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Legends of the Space Marines (Anthology)

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Legends of the Space Marines
Legends-Space-Marines.jpg
Cover image by Hardy Fowler
Editor Christian Dunn
Publisher Black Library
Series Space Marines (Anthology Series)
Authors Ben Counter, Aaron Dembski-Bowden, C.S. Goto, Jonathan Green, Paul Kearney, Nick Kyme, Graham McNeill, Mitchel Scanlon, James Swallow, Richard Williams
Preceded by Heroes of the Space Marines
Followed by Victories of the Space Marines
Released 2010
Pages 544
Editions 2010 softcover
ISBN 9781844165612

Legend of the Space Marines is an Anthology of short stories concerning primarily Loyalist Space Marine Chapters and first published in 2010.

Contents

Hell Night

by Nick Kyme

A battle force of the Salamanders, led by Sergeants Dak'ir and Tsu'gan, accompanied by Librarian Pyriel, embarks to the planet of Vaporis where the 135th Phalanx Regiment of the Imperial Guard are besieging the rebel-held city of Aphium. The rebels' void shield is holding strong, and the Imperial artillery is running dangerously low on ammunition, but that is not the worst thing the Guardsmen face. Ghostly bells are ringing and spectres are rising out of the battlefield and dragging soldiers beneath the earth. Commissar Loth refuses to believe in these spectres and has the ranking General executed for cowardice, along with any soldiers who dare to suggest that these spectres are real. The Imperial forces must attack again, and they must do so on "Hell Night," the solstice of the planet's annual cycle, when the night is longest.

Even the Space Marines are unexpectedly helpless against the spectres, and their sole weapon is Pyriel and his psychic powers. He leads the Salamanders and the remaining Guardsmen in an attack on the shield, protected by a delicate psychic cordon. Meanwhile, Dak'ir, injured in an early battle with the spectres and left behind, ventures into the passageways beneath the Imperial headquarters and finds old records that explain the mystery.

The spectres turn out to be the souls of the congregation of a church, Hallowed Heath, that was the twin of Mercy Rock (which is still standing), but built upon bad foundations. In the Unending Deluge of 966.M40, the rains fell for 66 days and caused the Hallowed Heath to sink slowly beneath the earth, trapping her 546 patrons inside as it did so. For three days the inhabitants rang the bells, begging for help from the surrounding towns, but to no avail. The town of Aphium was the closest, and the most indifferent, its citizens fearing for their own lives if they travelled into the quagmire.

Dak'ir voxes Pyriel, who looks closer at the void shield and realises that the Aphians are reinforcing it with a psychic barrier of their own, fearful of the spectres. Pyriel drops his cordon and focuses all his power on breaching the shield and immolating the ring of psykers inside the city. The spectres leave the Imperial forces and take their revenge on the city's inhabitants, leaving none alive and eventually finding peace.

Setting

The planet of Vaporis, described as a monsoon world, suffers from a large amount of rainfall, in the base set up in the church Mercy Rock and the sodden battlefield before the besieged city of Aphium.

Characters

Salamanders

Imperial Guard

Cover of Darkness

by Mitchel Scanlon

A squad of White Scars led by Sergeant Kergis, advance under darkness on bikes through a geyser field with the purpose of destroying the main power facility for the planet of Tephra VII, a large geothermal power plant functioning within a volcano, the Ignis Mons. This power station feeds the continent and the void shields for the capital city of the planet, Choldis, where the main invasion and assault will take place at dawn. Kergis and his men meet up with the advance Scout Squad and their Sergeant, Balat, Kergis's old mentor. The scouts advise their brothers of their reconnaissance and stay behind to secure the bikes.

The White Scars advance on foot for stealth, reaching the slopes of the station with minimal resistance and enter a disused tunnel hatch, advancing with good time, until they reach a large magma overflow chamber, where the squad is assaulted by a hunting pack of chaos creatures, crossbred by the warband from several species for ferocity. After defeating these creatures, the squad hears a howling approaching. What appears is a Chaos Dreadnought originally of the Iron Warriors Legion. It proceeds into the middle of the chamber, where it is surrounded by White Scars. Brother Orlos attempts to attach a melta bomb to its back, only to be smashed down and pummeled. Brother Doshin is next to fall, his head being atomized by a point-blank blast from the Dreadnought's plasma cannon. Kergis is then forced to make a charge at the Dreadnought, sliding betwixt its legs, leaving behind an explosive charge, exploding and dropping the Dreadnought down into the pool of magma beneath the floor. Kergis makes to retreat when the Dreadnought grips his leg, forcing him to cut the arm off with his power sword.

With their fallen brothers' geneseed secure, Kergis sends his squad onwards with their original mission, whilst he takes care of a special mission given to him by the Khan, to destroy what appears to be a traitor from Kergis' old squad, Borchu. Kergis finds his way through the maze of tunnels to the top of the facility where the traitor's chambers are located. He enters them and is confronted by his friend. He notices the deathly pallor of his friend's skin, and the unfamiliar bearing that he has. Kergis deems that this is a daemon inhabiting his friend’s body. The two do battle, with conversation flowing between them, with Kergis finally scoring the death blow and decapitating the daemon.

As he leaves the daemon's chamber, Kergis senses explosions that tell him the rest of the squad has successfully destroyed the control room. Magma starts to engulf the entire facility, and Kergis is resigned to the fact that he will not escape, no matter how many cultist soldiers he kills while trying.

However, outside the chamber he runs into his lieutenant, Arik, amidst dozens of cultist corpses. Arik states that the rest of the squad has exfiltrated and that he decided to come and help the sergeant to extract. The two of them then proceed to reach a landing pad and steal a shuttle and escape. Dawn breaks and the Ignis Mons proceeds to erupt, lava boiling down its slopes in a slow moving tide. The two White Scars make for the rendezvous point.

Kergis is happy with his night's work - a mission accomplished, a Daemon destroyed, and a lost friend redeemed - while musing that happiness is never meant to last in the war-torn 41st Millenium.

Setting

Tephra VII, a world liberated by Jaghatai Khan and now taken over by the forces of Chaos a year beforehand. The power station the Ignis Mons, situated in a volcanic wasteland, the Volcan’s Cradle, which provides power to the continent and the void shields for the city, Choldis, where the main assault will take place.

Characters

  • Sergeant Kergis – Leader of the strikeforce destined for the Ignis Mons and its destruction. Was involved in the hunt for the daemon prince Kernax Voldorius where he served under then Sergeant Balat.
  • Arik – Pathfinder of the squad.
  • Gurban – Battle Brother and second to Kergis.
  • Doshin - Battle brother killed by the Chaos Dreadnought
  • Osol – A young White Scar battle brother, barely in full battle plate for five years. Killed by the Chaos Dreadnought.
  • Techmarine Goju
  • Scout Sergeant Balat – Now a member of the 10th Company, charged with teaching the scouts. Was once offered the position of Master of the Watch back on Chogoris but refused and transferred to the 10th Company to pass on his knowledge. Was Kergis’ sergeant a century beforehand, during the hunt for the daemon prince Voldorius.
  • Jurga Khan – White Scar commanding officer of the Tephra VII invasion
  • Borchu- An old member of Kergis' squad, had died in the caverns of Nephis-Ra, taking a lascannon beam to the chest, punching a fist sized hole through him. His body was never recovered due a cave in. His body was then possessed by the daemon that once inhabited the body of Traitor Marine named Nullus serving as a lieutenant to the daemon prince Voldorius, whom Kergis killed on Quintus. The daemon also claims to be the Kagayaga, an ancient Chogoris "boogeyman" of sorts.
  • Shulok-ahk-alim-neg - “he howls without end” - Chaos Dreadnought once of the Iron Warriors, now belonging to whoever controls him. Was first killed by a Crimson Fist, then placed in the iron sarcophagus, where he howled for release and never stopped.

The Relic

by Jonathan Green

Dreadnought Jarold leads a battle company of Black Templars to the Deadlands of Armageddon in order to chase the Orks of the Blood Scar tribe who ravaged the Chapter Keep on Solemnus and took the Company Champion Ansgar and his symbols of rank. The Black Templars destroy an initial band of Orks and then proceed to track a signal, which turns out to be an ice entombed Dreadnought of the Crimson Fists Chapter. After unearthing Venerable Brother Rhodomanus, who has been dormant for 50 years since the Second War for Armageddon, the Black Templars forge on to the main Ork camp. The battle company fight to the teleporter pad, where Techmarine Isendur engages the device, transporting them away to the Divine Fury and delivering an explosive device to the Ork camp, destroying them. Later it is revealed that Brother Rhodomanus is returned to his Crimson Fists company and chapter.

Setting

The planet of Armageddon, in the icy Deadlands.

Characters

  • Marshal Brant - leader of the Black Templars during the Third War for Armageddon
  • Ancient Brother Jarold - Dreadnought leading the Black Templar's forces on this excursion to Armageddon. Entombed in the sarcophagus of Ancient Brother Dedric after being struck down by a rusty Ork cybernetic claw.
  • Chaplain Wolfram
  • Techmarine Isendur - Attached to Brother Jarold's forces
  • Brother Baldulf - Lost a limb in the initial drop pod assault to the Kult of Speed.
  • Brother Larce - Flamer
  • Brother Nyle - Meltagun
  • Initiate Tobrecan - Rides a bike mounted with a plasma cannon.
  • Initiate Isen
  • Initiate Leax
  • Neophyte Gervais
  • Neophyte Eadig
  • Neophyte Galan
  • Sergeant Bellangere - Fought through to the teleporter in the final assault without losing any member of his squad

Black Templars killed in the final assault on the Ork Stompa and the Teleporter

  • Initiate Egeslic - Landspeeder Pilot Landspeeder struck by a Ork Shock cannon, whereupon the Orks slaughtered him and his Gunner Fraomar
  • Initiate Fraomar - Gunner - See Above
  • Neophyte Feran - Killed by a Ork Flamer which set off his krak grenades, exploding him.
  • Brother Huarwar Decapitated by a heavily mechanised ork just prior to teleporting off of the planet
  • Initiate Garr
  • Initiate Heolstor - Gunner
  • Squad Garrond
    • Brother Derian
    • Brother Eghan
    • Brother Clust - Heavy Bolter

Crimson Fists

Orks

Space Vessels

Twelve Wolves

by Ben Counter

A serf of the Space Wolves tells a tale in a banquet hall of The Fang of two Space Wolves, Daegalan and Hrothgar who are out on the slopes of Fenris whilst the forces of Cardinal Bucharis besiege the Fang.

The two warriors, one a young Blood Claw and the other a grizzled Long Fang, commit hit-and-run attacks against troops moving guns and equipment to the front, eventually having a taskforce sent after them. All the while Daegalan is teaching the young Hrothgar how the Twelve Wolves of Fenris are always beside them in battle, whether at home, on foreign soil or in the stars. Each of the twelve Great Companies takes its symbol and battle style from one of those twelve wolves, each of whom has a different lesson to impart.

But when Hrothgar and Daegalan are cornered by the Cardinal's taskforce, they change roles, and Hrothgar says he has something to teach the older warrior: there is a Thirteenth Wolf, who stalks alongside the other Twelve, though none of them like to speak of it...

The skald finishes the story by relating that when reinforcements from the Fang finally arrived, they found Hrothgar, having succumbed to the Curse of the Wulfen, slaughtered both the Cardinal's troops and Daegalan, and was taken back to the Fang and banished to the dungeons in the bowels of the fortress. The skald ends with a warning to the young warriors listening to his story to remember that the Thirteen Wolves of Fenris walk with them always.

Setting

Fenris and the area surrounding The Fang, during its M36 siege by Cardinal Bucharis and the forces of his Plague of Unbelief

Characters

The Returned

by James Swallow

The Doom Eagles' homeworld of Gathis is rocked by an unexpected event. Veteran Sergeant Tarikus has been rescued, after he was thought dead when the medical frigate he was recovering on was attacked by the Red Corsairs.

Tarikus relates that he was actually captured by the Corsairs, who sold him to the minions of Fabius Bile. He was imprisoned on Dynikas V, where he was tortured and experimented upon by Bile. He was eventually rescued by the Blood Angels and returned to his Chapter.

After his return Brother-Sergeant Zurus, who now commands Tarikus's squad, is assigned to watch him and to observe him for any sign of Chaos taint. The Eagles' Chapter Master, Commander Hearon, is not sure what to do; more than any other chapter, the Doom Eagles embrace the inevitability of death, and for Tarikus to "return" after being declared officially dead is anathema to their beliefs. But Hearon decides that, although expediency demands that he simply sacrifice Tarikus rather than risk any uncertainty, he refuses to dispose of a brother who may turn out to be untainted, and loyal.

The decision eventually rests with Librarian Secundus Thyrn. Under his direction, Tarikus is subjected to several grueling ordeals, including being trapped between "The Talons," a pincer-like torture device, and stripping Tarikus naked and leaving him on the walls of the mountain, until he is half-dead from exposure. Throughout these ordeals, Thryn asks Tarikus searching questions, and Tarikus responds the same way each time: he is the real Tarikus, and still loyal to the Emperor. Thryn reports back to Hearon that Tarikus's mind and body are sound, but there is still an undecided question as to his soul. Hearon orders that he wants the matter settled, no matter the risk to Tarikus.

By now, Zurus has joined his squad in pleading for Tarikus's reinstatement to the chapter, but Thryn insists on putting Tarikus through the final test. Using a psychic illusion, Thryn makes Tarikus believe that Traitor Marines have attacked the fortress-monastery with Tarikus's help, and Tarikus turned to them after seeing that his chapter and his brothers had abandoned him. Tarikus senses that what he sees is a lie, and screams his defiance back at his tormentor, snapping him and Thryn out of the vision.

Ruefully, Thryn realizes what secret Tarikus was hiding from his brothers: his moment of fear, inside his prison, when he wondered what would happen if he did break and give in. But he did not, and Thryn is satisfied to pronounce him sound in body, mind, and soul.

Exonerated, Tarikus reclaims his weapons from the Chapter's reliquary, and strikes his name from the roll of the dead. He is mildly surprised when Zurus volunteers to step down and let Tarikus resume leadership of his old squad. Tarikus accepts, but only on the condition that Zurus remains as his second-in-command.

Setting

Gathis II, homeworld of the Doom Eagles. The Fortress-Monastery, the Eyrie, upon Ghostmountain located in the Razorpeak range.

Characters

Consequences

by Graham McNeill

The 4th Company of the Ultramarines returns from Tarsis Ultra after their narrow victory over the Tyranids. Shortly after their arrival, Captain Uriel Ventris and Sergeant Pasanius Lysane are both placed under arrest and charged with breaking from the Codex Astartes, a crime punishable by execution.

During their trial, before Lord Calgar and the other Masters of the chapter, Uriel and Pasanius are questioned closely and admit to several actions not sanctioned by the Codex, including Uriel's decision to relinquish command of the company and lead the Deathwatch kill-team aboard the Hive Ship over Tarsis Ultra. Throughout these questions, both Ultramarines insist that they had no other choice to achieve victory and save lives, but Captain Sicarius and several others dismiss this as irrelevant.

After the first day, Uriel and Pasanius are both visited in their cells by First Captain Agemman, who explains to them what is at stake: the Ultramarines are not just the finest warriors of all the Adeptus Astartes, they are examples of virtue and discipline to the rest of the Imperium; the Codex is more than a set of rules, it represents their respect for order and their willingness to acknowledge a higher authority; without these, they are no better than the Traitor Legions. If a Captain is seen flaunting the Codex, the lower ranks will take notice, and it will not be long before the Ultramarines are renegades, enforcing their version of the Imperial will as they see fit.

Taking his words to heart, Uriel and Pasanius appear on the second day of their trial, and waive their right to defend themselves or their actions, and agree to accept whatever judgment is passed. Lord Calgar, who sent Agemman on his errand, gives a subtle nod of approval, but says he has no choice but to sentence them to death. However, it would be a sin to waste the lives of two warriors who might still bring grief to the enemies of mankind, so he orders them to depart the chapter on a Death Oath: a suicidal journey into the Eye of Terror to combat the forces of Chaos on their home ground.

Shortly before they set out, Lord Calgar confides to them that Chief Librarian Tigurius had a vision of them on an evil world, where Chaos was at work. He orders them to destroy it. On their way out of the Fortress of Hera, every Ultramarine assembled there turns his back on them - except for Sergeant Learchus, who reported their dereliction of duty, but takes no pleasure in their exile. He swears to look after the 4th Company in Uriel's absence, confident that they will return.

Setting

The Vae Victus, the Fortress of Hera and the Temple of Correction on Macragge. The story takes place between the novels Warriors of Ultramar and Dead Sky, Black Sun

Characters

The Last Detail

by Paul Kearney

A man and his son are hiding in a bunker underneath their home, sheltering from a conflict above. They leave to explore their surroundings, finding devastation and eventually a Space Marine, wounded, with destroyed power armour and trapped underneath a rock fall. This Astartes explains that his chapter was on their world fighting a Chaos Warband called the Punishers, who had hoped to take this world in order to forge a bridgehead and go on to conquer the rest of the sector.

The Astartes then goes on to explain that he must contact his brothers and so they make for the Spaceport. Along the way they encounter Cultists, and must battle their way up the tower where they encounter a Punisher Chaos Space Marine, who kills the Man and reveals the Astartes to be a member of the Dark Hunters Chapter.

The Astartes finishes him off with help from the Boy. The two of them then send a signal to the Dark Hunters, using Morse Code, whereupon the boy escapes out the window whilst the Astartes stays in a last stand against the Punishers at the door.

The Dark Hunters' space fleet receives the signal as they are destroying the last of the Punisher space fleet they had been pursuing. They are surprised, thinking that they had eliminated all the remaining Punishers on the world (named Perreken), and accounted for all lost Battle-Brothers.

Three months later, the Boy is the leader of a band of guerillas who receive a signal from the Dark Hunters in Morse Code, where upon they launch an attack on a Cultist ceremony whilst Drop pods fall from the sky to slaughter the Punishers. The ritual is interrupted before a Daemon can be summoned from the Warp, and the Boy, who has become a hardened warrior despite his age, looks at the Astartes and knows that they are everything he wants to be.

Setting

The planet of Perreken, described as the size of a moon and the city surrounding the lone spaceport.

Characters

The Trial of the Mantis Warriors

by C.S. Goto

Khoisan Neotera, the Chapter Master of the Mantis Warriors, is tried by a panel of unseen interrogators, including other Chapter Masters, several Librarians, and representatives from the Inquisition or the Adepta Sororitas. They state that his guilt, and that of the Mantis Warriors, is beyond doubt, and all they wish is for some explanation of why a loyal Space Marine chapter would side with the Tyrant of Badab.

Neotera remains silent, and still as a statue during his interrogation, but his mind flicks back to the events that led him to this point; how the Mantis Warriors were sent to investigate rumours that the Astral Claws had turned renegade; how he was reluctantly impressed by the grandeur of the Palace of Thorns on Badab; how Lufgt Huron spoke, in all earnestness, of wanting to fight against those elements of the Imperium that had forsaken the Emperor's true will; how Neotera himself resented the Mechanicus's order for the Mantis Warriors to turn over extra samples of their gene-seed for testing, as if for possible deviance; how he fought loyally alongside the Astral Claws' coalition for years, until the climactic battle over Badab, when his faithful Captain, Maetrus, turned his ship's guns on the Astral Claws, and said he trusted his Master would do the same...

(Maetrus had learned from Librarian Shaidan that the Astral Claws had abandoned all pretense and stripped the Aquilae from their armour and declared open rebellion against the Imperium.)

And yet, at the end of this rumination, Neotera cannot account, even to himself, for how he came to turn traitor against the Imperium and wage war against his fellow Space Marines. But he did, and has therefore broken his silence only once, to tell his interrogators that he deserves no mercy, and will ask for none.

The court decides that the Mantis Warriors are not beyond redemption, and are therefore excommunicated and sent on a one-hundred-year crusade of penance. In the meantime, their chapter relics and homeworld will be distributed to other Imperial factions.

As for Neotera, rather than grant him the release of death, they strip him of all his titles and sentence him to a dungeon, where he will either learn to understand the reason for his crime, or die in anguish at his failure to understand.

Setting

  • Neotera's trial, at an unknown location;
  • Badab

Characters

Orphans of the Kraken

by Richard Williams

Sergeant Tiresias and his four neophytes board a derelict Tyranid Bio-ship as a Salvation Team, with the aim of finding any survivors of the Fifth Company of the Scythes of the Emperor. They find the remains of a number of their Chapter in a chamber with the remains of a number of slain Tyranid Bio-Titans.

The squad forges onwards towards a beacon that they are tracking, leaving the Chapter serfs to salvage equipment and materiel from their fallen brothers. They discover their comrade, Commander Cassios, in hibernation and the only known survivor of Fifth Company. They recover him back to their ship, whereupon he convinces the Neophytes that the Tyranid ship is not dead, that it is creating another ship. Tiresias, the Neophytes and Cassios then board the Tyranid ship through the birthing chamber, advancing to the new ship, entering and destroying its heart, with only Tiresias surviving, to gather the gene-seed of Cassios and enter hibernation, whereupon he is discovered by another Salvation team years later.

Setting

A Tyranid Bio-ship of Hive Fleet Kraken

Characters

At Gaius Point

by Aaron Dembski-Bowden

A squad of Flesh Tearers are shot down on Armageddon. Only two Marines survive the crash, Brothers Zavien and Jarl. Zavien is forced to pursue Jarl as he is consumed by the Black Rage, an unfortunate legacy of their Primarch Sanguinius. Jarl unfortunately makes contact with a squad of the Order of the Argent Shroud, mistaking them for Traitor Marines attacking the Imperial Palace during the Battle of Terra.

Zavien follows Jarl's trail of destruction to the village of Dryfield, to find its inhabitants slaughtered and forcing Zavien to kill his brother to stop his rampage. Immediately afterwards, Zavien is confronted by the pursuing Sisters of Battle who execute him as retribution for their sisters' deaths and the tragedy at Gaius Point.

Setting

Armageddon, some time after the Third War.

Characters

  • Flesh Tearers
    • Brother Zavien - Must pursue Jarl and put him down so that the other Imperial forces present do not learn or witness the violence that he will perpetrate. Kills him in the church at Dryfield.
    • Brother Jarl - Marine caught in the throes of the Black Rage and loose upon the landscape of Armageddon. Kills two Sisters of Battle and the village of Dryfield before being put down.
    • Brother Sergeant Drayus - Barely alive after the Thunderhawk crash. Charges Zavien with hunting down Jarl and stopping him, killing him if neccassary.
    • Brother Garax - Thrown clear during the crash, presumed dead due to no lifesigns but not confirmed.
    • Brother Varlon - Pilot, killed in the crash
  • Sisters of Battle - Order of the Argent Shroud
    • Sister Superior Mercy Astaran - Executes Zavien at the end of the story as revenge for massacre Gaius Point and the deaths of her sisters.
    • Amalay D'Vorien - Sister killed by Jarl due to Black Rage
    • Brialla - Manned the heavy Flamer upon the Immolator tank Promethia. Killed by Jarl due to Black Rage after getting a warning off over the vox of the Flesh Tearers presence.


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