Bellum Fide (Sisters of Battle)

Forget the promise of progress and understanding, for in the grim, dark future there is only war.

Bellum Fide (Sisters of Battle)

Postby kurisawa » Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:03 am

Ehhh, hi. Something different from me this time. On an impulse I went and bought a sisters of battle army. Sorted out a couple of games, and had some fun writing them up. So, the below stories are actually batreps. While I always (always!) welcome crit and comments, I would respectfully ask you take the following into account:

1. They're batreps. The purpose is to relive and report the action. So, they will be heavy on bolter pr0n and light on plot. I tried my best to weave a narrative!

2. POV discipline: Though I think I found a pretty good focus character, she can't see everything on the battlefield. If I wander around a bit in POV, please don't roast me.

3. Character conflicts: Meh... you get the idea. I'll do my best to make it a fun read. Please help if you're able to! :D

1: Dies Irae

‘THEY WILL KILL us all!’ the frantic citizen screamed in Sister Arabella’s face. The mewling horde behind the manufactorum worker stared wide-eyed with terror.

‘What do we do?’ Sister Justine stood beside Arabella as they barred the arched entrance to the convent. Beyond the mob, across the scorched sands of the desert, the hive-city burned.

‘Who are they?’ Arabella shouted back at the crowd, ‘Where do they come from?’

‘Heretics! Mutants! Killers! From the Underhive!’ Emperor save us!’ the voices screamed back. Arabella shook her head, then turned to Justine.

‘Let them in, get them to the bunkers. Tell the Sisters to take up their arms.’

‘Bella, if Mother Miriam were here I don’t think she’d…’

‘She’s not here. We have to take action. This is our duty.’

Justine nodded gravely then stepped aside and the grateful refugees poured into the compound of the Basilica Celestine. Arabella glanced again at the stricken city, the principal settlement on Neo Medina, imagining for a moment that the silhouettes of cackling daemons danced amongst the shadows thrown by the flames.

Soon the Adepta gathered, clutching their bolters and whispering consecrations to their blessed weapons. Clad in form-fitting suits of archaic ceramite armour in pitch black, each holy warrior bore a white fleur-de-lis emblazoned across her right shoulder plastron: The symbol of the Order of the White Rose.

* * *

‘SOMEONE IS COMING,’ Sister Justine whispered breathlessly at Arabella’s side. From the battered crenellations of their compound’s outer wall, the Sororitas observed the army of insane cultists that had marched from the blackened ruins of Neo Medina. They had halted a kilometre away in the desert and… waited. Then the bombardment had begun.

Sheltering behind the blessed bulwarks of the convent, the Sisters of the White Rose prayed as the shells fell, shattering the outer defences of their only recently founded Basilica. When the stolen basilisk artillery platforms fell silent, Arabella had known what would happen next.

A furnace-hot blast of wind lifted Arabella’s curtains of fine fair-white hair, as if presaging the diabolical sight to come next. Now a dozen crimson figures strode purposefully towards the convent, and even from a distance the stature of the horned beings betrayed their nature.

‘Chaos Legionnaires,’ breathed Arabella. ‘They must be the root of the uprising.’

Sister Catherina nodded at her other flank, clutching her sacred melta-gun. ‘The refugees said everyone went insane, tearing everything apart in a rage. What can we do against this madness?’

Sister Beatrice hurried to join them from the main Basilica. ‘Mother Miriam is on her way with reinforcements, alis aquilae.’

Arabella looked at her sisters, each in turn, and said, ‘Then we hold out until they arrive. We will survive this day of rage, De Igni Fide!

De Igni Fide!’’ the Sororitas answered in unison.

The scarlet-armoured giants clambered over rocks and smoking craters, seemingly unafraid of any response from the defenders. Arabella’s heart quailed at their ponderous advance and she whispered, ‘We will need a miracle before this day is out, Dei Gratia.’

‘We need to fight back!’ replied a scornful voice and Arabella turned to see Sister Sabrina, a scowl creasing her narrow, sardonic features. The leader of the Seraphim squad checked the safeties on her twin bolt pistols and winked at Arabella. Pausing only to brush back a wild lock of her long dark hair with one robust barrel, she ignited the jets of her jump pack. The sisters of the Seraphim followed their leader, carried skyward on cherries of crimson fire.

Galvanised by Sabrina’s bravado, Arabella nodded to her sisters and the Sororitas opened fire. Bolters thundered their blessed song and mass-explosive rounds screamed through the hot air, blossoming into fiery impacts upon the ancient armour plates of the Chaos warriors.

The Servants of Darkness responded, splitting into two groups, each advancing in a pincer pattern to broken ground before the ruined outer walls of the convent. One of the behemoths then swung round a heavy bolter and hammered the Adepta positions with volleys of explosive missiles. The ground between the two opposing forces quickly became a dead-zone, crisscrossing with storms of fire.

Ahead, Arabella spotted the jet flumes of the Seraphim as they landed before the squad of Chaos champions on the right. The devout Sororitas unleashed gouts of flame and streams of bolts. From her position watching, Arabella joined in the cheers as one of the giants fell before the cleansing flames, his armour popping open and spilling sprays of burning blood.

But their triumph was short-lived as the Chaos warriors powered from their positions in cover, loping across broken rocks to smash into hand-to-hand combat with the Seraphim. The Adepta fought courageously, and Arabella gasped as she saw Sabrina manage to fell another of the giants with her powered sabre, its blade breaking in the behemoth’s throat-guard. But they were hopelessly outclassed by the warped traitors. The Chaos warriors swung growling chain-axes with implacable strength, tearing apart Sororitas despite their blessed armour.

Meanwhile, on the other flank, the firefight intensified between Beatrice’s entrenched squad and the other group of crimson-armoured heretics. The Chaos warriors replied to the sisters’ hails of bolts with balls of nova-bright plasma and the steady thud-thud-thud rhythm of the heavy bolter. The remains of the convent walls disintegrated before the onslaught, the sisters grimly holding their ground. Arabella could see the traitors’ heavy weapons had her sisters’ flamer and melta-gun outranged.

When the firestorm abated, Beatrice rose from her cover and signaled her squad. Singing hymnals to the immortal God-Emperor, the slender black figures of the Sororitas scrambled across the jagged terrain. Arabella prayed for them, admiring their bravery.

Her attention was torn back to her own predicament when Justine yelled a warning. Having unceremoniously battered aside the assault of the Seraphim, the horned Chaos Legionnaires began their own advance towards the compound.

The sisters blasted the marching giants with volleys of mass-reactive bolts, but the deadly missiles simply pinged from their warp-tempered battle plate like harmless hail stones. Arabella exchanged looks with Catherina to one side and Justine to the other.

‘We have to go out and meet the charge...’

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Re: Bellum Fide (Sisters of Battle)

Postby kurisawa » Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:09 am

And thus the battle-lines closed, the black squadrons of Sororitas pacing towards the horned fiends of Chaos. When they came in range, Catherina unleashed a blast from her fusion gun – and this time the crimson armour of a Chaos warrior did not save him. The tank-busting weapon de-atomised the champion in a nova-pulse of energy. Justine added to the tally, pouring fire from her heavy flamer. Yet another of the heretics perished.

‘You see, Cat!’ she shouted to Catherina. ‘They are not invulnerable!’

Only two remained, but as the clouds of smoke and dust cleared, the sisters hesitated. One of the titans charged onwards, flames still licking at the edges of his chain-axe. Three sisters closed ranks to meet him head on. The last monster watched, and laughed. This being towered even over his gigantic brethren. His horned helm was open-faced, but within the recess only darkness and a single golden eye stared out. The behemoth reached out with both hands, his armoured gauntlets oversized even for Astartes. Four sword-long blades slid out from the knuckles, like a sabretooth’s claws, and beckoned towards the sisters.

Sister Selena and Sister Marianne charged, singing, at the beast. They were instantly torn apart for their trouble. The chain-axe wielding champion decapitated another of Arabella’s squad. Again, Arabella, Justine and Cat exchanged looks.

‘Fall back!’

Firing as they went, the sisters retreated back across the compound walls, the implacable giants shadowing them every step of the way. The deep bellows of the cyclopean lord filled their ears, and filled their hearts with ice. Only with their backs to the main basilica did the sisters pause. The titans came on, and the Sororitas took refuge within the building, the scorching heat of Neo Medina replaced with cool shadows.

There, a vision captured Arabella. Under the main apse at the far end of the nave, a rockcrete plinth usually remained shadowed from the high clerestory windows. However, with the bombing and shocks of battle, cracks had opened up across the vaulted ceiling, the cathedral groaning as if about to collapse. A shaft of blazing light lay upon the altar, and the sacred relic-weapon at rest there.

Dei Gratia!’ whispered Arabella, and she rushed toward the plinth.

Justine noticed Arabella just as she reached into the haze of the repulsor field surrounding the weapon. ‘What are you doing? The Salvatore is not for the hands of the sisters to touch!’

‘It calls to me!’ said Arabella.

‘Bella, you do not understand – the protection field is charged against thieves…’

Justine stopped as she witnessed Arabella reach into the field, and pull out the ancient sword unharmed. ‘How did you?’

The sounds of bolt-blasts came from outside, and both Sororitas turned, knowing the fight had come to them again. The relic broadsword was impossibly heavy and its weighty end clanged upon the cool stone of the floor. Arabella winced as sparks flew from its still sharp edge. She found the activation rune on the hilt and hesitated, knowing it was programmed to recognise genetic fingerprints. She whispered a prayer and thumbed the switch. The treasure shuddered for a moment, as if trying to make a decision. Then the Salvatore sprang to life. A crackling corona of energy wrapped its long blade, amber orbs embedded in its quillons whirred and it jumped in her hands, as light as a dagger. She turned as a towering figure entered the basilica.

The Chaos lord’s single sun-bright eye flashed as he witnessed the Salvatore in her hands. He pointed with one of the powered-claws.

‘Give me the sword, wench.’

The voice was deep and many-throated, like a chorus of voices lay behind the sound.

‘If you want it, come and take it!’

Arabella glanced around, seeing only four of her sisters still left standing. The giant was alone, his axe-wielding bodyguard must have fallen outside. The lord did not seem to care. The many voices chuckled.

‘You know not the prophecy you dabble with, mortal. Believe me, you would be better to hand it over.’

‘I believe nothing from the mouth of an arch-traitor!’

‘I Lord Malphas, Bearer of the Word, will spare the masses huddling beneath this floor if you give it up.’

Arabella did not need to answer. She held her stance, sword raised, ready to fight. Her sisters shifted at her side, eager to defend her.

‘Resistance is meaningless!’ hissed the many-voice. ‘Pandora Sector has already fallen. Your Angel is turned!’

Seeing he could not persuade the pious sisters, the crimson behemoth sighed. ‘Then so be it.’

He brought from its sheath from behind his back a tall staff of meteoric iron. Its head was fashioned in the eight-pointed star of Chaos. Arabella gasped as he thrust the brass-tipped foot of the staff into the ground. The clang echoed from the basilica’s cracked walls. The world shook, and reason collapsed. Like a diseased iris opening, a tear in the fabric of reality yawned between Arabella and Malphas, sickly light radiating out in waves of nausea. With a sound like a monster vomiting, five scarlet shapes spewed from the wound. Growling at their sudden rebirths into a different plane of existence, the glistening shapes shuddered and bulged, reforming into unholy beasts of ropey tendons and flexing muscles.

Five blood-covered manifestations of destruction incarnate rose to their full, monstrous height, golden broadswords shimmering into being in their claws. Long forked tongues slithered like black snakes from their gaping jaws. A wave of unreasoning fear washed over Arabella as the wound in reality quickly resealed and the Bloodletters roared.

‘Enjoy yourselves!’ laughed Lord Malphas, ‘But bring me that sword!’

Two of her fellow Sororitas closed ranks before Arabella as the daemons leapt like pouncing sabretooths, and were quickly hurled aside. Sister Justine took a wide tack, washing the Chaos lord with her heavy flamer. He stepped back, almost casually, calling in his deep chorus-voice.

‘You will be their plaything for eternity in the Hells, wench!’

One after another of the daemons flew at Arabella, hell-forged blades swinging in killer arcs. She held her ground before the abominations and the Salvatore dived and spun like an eagle. One shuddering shock of impact followed another, Arabella barely having time to think as she fought almost instinctively, the relic blade wheeling and cutting like a living thing.

Two of the otherworldly assailants she dispatched back to the Hells with deep cuts to their blood-wet bodies, the daemons disappearing with heart-rending howls and showers of hot blood. The remainder of the grotesquerie circled her, like wolves wary of the prey-beast’s kicking hooves. Across the hall, Justine, Cat and Helena fought back with flame and fusion beam one more of the diabolical beings.

Her heart pounding, Arabella dared not turn her back and run, despite the mind-unravelling terror elicited by the mere presence of the warp-spawn. The flaming blades did not let up in their whip-fast attacks, and Arabella wilted as fear and exhaustion began to overwhelm her aching limbs. One of the daemons broke through her martial defences, cutting deep into her thigh, piercing the blessed black armour above her knee. And all the while the bellows of the Word Bearer echoed across the Basilica Celestine.

Just when Arabella was ready to give up hope and embrace martyrdom, the ground shook once more. The daemons paused in their onslaught, looking skyward. Dust floated down in the blood-soaked air, disturbed from its high peaks. Arabella felt the world shake again. This was something different, not a bombardment nor an earthquake in the veil between realities. The rising roar of ship engines confirmed her suspicions.

‘Mother Miriam is here!’

Lord Malphas sighed and beckoned to his summoned minions. ‘The changer has won this time, then. We leave.’

With a growl of annoyance he swirled, directing blasts of luminescent psychic energy from his fingers against the shaking walls. He strode from the basilica as its last columns collapsed and the roof came crashing down. The daemons died in squeals of anger, and Arabella’s world turned dark.

* * *

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Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:39 am

Re: Bellum Fide (Sisters of Battle)

Postby kurisawa » Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:14 am

Addendum: Post Tenebras Lux

ARABELLA DID NOT know how long she had lain buried, unconscious, beneath the rubble. Her dormancy was disturbed by muffled voices and the great weight pressing down on her chest being moved. Neo Medina’s harsh sunlight glared in her sore eyes and she coughed. Then she saw the face.

For a moment, she thought it was Him again. But as it came into focus she noticed the blonde hair was cut in the manner of a monk, the wide-spaced eyes dark rather than sky-blue.

‘Here is another one,’ the stranger called in a powerful voice over his shoulder. Arabella then noticed he was armoured in finely engraved and ancient battle plate, with a Pegasus emblazoned across the blue tabard covering his chest. And he was a giant.

‘Astartes?’ she coughed again. Seeing that she was conscious the titan carefully pulled her out from her stone prison. She sagged under the servo-assisted might of his muscles.

‘Is anything broken? Can you walk?’

She nodded that she was all right, flexing her legs and arms. The blessed armour had saved her body from the worst of it. She looked up, the stranger’s massive physique dwarfing her own slight form.

‘Brother Cassyon, at your service.’

He fixed her with a stern gaze and Arabella felt her mind gripped with a powerful but gentle probe. She gagged at the intense pressure in her sinuses. Then as abruptly as the hold on her aching brain had begun, it ended.

‘You have survived a manifestation of the diabolical, and you remain pure-hearted.’

The giant stood to one side and Arabella saw other figures toiling across the ruins, servitors with drilling equipment, preachers and another armoured paladin. Several brutally angular dropships idled nearby on the scorched sands of the desert, sisters from her order and equipment gorging from their open ramps. Of the army of cultists, only bodies and ruined tanks remained.

Then Arabella sobbed with joy, noticing Mother Miriam ministering to other survivors from the Basilica Celestine. Miriam spotted Arabella and stomped towards her, limping over the rubble of the ruined convent. Her sparse grey hair was tied back tightly in its customary ball, and her pale eyes gave Arabella a once over, looking for injury. When she was satisfied she said in a harsh voice.

‘Come with me.’

* * *

‘ONE MORE TIME,’ Inquisitor Kristatos Vascos demanded. Arabella groaned inside. For four hours she had endured the bearded padre’s incessant questioning. For four hours she had sat upon the hard, cold bench in the freezing interrogation chamber deep in the womb of the starship, San Leor. The old tyrant had picked and picked, backtracked and repeated, as if trying to trick her, find holes in her story. All the while, the sinister Confessor Silas paced untiringly behind her, occasionally pausing right behind her, so close that the hairs on the back of her neck rose. She still jumped each time he thwacked his flail upon his open palm, as if eager to use it.

‘Enough!’ said Mother Miriam, sat beside the augmetic-riddled inquisitor, across the large oak table from Arabella. She checked her notes again. ‘Everything she has told us has been cross-collaborated. You should be treating her as a heroine, not a suspected heretic.’

Miriam rose to her feet upon creaking limbs, sending a fierce scowl at Vascos that made Arabella quail. The cyber-augmented inquisitor did not recoil, however.

‘We must discover the meaning of this “prophecy”. What brought them to the convent? The sword? Was that the reason behind this whole uprising?’

‘Sister Arabella cannot answer those questions. She has suffered the proximity of the diabolus, and requires spiritual cleansing at my chapel, as well as medical attention. This interrogation is over.’

Brother Silas mumbled something, but Vascos silenced the hooded confessor with a wave, nodding assent to the Canoness. Miriam jerked her head, signaling to Arabella, who jumped to her feet.

Arabella paused. ‘Actually, I have one question of my own, if it pleases My Lord…’

‘What?’ snapped the inquisitor, visibly astonished.

‘What did the heretic mean when he said Pandora Sector had fallen? What has happened?’

Vascos sighed, gathering his parchments together on the table. ‘The uprising is not limited to Neo Medina. My Ordo at Pandora Prime has received distress signals from a dozen worlds, all at imminent collapse under cultist attacks. We have lost contact with a dozen more.’

He rubbed his piercing eyes with spotted, aged hands. ‘I cannot believe the seeds of Imperial civilization planted by the Blood Angels only ten years-terran ago can have turned so rotten so quickly. We are embarked upon a War of Faith to retake the sector in the name of the Holy God-Emperor.’

Arabella gaped, until Miriam dragged her from the chamber. Outside in the corridor, the walls changed from the damp, cold stone of Vascos’ chamber to the familiar metal-grilled tunnels of a starship. Miriam silently bid Arabella to follow, and she obediently fell into step beside the Canoness.

‘Your actions on Neo Medina were truly remarkable, Sister Arabella. But this habit of taking matters into your own hands and making hasty decisions has to stop…’

‘Hasty? Mother Miriam, if I had delayed then…’

Miriam slapped Arabella across the face with an open palm, hard.

‘And no backchat! Interrupt me again and I will have you back in the Repentia before you know it… or let that brute Silas at you.’

‘I am sorry, Mother Miriam.’

‘You think you are someone special? That the rules do not apply to you?’

‘No, Mother Miriam.’

‘What possessed you, Bella, to take up that sword?’

Arabella paused at the way the question had been framed.

‘I felt the call of the Holy God-Emperor. The Salvatore called to me.’

Miriam harrumphed. ‘It is an Astartes relic. You know that, yet still you believe you are somehow special?’

‘No, Mother Miriam.’

‘Well, for now it seems the Salvatore has accepted you, though I cannot understand why. Guard it with your life, Bella.’

Arabella nodded gravely.

‘Have you cleaned it since the battle?’

‘No, Mother Miriam, I did not have a chance…’

‘Then that is your chore for tonight. And your armour. I want them both polished so that I can see my face in them by six in the next cycle.’

‘Yes, Mother Miriam.’

‘Well, go on then. And don’t forget, you are not special. You are but one amongst His great flock.’

Arabella nodded and hurried away. When her face was turned away from Miriam, she allowed a small smile to creep across her lips. The Canoness was wrong. She was special. Arabella knew it. She had known since she was five years old, when she had been chosen and saved by one of His greatest Angels.

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