Monday, November 22, 2010

Fiction - The Origin of Autarch Ry'hanna Skyblade (part 1)

Ry'hanna ech'Tyur of the Skyblade clan and her cousin Allonia lived on the Saim Hann craftworld. Naturally, they learned the jetbike and even talked as children of following the path of the Shining Spear. As adults this was not to be so. Ry'hanna did not feel the path of the Warrior's call in her heart. Instead she became an artisan. Allonia felt the calling of the Scorpion, and joined that Aspect. For many decades they would not see one another, or maybe just in passing, until a fateful day when Saim Hann had wandered near an Exodite world. The Exodite world had been invaded by Imperial forces and the Craftworld responded sending relief forces. Ry'hanna was called upon to fulfill her role as a guardian and took to battle on the back of her jetbike with the others. After a very successful battle, the Exodites were feasting the victorious off-world Eldar and Ry'hanna and Allonia had a chance meeting.

They spent several days catching up. Allonia spoke of the battles she had seen and places that she had been to. Ry'hanna listened intently, as she did not have such tales. She spent the intervening years learning various forms of art. Sculpting, painting, dancing, she even attempted bonesinging. She had skill, of that there was no doubt, but she could not seem to reach a mastery of any art form. Some yearning was within her that she could not identify. She never spoke of this, not even with her cousin. They also spoke of the future, and it was Allonia's turn to be silent as her future only lie with war. Ry'hanna spoke of hopes of betrothal and other learnings. She spoke of lofty dreams and possibly becoming involved in politics.

They had wandered from the Exodite village a bit, strolling hand in hand as they had done when children. Ry'hanna had removed her biker's gloves, but Allonia still retained her scorpion armor. Only her head was bare. Ry'hanna stopped both talking and walking when she noticed Allonia was staring at her with a strange smile on her face. "What is it?"

"Nothing," replied Allonia. "You think you are lost and cannot find your path, but you are not. Rare is the one who can dominate the path instead of it dominating them. I-"

She was cut off by a scream from towards the village. She turned fluidly and sprinted towards the village, her brown braid streaming behind her. Ry'hanna watched her go, hearing her chainsword quietly whirring to life. She stood for a moment, hand outstretched towards her cousin. She then realized that she had taken two sprinting steps towards the trouble as well. Had her cousin's grip carried her along? Had she reacted as instantly as the Aspect Warrior? Sounds of catapult fire and more screams broke her reverie and she turned and sprinted towards where their bikes had been stored.

The raid was over as quickly as it begun. The Dark Kin had taken many of the Exodites and several of the Eldar as well. Allonia was among those missing, her scorpion helmet, resting where she had set it, the only thing attesting to her having been there. Ry'hanna cradled the helmet and cried silently. Allonia had been her best friend forever and the only one she could share her innermost thoughts with as children.

Some days later, they returned to the craftworld. The pain of loss was soon replaced with the thirst for vengeance. Ry'hanna took up the path of the scorpion in an attempt to sate that thirst. Several years went by and despite several engagements with the Dark Kin; she was no nearer learning the fate of her cousin. Was she alive? If there were any chance she must find out and do what she had to, in order to free her. Her Exarch chided her for not embracing the path fully, that her dwelling on the past and her loss was distracting her from becoming a great warrior. Shortly thereafter, Ry'hanna abandoned the path, but she kept her helmet, which had been Allonia's.

For months she researched what she could about the webway, the Dark Kin and Comorragh. There was limited knowledge on her craftworld, and the Warlocks and Seers were not very forthcoming. She was becoming frustrated at finding one dead end after another until she met Seer Tu'chall. She was in mid question when he shivered and a faraway look came to his almond shaped eyes. She watched him quietly until finally he sighed deeply. His eyes refocusing on her, he seemed to be overcome with a sad look. He rested his hand on her shoulder and told her, "I'm sorry child, your answers lie somewhere distant, and your path will lead you there. I see death, greatness and the Archenemy in your path. Tread carefully." He then grew silent and wouldn't respond to further questions. Ry'hanna went to contemplate this news.

Two days later a group of Rangers emerged from the webway to resupply and pass on information. They had news of a small Dark Eldar raiding party moving towards an Imperial outpost. This news did not interest the clan leaders. They would not risk Eldar lives for the mon-keigh. This did interest Ry'hanna though, and was just the sign she was waiting for. She packed her things, said a few quick goodbyes to some of her dearer clan members and ran to join the Rangers. They agreed to let her go with them, and even loaned her a spare rifle. Her clan leader approached and warned her that her path would forsake the clan and she might not be welcome back should she return. She replied, "My cousin is out there, her fate unknown. Here lies a chance, with these, to discover what may have happened to her, yet you would not do anything for her or me. The clan has forsaken one of its own, so what is another?" He stared at her impassively. After a moment or two Ry'hanna turned and strode to where the Rangers stood waiting by the webway gate. They greeted her and together they stepped through the gate.

Her life as an outcast had begun.

*edit* Part 3 is here

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