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Fanfic / Glory Or Death

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Glory or Death is a Warhammer 40,000 Quest ran by forum moderator Swordomatic on Sufficient Velocity. The Quest was eventually rebooted due to Swordomatic's writer's block and increasing frustration with the original universe.

Glory or Death is the story of the Crimson Crusaders, the youngest sons of Sanguinus, as they struggle with the problems of the 42nd Millennium and the aftershocks of the 13th Black Crusade. Their current Chapter Master, Aurelius Asterion, is formerly of the Blood Angels.



  • Almighty Janitor: Vergilius Rios is, officially, just a Veteran Sergeant, but he's effectively a second Chapter Master to the Crimson Crusaders, and can chew out Captains. Given that at one point or another he's trained every Crusader, it's unsurprising. He eventually stops being this when he's recalled to the Deathwatch to be a Watch-Commander.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • The Crusaders were this on their first missions. They were, unfortunately, too late to save the Lamenters on Stonehaven.
    • On Baal Tertius, Karog the Kinslayer has just plowed through sixty space marines - Terminators, Sternguard, Sanguinary Priests, champions - and has just casually backhanded Hale Cicero into unconsciousness, and then Malakim Poros appears as one of the Legion of the Damned and defeats him.
  • The Berserker: As descendants of the Blood Angels, the Crimson Crusaders struggle with this, and occasionally embrace it.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: The Crusaders are friendly, cheerful, and not beyond lighthearted amusement. They are also completely ruthless against their enemies.
    • Aurelius Asterion, their Chapter Master, is one of the nicest and most easygoing Space Marines to ever live. He is also a staunch enemy of Chaos and will stop at nothing to defeat them.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: The Crimson Crusaders as a whole are rather quirky in mannerisms, largely due to being instructed and led by Aurelius, Vergilius, and Osiron from the beginning. But the Imperium really can't argue with the results they bring.
  • Break the Haughty: Aurelius, in his younger years, was an arrogant and headstrong ass who only knew how to attack from the front. Decades of having his arrogance blow up in his face eventually broke his haughtiness.
    • The greatest moment of this was the fall of Hive World Archeron, in which half of Aurelius' command squad (and friends) were killed, and there was only a single marine of the 2nd Company who survived, and the Hive World was turned into a Daemon World.
  • But Now I Must Go: After the War for Parthax, Vergil leaves the Crimson Crusaders, having been recalled to the Deathwatch to serve as a Watch-Commander.
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  • Confusion Fu: Seems to be a developing theme with the Crimson Crusaders.
  • Corner of Woe: Whenever a Crusader is overwhelmed by life, they carve out a cave in a mountain and mope - correction, meditate in it.
    • It is implied that Captain Macharius of the 10th Company was so sorrowful at the state of his neophytes that he single-handedly expanded the Caves of Sorrow into a secondary Fortress-Monastery.
    • This was a tradition that began when Vergilius got fed up with the poor marksmanship of the marines he was trying to train.
      And thus at the end of these five years, after watching a Battle-Brother miss his mark for the ten thousandth time, Vergilius climbed to the top of Red Mountain, which the Fortress-Monastery is built on, carved out a cave with his bare hands, and began throwing rocks at the initiates and serfs sent to retrieve him.
  • Cultured Badass: The Crimson Crusaders also inherited their parent chapters appreciation for non-martial art-forms.
    • After absorbing the remnants of the Knights Resplendent after Stonehaven, the Crusaders now engage in painting, in addition to their sculpture.
  • Exact Words: After doing a favor for Archmagos Alpharian, Aurelius asks if he will craft the Bolt Sniper Rifle he asked for. The Archmagos' reply:
  • Fire-Forged Friends: The relationship between the Crimson Crusaders, a Blood Angels successor chapter, and the Warhawks, an Ultramarines successor chapter.
  • Go Out with a Smile: at the climax of the War for Baal, Gabriel Seth dies with a smile on his face, having sucessfully destroyed the catalyst that Chaos were using to summon nine Bloodthirsters.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Aurelius has the title of "Sword-Saint", due to his skill with a blade.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: The Crusaders, starting out, were... less than able with the bolter. This infuriated Vergilius so much that he went up to the Red Mountain and dug out the first Cave of Sorrow. This also infuriated him greatly because...
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Vergilius holds the title of "Bolter-Saint", and apparently once took off a Ork Warboss' head while hanging upside down from a Thunderhawk in the stratosphere.
    • He does it again during the War for Parthax, vaporising an Ork Warboss with a lascannon.
    • Long after his transfer to the Death Watch, the Crusaders' Captains continue to pursue the 'Rios Standard.' They are not always successful.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • Archmagos Alpharian Domini's response to the idea of designing a Bolt Sniper Rifle:
      Skiitari Guard: "Archmagos, this is Tech-Heresy."
      Archmagos Alpharian: "No, it would be Tech-Heresy - mind the capital letters - if we FABRICATED the design out of THIN AIR! Here, we've creatively reinterpreted another existing fragment to reveal this marvel of a weapon! THERE! NOT TECH-HERESY!"
    • Osiron also gets in on this later, scribing STC printouts that he's supposed to hand over to the Mechanicus.
      "It is Tech-Heresy if you are found defacing an STC Printout! This is ONLY scribing! Nothing wrong with scribing, or the Adeptus Administratum would have been declared Excommunicate Traitoris by now!"
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": The reaction of the players to learning that Magnus the Red has captured Leman Russ and has plans for him.
    • Another one when Magnus springs his trap, which includes 3 Titans and 10,000 Rubric Marines powered up to basically be Primarch-level. And then if that wasn't enough, Force Commander Aramus appears, having pledged his loyalty to Magnus.
    • And then during the War for Baal, when Ka'Bandha shows up on Baal Secundus, and kills two hundred Flesh Tearers and severely wounds Gabriel Seth with two swings, halting their offensive instantly.
  • No Indoor Voice: Techpriest Osirion lacks one when he talks about Rhinos. It turns out he gets this from his mentor, Archmagos Alpharian, who shouts at the drop of a hat.
  • Omake: Many humorous omakes exist, some of which canonically happened, and some of which are in-universe fanfiction written by silly neophytes.
  • Properly Paranoid: The Blood Angels immediately call for reinforcements from all their successor chapters when it looks like they have a cure, expecting that something will try to fuck it up. Dante tiredly sighs when his paranoia turns out to have been justified.
    • Word of God is that Gabriel Seth deliberately limited the Flesh Tearers' operational capacity just to ensure that if/when Baal went to hell, he could show up more or less instantly.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Plenty, throughout the quest:
    • Aurelius, of course, is this for the Crimson Crusaders.
    • The Captains of the Crimson Crusaders likewise do their best to be this, following Aurelius' example.
    • Inquisitor Lord Reynmann, who maintains a sense of humor and good judgement while being zealous for the Emperor.
  • Shout-Out: Several in the quest so far:
    • Lady Sector Yuriel Icarus, whose son Sirius is training to be a Titan Princeps in Legio Evangelios.
    • Mention is made of a Sister Nishizumi and her trick of drifting a Rhino.
    • A member of Logan Grimnar's Wolfguard is named Hjalti Stormcrown, which were names Tiber Septim was known by.
    • First Angel Adam, of the Angels Evangelion is one of the many voices objecting to Aurelius' nomination as Chapter Master. Later on, he is seen wielding the Lance of Longinus in battle.
  • Stealth Expert: Vergilius, who can sneak in, around and out of the entire Fortress-Monastery undetected.
    • The Raven Guard have these as their specialty, of course, including stealth killing entire Chaos fortresses on a fucking Daemon World.
  • Throw It In: Explicitly encouraged by Swordomatic, who accepts good write-in submissions and incorporates them into the quest.
  • Training from Hell: The original five-hundred Crusaders have stories to tell about their leaders' training plans. In particular, Aurelius' response to a Captain's request for additional training was to promptly throw him off the balcony of the Fortress Monastery. Followed by jumping after him to start an immediate brawl. This is fairly normal for him.
  • Troll:
    • Ahzek Ahriman, who leads a joint Space Wolf/Crimson Crusaders/ Blood Ravens task force on a wild goose chase lasting years.
    • Chapter Master Gabriel Seth of the Flesh Tearers, who cheerfully derails Lord Dante's nomination of Aurelius to be the Crimson Crusaders' Chapter Master.
      And then Gabriel Seth opened his mouth. "Yes, you would."
      All eyes fell onto Cervan Dante judgingly, and the Lord Commander glared at the Flesh Tearer.
      "This matter would have concluded by now had you not commented," he said through gritted teeth.
  • Veteran Instructor: Both Aurelius and Vergil served as this when the Crimson Crusaders were being formed.