Sword & Spoken Word
Warrant Bearer, Autumnhall Dynasty
Musical Theme: Raise the Black
Lord Captain Harlan Autumnhall sports a duelist’s athletic physique, and the somewhat bland and sterile perfection of feature which characterizes noble houses who gene-tailor their offspring for good looks and longevity.
He moves with the grace and caution of one accustomed to danger and combat, and he refuses to ever be more than arm’s reach from a weapon, even within his own chambers.
As a leader he is stern and demanding of his men, and expects instant and unquestioning obedience, but little in the way of ceremony or displays of deference. He is frequently seen conversing with common workers or voidsmen, and even sometimes pitches in alongside soldiers digging earthworks, or the repair work of techpriests (in whose rites he is well-versed). Coupled with an irreverent and often utterly inappropriate sense of humor, these habits often make him appear coarser and less high-born than is reflected in his great wealth and lofty family history.
Still, he is deeply arrogant, and utterly assured of his own superiority to any man, and of the sufficiency of his abilities to any situation. This has sometimes induced him to turn his wise and cautious tactical methods to unwise and reckless strategic goals.
“No, captain, I am not requisitioning your ship. You do not have a ship. The Battlefleet Calixis has a ship. The Imperial Navy has a ship. The God-Emperor of Mankind has a ship.
“And I am commandeering the Emperor’s ship, as this document entitles and obliges me to do. And if burning your corpse as fuel would allow me to reach the Inquisitor’s office a half an hour sooner, it would be both my prerogative and my solemn duty to the Emperor to throw you into the plasma core myself.
“What you have, captain, is not a ship. It is a mouth. I respectfully suggest you close it.”
It is not known how the heir to the Autumnhall dynasty managed to survive alone when Eldar corsairs crippled, boarded, and sacked the St. Cordelia two weeks voyage out of Omnicron 71-DX. What is known is that he emerged from six months in the darkness and cold of the crippled hulk a changed man, leaner of body, older of face, fewer of words, and grimmer of purpose.
Gone is the debauched and carefree playboy and spendthrift, but what he has become, and what he suffered to be so, is a matter of much conjecture, rumor, and wild speculation, and little record or confirmed fact.
Since the incident on the St. Cordelia, he has shown himself to be a gifted and highly trained swordsman, although he had never openly displayed this skill before.
Also, for some reason, he doesn’t seem to be able to hold his liquor anymore.