Just a simple introduction, my name is Stuart as suggested by my username. I am now twenty-one years old now and I have been into Warhammer 40,000 since I was nine.
Warhammer wasn’t the first game I played nor was it the thing that introduced me into its universe, but rather a small simple board game by the name of Space Crusade. A basic typical game, the simple story arc was that three teams of space marines were infiltrating a space hulk, all in power armour that is; not to mistake this game for Space Hulk, a yellow team (Imperial Fists) blue team (Ultramarines) and a red team (Blood Angels) and had to fight chaos marines, necrons, genestealers, orks, gretchins and a cool looking dreadnought.
Then I found Warhammer and became hooked on it.
Initially I was going to field a Dark Eldar army, but when I saw the “good” Eldar in red, I decided to have them. Several years later I turned to chaos before having an ork army as well. I don’t play the game anymore, but If I did, I would field my Black Legion against my dad’s Blood Angels, the introduction of the Apocalypse battles merely helping us creating some cohesiveness to our already large size battles (each force consisted of at least 5000 points! My army field Abaddon, Kharn, Daemon Princes, Loads of Dreadnoughts, merely is the way to war!)
Writing I like anyway, but its only last year (mid-2009) that I went into the BL forum and started writing. My first proper story was poor in its quality of writing, it being nothing more than a block of text, paragraphs, commas, grammar and spelling checking being a mere myth to me. The first story was about a penal legionnaire as he fought the Tau, his crime was being a barber who cut the Governor’s son’s hair the wrong way back on his home planet.
The story I wrote below (The Ether’s Kiss) came about from the idea of Ocean Madness, of real life sailors back in the days during and before the Industrial revolution and Colonisation of foreign lands (America, India, Australia to name but a few).
The main link between the homeland and its distant lands was the sea and the ships that sail across it, Britain holding the monopoly during its heyday as the largest empire the world had seen in terms of landmass and reach. Ships would take months, eight months at least to get from UK to Australia and it wasn’t unheard of when people used to go mad or loss their marbles during these long, deprived days, their only entertainment was drinking rum or getting friendly with the local whores of the dock they moor in every so often in their voyage.
The concept in hand, the story needed only be moulded into existence now, and with transit through the warp taking between several hours to millennia to sail through, it need only a character and a plot.
Kalioe, he came about more or less to be like Golam in the LOTR films, but rather than be seduced by his paranoia and imaginations, and his “other” side, I simply added a daemon who takes on the form of his friend, but Kalioe is so far gone, his sense of logic allows the daemon the opportunity to come forward.
Now daemons are all evil, each taking great delight out another’s suffering, but where most doing it through physical deprivation, this one does it a cunning matter. He is a follower of Tzeentch though it is not stated in the story, he is a daemon, and Tzeentch is the only one to go out of his way to do such things, creating a trivial insignificant little runt like Kalioe into his little plaything for the destruction of ten thousand people.
The failings of this story, besides grammar, is that it’s too fat in description, too much words taking to describing every little detail when a simpler one would have sufficed, leaving more space for more on the action unfolding for the reader.
The Ether’s Kiss
Sailing effortlessly through the tumultuous currents of the Ether, a vessel; crafted like one of the ancient maritime ships that once sailed across the long and forgotten oceans that once covered holy Terra, rushed on ahead, its passage through the dangerous realm of chaos going unabated, the passengers onboard happily ignorant of the preying beasts that waited beyond the veil the ship’s hull.
Not so for the crew. Sailing the length and breadth of the Imperium, the crew of the ship, a gathering of ten thousand souls at least, knew the risks that they undertook when manning a ship of this calibre, the dangers of losing your sanity.
Called many things, space madness, crewmen’s tick, the Ether’s kiss, all different to each vessel and region of origin but all the same, when a man’s mind simply flounders in the face of too much contact with the Ether, his sanity steadily stripped bare to its core.
‘Not for me.’ Kalioe said out loud ‘Kalioe not go mad, yesss’, Kalioe never mad,’ Kalioe hissed as he sat on his haunches, unconsciously rocking back and forth.
‘No, Kalioe not mad, is he?’
Screeching in shocked surprise, Kalioe rose to his feet, jumping back round to face the unexpected arrival. Standing in the shadows of a broken overhead lamp, a man with fair flowing golden hair and unblemished skin stood before Kalioe.
‘Hiding down here again?’ said the man.
‘Yess’, yess’, Kalioe always coming down here to hide, too afraid of others,’
‘Indeed, but it need not be so, Kalioe. You have the possibility of becoming something greater than what you are; you need only to act and it is yours. Do you enjoy being weak Kalioe?’
A smile etching onto the man’s face, the man beckoned Kalioe to follow as he turned, walking back down the long, narrow aisles between the cargo containers, with Kalioe following close behind him on all fours, the ability to walk upright a forgot memory.
Going through the heart of the ship, Kalioe and his friend walked for many miles, carefully ascending the multitude of floors, their surroundings becoming ever more deluxe as they went ‘where we goin’? Kalioe asked.
‘Patience, it is a surprise, and you don’t want to ruin it, do you?’
Not speaking another word, Kalioe carried on with his journey.
Two more hours went by without incident, the pair stopping every now and then when crewmen and passengers came by; hiding in the shadows as they went before continuing.
‘There, we have arrived,’ said the man, his fair hair flowing from his shoulders as he indicated at the sealed door.
‘Inside there, there is a man of power, a man who can guide ships from one place to another in the universe, you call them Navigators. But not so for me for they are abominations.’
‘Abominations?’ said Kalioe, unsure of the word.
‘Monsters Kalioe, can you not understand? These parasites are nothing but blights, a disease that needs to be cured and none cure a disease like this other than death!’
‘What... what can Kalioe do?’
‘Easy, you are to go into that room,’ said the man as he pointed to the door ‘and you are going to kill that bastard inside there, his death is key to your greatness Kalioe. Go and become even greater!’
Stepping back into the shadows, the man’s form began to melt away, his form disappearing into the consuming grasp of the shadows.
‘Don’t forget Kalioe, power is but only a few steps away!’ said the man, speaking directly into Kalioe’s mind.
Heading off down towards the door, Kalioe saw that the door was sealed by an intricate locking system. But more worrying, two heavily armed guards stood at either side of the door, drawing their weapons as they saw Kalioe approach.
‘Halt, what business have you got here?’ demanded the left one, pointing his autogun directly at Kalioe’s chest ‘me... me got lost,’ Kalieo lied.
‘Well you better get lost if you know what’s good for you. Turn round and go back the way you came before you regret coming here,’ threatened the second guard.
‘No, Kalioe not go, Kalioe need to get inside,’
Aiming their guns, the pair of guns curled their fingers around the triggers, ready to end Kalioe’s life in a messy end. Raising his hands pathetically to protect himself, a rising power of light began to bloom in front of Kalioe, intense heat searing the tip of his finger tips.
‘He’s a witch...’ before they could kill Kalioe, the guards were set alight, their uniforms catching fire from thin air. Screaming in pain, the guards fell to the floor, rolling on the ground as they desperately sought to put the flames out.
Ceasing, Kalioe lowered his hands, his widen with equal shock and awe as he saw the charred remains of the guards.
'You have power now, use it!’ said the man from before.
Grinning, Kalioe flexed his fingers, showing his outstretched palms to the door before he began to melt them, their sturdy structures collapsing in on themselves like hot wax. No longer baring him inside, Kalioe stepped past the door’s threshold.
Sitting at the centre of the dark room, an eyeless man with numerous cabling and wiring jutting out of every orifice on his body sat staring at Kalioe, unaware of the trespasser ‘die!’ Catching alight also, the navigator burned, his flesh melting into ashes.
Suddenly the ship lurched violently, throwing Kalioe from his feet ‘what iss’ happening?!’ said Kalioe, fear gripping his heart. Materialising into being, the man from before stood before Kalioe, a look of smugness etched on his face ‘oh poor, poor Kalioe. Power is yours to have, but power is never given away willingly or freely. There is always a price.’
‘You see, I lent you a measure of my power for the task, but that power was merely borrowed for you to fulfil it. Now, come, see the fruits of your labours!’ clicking his fingers, the man teleported himself and Kalioe to the prow of the ship.
Burning furiously in front of the ship, a giant star burned brightly before the pair. Wincing in pain at being fully exposed to the awesome of power of the star, Kalioe cried out in pain, uselessly trying to block out its harsh glare from his sight, but the damage was already done, Kalioe was blind.
‘Without a navigator, the ship simply left the warp, but not before it entered into the gravitational pull of this star! Your lust for power has brought you to the edge!’