+ inload: Brother Taarlach of the Iron Tenth +

It is a very reaction peculiar to humanity to give titles to momentous events. It is an assertion of power; as though by labelling the impossible we render it smaller, tamer. More... controllable.

Of course, the Isstvan Dropsite Massacre was a term given after the events – long after the blood had dried up and the echoes burnt away. The name packaged the horror; rendered it relatable to the wider war. It became another entry on a list, like the Cold Gulf Catchments, the Ghoul Star Advances, or the Battle for Ibysia. 

It was like none of those things. 

We did not know it as the Massacre; though even on the ground it was clear the scale of butchery was unprecedented. Time moved strangely after the first day – indeed, even after the first minutes. Taarlach was unusual in keeping us grounded. My head was full of questions. They blotted and confused me. What was the right action now? Who could we trust? Most pressing of all – where was Lord Vulkan? 

We found Taarlach defending a barricade made up of rubble, rad-soil, and – mostly – dead Iron Hands. He did not fire at us. Indeed, when we came across him, he was unable to do so, having expended the last of his scavenged ammunition in killing an Iron Warrior who had wandered, blast-fried and devoid of his senses, across the landscape of shell-broken Space Marines. 

He was masterfully practical and focussed, in every way but one. He fell in and moved us out to the south of the Urgall Depression. It was a flawless fallback plan that ticked into place like the workings of an clock. 

The sounds of battle fitfully diminished and re-emerged, in the strange hours that followed, as the treacher-legionnaires came across scattered knots of resistance. Taarlach drove us forward mercilessly. I am confident that without him, we would have convinced ourselves to ignore our orders, turned back to find Lord Vulkan – and perished. It is testament to the iron will of Taarlach that he was able to convince us to stay by our duty and rely on our father to meet us.

Of course, he never did – nor, to that matter did Lord Ferrus. In the hours and days that followed, we met dribs and drabs of shell-shocked and mindbroken Imperial Army. Non-aggressive Legionnaires – I hesitate to say friendly, as we were all equally confused by the event, and eager to force the truth from any we met; from whatever Legion, and by whatever means. 

We met none who could offer the slightest explanation or anything but raw speculation. The Isstvan Dropsite Massacre now has a name, but for Taarlach and myself, it was a pilgrimage of sorts. Away from credulity and towards vengeance...

Taarlach marks the first completed marine for my Flight Risk project. An Iron Hand, he was a great opportunity to try out some techniques for whites and blacks; both of which will come in handy for my Ultramarines and orks.

A very rewarding mini-project, Taarlach was completed in a couple of hours using a base of a chromatic black mix (Abaddon Black, Scorched Brown, Orkhide Shade and Necron Abyss) with highlights made by adding Fenris Grey to the mix, and a wash of the black wash (Nuln Oil?).

Iron Hands are great fun to paint – I'd like to explore the X Legion some more.

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