Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tales of the Rancid Blade: Part thirty five: The Silvery Hand

There are many who can claim the mantle of greatness amongst these stars.  Many who can be called heroic, or gigantic, or even mighty.  The heroes of the Space Marines live to fight a thousand wars and that is heroic.  The ageless lords of the Eldar strive for the remnant of their race and that is timeless.  Even the flicker of greatness can be seen in an Imperial officer or a Tau colonist for the moment of his life.  But there are some beings who cast a longer shadow than those.  There is one who casts a shadow that the ages can not measure and time is fearful of.  The Silvery Hand is his name and he is bringing his children together.  

The mighty Actev Nu was not the first of his minions.  One of the greatest Archons of the fallen Eldar kin.  Perhaps the greatest.  Actev's greatness was born, like so many others, out of the fall.  But unlike his dark brothers something changed him as he fell.  When the birth scream of the Thirsting God occurred all those millenia ago Actev was but an Eldar.  At the moment he slipped toward the vortex of Slanessh, pulled into the horror, a silvery hand stretched out from the cosmos and caught him.  A molten dream captured him and carried him away.  He fled from the horrors of that moment and as he did a living silver crept into his eyes, crept into his mind and hid there.  It hid there and helped him carry his domains to the great crimson city of the webway.  The Silver Hand hid there and through its shiny influence Actev became a mighty master of the dark streets, an overlord of the horrible neighborhoods.  Through the millenia the Silvery Hand secreted away...  waiting... growing.  

When the great Confessor Sylax was but a preacher he was lead by the Silvery Hand across the blasted sands of Mordia.  His trek brought him renown and took him to the Sororatas that were cloistered in the mission there.  As Sylax marched across that furnace landscape he was sustained and changed by the melted glass and molten that existed there.  The spirit that lead him was the same that guided Actev Nu, unknown, for the millenia.  Unknown it sustained Sylax through his pilgrimage across the wastes and through the decades of war and conspiracy and tricks and schemes.  Sylax, guided by the Hand manipulated the 27th Mordian Iron Guard for two hundred years advancing schemes, unknown even to himself, but known by the Silvery Hand.  When the Inquisitor Gulofil learned and revealed Sylax’s true nature the Confessor fled.  Few believed the claims of Gulofil or his minions but Sylax was driven out, stripped of his titles.  He fled to and hid in Commoragh.  He was sheltered by the same Silvery Hand that had brought ActevNu to power so many millenia ago.  The Silvery Hand protected its own.  

Sylax returned to the real world hundreds of years later. The Mordian 27th regiment was long destroyed but the Sisters of the Cloistered Heart were yet to be unleashed.  Sylax continued the schemes of the Silvery Hand with the sisters at his side and none as faithful as The Nurse.  She stood by his side, bore his child, Sylvie and raised her to be a sister of the Adeptus Saroratas.  The Silvery Hand was at work in the universe through Sylax, preparing the way... Getting ready.  

Through the generations Actev Nu was also working the will of the Hand.  Though he only knew a faction of what he did.  His actions and the actions of the Confessor built the path the Silvery Hand needed.  Actev Nu’s eldar pirates disrupted trade fleets and delayed colonial settlers so they would not reach the Sleeping Worlds.  Sylax destroyed the moon of Palthanx so that the gravitational vacuum would activate long lost technology, technology frozen by those who once moved the stars and moons at will.  The minions of the Actev Nu included the corrupted Etherial Ari’Ashi who is but now leading a vast invasion on the Cemephon System to divert Imperial resources from discovering hidden worlds.  The attention of Inquisitor Nelthas was diverted so easily by the Tau invasion fleet.  She had been so close to finding the long hidden tomb of the Cyiontyr and all it’s secrets.  But the Silvery Hand knew best and it had for bllions of years before any of these character’s races had been born.  It’s manipulations had stretched though the eons, protecting, working, nurturing those who slumbered. 

Until one night both Sylax and Actev Nu were struck down on the field of battle~ the same field of battle.  Thrice wagered schemes played themselves out to that moment.  Sylax and his companions fled the field of battle with his broken body.  They cut the Archon's heart from its corpse and carried it in the bloody helmet of the Archon.  Sylvie, the daughter of Sylax, and her lover, Yanaloo, a minion of Actev Nu’s arena, carried the servants of the Silvery Hand back to the dry sands of Mordia.  They were lead down the winding stair by the Nurse, the last and most faithful of the sisters that dwelt in the old Mission.  

Down down down into darkness they ran.  Their feet falling on old stone.  Flaming torches held aloft they strode through dark passages carrying the bodies past watching eyes inscribed on anchant walls.  In the oval Chamber of the Eclipse The Nurse took a vial from the dusty shelf and as Sylax drank the universe groaned in horror.  The silver flowed into Sylax.  His old eyes expanded while the channels of his brain filled with quicksilver.  He grasped the dead heart of the old Archon and absorbed it's evil core into his new body.  It seemed to melt into his chest.  As the silver engulfed him he rose from the arms of his daughter, floating above the ground, lifting to center of the oval chamber.  His body expanded.  A dark green light flowed from his eyes while face reveled in the power of his new form.  His body expanded and his mind awoke.  The Silvery Hand was born into the world.  It lifted up and placed the old Archon's helmet atop it's head.  It swept the Nurse aloft with a broad long arm capturing her and cursing her to live with him forever.  

Sylvie and Yanaloo fled the chamber.  As they ran they saw the dark metal eyes of the newly awoken, the long sleeping, the Nercontyr reborn as the Necrons.  They stood and came to life.  The Silvery Hand was their lord of long ago, a son of the Star Gods, and imbued with their power.  His millenia of plans and works, orders, machinations, and schemes was almost fulfilled.  His minions were almost ready.  His silver tide would sweep through the universe.  His carefully laid schemes would now unfold.  He would prepare the way for the horror of the Necrons.  Few were left to stand in his way.

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