One such swerve nearly unseats me. Cinnamon grabs my wrist and steadies me. I nod brief thanks, then continue looking about me. The Kraton Fusiliers' vehicles are advancing more steadily than the Whirlwind; Miredan has to push our overloaded vehicle to its limits, and the single functioning engine is belching unhealthy-looking black smoke. I am sympathetic to the machine's pain. It is reliable; unlike our treacherous enemies.
Triumph pans the multi-melta back and forth. The Avernii have left the soil of Isstvan carpeted with purple and black bodies – more Emperor's Children than Morlock, I note with a certain satisfaction. Our earlier skirmish with Fulgrim's Seekers has purged me of hesitation or a sense of brotherhood towards these oathbreakers. Their reasons are shrouded to me, but ultimately irrelevant. I will not hesitate to fire first next time – even at Astartes; they are no longer my fellows.
At least, I hope it has. I take a sidelong glance at the Blood Angel. We nearly gunned him down, and it was only Blindhelm who made us see that we were fighting on the same side.
I raise an eyebrow at my thoughts. A little heavy-handed, I smirk.
Even amongst the catastrophic warfare raging around me, Catabin's armour strikes me as unusual. Such details jump out during the breathing spaces between fighting. I have felt it on a hundred worlds – a distinctive heady scent of an alien vine, or fractal patterns formed in trench-soil as I dig, or a striking hue in the sky. Irrelevant to warfare, but inescapably at the forefront of my mind. I have wondered idly whether it is a personal failing, or whether my comrades also notice such minutiae.
I have not consulted them. Small talk does not come easily to Iron Hands.
Catabin's armour: I cannot place the pattern, but given the number of Forge Worlds, vassal manufactories and variants, that is not surprising. It is a rich, warm, red; simultaneously a warning and welcome; fitting for the IXth, who I am told are as famed for not fighting wars as they are for their righteous fury when their invitations are declined.
It is also heavily artificed – more so than even the armour of the Salamanders I met on One-Five-Four-Four. There must be something in the geneseed of some of our brother Legions that they value visuals so greatly. Perhaps such variation is what allowed corruption and treachery into the IIIrd?
A shell lands nearby, and we duck ineffectually as black dirt rains down on us. One of the Kratoni tanks is smouldering, and another founders. We cannot wait. They are left behind; to catch up or perish.
Catabin turns back, having whipped around, and I see the Baalite glyphs on his pauldron. I cannot read them, but presume them to be a rendering of his name.
Irrelevancies. All of it. If the Angel stands beside me while we fight with our Primarch, he is as much brother to me as the black-clad. Ferrus will have his revenge; Fulgrim will rue the day...
+ A very fun figure to paint – I've tried to combine the bits I liked best of Rogue Trader, Second Edition and modern iterations of the Blood Angels. Why not see if you can identify the artworks I've used as reference, if you fancy a bit of fun? +
+ 'Cinnamon' is the first Blood Angel I've painted for about twenty years. Having some one-off figures like this is a great excuse to try something new and stop yourself getting into a rut. +
+ I've rendered Cinnamon's 'atroatican' name (Phaenuel) in Enochian [+noospheric inloadlink embedded+], an occult 'language of the angels'; quite a fun challenge to add the glyphs. The '-el' means 'of the group of', so it's on a separate line to 'Phanu'. +