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9938 No. 9938 ID: acf812

Irono Axebeard hefted his axe and trudged blearily down the stone corridor. He'd had far too much to drink last night, but awoke with, or at least an hour after, the others to do his duty. "It's those damn Eldar's what it is... spiked my flagon." The heavy axe started to tip forward as Irono nodded off, the distant thunder of heavy guns and muffled chatter of homeforged scatterguns insufficient to rouse him. His head edged closer and closer to the quivering power field, "hehsuh, was the Eldar," a loud snore racked his frame, followed by a short crack as the ionized air discharged a bolt of electricity from the axe to his bulbous nose. Irono awoke, suddenly remembering his charge.

"Yes, Mountainfather?"

"Commander, my title is commander, Iaerno."

"Of course, of course. Those damn Eldar." Iaerno mumbled, his eyes immediately drooping with brew and weariness.

He was never happy with calling them Eldar, probably another trick the damnable Elves had played on his proud and noble people, another deception. But the others always "corrected" him, and he begrudged them their addled minds.

"Iaerno, are you awake?"

"Of course, of course Mou-er, Commander. Simply a little sickness, the full flagon flu, you understand." Iaerno winked conspiratorially, his eyes fluttering as they tried to settle back to sleep, seemingly confused by the action.

"Iaerno you... ugh." The Commander stopped short and composed himself: the enemy's forces would be upon them soon, but if he chastised the son of a noble, especially an Aexbard, the resulting parliamentary deadlock could cripple the planet's defense.

"Iaerno, I have a... very important job for you."

"Yes, yes of course mountainfashurr... oooANKK." The snore pealed out like thunder, and Iaerno slept while Commander Burfess tried to remember the structure of the various weapons and structures they employed.

He had to get Iaerno away from the vital areas, where his presence would be at best inconvenient and at worst a detriment.

But he couldn't leave the man at the back either. Iaerno prided himself on doing his war duty, and would complain endlessly if he was kept with the other nobles. He settled on the Cere-class void shield generator.

Colony Aexbard, like any good Daerven holding, was equipped with dozens, and they would absorb the worst of the attacks. While vital, the structures were, by their very nature, the least likely to come under direct attack. If the enemy breached the void shields and made it to a generator, it could be a tremendous problem.

But, the layout of the emplacements was such that the battle would be all but lost at that point regardless.
No. 9939 ID: acf812

"Iaerno. IAERNO!"

"mmmes-Yes, yes Mountainfather?" The sleeping soldier awoke, his perpetually engaged power axe already gouging the front of the commander's desk yet again.

"I have a very important task: We have reason to believe the enemy will strike at a void shield generator. As you know, we can't lose even a single one if we have any hope of repelling the assault."

Iaerno nodded sagely, "Of course, Mountainfather Beardfist. Should we lose even a single gate, the entire mountainhold could fall to the scoundrels."

Commander Burfess coughed uncomfortably. He'd known Iaerno for a long time, and knew better than anyone the strange things the man said when drunk. Which was perpetually true. Still, he was not happy with the nickname 'Beardfist.'

It just seemed unnatural.

"Yes.. yes of course. Just, report to the third ring of the generator's defenses and prepare to hold the line. If we have any luck, you won't be needed. But if comes to it, your skill and valor may be all that stands between us and certain destruction."

"Of course, Mountainfather, I'll report right away." Iaerno stood and stumbled, staggered out the door, power axe burning and cutting the floor and walls, leaving yet another trail of scars to match the countless he'd left before.
Irono Axebeard hefted his axe, eldritch lightning crackling along its surface, barely contained by the Runelord's... runes. Of binding! Yes, binding.

Although Irono despised the arcane practices as much as any good dwarf, the art of the forging required to contain the mighty eldritch sigils of eldritch might more than dwarved... duh-woorved? Dwuhrfed? Dwarfed. Yes, dwarfed any taint of dishonor they held.

And he would need that eldritch... uh... Might! Yes, that eldritch might to defend his brothers, his fellow dwarves.

He spat another curse on the foul Eldar. Though he had no proof, his gut assured him they were behind this insidious attack. Always dodging the fight, drawing the enemy to the dwarves, unmatched defenders and warriors all.

He felt no small amount of pride as he relished the thought, and chuckled. "Hah, those damn Eldar need us to fight their battles for them." Ever since their excesses and practices led to their fall by the coming of... what was that god's name? Slaalth? Sloalth? Something like that, anyway, yes their pride was their end, like all Eldar and their kin.

And they had so many kin, besides the Dark Eldar. There were the Aquatic Eldar, the Wood Eldar (they all lived in the woods, what's the difference?), except the Grey Eldar and their fancy mountaintop castles.

Then there were the Avarieldar, with their feathery wings and fragile bones. Yes, Irono knew more about Eldar than nearly any other dwarf... but only because he despised them. Of course.
No. 9940 ID: acf812

Irono heard a tremendous crack, like the sky itself was slowly giving way, thunder and lightning rattling his bones. Ever one to press the battle, he stepped through the door, curious how such a small door could become the massive gate on the outside. But such is Dwarven craftsmanship, the artisanry of a mountainhold.

A great flaming sphere fell from the sky, scattering strange castoff bits of fleshy plant matter as it plummeted. the ground thundered and shook as it impacted, but Irono held his ground: he had trained in the ways of the Berserker, the Defender and the Mountain Dragon. His skill and determination were such that no foe could hope to move Irono Axebeard... When he remembered to assume the right stances, and such.

The flaming catapult stone burst asunder, a horde of small, buglike things with swords for arms swarming forward. "Clever bastards! Hiding demons in a siege stone?" Irono felt the rage of his ancestors... RAGE within him, rumbling through his stomach and down to his rear. He roared and charged, a whirling cyclone of death, his artificer-crafted armor deflecting the blows he or his axe couldn't thwart.

In what seemed like an instant, the things were all dead, festering on the ground, and he took up his position once again. The flaming debris rumbled and shifted, a hulking figure, a tremendous beast stood.

It had two thick legs, each larger than a dwarf around and at least a dwarf-and-a-half in height. Great swords, dwarvenlike in their ferocity, gleamed dwarfily from its arms in the dwarvening... er.... evening light.

It bellowed, a mighty roar Irono was only too glad to match, and charged, twin cannons braced on its shoulders kicking up earth on either side of Irono.

He held his ground.

"Commander! Commander!" Commander Burfess turned and faced the lieutenant. The fight was going well, the Yelstun-class orbital defense lasers were cleaning up the hive fleet nicely, and the void shields held.

"Yes, Lieutenant Monhamer?" The lieutenant snapped off a quick salute, his stout dwarven body... Damnit. Burfess chided himself, he should've known better than to stay up drinking with Iaerno last night, he'd been spending too much time around the man lately.

"Cere Generator 47A has been breached! A mycetic spore has made landfall!" Burfess visibly paled at the news, and his eyes went wide. The Cere class recycled shielding twice as fast as the older Shroen generators.

An extraordinary amount of firepower and no small amount of bad luck was required to breach it without shorting out the entire generator.
No. 9941 ID: acf812

"Wait... 47A? That's... Send a squad immediately. No, two squads, both with Mark Sevens."

"Of course, sir!"

Burfess sat and sighed heavily. Somehow the bestial creatures knew where to attack the void generator. He'd personally seen one broken, piles of bodies crammed into the delicate apparatus as the things mindlessly threw themselves in to overload it.

Self loathing and sadness washed over him: he should've just told Iaerno to sit this one out, told him the defenses and fleet had it under control.


Sergeant Trulblad led his men through the underground evacuation tunnel entrance, the heavy Mk VII stubbers carried ably by the stout power armored soldiers. They burst through the first ring, and saw no enemies.

The second ring's door gave way, and Trulblad's blood pressure jumped momentarily, settling when he saw no enemies. He waved his men up to the third ring door, the entrance to the battlefield.

The rumble of heavy cannons cleaning up enemy forces outside the range of the void shields gave him pause, almost seeming like the tread of some monstrous creature. Anxious glances were exchanged, and each man's face set in turn as they gladly accepted the possibility of death in the defense of their land, their people and families.

The rumble grew louder, closer, and Trulblad led the charge from the front, screaming a battlecry as he and the others cleared room and bought time for the big Mk VIIs to set up.
No. 9942 ID: acf812

He saw a pile of corpses, the sick blood and reek of Tyranid coating the ground and fouling the air. Even more frightening was the thing laying atop the tiny hormagaunt corpses. A carnifex, all scythes and teeth and venom cannons. Green blood and viscera streamed from its many wounds, a venom cannon sheared in half here, an eye missing there.

Trulblad's eyes continued upward, and his face darkened when he saw the still form of Iaerno Aexbard atop the dead thing. His blood, a bright, somehow victorious crimson, streamed freely down his arm, hissing as it contacted the shimmering power field of his axe, gripped tightly even in death.

Around them the battle began to die down, the seemingly endless horde of Tyranids petering off, the tide of hunger incarnate subsiding.

The two squads crouched in the shade of the great generator tower, all mourning the loss of a true hero. Beside them stood Commander 'Beardfist' Burfess, his countenance the dourest of all.
No. 9943 ID: acf812

The cleaner teams arrived, cleansing promethium burning away the taint of extragalactic life, hostile even in its demise.

The flames swept over the pile of bodies, and suddenly a great cry arouse. They all stopped and looked up to see Iaerno Aexbard roll heavily atop the Carnifex's mutilated body, now snoring loudly.

Burfess rushed over, shaking the sleeping warrior awake. "Iaerno! Iaerno, you're alive!"

"Whuh?" The snoring resumed as Iaerno slipped instantly back into well deserved rest.

Burfess chuckled, and roused him again, "Iaerno, what happened here? How did you manage to... to kill so many?"

Iaerno snorted and mumbled, heady dreams of stout brew and stouter women flitting through his mind, "Suwuh, it was the Eldar."

Burfess chuckled, then laughed aloud, and soon enough the others joined him.
No. 9944 ID: acf812

Far away, lightyears away from the Daerven system floated a graceful craft, seemingly composed entirely of a forest of bone. Great crystal domes allowed a view inside, an entire world suspended on the emptiness of space.

Thousands upon thousands of Eldar moved through this self-sustaining world, living their lives.

Deeper in the ship, in the psychoplastic wraithbone structure of the craft itself, swam another hundred thousand minds, the souls of dead Eldar, forever alive and ready to assist their brethren at a moment's notice.

Deeper yet, even farther inside, sat a lone figure, reclining easily in his seat. He wore a helmet and armor, disguising his features, but still radiated a palpable aura of satisfaction, and, perhaps, dickishness.

Eldrad Ulthan watched through the warp as yet another splinter of Hive Fleet Kraken perished, another threat to his people ended by the arms and armor of a younger race.

Low, so low not even a Space Wolf standing at the doorway could hear it, a single phrase whispered out.

"Just as planned."
No. 9945 ID: acf812

Please, comments, criticisms and poorly-veiled insults are welcome.
No. 9946 ID: 0eef61

wait is his name irono or iaerno or
No. 10036 ID: 5d98c3

Best dwarf.
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