Sunday, November 6, 2011

Marksavian War: Opening Act.


The Warp Spider Exarch knelt down lightly and plucked another glowing gem from the chest of a fallen Scorpion.  Adding it to the pouch in his fourth arm, he silently sang a song of sorrow.  The many voices in his head sang in harmony and were so powerful that anyone nearby would have 'felt' the music.  It was sad; dark and sad like a rainy day in winter.  It was obvious the Exarch lamented while silently fulfilling his task. 

Around him, the Aspect Warriors of his tribe did the same thing.  Although they didn't exude the same sorrow, they moved as silently and swiftly.  While the morning mists rolled away from the Mon-Keigh's bunker grounds, only the very quiet 'POOF' of the teleporters working could be heard.  The soft sound echoed from the trees and hills every few seconds, but nothing else stirred.  All the native creatures must have fled from the carnage the day before. 

"I have found Xi'Saryk's soulstone.  Have you finished your task, Spider-lord?"  the request broke the morning like a glass being shattered on a stone floor.  The mists roiled away from the winged figure that made the noise, his ornate bone armor seemingly scaring the vapour off.

"It is nearly done."  the Exarch answered.  He and his brothers continued to reach into the mists and pluck these glowing jewels, but the unheard song ceased.  After a moment's pause, the Exarch asked a question.  "How did Xi'Saryk not cast the skiens well?  He was Toryenna's greatest seer."  With this, all the Warp Spiders stopped their tasks and looked at the Autarch.  For a moment, all the figures in the misty clearing stood statue-like.  The sight would have been eerie had anyone been there to see.

Sin-Ratheyel, Master of a Thousand Battlefields and the Sun Dragon himself, gave no response.  With a psychic 'nudge', he told the bulky Aspect Warriors that this conversation was done.  This was not a subject the Autarch wanted to get involved with just yet. 

With their tasks completed and each holding a bag of soulstones, the Eldar left the field of battle.  Without a verbal or somatic signal of any sort, the crew simply blinked out of existance from the battlefield.  Had anyone been there to witness any of this, they'd have simply lost their minds.  The clearing around the Imperial Bunker continued to light up as the Sun continued to climb above the horizon.  The mists continued to boil away and expose lower and lower parts of the surrounding trees and hills.  It was as though nobody had been here in years.  Strange how there was a silent echo of a sad song...


Sin-Ratheyel stared at the crystal dome and all the thousands of stars he could see.  The inky blackness was beautiful to him especially because of the many dots of colorful light that decorated it.  It was sad to the Autarch that this brutish race would never be able to understand this.  While he and his Eldar species had the mental capabilities to see beauty in the entire universe, the Mon-keigh were little better than orks and saw only opportunity.  These... humans, as they called themselves, are greedy and malicious and...  brutes.  This thought made Sin-Ratheyel equally sad and angry.  He stood up from his chair and purposely marched into the Seer's dome.  The Spectre Guards outside the doorway didn't move to stop the Autarch at all, knowing that he was allowed whenever he wanted.  Being the Master of War for an entire Craftworld had its privelages.  The Sun Dragon entered the hallowed chamber ready to exercise another one.

"Xi'Saryk is lost to us because his skills failed him.  How many more Seers must we lose this way?  We knew the Mon-Keigh were coming.  We have a ability to smash them and exact revenge upon these beasts!"  Sin-Ratheyel spat at the council of robed figures sitting high upon a dias.  Although he couldn't see their faces, he knew their attention was keenly focused on him- he could 'feel' it like a blade being held to his forhead.  All dozen of the council members suddenly stirred and began arguing with one another.  It was an almost comical site- where one heartbeat ago there sat a group of robed, immovable shapes there now sat a dozen wildly flailing creatures with clothing that was all-too-big for them.  Crazier still, not a sound emanated from the circus.

The Sun Dragon flexed his wings with a slight thought and instantly shot up into the air to float even with the Seers.  While the silently argued with one another and flailed their arms about, Sin-Ratheyel continued to levitate and watch with his arms crossed and wings beating silently.  This sight was comical, but the Autarch knew that they were communicating telepathically and, with those funny gestures, tracing the invisible Skeins of Fate to understand what is likely to happen in the future.  All Eldar, no matter what their life was dedicated to, depended on the Seers to divine the future and order appropriate actions.  Without this prognistication, the race of Eldar would have disappeared from the cosmos long ago.  But today, this prognostication was to see if the Mon-Keigh's attack could be stopped and the consequences of failure. 

It took some time, but Eldar are very patient, and eventually the council of Seers stopped arguing and addressed Sin-Ratheyel.  "Take a strong and small force.  The Space Marines are not of a large force but are extremely lethal.  We wish as few of ours to lose their lives as--"

The Autarch interrupted.  "If you may trace backwards, you will see me recovering the soul-stones of all our fallen, including your friend."  He spoke that last word with a sneer, poking at the coincidence that an unpopular Lord would meet his death so soon into a crisis.  This drew a hiss of audacity from the Seers, but there was a much bigger worry to all of them.  Since the Vortex of Sharnar openned some four millenia ago, more and more of the Craftworld's Seers were failing their visions of the skeins.  The lack of fortelling had become a curse on this council and Xi'Saryk had been the latest victim.  All of the Seers, sitting royally and pensively, knew that something was horribly wrong. 

Without any meaningful response, the Autarch turned and flew from the room.  He stooped to fall under the doorway and then sped off through the air, his task clear.  Although the Seer Council had grave worries and a very big picture to unravel, Sin-Ratheyel was absolutely confident.  After all, he'd fought these Mon-keigh before.  They may be very heavily armored and very skilled in warfare, they were still dumb.  The Sun Dragon understood how to beat them.  While he sped to the Shrines, he thought of how to gain a tactical advantage.  If you let the Mon-keigh attack first, they continue to add forces and use their momentum to overwhelm opponents.  If you attacked the Mon-keigh first, they get confused and begin raiding tactics.  Best yet, kill their leader and they'll crumble.  While Sin-Ratheyel flew quickly between the massive wraith-trunks that framed the Craftworld, he began to get excited.  A smile crept into his lips...

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