c. Games Workshop Ltd.
Veteran Sergeant Amadeo leaned down and grabbed Tyrio by the wrist, hauling the Neophyte over the edge of the ruined hab’s second storey. Tyrio was always lagging behind his brothers, Amadeo noted, always falling to the rear in any operation or training session. For some reason, the young Astartes simply lacked the confidence his brothers found so natural, and this was an almost fatal flaw in a Space Marine. Tyrio must have been conscious of his Sergeant’s silent judgement, as Amadeo saw second-long flicker of humiliation cross the young man’s face before he hung his head and hurried over to the edge of the ruined windowsill, taking up an overwatch position on the grey ruins below. The roof to this place had long ago been torn open by Drukhari bombings, and filthy rainwater pattered down on them from the polluted sky above, spattering against Amadeo’s bare head unpleasantly.
Hundreds of miles below the Valkyrie, the surface of planetoid Ixis 37B was a jagged grey tangle of crags, peaks, and canyons, punctuated here and there by the bright orange of a lava flow. It was a low atmosphere rock where little sunlight pierced the perpetual gloom, and little or nothing lived. It wasn’t until you got closer to the surface that you saw stranger sights– rock formations hovering above the ground like strange, floating sculptures, perfectly hemispherical pits stretching for miles across, and strange electromagnetic signals seemingly originating from the planet itself– all of which had attracted the attention of the Adeptus Mechanicus.
(art by Games Workshop)
When chronicles of the Indomitus Crusade look back to what is now known as the Battle of Desolation Row, there is much dispute as to the cause of this battle– who fired the first shot, why it escalated to the point that it did, and what ultimately could have possessed loyal servants of the Emperor to take up arms and wage war against one another.
(Original art by Games Workshop, colourist unknown)
Zhirae, Succubus of the Cult of Spite, exalted in the feeling of the wind whipping through her red braids as her Raider screamed across the flatlands, followed closely by flocks of Venoms, Reavers and Ravagers and other skycraft. Her raiding host was in motion, a fleet of flinty grey dagger-shapes speeding above the surface of this world like loosed arrows homing in on the soft flesh of a target. The world itself was a flat, ugly black rock, with a landscape of dry canyons, plains of barren earth and rising outcroppings of sandstone and basalt. There seemed to be nothing alive here– nothing that she could hunt, nothing that she could kill. It was oddly peaceful and tranquil– which made Zhirae hate it all the more.
(Art by Sharpwriter at Deviantart)
The shelling had finally ceased. Clambering back onto the roof of the ruined administratum building that served as her command post, Canoness Lucia Trevalyne surveyed the damage: the hive sector, already a battered skeleton after weeks of fighting, had been reduced further by the bombardment, its ruins bleached white with fungal rot and its streets scoured to the granite by viral-bomb impacts. Nothing remained alive in this sector– nothing, that was, except she and her Sisters.
(Image above by Yang Zheyy at https://www.artstation.com/zheyang)
“…from the perfidy of the alien, o Emperor, deliver me; from the wickedness of heresy, o Emperor, deliver me…”
By Confessor Mattias Elastor’s count, he had voiced the Benediction of St. Cyrus twenty-two times in the last hour alone, and the Hymnal of St. Thor at Gathalamor another fifty-three. He couldn’t remember when he had last slept, or for that matter, when he had last eaten anything—his fear had been overriding his hunger, and at some point it had turned into just a general, bone-hollow weariness. It was that, and the shrapnel that had lacerated his left leg, which had eventually forced him to stop moving and take shelter in the half-exposed second storey of this ruined Administratum office.