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for The Guardian Angel

10/4/2020 c1 Wiggles
"Blind faith driven by righteous fury and incorruptible rage, on the other hand, did the trick nicely." I don't think I've seen the Imperium's mindset ever described so well.

"The machine strolled forward, making graceful leaps..." I'm caught between Pacific Rim and Singing in the Rain. It certainly helps show how far above the battle he really is and just how detached from it he is.

Letzinski know's where it's at.

I did not expect the boy to live. I figured once you mentioned a single act of heroism or cowardice could change the battle that his 'heroism' would cost them the battle and they'd suffer for his ego.

I agree about Gav Thorpe... I read the first Dark Angel book and... It was painfully predictable.
6/25/2020 c1 1blackcatcoffee
Cullen seems quite self-conscious and introspective, a rare mature character. You have written a good tragedy. I first sympathized with the soldiers, Cullen particularly, since he’s our main character, and then you pulled the rug from under feet by revealing our hero is dead. A cool portrait showing the futility of war and the sacrifice of soldiers is my interpretation of your story.
4/10/2017 c1 Berlioz Chaos Lord of Khorne
Interesting little 'un.
7/22/2016 c1 17Nomad-117
You managed to capture my interest with story as well. It was well written and the scenaria seems compelling. Especially since the Eldar are depicted in a way that fits the usual description of them. Mysterious and acting for reasons and in ways humans cannot understand. It seems utterly random to other but they do each thing for a specific reason. So thank you for this story.
5/1/2016 c1 2k+Hawki
-The opening paragraphs are decent. It’s a mixture of feeling detached, while also doing good wordpainting of the scene. Sometimes feels a bit too detached, but it works, for the most part.

-These long range artilleries are troublesome as hell…

You’re missing the “ at the start of the dialogue there.

-So…there’s not much else to talk about, but it’s not the story’s fault. Problem is, this is very military. As in, while Cullen is nominally the protagonist, the focus is far more on the battle, describing the hardware and the tactics used. In essence, it’s military sci-fi, a genre that I generally have trouble getting invested in. I can say it’s written well enough, as in, it was easy enough to read, I could understand what was going on, but if you’re hoping for a review that analyses the tactics and technology used, I’m the wrong person for it. Does feel true to 40K mass warfare though, without turning into a charnal house and “FOR THE EMPRAH!” being yelled every five seconds.

Minor point though, and that’s the story being set in the 42nd millennium. To which I ask…why? Nothing about the situation has changed, and while the tau develop new technology rapidly, I don’t think a future timeframe is necessary for the Humpback’s existence. Granted, the series needs to enter the 42nd millennium sooner or later given how its timeline is at the end of the 41st millennium, but it’s not necessarily a plot point per se.

Anyway, decent job.
11/27/2015 c1 2The d20 Master
Aaahh, gotta love the foolhardy hotheaded guys in the big-ass vehicles getting in over their head because they believe their massive 'toy' is invincible. Not a bad story. It's always good to see the weabboo space communists put in their place.
7/15/2015 c1 4Tomoyuki Tanaka
Invisibility? I guess.

Anyway, the Humpback does exist, it's a Tau super-heavy tank, apparently. I had no idea, ha ha. It's not in the wiki, but it's in reddit and other fan sites.

Good story, it was a great chapter (standalone or otherwise),and the fight scene was awesome. Yeah, it was unbelievable that a single Imperial Knight went right into the thick of the Tau army and rampaged unchecked for such a long time, but hey, it makes sense when Farseer Alvios cloaked him in Invisibility. Yay. Made for some good solo action, and he was saved in the end by the Imperial Guard! Yay!

I think House Terryn and most Knightly houses except House Taranis of Mars (and probably Houses Yato, Uesugi and Takeda in my story) actually have the ancestors or former pilots in the Throne Mechanicum whispering or having some sort of mental influence on the pilot. I could be mistaken though. I read Knights of the Imperium by Graham McNeill, but I opted to follow House Taranis, which was also explored by Graham McNeill in Mechanicum (Horus Heresy). I tend to read more of the imperial novels than the Eldar ones, but I usually avoid Space Marines, so my Warhammer 40K diet consists of Imperial Guard, Imperial Knights and Adeptus Mechanicus novels. Especially the Ciaphas Cain series! Now you can see where I got my influences from, ha ha.

This story is good, though. I think I'll browse through some of them (you have a lot!) and see what else is there to read.
4/18/2015 c1 8CorvusAlbus
And the second review requested:
It is good to see an Imperial Knight for a change; there are really hardly any stories that feature them, so kudos. Though I’m a little surprised he appears to be the only Knight in the battle.

Overall I have a request: almost all your stories seem to take place in your version of the 42th millennia, in this one-shot you mentioned the Great Fall, the Age of Rebuild and I know that you’ve said a little bit about this in an author’s note of one of your other stories.
First, it’s not good to pass on information about the world you’re writing about like that; the information needed should be weaved into the narrative. Or you actually write a story about those events, because I for one am never sure what has changed, what stayed like in the lore, what is completely new, what has happened and what effect did it have and how.

The battle scenes are well described, though at times it seems the Tau vehicles are destroyed a little too easily. Not saying that they should have the resilience of Imperial Vehicles, but I think they can take a little more.
Cullen and the artillery just cut through them like scissors through paper, I mean 17 Humpbacks within seconds, makes the reader wonder why they were even a threat. After all we’ve never seen them in action and Cullen just recalls something from an earlier battle, but the reader himself as no real idea what a Humpback is capable of. It’s just too vague. Maybe you could have shown them destroy something so the reader actually knows and “sees” why they are a real threat, why they should be destroyed.

Cullen has the appropriate arrogance for someone of his upbringing and position. His religious zealously suits him well, a knight on crusade after all; I like the touch that he and the General believe that it was the Emperor or one of his angles, who helped them.

Still, you have told us that he has been spoiled as a child, so sentences like “Again, Cullen had been spoiled…” are unnecessary and actually break the 4th wall. You as the author should not have to point out certain details like this again; maybe instead have the General call Cullen spoiled, if you really want to remind us of it.

Also you should leave out made-up words like “killy”(sounds like “Kili” from The Hobbit) or “killiest” in your stories; they do not exist and there are so many English adjectives you could have used, like “deadly”.

Then there is the Eldar. The manipulation is great, as the Humans and Tau are clueless, which is how it’s supposed to be; the Farseer just seems really powerful being capable of confusing/hindering all these Tau for so long, especially considering the large target a Knight represent; remember, as Tau hardly have a presence in the warp, they have a little more resistance against mind-affecting powers. The wings I assume are a wraithbone construct he controls with his mind/psychic powers.

And what is an “Eldar Sultan” or “Farseer Sultan”? You make up this new rank and don’t even explain it, so it’s not only confusing but also irrelevant to the story. You have created this new Craftworld, which is fine, but if it has its own titles, like the Aliatoci Pathfinders calling themselves “Starstriders”, or the Saim-Hannian Windriders “Wild Riders”, then tell us the meaning behind your titles.

It seems a bit strange that a Farseer would be out there alone, without warlocks, Guardians or so to protect him, especially when he needs to focus his attention on his psychic manipulation.

I’m not sure why the Imperium and Tau are called by him “supposed allies”; probably has something to do with whatever happened in the Age of Rebuild, but there’s nothing in the story that would explain it. Same with “Traitors from Aliatoc” and him being certain that the Humans will offer him medical assistance…why is that? It is not explained why that suddenly is, what events has made them allies or at least introduced some sort of peace between the two factions, which in some ways is strange, considering that the humans are still so zealous. At least those seen here.

I’m not saying that any of that is bad, the story overall is nice, it just feels to me that I am somewhere in a much greater story, like I opened a huge book and am reading a chapter in the middle. For me personally there is just too much backstory missing to get me a sense of what these characters, especially the Farseer, are talking about.
3/31/2015 c1 11How-not-to-do-something
Knight titans are pretty beastly, but I'm pretty sure five or six riptides and a few dozen crisis suits and/or broadsides would make mincemeat of it. One time, i almost killed one with a single crisis team. If only I hadn't screwed up that one roll... But ignore that dribble.

One other minor issue. Tau doctrine emphasizes mobility. I doubt they would create imperial style artillery, no matter how useful, unless they were firmly dug into a planet. Eh, times change.

No matter, excellent job all around. Being inside a thirty foot hyper advanced war machine probably makes one cocky. Nice touch with the Eldar too. Hehe, "just as planned".

PS: F**k black library in general (except dan abbet).
3/9/2015 c1 3Chandagnac
Excellent start to this chapter. You really captured Cullen Reikus's blinkered arrogance and sanctimonious fanaticism.

The battle seems to go very easily for Cullen and the Imperium, which I suppose is the point. Yeah, there is a reason why Cullen miraculously escapes being killed here, I know. Still, I was slightly surprised that the Manticore missiles were able to destroy 17 humpbacks so quickly and easily, even with Cullen's marker to guide them. Must have been a very large artillery battery, I guess.

I like the fact that the Imperials think that the Emperor or one of His angels must have been watching over Cullen, but no - it was eldar psychic trickery. That's a twist I've seen before (in Dan Abnett's Ghostmaker, for example), but it amuses me. I like devious, manipulative craftworld eldar who actually live up to their hype and aren't just fodder for space marine special characters to slaughter.

I hated Path of the Eldar as well, to the point where I can't bring myself to finish reading it. I stopped halfway through last year, put it down (I got the omnibus edition) and haven't picked it up again since. It's still sitting on my desk. :(

I wouldn't mind seeing more of Cullen, possibly even his heroic sacrifice on Topriaz. That sounds like it has the potential to be awesome, if you can write it so Cullen destroying five ork gargants and a hundred other vehicles is convincingly plausible in the context of the story.

It seems strange to think of a farseer's wings having "feathers". (yeah, I guess they are "wings", like those of a Polish "winged hussar"). I thought they were made of wraithbone. But Craftworld Craddol is your invention, so I'm prepared to accept that they might have a unique style and dress code.

All in all, I thought this was a very enjoyable one-shot. And if you want to continue it, that would be even better.
3/7/2015 c1 13Adrassil
Enjoyed this, mate! This Alvios Windsong seems like an interesting character, the way you writ it seems he doesn't count himself as being part of his Craftworld any more? A lone Farseer traveling through the galaxy changing fate for the good of the Eldar without the rules of his craftworld holding him back sounds like something with great potential. It does fit with the Eldar with one smallish act changing the future is exactly what they do. I didn't really like Cullen much being a spoiled Imperial aristocrat but that's a given of who and what he is and I assume that was on purpose.

On a last note I really enjoyed the Eldar Trilogy by Gav Thorpe myself (the third was the best, I thought) But each to their own! Good work (sorry I don't review more got no internet at home and really busy with my course, it gives me a shit ton of homework :()
2/28/2015 c1 17Disciple of Ember
The first time I actually saw an Imperial Knight, all I could think was "wow. That looks a lot like a mini-titan." Then I found out that's exactly what they were and I was genuinely surprised you don't see them all that much in fanfiction. In fact, I think this is the first story I've read that actually incorporates one.

The story itself was nicely done as it incorporates the zealous and proud nature of the Knight Houses very well with Cullen's glory-seeking charge into enemy lines. He really does feel like the poster-boy for a model soldier in the eyes of the Imperium, and it wouldn't surprise me if he finds his face on some new propaganda posters. Especially if his soon-to-be kill count is accurate.

The combat itself was both interesting and somewhat humorous at the Tau's expense. The fact that they were fighting blind for most of it made for an entertaining mental image with all those pulse and rail shots flying in all directions. They stuck in well though, and their discipline really comes through. The only thing that I would advise considering in that scene was when Cullen's Knight falls. Reading it, you really don't get the sense that he's actually taken severe damage aside from the loss of an arm. I would suggest putting a bit more emphasis on the trauma his vehicle has taken instead of having him simply crumble, but it isn't a big issue.

The bit with the Eldar Farseer was nicely done as well. The multilayered plans within plans within plans are very in character, and his exhaustion (compounded by the gaping hole in his gut) was palpable. I was a little confused as to what you meant by wings, since I've never seen a Farseer with actual ones as opposed to the Wraithbone horns/wings/whatever they're called on those from Ulthwe, but it makes for a vivid picture to be sure. And I certainly agree. Manipulative, clever Eldar are far better than smashy-smashy Eldar.

As for the abilities being used, my knowledge of tabletop isn't the best but I'd guess at either Shrouding or Veil of Tears (can't remember if the latter is a Shadowseer exclusive or not).
2/28/2015 c1 65Kondoru
Ah, yes, the pointy eared scum, cant keep their mucky fingers out of everything, can they?

(Im sorry, but my Eldar friends are all from Commoragh, where they have vested interests and no majik...)

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