Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Short Story: Shadow of Veilynndorr Part I

        Farseer Liridainn stared longingly at the vast expanse that was the infinity circuit of Ulthwé. It was teeming with tiny crystalline spiders, ever vigilant, protecting the psychic core from alien emanations. He exhaled a stagnant breath and returned to his duty.

          He pulled a large stone from underneath his robe watching its inner light flicker and dance as if alive. After running his hand along its smooth surface he held out the flawless stone and pressed it against one of the long branches of Wraithbone reaching out to the top of the Dome of Seers.

As the he began his dirge a low vibration could be felt through the intertwined construct. His mind drifted to thoughts of Gaeolina, the Spiritseer that had recovered the stone. She had led a small host of wraith constructs to return the spirits of the lost to the Craftworld. She was young, with vibrant blue eyes that made people underestimate her. His mind returned to the task at hand. The mourning song reached its apex and the crystalline bone spread over the stone leaving only a small portion exposed, housing it forever within.

         The song ended and a swarm of tiny gem-like spiders phased onto the stone spraying their dense webbing across its surface. When they finished their webbing made a thin skein that only left minor visible traces like glowing threads when light shifted around it.

          Another Eldar spirit had been entered into the infinity matrix denying She Who Thirsts one precious soul. His younger brother, Farseer Veilynndorr, who had once wept in his sanctum at the shallow talent of his precognition, had died on the outskirts of the human hive city Sladenkamp.

Liridainn removed the protective filter that was his Ghosthelm and surrendered to the undulating sea of psyches so that he could once again hear his brother's voice.


          Veil removed the remaining shards of his Ghosthelm and let them drop like discarded rubbish from his long, elegant fingers. The wind howled as it swept over the mech dunes, bringing with it the slick scent of industrial lubricants.

          Unlike the other members of the Rune Council Veil had no gift for prediction; however he was powerfully in tune with the present, seeing in perfect clarity events at which his fellow seers could only guess.

          That was how he knew the truth that had been hidden from the Eldar of Craftworld Ealfynn. He knew the dark deception of the armored Mon-Keigh psyker and his secret affiliation.  He was assigned to outskirts of Sladenkamp under the order of the Imperial Inquisition, but intended to fulfill his own sinister ends. The wicked mage had found out the Seers of Ealfynn and the primitive Mon-Keigh sanctioned seers (always under the careful watch of a commissar) were working together to find secret knowledge. This so-called Librarian had intended to twist this situation to serve the Lord of Change. The Ealfynn themselves were, in part, to blame, as they had worked with the Imperium to block this venture from the seers of Ulthwé.

          Veil managed to get a warning to the rest of the Rune Council of Ulthwé about the presence of the traitor before the heavily armored division of Space Marines arrived. Yet, Veil was blind to the future and worried that inaction now would cause a greater threat to the Craftworld in the future. He decided to send back the strike force of rangers and guardians to stay behind and deal with the foul blot of mental power, forever banishing the heinous psyker to the Warp. He kept only a single Guardian squad and one Warlock disciple as a retinue.

He untied the knot holding his hair, letting it flow freely. The Force Rod the Librarian wielded had shattered his Ghosthelm and effectively severed his connection to the Warp as without the protection of his helm he would quickly suffer the predations of She Who Thirsts. Daemons would be drawn to him like a moth to a flame. For the first time in a millennium he was purely dependent upon his physical senses. It was at this point, alone, his retinue slain and his defenses shattered, when he was at his most vulnerable, that his enemy struck.

Veil spun and lashed out with his Witchblade tearing through the thick armor of his enemy. The Librarian reeled back, allowing a better view of the gash as it healed itself, proof he conspired with the dark gods. They fought fiercely, their weapons clashed repeatedly, flowing over the sound of the Mon-Keigh’s insidious laughter.
In the rubble of the war torn city Veil stepped wrong and sloppily fell forward, leaving himself vulnerable to attack. A surge of light leapt from the fingers of the Marine and struck at Veil rendering him blind. In a moment of panic he tumbled backward before another bolt, one of the blessings of Tzeentch, pierced the protective wards of his Rune armor and lifted him off the ground. His body thrashed, wracked with unspeakable pain, but in his head he heard the voice of his destroyer.
You are too late, witch. This world had been claimed by the Lord of Change long ago. Already I have spread the mark of my lord through this blasted city. They will no longer worship that Corpse God; they will only worship me! The name Guiomme will be sung in the Annuls of Terra when Abaddon breaks that wretched throne and the minions of my Lord ravage the forbidden tomes of arcana and I stand at the helm of his victory.”
The lightning increased in intensity and his thoughts scattered like flower petals drifting on the wind. He could no longer remember what it was that had brought him to the planet, or the discovery he had made. All that was left were the emotions of his evaporated memories. Veil chose to let go of the last strands of spirit holding him to this body in order to make one final blow against his enemy. He opened a rift between the very fabric of the warp and reality like a churning maelstrom of doom with thick purple tentacles of non-reality that lashed out and wrapped around Guiomme, dragging his entire being physically into the Warp.
The traitor Librarian used his considerable will to fight his way back to reality. “This is not the end of me! I will return to do my master’s bidding! I will return and conquer the whole of this world! I have not yet begun to-” the snap of the rift implosion cut off the last of his words, but it was clear he had failed in his attempt to once and for all destroy the Librarian Guiomme by banishing him to the miseries of the warp. He had secured his kin some time to amass a force to fight the burgeoning infection of chaos and took some solace at that as his spirit slipped gently into the warm embrace of his Spirit Stone.

          Liridainn jumped into awareness. He pulled a brace of runes from the pouch at his side and cast them into the air. As they danced and twirled around him he focused upon the skein of fate trode the myriad paths of the future. He watched without emotion as the companies of Imperial Guard fell to slaughter under the banner of Guiomme. Once sladenkamp fell the entire planet marched for the Lord of Change. Over and over he watched the cogs of the future slowly turn, and each variation saw the triumph of Guiomme and the nearby cluster of warp storms evolving to a second Eye of Terror that would lead to the destruction of Ealfynn and Iyanden Craftworlds, and ultimately would see Guiomme lead an assault on Ulthwé itself. There had to be a path to victory, a way to save his people. He could find no answer, until the moment he found nothing. Nothing was the only way he could describe the sensation of this path. It was as if something actively blocked his ability to look forward. The mystery had suddenly ignited a spark of hope. He would go to Sladenkamp and find out what Veilynndorr had known. Without warning his feeling of hope shifted to hate.

          His rage had surpassed logic. He felt the pure unadulterated pool of anger that slept within the heart of every Eldar burst like a dam.

          He could sense the groan of excitement and trepidation that emanated from the Infinity Circuit as it stood captive in his agitated presence.  Little by little he could sense the pulsing heartbeat that raced throughout its branches like capillaries.  It was getting progressively stronger, until he finally recognized it as the life pulse of the Avatar of Khaine.

          He would no longer walk the skein or consult the Rune Council on the next course of action. His heart cried out for vengeance while mourning for his loss. He would don his Witchblade, seek aid within the Shrines of the Aspects, and marshal the guardians under his command. 

The Avatar had awoken, the ceremonies of blood were being performed, and Craftworld Ulthwé was going to war.

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