Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Play Test rules for Starvaulters in Patrol Angis on our Facebook Group

Work is progressing upon the forth book in the series for Patrol Angis the 15mm scale space opera wargame from The Ion Age.  I over see all of the titles published by and going to be published by Alternative Armies and The Ion Age and such with several new titles ongoing the work on Baron has been slow. Sorry!  Baron will be a source book for the Prydian Precinct with a focus upon the Civil War and the Marcher Barons.  Within Baron one new faction will be introduced...The Starvaulters.  The best of the best and the true Knights of the Stellar Vastness who live by the Code Gallant.

Do you want to try out the new rules?

In Baron this new faction is the only part of the book with all new game mechanics.  There are other new rules in the book too but these are smaller in scope and inserted into existing frameworks. The Starvaulters need some final testing.  We have done the initial play in house and have got them all but ready after two attempts but we are now offering a chance to field these knights to those interested.  Feedback upon the new troops, infantry scale vehicles, personalities, gear and skills is most welcome.  These are powerful troops.  Everything in the play test document will be featured in the final book and we are already making the miniatures too.  In fact in the document is an image of the first Starvaulter sculpts.  Every person who assists in the testing will be credited in the book.

If you wish to get the play testing document then go to the Alternative Armies Tabletop Gaming group on Facebook and download it from the post on the group where it is attached.  It will be there for the next several weeks and you are most welcome to come along and talk Patrol Angis.  Just apply to join our friendly group and then throw some dice.  As you would expect you do need a copy of Patrol Angis in print or digital to make use of the play test document.  You can find the game HERE on our website.

Baron has been slowly building up with me since last year and this is the final stage of testing needed for it.  See you on the group!

Thanks for Reading,


Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Werewolf Beotan 4th Tesseran and Platoon Pack with unique free extra scout released!

You have been most patient with us while we finished the thirty three poses of 15mm space werewolves and now the time is here.  Following up on the three Tesserans of right from earlier this year we present to you all of our February 2018 releases with IAF155 Beotan 1st Tesseran (Juno Rifle) and IAFP12 Beotan Ordos (platoon pack).  Core infantry and the whole force for the savage cold climes warriors of the Shia Khan Empire.  Sculpted by Sam Croes.  Go HERE or read on for more information.  We are here with more space opera awesome!

“Who would have thought that out here in the darkness, in the vastness of space, that creatures of our long gone ancestors nightmares would turn out to be real.  I never did but then I have seen a lot since arriving in the Camarthen Cluster two years ago.  Aliens from another galaxy who want our worlds.  Hell not just the worlds.  They want us too.  Brought to their heel or dead; either way.  I ended up in the tundra so at least I was spared the lizards but here there are teeth..lots of teeth.  My armour has their marks upon it and I do not have them repaired or painted over.  Memory helps me survive.  I have to face them again.  Werewolves...real ones.”
Gadda, Southern Wastes, Camarthen Prime 4332 IC

You can now field a whole Ordos of these fur covered fighters.  Here are the details of the new and other codes for the Beotans.  Go HERE.

IAFP12 Beotan Ordos (platoon pack)
A Full Ordos (Platoon) of 15mm miniatures which includes a free unique miniature only found in this code which you can buy on its own too. A full Ordos of miniatures as well as an additional free unique miniature found only in this code. An Ordos of thirty two Beotans (space werewolves) composed of four Tesserans.  A full force for your wargaming table. This platoon pack is composed of the following packs:  IAF155 Beotan 1st Tesseran (Juno Rifle), IAF148 Beotan 2nd Tesseran (Maia Mpi), IAF150 Beotan 3rd Tesseran (Support Weapons), IAF151 Beotan 4th Tesseran (Command and Casualties) plus Beotan Scout in cloak with sword and Honus Laser Rifle (Unique).  

Covered in fur and with reversed knee Beotans lope at high speed into battle and stand a little taller than a Human (17mm tall).  This code comprises thirty three different poses of 15mm scale white metal miniatures.  

You have the option of purchasing a pack or three packs with a 10% saving applied on screen as well as the unique miniature on its own. You can see the constituent parts of this platoon pack in the other codes as listed.  Supplied Unpainted and without Bases. Go HERE. Price 24.00GBP per pack.

IAF155 Beotan 1st Tesseran
This pack contains eight different poses of 15mm scale white metal miniatures.  Beotans are Werewolves who dress in a combat harness and are used in cold climes and urban warfare.  The first Tesseran contains the Ordos rifle trooper poses for your force.  It is one of four Tesserans which make up a Beotan Ordos or platoon.  Seven different discens armed with Juno Rifles and a low rank officer or trooper with Cupid Pistol and Juno Rifle. Covered in fur and with reversed knee they lope at high speed into battle and stand a little taller than a Human (17mm tall).  You have the option of purchasing a pack or three packs saving 10% or single poses from the pack for your collection.  Go HERE.  Price 6.00GBP per pack.

IAF150 Beotan 3rd Tesseran
This pack contains eight different poses of 15mm scale white metal miniatures.  Beotans are Werewolves who dress in a combat harness and are used in cold climes and urban warfare.  The third Tesseran contains the Ordos support poses for your force.  It is one of four Tesserans which make up a Beotan Ordos or platoon.  Two Apollo 40Kw Atomic Destablisers, two Jupiter 46mm Plasma Rifles, three Loaders armed with Juno Rifles and a low rank officer with enhance visor and Cupid pistol. You have the option of purchasing a pack or three packs saving 10% or single poses from the pack for your collection. Price 6.00GBP per pack.

IAF151 Beotan 4th Tesseran
This pack contains eight different poses of 15mm scale white metal miniatures.  Beotans are Werewolves who dress in a combat harness and are used in cold climes and urban warfare.  The fourth Tesseran contains the Ordos command and special poses for your force.  It is one of four Tesserans which make up a Beotan Ordos or platoon.  An officer with enhance visor and Mia Mpi, banner bearer with pole topped with Retained helmet (pole is supplied bare without banner), Medic with staff and gear, Comms specialist with Cupid pistol, two different Troopers with Juno Rifle and two dead Beotans one face up and one face down. You have the option of purchasing a pack or three packs saving 10% or single poses from the pack for your collection.  Price 6.00GBP per pack.

IAF148 Beotan 2nd Tesseran
This pack contains eight different poses of 15mm scale white metal miniatures.  Beotans are Werewolves who dress in a combat harness and are used in cold climes and urban warfare.  The second Tesseran is armed with Mia 9.2mm Mpi close range weapons and is composed of troopers and a low level officer.  It is one of four Tesserans which make up a Beotan Ordos or platoon. You have the option of purchasing a pack or three packs saving 10% or single poses from the pack for your collection.  Price 6.00GBP per pack.

How does a Beotan compare to a Human miniature in terms of its size.  See below!

While we were taking the photos for the new miniatures we played a game of Patrol Angis and here are two photos from that scenario.  As you can see two Retained Knight gun crew on a Moth 88 Espatan Portable Weapon Platform fail to hold off a charge by Beotans upon their position.  Beotans encircle an Adder Combat car with its dead Muster crew laying next to it.  The Adder Combat Car is an Orange type with grenade launcher turret which has been modified with additional baggage and parts from our Vehicle Conversion Pack to make it an extended recon car.

If you are keen on the forces of the Shia Khan Empire then check out all of their infantry and portable weapons HERE and all of their vehicles HERE in 15mm scale.  If you play Patrol Angis then you will need all three of the current books to make full use of the Khanate aliens; see them HERE.

We will see you again in March with more new releases for the range and we will be switching back to the Prydian Army now that the Khanate have been dramatically increased in their available choices.  But before that one more free article will be happening during this month so keep an eye out for that.  Remember you get Reward Points added to your account every time you order from us and these can be used for discounts and special items at any time; 100 Free on your first order. Extra value!  Lastly if you want to discuss Ion Age or our miniatures in your collection or see what is going on then join our Alternative Armies Tabletop Gaming group on Facebook. 

Thanks for Reading.


Friday, 16 February 2018

Sinews of War blog on an Ion Age adventure

It always gives me great pleasure to learn of a new blog or other place where wargamers are enjoying The Ion Age and when Bugbear contacted me about his recently begun site 'Sinews of War' I had to check it out.  It is a place with a lot of energy and sense of purpose.  Go HERE and have a look.

“Attack Orbs.What image does that phrase bring to mind, if it is not large, deadly ‘monowheel’ killer machines, there is probably something wrong with your mental imagery.”

The most recent update on the Sinews of War concerned the authors new collection of Khanate Attack Orbs such as the Sphera.  A dozen added to his Shia Khan ready to roll out and crush the puny Prydian Army who resist them.

“When I started with Patrol Angis, I realised that I had almost no scenery. So I dug out some tree’s (see Forestry Post) and ordered some buildings from Ion Age. I ordered what I consider quite a large batch of buildings, Cratered Hab Dome, Smashed Hab Dome,Tower Module, Hab Dome, Landing Pad, Block House and Command Dome. They arrived promptly, and I got to work”

There are other postings such as beginning in Ion Age terrain with Hab Domes and Tower Modules for Bugbear's gaming table and talking about Maligs and their Ordos platoon pack and Infernus Ball Tank.  As well as musings on the Khanate Empire.  The blog is well with bookmarking and have a read.  I will be a regular reader. Go HERE.

If you have a blog or other online place where you play Patrol Angis or have painted up our miniatures or written about them or some fiction please do let me know by email to info@theionage.com or in comments.  Plus you can join the Facebook group I run called Alternative Armies Tabletop Gaming Group where we often talk about Patrol Angis.

Next week the full Ordos platoon pack of Beotan space Werewolves are released!  Our main release for the month.  A new pack of rifle poses plus the platoon which includes an additional free unique miniature.  I know many of you have been waiting for them so it is not long at all now.

Thanks for Reading,


Tuesday, 13 February 2018

15mm Adder Combat Car all variants return at new lower price!

After a month of absence from our website the popular Adder Combat Car in all six of its variants has returned.  In an improved method of production we are now able to put the 15mm scale Adder Combat Car in at the new price of just 3.00GBP per kit. 

Go HERE to see them all along with the Adder Combat Lifters and other Prydian Vehicles or read on for more.  Superb fun and value from The Ion Age for space opera wargaming.

One of the innovations that the very beginning of the Prydian Army made in the year before the battle of Fenway Prime was to bring back ancient military designs that had been brought to the Precinct by those first long forgotten Humans fleeing the anarchy of the species home world.  While the powered armour and energised weapons were inventions from the Ban of Prejudice a thousand years earlier the patterns for what would become the Havelock and Duxis battlesuits were taken from this ancient knowledge.  The Prydian Army had no ground transport for its Muster.  Ground transport that could bring the soldiers to the battle but also support them while they were in combat.  The answer came from this same source and became the Adder Combat Car series.

In the Resource Wars of the 21st Century before the time of the Ark Ships and mankind taking to the stars a similar style of warfare combined with a lack of raw material existed.  The solution of the time for the bulk of infantry was the Combat Car.  Easy to produce, easy to maintain and made from simple parts and well tested technology they were cheaper than any other vehicle of the time overall.  They could carry a four man fire-team or they could act in a support role with mounted weapons in the same range as those used by crewed weapons or battlesuits.  A modular hull meant that often only the turret and some internal systems had to be changed over to create a new model in the series.  Fitting new power systems and drives and moving away from the fossil fuels of the twenty first century meant that Reckart Nevall and the weakened Aeddan Council on the New Glastonbury Tor now had the Adder.

Adder Combat Cars come in many types within the series including newer different drive systems but the bulk of them are four wheeled.  With an average weight of just over five and a half tons and roughly sixteen feet in length that Adder is not a combat heavy weight like the Taranis.  A colour coding system is in use to make Adders easy to assign to Regiments (and indeed the Marcher Barons use the same system) and to allow Muster who can sometimes not be as used to war as a Retained Knight a simple recognition method.  The Red Adder is the standard Combat Car with space for four and mounting a turret with a Moth 88 Rotary Cannon.  The Yellow Adder is  the fire support car and has two crew along with a turret with an Anda 60mm Missile Pod.  The Black Adder acts as an armoured punch giving the Muster the ability to knock out battlesuits and other smaller tough targets with two crew and a turret mounted Fretan Rail Gun.  Less common is the Orange Adder which is infantry support mounting a specialised turret with a Moth 30 automatic 50mm Grenade Launcher which is a recent introduction to the series.  Dedicated Adders include the Green Adder which is a command and control car at the battalion level and the White Adder for medical teams and battlefield triage.  The 'Battle Taxi' type Grey Adder is heavily modified and can carry two fire-teams or a squad at a real squeeze.  There are also some very specialised Adders too for purposes such as Blue Adder, the Brown Adder and the Purple Adder.  Every Muster Regiment is in possession of hundreds of Adders across the spectrum for all its roles and since they are so easy to fabricate and to maintain they are making a real impact in the ongoing Civil War and in the Camarthen Star System too.

An Adder kit once assembled is approx 45mm long, 35mm wide and about 25mm tall.  All Adders are supplied with a hull, two wheel units and with a separate turret with integrated weapon all in resin or a separate white metal weapon to add to the turret.  They are very easy to assemble.  The Smashed Adder is approx 60mm wide and 35mm tall in one piece of resin.  It can be used in your games as a terrain marker, a scenario objective or a casualty of an Adder in play.  Go HERE.

IAF035A Red Adder Combat Car (1 Wheeled Vehicle Kit)
This pack contains one white metal and resin vehicle.  A four wheeled light vehicle in the 'Red Adder' combat car variant armed with a rotary cannon in a turret mount.  This is the standard Adder for varied uses.  This code can be bought as a pack or three packs saving 10%.  Price 3.00GBP per pack. HERE.

IAF035B Yellow Adder Combat Car (1 Wheeled Vehicle Kit)
This pack contains one resin vehicle.  A four wheeled light vehicle in the 'Yellow Adder' combat car variant armed with a twin Anda 60mm Missile Pod in a turret.  This is the Fire Support variant. This code can be bought as a pack or three packs saving 10%.  Price 3.00GBP per pack. HERE.

IAF035C Black Adder Combat Car (1 Wheeled Vehicle Kit)
This pack contains one white metal and resin vehicle.  A four wheeled light vehicle in the 'Black Adder' combat car variant armed with Fretan type Railgun in a turret mount.  This is the armour punch variant for anti-vehicle use. This code can be bought as a pack or three packs saving 10%.  Price 3.00GBP per pack. HERE.

IAF035D Orange Adder Combat Car (1 Wheeled Vehicle Kit)
This pack contains one resin vehicle.  A four wheeled light vehicle in the 'Orange Adder' combat car variant armed with a 50mm Grenade Launcher in a turret mount.  This is the infantry support variant. This code can be bought as a pack or three packs saving 10%.  Price 3.00GBP per pack. HERE.

IAF035E Green Adder Control Car (1 Wheeled Vehicle Kit)
This pack contains one white metal and resin vehicle. A four wheeled light vehicle in the 'Green Adder' combat car variant for command and control on the battlefield and mounting extra armour and comms gear.  Price 3.00GBP per pack each or Buy Three and Save 10%.  HERE.

IAF037 Smashed Adder (1 Destroyed Wheel Vehicle)
This pack contains one resin terrain piece for your games.  Laid on its side, axles broken and turret ring smashed this Red Adder Combat Car has seen better days. The Smashed Adder is approx 60mm wide and 35mm tall in one piece of resin.  It can be used in your games as a terrain marker, a scenario objective or a casualty of an Adder in play. This code can be bought as a pack or three packs saving 10%.  Price 4.00GBP per pack. HERE.

Adders are the typical light vehicle used by the Muster on the battlefields of the Prydian Civil War.  It is also used by some Planetary Militias as well.  Rules for their use are contained with IAB02 Callsign Taranis along with their statistics.  You will need Patrol Angis to make use of Callsign Taranis.

Every variant of wheeled Adder also exists in a 'Lifter' type which is a hover vehicle.  If you prefer hover vehicles for your troops you can find these on the the website HERE with codes IAF036 (A to E) and IAF038.

We think that the Adder Combat Cars are great light vehicles and we hope that you do too.  Excellent Value and very useful.  Thank you for your support of all of us here at The Ion Age in allowing us to pursue our dream of a space opera future that is wholly its own and our main release for February 2018 will occur next week when we complete the Beotan 15mm space werewolves Ordos (platoon) with a new pack and a platoon pack with a unique extra free miniature.

Thanks for Reading,


Monday, 5 February 2018

Our Tabletop Gaming Facebook Group random draw Feb 18

In celebration the friendly group for Alternative Armies and The Ion Age is having a random prize draw which is open to all group members. All you need to do is comment on the pinned post at the top of the Alternative Armies Tabletop Gaming FB Group by saying 'Hello' or 'AA' or 'Ion Age' or 'Flintloque', any word will do. Your comment will then have a number assigned to it by us which will give its position from the first comment onwards and a number in the random draw.

The post will remain live until Friday 9th February at 7pm GMT then, using a random number generator with a short video showing it, we will get our winner. I will then announce the winner on the group and they will have their choice of 40.00GBP or so of our products from either website for FREE shipped anywhere in the world from here in Scotland. Any miniatures, books, downloads etc from either website. Excellent and a genuine offer with no catch aside from having to join a frankly super gaming group.

So get into the group, see the pinned post and then comment to get your number. ONE COMMENT EACH ONLY! (multiple entries from an account will be removed and not count). Thanks and may the most random of you win! 

My thanks to resident Valon artist Edward Jackson for the superb drawing of a Wraith on Fell Beast which will feature with much else in upcoming Flintloque and other Valon books.


PIA008 Uniforms of the Khanate poster and download released!

The first of two releases this February 2018 sees us add to our poster print collection at The Ion Age with an eighth A3 high quality print for your wall. Not many wargame brands make such posters and we do it purely for the love of it putting them on our own walls first.  After the release of the third book in the Patrol Angis series IAB03 The Khanate Return there was interest in getting a better notion of what the colours of the Shia Khan Empire were when it came to the Legions assaulting Mankind.  I worked with Aris and together we created this new poster.  We present PIA008 Uniforms of the Khanate as an A3 Poster and as a Digital Download.  See all our posters HERE or read on for more. 

PIA008 Uniforms of the Khanate
From the Matter Gateway come the alien legions of the Khanate in vast numbers. This poster gives you the uniforms of the prime dozen and one Legions to use on your figures or just to put on your wall for inspiration as you plan your games. Digitally drawn by Aris Kolehmainen this poster print was made locally here in Scotland on high quality 200gsm paper using rich inks. Its a premium product to grace your wargaming walls with. Bare or in a frame. Supplied in a purpose designed postal mailing tube. The image is exactly A3 size.  Here is a list of the uniforms on the poster by Legion. 1. Styx Legion 2. Medusa Legion 3. Priam Legion 4. Venom Legion 5. Scylla Legion 6. Cyclopes Legion 7. Abyss Legion 8. Arae Legion 9. Tartarus Legion 10. Empusa Legion 11. Ladon Legion 12. Hades Legion 13. Spinx Legion. 

As with all of our other products we offer you several purchase options.  You can purchase one poster print at a great price or three of the same one and automatically save 10% on screen.  You can also select the Digital Download option and purchase a virtual copy of the A3 poster at super hi-rez to print or view yourself immediately.  HERE.

We have seven other posters in our print range with some of them also being offered as digital downloads.  Here are their details with a look at each of them.

PIA007 Prydian Precinct Starmap
A thousand years before the outbreak of the civil war that would pull Prydian space apart the last Khanate war forced the detonation of a universal potent bomb.  This bomb called the 'Aldan Crucible' ended the Shia Khan incursion in this part of the galaxy by destroying not only their Matter Gateway but also the entire Aldan stellar system.  In the dark centuries that followed the detonation savage and exotic Dolorous Clouds formed across Prydian space which hid entire star systems and made travel in or near them very dangerous indeed.   This star map shows more than one hundred stellar systems as spoken of in our titles as well as the regions held by the League of Canlaster and the League of Yordan in the pivotal year of 4330 IC.  Great for your wall and for planning your campaigns in The Ion Age. A3 Digitally drawn by our lead designer Sam Croes.  

PIA006 Eat at Happy Burger
More than three hundred million cans of Robo Cola are sold across the Precinct every single day and their taste goes perfectly with the 'Meat-tay-eat' burgers sold alongside them. Taste alone makes this possible with the people of a thousand cities flocking to the booths and eateries for treats. Taste is backed up with billions of posters put up everywhere there is a space. From the transit lanes to the agri-zones as well as spaceports and hospitals these posters promote Happy Burger. They can also be bought for your own hab walls for a modest fee from behind the counter. Just as your server. A3 Digitally drawn by our lead designer Sam Croes.

PIA005 Callsign Taranis Cover Art
Majesty and sheer ruddy terror is what I think of when I see those Taranis tanks. Lethal instruments of war advancing over broken rocky ground while behind them the torn remains of their last enemies are burning. This is how I see the cover of Callsign Taranis.  A3 and digitally drawn by our lead designer Sam Croes.

PIA004 Patrol Angis Cover Art
Atop a downed Battlesuit the heroes gather as the foes circle all around. Their weapons make fire to the fore as behind a rebelling city is lit aflame by the laser bombardment of a low floating starship. This is how I see the cover of Patrol Angis. A3 and digitally drawn by our lead designer Sam Croes.

PIA003 Uniforms of the Prydian Precinct
From the Prydian Army to the Leagues of Yordan and Canlaster as well as system defence and mercenary companies too this poster gives you all their uniforms to use on your figures or just to put on your wall for inspiration as you plan your games. Digitally drawn by Aris Kolehmainen. Here is a list of the uniforms on the poster. Some of these feature in Patrol Angis and in Callsign Taranis while others will fight the good fight in forthcoming articles and books: 1. Prydian Army 2. League of Canlaster 3. League of Yordan 4. The Quarrel Company 5. Barony of Castella 6. The Hotspurs Company 7. The Merfold Company 8. Barony of Malmesbury 9. League of Tilbury 10. The Rheged Company 11. The Sein Company 12. The Bezant Company 13. Fauconbergs Raiders 14. De Vere's Company 15. The Chard 16. Barony of Caerwent 17. The Gryllus Company  18. Barony of Carhaix  19. Barony of Messena 20. The Geolu Company 21. Towton System Defence 22. Blore System Defence 23. Barony of Linnuis 24. The Flame Company 25. The Midnight Expanse 26. Barony of Caerleon  27. The Barghest Company 28. The Hemlock Company 29. The Lindworm 30. The Naranga Company.

PIA002 Matter Gateway Nox
Hugo Sevaris was a traitor to all Mankind for he re-opened a Matter Gateway and gave the Shia Khan Empire access to Prydian space once more.  From the shimmering purple haze of the gateway came the Nox.  Fear them for they are the night and the death among us now... A3 and digitally drawn by our lead designer Sam Croes.  The cover of IAB03 The Khanate Return.

PIA001 Ylona of Prydia
At the Zanzibar Breakers conflict a hero was found.  Ylona defeated scores of foes and eventually led to the defeat of Maligar Hanz.  Her Tumbler 9mm Mpi is a prized artefact in the stores of the 414th Regiment of Prydia.  She now continues the good fight on Camarthan Prime against the Khanate. A3 and digitally drawn by our lead designer Sam Croes.

Go HERE for the poster collection.

Later this month we will be releasing again and that release will see the completion of the Beotan Ordos with a new pack and a new platoon with unique miniature included free.  But more on that in a couple of weeks.

Thanks for Reading,


Saturday, 3 February 2018

Bonding Cubed an Ion Age short story by Aris Kolehmainen

I was captivated to read a short story by long time IonFan and devotee to the Shia Khan the talented Aris Kolehmainen.  I will admit I thought up the title of this tale but that aside the penmanship of this work is entirely of Aris creation. What will an ancient sentient intellect of war do when it finds kindred ship with a young knight? A grav bike steed is a thing of beauty. So without further ado read on for Bonding Cubed! GBS

Bonding Cubed

• • •

“I never said I loved him.”

[[You didn’t have to. He knew.]]

“I’ll never have the chance.”

[[There was nothing you could do.]]

“But I could have–“


“I might have–“



[[Focus. 2 o’clock, 38°pro]]

Claire snapped around the corner and looked up, her Angis rifle’s auto-trainer locking in with her eyes, while she allowed her suit to assist her aim. In seconds, three Maligs were reduced to three gouts of blackish green viscera. The mag light flashed in her HUD as her ammo read zero, without thinking she cocked the bolt, ejected the spent magazine, and slammed a new one in it’s place.

[[Movement, 3 and 10, inbound. 15 seconds. Move.]]

“Where? I don’t see an exit.”

[[Scanning… South south-east. Over that pile of rubble.]]

She looked at the pile, it was enormous. Several floors of the building must have come down there. Had she not spent her jump fuel, it would have been an easy escape. Climbing that even with suit assistance would leave her exposed for too long. At her waist, soft bag of ornate leather held a small cube about the size of her armoured fist. She could almost feel the frustration emanating off of it.

[[You can do this.]]

She hesitated.

[[He wouldn’t want you to die.]]

She ran.

The rubble pile was worse than she imagined, for every foothold was an awkward jut of rubbacrete or re-bar. But she climbed. Quick as she could she manoeuvred around the obstructions, but her eyes were only half on the task. Her attention was split between the treacherous climb, and her HUD which now showed movement five seconds out, and with at least another eight meters to climb.

[[Keep going.]]

Five meters left. The blips on her HUD were getting brighter, louder.

[[We’re almost there.]]

Two meters left. The blips are an angry red now, she could hear the sound of footsteps, and something much larger.

[[Hurry. They brought a Psychoborg.]]

She crested the rubble and rolled quickly over, slamming her fist onto the Chameleon Circuit control. There was a nearly inaudible hum as her armour began to redirect the light around her, and her body vanished into rubble.

Quietly she crawled up to the ledge, and peered over. Several Legionnaires slowly entered the room, their rifles training, seeking a target. Claire didn’t move, she forced herself to stay still, slow her breathing. They moved over to where she had been only moments before, spinning around the corner weapons ready to strike, or impale, someone hiding there. One of them pointed up to where the Maligs had been and where their internals now decorated a wall. One of the Legionaries who was wearing a white cape over his grey fatigues and neon green armour examined the scene for a moment before pressing a button on his wrist.

A moment later, a loud and rhythmic thumping began to grow. Claire could feel the hairs raise on her arms, and her heart rate was increasing. Claire knew the symptoms of a Humascare Field from briefing, but it didn’t make it any less pleasant. When the Psychoborg emerged, she forced herself not to gasp. A monster of metal, crafted in the likeness of a great skeletal demon. It took in the room with glowing eyes, it’s head slowly panning from left to right. There was something about the way it moved... its reactions were too lithe, its movements too exact, and it’s fingers seemed to twitch as if in anticipation. By all battlefield accounts, it was supposed to be just a robot, but machines shouldn't move like that.

It scanned the room again, its massive head slowly panning the room. It gestured and spoke in a  guttural, monotone voice to the caped figure, who nodded curtly back at it. With that, the legionaries began briskly moving away in the direction they had come, with the Psychoborg following them at its own pace. Claire watched them leaving and prepared herself to move. Without warning, the Psychoborg whipped itself around, it’s massive weapon pointed directly at her, barrels spinning.


There was no hesitation this time. The Psychoborg roared as its weapon began to hose her location with metallic death. She rolled back, ducking the initial shots and ran. A lucky bullet caught her pauldron as she turned, shorting out her Chameleon Circuit. In the half second that her body was visible and exposed, her blue armour went black in half a dozen places, as it bubbled and melted away from the impact of a half dozen laser contacts.

But still she ran...

* * *

She didn’t remember how far she ran, or for how long. She didn’t remember stumbling though the ruins of the mall into the open. Nor did she remember holding onto what remained of her arm, severed by laser impacts. She didn’t remember collapsing in front of a mighty Taranis tank, or the honourable Baron Aldo Murdo himself lifting her off the ground to rushing her to the Med Corps. What she did remember was the terror, the loss, and the pain.

When she finally opened her eyes, all she could see was white. Her first thought was that she had died. It was plausible enough, considering what she could remember. But as her eyes began to focus, she realized she was laying  in a Med-Op bed. Still fighting off exhaustion, she tried to lift the covers, but nothing happened. She looked down and saw that where her left arm was, there now wasn’t. Panic set in, and she tried to scramble up, but a gentle, firm hand kept her in place.

“Rest child. You have done your Princess proud.” The deep baritone voice of the Bannerette seemed to resonate deep within her and she allowed herself to lay back down. Like all Bannerettes he was a hulking figure in powered armour. His blue Alwite armour intricately carved with arcane symbols of his brotherhood, and over this, a ceremonial crimson robe with gold trim. Rarely was a Bannerette seen in public in anything but full battle attire, and it seemed now was no exception.

“Where am I?” Speaking hurt, her throat felt dry and chapped. Sensing this, the Bannerette took a glass of water from a near table and helped her drink. The cup was tiny in the Bannerette’s mighty gauntlet, Claire thought it might have been humorous to her if she hadn’t been in the shape she was in.

“You are on the Cassillis Portable Castle ‘Endless Vigil’, we have left the planet some time ago.”

The Bannerette raised his hand gently in a warding gesture, catching her thoughts before she spoke them.

“No. No, not a retreat. We have gained ground. The Princess is cycling out the front line. There are many wounded, and many more tired. Fresh knights and muster will secure our victory.”

The Bannerette pressed the release on his helmet, allowing her to see his face. He was old. Not just old for a solider, but old. Long braided grey hair fell to the side of his head, a short grey beard streaked with dark black, and eyes deep as the ancient oceans and nearly as blue.

“Fear not, young one. Your loss was not in vein,” his eyes softened a with sympathy, “Nor was his.”

Clair pushed herself into a sitting position gingerly, determined to hold some dignity over herself, especially in the presence of one such as him. She was still a Knight, even without an arm and put though the gnashing teeth of the Khanate, only to be spit out. The Bannerette watched her patiently as she awkwardly righted herself in the bed. 

“My lord, may I speak bluntly?”

He arched an eyebrow, and smiled, “You may, yes.”

“I understand that I am in bad shape, but I am sure there are worse than I and of much higher rank. I am not a knight of any particular renown or standing, so I wonder why you are here at my bedside?”

The Bannerette chuckled as he pulled from his robe a cube. It was bronze in color, metallic, and slightly larger than her hand, it took her a moment to remember but right when it clicked the Bannerette spoke.

“A Ventus Cube. A venerable one, too. Normally, a cube will be destroyed with the death of its owner. It is a merciful act. However a handful passed down from age to age. They gain knowledge, and experience of life times. This is a Ventus that remembers.”

[[Hello Claire.]]

Claire sat straighter in her bed.

“This Ventus was beholden to the Noble house of Baron Harkill, whom was slain in the line of duty to his Princess. As you know, a Ventus Cube is quite the rarity. Both to see one, and more so to own one. However, we at the Tor have come upon quite the perplexing mystery with this Ventus' emotional matrix and subverted bonding algorithms.”

“I… I don’t understand?”

The Bannerette smiled. “Of course not, our ways are not your ways. Suffice to say, under normal circumstance, it is we who choose whom will receive a Ventus Cube. An artificial intelligence that grants curious power, and prestige to those whom attain one. However-”

[[I wish to remain with Claire]]

She stared at the cube for a long moment, startled.

“House Harkill is ancient, and holds firm to the Code, as they always have. Upon news of this development, they wish to bestow this Ventus upon you, in line with the wish of the cube itself. They feel that your sacrifice in the line of duty is worthy merit in your inheriting of  their family's ancestral cube."

The Bannerette placed the cube on the bed in front of her, gingerly and gently as if laying down a newborn child.

"You realize, of course, the honour that comes with being given the privilege of maintaining a Ventus Cube? Well, I believe that this honour is greater still as this time, perhaps even the first time so far as the Grand Archivist could find, a Ventus has chosen its possessor. Now, would you accept ancient, and time-honoured responsibility that comes with the possession and privilege of the Ventus?”

Her mind swam. This was unheard of in so many ways. She stared at the cube, wondering how things would change for her, and as she did, the cube stared back...

* * *

[[They won’t escape.]]

“You’re damned right they won’t.”

Claire pulled hard on the handles of the Burgeon 201 Steed, it’s tail sliding wide behind it before gunning the engine. The Shia Khan Orb banked off a rock outcrop, nearly flipping itself like a bulbous coin, but somehow maintained balance. Much to be said about Khanate gyros, she thought.

“Charge it!”

[[I am ahead of you. Laser charge at 85%]]

Claire twist the throttle, and picked up speed. She was about to line up on her target when the Orb spun its turrets backward and let loose a barrage of rockets. Munitions drifted past her as she dodged to the right, then pulled her Steed hard to the left, riding up another rock face onto a plateau. She pulled hard again on the throttle. At this angle, the Orb couldn’t get a bead on her without changing its direction. Once again, the high ground would prove to be the advantage.

[[Laser charge at 100%]]

“Soon as I fire, get ready to turn and burn.”


Claire veered hard, and the Steed leapt off the edge of the plateau, tapping the thruster control, she bee-lined directly at the Orb. She smiled at the sudden realization the Khanate wouldn’t see her coming. Her right hand thumbed the trigger, sending a crimson lance of energy directly though the crew hatch of the Orb. The mono wheel seemed to stutter for a moment, losing balance just before it went up in a massive explosion as it’s rocket ammo bins ignited.


She pulled back hard, swinging her tail to the ground as the boosters kicked over. Rocketing her up and away from the exploding war machine. She allowed herself a moment to take in the scene. This Orb had been a scout, luckily it looked like the main Khanate advance wasn’t immediately near, so getting back to the defensive line shouldn’t be a hassle.

She had been out of the field for nearly a year, receiving cybernetic training for her new arm, Ventus training, and learning her new role as a Steed rider. But revenge is a good motivator, and the Khanate had much to answer for. From her headset, the deep voice of Baron Murdo broke the silence.

“Knights and warriors, our ancient enemy now approaches our defensive line. On this day, these invaders will learn that where we stand, they shall never tread. With fire and fury, we shall be their doom! All lances and those of Taranis distinction too; phalanx formation! Advance!”

[[So it begins.]]

“It seems so, we’ll head back now. Give me a full throttle burn for as long as you can, there’s a war on and I’d hate to miss it.”