legio Cybernetica route, I can actually benefit a lot from this dogma. Can you imagine having an army of robots that not only have a 6+++ Feel No Pain, but also the ability to regain a wound at the start of each of my turns? That will be awesome. I will have a resilient Legio Cybernetica army reinforced by vehicles. This will also benefit my Skorpius vehicles and Archaeopters. It will be very thematic!

On the other hand, I also like Trans-node Power Cores as well. I have a lot of arc weapons, whether it's the Serberys Sulfurhounds (okay, Sulphurhounds...my American spelling always kicks in at the worst times), or Skitarii Rangers. If I go down this route, I might have to grab a few Kataphron Breachers with heavy arc rifles, otherwise it will be a huge waste. Again, very thematic. Damn it, I find it absurd that my Secutarii Hoplites don't get forge world dogmas, because their arc lances will benefit a lot from this, and I have 20 of them! WHY?! Come on, Forge World. In your update, please allow the Secutarii to benefit from forge world dogmas too. Sigh. But yeah, I like this - it's thematic and I can imagine an entire army of Skitarii equipped with arc weaponry, all running around with their arc rifles or arc mauls. I'll need to get Kataphron Breachers too if that's the case, but we will see.

Right now, I'm leaning toward Autosavant Spirits. I want my Legio Cybernetica! Heh.

Oh, and speaking of this, I think the Holy Order of Artisans will benefit me the most. Whether it's Mastery of the Motive Force for my Skitarii with arc weapons or Enhanced Engine Interfaces for my Skorpius tanks or Kastelan Robots (not sure if I want them to fall back, though), they fit in with my playstyle and focus on vehicles and arc weaponry. However, the Holy Order of Magi also appeal to me, because the Aggressive Subroutines will help benefit my Kastelan Robots when they charge into the enemy and crush them with their fists. I doubt it, though. Well, we'll see...

Anyway, I'm leaning more toward Autosavant Spirits for now, to create a Legio Cybernetica army! That means I'll need to get more robots. Well, for now I'll just run my Castellax robots as Kastelan robots, and if they get their own rules in a new Forge World update, then I'll buy a couple of Kastelan robots. That should work. I hope.

Till then!

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Faction Focus: Skitarii

So we have a new faction focus for Skitarii! Cool, I guess. Warhammer Community has all the details.



Honestly, there's not much changes, it seems. But we do have a peek at a new Core Stratagem!



Cool! So if your vehicles or units are trapped and cornered by melee units, you can try and have them desperately break out! Try not to roll 1s, though. Of course, in typical hyperbolic fashion, I see people on Facebook complaining that "close combat is dead." Either they need better reading comprehension or they need to chill out and actually play the game.

"I'm done. I have 3 close combat armies, but GW hates close combat and is forcing me to drop the game."

Well, goodbye. Don't let the door hit you on the way out. Seriously...I'm not a fanboy and there are a lot of stuff I don't like (the damned price hikes, for one thing), but sometimes the whining gets out of hand.

Anyway, the rest of the stuff in the article are from Engine War, so nothing much to say there. Oh, Strategic Reserves have changed, so no more need to take a Stygies or Lucius Detachment for alternative deployments. How have Strategic Reserves changed? I have no idea. I seriously don't. I guess we'll see.

Friday, June 12, 2020

The Skitarii are taking cover!




I don't know if any of you saw this, but they have this Skitarii artwork up on Warhammer Community! The Skitarii are taking cover! I thought they were using the cutesy Warhammer Community art at first, but when I checked the website for news again, I saw this!

This is...AWESOME!

Friday, June 5, 2020

The Eye

Once again, he saw the great big eye burning in its dreams. Atop a twisted tower in a writhing world of chaos and insanity, the massive eye stared at it. A ball of fire, with a single black slit cutting it in the middle, the great eye glared down on him with a gaze filled with malice and hatred.

Satoru Honnouji jolted up from his bed, heaving. Cold perspiration poured down his face as he gulped down lungfuls of air. Shaking his head, he reached for the bedside lumen and flicked it on. A servitor rolled into his room, apparently drawn by his cries, and tilted its macabre head to look at him inquisitively.

"Problem, sir?" it asked in that mechanical voice of its own. Satoru shook his head and waved it away. The servitor did an about turn, its treads grinding against the albaster marble, but then Satoru suddenly had a change of heart.

"On second thoughts, fetch me a glass of water."

"Understood, sir." The servitor acknowledged the order before rolling away. Satoru sighed and rubbed his face. Lowering his hands, he saw that they were still trembling.

Even when wide awake, he could still feel the malicous heat of the stare. The back of his neck prickled, almost as if the eye was still watching him somehow.

It's just a dream, he told himself. A nightmare. It's not real. It'll pass.

Yet he had been having similar nightmares for the past two months. It had always been the same, that blazing eye of malice. Somtimes it would be staring from him atop an eldritch tower in a world of shifting landscapes. Other times he could perceive a red giant, the strangely angelic yet terrifying silhouette dwarfing mutating human shapes.

Oddly enough, he sometimes felt drawn to that gaze, as if it was some sort of beacon. A blinding beacon that called for all lost souls to brave the turbulent tides of the warp and sail toward...toward a world...

What was it called? A planet of something. A planet of warlocks? A planet of magic?

Satoru's head throbbed. There was a name for the world scratching at the edge of his memories, something that was trying to get into his mind, yet unable to enter. He was afraid, he realized. Afraid that if he allowed that knowledge in, there would be no turning back.

"Sir?"

Satoru jerked back in reflex, only to find the servitor beside him. It stared at him, its face a grotesque fusion of flesh and metal, and offered a tray of water.

"Thank you." Satoru lowered his head and accepted the cup. Drinking the water in one go, he then leaned back and exhaled.

Even with his eyes closed, he could still sense the blistering heat of that malicious yet seductive gaze, its pull on his soul like a siren's song.

*

The Heldrake shrieked as Satoru bathed it in molten flames, the crimson ray erupting from the thermal cannon of his Knight Crusader boring a hole within the daemonic construct. Screeching, the Heldrake tried to slash at the massive war engine, but Satoru flexed his haptic gloves. Responding to his will, Yoru smacked the claws away with its Avenger Gatling cannon. The foul ceature's claws gouged out chunks of ceramite from his shoulder pauldron. Ignoring the warning hololiths that lit his Throne Mechanicum red, Satoru rammed the multiple barrels into the draconic creature's side and letting loose armor-piercing rounds at pointblank range. The perforated Heldrake crashed back with a wail, and Satoru stomped on it with the titanic feet of his steed, crushing the foul daemon engine once and for all.

Swerving the Knight's torso around, he let loose several missiles from the Stormspear rocket pod mounted atop Yoru's carapace. They struck a second Heldrake and detonated, sending the flying creature into a spiraling crash. Taking aim, Satoru unleashed a second burst of melta energy from his thermal cannon and enveloped the tumbling daemon engine. The Heldrake screamed one last time before it combusted spontaneously.

Leaving the misshapen wrecks behind, Satoru marched his Knight Crusader forward. His auspex displayed several hulking forms in red power armor sprinting from cover, firing their boltguns in his general direction. The mass-reactive shells detonated harmlessly against his ion shield, the defensive field barely flickering from the insignificant impact.

Satoru leveled his Avenger gatling cannon and curled his fingers inside his haptic glove. The barrels spun rapidly and spat out a thunderous stream of high caliber rounds that tore through even vaunted power armor, the ceramite buckling and the flesh and bone within reduced to bloody splinters. The Word Bearers fell, cut down like wheat in a harvest.

However, they were merely a distraction. A missile swiveled and burst against his shimmering ion shieds, causing Yoru to stagger. Satoru swiveled his Knight Crusader around and triggered his heavy stubber. The assailant ducked down, dropping his missile launcher onto the ground as he dove for cover. Even without the ruins of the former cathedral to protect him, the conventional rounds of the Knight Crusader's heavy stubber wouldn't be able to penetrate his power armor anyway.

Satoru was about to curse when he realized that he could still "see" the Word Bearer. Even from behind a wall and obscured from normal sight, the noble pilot could still make out the vague shape of the Traitor Astartes scrambling away from his Knight Crusader.

Even though he was not sure what to make of that, he still lifted his thermal cannon and vaporized the entire wall. The Word Bearer vanished, and even though Satoru wasn't supposed to be able to see it, he knew somehow that he had slain the heretic. He could sense the Traitor's life-force vanish somehow, his thoughts being silenced by the lethal strike.

...thoughts?

Satoru scowled and shook his head. Why did it sound like he was able to read the heretic Astarte's thoughts? That wasn't possible. He wasn't a psyker, not like one of those sanctioned psykers employed by the Astra Militarum. He was a pilot, a noble who commanded an Imperial Knight...

"Ah..."

He went quiet after a moment. Dread filled him, but he quashed it and moved on. He had cleared the sector here, and his Knight had suffered damage. He began limping his Knight Crusader away, heading for the Sacristan trailer.

Do not ignore it.

You know something is wrong.

The ghosts whispered to him from inside his Throne Mechanicum as he walked his machine back to safety. The phantoms of the Honnouji lineage were drifting around him, whispering into his ear. He could feel their judgemental gazes, but he ignored them all.

They lacked the potency...the malice of that great fiery eye.

"Sir Honnouji." Kikaudo's voice came over the vox. The Sacristan had been waiting outside the trailer, his mechadendrites waving around as he prepared to administer field repairs, but he wasn't patient enough to wait until Satoru returned to the trailer. His dry, mechanical voice hissed, taking on a sinister aspect within the confines of the Throne Mechanicum.

Waving the ghosts away with a force of will, Satoru thumbed the vox button. "What is it, Kikaudo?"

"A ship has just landed just west of here. I'm not very clear on the details, but they seem to be looking for you."

"Who is 'they'?" Satoru demanded, though a sense of foreboding gnawed at his chest. For some reason, he could see the gunship even though that was impossible. Yet, he couldn't "see" its occupants. There was a chilling void where he set his third sight on, a darkness that filled him with loathing and dread.

"Women in golden power armor and armed with power swords." Kikaudo paused for a moment. "Sisters of Silence...I believe that's what they are called."

"Witch hunting blanks? What are they doing here?" Satoru frowned. Considering the enemy, he wasn't surprised. "The Word Bearers must have been enacting some sort of socerous ritual then. Probably to summon...something. The Sisters of Silence must be here to hunt them."

"Probably." Kikaudo didn't sound convinced. "I tapped into the noosphere after they contacted me, and there is a lot of vox-chatter in orbit. Seems like they arrived in one of those black ships."

The premonition grew larger, and Satoru swallowed. His mouth went dry, and his heart hammered in his chest like a piston in one of those Tech-priests' damned machines. The eye came back to haunt him once again, and this time he remembered the name of the location of the flaming beacon.

Planet of...Sorcerers.

They were calling for me. They have always been. Because I'm one of them...I'm a witch.

And now the witch hunters are here...

"Did you tell them where I was?" Satoru asked. There was a moment of silence, and he could imagine Kikaudo shaking his head. The Sacristan then realized that his master couldn't see him - despite the fact that Satoru actually could - and then spoke up.

"No. I told them that you are still in the middle of battle and are currently unreachable."

"Good, keep it that way. I'm returning for now, I need you to make some quick repairs, and then I'll, uh, go back to being out of reach."

"Sir Honnouji." Kikaudo sounded serious. "What do you intend to do about these...Sisters?"

Satoru pondered for a while, but his mind was a blank. A cold, black blank. The terrifying voice scrabbled at the edge of his consciousness, and once again he felt its pull...to seek a haven for witches and outcasts.

The Planet of Sorcerers. Prospero. He didn't know why the second name came to mind, but it did, sliding itself into his thought processes naturally as if it had always been there, lodged somewhere in his memories.

"My lord?"

"...no, it's nothing. Sorry, I was just thinking." Satoru took a deep breath and shuddered. Around him, ghosts continued to dance and pass judgement in that silent, condescending manner typical of Honnouji arrogance. Haughtiness and nobility that an illegitimate heir like Satoru had no understanding of. "I don't know, Kikuado. I really don't know what to do now."

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Kerberos BuCue Hound

While working on my science fiction story (supposed to be a mecha story, but I suck at writing, unfortunately), I bought a Kerberos BuCue Hound. The idea was that...well, I needed some inspiration for the mechs in my story, and so I'm collecting quite a bit. While I want to use Imperial Knights, they don't really work for the setting of my story, so I chose Gundam instead. That said, I was hybridizing BattleTech, Warstrider (an awesome series by Ian Douglas) and Gundam for the various mechs. I don't know what I'm going to write, but it's basically about an Imperial Pilot from the Empire of the Rising Sun (Warstrider influences, and also from Battletech's Draconis Combine) who is participating in a mech war between the Earth Alliance and the Floating Continent of Celestia. His goal is to end the war, but obviously he's just one kid, so he has no idea how he will pull it off. For now, he's just going to do his best in his mech.

The Kerberos BuCue will probably inspire one of the mechs I have planned. For the Earth Alliance, I took the liberty to name the mechs after weapons or swords. So you will have the light-class mechs Rapier and Falchion, medium-class mechs Gladius, Saber and Halberd, and heavy-class mechs Broadsword and Claymore. The Empire of the Rising Sun produces their own variants, like the light-class mechs Wakizashi and Tanto, the medium-class mechs Katana and Tsurugi, and the heavy-class mechs Tachi and Odachi. For the Celestian mechs I went for a more ghostly nomenclature. The light-class Phantom and Specter, the medium-class Banshee, Wraith and Hellhound (which is inspired by the BuCue Hound), and the heavy-class Reaper and Guardian.

That's all I have for now. I will continue writing as much as I can for this story, but...it will probably suck because I'm such an awful writer. I am getting disillusioned with many of the readers on Webnovel. Lately all I have been receiving are comments telling me to quit writing, calling my stories s***, readers complaining about my protagonists being dumbasses or simps (wtf is a simp?!) or retarded or whatever. A few of them even threatened to track me down through my IP address and "pay a visit" if I don't stop writing. Perhaps I should really give up...

Anyway, here's my Kerberos BuCue Hound!