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Dark Imperium (Anthology)

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Dark Imperium
Darkimperium.jpg
Editor Marc Gascoigne and Andy Jones
Publisher Black Library
Authors Barrington J. Bayley, Andy Chambers, Ben Counter, Robert Earl, Matthew Farrer, Simon Jowett, William King, Neil Rutledge, Gav Thorpe
Released 2001

Dark Imperium is an anthology of short stories by various authors, edited by Marc Gascoigne and Andy Jones. It was first published in 2001 and is currently out of print, although several short stories were re-published in the anthologies Let the Galaxy Burn and There Is Only War.

Apothecary's Honour

by Simon Jowett

His Company destroyed, an Apothecary of the Avenging Sons Space Marines must fulfill his oaths and safeguard the gene-seed of both the living and the dead.

Daemonblood

by Ben Counter

Battle Sister Aescarion of the Ebon Chalice pursues Castus, Champion of Nurgle, determined to bring him to repentance.

Nightmare

by Gav Thorpe

A young boy is troubled by his nightmares, in particular by a beguiling Voice that seeks to lead him on a crusade against monsters.

The Lives of Ferag Lion-Wolf

by Barrington J. Bayley

Ferag Lion-Wolf, Champion of Tzeentch details his rise to glory as a servant of the capricious Changer of Ways. For Ferag, life is good: gifted with sorcerous powers, beautiful mutations, and military genius, he has crushed enemies throughout the Eye of Terror and risen to rule eight Daemon Worlds. While entertaining a lesser lord in his palace, Ferag confides that his rise to greatness began even before his turn to Chaos: as a primitive on his native Feral World, he became a renowned warrior after slaying a ferocious beast; recruited by the Purple Stars, he became an equally renowed Space Marine, valued for his tactical genius and ferociousness in combat alike; after he turned his allegiance to Tzeentch, his patron gifted him with even greater success, routing rival daemon armies of much greater size. The only place higher for him to go is true Daemonhood, and that apotheosis cannot be far away...

As he nears the end of his tale, a stray brick falls from one side of his palace and hits Ferag on the head - and suddenly he is back on his feral world, a lowly savage who has never been a Chaos Champion, a Space Marine, or even an ordinary warrior; he is simply a cultist in a minor Tzeentchian cabal on his planet, who has just botched a simple job of stealthy murder - and as punishment, his cult is about to perform the ritual that will transform him into a Chaos Spawn. As further punishment, his lord - known with good reason as "The Great Betrayer" - has tormented him with heady visions of a completely different life. Just before the ritual is completed, Ferag's mind snaps as he tries to decide which of his two lives was the one he truly lived.

Small Cogs

by Neil Rutledge

Colonel Soth of the Ulbaran 8th regiment of the Imperial Guard finds himself ordered to hold a position against Eldar raiders. His regiment, turned out for ceremonial duties and therefore under-equipped and impractically dressed, must prove themselves as combat capable, physically and mentally. A small group of scouts infiltrate the Imperial lines and Colonel Soth and a small group of loyal Guardsmen must stop them before they reach a temple crucial to the world's defence.

Setting

Characters

Angels

by Robert Earl

Almost forty summers ago, the monsters came to Pasternach. They slew everyone they saw and threatened to wipe the community out completely. And then the angels arrived.

Characters

Hellbreak

by Ben Counter

Commissar Von Klas is a numbered man. When the Dark Eldar came for his regiment, they decreed that ten percent of the humans be kept for entertainment. Von Klas is the last of them, the one in a million, and he intends to give his Dark Eldar captors the greatest show they'll ever see.

He is marched, unarmed, into a grand arena inside Commorragh, and matched with a Wych. Much to the surprise of the crowd, he defeats his opponent. His captor, the Archon Kypselon, is displeased, and sends von Klas to his favoured haemonculus to be tortured to death. The haemonculus relies more on fear and hypnotic suggestion than on shackles or guards, which would be enough for a lesser man than von Klas, who turns the tables on his captor and escapes his prison, freeing a number of other Imperial Guard captives along the way.

von Klas says his plan is to occupy the "temple" at the center of Kypselon's quarter, a monument to his Kabal's success, in order to draw the Dark Eldar forces away from the nearest spaceport, allowing them to escape the planet. But in private, von Klas knows they have no hope of escape, so he has another objective in mind.

Infiltrating a mobile factory belonging to the Kabal, von Klas and his men kill the Eldar overseers and liberate an "army" of several thousand human slaves, which allows them to occupy the temple. Kypselon is enraged and sends his entire might against them. The human defenders are slaughtered, but von Klas triggers explosives, collapsing the temple on top of human and Eldar alike, depriving Kypselon of the lion's share of his military forces.

When von Klas regains consciousness, he is sharing a cell with Kypselon, who was overthrown by a rival Archon. Von Klas is satisfied; he knows that they are both marked for death, but he is a mere "mon-keigh," and his end is certain to be far quicker than Kypselon's will be.

Setting

Characters

Battle of the Archaeosaurs

by Barrington J. Bayley

The Titans of the Adeptus Mechanicus are the mightiest and most glorious engines of war controlled by humanity...aren't they?

Know Thine Enemy

by Gav Thorpe

Xavier, a new Battle-Brother of the 4th Company of the Salamanders Space Marine Chapter discover that no matter how courageous, careful and experienced in combat you are, the most important factor in warfare is still intelligence.

The Wrath of Khârn

by William King

On an unnamed Daemon World, Khârn the Betrayer leads an outnumbered unit of Khorne Berzerkers into combat with Slaaneshi cultists, slaughtering them left and right. Khârn's personal kill-counter has reached 2,460 by the time they have reached the inner sanctum of the cultist temple (which is a still a far cry from his personal record for a day's combat). There, the cultist leader tempts them all with sensations of intense pleasure. Even Khârn feels the power of this temptation, but his unshakeable devotion to Khorne overcomes it. His fellow Berserkers, however, forget themselves and swear allegiance to Slaanesh, turning on Khârn, who, far from being angry, relishes facing worthy fighters for a change.

After dispatching every last one of his traitorous comrades, Khârn dispatches the cultist leader, then carves open his throne for what he came for: a jewel imprisoning the essence of a powerful Daemon. Like the cultist, the Daemon offers Khârn a lifetime of unrivalled ecstasy, and even Khârn is not completely immune to the power of the temptation. But if his millenia of wandering the Eye of Terror has taught him anything, it is that no man, even a Space Marine, can truly master a Daemon.

Khârn splits the jewel with Gorechild, destroying the daemon. His kill counter tops out at 2,487, and Khârn is a happy man.

Ancient History

by Andy Chambers

Press-ganged and made into a gunner on the Imperial ship Retribution, Nathan discovers that there are far, far worse things that can happen to you in the grim darkness of the galaxy than simple forced labour...

Snares & Delusions

by Matthew Farrer

Chaplain De Haan of the Word Bearers has a vision; the exodite Eldar ground underfoot, his mighty towers piercing the sky and great sacrifice made to Chaos. And for it all to happen, all he has to do is set his eyes on the heart of Varantha...

Hive Fleet Horror

by Barrington J. Bayley

A tale of Hive Fleet Kraken and a fugitive Adeptus Mechanicus Genetor.

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