It is written that long, long ago the Space Marine Chapter known as The Emperors Swords from Ghorstangrad were annihilated by the Alpha Legion. Through treachery and deciept the Alpha Legion were able to infiltrate the inner sanctum of Ghorstangrad and destroy it and the loyalists from within.
As the land, cities and bodies of the fallen burned and rotted but before the Alpha Legion could rebuild and turn Ghorstangrad into a Chaos Stronghold, a hand pushed up through the rubble. The hand was twisted, broken and shredded but there was enough strength left in it to claw at the surface. To push away rock, metal and dead flesh. Slowly, painfully the hand dragged and pulled. An arm eventually appeared and then a shoulder. Then a bleeding neck followed by a scarred face with bloodshot eyes. The faces mouth opened wide in a silent but horrific scream. Blood and bile trickled from the open jaw with it’s shattered teeth. Then the mouth took in a deep gasp of war polluted air and then it coughed a hacking, blood filled, cough. Then came the vomit. After a few minutes the bloodied eyes tried to take in it’s surroundings. All the eyes of the man could see was death and destruction. Nothing new to his weary eyes but this time the death he saw was his own battle brothers. He had seen brothers fall before, many times in fact but they had died gloriously in battle. Now, from what he could tell, all his brothers and even the commanders were dead and they had died from tearchery. Then, an even heavier, darkness fell over him. Why had he been spared? Why had he lived when all his brothers were dead. He should be dead. He should be gone. Was he too a traitor? Was he infected with the darkness that is Chaos? His mind spun with painful recollections of his battle brothers falling at his side. He had fought hard along side them. He had been wounded. He had fallen and then… Then nothing but darkness.
Laying there with only his head and right arm free of the smouldering rubble Razael Vigistus of The Emperors Swords felt lost and despair. His bleeding eyes scanned the area around him in search of a Bolter that he could use to end his misery but there were none. Only broken remnants of weapons. His heart was so heavy and riddled with pain that he could not even feel the wounds he had sustained.
With the drive to find a weapon and end his own life he grabbed at anything solid enough to hold his weight and he pulled. His body felt numb and crushed. He pulled harder and sweat started to bead on his charred brow. Finally the earth and rubble around him started to give as his body was hauled up out of the ground. He gritted what remained of his teeth and pulled with all the strength he had left and, finally, he was free.
When Razael looked down at his broken and beaten body he didn’t even flinch when he saw that his left arm was gone from the shoulder. His torso armour was in ruins and shards of it were stabbing into his stomach and chest but he didn’t care. His head throbbed and he could feel his warm blood trickling down his face and down the back of his head but, still, he did not care. None of these wounds compared to the pain he felt in his heart, in his very soul. He had failed his brothers, his beloved Commander Rictus Thorne and his Chapter. Most of all though he had failed his Emperor. With a lump in his throat Razael slowly and awkwardly got to his feet. He was dizzy and fell, painfully, to one knee. Tears and blood streamed from his burning eyes. “Death is the only way.” He whispered hoarsely to himself.
Razael, again, got to his feet and started to stumble about the blackened rubble looking for a working Bolter. Soon he will be dead and his soul will be reunited with his brothers by the side of the Emperor in the warp to continue the battle against Chaos.
The battlefield was eerily quiet and that’s why the Space Marines keen hearing picked up the click of a safety switch. He turned to see, a hundred yards away, the unmistakable, deep turqoise and gold of the Alpha Legion armour moving behind a burnt out Vindicator. An anger rose up in Razael like never before. He would seek out some small semblance of retribution on this lone Alpha Legion Warrior Scum. Instinctively Razael hunched down making his body a smaller target. Ignoring the burning pain from all his wounds he jogged, at a crouch, to where there was more cover in a small black crater. His eyes darted around for something, anything to use as a weapon. That’s when he saw it, the head of a mighty axe that must have been weilded by a Commander or maybe a Chaplain. He could tell it was ancient but it was sharp and that was all that mattered. The head axe head lay wedged in the chest of one of his brothers, he couldn’t tell who because the head, arms and legs were gone. The axe head was missing its handle but it would do. He ripped it free of the chest armour of the fallen Emperors Swords Marine and peeked over the edge of the crater. The Aplha Warrior was dragging himself along by his elbows. “Damn snake.” Razael muttered to himself. Razael could see the bloter in his enemies hands and hoped that after the fight there would be at least a single round left he could use for his own head.
“Your Chapter is Lost!” The Aplha Warrior suddenly called out taunting Razael. Razaels grip on the axe head tightened and the muscles in his jaw, arm and chest twitched.
The Emperors Swords Marine rolled out the back end of the crater to avoid being seen. Then he flanked his enemies position on the left. He slowly manouvered closer and closer. He watched as the enemy marine called out again, his face towards the crater Razael no longer occupied, “You are the last of your kind and I will take great pleasure in finishing you off.” Razael snuck even closer. He wanted the element of surprise.
Now Razel was so close he could see that his foe was missing his left leg from the knee down. That’s why he had not advanced. This gave Razael the advantage. Razael stalked even closer and held his breath. Then in one mighty leap he jumpred out from cover and landed directly to the side of the prone Alpha warrior. Without hesitate he sung down the axe head as hard as he could at the Warriors head. The clash was loud in the silence and the scream was even louder. The blade of the axe head was so strong and sharp it had neatly sheared off the top of the Aplha Legions Marines helmet and his head. Chunky pink and bloody brain matter drizzled out of the open skull as the body started to twitch. Razael stood tall and smiled triumphantly over his dead enemy.
Eight years later…
Razael could see the smoke of campires from six miles away. “Fragging Guard.” He said smirking and shaking his head as he marched towards the encampment. He had managed buy himself a lift to the planet Gaarl by two veteran smugglers of all people. They had been wary of him but hospitable. They’d never seen a Space Marine up close before and certainly not one like him. “Wheres your armour then?” The hairiest of the two inbreds had asked glaring at Razael’s mottled skin with damaged pipes protruding from the flesh. Razael told them, briefly, that he was not worthy to wear it anymore but it had also been destroyed. They had asked him to join their little crew and be a bodyguard of sorts. “I am no bodyguard. I am a warrior and it’s war I seek not dark dealings with heretics.” Razael had said scornfully. After that they gave him a wide berth.
Razael had heard that the Bastion Guard of San Garros had left their home planet to hunt down the Ork Klan that had destroyed three of their watch dog bases. This seemed like a good fight to join even though he knew the Guard tended to be all balls and no brains. Maybe it would be in this War, this battle that he would find peace and glory in death?
After the fall of his Chapter and his home world of Ghorstangrad Razael had thought of taking his own life but then he had remembered the teachings of his Chapters Chaplain Gyus Trennuk. Suicide was Heresy! Plain and simple. It is the responsibilty and the honour of any disciple of the Emperor, the true God, to fight on no matter what the odds. The epiphany had struck him like a Bolt to the heart. He had ventured off immediately in search of WAR. A Pilgrimage that would see him traverse the galazy and many, many planets. Eight long years later the noamdic Space Marine Warrior had lost count of how many wars he had fought in and how many lives he had taken but still death had not found him. Still he had not found honour.
Maybe, just maybe the battle of Gaarl would see his dimise and he will once again be side by side with his battle brothers.
The last of The Emperors Swords
It recently occured to me that I have never seen a Space Marine without his armour on. I did a google image search and there wasn’t a whole lot out there. I was curious to know wherether they’d look like Darth Vader without his helmet, if you know (and you better know) what I mean? My thinking was that they’d look pretty bloody weird and creepy.
These thoughts then lead me to think why a Space Marine would be without his sacred and ancient armour anyway? That got me to the Warriors Pilgrimage. Quite and interesting read. See here –
An interesting read.
Finally with all these thoughts buzzing around my noggin I was inspired to, first, write a little story and then make the model.
I wanted Razael to look nomadic, battle weary and like he has been through the meat grinder again and again and again. The twisted thing coming out of his chest is some sort of valve that had connected him to his armour.
I wanted the amount and varied species of skulls around him to give the impression he had been killing for a long time. You can see more pipes/valves coming out of his back.
I’m quite happy with how he turned out. I built him last night and painted him this evening. The only bit of painting I’m not happy with is the blade on the chainsword. It looks a bit blobby but I did four very thin coats of yellow. I just think yellow is a bit of a bastard.
The lighting for the photos wasn’t quite right so if I get some spare moments I might re-shoot him. The pix don’t really show off his mottled and multi coloured skin all that well.
Thanks for having a look gang. Let me know your thoughts on the mini and the story. I did my research for the story. It was fun.