Arelex Orannis

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Arelex Orannis

Post by Uriel on Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:47 pm

Discuss Arelex Orannis of the War Scribes here.
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Re: Arelex Orannis

Post by Uriel on Mon Aug 10, 2015 5:46 pm

Okay well after yesterdays thread talks and Skype discussions I figure it'd be a good point to actually start discussion in these.

SO.
Arelex.

Right now, the things that seem like they need work on fixing/tweaking/ironing out:

- Arelex's interaction with Mars; who does he anger? Why are they angered? What are the ramifications of this, for the AdMech, and for the setting?

A possible solution was put forward, centering on the Treaty of Mars, and its agreed terms
Spoiler:
When the Emperor brings Mars into the Imperium, it is not as a subject faction, but closer to a union of power. The Martians are allowed to keep their autonomy, and their religion (with some unenforced interpretation implications - Empy=Omnissiah), and they are given first refusal rights to all the cool archaeotech and mechanical goodies the Imperium loots from its conquests, as well as fundamental control of all Forgeworlds. In return for this, Mars acts as the Imperial Armorium, providing materiel and equipment for the Great Crusade, ranging from ammo to titans and voidships.

The concept being that Arelex's initiation, and mere presence on Mars is at best a disrespect by the Emperor to Mars, and at worst, an attempt at a political subversion designed to give the Emperor control over Mars.
This interpretation isn't hard to come to given the nature of the Treaty of Mars, and its clear boundaries between Imperium and Mechanicum.

In this way, some Martian priests/adepts would dislike Arelex despite how useful he is, purely for what he represents symbolically and polticially. Its likely most of the priests of Mars are okay with the War Scribes primarch due to the benefits he made available to everyone. But some, probably the more paranoid and greedy, but also the more zealous priests could form opposition to him.

This seems to sidestep the points brought up by an anon concerned that Arelex's backstory turned the AdMech into a disposable villain.

- Arelex Equipment and Armour

Arelex found some images he posted for feedback in the thread, with 5 options, denoting what he felt Arelex should look like/be armed with.

Post found here: https://boards.4chan.org/tg/thread/41750735#p41769444

Some insights and votes were thrown out in the same thread.

So far votes for Armours 1, 3, and 4.

Does anyone have any more feedback on this for Arelex?
Any insights or ideas to throw out there?

----

Does anyone have any feedback or input to offer Arelex's writing of his Primarch?
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Re: Arelex Orannis

Post by Lumey on Mon Aug 10, 2015 10:07 pm

There's my Mars politics suggestion starting at http://archive.4plebs.org/tg/thread/39114046/#39116031.
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Re: Arelex Orannis

Post by Arelex Orannis on Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:35 am

At Uriel's recommendation, I'm doing an exercise he put forth to Brennus for help with character development.


Answer's from the primarch's view



>1) What sort of person are you, and what do you see as your skill set? (If they believe they are something they are not, please make it clear in spoilers)

The universe is falling apart, and it is my duty to put it back together. We have fallen so far, mere imbeciles wallowing in the broken halls of our forefathers. I was born for just this purpose, to turn back the hands of time, and I know my role. It is a blessing given to few others. When the great work is complete, I will glory in all that Humanity can become. Until then, there is much to do and little time to do it.

I above all my brothers know how the men of old thought, how they built, what their techniques were. The history of worlds are a love of mine. From the fragments of old books and maps, I pull knowledge from what is but ash and dust to other men. Without speaking their language or knowing their faces, nevertheless I can see something of their grand design in the traces they leave behind, and relearn their ways. Though the manuals and activation sequences died ten thousand years ago with their masters, it is within my power to reawaken their mighty works.

The skills of organization and management come easily to me as well. When I look upon a planet, it is a simple task to say "Here shall go the manufactorums, and here we shall build the cities. Here, the mines, and here, the roads." With this, I summon industry, that which separates Man from Beast. And with industry, I fuel the needs of War, for myself and others.

For myself, I have learned the art of the craftsman's trade. I enjoy creating a useful thing from raw materials, or repairing a broken artifact. It is a pure, simple thing. I prefer it to the endless garbled yammering of people, who never seem to know what they want or where they're going. I will feed the masses, and clothe them, and give them shelter, but I will speak only with those who have clarity of purpose.


>2a) What's the biggest setback you faced during your youth?

When my cradle-pod crashed on Whitestone, plunging into the ancient marble caverns, my back and legs were horribly mutilated. Until I was four years old or so, I dragged myself through pitch-black tunnels using only my arms, surviving off of raw animal flesh and slimy hunks of algae. Even with a Primarch's constitution and my own heightened healing abilities beyond that, one cannot subject an infant to crash-landing into solid rock and expect them to emerge whole. A normal man would have died. I thank my father that my genes did eventually allow me to heal enough to walk, after a fashion. Slow and awkwardly, but walking nevertheless.


>2b) How did you react to this setback, and how did you overcome it?

It was a simple choice. Live, or die. I chose to live, as any animal instinct would demand. Eventually, I found a cavern still inhabited by miners, and they raised me into a man. To this day, I am grateful that men and women with barely enough food for themselves would take in a feral cripple wandering out of the darkness. Even now, after much healing by Imperial surgeons, my arms remain stronger than would be expected, and my legs shorter and more frail.


>3)What are your pastimes/hobbies?

I have a great love for the forge, and for literature. I often joke that I am a necromancer, for whenever I open a book or a dataslate, the dead return to life and speak to me. Likewise, I enjoy writing, and I take great efforts to record the events of my life, and the things I learn.

I have no skill whatsoever with any instrument, but I find music very soothing. An uptempo beat stimulates the creative mind, and a calming composition improves focus. Sometimes when faced with a particularly cryptic puzzle, I simply listen to a random assortment of songs, and daydream. Letting my mind wander seems frivolous to onlookers, but it often brings back surprising insights on its eventual return. I consider music an invaluable tool, and a great comfort.

It is not a particularly noble thing for a Primarch, and I doubt bards will sing of it for all time, but I have always enjoyed savory food, and especially sweets. My sense of taste has never been quite what it should be after eating the filth of Whitestone's caves for so long, and the memories of that time remain with me to this day. A well-cooked hunk of meat, or a sugary confection helps overcome that lingering aftertaste.


>4)What do you consider your greatest success?

A man is only known by his legacy, and the Atalantos Worlds shall be mine. I did not set out into the Core with the intention to create such a place, but nevertheless the seeds I planted have grown beyond my wildest expectations.


>6)What do you consider your greatest failure?

PRE-HERESY: OOC: (I'm gonna have to think about this one)

POST-HERESY: My greatest failure is that I am not the man my father was, not in the least measure. If only I could have done more, learned more, BEEN more, perhaps I could have done more than simply stabilize the wounded Imperium. It will endure, I have seen to that through the Administratum, but the momentum we have lost... I do not know if it can be regained.

All that I built, what does it matter? My brothers and I went to war against each other. We tore everything down around us. I who was charged with reconstruction, instead set worlds ablaze. We were so close to standing in the light.

But instead we slipped, and fell back into the cave.


>7)What is your first reaction to being insulted by another?

Say what you will, it is but vibrations in the air. But act upon it, and be destroyed.


>8)What is your first reaction to being blamed for something you didn't do?

Ignore them. I know what I am doing, and what I have done. After all, I keep enormous lengths of records for this among other reasons. In the rare case by which I have forgotten something, then all due process will be adhered to, and evidence will be examined. Restitution will be made, if deemed necessary.



>9)Is there anything you absolutely refuse to do under any circumstances? Why do you refuse to do it?

The Warp cannot be controlled. There is a vast, unknowable ocean that lies beyond our reality, and it betrayed ancient Man once before, casting down an empire mightier than anything I can imagine. It WILL betray us again. I know not how, nor why or when, but it WILL happen. Better to trust in the laws of our world, a world where Man is meant to be, where we were born and raised.

For now, we must use the Warp to travel. But our ancestors knew how to journey between the stars without resorting to plunging into its depths, and I will find out how, at any cost. The psyker has no place among my Legion, for we have no need of their skills.

I will place no tool in my hand without knowing its nature in full.


>10)In general, how do you treat others? Does your treatment change depending on how well you know them, and if so, how?

I treat others as well as I can. Pleasing people is of little importance to me, but neither do I try to put them down. To be honest, few individuals are worth my time to interact with. Every second we spend on polite conversational frivolities is a second I deny the Imperium's needs. There are some few whose insights stand out like diamonds in the rough though. I will make time for them.

When traveling between worlds, there is often little to do while cocooned in the Immaterium. I try to keep that time available to speak with others.


>11)Who do you respect the most, and why?

The Emperor commands my allegiance and my respect. There is none other who has the vision to reclaim our glorious past. He is not an affectionate father, but in all truth, that works better for me.


>12)How do you hope people view you? How do you think they view you?

I honestly don't care how people see me. I will do what I think what must be done, and try to cleave to my father's wishes whenever possible. Many will die in pursuit of Humanity's new galactic empire, and the masses cannot all be pleased simultaneously. So why worry?

I believe they see me as cold and distant. I cannot help that. There is far too much work to be done to have time for pleasantries, save on rare occasions. Hopefully they will appreciate the gifts my work brings them. Perhaps when all is said and done, I will have time to be kind. I would like that.


>13a)Who do you dislike the most, and why?

The Voidwatcher bathes in the Warp, wallows in its power, uses it recklessly and without thought. Unless I am totally wrong about the Warp's safety and control-ability, it will surely be he who finds some long dormant trigger, waiting for the sparks he flings around.

In general though, animosity is as useless to my needs as camaraderie. I try not to indulge in either needlessly.

b)What about despise?

Pre-Heresy: Very little merits that strong of a term.

Post-Heresy: My traitorous brothers. I will see them destroyed, at any cost.


>14)What 3 words best describe your personality?

Calm, intelligent, focused.


>15a)What 3 words would *others*, who know you well, use to describe you?

Kind, creative, loyal.

b)What about those who don't know you well?

Unnerving (superstitious people fear those who do NOT fear archaeotech), implacable, enduring.


>16)What is your greatest strength?

I never stop. Never give up. Whatever I set out to do, I do to the utmost and to the final completion. Whether a challenge of mind or body, this is so.
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Re: Arelex Orannis

Post by Rogerius Merrill on Tue Sep 08, 2015 2:02 am

Well, that was definitely wordy, as stated. Helps us understand him a bit better. Any assistance to you?
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Re: Arelex Orannis

Post by Arelex Orannis on Tue Sep 08, 2015 2:19 am

Somewhat. I fear I may be getting the cart before the horse though, in case any of this is made redundant/incorrect by future edits.
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Re: Arelex Orannis

Post by Arelex Orannis on Sun Sep 13, 2015 3:15 am

Merill also helped me come up with a preliminary statline for Arelex (based off the concepts of Napoleonic Warfare) that seems pretty appropriate. Preserving here for future use and edits.

WS 6, BS 6, S 7, T 7, I 5, W 6, A 3+1, LD 10, Sv 2+, 3++

Defensive focus, relatively smooth statline elsewhere. For now, it's fairly generic and may deserve tweaking in the future, but for now my focus is on simplicity.


Legion Rules:

All Scribes get ATSKNF, because Napoleonic Discipline, and they're as single minded in combat as their Primarch.

(Other rules possible depending on group input, probably something involving bonuses for large formation firing)


Arelex's Rules:

Boosted Feel No Pain 5+, Boosted It Will Not Die 5+.
Arelex is very good at ignoring his personal injuries and relentlessly moving forward. He also heals very quickly, as evidenced by not dying when he crashed into a solid wall of marble, before breaking through said marble cave roof and crashing hundreds of feet further into, you guessed it, more marble. As an infant.

Warfleet of Legio Secundus:

Arelex has 6 Orbital Bombardments available. He may utilize up to 3 of them on any given turn as a single Barrage attack.

Tacticae Orannis:

Instead of shooting, Arelex may give another unit within 12" one of the following rules for the remainder of the turn:

Twin-linked (re-roll fails to hit) for ranged weapons.
Tank Hunters (reroll armor pen vs vehicles).
Fleet (allows them to move further for run/assault).
Relentless (moving does not affect shooting, units may shoot heavy weapons and assault in the same turn).

(Insert some properly worded rule here to the effect of):

For Arelex, the squad is equipped with bolters without options for heavy or assault weapons.
Devastator squads are heavy weapons squads that can take up to 5 heavy weapons. So you keep that the same.
Have another squad that lets you operate much the same, but with special weapons instead of heavy.
(This rule, and the potential new Order of Battle for the Scribes, is elaborated on in their thread)


What I haven't decided on yet is Arelex's Wargear. So that's still to be worked on.

As always, everything here is up for debate and edits. I'm just working on things to stir up new ideas, and bring back some of the "I actually care about writing again" that's been lost over time.
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Re: Arelex Orannis

Post by Arelex Orannis on Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:12 pm

Ok, here's some new stuff I'm working on at Jacob's advice. Three different possible origins for Arelex, seeing some of the same themes as before but through differing lenses. Let me know what you guys think, which ones seem the most evocative, and so forth.


1:
His pod, drifting through space, was destined to float forever and be lost for all time. As fate would have it though, in all the vast blackness of space there still remained a few points of light. Not everyone died in the Age of Strife, and a handful of worlds even maintained tenuous contact with their neighbors. The needs of commerce and coin are eternal, and some few merchant families plied their trade between worlds.
Arelex's pod was retrieved by the ships of House Orannis, mystified at how an infant came to them across the void. Bringing him before the merchant house's leader, it was clear that something of destiny shrouded the young boy. His wife having borne him three daughters, the elder Orannis declared Arelex his heir apparent, believing him a reward from the unknowable fates.

Years passed, and Arelex grew to be a man. All that could be taught was taught to him, and Arelex spent as much time knee-deep in engine parts as he did bleeding in the weapons training rooms and eyeing the wares of merchants for any angle to knock down their price. Shy and withdrawn among outsiders (unless it came time to bargain for a better deal), Arelex was wholly different in the company of his family. He adored his sisters, and when his adoptive mother at last bore a son for his father, Arelex took it upon himself to stand vigilant for his newborn brother, hardly leaving his side during his infancy.

Stories are still told in that part of space of the time when another son of a (much wealthier) nobleman spurned one of Arelex's sisters, disparaging her heritage as merchant trash scavenging from their betters and throwing her offer of love back in her face. It was said that no one had ever seen young Arelex angry before, knowing only of his cool, calculating exterior. Upon seeing his sister crying in his mother's arms, Arelex immediately took to the ship's command center, locked himself inside, and coerced the cogitators into an immediate Warp jump by means unknown.

Incandescent with rage, he undocked his small lighter and crashed it directly into the nobleman's castle upon the cliffs of Whitestone. What transpired there is a mystery now known only to Arelex himself, but to this day, only a crumbled ruin remains of the fortress. Among the endless expanses of white marble, only in this spot on all of Whitestone are the cliffs stained a dark red. Rumors abound that a golden spirit of wrath fought alongside Arelex, striking stone from stone and limb from limb as he passed. But such are the tales of peasants.

The Emperor's arrival a little over a month later, and the enshrinement of House Orannis as one of the first Rogue Trader Dynasties, was surely coincidence. After all, how could He be in two places at once?


2:
The pod came to rest upon the humble world of Whitestone, ancient mining colony of Mankind. Arelex landed near one of the small vilages remaining, now just a fishing town dropping their lines into the vast lakes left over from where valuable rock had been extracted thousands of years prior. His strong body and willing spirit proved a great boon to the village, and Arelex learned the trades of many craftsmen. Metalworking, fishing, hunting, cooking, mining, carpentry, the healer's art, he eagerly learned all the village had to offer.

It was a simple life, and as Arelex grew into a strong young man he began to explore the ancient, dusty world. All around him were the scars of ancient forces, chewing into dirt and rock to extract what was desireable from Whitestone's crust. In many places, he found the mining machinery, long since rusted to oblivion. Slowly, he began to amass a collection of parts which seemed less ruined than others, and with hammer and tongs, and a white-hot forge, he began to experiment. Almost everything came to nothing, or fell apart even as he assembled it, but intuition guided his fingers, creating assemblies that seemed "natural" somehow.

A boat, a solar panel, a small ornithopter he used to fly across the lakes, these and others he built from what meager fare was available. But his greatest discovery was the ancient launch facility used to carry the stone to orbit. Rank upon rank of docking cradles rolled by underneath his swift-winged aircraft, and to his delight, many of them still contained spacecraft waiting for the long-delayed order to launch. How he knew their purpose, even Arelex did not know. He simply did.

The planet had become harsher and harsher over the years, and by the time Arelex was fully grown, the dust storms were coming with frightening frequency, and the air grew hot and stale. Rains came, but all at once in mighty floods, and the crops died even in their dirt-walled shelters. Fish fed the tribes for now, but the animals of the steppes were all but depleted, fled to better pasture or dead to the elements.

Bringing his people into the launch facility's unfamiliar metal caves was a journey of terror for many, but the clearer air and protection from the worsening sun did much to calm the tribe's fear. The transport vessels were never designed for human travel, but Arelex had been busy over the course of a few years, salvaging everything he could. Though crude, he had built an ark for the tribe, out of the ashes of the past. Showing the people a satellite feed, one of the last glimmers of Whitestone's past, they looked with horror at the flares engulfing their home star. Whitestone's parent was agitated, rippling with unbound fire, and it was time to leave. Where they could go, Arelex had little idea. All they could do was activate the star-drive, and send Whitestone's final shipment of precious cargo along the same path all the other rockets had travelled.

With no choice in the matter, the people closed their eyes and prayed after their own fashion. Sweat trickled down even unflappable Arelex's face as he pressed the launch triggers, and they commended themselves to his ingenuity, his vessel, and the void.

Two weeks later, a new star appeared in the sky above Terra. Inside the ancient voidship, a comm-circuit proudly announced that the last shipment of marble and precious stones had finally arrived, after thousands of years. It apologized for the delay in shipping, and advised any customer complaints be forwarded to the home office.


3:
The world Arelex landed on had no name. Or if it did, no one cared to remember it. Ever since the Age of Strife shattered the ancient empires of Mankind, the planet had been fought over with mighty tools of war, center of a fifty-way feud between dozens of clans, tribes, warlords, and barbarians. Upon this world, the infant Primarch came to rest.

Landing in no-mans's land, no family arrived to rescue him. No allies came to his aid. Not even an animal lingered in the killing zone. How the infant survived is a mystery not known to Imperial scholars, but it cannot be disputed that No-Man's-Land became Arelex's home. Rumors spread of a giant man-beast, striking from the shadows at any clansman who dared threaten his sanctuary, killing indiscriminately and dragging the cooling meat into the darkness.

Some of the warring families began offering up their children as sacrifice, hurling them into the wastes locked in metal boxes, imitating the thing that fell from the heavens. None knew what fate befell them. At least, not until a new army emerged from the wastes, howling in fury and thirsting for war. Arelex had not killed the children, but had raised them out of some unknowable quirk of instinct, and now his army, his own Clan, was waging war upon the whole world.

Led by their implacable ruler, they were master scavengers and mechanics, digging deep into the layers of bloody soil and recovering treasures thought lost for all time. Arelex himself had tunneled down into a bunker of wealth, stocked to the brim with Dark Age weaponry destined for some war that never came, its inhabitants slain to a man by some long-expired viral weapon.

Though the feuding tribes rallied against the new interlopers, nothing could stop the savage children and their terrible arsenal. Slaughtering all adults over the age of maturity, they spared only the young who knew not of their parent's crimes. When the final drops of blood fell into the thirsty soil, the raging beast was silent at last. A calm, thoughtful man stood up, embracing each of the children he had rescued and raised. The planet was calm and still, and dark.

A golden light fell upon Arelex's shoulders, as his family recoiled in fear. The fury boiled within him again as he whirled around to face this new threat, but the Emperor's peaceful face damped the flames of wrath immediately. The Second Primarch was found, and his family was more than he could have imagined.
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Re: Arelex Orannis

Post by Rogerius Merrill on Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:43 pm

I'm not sure the threads want my lunatic ravings, but here's my thoughts on them:

I don't like 3. I liked Arelex as he was, he just needed...something. 3 is far from Arelex, and at the end, he's possibly more schizophrenic than the original. He's a feral child who rediscovered lost technology and raised a child army to fight...something... or other. Just not a fan.

2 I like, but it leaves too much up in the air. Having a supreme knack for tech is one thing, but having him just automatically pick up ancient and lost technology and fixing a void-worthy ship in his spare time with no frame of reference just rubs me the wrong way.

1 is my favorite, but it lacks struggle. I suggested over Skype taking the story here and adding rebuilding the ship from 2 to address that a little bit, but there are other ways to have Arelex overcome seemingly insurmountable odds.
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Re: Arelex Orannis

Post by Arelex Orannis on Sun Sep 20, 2015 1:28 am

Updated Option 1, pursuant to comments from people. Brace yourselves, it's long. (Some of it is a repost, to keep consistency)


His pod, drifting through space, was destined to float forever and be lost for all time. As fate would have it though, in all the vast blackness of space there still remained a few points of light. Not everyone died in the Age of Strife, and a handful of worlds even maintained tenuous contact with their neighbors. The needs of commerce and coin are eternal, and some few merchant families plied their trade between worlds.
Arelex's pod was retrieved by the ships of House Orannis, mystified at how an infant came to them across the void. Bringing him before the merchant house's leader, it was clear that something of destiny shrouded the young boy. His wife having borne him three daughters, the elder Orannis declared Arelex his heir apparent, believing him a reward from the unknowable fates.

Years passed, and Arelex grew to be a man. All that could be taught was taught to him, and Arelex spent as much time knee-deep in engine parts as he did bleeding in the weapons training rooms and eyeing the wares of merchants for any angle to knock down their price. Shy and withdrawn among outsiders (unless it came time to bargain for a better deal), Arelex was wholly different in the company of his family. He adored his sisters, and when his adoptive mother at last bore a son for his father, Arelex took it upon himself to stand vigilant for his newborn brother, hardly leaving his side during his infancy. One more boy-child would join the happy clan two years later, and it was a time of happiness and love.

Stories are still told in that part of space of the time when another son of a (much wealthier) nobleman spurned one of Arelex's sisters, disparaging her heritage as merchant trash scavenging from their betters and throwing her offer of love back in her face. It was said that no one had ever seen young Arelex angry before, knowing only of his cool, calculating exterior. Upon seeing his sister crying in his mother's arms, Arelex immediately took to the ship's command center, locked himself inside, and coerced the cogitators into an immediate Warp jump by means unknown.

Incandescent with rage, he undocked his small lighter and crashed it directly into the nobleman's castle upon the cliffs of Whitestone. What transpired there is a mystery now known only to Arelex himself, but to this day, only a crumbled ruin remains of the fortress. Among the endless expanses of white marble, only in this spot on all of Whitestone are the cliffs stained a dark red. Rumors abound that a golden spirit of wrath fought alongside Arelex, striking stone from stone and limb from limb as he passed. But such are the tales of peasants.

In any case, it is well established by Imperial historians that the tensions between the various petty lords of that sector of space were ever-increasing, fueled by the growing closeness of House Orannis and House Pelennon, two mighty mercantile families with great force of arms to their names. Arelex's father had long before promised Arelex's hand in marriage to the infant heiress of Pelennon, and now that both were coming of age, it was time to unite the two Houses into a power that none other in the region could defy, and bring unity to the war-torn realms.

An ancient voidcraft, discovered in Pelennon space and repaired by joint engineering teams of Orannis and Pelennon under Arelex's youthful but expert command, would be the meeting place of the two dynasties for the wedding ceremonies. While the warriors of ancient Man would have considered the vessel little more than an escort ship, compared to the much diminished sloops currently available it was a mighty flagship, and a symbol of renewed power. With it, the voidlanes could be truly policed for the first time in milennia, and House Orannis-Pelennon would have a monopoly on local trade. But there were other houses who took a dim outlook on these developments, and their arms reached wide indeed.

Nameless in Imperial history now for their dishonor, the Three Betrayers ordered their sleeper agents into action, detonating dozens of explosive charges in the middle of the marriage ceremony. Blood showered the decks as both noble families were slaughtered almost to a man, and Arelex himself was thrown to the deck, bleeding from multiple wounds. His mother and father lay slain upon the floor, and his sisters and brothers were slumped over the pews, unmoving. Unconscious, Arelex hoped, but his fears were pushed to the back of his mind by the needs of the moment, and the Inbound Hostiles alarm now piercing the wails of the wounded.

Arelex took off at a dead run for the command deck, vision clouded by a red haze of rage. Bellowing orders to the shaken crew, he roused the ancient ship's cogitators for war. Tales are still told of the flagship's heroic stuggle against more than a dozen foes bent on its destruction, of how Arelex coaxed it far beyond its limits and struck every enemy vessel from the heavens. Reckless aggression, furious assaults, and a final ramming strike to break the spine of the enemy's lead vessel, Arelex gave no heed to his own life as his own ship slowly sputtered to a halt and went dark, almost all of its inhabitants dead by bomb or naval gun.

Sitting in the silent craft, all he could do was arrange the corpses of his family with some semblance of dignity, and await their frozen death in the void. One of his brothers and his three sisters had miraculously survived, but Arelex was unsure that was any mercy. Still, he spoke soothing words to them, and held them close, and resolved himself to die.

Silence. Endless silence. And then a noise, a dull thump echoing through the ship's hull. Arelex, his mind slowly shutting down in the frosty air, thought little of it. Surely it was just some cache of munitions detonating, or a plasma conduit finally giving way. But more thumps followed. They almost sounded like footsteps. But how could that be? A delusion of a desperate mind no doubt. Arelex had thought himself more disciplined than to give weight to fantasy. When the first grey-armored gauntlet peeled away a ruined door-panel, and a massive man in baroque armor forced his way in, only then did Arelex begin to consider a fate other than death. And behind this newcomer, a colossus of golden hue. Unable to resist even if he had wanted to, Arelex relaxed and let them carry himself and his siblings away.

He awoke in a warm, comfortable bed, and beside him, more cots with his remaining family slumbering atop them. The Emperor was there, and as Arelex shook the frost from his limbs, they spoke of the Imperium, of Marines, of the Great Crusade, and of Arelex's origins. The Emperor expressed his sorrow that his fleet had not made it in time to save Arelex's parents, but the Crusade never would have passed his way had it not been for the flaring emissions of Arelex's dying craft, pushed beyond all reason in his time of need. Such a beacon couldn't possibly have gone unnoticed.

Arelex was profoundly disinterested with the Emperor and his Crusade, though he thanked him for saving what was left of his family. The young Primarch wanted little more of violence. But the Emperor simply repeated his offer, and this time mentioned that the three planets of the Betrayers were not currently on the Crusade's path as it swept through the Galaxy. And the Marines of the Second Legion simply couldn't make up their mind about whether those worlds were worth taking, pathetic as they were. Perhaps it was a task better suited for conventional troopers, and a mop-up action at a much later date.

But a Primarch might have a different perspective.

Unbidden, Arelex's flawless memory brought forth the lingering images of his parents' mutilated corpses. Though they did not give birth to the young man, he nevertheless loved them deeply. And the red haze descended upon him once more. Donning his armor, an ancient piece of machinery passed down in House Orannis for centuries upon centuries, the Primarch descended upon the Three Betrayers at the head of his Legion. Across three worlds, not one stone was left standing upon another, and not one living soul escaped his flamer, his bolter, or his blade. Vengeance spent, Arelex returned to the Emperor, and took his place among the Great Crusade.

The enshrinement of House Orannis as one of the first Rogue Trader Dynasties was a foregone conclusion, and Arelex's brother Dvatyan would serve as its new head, melding the totally shattered remnants of House Pelennon into it and preserving them from dissolution.

(OPTIONAL PART):

But for little Maityas Orannis, youngest heir to the House, fate had ordained a different future entirely.
Maityas had been separated from the rest when the bombs went off, and while Arelex was in the command deck, Maityas woke up from the concussion and wandered into the hangar well just as a squad of enemy boarders were forcing their way in. Though barely eleven years old, Maityas remembered what his father had taught him, and opened fire with the customary plasma pistol all noblemen of means carried in his culture.

Perhaps an older boy would have known the wisdom of hiding, but little Maityas was too young to really understand what death and war meant. When the Emperor boarded the ship, Maityas was crouched behind a bulkhead, pinning fifteen men with plasma fire just as he had been taught, though his hands shook with fear and tears ran down his face. The electric blue thunderbolts were terrifying to these primitive barbarians, who had never faced such weapons in their entire murderous careers. Their leader was just getting his men ready to charge when the Emperor's psychic lightning put Maityas' little pistol to shame, boiling their brains in their skulls. With a wave of his mighty hand, the frightened boy was put to slumber, and a Marine dutifully extracted him at once.

Out of respect for such courage, the Emperor offered to implant Maityas with Arelex's own gene-seed, making them brothers in blood, as well as surname. Arelex himself remained silent as Maityas put his arms around him, and swore to stand beside his elder brother, no matter what. The process was long and painful, but a few years later a new Marine stood alongside his Primarch, ready to serve the Imperium.
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Arelex Orannis

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