Never Ending Fables
Epics of Redemption
Fables of the Unforgiven
Tomes of Valour
Doctrinae Unforgiven
First Stanza

"What is the terror of death?"

The high-pitched whine of jetpacks firing filled the air as the reserve line of assault marines slammed into the coloured forms of the charging Eldar Aspect warriors in a blur of dark green shadows.

"That we die our work unfinished!"

Snapping off the last few rounds in their Bolter's ammoclip into the mass of alien scum charging them, the Tactical Squads that formed the battle-line drew their close combat weapons even before their spent boltgun casings had stopped spinning on the cold desert floor.

"What is the joy of life?"

The assault marines had almost crumpled against the crushing onslaught, severely outnumbered by the Eldar warhost. But still they tenaciously fought on; they had bought valuable seconds in checking and bearing the brunt of the Warrior charge.

"That we die knowing our task is finished."

A second green tide crashed into the rapidly diminishing line of assault marines. The bulk of the Dark Angels had joined the counter-assault and slowly the battle was turning. Spearheading the assault, at the head of the battle-line, an Interrogator-Chaplain stood undefeated, and around him a path was cleared by a squad of the bone-white Deathwing.

"We are the Emperor's Wrath!"

Asmodai parried a blow from the Striking Scorpion's ornate chainsword, and a lightning fast riposte with his Crozius threw the jade-armoured warrior forcibly backwards in a haze of blood. A resounding peal of thunder with the crackle of lightning sounded the requiem of the remainder of his squad.

"Let the blood of the unclean act as an offering to the Lion's Shade."

Eldar blood was everywhere. It stained the pure white of the Deathwing armour. It soaked Asmodai's robe. It dripped onto the thirsty desert floor till it collected in small puddles around the broken bodies.

"Let the bodies of our enemies be testament to our prowess."

The Eldar line was being pushed back, leaving a carpet of corpses and spent weapons, and the Eldar dead far outnumbered the bodies in Power Armour. The air resounded with the screams of the dying and the Last Litany was on the lips of the wounded Dark Angels as they perished, lending a ghostly haze to the battle-noise.

"The Emperor's Light is our guide in battle!"

The sun had already began to cast away the dark of the dawn, exposing the carefully prepared Eldar traps and ambushes which were overturned by the vengeful Dark Angels. The day was breaking and the Eldar could not seek refuge in the shadows of the night any longer. The dawn assault had been a shambles and was turning into a full-scale rout.

"Our faith is our shield!"

Taking a direct hit from the Fire Dragon Exarch's ornate Fire Pike, Asmodai mouthed a silent prayer of thanks to the Emperor as his Rosarius deflected the fusion charge. Asmodai was already bringing his crackling energy mace down on the head of another Fire Dragon as he killed the insolent Exarch with a sideways blow that could not miss.

"O Emperor, before you we stand, the Dark Angels;"

Suddenly the Eldar line broke and soon the entire warhost was fleeing, fleet-footed warriors quickly outpacing the slower Dark Angels. With methodical effciency the sweeping Dark Angels reloaded their boltguns, took up firing positions and mowed down the fleeing Eldar like grass.

"Stubborn, zealous, and dedicated unto your will;"

But the Eldar rout did not last long. The survivors had formed up around the Seer Council and formed into a wedge that threathened to cleft the thinly spread battle line of the Dark Angels into two.

"Only the best from your best, O Lord of Humanity."

The only obstacle between the Eldar and victory now was the solid bastion of the Deathwing and the Master Chaplain, standing immovable, that met the Eldar charge head on.

"The foes we have struck down are innumerable;"

At the head of the Eldar wedge was the Athesdan, the High Warlock; Asmodai met him full on and the Eldar psyker was thrown backward by the running mass of Asmodai's weight coupled with the Terminator armour he was shielded with.

"The victories we have won are great!"

Standing up, the Warlock drew his witchblade whose runes shimmered with power in the morning light. The Eldar warriors that surrounded the Deathwing fought on in the rush of the charge. He took up a stance and attacked.

"Even in Death...."

He was faster than I had ever thought possible. I had barely time to parry the last blow before he hit me with a flurry of blows each stronger than the previous one. Slowly my defence crumbled and I put all my remaining strength into a last, final, desperate swing. With a cry of triumph the Crozius Arcanum took him in the knee but his last stroke shorted my Rosarius, cracked my helmet and the world blacked out.

".....we remain vigilant."

The Deathwing and the Dark Angels were momentarily stunned by their Chaplain's defeat. They watched in disbelief as Asmodai fell to the floor, and a great roar of victory rose from the Eldar echoed by a cry of despair from the Dark Angels. Both sides then attacked with renewed vigour, both striving for a common goal: Vengeance.
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