Sword And Spoken Word

A Dead Man’s Biography (Told Musically)


Track: A Dead Man’s Story
Character: The Captain
In some stories, the protagonist dies at the end. Not this one. In this one, he dies at the beginning. So why am I still walking around? Well, sit tight. It’s a long story.

Track: {Censored by the Ordo Redactus . Spoilers are heresy. Serve the Emperor.}
Character: {Censored by the Ordo Redactus . Spoilers are heresy. Serve the Emperor.}
{Censored by the Ordo Revelatus. Spoilers are heresy. Serve the Emperor.}

Track: {Censored by the Ordo Redactus . Spoilers are heresy. Serve the Emperor.}
Character: {Censored by the Ordo Redactus . Spoilers are heresy. Serve the Emperor.}
{Censored by the Ordo Revelatus. Spoilers are heresy. Serve the Emperor.}

Track: Who Pulls The Strings? (Volgin’s Theme)
Character: Inquisitor Erastes Volgin
Invited in haste, I meet an Inquisitor of the Ordo Xenos on Scintilla. In exchange for a favour or two, he will sponsor my Rogue Trader expedition.

Track: Raise the Black (Harlan’s Theme)
Character: The Captain

The man is nothing but a brigand with a permission slip from the Emperor. That means you have to be polite, and shake his hand, but count your rings afterwards.

- Naxander Durantis, Adeptus Arbites

Track: Agni Pariksha/Trial by Fire (Lyra’s Theme)
Character: Selena “Lyra” Veltenstone
She is Fire. Warm, playful, volatile, mischievous, sometimes greedy. And horribly dangerous when she spins out of control.

Track: The Flesh is Boring (Holt’s Theme)
Character: Siegmund Alessander Estabon Godwinne Holt
Magos Holt is a creature of expedience, the sort of man who believes that an axe makes the best of keys. The trick is to keep him pointed in the right direction.

Track: A Proper Story (Alrick’s Theme)
Character: Brother Alrick
Alrick is a man of good fellowship, cheerful, likeable, and talkative, with a manner that inspires trust. But he fights with a fiery zeal which inspires those about him.

Track: Singularity (Nochellie’s Theme)
Character: Nochellie Von Nostra
Nochellie is quiet and withdrawn, but has an unnerving manner about her, even for a Navigator. She has gazed long into the Warp, and perhaps the Warp has gazed also into her.

Track: Everything That’s Not Nailed Down (Spectre’s Theme)
Character: “Spectre”
Spectre is a thief, a blackguard, and a scoundrel. But he is OUR thief, blackguard, and scoundrel.

Track: Biomass May Contain Eggs
Character: Siegmund Alessander Estabon Godwinne Holt
The prison on Heptapyrgion is Volgin’s first request, but it contains more than we bargained for. Rioting prisoners are no threat compared to the Genestealer infestation. Sometimes it’s best to hand Siegmund Holt a lascannon and stand well back.

Track: Two Stage Trigger (Ragnar’s Theme)
Character: Ragnar Vermagnussen
After the events on Heptapyrgion, I definitely need more muscle. Ragnar is an ex-Imperial Guard scout sniper, and he’s muscle enough to mistake for an Ogryn at first glance.

Track: Short Blade, Sharp Edge (Kitty’s Theme)
Character: Kyleigh “Kitty” Nakamura
Kitty is Ragnar’s partner. Tiny. Mute. Stubborn. Ruthless.

Track: Imitation Game
Character: “Spectre”
Spectre slipped into Gunmetal City under the noses of warring gangs. There we found a starmap, and vile corruption. We cut the head off the snake, and left the rest for Volgin.

Track: The False Map
Character: Nochellie Von Nostra
While chasing Volgin’s second request, we retrieved a twice-stolen starmap from under Gunmetal City on Scintilla. But we kept it for ourselves, and gave the pirate Castillo a forgery, leading only to hazards and death in the cold void.

Track: Throne of Lies
Character: The Captain
I am a liar, a thief, a murderer, a rogue. I am the worst kind of scoundrel. I’m not a man to believe in the Emperor, and I’m the last man the Emperor would believe in. But as the crown was lowered on my brow, I… felt something. Are You watching? Can You hear us at all? Or are you just as dead as I?

Track: A Dance at Harlan’s Party
Character: Kyleigh “Kitty” Nakamura
Kitty is silent and serious, but it’s easy to see she was once something else. At my inaugural reception, she danced like a sylph on the wind. I think I even saw a ghost of a smile.

Track:A Cry to Heaven
Character: Selena “Lyra” Veltenstone
Castle is not done plaguing us. We have learned of the death of Yerastian Brahms in an attack upon the HHN Gorgon. Lyra, in her grief, tried to draw Astropathic hexagrams on the floor of my office to call to him. If only we could speak so easily to the dead.

Track: Cleared the Ring, Engaging Thrust
Craft: ISV Take the Nails, Too”
And finally, we were under way, with one short stop to make before the vastness of the Koronus Expanse… adventure, risk, and fortune.

Track: River of Stars
Character: Nochellie Von Nostra
In real space, the churning chaos of the Warp storms that seal off the Expanse cannot be seen. The view from Port Wander is of countless stars, burning silently in the ocean of night. But who can know how a Navigator sees?

Track: Perpetual Market
World: Footfall
Footfall is crowded, noisy, vibrant, its air with the scent of woodsmoke, stickmeat, perfumes, alien sweat, exotic fruit. Here we meet with Seldan Forsellis, and make plans to investigate a colony gone dark.

Track: Inspire the Men
Character: Brother Alrick
Damaris is under siege by Orks. As our meager fleet masses to face the incoming roks, Brother Alrick fires the men’s courage with the words of the Emperor.

Track: Burning the Fleet
Character: "Selena “Lyra” Veltenstone
Despite skilled voidsmanship and heroic sacrifices, we are brushed aside. Floating in concealment, we call upon Lyra and her Astropathic circle. The Warp sings with their efforts, and unexplained fires and mutiny break out across the Ork fleet.

Track:Welcome to the Suck
Character: Ragnar Vermagnussen
Retreating to Damaris, we form a defensive perimeter against the Ork landings. Ragnar amasses over 200 kills in the next seven days, firing from the walls of the capitol, stalking Ork leaders through ruined hab blocks and snowy wilderness, leading ambushes that leave a wake of burning Ork vehicles and puddles of black blood.

Track: In the Warp, Life
Character: Selena “Lyra” Veltenstone
In the frozen not-space within the ancient Eldar webway gate under Damaris Site Alpha, we survived only because of Lyra. I do not know if it is pyromancy, the presence of the Emperor, or simply… her… but the child radiates warmth and life within the warp. To pass that gate without her is to die.

Track: He is With You, Even Here
Character: Harlan Autumnhall and Nochellie Van Nostra
Nochellie is fearless. Or I had always thought her so, for she faced the worst our travels had to offer without a flinch. But when that… pain construct… came at us in the webway, she froze, unable to flee with us.

And I sacrificed a dangerous secret to save one of my crew.

Track: The Shape of Things to Come
Craft: “Naioth”
With the fight against the Orks unwinnable on the ground, we hatched a desperate alliance with the contemptible Eldar, and a desperate plan. The firepower and skill of the wytch vessel covered our stealthy approach to the asteroid of the Ork warboss.

Track: Shoot First, No Questions
Character: Siegmund Alessander Estabon Godwinne Holt
Holt isn’t much of a talker, or cautious at all. But not to tell me he had a history with this Ork? To steal a shuttle and go after him personally? Alone? Poor judgment, even for him. One of these days, he will push too far, and we shall bury what is left of him in a shoebox. Either that or I will finally snap and kill him myself.

Track: Skill and Honour
Character: Brother Alrick
Attrition is a fearsome weapon. Not so fine or elegant as Event Horizon, but many an Ork has felt its teeth over our months on Damaris, and when I faced the Warboss blade to blade, and bled him until the decks ran black, it was Alrick who finally removed the beast’s head.

Track: A Hellish Dilemma
Character: Harlan Autumnhall and Selene Forsellis
The Warboss slain, there was no rest for us, only disaster. The strange gravitational anomaly which dogged the Frozen Reach had appeared again…. over Damaris itself, a churning breech into the Warp itself. With unspeakable abominations running in the streets of the capital, and our spacecraft and soldiers three days travel away, we had but two choices.

Do nothing, and watch Damaris die, or order the Forsellis cruiser to fire from orbit, and incinerate the probable site of the foul sorcery… a strike which would likely kill Lord Forsellis himself.

And only a member of his house could give the order.

Track: Lancefire, From High Orbit
Character: Selene Forsellis
I will never know how I talked… my… fiancĂ©e into risking the death of her father. Lyra raged and sulked, but she sent Selene’s words through the Warp. And Selene wept, but she gave the authorization codes, and the order.

Ten minutes, later, through our augur scopes, we saw the flickering bars of crimson light.

Track: The Rift is Shut
Character: Harlan Autumnhall and Selena “Lyra” Veltenstone
We waited, breath shallow. Knuckles clenched. Alrick leading prayers to the Master of Mankind. Selene frozen, even the tears gone for her now. Nochellie asleep, fainted from exhaustion after hours of peering into the Warp, seeing nothing past the churning interference.

We waited through endless minutes for the visible light to reach us. Never has the fastest thing in realspace seemed so slow.

And then Lyra rose from the augurmaster’s station and embraced me, weeping. Damaris spun in sunlight, with no lining of sickening violet fire. The rift was shut.

Track: King of the Ashes
Character: Harlan Autumnhall and Selene Forsellis
With Holt stoking the engines to the breaking point, and the crew exhausted, we touched down on the surface in two days’ travel. Through the blowing ash and sickly warm rain, we beheld a deserted city, strewn with dismembered parts, populated only by the dead, and we despaired.

Then, slowly, trickles of refugees emerged from the rubble, too numbed with horror to celebrate, but clinging stubbornly, somehow to life. The palace was a smoking crater, Seldan Forsellis lost, taken before our lances struck, snatched with two of his daughters by the Ruinous Powers. Selene’s grief bends her like an iron weight.

But there is still life here, and strength. Artifact One remains. The Alpha Site remains, with the precious webway gate which holds the promise of an easy passage to and from Imperial space, of new provinces for the Empire, and untold riches for our house. We will survive. We will rebuild. We can do this.

Track: Arete (Selene’s Theme)
Character: Selene Forsellis
She is so beautiful, as if she were a character painted by an artist just to pluck at men’s hearts, complete with girlish giggles and blushes and easy tears. But under the cruelest blows of fortune, she weeps but never breaks, never fails her House or her people, always plans and thinks ahead

I always knew I would have only a few choices, and perhaps even only one that I knew I must take. It is one of the few prices we pay for wealth and glory. But I really do want to marry her.

If I weren’t dead, that is.

Track: Fight Like a Girl (Elizabeth’s theme)
Character: Elizabeth Orleans
Rogue Trader Elizabeth Orleans is tough, smart, and pretty, and knows how to use all three to her advantage. Her aid against the Ork menace was timely and vital.

I do not regret for a second bringing her into our new business deal… but with Seldan Forsellis dead, how to secure this alliance with a marriage? Can she be relied upon with nothing more than a contract to bind her?

Track: Blood in the Void
Craft: ISV Attitude Adjuster”
At last, a real warship. My new flag vessel is a Mechanicus light cruiser, a two kilometer shark bristling with sensors and exotic weaponry. Warrior and explorer both, she hums with whispers of the past, and dances with eagerness to swim the stars again. Let’s make some waves.

Track: Duet for Scalpel and Hammer
Character: Harlan Autumnhall and Brother Alrick

I once had the privilege of witnessing a practice bout between two blademasters: Lord Harlan, the Autumnhall Warrant Bearer, and Brother Alrick, an Ecclesiarchal priest of the Order Missionary.
The Friar moved with matchless speed and ferocity, his weapon swirling in great whirlwind arcs, each leading into the next in savage onslaught, each too fast for the eye to follow.
The Captain, by contrast, barely seemed to move at all. Always, his blade was already just where he needed it to be, his feet already placed with a casual step into just the right spot. He never seemed to make a mistake.
After furious minutes back and forth across the sands of the pit, a touch was scored, another, and a third. They bowed and returned to their corners, toweling sweat from their faces. But I could not tell who had won.
- Anonymous Slave Trainer of the Red Schola


Sword & Spoken Word DevonErik