Sovereign

They Will be Abandoned

Hakon’s Log

Thought of the Day: Blood and Honour

Date: 4.909.004 M42

Upon arriving at Penolpass, we went down to a hole called Hoggtown with Vragg. An apparent neutral zone in the ongoing war. The formation of the army continues to go smoothly, with our numbers expanding, and the Vragg lovers have been sent onto the planet as an “expedition in force”. They will be abandoned.

Hoggtown is nothing but a pigsty. The city is indefensible, and the majority live in squalor. Lord Hogg is wary, and he is right to be. Horne is proving himself to be slightly more useful, as now he runs errands for Bellmer; quite fitting. The doctor should not bend the knee to him. Further proof of his incompetence comes from his storming off during our meeting. The men and women in the companies are loyal. Horne’s raving of treachery is nothing but a figment of his diseased and paranoid mind. Those who would betray us are already upon the surface.

Excepting the meeting, the first day passed by uneventfully. The second day was slightly more interesting. “King” Raes arrived to claim a champion for some dispute over a city. He is a fat wretch. Hans aided in negotiating a worthwhile price to fight for and we found ourselves in his camp for 100 million thrones. It will be the seed to begin our independence.

Shortly afterwards we sought a man named Renauld, according to the doctor, a man vested in the flesh trade. It was a surprise to find out that the renegade mechanicus in the area are making psykers. It is like them to toy with factors beyond their control. Regardless a price of 1.5 million was agreed upon for a psyker.

Despite not possessing the stone it is with shock that I learn of Vragg’s disappearance to Recursa, another city on Penolpass. A strange course of action to take given he did not have the stone. Kane and Horne set off in pursuit with the stone. Horne is not to be trusted with it, but I am confident that Kane will maintain control of the situation.

Unexpectedly the duel came to me. The apparent queen disputing Raes’s claim arrived with her champion. It was just a man, but strangely armed and oddly durable. I was unaware that tyranid bone was so as tough as it was. He was surprisingly skilled but in the end I was triumphant. There were a few curious slips and falls however… Regardless, the fat wretch best deliver his money soon.

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Their Greatest Strength has now Become their Weakness

Hakon’s Log

Thought of the Day: An open mind is a ready mind
Date: 4.813.004 M42

Silencing the guards outside the underground passage was messy. It was made messier by Kurner’s (who’s true name is Horne) debacle over the comms. Perhaps he was not as competent as I thought him to be. Regardless we made ready to move on. It was here that Osman commed in. He gave us good and fair warning of an incoming guard patrol. Unfortunately I could not fully trust him as the circumstances that put him into a position to message me were questionable at best. Having no other recourse the warband made to meet up with him in a timely manner.

Upon arriving, we found him in a tree. He had hidden himself well and carefully. Osman gave me what information he could, but with the doctor’s prognosis it did not look like we would be able to get him out of there. His leg had been horribly broken in the same crash that put him in the tree, and killed his comrades. To be left to die in the wilderness is a horrible thing, and no way for a warrior to perish. I gave him peace myself. I should have taken a momento.
From there our progress was much swifter. The warband moved north, with the doctor, and Horne having acquired uniforms off some carcasses. Horne also gave me a melta bomb, questionable as to why, but a useful tool to have nonetheless. On our second day of travel there was a minor confrontation with some guardsmen. One seemed unusually adept… Quite strange. Perhaps an angry soul seeks vengeance? The human also seemed unable to speak… as if something was holding it’s mouth shut. Perhaps one of us bears a darker secret than has been told already. Despite this the patrol died silently by blades. Horne did reasonable work I suppose. The techpriest Kane worked well in tandem with me. He is proving a useful ally.
The patrol truck was taken. Kane further proves his usefulness by giving the warband access to guard channels. We had found ourselves behind their patrols. Eventually and surprisingly we encountered the command complex. There was no plan. The doctor and Horne wander off immediately in the care of the enemy. This leaves Kane and I to sneak in. We do so by exploiting their vent system that had been carefully screening the base. How delightful that their greatest strength has now become their weakness. With the aim being to interface Kane with the loyalist machines to find volkov, we begin moving through the vents. We pass over a shower room, a training ground and an infirmary. It is here we see the doctor and Horne. We wait till attention is directed away before moving on.

How fate smiled upon me! Kane and I leave the vents to emerge into an officer’s quarters. While he interfaced for a map, I examine the hallway outside. Lo and behold there stands Volkov. Righteous slaughter follows, as I blow him apart with my boltgun. Strangely enough the sounds of battle can be heard through the facility.

Vragg steps through the door, obviously the harbinger of battle. He leads us down into the lowest levels of the complex with secret passages. There he uncovers an obsidian device surrounded by four shrines. It seems Horne and I had the same line of thought… Chaos. Kane seemed… inclined to it, and quickly obeyed Vragg when he requested Kane read the objects inscriptions. Kane was deaf to our protestations. A heated discussion followed with Vragg claiming he wants something called the “Immortal” to help free humanity. Vragg claims to be willing to die for his cause and I go to test it. Vragg inspires commendable loyalty in his followers and seems to truly believe in his cause… It is possible that I have been wrong with my initial impression of him. Horne however I seem to have completely overestimated and it is only by the doctor’s persuasive skills that he is still with us. Though why the doctor felt the need to bend the knee to the wretch is beyond me.

End of Log.

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Storm. Angels. Fire and Brimstone.

The rock, still hurtling, reaches a point of pause, and Those Who Were Made Complacent fall upon The Unbroken in a fashion akin to universal terrors. Be storm, be angels, be fire and brimstone, all know to fear the descent of the heavens.

The Complacent are shown the strength of the faithful who do not fear death. They are herded and trapped like animals. Without insight, without foresight, without collaboration, without corroboration. Without the ability to see they are indeed no more than animals.

The leader of the pack makes an appearance. And like an animal, her control is challenged by the newcomers. Believing they have put on a flashy display, they proceed by following her anyway.

Danger close, danger close.

Green skies telling of a need for escape. Then down, as always, further down, to the unfiltered canal of discharge and excess; finally resting in a space named Charlie.

With brevity the leader explains her struggles.

Danger too close for comfort.

Recall the unforgiving captain who gathered The Complacent. She asks if this is his godsend. She acts as if she needs one. Lost: one forward operating base. Lost: one communications tower. Lost: 350 people in the last hour. Lost: any semblance of composure.

The enemy, it seems, has found theirs, and those that remain of the original Complacents see the opportunity that has presented itself in the deaths of others.

A discussion, a departure, and the discovery of a new world awaits them in the new day.

But let them be named:

One is The Bad Man, happy to kill, and overconfident in his abilities.

One is The Clever Man, equally happy, but quick to anger.

One is The Pathetic Man, tactless, unobservant, and far too trusting.

One remains the unnamed man, whom the author rarely speaks of.

It begins in a rich, aromatic environment, the very air of the place heavy with reject and depression. See the greed in the eyes of the patrons. Their restless demeanours speak stronger words than their lips can attempt to utter. It wouldn’t be difficult to lose oneself here, which is why it’s so necessary to leave.

It continues in an environment that would be called kitsch anywhere. Things are not so forward here. One would have them leave, one would have them stay. Two would have a private conversation. One would consider subtlety, but forget true selfishness in the interest of thinking lowly of others. He is The Bad Man.

The others disperse, looking for a means to sustain themselves.

Evening falls, and The Bad Man displays his goods. Less complacent than usual, the others show their distrust, put up their safeguards, and make their insistencies. They have seen the necessity of learning.

So it is decided they will travel from Charlie to Sorrow.

A gilded knife accompanies them briefly, offering assistance for no more than the reaffirmation of his abilities. How intriguing. He wields such knowledgeability and tact, but hides behind the guise of a baser language. The only one who chooses to listen to him carefully can hear the promise of death in his voice.

Their sorrow inevitably, eventually, begets Solace. Their progress is marked by increasing amounts of disorder. One would jeopardize the lives of others for his own foolishness and incapability. He is The Pathetic Man. If not for the selfishness of three others, his life would be lost.

But not missed.

When finally they have reached their destination, their faithful companion shows one final display of aptitude, then takes his leave of them.

And will be missed.

Then down, as always, further down, to the remaining dredges of a faithful community. For four hours each of them engaged with the cacophony of his own mind.

But then a most distinct symphony:

First joviality, from those who have embraced carelessness.

Then anger, an effective approach when animals are cornered.

Then fear, commonplace among lesser men.

Then terror, a familiar companion to an unexpected death.

Oh happy day! …that is all cast aside when the same, never ending overconfidence decides to throw it all away.

===

Hans Bellmer

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