Warhammer 40,000: Apocrypha Files
Why yes, I do have a bigger gun, but it'd be funner to kill it with the pointy end of my sword.
Everyone knows the rivalry of Captain Mortem and Cladus Cloudbane. Few know the truth though.
The rivalry between the men started long ago. If either were asked, each would cite a number of historical events. With some truth any of the events give a snapshot of the rivalry. Through its nature and shape is hard to tell. Men like these leave little record except insurance claims, ledger marks and a rather high body count. There are of course three events that get mentioned, which would overlap with each other.
The first event is a Marble game where the one was victorious and the other was not. Given Marble games were at their height during the men’s youth its likely there were many games between them. Neither really can recount, which of them was victorious first, or even if they are hundred percent sure which of them is to blame for the rivalry starting, it just did. A petty and underwhelming start to the rivalry bards and skald alike sing about.
The second event is an officer commission for one of the larger ships. Both men tried in vain to attempt the impossible and receive commission for the same ship. As journeymen, they were tasked with the back breaking operations of daily ship work to prove their metal and see if the sailors would respect these uppity young men. Something of an easy practice as both men once managed rival teams of young children against one another only years earlier.
Both men excelled under both fire and in the thickest part of the melee. Never losing their metal and raising far above expected duty. However, neither was given the commission, it was given to an royal scion who had never seen fires of battle to whom the commission went. Both agreed to become something else. One claimed fame with trade and the other running cargo between worlds known to riddled with pirates and xenos and somehow both ended up as Pirates later.
The Third event was some time after they had become pirates, with the Courtship of Sweet Genevieve. A lady of some renown and scion to a liege in a natural trade port. Genevieve had many suitors; she was both a noble and a beautiful lady. The Ballet, White Rose of High peak is a fictional, and a heavily abridge, account of the two men’s clash for this beau’s heart.
In the song the two men were dueling to the death when the lady came before them to stop them and each vowed to win her hand. With each showering her with gifts; rare flowers, trinkets from rare lands, presenting her with exotic animals and pleading ever more convoluted thing in an attempt to when her heart. Eventually the two men had enough of the game and would end it once and for all. A final duel which, depending on the artist ends in a variety of ways. The noble way of one overcomes the other, or the ones guile outshines the other, one cheats still lose, or wins. Sometimes times they wound each other and both die, sometimes the lady stops them and other times they kill her. And sometimes she marries the winner, loser or one of the minor characters instead. The song is popular and long always a good hit with a hard working crowd wanting to be swept away with tales of romance and by larger than life pirates.
In reality, both courted Genevieve for months before they knew the other was. In that time both had become fond of the noblewoman who proved to be more than a pretty noble. They met and learned of their shared fate at a ball hosted by the lady’s father. Like all their meetings insults and grievances were traded and final. Genevieve stopped them before the meeting could become a challenge could be issued, telling them she would never forgive the other. They agreed that they wouldn’t spill each other’s blood, for now instead a new game would start between them. Indeed a game of gifts and skill to prove that they could beat the other.
And indeed animals, plants, artifacts and trinkets were collected, stolen or sought in an ever increasing game to prove on better than the other; the statue of an old forgotten goddess of fortune, paintings from the most famous painters, rare mountain ice crystal flowers, strange vintages of wine, animals from every corner of the galaxy, “magical” or not.
Accounts of the gift being presented also begin to mention something else, the increase appearance of hats of increasing grandeur and size, some of which were estimated to be worth the weight in gold of the ships, fully socked and equipped, that carry them.
Neither fought duels, with each other at least, however, they were each other seconds on numerous duels with other suitors.