Thursday, 6 July 2017

Ballads of War 1x46, 1x47 & 1x48. End of Volume 1

Special delivery, we have come to the end of Volume 1!! :O


So we have Brent on the run and the Eldar on their way to rampage a human settlement so the Imperium has to divert troops and leave this flank unprotected. Machiavellian!

This was meant to be chapter one in a series of eight. So now the pieces are deployed and the game starts! Dun dun dunnnn!!

But this is not all! I also wrote a couple of texts as an Appendix. Just in the same fashion that Watchmen or The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (which I have openly declared as clear influences) include additional info to the comic. They are not essential to understand the story, they simply give you some hints and insights on the whole thing. Each Appendix on each volume was meant to be focused on one character. This first one is of course all about Brent (which is the most heavy specific character in this Volume too). As the texts were absurdly long, I'll try to brief them a little (this is a visual blog! You'll get bored of encyclopaedic texts!). I'll do my best on the translation, but as always, please feel free to correct me. There we go:

TEXT 1

REPORT.
Ref. 29/4867/B908
From: Corporal Niklas Arasac. Intel Section. 45 Belrive Inf.
To: Commissar Kaider Bajakian
Subject: Beronis

After the events told in my latest report, I can now offer clear results. Following the subject V. Prienne has finally led to the whereabouts of the subject B. Beronis. Apparently, after the Gavarnus affair they seem to have acted teaming up. An irregular team, but leaving enough trails to trace them.
It looks like, for the last two years, they have been operating in the hive city of Besenval, planet Lausor (Mieris system, Mauclar subsector, Eubea sector, Ultima Segmentum). The possibilities for hiding in a hive city are obvious, as well as the chances of making a living in their fugitive status.
Investigation has found several setbacks, as the subject is skilful erasing his trails. Close observation has not been possible, but it looks like he has made his face scar disappear, which suggests specific medical treatment. No information can be retrieved about other body scars. Such an expensive treatment requires noteworthy income, which leads to some connections between subject Beronis and some stormings on noble levels in upper hive levels. News came on a subject whose description matches Beronis, who was acting as a bodyguard for a noble household for some months. His sudden disappearance leads to the conclusion that his cover was blown up and had to look for shelter.
Apart from the devices to avoid digital identification I mentioned in my latest report, I have been able to verify the use of electromarked contact lenses by the subject to avoid eye scans.
The subject has got rid of expensive maintenance weapons or gear, which difficults following him. It is known that he uses a chainsword, probably his Imperial Guard regulation weapon.
As per instructed, I have abstained of reporting the subject V. Prienne to the Inquisition, though an inquisitorial team has recently been deployed in the hive. Unable to obtain the name of the leading Inquisitor.
Subject B. Beronis dwells at Level 42, West Framework, District 975. Non-qualified workers district, medium-high common crime rates. In addition of being reasonably unexpensive, it suits his purpose of staying under the radar. A cargo bay and a passenger transit bay ensure escape routes, so extreme caution is advised when approaching the subject.
Awaiting for new instructions.

Corporal Niklas Arasac.


TEXT 2
'...What led general Arveiron to take that decision, that we will never know. But the facts speak for themselves. After a long night of deliberations, his Staff looked bewildered, to say something. But the Space Marines command agreed too, so there was nothing else to say. After three weeks of skirmishes, we were allies to the Eldar of Saim-Hann now. We had been about six months in Biosnar, leading the offensive against the Orks our own way, and then it all suddenly changed. Those damn lankies had been on us and we were to fight aloingside them. Crazy stuff. But we were just but soldiers, and so is the nature of war.
It took us most of the day moving the front line according to the new joint deployment. That was the first time we saw them properly. Cold, haughty, in their red and white armours. They mostly used jetbikes, which happened to be damn fast. As far as we could learn, they called themselves 'Wild Riders', and before the campaign came to an end, we could see the name was well chosen. They threw themselves recklessly against the Ork lines at high speed, causing mayhem. That was the only moment they allowed themselves to scream like crazy beasts.
Apart from those moments, the Eldar were unnaturally silent. Every time we made a movement, a line redeployment, anything -differences were so obvious. Our riflemen companies marched singing battle cries, hymns, things of the like. Difficult to understand for anyone who has not served. Hundreds of voices trying to overlap the closest company. It was our way, and it still is, of cheering up each other, of evading from reality, of not thinking of the position where we are going to fight imminently. These old soldier things. But they... nothing. Not a sound. Not a single note, a song or anything. Not a groan from someone stumbling. Not that any of them ever stumbled on anything, of course. They walked strangely, effeminately, but the bastards did not ever stumble once on that damn rocky ground. They kept perfect formation at all times. They did not divert, did not slow down... Seriously, they were unnaturaly perfect.
Of course we never got acquainted; they stayed on their side of the camp, we stayed on ours. We didn't dare to get too close, if truth is to be told. Well, we all heve read about the Eldar, we all have gone to school. We know we have to not trust the Xenos. Anyway, they made their war, we made ours. The only coincidence was the common enemy. There was communication between the big fish, but never at our level. We used to see their leader coming to our command post. He gave us all shivers. A Psyker. They called him 'Farseer'. Temperature lowered down as he walked around. We all walked apart from him. Space Marines did get some more contact, and among us the Imperial Guard, so did the Stormtroopers [...]
Stormtroopers. Those people are weird even for us, their own mates. They are always recruited among orphans, people with no families. They are oriented to service even from the Schola Progenium. I remember them having an Officer, a Captain, maybe a Major, who was a total beast. Sullen, stern, he kept them all at bay at all moment. He was good, even for the Stormtroopers, but he was hard to deal with. The same goes for a Commissar who accompanied them. Nobody knew for sure what was he doing with them. Vachakian, Bayakian or something like that was his name. The only decent bloke in that unit was a Sarge, I cannot remember his name. He talked to us sometimes, he even brought some combat ration packs a couple of times. He talked about campaigns here and there, he talked about Benserade, Vestris, Bellegard. Mythical places, or others we had never heard of. We always though he made up some stories, but on the whole he was a decent man. Then they sent the Stormtroopers behind enemy lines, alongside a few Wild Riders. They spent the rest of the campaign together, another six or seven months. They all came back heavily changed, those who came back at all. I never saw that Captain or Major speak again. The Commissar was out of combat, they had to evacuate him. Even the Sarge was taciturn. Some of our boys made some jokes about them being too long with the pointy ears, but they were in no mood for jokes.
But we all  noticed a totally unnatural ability of getting on in the last combats we shared with them. It was like some kind of crazy luck. They went out of a position for an assault and, ten seconds later, a barrel exploded just there. They chose a place for an ambush... the most valuable targets went right for them. During the final assault on the city of Hirtaco they disobeyed the command order of taking a sector; they infiltrated through other way. Well, their designated area blown away because of an ammo dump; but their action was smooth and they were who allowed the gates opening that facilitated the final offensive.
I don't know, our friend the Sarge scarcely talked to us, he just babbled some thing about not being a conscious thing, it was just the way things happened. Some kind of 'gift' from the Eldar Farseer, some stupid thing about prophecies, a star to guide them, whatever. The thing is that after the campaign they all were through Inquisition scrutiny and they all were back to service.
For the rest of the campaign, we barely had contact with the Eldar. A Lieutenant from the 15th Aulide Grenadiers told me that...

Sergeant Lambec Kersan, 4th Ecbatana Riflemen. A Tale of the Biosnar Campaign, by Someone who Was There, Chapter IX.



Well, now this is all :D
If you have been able to read all this, you now have some clues on the general background storyline. Little hints on Brent from here and there. If you join the dots with the whole comic it makes full sense, promise :D

I would love to hear your opinions on the whole story so far. You can consult Vol. 1 HERE.
Thanks for all!

8 comments:

  1. Now now, this a great climax at the end of this volume. One which would certainly make the readers wait impatiently for what would come next. Also, the colours you used made these last shots look all the better, I can't really put my finger on it but it just looks right.
    These transcripts are also a great addition and they finally lift a little piece of the veil of mystery surrounding Brent. I do wonder why the Saim Hann Farseer decided to bestow such an unusual, yet great gift upon these Mon Keigh Stormtroopers. And what happened to the rest of them, ...?
    Top story!

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    1. Thank you! All your questions were to be answered in Vol 2, but I left it just on the verge of telling that part :(
      I'll bring what I have anyway and try to tell some more on this issue!

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  2. Replies
    1. Thank you very much! I totally miss the days when I was able to do this!

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  3. I am just sad there is not any more! Unless you have been secretly working on Vol II?

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    1. Oh, but I have (some) more! I started vol 2 back in the day too, I got about 30 pages or so of it.
      I have to scan it and prepare the pages, but I'm bringing it all over here :D

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  4. Replies
    1. Thank you! I'll start Volume 2 as soon as I can :)

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