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The Lord­Captain Munchausen

A toast! A toast to our gracious if impatient host, to whom such great sums are owed!

But I say let us put aside such paltry concerns as scints and markers, so far removed from a
noble's table. With such a feast before us, let us leave such base matters for a later hour. I freely
admit that our host has outdone himself, having set forth cuisine of a rarity only surpassed by that
which I dined upon whilst fêted by the spirit of Saint Drusus himself, returned solely to
congratulate me upon my deeds in the Koronus and the fine way in which I wielded his very own
blade...

...but that is not the tale I promised. Another feast­day, friends, companions, and honest, daring
creditors, upon my word! And a moment of quiet, if you will be so kind, whilst I savour this fine
amasec, so generously provided—as we must, each and every goblet, lest the all­seeing God­
Emperor frown upon us.

Yes, quite long enough. Now let me recount, as best I recall, another of my famed exploits...
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To View the Koronus Warp with Mine close to the forbidden Threnos Zone. Accordingly, I had

Own Eyes my loyal Astropaths—seven brothers, each a single hand


taller than the next, such that the shortest was a mere foot
in height and the tallest loomed over even an
Now, you assembled worthies will recall that during my
Astartes—send myself a missive reminding myself to set
adventure in the Threnos Zone, and for reasons I shall not
off in good time! I yet retain that missive, which I store
bore you with by explaining once again, I drew a
within a platinum dataslate won from the Lord­Sector Hax
monowire of dire xenos manufacture across a round
himself.
dozen star systems and all the trackless voids between,
That wager with the Lord­Sector and the thorny
threading it in and out of the warp such that I could
details of my visit to Port Wander I will leave for a later
personally attach it to each of the Zone forbiddance
time, but it was from that void­station that I set forth upon
beacons. This, I told you all at our last gathering, and in
my next adventure, determined to be the very first to
some detail, and even exhibited one of the small golden
harrow the Koronus Passage whilst ensconced upon the
brackets with which I attached the wire. It was the second
outside of my capable vessel's hull, such that I could say
to last, I remind you, which fell from my hand and drifted
in truth I saw each and every sight of the Passage by my
away into the void such that I was forced to fling myself
very own eyes! Now this I could not have accomplished
headfirst into the Zone to retrieve it.
save for the fact that my Navigator's head remained
What I omitted from that retelling, half in false
swelled to the size of the bridge—and his capacities with
modesty and half under pressure of time—as I was
it. I had a grand, chanting coven of tech­priests set an
summoned that very day to a most high conclave of Lord
enormous void­plate window into the bridge hull such that
Inquisitors to advise them upon certain secretive
my Navigator's warp eye could stare out and see where
matters—was that in my feat of monowire measurement I
we went. Thence, with great dexterity and some two
settled a grand wager made with the late Drusian Prelate
hundred men of the lowest deck brought up and cleansed
Gonchis Mal, who had the bad manners to pass into the
and dressed specifically for that toil, we levered him
Saint's arms the very day prior to my triumphant return!
around so that he sat in what was my command throne.
Some years past I had assayed an estimate of the
I felt no shame in giving up my throne to such a
Threnos Zone's circumference based upon certain data­
capable Navigator! No, for I commissioned a new
psalms, long and arduous, provided to me by the
command throne, a masterwork beyond compare, carved
venerable Archmagos Ralwure the Golden in honest
from iridium by the entire menial population of the Lathes,
recognition of the quickness of my mind—"a kindred soul
each equipped with a single fine wire brush and at his
to the Mechanicus" were his very words. I assayed the
place in a line of labour that wrapped itself about the
estimate, as I said, upon the spur of the moment at a feast
entire world of Hadd many times over, such that each
much as this, and the Prelate was moved by the Saint, or
would advance a step and take his turn with a single
perhaps indigestion, to dispute—but with the monowire
stroke of his brush, and thence return to his former duties.
and my toils, I proved myself exact to the yard. The yard!
This iridium throne, blessed by the lowly of the
Nonetheless, I could not then tarry to enjoy the fruits
Mechanicus, I set upon the uppermost apex of the outer
of a wager won, extracted from the late Prelate's
hull of my fine vessel—and there I sat, a fine jelliq in one
estate—amongst which, I should remark, was the entirety
hand whilst the Passage flew past and voids roiled
of a Drusian Death Cult willingly assigned to harem duty
beyond the gellar fields.
upon the Golden Deck of my fine vessel—but immediately
A toast! A toast to that jelliq that was, and this fine
plunged into the warp to set a record time of passage to
amasec that is all but gone. Let us raise out empty
Port Wander. Indeed, so forthright was our speed that my
glasses to my most patient and gracious of creditors, for
Navigator's head swelled enormously, to such a size that
the cask was his, and bountiful it was!
all but I were squeezed from the bridge! There I was,
"But what of the Lord­Captain Urquath and his void­
pressed into the command throne by the fellow's hugely
journey in the passage?" I hear you say. Hah! He may
swollen, rolling warp­eye, with neither means nor space to
have sat upon the outer hull, but he was within a power
show the good grace to avert my gaze. Thus I became,
shield and power armour—and void suit, full dress, and no
unwillingly and most impolitely, one of the few men to
doubt winter underclothes beneath it all—and quaking
have looked into a Navigator's eye and survived.
besides. No, I surveyed the voids from my iridium throne
The passage, as I said, was so rapid that I arrived a
protected by no more than my exceedingly well­tailored
year and a day before I had even set out from the voids
doublet and my faith in the God­Emperor. The latter is
capacious beyond measure, whilst the former has brought Munchausen is never deterred!
tears to the eyes of master clothiers, and courtiers of the Have you noted my fine silver machine­arm? I would
Lord­Sector Hax to their very knees with envy, blinded by hope that it has not gone unremarked in present
my wondrous brocade. Indeed, it is the case the corridors company. It was fashioned for me upon Holy Terra and
of the Lucid Palace are cleared upon the mere rumour of shipped here with great dispatch, escorted by an entire
my arrival for one high appointment or another, lest the Battlefleet as a reward for defeating the greatest Ork
less resolute functionaries see me in my splendour. It is a incursion ever seen in this Segmentum. In my efforts in
burden, but one necessary for we nobles to bear, no? the Koronus Passage this outstanding work of the
But to return to my tale: I powered through the terrible Mechanicus proved invaluable, for I detached it and set it
warp of the Koronus Passage, my Navigator's third eye to wield the blade of Saint Drusus against the warp­ghosts
bulging out into his new bridge­portal. I sat upon my whilst I retrieved the jelliq. Two can achieve what one
throne, sure in my faith and my impeccable tailoring, finds troublesome, and so my machine arm slew them all
sipping a jelliq from the primordial stock of Quaddis, handily, and just as handily I caught the vintage. Then,
placed into its bottle in the very year of commencement of using this strong silver arm as a lever, and with the liberal
the God­Emperor's Crusade. I had obtained ten such application of a booted foot, I forced the Witch­Cursed
priceless vintages when I charmed the Governor of World from the prow of my vessel. It fell to one side,
Quaddis with a recital of the Lost Song of the Eldar that groaning, and then from the warp back into the passage,
had not been heard in the Calixis Sector for ten centuries, and who is to say where it is now?
and whose rendition was so difficult as to cause a lesser The threat dismissed, I strolled back along the hull of
vocalist to expire upon the spot, his vocal cords so twisted my vessel, seeing the warp­eye of my bloated Navigator
as to strangle himself. rolling in his efforts, and strange vistas unfolding to either
But suddenly, disaster! Tickled upon the left nostril by side of me. And this, I should say, was but a part of my
one of the remaining bridge tech­pulpits, my Navigator grand adventure in the Koronus Expanse, for am I not the
sneezed and his warp eye blinked shut. Hurled from the Lord­Captain Munchausen, finest of us all?
Empyrean, my fine vessel plunged prow­first into the lost
and lorn Witch­Cursed World—before leaping ahead into An Unfortunate Mishap and its
the warp once again, carrying that entire world with it.
"Stop! Cease!" I shouted, but my jelliq had leapt from my
Resolution Within Hive Sibellus
chalice with the shock of impact and even now hurtled
Without further ado, you must allow me tell you of the
down the hull towards the frozen crags of the world
misfortune that I suffered whilst dining with Archmagos
ahead. No Lord­Captain worthy of his command throne
Ralwure the Golden, an unfortunate event that took place
would ever allow such a fine vintage to spill, so I ran along
upon the upper works of the most grand of all floating
the hull as fast as I could, leaping crenellations and
Machine Temples of that mighty hive—the stone­pillared
grappling lances and turrets in a most undignified way.
capital of all the Calixis worlds.
But overtake the jelliq I did, and was holding out my
The banquet was a fantastical affair and the rare
chalice to capture it when what should I see but warp­
company of the Archmagos ever sought after, but it so
ghosts and unholy monsters swarming up upon the hull
happened that I was present at that time because the
from the embedded prow!
esteemed Lord­Sector Hax had requested that I attend in
Faced with this, I had no other recourse but to draw
his place. The scent of machine oils disagrees with his
my power sword, which—as I may have mentioned on
digestion, or so he claimed, and I graciously agreed to be
occasion—is the very blade wielded by Saint Drusus
owed a favour, the details of which to be specified at a
himself, bestowed upon my ancestor by right of his role in
later time, for this substitution.
ensuring victory in the Angevinian Crusade. Without
But in truth it was no inconvenience, and even a
which, I should say, there would not even be a Calixis
pleasure to converse with the uppermost Magi of Sibellus.
Sector, nor this fine feast day! Thus there I found myself,
Whilst engaged in a depth of discourse with the glittering
blessed blade in one hand and chalice in the other, cutting
Ralwure—a conversation in which I proved a theorem
asunder warp­ghosts to the left and the right, to the fore
upon the nature of the Omnissiah that had eluded the
and to the aft, and all the while I was forced to leap most
Mechanicus Calixis for centuries, using no more than a
inconveniently hither and thither as their buffeting spun
folded napkin and my trusty autoquill—my heirloom
and shot the jelliq all about the hull. Most aggravating they
genekey ring managed to work its way loose from my
made my efforts to recapture my vintage, but a
finger. In hindsight, the cause can only have been the Sibellus set to work with a will, bracing every part of their
omnipresent machine oils with which tech­priests lubricate hive against the coming events.
everything, even the cutlery of honoured guests. All this while, and at my urging, thousands upon
Now, it was the case that the banquet spread across thousands of Mechanicus priests and adepts toiled to set
a multi­level suspensor platform, adjoined to the Machine suspensor devices upon the landward rim of the
Temple as it drifted close to the primary spires, and hive—and with their incremental progress, that rim slowly
overhanging the gulfs of Sibellus such that a splendid began to lift, the entirety of Hive Sibellus slanting
view was had in any direction, horizontally and vertically. seawards towards the Lucid Palace. The braces held
My ring bounced once upon the grid­flooring, twice upon a against the incline, showing that any Imperial citizen is
tray of alkaline condiments, a third time upon the head of briefly the equal of a tech­adept, given but the proper
a servitor­de­camp in the lower level of the platform, and motivation! As my grand plan unfolded, I briefly gave
then was gone. By instinct I would have leapt after it, consideration to some mechanism for perhaps shaking
trusting in the God­Emperor to guide my fall—for I have the hive a little, the better to dislodge my ring were it
plunged into worse and come out the better for it—but at stuck, but upon reflection thought that first I should see
that very moment I was struck by a far better and more whether or not the mere act of tilting was sufficient. Care
elegant idea. and diligence are the watchwords by which great
"Archmagos!" I cried, "bring forth all of your suspensor endeavours are successful!
devices!" Such is the high regard in which the Machine Accordingly, and with little delay, I and the Archmagos
Cult holds my good self and the lineage of House Ralwure reconvened our banquet and our conversation
Munchausen that in but a little while Machine Temples above the cliffs of the Lucid Palace and the roiling sea
were grounded, servitors set in racks, and floating below. We were joined by the Lord­Sector Hax himself,
transports placed at rest throughout the entirety of that who had heard the promise of amasec made in his name,
hive of countless billions. So it was that in short order I and together we watched all manner of gewgaws and
ascended to the uppermost peak of the Spire Primus trinkets slide from the hive boundary. Upon the suspensor
where I had tech­priests assemble under my close deck below us, my servants manned the control thrones
direction a set of four great vox­trumpets, each half a of a bank of a hundred auto­telescopes, peering at each
league in length and pointing to the cardinal directions of new arrival as it slipped from the tilted hive. In time the
the hive's expanse. entire expanse of turbulent sea between Palace and hive
Putting my lips to the mouthpiece of each vox­trumpet wall was covered over with lost items and the debris of the
in turn, I broadcast my message to the Imperial citizens of underhive—and my ring balanced upon the very apex of
Sibellus, those vast devices amplifying my voice so the pile.
greatly that the very spire shook, and my words were Then was the mere act of retrieval, hardly worth
carried across a thousand leagues in perfect describing, and the matter of balancing the favour of my
comprehensibility. "Be not alarmed!" I said, "For I, the presence at the Magos' banquet against providing
Lord­Captain Munchausen, must briefly tilt Hive Sibellus amasec to all Sibellus, but these were quickly brought to a
so as to retrieve a vital artefact. Afterwards, upon my satisfactory conclusion. This, then, was how I cleansed
word, I will press upon the Lord­Sector Hax to provide a the hive of its eight thousand years of clutter, bridged the
fine glass of amasec for each and every of you." With sea­gap between hive and Lucid Palace, and recovered
each directional message, a great cheer went up from the my irreplaceable genekey ring. I should also mention that
masses, for every upstanding Imperial citizen well as a consequence of my plan for hive­braces, there
appreciates the virtues of amasec. remain no chairs in Sibellus at any level below the
I left the vox­trumpets in the hands of capable spire—which can only be an astounding opportunity for
servants who could propagate the longer part of my profit in the right hands, and one for which my fellow
instructions to the hivedwellers. For during my ascent of Lords­Captain have only me to thank.
the spire I had drawn up a masterful plan by which each
and every Imperial citizen could assemble the A Most Rapid Procession Through
components of a standard template chair and three
dollops of corpse­starch into a hive­brace just as strong Fenkshive
as those that support the hive structure itself. With my
How perfectly grotesque are your boots, my good man!
exhortation and cheer, and the promise of a glass of
The heads of slaughter­beasts from Burnscour, you say?
amasec apiece, from youngest to oldest, the citizens of
They look the part, I declare—but their grim visage macrocannon of such potency that it could render each
reminds of another of my grand adventures, one that cruiser the equal of an entire fleet of the foe. Such a prize!
culminated upon Fenksworld some years past, in Naturally, soon thereafter I stood at the head of a veritable
circumstances that led to my being the only man alive to horde of devoted tech­priests and Magi Mechanicus, who
visit every level of the primary Fenkshive in a single day. were to a man awed by the Omnissiah's grace that fell
That was the occasion upon which I inadvertently slew the upon one such as myself in the wake of a grand tech­
hideous Scourge of the Underhive, to great if not entirely discovery. Those worthies laboured without cease, and I
deserved acclaim, and from its hide I made a set of boots for my part called out words of encouragement as they
so terrifying to behold that I was forced to cast them into toiled—a role not to be underestimated in the organization
the warp after they drove mad a brace of otherwise of grand endeavors! Seated upon a fine throne and with
reliable dress­servants. There they drift to this day upon chilled amasec close to hand, I watched closely as these
the Empyreal currents, their fearful appearance acting as most fervent of the Adeptus Mechanicus constructed the
a ward that protects the Fenksworld warp­routes from very exemplar of the long­lost template that I had returned
daemons and warp­ghosts alike. to the Imperial light. Cast of gold and iridium it was, set
But how did this come to pass, I hear you ask! A most with gems and strange devices, marked by the Aquila,
peculiar world of hives is Fenksworld: consider that, by and flanked by ornate Machine Shrines the likes of which I
the God­Emperor's grace, the stalwart Imperial hive have seen nowhere else but the most secret vaults of the
commences in its heights in splendour and descends Lathes.
through levels of an ever­growing—and ever more Yes, this macrocannon was a marvel to behold, and it
upsetting—lack of good manners and noble blood. In was to be my gift to the Lords­Admiral—advance payment
comparison, the foul hives of Fenksworld commence in for a grand favour I would ask of them some years hence.
their heights in a state of utter boorishness and then That favour and its outcome is its own tale, but be
descend, through a hundred most distressing decks and assured that I have stood at the head of all of Battlefleet
shafts, into such pits of depravity and penury as would Calixis and seen them do my bidding!
blind an Inquisitor twice over! Previously forgotten words But I should continue by recounting my appearance
of the Emperor's holy tongue of High Gothic have been before the Lords­Admiral upon the greatest Battlefleet
uncovered by Calixian historiographers in order for the orbital of Fenksworld, whilst they dined within the Three
Administratrum to properly classify such squalor—one of League Hall of glass and powerfields, and did their best to
a number of related efforts, I might mention, in which I avoid any notice of the dire emanations of squalor and
was instrumental whilst upon Prol IX to resolve the deviance that rose from the world below like noxious
Centurist­Pyratic war. But that is an entirely different tale, fumes. Being pertinent to the events of that meeting, I
which must be told another time. should mention that at that time I had amidst my crew, the
With the necessity for these labours upon the result of an entirely unfortunate exchange with the Lady
vocabulary of squalor, how can I even begin to describe Matulite, one hundred of the largest and most dim­witted
the depths of Fenkshive to you, who, whilst true, is attired Ogryns ever born upon a world of the Imperium. Each
in fearsomely grim footware, but has not benefited in was muscled like ten Orks, possessed of a furrowed brow
person by the historiographers' toil? Why, the Battlefleet that overshot his jaw, and barely capable of counting
installations of Fenksworld are placed in orbit solely to be beyond one. Fortunately, it was only the one item I wished
far enough removed so as to allow noble courtesy and them to carry between them: the great macrocannon.
fine habits of dress to persist for any length of time at all! Through the largest halls of the Battlefleet orbital we
Nowhere else in the entire Imperium of Man are to be marched, the Ogryns groaning beneath the weight of the
found such zones of overwhelming filth and vast cannon, and the more so because a hundred tech­
rudeness—and I, the Lord­Captain Munchausen, am one priests in robes of red and gold stood upon the cannon's
of the very few to have descended into those depths and platforms and shrines to chant the Omnissiah's praises. I
returned yet capable of lifting a glass of amasec and wore my most ebullient finery: processed gem­threads
leading a resounding toast with a steady hand. and adamantine flax woven by the hands of grateful
I mention Battlefleet Calixis because it was the High Sisters of Battle, gifted long ago to House Munchausen
Lords­Admiral who drew me to Fenksworld, for I for our role in defending the Calixis Sector over and again
had—during a single year in which I completely mapped from scourges that would otherwise have sundered all
the hitherto unknown dangers and stars of the Hazeroth that Saint Drusus and Lord­Militant Angevin had built.
Abyss—uncovered the standard template for a These fine clothes, that are at present hanging within my
wardrobe­shrine, are in and of themselves a subject of amongst the Battlefleet nobility—who of course are given
holy pilgrimage for the Orders Militant—and I have known to look towards my pronouncements with a certain degree
well many a Sister in my years as a result. of respect.
Such a glittering sight we presented that every But to return to the tale: the cannon positioned, I
Battlefleet officer and station­hand fell in behind us, and a vaulted from step to Machine Shrine apex to gilded rung
fine militant drumbeat soon echoed from the vox­speakers to ascend the great cannon to where the three greatest
fore and aft of our passage. Thusly did we arrive before Magi Mechanicus tended the firing altar, surrounded by a
the Lords­Admiral as a vast processional of pomp and halo of skull­drones and servitor cherubs. By means of
grandeur, an event of a scale never before seen upon that gesticulation amidst the noise of cheering masses, I made
or any other Battlefleet orbital. The Three League Hall clear my plan—quite unnecessarily, as those worthies had
was filled to bursting, high decks rubbing shoulders with grasped my intent from the first. The cannon had been
the low decks, every available space occupied and jostled loaded from the moment of our departure from my great­
for—save for that where I and the macrocannon stood, it holds, all blessings and unguents in readiness, and it only
swaying slightly atop the grunting company of Ogryns who awaited my hand upon the most holy of holies, the
had carried it from my great­holds with such vigour. cantilever of firing. This, I grasped and, first turning to
"You rogue, Munchausen, what wonder have you raise my chalice once again to the Lords­Admiral, pulled
brought us now?" growled the Lord­Admiral Brehlef. with great determination.
"A cannon the likes and potency of which you have I confess that the events of the next few moments are
never before seen!" I exclaimed, and there was much somewhat scattered in my mind; the deafening cheers of
applause and stamping of booted feet in the great the Battlefleet thousands were the merest whisper in
audience that had gathered to my processional. My loyal comparison to the cannon's shattering roar, and the entire
man­servant came to me side with a chalice and a bulk of the iridium macrocannon was wrested from the
measure of an elegant jelliq, and with it I raised a toast to Ogryns' hands and flung through the power­field windows
the Lords­Admiral and the Battlefleet. I was cheered then to its rear, in a direction quite opposite to the intended
as no man has been cheered in that hall since, no matter target. As I regained my senses, I found I stood atop the
his provenance! Biolumens cracked, and the power­fields breach of the downward­pointing macrocannon, as both
shuddered such was the outpouring from the massed cannon and I plummeted from orbit towards foul
Battlefleet faithful. My fine brocade was almost disarrayed Fenksworld below. Taking stock, I found I had my chalice
in the uproar! in one hand, and, somewhat strangely, a tugging servo­
I determined there and then that I must demonstrate skull grasped in the other. My gem­thread finery,
the macrocannon, for words are fine enough, but the God­ fortuitously, remained spotless—a testament to the hidden
Emperor rewards action above all else. While I claim to be feminine talents that many a Sister of Battle is quick to
no expert in speaking to the simple­minded, and the disclaim in public. Of the Magi and their followers there
cheering was such that half who stood with me were quite was no sign, and the Battlefleet orbital was but a fading,
deafened, I soon enough had all of the Ogryns shuffling in glimmering line in the void above.
lockstep so as to point the macrocannon they bore Not for the first time, I gave thanks that a strong
between them at one of the power­field windows—and at enough faith in the God­Emperor is enough to inure one
the barren Moon Secondus of Fenksworld appearing as as rugged as I from the chill embrace of the void. But what
an attenuated disc far beyond. Then, with a careful and of my target, the Moon Secondus? Reasoning that,
strategic prodding of each third Ogryn, the assembled whatever was to come, I should at least see the outcome
company and macrocannon stepped forward such that the of the macrocannon's great power, I retrieved my
vast barrel of gilded iridium pierced the power field, ready telepictoscope from its place at my sash. Carefully
to fire. securing the chalice beneath one foot, and stowing the
Here I should mention that I, the Lord­Captain struggling servo­skull beneath one arm—for the Magi
Munchausen, am to the best of my knowledge the sole would not thank me were I careless enough to lose the
and solitary individual in all the Imperium who can claim to sacred device, no matter the extenuating
have aimed and run out a macrocannon entirely by means circumstances—I extended the telepictoscope to its
of Ogryn muscle. I have on numerous occasions extolled greatest length and peered through its optic.
the virtues of this technique, but as of yet it has seen This wondrous device of farseeing, I should convey,
regrettably little use, which is perhaps due to the great remains in my collection to this day. It is most elegantly
rarity of Calixian Ogryns rather than any lack of interest set about with beast­bone and ebony, and was won in a
wager of fencing skill wherein I proved it was possible to the burdens we bear!
utterly disconcert an opponent by using the well­handled Thusly then, I took my position and leaned out,
point of a weapon to repeatedly slide the controlling runes looking every bit the fine and reaching figurehead, as I
of an opponent's power­blade or chainsword. Few are steered the macrocannon to what appeared to me to be
ready to handle the direction of the chain­rotation the least horrid upper portion of Fenkshive. As I neared, at
suddenly reversed by a canny foe! I must add, by means a precipitous rate, I could see the bilious and the
of a further aside, that thanks to my wager and impromptu pompous who pass for the upper crust upon Fenksworld
demonstration of skill the most elite Guard of the Calixis rudely making certain signs and shaking their fists at me
Sector are now trained in these unsporting as they scurried away from my point of impact. "Make
techniques—for use against foul xenos breeds and way!" I cried, and "Move aside, if you would!" so pitching
dissolute followers of the Ruinous Powers only, of course. my voice as to make myself heard and nigh­impossible to
What of the Moon, I hear you ask? No sooner had I ignore even under these circumstances—an archaic
put the telepictoscope to my eye and located the orb of arms­master talent employed for the control of new
the Moon Secondus than I saw it shatter into pieces! Just, recruits whether in storm or calm, taught to me by choleric
you might imagine, as when a careless manservant lets Sebastian Winterscale himself, in the year in which I
fall a delicate white plate to the black marble floor. Despite discovered his pleasure world of bliss and longevity
my unfortunate position at the time, I felt some sequestered within the Koronus Expanse.
considerable pride in being he who brought to the With a deafening crunch my macrocannon punctured
Battlefleet such a powerful device of war as I precariously the hive like the very point of a needle into fruit, into and
stood upon. This, mind you, is why Adminstratum records through a dozen levels in an instant. I firmly kept my
stored upon the Prol archive worlds make innumerable position, holding tight to both cannon and outstretched,
references to the Moon Secondus of Fenksworld, a thing glaring servo­skull, whipping the latter back and forth to
that no longer exists! In the interests of accountability—an avoid its impact upon any of a passage of severed braces,
Imperial noble must take responsibility for his actions—I flying furnishings, and astonished faces. I cried out a
have since resolved to correct each and every one these litany of warnings: "A Munchausen arrives! Be good and
erroneous records, by my own hand and autoquill if move away! Excuse me!" One must always maintain the
necessary, the very next time I am called to Prol. noble state of mind and manners, even whilst shouting
But such consequences were far from my mind at the with the brute, irresistible voice of a Winterscale
time, and perhaps understandably so, all things armsman.
considered. Still, I put away the telepictoscope in order to In a matter of mere moments I passed from top to
ponder my position, walk about the flank of the bottom of the hive, through too many floors and layers to
macrocannon, and enjoy the last of the jelliq; the last I count with any ease—between five hundred and sixteen
would be seeing for a time! In due course, I found I could or five hundred and twenty­six, as it happens, with the
somewhat adjust the angle and arc of the great weapon's accurate count eluding me as I was distracted for an
fall by a judicious combination of where I stood and how instant by the horrid visage of a communal bathing hall for
far outstretched I held the servo­skull—and all the while it the gene­twisted poor somewhere about the three­
stared at me with accusing red eyes, despite my cogent hundred and sixtieth level. Fortuitously, my imperative last
explanations of my actions. moment warnings were heeded almost universally, and
But what to do with this knowledge? While close to a not a soul of any consequence was dragged down with
Machine Shrine upon the macrocannon's upper works, I me into the deep shaft rent through the entire height of the
looked down to see that I would surely strike the filth­ hive.
strewn flanks of delinquent Fenkshive itself. I debated an With a great, soggy tearing of the last and lowest of
altered trajectory terminating in the muddy sumpland and hive bulkheads, I came to rest in a mush­strewn vault of
its ruins—an equally repellent location—as the highest the dank and oily underhive. What a fearsome stench it
clouds whipped by and the winds of the cannon's passage had! Truly, it was second only in its blunt and varied
roared and plucked at my finery, but in the end it seemed noxiousness to the odour of the interior of the mightiest of
best to crash where there was at least the possibility of a all void­krakens, that beast whose maze of stomachs
helping hand nearby, rather than an assurance of being contained a hulked fleet, and which I assayed and
left entirely to my own devices. Such carefully weighed escaped whilst exploring the Koronus Expanse. I released
deliberations we nobles must so constantly make—the the servo­skull to its own devices and steeled myself to
common Imperial citizen has not the slightest inclination of step down from the canted macrocannon and into the
underhive mulch, so as to inspect the no doubt lengthy toll acclaim—but from quarters it is best not to acknowledge
of scratches made upon the priceless gold and iridium in public. Indeed, there was a period thereafter in which I
standard template workmanship. But even as I strived to found myself propelled at the head of a vast host of the
ignore the five­hundred and something levels of craning noxious, joyous poor, which processed upward throughout
necks and muttered phrases—few complimentary—from the entirety of Fenkshive, causing an inversion of the
the shaft above me, I saw a great tide of underhivers hive's ordering as the noble and the wealthy fled to the
approach. I am not ashamed to say that even I, a emptied depths to avoid this grand ball of the
Munchausen, was momentarily taken back by their sheer impoverished, the mutant, and hideous of aspect.
filth and disarray, scarcely the right number of eyes in any Regardless, it is of course the truth that every Imperial
single face, and nor a clean and un­sored patch of skin to noble worthy of his House must, by all that is natural and
be seen, and each half­clad in tatters that a beggar would ordained by the God­Emperor, have the loyalty of the
thrust from him in disgust as patently unfit for clothing. underclasses. Yet no man prospers by claiming such: it
"My good fellows..." I began, intending, despite their must simply be assumed, and the deeds by which it is
appearance, to rally them to a noble's aid and perhaps maintained spoken of as an aside, much as this one, if at
arrange some sort of noisome labour force whereby the all.
macrocannon might be hoisted from its current resting Thus I claimed the remains of the Scourge, as it
place. The crowd, however, which continued to grow by seemed that no other party wanted anything to do with
the moment, interrupted me with a resounding cheer of them, and upon the advice of my all­too­cunning
the sort never before heard in those crushed and odorous seneschal decided to treat the whole matter as though it
depths. There was strange dancing and worn, twisted was an impromptu hunting expedition. Given that, there
faces screwed up with the attempt to show happiness, an was only the one thing to do with the unflattened portions
emotion so very unfamiliar to the common underhiver that of the beast­thing, and I thus commissioned a pair of
they scarce knew how the face should be set—grotesque boots from its hide to commemorate the event—the very
indeed were their efforts! boots that now float within the Fenskworld warp­routes!
I was surrounded and hoisted up atop the shoulders
of the crowd, my polite protestations disregarded, for it
In Which I Save Port Wander From the
seemed that it was upon me that their unaccustomed joy
was focused. It was an experience somewhat akin to Vile Archenemy
being transported atop a tide of effluent and alchemical
wastes, as it was my great misfortune to experience upon The daemonic and the corrupt are ever a threat to our
Malfi, but this time without the aid of a Malfian noble's noble Imperial class, but I believe that this is because so
traditional starched jacket to serve as a raft, and with many of those who claim to titles and lineages have
many more supporting, grasping hands, eager to shake forgotten the essential virtues—or at least do not practice
mine or pat me upon my back. It was with no small them to the degree expected of House Munchausen. To
difficulty that I learned of the cause of their rejoicing, for illustrate this point, you must permit me tell you of how I
they themselves were so transported as to be almost found the means to save Port Wander from impending
beyond sensible conversation, and indeed, their atrocious destruction at the hands of countless warp­twisted
poverty accents were in any case nigh incomprehensible. reavers, daemons, and mutants.
But I persevered, whilst carried atop this celebratory In truth, near all who were present in the mighty void­
and filthy mob, and found myself in due course set down station at the time can do naught but claim that a dire and
to stand in bubbling mush at the base of my dreadful fear gripped them, to the exclusion of any faith
macrocannon, where there was protruding from beneath it and rational thought—for a ravening daemon­fleet had
a most terrible set of limbs. This was the Scourge of the emerged from the uncharted voids beyond Calixis, packed
Underhive, and its terrible nature, fortunately largely to the gills with the vile and the warp­twisted, and in their
hidden by a wall of iridium engraved with machine­ wake a rumbling warp­storm tossed vessels before it like
prayers, was well illustrated by the fact that even the mere leaves. Fear piled upon fear as these monstrous vessels
limbs were hard to gaze upon whilst keeping a sound and their horrid cargoes bore down upon Port
mind. Through sheer happenstance, I had fallen upon the Wander—but despite the gravity of the situation I was not
maleficent horror and so liberated these wretched poor concerned. Any true Imperial noble must stand tall in his
from its foul presence! unshakeable faith, the better to raise up all around to the
For this I received uproarious and seemingly endless defence of the Imperium. House Munchausen has faced
the wretched and the warp­lost come to destroy, and have spent many a year hunting down the most rare
worse besides, and my trusted companions and I have amasec, the most heralded jelliq, and far more
seen each battle through to victory! besides—even the fabled Sapphire Brew of Reth, wherein
Why, to pick a single example amongst the many, I gems from twenty worlds are poured into an archaeotech
could recount the more significant events of my season device that renders all matter into a liquor most fine. Ah,
upon Kulth some years past, where I was forced to use a the bribe I had to render to its isolated Machine Cult
brace of bludgeoned and temporarily dazed Orks, each guardians for the right to even gaze upon that wonder! But
set about with primed Earthshaker shells, as weapons I digress.
with which to beat my way through an uncouth green "We must break for amasec!" I declared to the
warhost—and this because the last Munitorium fleet had Chapter Master, and half turned to grasp the decanter.
delivered shells for the artillery rather than lasgun packs Whereupon that blackguard struck me upon the chin with
for the rank and file. Those munitions and the Orks were his power fist so hard that—with barely the time to also
all the resources that the Imperial Guard had to work with. grasp a chalice—I was propelled through three massive
But did I let defeat fall upon those valiant yet battered bulkheads and out into the void! Such a blow it was that I
regiments? Did they despair? Never! For am I not indeed found myself speeding away from Port Wander at a great
the Lord­Captain Munchausen? Where there is a will pace indeed, and as luck would have it right into the path
there is a way, and the God­Emperor Himself protects of the approaching daemon­fleet.
those who strive. "This is a fine turn of events," I thought to myself. But,
It happened, and was crucial to events as it came to as I was taught from the earliest age, a Munchausen
pass, that striding Port Wander's docking vaults at that invariably makes opportunity of adversity; I had after all a
time was none other than the Chapter Master of the decanter of fine amasec, a chalice, my faith in the God­
Imperial Fists, drawn to the Calixis Sector by nothing Emperor to protect me from the void's embrace, and I was
more than my reputation. His powered armour was well upon my way to assault the Archenemy's wastrels
second to none, a legend amongst chroniclers of before they were readied. I poured a measure and sipped
wargear—and I reasoned that settled within it, its repute whilst I watched the warp­tainted vessels grow larger.
matched to mine own, I would find little difficulty in rousing Such was the speed of my approach, propelled by the
Port Wander, from least to greatest, to rise from their fears Chapter Master's misplaced ire, that it took but a short
in a zealous and rightful defence, one that would send the while before I needed to make ready to strike. Adjusting
warp­raiders reeling back to dissolution to the Empyreal my course by means of plucking silver buttons from my
currents that spawned them. But Astartes are a fine brocade and flinging them into the void, I prepared to
fearsomely proud lot, and the Chapter Master, for all his land upon the headmost daemon­vessel.
great respect for my deeds, would have naught of my I have to say that the reavers' barge that was my
plan. target presented a horrific sight indeed, lit by warp­light,
This, then, was how I found myself duelling with the possessed of a great and living face in place of a prow,
Chapter Master of the Imperial Fists whilst a reaver fleet and that face of a repulsiveness I have seen matched only
drew near upon the edges of a warp­storm. He with a in the blighted populace of certain underhives. Feet first I
great power fist, the size of a lesser man, and I with the dived towards it at a terrible pace, and with the very last of
power sword of Beati Drusus thoughtfully left inactivated my buttons—or at least the very last I could afford to lose
such that I would not harm this great Astartes in the heat without embarrassment—I ensured that I would strike at
of the moment. "Yield me the armour!" I cried, and the very centre of its left eye. I swallowed the last of the
"Never!" he shouted. Back and forth we sallied across the amasec with barely a moment to spare and prepared
Port Wander docks, through the munitorium and its myself for the worst, as with a ugly sound I landed upon
racked void­weapons, along the great pillared corridors to the open eye and its membrane bent inwards almost to
the warehouse levels, and then back again to whence we rupturing. For one moment I thought all might be lost, and
started—each step accompanied by a clashing of through some instinct to good manners that lies deep
cerasteel and crackling of fields. within all of the most of worthy of Imperial nobility,
It was then that my manservant arrived, prompt as scarcely thinking of what I did, I cried out "I am most
ever, with a glass of fine amasec from the vaults within my terribly sorry!" Then with a terrible roar and a great flexing
vessel, as this is always my custom in the later hours of that membrane reversed and flung me outwards once
the mid­watch. My intoxicant vaults, I might add, are more, back towards Port Wander.
unparalleled in the Calixis Sector for their variety, for I To my rear, then, I saw the great face wrenched into a
grimace of pain, and the daemon fleet behind it in disarray every storm of bolter fire—and only then unleash these
as that lead vessel thrust aimlessly, unable to assuage the warriors upon the daemonic foe, whom, it would seem,
injury to its eye—or so I thought, in any case. So I had could little stand against these united Imperial virtues. But
bought time! It was then that I noticed a sally of boarding the God­Emperor smiled upon me, for as luck would have
vessels had set forth from the Port's closest docks, of a it I found myself within the Chapter Master's very own
characteristic size and pattern—it could only be the boarding craft, the interior an armoury shrine of elegant
Chapter Master and his honour­guard of Astartes placement, replete with aide­servitors in their niches. The
champions, grinding their teeth at having been made Chapter Master himself glowered at me between ranked
second to the fray, but wasting little time for it. and readied Astartes, their armoured forms filling the
Emboldened, I called "You must excuse me!" across thick­walled vessel so close to capacity as to barely leave
the void towards the foe whose eye I had near­ room for me to stand unjostled by ceramite plate and
punctured—whereupon it roared in pain once more, and readied weapon.
half­rolled, further disconcerting the following vessels. Undaunted, I plunged in—for that is the one and only
With a flash of insight, I suddenly realized that it was not way to gain the ear of an Astartes upon the verge of
my impact that so pained the Archenemy, but rather my battle. "The House of Munchausen claims the first strike
noble courtesy, that foundation of all that is good in the upon the body of the foe," I declared forthrightly, "and by
Imperium. It is the God­Emperor's grace committed to the your own Codex, I thereby further claim the right of
spoken word, as taught to every scion of every House! No warmaster for this battle! You have come all this way to
wonder the daemon­vessel was so importuned! Further, the Calixian voids on the strength of my reputation, and I
even then speeding towards me were the very seek not to disappoint!"
representatives of the God­Emperor Himself—if my The Imperial Fists could scarce argue against my
courtesy had such an effect, what then could an Astartes logic or their very own Codex, even without the
achieve by the same means? consideration that it was the Chapter Master himself who
I should say that at that point the only resource launched me to deliver the first blow! As the boarding
remaining with which to adjust my hurtling passage vessel and its brethren sped towards the disconcerted
through the void was the emptied chalice, frozen droplets daemon­fleet, I quickly explained my plan, and by degrees
of amasec clinging to its brim. It was a fine piece from my won over the Astartes—the surly Chapter Master last of
collection, as I recall, and I was loathe indeed to lose all, and only after I relinquished any claim upon his
it—but needs must! Carefully assessing the course and wondrous powered armour. This change of heart was
flaring engines of the nearest and largest of the Astartes rapid, I assure you, for I am the very paragon of oratory,
boarding vessels, I flung the chalice from me at the last but left all too little time for drill and practice. These are
possible instant, so as to impel myself into as gentle a the fundaments of battle, and so after the rending,
collision as possible under the trying circumstances. screeching impact of the boarding vessel as it pierced the
Have I mentioned the occasion upon which I was foe's hull, it was with some trepidation that I followed the
forced to swim in thin air the full length of a grand cruiser's Imperial Fists as they stormed outward and into the
central vaultway, from prow to stern, as the gravity­ interior of the daemonic void­ship.
inducing deck­plating was torn away by the scaled tongue But I should have known better than to give in to even
of a ravenous void­kraken? It was most undignified, and lesser shades of doubt! The God­Emperor protects, and I
not to mention dangerous, but that experience of moving was soon enough only awed to follow in the wake of those
without weight served me well in the voids of Port mighty warriors as they shouted heartfelt apologies to
Wander—for I so accurately judged time and motion that I cowering reavers and mutants, and caused pillared
touched upon the boarding vessel scarcely any less lightly daemon­flesh and warp­monstrosities to explode into
than a fallen parchment. Within moments a brace of ichor by simply excusing their forceful, armoured passage!
scowling Imperial Fists, with all the brute lack of manners I Few other than I can in truth claim to have witnessed such
had so recently learned to associate with their chapter, an overwhelming defeat of the foes of Mankind—and
dragged me inward through the fore seal­gate. never before had so few Astartes caused such damage to
You see the essence of the challenge that I faced! To the Archenemy in so short a time. In their hands the
win the day, I would have to transform these most Imperial virtue of thoughtful courtesy was made a weapon
churlsome examples of the God­Emperor's legions into so potent as to tear apart the daemonic and the corrupt
exemplars of courtesy, begging a pardon with each sweep alike almost before they could raise an arm or a tendril in
of the chainsword and requesting an indulgence with defence.
Why, in but a short time there was little left of the
daemon­fleet but hulks and tatters, each hunk of
wreckage roamed by the Chapter Master's
champions—and each armoured warrior seeking just one
more of the foe to receive the God­Emperor's polite
apologies.
So it was that Port Wander was engulfed by
uproarious celebration, which ultimately lasted for some
weeks, only ending when every last intoxicant within the
void­stations' storage halls had been consumed in the
course of noble balls and low­deck mob revels. Following
such a resounding victory all earlier misunderstandings
amongst the victors are of course forgiven, and it was the
case that, upon our return to the void­station, the Chapter
Master and I toasted one another in mutual respect with
antiquarian jelliq from my renowned intoxicant vaults. I, of
course, and as might have already reached your ears,
became the only non­Astartes in all the history of the
Imperium to be entered into the iron­bound chronicles of
the Imperial Fists with the title of warmaster. I understand
that a grand adamantine statue will in due course of time
be erected within the Chapter holdings upon Holy
Terra—but I confess to think such a reward somewhat
overwrought. Still, who am I to teach the Imperial Fists
upon architecture and its use? Of courtesy, now, that was
a different matter, and with the God­Emperor's grace I
rose to meet that challenge! For am I not the Lord­Captain
Munchausen, of the greatest House this sector has ever
known?
Let us raise a final glass for the evening, my friends.

To the God­Emperor! To faith! And to continued adventures!

Now, as to the matter of our gracious host, that eternally patient creditor to whom such great
sums are owed...

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