Sunday, May 14, 2017

A vision of the future...


Corticant: Aftermath

***

The invasion of Corticant: Chaos and Xenos

***

The invasion of Corticant: The alliance and the eldar

The alliance invasion of Corticant was comparatively unprepared and ill-equipped. The Tau and Federacy had no idea of the real importance of the device on Corticant and were oblivious to the multitude of forces now arrayed against the small world. It is likely that had they known such an invasion would not have been attempted at all.

The alliance force consisted of a small number of Cadres of Shadowstrike and Skyfall, with some support from Federal Hartak units (squats) and Alliance mechanicus from Vornax. This force prepared a landing zone in the north of the planet, with the intention of taking Fort Bastion and the planet's main communication hub, before mopping up resistance later.


Upon landing, the alliance forces were shocked to discover the world had also been invaded by the crusade, and the loyalists were already battling multiple Xenos. Unable to merely withdraw, the Mechanicum forces tried to hold off the Minotaurs, which they barely managed - Shadowstrike threatening the Crusade landing zone in order to take the pressure of the Ad Mech, who were losing badly. This worked, but the battered Mechanicum forces would play no part in the assault on Fort Bastion.


"Shadowstrike" (or most likely one of his disciples) then led the attack on the imperial capital, and the Federacy committed their own forces with the Squats of Hartak fighting as auxiliaries, teleporting into the Imperium's back lines to destroy their artillery effectively dirupting their communications. Despite the Imperium diverting all available forces to stop them they weathered the storm and captured the central refinery complex. This was key to the fort. Without power the forces of the imperium were doomed, but they did not surrender.


Gradually the Praetorian Guard were surrounded in the complex of Fort Bastion, bombarded by the Tau for hours, before finally trying to break out of the cordon and immediately being cut down. They did inflict significant losses on the Tau forces however, especially to their exposed infantry, but their armour and crisis suits were eventually able to push in, with Shadowstrike and his bodyguard personally forcing their way into the complex, destroying multiple armoured units before engaging the Guard in close quaters combat. They eventually relieved the beleaguered Squats who blunty swore they were in no need of rescue and had everything under control already thanks very much.


With Fort Bastion secure Skyfall's units made landfall and began moving the tau perimeter westwards, meeting little resistance, but by now the alliance did not know what to do. They had the capital but war had erupted all across the inhabited hemisphere of the planet. While they decided their next move, Skyfall's forces were attacked at Violetwind, forcing the tau to withdraw entirely to the Fort. Now, as the loyalist forces followed up, it was the alliance who were besieged at Fort Bastion.

The invasion of Corticant: The crusade

Vorushko's plan for the invasion of Corticant was not without risk. She lacked the forces to take the entire planet and hold it against the loyalists, let alone the forces she now knew were en route to the planet to make their own bid to control. She knew the necron device under the surface of the world was the key to imense power, and her Mechanicus colleagues needed to hold the world long enough to understand its secrets. With this in mind her small force of Minotaurs, Angels Repentant and a regiment of Death Korps made their way unnoticed into orbit around Corticant, aided by arcane technologies awarded to the Lord of Light by the Mechanicus and prepared to assault the loyalist world.

The attack was simple. Land in force on the shores of Lake Hartford, cut imperial forces in two and take the capital. With the loyalist forces split and in disarray her forces would then move on the excavation site, her real target. However, as soon as her forces landed they made contact with the alliance landing force, and heretic Mechanicus forces moved to intercept the Minotaurs' first drop. The astartes, full of anger and hate, furiously assaulted the traitorous Ad Mech, but in their fury they managed to lose sight of the objectives, and despite doing overwhelming damage, were forced to withdraw lest the Death Korps landing site be overrun.


The plan fell apart shortly after, as the Death Korps, far from tying the Lycannon down, were instead massacred on the shores of Lake Hartford. Now Vorushko only had her Astartes forces left. The Minotaurs made a successful drop on 1005.017M42, defeating the Lycannon at Bymarsh and taking the settlement, and the Angels Repentant took Shadowshore, crushing the remnants of the tyranid infestation sent fleeing from the Ultramarines. However, the main prize, the excavation site, was now defended by the Librian Guard. Vorushko would not be able to assault their positions without risking a counter from the north, and there was no way of holding the site long enough to perform the much needed analysis, as the site was remote and she would need to hold both the settlement of Bymarsh as well as the archeological objective. Without the Death Korps, this would be impossible. Despite holding both sides of Lake Hartford, Vorushko's forces could go no further.

The invasion of Corticant: Loyalists

The loyalists defending Corticant soon found themselves beset by enemies. General Greaves, appointed by Veers to oversee command of imperial forces on Corticant had significant forces at his disposal, and he had prepared well. The Lycannon guard were deployed largely in the west, which proved fortunate when the Death Korps of Krieg, loyal to Inquisitor Vorushko, landed in force near Lochford. In a large and bloody set piece battle the soldiers of Krieg were decimated by the Lycannon, and their assault on Blackhollow failed. However, just hours later the Minotaurs led their own assault on the imperial guard, smashing the Lycannon at Bymarsh and quickly fortifying their position. The Lycannon Guard now found themselves cut off in the north west from Greaves at Fort Bastion.

The excavation site itself was defended by the Librian 12th Armoured division, which was considered to be loyal by the commissariat, loyal enough to defend the archealogical dig at least, where Greaves, unaware of its importance, did not suspect any hostile intervention. He was wrong of course, the excavations were the primary reason for Corticant becoming the target of invasion, but the senior ranking official responsible for the defence of the planet was not deemed important enough to know what had been found there. Even so, his deployment of a full division of Librians (mostly to get them out of the way) was fortunate. On 0606.017M42 an enormous host of daemons punched through into realspace, led by a daemon prince proclaiming to be the head of a cult known as the "Emerald Serpent". What that meant know one knew, but the Librians fought valiantly anyway, their big guns and multilasers ppouring fire into the daemons and their vehicles for once proving reliable and sturdy. The attack was over in just a few hours, with the remaining daemons banished back to the warp.


Still, a daemon incursion was a concern, but no sooner had Greaves received news of this than reports came in of tyranid activity in the north west. The nascent threat of Nemesis had awoken, seizing its chance to call the hive fleet to the world. Greaves was thankful to have a force of Ultramarines on hand however, and the astartes, remembering their hatred for the foe that once ravaged their own domain, obliterated the tyranid infestation in short order.


Worse was to follow for Greaves however. The necrons soon appeared, using arcane technology to arrive and seize Ironhaven, and the Deathwatch force sent to remove them found the Sautek Dynasty had reinforced the Charnovokh in strength. The imperial force were unable to dislodge them and retreated to Fort Bastion, where they hoped to aid its defence from a new attack. The alliance had finally arrived.


The alliance had landed just south of the ocean known as the Squallor, and now had pushed in to the capital Fort Bastion. THe Praetorians fought doggedly but with the Astartes still mopping up tyranids and the Lycannon guard cut off by Vorushko's forces, General Greaves could only watch as gradually the tau and federal forces took down the mighty fort's defences. Within a day the capital, and spaceport, were in the hands of the alliance. A few days later however the Lycannon guard, aware the Minotaurs could not be everywhere at once, forced a path through to the north of Lake Hartford. There they met and defeated a large army under tau commander skyfall, and by 1505_017M42 the alliance were besieged themselves in the fort. General Greaves managed to escape into the wilderness, and he took command once again when the relief force arrived.

Corticant summary

Corticant summary: Chaos and tyranids defeated, loyalists hold major settlements as well as the excavation site. The alliance hold fort bastion and the space port while the crusade hold critical strategic locations. Overall two of these three factions must now work together to prevent the third from taking control of the ancient device at the core of the planet. Time is critical, there can be no long war.
The alliance - aided by the eldar harlequins, now know the importance of the device. The crusade under Vorushko are busily gaining knowledge of the device, while the loyalists are still rather clueless, but actually hold the site...



Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Vorushko

Inquisitor Vorushko cast the data slate aside and gazed idly at the artificial flames in the fireplace of her state room aboard the Inquisition ship Lord of Light. This was her base of operations now. With the apparent rise of Guilliman and the involvement of the living saint, much of her Crusade had abandoned her. The Crusade fleet, a rag tag but giant force of vessels with fanatical zeal, as well as the firebrand priests had all gone, swept up on a holy crusade to Terra, where Celestine herself had appeared with the resurrection of the Primarch of the Ultramarines. Now only three chapters of Astartes, the Sky Lords, Minotaurs and Angels Repentent, kept faith with her, along with elements of the mechanicus and several guard regiments she had managed to secure. But her fleet numbered mere tens of ships where once there had been hundreds.

Vorushko remained skeptical. She knew within her heart there was something wrong with Guilliman, no matter what her one time friend Greyfax claimed, the reappearance of the Primarch after ten millenia and the involvement of Xenos proved to her that the Primarch could not be trusted. "Trust me" Greyfax had ended her communication, but how could Natalia trust a friend who had been trapped by Xenos for several centuries? To Natalia, trust meant nothing. Faith and righteousness had been her defence in the past and had served her well. She knew her purpose was just and her plan the only one which would deliver mankind from the alien and the heretic on the eastern rim. Faith in the emperor had got her through the warpstorms of the Aurelis Deeps which had trapped her ship for more than three hundred Terran years, and Faith had told her this sector must burn to cleanse the wound eating at the heart of the Imperium.

And now the new data from Corticant. Her agents had done well, intercepting the secret communique to the idiot Hathek. The old fool still had little idea of the power that had been found under the surface of the world, and worse, they had managed to accidentally activate the thing. Now it would be calling to all who had the with to hear it.

Natalia knew what the object found in the caverns was. This was the third, or possily fourth such construct to have been found in the Perseus Deeps. At first the Imperium had assumed these "devices" had been created by the warp spawn of chaos, having first encountered such an artefact in the possession of the Iron Warriors, but her junior Inquisitor, Xanthus, had managed to destroy it on Myrentas II, dying in the attempt. This device had been used to fold space and punch tunnels through the warp, sacrificing thousands of living souls to power it.

Another had been found on Valitane, and yet a third on Protogonus. The device on Valitane had been similarly used by chaos, this time to bend the warp to the will of its masters, controlling the population and almost overthrowing imperial rule. Vorushko's agents had stopped that just in time, and then discovered a third being analysed by the Tau and Federacy on Protogonus. the alliance, ignorant heretical fools that they were, attempted to harness the power of the device to build an impenetrable energy shield, with varying, often disastrous results.

Now another, a fourth had been found on Corticant. As yet Hathek and his "loyalists" were not yet aware of what they had found, but this one was different. Not only had the device been found intact, but the ancient power core it sat upon. And it had been powered up... Even the accidental feeding of one living soul to the device was enough to start the ancient engines, which now broadcast their signal across the Perseus Deeps. Others would come, tempted like moths to a flame.

Vorushko stood, her mind made up. Pulling the hood over her long flowing hair, the inquisitor lord made her way to the bridge of the Lord of Light.

"Summon the Crusade Council. We are going to war".

Corticant badlands excavation transcript

+++Transmitted: Corticant Terminus 
+++Date: 0105_017M42
+++Security Clearance: Extremis Ultra
+++Ref: CBE004/1-B
+++Recieved: [REDACTED]
+++Subject: Corticant Excavation Report
+++Author: [REDACTED]

My lord,

Progress in the caverns beneath Veers Mound has been swift of late, thanks to the timely arrival of Adeptus mechanicus scanning equipment and the use of explosives blast into the vast subteranean caverns which auspex returns had indicated must exist. As predicted there were some fatalities among the excavation crew, but the importance of this mission overrides such selfish concerns such as personal safety. They died in their own way to serve the Emperor.

Upon entering the chasm we were confronted with total darkness, but within stood the fruit of our labour. Even the Adeptus Mechanicus lord with us appeared to show signs of wonderment and awe at the vast structure which now stood in front of us. Fully 100 stories high, the almost perfectly smooth and impossibly black obelisk stood as a buried skyscraper, not reaching for the skies but diving into the darkness of the core of the planet. We were unable to see the bottom with our lighting equipment, but scanner estimations suggest the obelisk may drive even further into the rock.

Atop this alien structure, within the chasm into which we had blasted, sat a cylindrical structure, lying on its side with  one circular end pointing towards us. Nothing appeared to hold the structure fast onto the towering obelisk and yet it did not roll off. We had made our egress into the cavern holding the wonder at the same height as this cylindrical object, which must be one hundred feet long and twenty feet in diameter. A ledge of rock jutted out twards the top of the black structure, and upon examination it was clear there had once been a polished marble floor atop it. Ancient beings would have once walked this path, but for what?

The Adeptus Mechanicus scanned the structure, and found nothing but their own scans reflected. the object appeared more than inert, but as if it had a negative existence. Fearing the machinations of the warp I instructed our Psyker to user her Psinescience on the object, but she recoiled in horror, declaring the black cylinder as an anathaema. Never-the-less, I resloved to investigate further, and we crossed onto the top of the giant structure. The surface was impossibly smooth, glass like, with not a scratch after millenia. Not even a grain of dust marked its black and wholly unreflective surface. Neither did it feel slippery, and many attested to feeling as if they were walking on the void itself.

At last we approached the cylinder which now loomed above us. A final auspex scan revealed nothing, and a circuit of the object revealed no markings indicating a way in. Whatever it once was, whatever its purpose, it was now dead, or so we thought. One of our indentured guardsman was unable to resist temptation and layed his hand on the object. There was a scream and a whipcrack noise which appeared to come from within my own head, and the guardsman instantaneously vanished from existence. The crack had been the rush of air to fill the space he no longer occupied. Looking at our group I noticed we all had nosebleeds, but our psyker faired the worst. She had been the one screaming, and now she lay lifeless on the perfectly black surface.

We picked up our her body and made our way away from the object, noting now that the auspex returns registered internal energy, and green lines became barely discernable on the black face of the cylindrical object that had somehow claimed two of the lives of our party. 

Since this first encounter we have studied the object, or the device as it is now known, in more detail, but answers elude us. It still registers a small energy signature, but we fear to actively investigate more. I await your guidance my Lord Inquisitor.

++End Message

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Imperial Command and commanders - 0105_017M42


Alliance gains on Libria II

Following the invasion of Libria II by the alliance, General Zhukov, overall commander of loyalist Imperial forces in the Libria system, was left with an unenviable task. The tau and Federal fleet maintained their grip over the system and even though the Crusade fleet had all but evaporated, the loyalist fleet under Admiral Jellicoe had been pulled back to the Perseus Deeps after the fall of Hemera. It was thought that Hive Fleet Nemesis could reappear at any time, and the supply route via Corticant was the only viable line of communication left with the Libria system. This had to be kept open at all costs, and a standing presence at Libria just simply wasn't viable.

Small amounts of reinforcements and equipment did manage to run the gauntlet of the Alliance crusade, although many shipments of cargo were intercepted by the alliance fleet. The imperial Navy had access to some system ships, but these were unable to leave the protection of Libria I's orbital batteries, which had been taken under loyalist control in the invasion against the crusade. A meaningful move of troops to Libria II would be met with overwhelming force, and would be doomed to failure.


Only Astartes forces were able to get through to Libria II, their strike cruisers able to outrun the alliance fleet and refuse battle if they were chased. On 2704.017M42 one such strike cruiser managed to get past the alliance fleet and deliver much needed reinforcement to Zhukov's forces on the ground. However the alliance had landed on Libria II in force, and as soon as the Deathwatch force arrived on the planet they were assaulted by elite tau forces and quickly found themselves overmatched. Suffering a heavy defeat the imperial forces had to retreat once again, and the Tau progressed to the settlement of Slade. If this continued Zhukov knew the entire Libria campaign would collapse.

Monday, May 01, 2017

Corticant targeted

As 05.17M42 began the eyes of the major powers in the Aleph Sector were inexorably drawn to the Perseus Deeps, and on one particular planet, the strategically vital system of Corticant. This world, conquered many years ago by General Veers' crusade, had been essential in securing the victories over Chaos on Bastien, and had endured an assault by the Harakhty dynasty of the Necrons in 013M42. Now Corticant had become the strategic lifeline to Libria, as it stood on the only stable warp lane connecting imperial space to the Zadoc subsector following the fall of the Aleph Subsector decades before.The Upper Perseus Reach was now the only route to get supplies to the Zadoc subsector.

With the reappearance of Hive Fleet Nemesis in the Perseus Deeps Sector Commander Titus Luthor ordered Jellicoe to move the fleet back to the region, and now Jellicoe's fleet were en route to Corticant from their base at Caitlen station. A small window of time now opened up where Corticant essentially had no defence, as the remaining units of Jellicoe's fleet had been forced to patrol the Farport warp lane to counter any potential Hive fleet attack on Farport and the Vastrid subsector. This did not go unnoticed by the other powers in the Deeps as the great fleet slipped its moorings at Corticant and made its way hubward. Corticant was now exposed.


Titus Luthor could not know however that the Necrons, far from terminally weakened, had been reinvigorated by the arrival of the Charnovokh dynasty. The Necrons monitored the Imperial fleet movement and considered their next move. Perhaps now was the time to retake their rightful possession from the cattle that infested Corticant? Neither did Luthor know that the Eldar were aware of the Necron plans and had their own counter measures in place. They knew more about Corticant than any other race, and could not allow it to fall into the hands of their ancient foe. The imperial commander was similarly unaware that the Alliance, frustrated by the ongoing drip feeding of reinforcements into the Libria system, had come to the conclusion that taking Corticant would ensure a swifter victory to that ongoing long and bloody struggle. And no-one yet knew that the Tyranids of Nemesis had already chosen Corticant as their next axis of attack, and that cults were already in place.


Finally, the Imperial command were as yet unaware of the excavations of the Corticant badlands, and what the Adeptus Mechanicus had found there. Something ancient and extremely important was hidden beneath the rock of Corticant's mountains. Inquisitor Vorushko, leader of the crusade, was aware however, and did not intend for this device to fall into the wrong hands. No one could be trusted, least of all Titus Luthor, who had recently been visited by her nemesis, Inquisitor Hathek.


Never-the-less, Luthor wasn't stupid. He had reinforced the planet in any case should any force decide to attack the planet while it was relatively unprotected. Would it be enough however? Corticant was about to be plunged into a savage conflict which would decide the very fate of the Aleph Sector.


Libria System, current situation


Saturday, April 29, 2017

Violence increases in the Perseus Deeps

While the battle for Libria continued, early 017M42 saw increasing violence in the Perseus Deeps as the main powers in the vitally important region battled for superiority. Following the Imperial campaigns and the rise of the Harakhty Dynasty, Chaos had dwindled to a small remnant centred on Mordecai and Kendrenec. Multiple efforts to invade Mordecai had failed, and although Warsmith Stahl had capitalised on this, invading Minos in 016M42, the forces of Chaos remained weak and divided.

The Tau, Necrons, and Imperium had managed to coexist in the Deeps without falling into all out war for some time. The Tau and Imperium were too busy fighting over Libria, while the Necrons lacked the strength to make use of their distraction, preferring to consolidate their existing position by ensuring war happened "elsewhere". The eldar, despite leaving the crusade, had similarly stopped interfering in wars, apparently satisfied at the "cold war stalemate" that had emerged. No one was winning, and that suited the eldar, for now.


016M42 saw this period of stability come to a dramatic end. After a number of strange uprisings and raids involving genestealers, it became apparent that Hive Fleet Nemesis, which had disappeared many years ago from the Zadoc subsector, had now arrived in the Deeps. Still travelling in the void, the main fleet had yet to exert its presence, but its tendrils began destabilising the region well in advance of the massive fleets themselves.


First, genestealer uprisings were dealt with by the Tau, Necrons and imperial forces, but at the beginning of 017M42, the Imperial colony of Hemera fell to the genestealer cults, catching the Imperium, and sector commander Titus Luthor totaly off guard. More uprisings followed, and the Harakhty dynasty proved itself unable to contain the threat. The Charnovokh, recognising the dire threat, made a number of political moves which eventually saw the Harakhty displaced, and the dynasty in the Perseus Deeps became officially under the control of the Charnovokh in 04.017M42.


Soon the policies of the Necrons changed, and the ancient xenos prioritised the elimination of the Tyranid threat. During 04.017M42 the remaining genestealer infestations on Necron worlds were purged, with major battles taking place on Gamordal. Meanwhile, the Charnovokh, despite aiding the loyalists in Libria, realised that the Imperium could not be allowed to build up too much strength in the Deeps, and so raids were launched against Imperial assets on Corticant, a world they claimed by right anyway and one they intended to take sooner or later. The Guard forces, once again caught off balance, were defeated, and the spaceport wrecked. Corticant would not be able to stage any Imperial moves to the "west" for many months.


The eldar were also active. Alarmed by the lack of preparation for a war they knew was coming, and their communications rebuffed, the Ynnari and harlequins took matters into their own hands in 04.017M42. Lightning raids on Lucardium and Corticant found the Imperial defences woefully lacking, but commander skyfall's units, refitting on Lucardium, put up a much stronger defence. Angered by the eldar attack, the alliance posted more troops to the Perseus Deeps, satisfying the eldar...


War was now coming. Tyranid activity was reported on Corticant, the lynchpin of the Imperial defence line in the Deeps and a world central to the protection of the even more valuable Bastien. Corticant, a world claimed and already assaulted once by the necrons, and critical to the eldar plan for the Deeps was now coming under the gaze of a number of forces. Who controlled Corticant would control the destiny of the Aleph Sector...


LIBRIA I: Stalemate continues

The violence on Libria I continued in the early months of 017M42 with the Imperial Loyalist forces initially making good progress in their drive northward towards the last crusade held settlements in the northwest. Overall loyalist commander general Zhukov knew that if he could take Davey and Slater the remaining crusade forces would be bottled up in the west of the planet, and without access to good supply routes, overall victory would be in sight.

The loyalists however had issues of their own. The alliance were now in full control of space in the Libria system, so supply was not only a problem for the crusade. Only small supply convoys escorted by fast astartes strike cruisers were able to get through to the inner planets, and Zhukov's army was tired and lacking in equipment, much of which was now being hurridly diverted back to Libria II thanks to the tau invasion.


Zhukov's frontal assauly reached a high when the Ultramarines secured Davey, defeating a poorly equipped Darantine Guard regiment, but the advanc now put the loyalists into a salient Zhukov didn't really like, and he expected the counter attack. It came less than a week later when the Vedrians moved in to hold Davey were assaulted from two sides by the Kreig units and the unwavering Volscians, who hd now become the backbone of Vorushko's crusade armies. The loyalists were hopelessly outnumbered and surrounded, but unexpected help came in the form of the necrons. Once again the Charnovokh dynasty appeared as if from nowhere and interfered in the Librian campaign.


The necrons were themselves under pressure in the Perseus Deeps. They were well aware that a victory for the crusade would inevitably lead to a full scale crusade against the xenos in the DEeps, and they were not sufficiently strong to counter the tau, tyranids and imperium. A loyalist victory would likely result in the Imperium consolidating their existing systems, and perhaps leave the necrons alone long enough for their armies to be fully reawakened.


The crusade armies were however even more fired up by the appearance of the necrons, and despite a dogged defence of Davey the fanatical devotion to duty saw the Volscians and Death Korps retake the settlement street by street before forceing Zhukov to retreat south before Carteret also fell. The war on Libria I would continue, setting the imperial armies against one another while the alliance steadily took the Libria system for themselves.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Libria I Current


Libria I: Novato retaken, Vorushko visited by "old friend"

In 03.17M42 the loyalists on Libria I were visited by a new delegation. General Zhukov met with the leader of the armed detachment, recognising the Inquisitorial seal immediately. Introducing herself as Inquisitor Kataryina Greyfax, she brought him a message from Haskell. "I am well, receive my colleague in good faith. She is for the emperor in her heart". Zhukov recognised the writing and the specific inflexions of the great Inquisitor Haskell, and accepted Greyfax's forces and council. What was said between the two will remain private, but she did let the general know why she was here, and why she had come now.

Originally a Puritan Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor, Greyfax had seen so much, and had her eyes opened in the fall of Cadia. This was the first Zhukov new of the fall and he grieved. Greyfax then told him of the coming of Guilliman, explaining that Haskell could not return to the Aleph Sector while events on Terra required his attention. Here however Greyfax had a personal matter to deal with. The crusade she said, must be stopped. The puritan view she had so ardently adhered to, had been proved false. The true purpose and will of the Emperor had been revealed to her and must also be revealed, through force if necessary to her one time friend and colleague, Natalia Vorushko, Inquisitor lord and leader of the Crusade...


Battles in the Deeps

In the early weeks of 017M42 the Imperium faced more threats in the Perseus Deeps than they were able to deal with. Raids on colonies across the Deeps forced Sector Commander Titus Luthor to reinforce Bastion and the outlying systems with fresh units of Guard. The first of these were a force of Volscians. Luthor knew that the Volscians were fighting for the crusdade on Libria, and therefore found all Volscians under his command as unreliable. By posting them to Aethor, where the eldar attacks were at their worst, he hoped to remove them from possible altercations with other regiments fighting on the side of the loyalists. In addition he deployed additional Vedrian and Lycaon units to the planet.

Aethor had been under sustained assault from the eldar for over a year. Unknown to the imperium Aethor was a strategic target for the Eldar, and the recently emergent "Ynnari" faction were no exception. Like their heralds, the Disciples of Y'nead, the Ynnari knew that imperial "Mon Keigh" presence on Aethor was intolerable, and despite having been warned the stubborn humans remained.


The attacks, started by the Disciples, were continued by their successors, and the Ynnari gained ground at first, eliminating the Vedrian guard at an imperial outpost near a webway portal. However the Volscians were harder to crack, and managed to beat off a Ynnari attack in the north of the colony. Things remained evenly balanced on Aethor.


The Dark Eldar, led by Vlokarion, continued their own agenda, raiding and defeating the Charnovokh dynasty throughout the early weeks of the year. On Calliden, capital of the Necron empire in the Deeps, the ruler of the Charnovokh and Harakhty dynasties, Overlord Arakamen, realised that without the help of the Imperium, his empire could fall to ruin. The necrons could not afford to fight the eldar and the tyranids alone, with the alliance on their borders. Only the Imperium, who could be manipulated, would allow the necrons to defend and rebuild their empire. Arakamen needed a strong Imperium as a bulwark against his enemies. The overlord began opening his negotiations...

The fall of Hemera

While the Imperium were distracted with their own schisms and the alliance on the eastern fringe, more and more resources were drained from the already tenuous Imperial possessions in the Perseus Deeeps. By late 016M42 the imperial garrison on Hemera had already put down several "populist risings", only to find in early 017M42 that a genestealer cult, a vanguard tendril of Hive Fleet Nemesis, had taken over vital installations and declared itself the new government.

In response the Space Wolves and Darrantine Guard were dispatched by Sector Commander Titus Luthor. However when they arrived the imperial forces faced frenzied attacks, not just from cultists but purestrain genestealers. Days of protracted fighting became a desperate holding action as the xenos forces overran the imperial forces and beseiged the only way off the planet, the imperial spaceport.


The small colony received unexpected aid from the eldar, who appeared from the webway to try to reverse the tyranid gains. It was to no avail and the eldar, of the recently discovered "Ynnari faction", were soon overrun themselves and found themselves fleeing into the webway. They never made it to the besieges imperial forces, and all but a few astartes were massacred in the final moments of Hemera's fall.

Alliance invade Libria II: Space Wolves annihilated

The response by the alliance to the crusade raid was swift, but not directly against the crusade. The policy of the alliance had always been to divide and conquer, and now they put this firmly into action. Aware that the crusade were still unable to respond in a meaningful way against the alliance hold over the central planets of the system, the tau and federal forces brought forward their planned incasion of Libria II. If they could secure the second planet of the Libria system this would leave the loyalists confined to Libria I, where they were already at war with the crusade, and the crusade holding the solitary outer planet of Libria V.

The invasion was led by the human forces of the alliance. The Council felt that the "liberation" of the population would be better led by rebel forces, and the Lycaon rebels were selected to be the vanguard. Discussions over the inclusion of Libria into the Federacy or the Tau empire would wait for now. United the alliance forces landed uncontested, enjoying total superiority in space and quickly estabklishing a bridgehead. The loyalists however had not left their only base undefended, and the Space Wolves responded to the invasion while General Zhukov continued the offensive on Libria I.


The battle itself went badly for the Space Wolves. Surprised by the strength of the forces involved in the invasion, and initially believing the alliance attack to be an exploratory raid, the astartes found themselves overwhelmed and outflanked. In hours the Space Wolves were routed, allowing the alliance to secure their landing site and taking the settlement of Macdonald without difficulty.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Crusade raid Lucardium

With the loss of Libria III, the crusade found themselves on the defensive. Vorushko had managed to secure several new Imperial Guard regiments, including the Death Korps of Krieg and Darrantine Guard. However, the crusade lacked resources. Libria V, their only solid hold in the Libria system lacked the necessary production facilites to support the war effort. In early 017M42 Vorushko authorised a risky raid on Lucardium by her Adeptus Machanicus allies, in order to secure vital resources.

The raid fell upon the garrison once led by the legendary commander Longstride. The tau, surprised by the sudden assault put up a determined fight, but the Mechanicum constructs proved effective at withstanding the withering Xenos fire. The crusade force were able to establish a bridgehead for 24 hours, long enough to secure a significant amount of raw materials, teleported into the waiting conveyer craft in orbit. The tau fleet responded, but by the time of their arrival the Adeptus Mechanicus had left, and Vorushko had struck a blow against the Alliance supply chain as well as bolstering her own position in the ongoing war.

Libria I: Novgorod advance on Davey

With the Minotaurs having left Libria I to exact their revenge on the Necrons, early 01.017M42 allowed the loyalists to recover from the loss of the central cities on Libria I. Most of Zhukov's forces were concentrated on the northern front, so rather than immediately return southward Zhukov continued to apply pressure to the crusade forces in the north, launching a Novgorod offensive against the city of Davey. Defended by Death Korps regiments, the city of Davey was pounded by Novgorod artillery before the loyalist guardsment carried out a textbook imperial frontal assault against the settlement.

The Death Korps defended ably, and the ground between the two armies was soon a chewed up mass of shell holes, broken equipment and bodies, but gradually the Novgorod inched forward. Over the course of two weeks the Death Korps were ground down and forced back, although their line never broke. By 0801.017M42 all of Davey had been captured by the loyalist force, and the offensive was officially closed down. It was only a small advance, but the advance threatened to isolate Slater in the far north, and provided the loyalist forces with a much needed moral boost.



Perseus Deeps: Hemera uprising & Vlokarion Raids

Towards the end of 016M42 the Persues Deeps began to once again experience significant flare ups of violence. Mid month, the Minotaurs made good on their revenge against the Necrons, appearing above Hemera on 1512.016M42 and launching a savage drop assault against the Necrons of the Charnovokh dynasty. Damage done, the Minotaurs returned to their ships and presumably back to their base of operations between Libria and the Deeps. Honour for the Necron interference on Libria I had been exacted.

On Hemera, the governor was forced to call for aid as once again a previously unknown genestealer cult overthrew the mayor of a major settlement and slew much of the loyal population. The Space Wolves responded to the call but underestimated the strength of the cult and were unable to shift the genestealers after hours of fighting. Depleted of ammunition and suffering unacceptable losses, the Space Wolves withdrew, leaving Hemera with a settlement fully in the hands of the Cult. This was a major concern, as many psychics began warning of an imminent invasion of the Deeps by Hive Fleet Nemesis. However on Tyranic timescales "imminent" could mean months, years, or decades.


The Dark Eldar raider Vlokarion was also active in the Perseus Deeps in late 12.016M42. It appeared that the Dark Eldar lord had timed his new raids to coincide with the emergent threat of the genestealers, enabling him to take advantage of weakened foes. His raids on Skera and Corticant were successful, as his dark eldar forces defeated the Charnovokh Necrons and Adeptus Mechanicus forces respectively.