Story:The Shape Of The Nightmare To Come 50k section25

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Section 25: Of the Webway Waaaaggh…[edit]

[distant rumbles are heard far distant from the journal author. Journal author gazes up at ceiling, as flecks of dust dislodge from ceiling. Journal resumes. Exchange of words between author, and hooded figure in doorway. Figure exits.]

Apologies must be given to the tardiness of the latest input. Unforeseen assaults have begun upon the world of my Order. The Mercenaries we hired are dealing with the problem, so-

I digress - the current status of my Order is irrelevant to my rendition of the Second Age of Strife. The Journal shall resume now, covering a topic of much mystique and intrigue. 

It has been generally assumed that Wazdakka and his Outriders, at the very start of this period, led all Orks in existence into epic conflict with the invincible forces of the New Devourer, and were utterly annihilated in a war involving trillions upon trillions of Orks, and billions of New Devourer beasts, as Wazdakka's forces lunged from his super highway in a veritable tide.

Of course, it would be a sweeping generalisation to conclude this was universally the case. Though any orks directly fighting the New Devourer, were utterly destroyed, along with their spore-born reproductive systems, some of the more primitive, scattered, and broken ork infected worlds, survived. These were the worlds too far from combat, where only scant traces of orkoid fungus remained. However, Orks are nothing if not tenacious. These light patches of growth eventually bred orks, and other variants of orkoid genus. Thus, scattered, primitive bands of feral orks sprang up, along with the far more common gretchin colonies. These Orks, however, were not the technologically 'advanced' (I just the term loosely. Their technology was as ramshackle as it was genius) versions, which terrorised the 41st millennium. They were mild local threats, often dwelling in deep forests or swamps. They were the semi-mythical menace on the borders of civilisation, and little else. In large numbers, they could perhaps overrun a small Petty Imperium, if they gained the element of surprise, but little else.

Of course, there was also the infamous "bolt boy", a war boss who terrorised the world of Armageddon, using the cunning and knowledge unlocked in his alien mind, via a bolter round to the brain. This war boss, upon sensing a call from Waaaghraz Gharr, the supposed 'dad of Gork and Mork', led his entire warband away from the Octavian system, and the Armageddon system, and instead assaulted the maiden world of Fourst-K'tikaritix-HeHet Mudastiron (or 'pretty wurld' to the Orks).

Of course, the famous Yarrick, Hero of Hades Hive (and later, hated butcher of Betek, but that shall be covered later), and a number of Black Templars, pursued him every step of the way. However, eventually the Orks' superior system of FTL, which didn't rely upon the Astronomicon, outpaced the Imperials, who became scattered by increasingly treacherous warp currents (due to the dying Imperator of this period, as mentioned before). The Imperial Crusade to hunt him was shattered, and the separate elements never reformed again. Some of the least damaged vessels limped back to Armageddon, while others were smashed in the warp, or tossed to distant systems, far away, to be preyed upon (and prey upon) enemy shipping.

Now, back to the Warboss. The few Exodites living upon the pretty Exodite world were slaughtered and eaten after a relatively short campaign. Once conquered, the Warboss, Thraka the head-wound, led his boys against the Webway portals of the world, smashing the seals using brute force, and psychic assaults by his weirdboys.

Soon, his force had breached the Webway, and began to travel inside the strange, almost friction-less realm. Corridors traveled to nowhere, or took you back in time, or turned to insane. Passages were too small for a single Ork to fit in, yet whole gargants tripped over inside them. Buggys lost all grip to the 'ground', and crashed or smashed themselves to bits. Sometimes up wasn't up, but sideways, and time seemed to slow and speed up at random.

After he lost almost half his number, it was said Thraka gave a sensible order to his Orks:

"Ok ladz. Don't tutch nuffin, right?"

With a new found, strange sense of caution, the Orks advanced. Many were the battles and wars they faced, as they hopelessly wandered the Webway, battling Dark Eldar raids, Biel-Tan strike forces, daemons trapped within the warded labyrinth, or Ahriman's minions, who launched sorcerous blasts at the rag tag bands of Orks. Despite their caution, the labyrinth dimension still disorientated many, who wandered off on their own. Whole warbands and kults of speed, were simply lost in the Webway. Some were killed, some continued to fight, oblivious to where they were. A good few Orks took wrong turns, and stumbled into starship-sized Webway tunnels, only to be splattered by a passing Void Stalker or Eldar cruiser, as they sped through the tunnels, towards their destiny.

Crystalline spiders became a very common foe, who tested the Orks' combat prowess to the limit. They were regenerative, deadly, and could merge with the walls themselves.

Yet, despite all this anarchy throughout the Labyrinth dimension, those Orks surrounding Thraka head-wound, never seemed to get lost, as they battle through the Webway, incorporating wraithbone into their weapons, as their devices broke or were exhausted by constant combat. Something was calling him, across the realm. Dancing, colourful spectres teased and crew the Orks forward, ever elusive to the mindless violence of their quarry.

Waaaghraz Gharr was calling. Waaaghraz Gharr was listening.

No evidence tells us what finally happened, when the Orks met their supposed 'overgod'. However, after that point, the sightings of Orks blundering around the Webway shrank to nearly zero.

It is possible the god's call was a ruse by the Harlequins, who then murdered the Orks.

Yet, this does not even come close to explaining why, on over two thousand separate occasions, strange, bulky shapes have emerged from the Webway, killed entire settlements across the galaxy, seemingly at random, before returning to the Webway. These strange things are said to be eight feet tall, and covered with overlapping, crystalline armour, which glitters like organic flesh, and each being is said to be capable of flight, and could fire devastating blue energy from bulky, sturdy weapons.

Now, of course, these depictions could be of new wraith constructs, or even simple fabrications by civilians with no concept of the strange beings of the universe.

However, it is the fact these broad giants are led by frail, incredibly short beings, similarly attired, which unnerves me, along with the insanely perfect discipline of these warriors.

That and their war cries, which sound suspiciously like another race of war mongers. However, these chants are more disciplined and perfect, and the race's name is different.

Is it possible? Could the green skins really have always been merely the degenerative offspring of these Kr-

[Another rumble rocks entire chamber. Journal is dislodged and topples to floor. Author picks up, dusting off. Distinct weapon discharges audible.]

Journal shall resume in a few days. We must evacuate to a secure lower level, and let the mercenaries deal with the problem. The foe should leave once our world passes under the glare of the Blue Star.

For now, journal curtailed. Will resume in approximately four (Terran) days.

[Journal is closed by author, as he runs for chamber door.]

[Vox Transcript Beta-Four-Delta]

[Conduit: Servitor 1-DX, Servitor 4-DV]

Transcript begins:

[Subject 1]- We need assurances Oder! We were promised results. Is the repulsion nearing completion?

[Subject 2]- (large detonation audible. Gunfire sporadic) They're more persistent than before! Had to drag almost half my hosts around to repel them this time. We couldn't have known artillery would become an issue.

[Subject 1]- It doesn't matter. We shall pay double, if you can repulse them as soon as possible. Our vaults are sealed. They can't get in, but my Brethren need reassurances Oder.

[Subject 2]- (garbled)

[Subject 1]- Oder? Oder!

[Subject 2]- (yelling) Understood! Oder out! (high volume detonations distinguishable)

The Shape of the Nightmare to Come: Section Navigation[edit]

  • The Shape of the Nightmare To Come: Section 25: Of the Webway Waaaaggh…

Continued in Warhammer 60K: Age of Dusk