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Dark Scribe of the 38th Company, Iron Warriors Legion, come to bring the glory of Chaos to the realm of Pony.



This story is a sequel to Iron Hearts: Book 2 - Ferrous Dominus

An MLP/Warhammer 40K crossover, part 3.

The formal negotiations between Equestria and the Iron Warriors have failed. Yet peace and even cooperation between the harmonious ponies and the corrupted militants blooms in the dark corners of Canterlot and the open streets of Ferrous Dominus. The Elements of Harmony are safe, trade flourishes, and cautious meetings grow into lasting friendships as an unsteady calm descends upon both forces.
Even the Tau threat seems to have mysteriously vanished as the Iron Warriors refuse to assault their hideouts and risk springing the traps of the Fire Caste.
But the Tau have not vanished. The Lamman Sept of the Tau Empire, the Fire Caste's hidden dagger, have come to grips with the slumbering giant looming over their doorstep and have moved forward into the final phases of their plan. Fleets ply the void, hunters stalk the orchards, and in the depths of the badlands a strange device is rapidly assembled for purposes unknown.
The Tau alone know that time is running out, and more than just the fate of Centaur III hangs in the balance.


(Dark humor warning; minor grimdark)
(Cover art by Ahrimatt)
(This series now has its own TVtropes page!)
(This series is a contestant in the Tournament of Canterlot, a charity event to raise money for Syrian refugees! Go here for details and donations!)

Chapters (12)
Comments ( 459 )

This is hands down the best consistently updated 40k fiction I've read so far.

Crabapple, noooo!


As a Tau player I am really hoping that the Water Caste gets invited or just travles to Canterlot so they can relize who the REAL enemy is :pinkiehappy:

Yes, of course. And then the Eldar will finally be made to pay for their crimes against the galaxy!

Why yes. Yes they did.

And no. No he won't. Curiously, legislation passed soon after the breakdown of diplomatic relations between the 38th Company and Equestria specifically bans Tellis from adopting or legally claiming guardianship of any Equestrian citizen. Quite puzzling, really.

*Half a dozen psyker natives, ten Astartes, and a titan.*

*How did those Gue'la fit a titan inside a barn? It must have taken some sort of tactical genius to do that!*

I actually like the turn of events! Its chaotic like the Dark Gods themselves!

The Chaos Gods approved of this series of fanfictions!

Another fantastic chapter! Another example of something I really like about your stories over some of the others I've seen:

The violence affects the ponies very little.

A lot of these kinds of stories have ponies being brutally murdered left and right, but you keep it between the humans and the Tau, with very little injury towards ponies. It took 2.3 books for Mac to need a new set of limbs, which meant the impact of it was all the more powerful, but still not crossing the line of being upsetting. I like that the ponies are divorced from the violence, mostly. It's a nice change and what stories like this should be.

As always, the comedy is absolutely gold, and I was laughing constantly through half of it, even the battle at the farmstead!

Keep up the amazing work. :)

4241822 I saw what you did there.

I SAW. :trollestia:

I love that this series is back! I'm not sure how I missed out on the first two chapters when they were released, but I'm caught up now and in stitches from laughing so much. That 'Mac Vader' reveal at the end of this chapter was gold.

Ponies being murdered? But that's so sad! D:

Being (mostly) serious though, the main theme of the story is the confusing and ridiculous contrast between the Iron Warriors' bloody and heartless nature and the silly innocence of Equestria, and the slow corruption of each one by the other. It would be more "realistic" for the ponies to be quickly broken by the outbreak of intergalactic war in their backyard, but where's the fun in that?
That said, the violence will affect them more and more, but I don't see any need for pony massacres to bury everything in bloody truckloads of grit.


I think it's just pony death in general. Harm, to a degree, like with Big Mac, is a good level. Death and gore for the ponies? Much too much...

Shokk gun? That's Ork tek, not human tech.
Not to mention that it would be extremely anticlimactic if the mysterious alien artifact turned out just to be a prototype of a heavy weapon developed by a considerably less advanced race.

Someone needs to tell the Tau that they need more than just technology to find their way through the Warp; they need psychically-attuned minds, and the Tau race has no psykers at all. So I dunno what the hell they plan to get out... of...


...a race with a population consisting of 1/3 psykers.

Son of a bitch. Kill those Tau.

Advanced. As in, "so advanced we don't need personal reality-bending fields to make our stuff work."

Dakka levels are considerable.
Not strictly relevant to the matter of whether one species is more "advanced" than another, but considerable.

4248409 hey didn't they cmc end up with a quad cannon on top of their clubhouse

Cutie Mark Crusaders Bunker Defenders YAAAAAAAAAAY!! :scootangel:

Yeah, Mac disabled the power conduits to that thing as soon as he read how in the technical manual. No way is he leaving a heavy gun within functional range of the fillies.
That aside, no one was able to get to the club house before the Tau arrived anyway, so it wouldn't have mattered.

4250917 still would of been pretty funny

*are those CHILDREN manning that auto cannon?*

some more conversation then suddenly

It would have been great, but the narrative challenges are daunting.
Among them, I really don't know how anybody could take the Tau seriously as a threat anymore if even the CMC were slaughtering them.

Well, they have the Nicassar...

I almost expected them to pull a Star Wars scene with Nairen's communicator, trying to tell Jerriha everything's fine etc. etc.



Comment posted by lethem010 deleted Apr 26th, 2014

I really want to see the Mane 6 talking with the Water Caste or atleast get an explonation from the Tau's point of veiw. But anyway, good story, keep it up!

There's a good reason this hasn't happened, actually.
The water caste WILL eventually get a shot at tiding this over, but "their point of view" isn't especially sympathetic from an Equestrian's point of view.
Obviously I can't say much more than that...

The Orks and Necrons both get passing mentions in the same chapter? Coincidence or Chaos plot?

Big Mac getting Necrodermis implants seems like the sort of thing that won't end well, but will probably be hilarious in the mean time. Gaela's babysitting methods leave something to be desired, but she's probably the first person (human or pony) to prevent the CMC from getting into trouble on her watch, although that could very easily change.

Eh, living metal is perfectly stable. Especially by the standards of Chaos equipment.
After all, Solon hasn't started implanting daemons into ponies! Yet.

I find arguments about moral legitimacy in Warhammer 40K quaint and useless. It's a lore setting where genocide is committed with considerably less drama and philosophical reckoning than taking out a small loan, and an entire planetary population can be exterminated due to a bureaucratic error.
As they say: "There is no such thing as innocence. Only degrees of guilt."
I rather like the Tau's moxie for sticking to unification idealism, but who's right and who's wrong is perfectly irrelevant. What matters is whether your side is still standing when the shooting stops.

Well, that's good to hear. I'd hate to see Big Mac become the first Pony Pariah.

As for Daemon hosts, how's Spike doing? I'd love to see a bit more about his plight.

I like this fic, but I'm starting to see these Tau as somewhat incompetent, especially when around the apple families farm, first they get snuck up on by Big Mac, then an entire squad is beaten by two robots, one of which can't even fight.

This largely irrational overt hatred of the Tau from Applejack is becoming more and more disconcerting and aggravating as I read more of this, in fact the way you handle the Tau in general I feel is the only real problem with this story. I get that through circumstance the mane six align themselves more closely with the Chaos, and that's pretty funny, but they are reacting way to hostile towards the Tau and its getting increasingly aggravating as we go along.

I used big words, that makes me smart :pinkiehappy:

The incompetence of the Tau has become more annoying as we go, it is very close to reaching my breaking point for my tolerance of their stupidity and incompetence, and the same goes for the ponies willingness to slaughter them on sight.

Hmmm... I get that it's hard to enjoy the story if you're especially sympathetic to Tau; their point of view has not been explored very much because I've deliberately obscured it for plot reasons. And of course they have to keep messing up on the battlefield because if they properly dominated the pones in combat then we'd have lots of dead and/or severely injured ponies and I don't want to do that.
But as for the ponies willingly killing them: come on, they're in a war with them (if by proxy) and the Tau have invaded their territory. I think it's fair that the Apple family at least feels plenty of vindictive rage toward the grays.
Regardless, if you find the portrayal of the Tau so far to be annoying, then there's nothing much I can tell you except that it won't really get better.

IV Legion is best Legion.

Carry on.

Of course, my lord! Iron within! Iron without!


on another note CMC Chaos Lords? not sure if want..
because the cmc were already considered natural disasters

anyone willing to give them ultimate power should be given the death sentence

then again ALL HAIL THE CMC

Ah good old Serith, faux affably evil and badass. :pinkiehappy:

Crabapple being reborn.... GO CRABAPPLE!


I'm normally no fan of chaos, but the way you write these guys; you make chaos funny!

Credit where credit is due: Kharne made Chaos funny. I am merely a student following in his footsteps.

I'm half expecting the CMC to come out of those chambers completely normal because Chaos rejected them for being annoying.

Awesome chapter, as always.

Still loving this, but I really want Chryssi to show up at some point.

I'm still considering it, actually.
The problem is that it would make for a great one-off joke, but then it would basically leave the CMC markless and I'd have no real use for them in the rest of the story. They'd still be uncorrupted, though, and it's not like I don't have enough characters mucking things up already.
On the other hand, I would have a lot of fun with corrupted CMCs. And that's kind of the whole point of all of this.

The problem with leaving the CMC Chaos-corrupted would leave them with a Bad End, and as annoying as the CMC are, I'd really rather not see their souls sentenced to eternal torment. On the other hand, if they could be corrupted for a while and then saved from it, that'd be fine.

Huh, so it appears my criticism has been met with more than just annoyance, good to know :pinkiehappy:

Tau did seem more competent here, with the exception of that ending with applejack and Jerriha, but its good to see that being addressed as frankly, that's my only major problem with this story.

Or you may perhaps be messing with me, I'm not very good at reading those kind of signs

4360376 Is it even possible to recover from Chaos corruption? Although, Luna did recover from the whole Nightmare Moon thing... maybe the Elements of Harmony could cleanse them, since they seem to be pretty much inimical to chaotic forces like that? Might be something to see.

We don't really know. As far as I'm aware, nobody's ever tried to cure Chaos corruption by any means other than bullets.
Which means I get to decide! :rainbowwild:

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