My personal Army Fluff: Saga of Spiderbreaker
My friend and I are running a Crusade Campaign. And so I decided to start writing fluff for it. I asked the mods if this was okay, hopefully you guys enjoy it to some degree. Each piece is either related to a battle result, a battle scar, a battle trait, and/or other campaign going's on.
I hope you guys enjoy.
“I present to you Raryehk, the Spider King, Shaper Supreme.” Greuik, a Shaper stated, pulling back the curtain with bow. Tundra, T’suka, Hero, and Dreamcatcher entered the tent, out of the oily rain. Longshot and Cobalt followed closely behind. In front of them was an extremely tall and lanky Kroot Shaper lounging on a throne made of webbing and the exposed roots of the tree the tribe of Kroot had made into their fortress dwelling. Raryehk wore a leather poncho, a Kroot Pistol on his hip, and a crown of giant spider fangs on his head. To Raryehk’s left and right were a pair of Kroot Shapers in their own right. One held a shield made of what appeared to be lizard skin, the other held a weapon of jagged spikes, and had a cape of the same lizard skin. Dozens and dozens of spiders crawled about the throne room, the scuttling legs creating a low hum.
“What a grand surprise! A true honor!” Raryehk exclaimed clapping his hands on his knees and sitting forward.
“We are the ones who are honored. Honored that you would meet with us, Raryehk, the Spider King.” T’suka began, bowing ever so slightly at the waist. His helm stabilizing his damaged vocal cords. He could tell Raryehk had expected the more traditional soothing tones associated with the Aun and Por. Instead he had received a deep and metallic voice.
“As I asked you Aun, what shall I call you?” Raryehk asked.
“I am Aun’Vre’Vior’la’Shoh’T’suka. You may address me as T’suka.”
“And who do you bring with you?” Raryehk pondered.
“I, Present Shas'el'Vash'ya'Var’K'yen.” T’suka began, pointing to Dreamcatcher, who stepped forward. The old Shas’el, in his 43rd year, intentionally substituted a bow with a slight nod.
“Ah! Yes! A warrior after my own heart!” Raryehk noted, respecting the gesture far more for its acknowledgement of equality between fellow warriors than a formal bow, at least among Kroot Shapers. “Your name is strong indeed. I have heard you are a friend of many Kroot. Spent many years among us on other worlds. Is this true?”
“Yes. In fact, my personal command is primarily comprised of Kroot Auxiliaries. Commander Smoke…”
“Who? Ah! The big Shas-O! Indeed. Could he not make this meeting?” Raryehk asked.
“Commander Smoke is rather aloof I am afraid.” Dreamcatcher added.
“Yes. That is true Shas’el.” Hero spoke up “But, and with respect to you Shas’el, it is for practical reasons as you know.”
“To maintain the element of surprise and obfuscation. Indeed” Raryehk responded “And you are?”
T’suka responded in Hero’s place “This is Shas'vre'Vash'ya’Shi'Lor'ma.”
“And yet he wears ‘el rank insignia?” Raryehk remarked
“It is his belief that his line is to never achieve significant status. A lineage of servants.” T’suka answered.
“Is this true?” Raryehk asked “And respect to you Aun, but I wish the boy to answer.”
Hero stiffened “With respect to your tribe, and to you Raryehk, I am not a boy. I am 29 in fact. A respected veteran. But yes, this is true. It is my duty to Shas and even more so to the Greater Good, to serve and never seek which my genetic code should not be permitted to have.”
Raryehk rose from his throne in response and approached Hero and grabbed him by his shoulders and laughed.
“And here I though the pointy ear Aeldari were stiff necked. For one that boasts of being a veteran, have you not failed to learn that on the battlefield, there are only those who are equal and those who are dead?”
“With respect, Shas’vre is aware of this,” Dreamcatcher responded. “It is a personal honor code for him. He has had many attempt to discourage it. But it is his code.”
“Indeed.” Raryehk “I am surprised T’suka, you allow them to do so much talking. And all without a Por present. You certainly are a unique bunch. Is this not a violation as I understand your caste system?”
“In my judgment, as Aun, I believe the Greater Good benefits most when its members are allowed to speak as their want and asked. The Por have a role certainly in that. But in times such as this, I determined it to be unsafe for those of the diplomatic caste to be present.”
“Indeed. And who are these others?”
“This is Shas'la,Vash'ya'Monat'M'yen’Kor'vesa'Aloh.” T’suka replied, pointing to Tunda.
“Many names for one of low rank.” Raryehk stated.
“I am a specialist Spider King.” Tundra replied
“Oh? How so?” The Kroot Chieftain asked.
“I am responsible for the guidance of long range drones. Snipers if you will. I am honored to have been given so many names in service of Tau’va”
“Fantastic!” Raryehk cawed, slapping Tundra on the back. “And the other two?”
“Respect and honor to you Spider King,” Longshot spoke “You may call me Longshot. I am Shas’ui of the command’s Pathfinders.”
“And you?” Raryehk asked Cobalt.
“Shas’ui’Vior’la’Or'es’Fio'tak. Leader of the command’s Breacher teams.”
“Well, well Aun T’suka! You certainly have a merry band of warriors here!” The Spider King stated proudly “An honor to meet you all!”
“Indeed, the finest warriors I have met in service of Tau’va.”
“Now what was it that brought you here?” Raryehk asked.
“We came to warn you.” T’suka replied grimly.
The thick oily rain fell heavily as T’suka fell into the churned mud. His helm’s HUD flickering on impact. The dampers hissing as small cracks in the casing formed.
It was in that moment that T’suka’s mind crashed back to his childhood. As one born of the Aun caste T’suka was lucky to have been allowed to live. He was born with a damaged throat, the Earth caste doctor informing the Council of Vior’lan Aun that he would not likely ever speak properly and would be unable to lead as an Ethereal properly should. And indeed, the Council had nearly unanimously voted for Malk’la, but one dissented, Aun’Monat’Sio’t. Upon Monat’s word, the child was sparred as long as Monat would oversee his upbringing and ensure he would speak by the age of 5. Failing this, the Council decided, both would take the path of Malk’la.
It was this task, that the child would speak that Monat could not ensure. The child’s life and his own depended upon the work of the Fio scientists. It was the work specifically of Fio’tak’kais that allowed two lives to be saved. Incorporating the technology of emissary drones with the communication tech of a fire warriors helmet, ‘Tak’Kais was able to link them to T’suka’s vocal cords and speech area of the brain. This invention actually made T’suka capable of speech at an even earlier age than other Aun children.
“Remember,” ‘Tak’Kais said, kneeling to T’suka’s level. “Never remove your helmet. To do so would be of a great loss for the Greater Good.”
“But why?” T’suka asked
“Though you are Aun, T’suka,” Monat replied “You are still to listen to Tak’kais. What he speaks is true. To not heed his words would mean the Greater Good suffers loss. Do not remove it.”
“Do not remove it.” T’suka heard echo, his vision swimming back into partial focus.
“Helm pressure compromised. Suit Life Support at twenty percent. Fio authorization needed to engage repairs.” T’suka’s suit AI spoke.
“No time for that! Voice Command Code 9, Engage repairs, Aun status override.” T’suka said in response.
There was a soft click, and the gel built into the suit oozed to fill the cracks. T’suka pushed down into the mud, and lifted himself to his knees. The Vash’yan expedition, code named Bleeding Heart was in peril. They had not expected the presence of the species identified from declassified Imperial records as the Rak'Gol to be present. The eight legged creatures were terrifying and attacked without warning or quarter. This was a race not capable of peace. Even less so that the Ork or the Imperium.
“Watch out!” T’suka’s AI shouted, alarms blaring. The Ethereal ducked to the right and a massive axe crackling with energy just barely missed his neck. Rolling painfully to a crouch, T’suka looked up and beheld the massive creature. In two of its arms it held captured T’au Pulse Rifles, though T’suka could see they had been spent. In its other arms were a mixture of axes and swords. The beast bellowed in its own language and raised its arms to swing the killing blow.
“For the greater good.” T’suka whispered. But instead of the dark of death, a loud clang exploded into the air as Raryehk, the Kroot Shaper, Chief of the Spider tribe appeared out of seemingly nowhere and parried the swing with his two handed sword, Spiderbreaker.
“Get up Ghost, there is killing still to be done!” the Shaper cawed, its beak turned to what approximates a Kroot smile. Nearby T’suka could see squads of Kroot jumping from the trees and appearing from trapholes. The struggling Firewarriors all signaled joy and relief via the com-link, the squad lights still on illuminating violet.
“I had assumed they had been lost in the tunnel collapse! Thank the Supreme they live!”
Cadre Fireblade Shas'vre'Vash'ya'Lor'ma cheered over the coms.
“Aun'Va had nothing to do with it.” Shas'vre'Vash'ya' K'yen chirped in.
T’suka ignored the exchange, though K’yen’s comments would need to be addressed later. Tsuka looked around for his Honor Blade but it was nowhere to be found. Instead a Pulse Carbine lay nearby. T’suka checked, two shots remained in its power cell. The weapon had been designed by the Fio, the Earth caste, to be both a fantastic firearm but also to be used in close quarters as a club of sorts, if necessary. T’suka grabbed the carbine and lunged, firing the weapon at the Rak’Gol Abomination as Raryehk swung his sword. T’suka hit the beast in its front leg with the shot, the weight of the blow causing the beast to buckle, Raryehk took advantage of this and slashed the Rak’Gol across its chest, cutting through its hide and cybernetic armour. But just as T’suka thought they had the upper hand, the monster swung its weapons in wild abandon, the flat of one of its axes crashing into Raryehk’s skull, there was a loud crack, and the Spider King flew through the air and crashed into the husk of a downed Devilfish.
T’suka barely had time to react before one of the Rak’Gol’s allies charged him from his flank, slamming the Ethereal into a downed tree stump. The Ethereal let out a loud cry as several ribs cracked, the Carbine falling from his grasp. T’suka collapsed against the stomp. The new Rak’Gol, smaller, but deadly nonetheless, roared as it went for the killing blow. As the monster’s jaws snapped forward T’suka’s fingers grasped the handle of Spiderbreaker. Just as the beast’s fangs were inches away from ending the Ethereals life, T’suka raised the Shapers sword and swung, taking the beasts head from its shoulders in one stroke.
Sensing the death of its broodmate, the Abomination turned from killing a nearby Fire Warrior who had rushed to Raryehk’s aid, and let loose a growl that shook the ground. The Abomination rushed forward its weapons flailing. There was a hiss of air and a sharp ping of metal bending and T’suka’s helm AI alerted him that it was switching all remaining power to the life support systems and the HUD went dark, the last Rak’Gol’s attack had damaged too much of the system.
“For the Tau'va.” T’suka whispered, raising Spiderbreaker, taking the stance of Bentu and from within his helm closed his eyes and felt the air around him. The Abomination’s attacks came, but T’suka parried them one after another. The monster grew frustrated and rose to its full height and sought to bring its weight down into one final strike. But T’suka side stepped and brought Spiderbreaker up and through the monsters groin and into its chest. The beast whimpered and collapsed to the ground.
**** Raryehk entered T’suka’s tent, half of his face wrapped in skin tight silicone bandages, and a miraculous invention, a mechanical brace on his left arm which allowed the limb to recover while still maintaining most range of motion.
“A debt is owed Aun T’suka of Vash’ya Sept.” The Kroot Chieftain spoke clearly and solemnly.
“What debt?” T’suka asked, turning from his meditation and standing with a respectful bow.
“You saved me on the field of Battle. That is an act which I must repay.”
“Mutual warriors saving each other for the Greater Good is no special act. It is duty. It is the way of War.”
“The Spider Tribe is not the Tau, Aun. We are not even the same as other Kroot. We see the universe differently. With many eyes. And my eyes saw a warrior who chose to stand his ground. There is a spark of the great Spider in you, a rare spark.”
“I am honored but…”
Raryehk pulled Spiderbreaker from the mag lock on his back, and held it in his hands.
“This sword has been the Spider Tribes leader’s blade since the time before. When the Kroot as a whole still bent the knee to progress and technology. But today, on the battlefield, it has found a new owner. Aun’Vre T’suka, I present to you Spiderbreaker.”
The Kroot Prime.
Or'esm'yen, in Orbit above Velkun 203.083.M42:
Fio'vre'Vash'ya'Shi'ur motioned for the other Fio workers to move out of the way as the dignitaries stepped forward to peer into the glass enclosure. It was a massive Kroot warrior, the size of an larrge ork by most appearances. It’s skin was purple, the color typical to the Spider Tribe of Kroot. On a rack above its bedding mat was a massive primitive looking axe. On it’s shoulder, a plasma weapon which appeared to be connected to its flesh via wires and tubing.
“As you can see, this is a Kroot Prime. Raryehk has informed me that this is the strongest of the tribe’s warriors. Despite a rough start, he has been extremely cooperative in our efforts to expand our understanding of their Kroot subtype.”
“Kroot Prime are very rare.” Aun T’suka stated.
“Extremely so.” Shi’ur replied.
“Tell us about the plasma weapon on it’s shoulder.” Tundra inquired.
“Yes. Indeed. You see, as we know the Kroot, do not enjoy external technological power sources. It may be mistrust, or superstition. But we know it is generally avoided. Even Shapers only use Pulse weaponry when it is given to them as a gift. Honor demands they use it. However, the Spider Tribe is even less trusting, especially a specimen such as this. And though the Kroot Prime are incredibly powerful in close quarters, Aun'ar'tol wanted a way to ensure they could be a force at range as well. Aun'ar'tol sought to do the same, with our Tarellian allied Brutes.” Shi’ur paused, and pressed a button on a nearby console. A 3D holographic image of the Kroot Prime and a Tarellian Brute appeared. Shi’ur outstretched his hands and interacted with the images, pulling them closer to magnify the plasma weapon on both being’s shoulders.
“So, after studying the neuropathways in both creatures were dramatically similar. And if external power sources for weaponry was either too much of a risk in the case of the Tarellian and a cultural taboo for the Kroot, we thought we could use the kinetic energy within their bodies nervous system to provide power for the weapon.”
“And did you?” Dreamcatcher asked.
“We did.” Shi’ur asked with pride. With a twirl of his hand, the display shifted to a 3D depiction of both being’s using the weapons on test armour. The energy emitted from the weapon was clearly similar to plasma, and punched right through the armour. The dignitaries were clearly impressed, save T’suka.
“Can it be removed?” T’suka asked sternly.
“Well, Aun, in the case of the Tarellian, yes. Their nervous system, and muscle structure allowed for conditional removal. When not in combat, Fio engineers can remove it within the span of a few hours. Several have been outfitted with the weapon in fact.”
“The Prime?” The Ethereal asked, his voice dark and grave.
“My apologizes Aun, if I have angered you. Forgive me.” Shi’ur stammered, bowing deeply at the waist.
“Answer.” T’suka commanded.
“No. Aun. No. It cannot be removed. But trust, the Kroot Prime willingly engaged in the experiment.”
“You are to cease production and installation of this weapon on any Kroot as of this moment.”
Though Shi’ur wanted to protest out of pride. He couldn’t. T’sukas presence would not allow it.
“As you command Aun’Vre. Tau’va.”
“Tau’va.” T’suka replied.
T’suka and Raryehk walked side by side into the massive city of huts. A metropolis of earthen dwellings, tented market places, and primitive structures. Several Strike Teams armed with Carbines followed behind, themselves led by Cobalt and his Breacher team. Kroot Squads flanked the column.
“Long have we tried to make peace with these…what do you call them?” Raryehk asked.
“Gue'la.” T’suka replied.
“Yes. Men. I am surprised we have made it this far.” Raryehk said.
“Trust is shared my dear Spider King.”
“Trust?” Raryehk laughed a high pitch laugh, like that of a terran parrot mimicking a laugh. “Envoys of our own were sent here on many occasions. We have met nothing but resistance. Too many battles have been fought between our people and these men. They are braggarts and fools.”
“But such was not always the case, right?” T’suka asked rhetorically.
“You know it was not. How do you think these manlings got their black powder and rifled weapons?” The Spider King boasted.
“Indeed. So they can be spoken too. We just need right the wrongs of the past.”
The column walked through the center of the city, as they did so, city guards, wearing plate mail and carrying clockwork firearms, polearms, and axes and came to a large wooden structure; one of the only structures not built of mud and earthen brick in the entire city. A quad of guards stood at the entrance, two armed with axes and the other two with polearms. Black powder rifles were slung on their backs. The T’au column came to a halt when T’suka raised his hand.
“I am Aun’Vre’Vior’la’Shoh’T’suka. I speak for the Tau’va! We come in peace and friendship. We are here after many months of exchanges to welcome you finally into the glory of Tau’va. We offer to you the chance to become part of something greater than yourselves, greater than us, and greater than the planet. We come from beyond the stars to offer a future, a destiny.” T’suka proclaimed.
There was a shuffle in building and emerged a powerfully built man with a peaked helm. He wore a large sword at his side and a blunderbuss on his back.
“I am Lord Burkowe of the Dunando people. We see you have brought the Bird men with you, you Star men should know your allies better. It is only by my mercy that you were not killed entering my village. And only because I wanted to see for myself the people who came from the stars. I see small people, with no swords or axes, daggers and guns made of unsturdy stuff. I had thought to find myself unimpressed, not much of an invasion force I say. All I see are starchildren with toys.” The lord stated.
“We do not come as invaders Lord Burkowe. We come in peace. We come to share the wonders of Tau’va with you. We bring technology, medicine, and education for all. So that each individual sentient being under the Tau’va can be a part of a greater whole. Old age, disease, poverty, hunger? Within Tau’va such things have no place. All are full, happy, free, and live lifespans according to their kind. We offer this for you, and all of your people. Disabilities, genetic errors, jealousy? These likewise are extinct within Tau’va. All benefit.” T’suka replied
“We have no need for those things starchild. We are a mighty people. You have seen this city. Our numbers. We are of the earth. Not frail like you of the sky and stars. And even so, you consort with the Bird people. We will never join those who ally themselves with such creatures.”
“All due respect to your title, your people, and your way of life, but I must ask you to reconsider. We will bring in doctors, scientists, educators, and other specialists. They will work with your people. Alongside them, in your own villages and cities. As a people, within Tau’va, you will grow, as will we. Together, as one.”
“No.” Burkowe replied simply.
“I must beg you to see the glory that is Tau’va. We have so much to offer. You have seen it in the hologram players that were sent to you. The small drones and other items. You have seen wonders you could have never imagined. Join us. Make the intelligent choice.” T’suka stated.
“I have seen magic and illusions. I have seen trickery. Deceptions. The might of one’s arm and the sharpness of a blade are real. I see neither strength of arm or sharpness of blade among you.” Burkowe growled in reply.
“I beg you. This is the way. My superiors, the Aun'ar'tol have given me a mission. Bring you into Tau’va by choice or other means. I beseech you to make the choice for Tau’va. It is inevitable.”
“Ah! So there is the truth. This is why I wanted to see your kind face to face. To see the knives of your words before me. It is not much of a choice you offer. Slavery by submission or slavery at the end of a sword. Either way we are slaves.”
“No. We do not offer slavery. But equality. Join the Greater Good and become a part of a whole. Each person serving according to their talents and skills so that all may benefit and be free. If you refuse the offer, we will save your people from your foolishness and bring them into enlightenment.”
“You wish to usurp my power do you? Look around you. My men have guns trained on you from every side. And your flimsy armour, fragile weapons, and Bird allies won’t save you. I will allow you to retreat from my home, as you came under a flag of truce. But beneath that flag were serpents disguised as piglets. Get out of my sight star child.” Burkowe demanded turning his back to T’suka to head into his lodging.
“Lord Burkowe, I must beg you to think of your people. We offer so much. And you would turn from it out of foolish selfishness and pride? Think of your people. Have mercy! Be wise! Think of the future.” T’suka pleaded. T’suka could feel the Fire Warriors and Kroots anxiety. Raryehk shifted his grip to the handle of his pistol as if to confirm the Ethereals feelings.
“I am. We will not bow to stuntlings from the heavens. We will crush you and take your trinkets at a later date. Now leave, before your safe passage is revoked.” Burkowe said over his shoulder.
“Then, I am left with no choice. The Aun'ar'tol have spoken.” T’suka said with great sorrow. Cobalt was the first to react, killing the quad of guards at the door with two bursts from his Pulse Blaster. The men were obliterated, showering Burkowe in their gore. The rest of the Breachers fired their Blasters at the nearest guards, turning them to husks as the energy burst straight through them as if they were the air itself. The Kroot warriors leapt into action, attacking nearby guards and exchanging rifle fire. Burkowe barely had time to react to the instant aggression, pulling his sword free and letting loose a war cry. He charged T’suka and swung with a powerful blow. But the sword shattered into pieces as T’suka’s helm activated and directed the shield to counter the blow. Burkowe looked upon the shattered remains of his blade in shock and then back up at T’suka in disbelief.
“Join us in Tau’va.” T’suka replied.
“Once we were foes, seeking to slay one another. But today, I celebrate and bury my friend. Burkowe Taukove, Lord of the Dunando.” Raryehk pridefully proclaimed to the gathered crowd. He held aloft a torch and Burkowe’s sword. The entire hillside, leading to the ancient Dunando castle, was packed with T’au, Kroot, and human Dunandians. Raryehk handed the blade to T’suka. A pyre had been built in a great pit at the center of the castle courtyard. The pit had long been used for the cremation services for Dunandian lords.
“This sword, broken twenty years ago against the irresistible force of Tau’va, a force which now we all serve, freely and with honor. This blade once broken by pride, reforged in selfless unity, Fio smiths working side by side with Dunandian smiths to forge something even stronger than before. Just as we are united as something stronger.”
T’suka motioned forward, a Dunandian female approached, her body as strong as any males, her hair midnight black. T’suka nodded to her, and she bowed deeply at her waist. Then he handed her the sword.
“This is my father’s blade. And in the grand tradition of our people it will rest with him. But what it stood for, the unity with Tau’va, with being part of something greater, to be humbled by that greatness, lives on in each of us. We are three peoples, one Tau’va. Many words, one Tau’va. For the glory of Tau’va we lay our lord to rest. I, Elainor Taukove, honor Burkowe Taukove, may the earth accept your entry through these flames and you find joy of the depths promise.”
Elainor turned and bowed to Raryehk, who touched his torch to the pyre. The flames quickly leapt up and a roaring inferno climbed into the sky. Elainor approached the fiery column, kissed the blade, and threw it into the fire.
“And now, Elainor Taukove, accept this gift from the Aun'ar'tol, as a sign of the ever growing bond between Dunandian of Velkun and the T’au people.” T’suka said as Elainor turned and approached. Cobalt stepped forward, and presented Elainor with a Pulse Rifle.
“And let the bonds once of rivalry, reforged in brotherhood, be rekindled again with this gift as well.” Raryehk proclaimed, motioning for Greuik to approach Elainor and presenting her with a Kroot Rifle.
“I accept these gifts to the glory of Tau’va. May they be used ever in it’s service. For Tau’va is forever. And forever is Tau’va!” Elainor announced to the cheers of the thousands gathered.
A Transmission. 549.111.M42:
Sanguine Knights Strike Cruiser, Saint’s Cruor.
In orbit above:
Velkun. Type: Frontier World. Feral. Weather: Sustainable Rank C.
Note - A natural non-toxic oil substance is ever present in atmosphere. Substance covers the majority of the planet’s surface. Planet is in a state of preputial rain.
****Intercepted Xenos Transmission****
Data Entry – AI Augmented Recording -
“To the Aun'ar'tol of Vash’ya Sept:
Our forces repelled the attack of the crimson armoured Gue'ron'sha. We do not know why they attacked without warning. But victory was achieved nonetheless. It must be noted that these warriors are different from the typical Gue'ron'sha. These seem crazed and fool hearty. Their bloodthirsty tactics and inexperience against season warriors proved their downfall.
Cadre Fireblade Shas'el'Vash'ya'K'yen led our mighty warriors to victory. The Fio Caste defenses held as expected, and the Gue'ron'sha were drawn into lanes of fire, forcing them to move forward, enabling our noble Shas to encircle them and destroy the crazed warriors with superior technology. Honors should be cited for Shas’ui’Vior’la’Or'es’Fio'tak and Shas'vre'Vash'ya’Shi'Lor'ma. The Spider Tribe Kroot and the Gue'vesa also performed well to the best that auxiliaries can be expected. In fact one clan was able to bring down a Gue’vesa warchief. Fio Rail technology proved to be the greatest asset. Tau’va prevails!
Shas'el'Vash'ya'Var’K'yen is concerned that the power lines to the settlement are too exposed, only buried 30 feet down. But the Fio detachments have assured him they will remain undetected. I agree with him however and have ordered work be done to reinforce the lines and forward defenses.
Sent by -
submitted by bdubwillis21